We often collect that which we know we need not; and of fodder for other’s play, who but the foolish gather the refuse of one’s own folly? Why does youth engage in a greater percentage of folly, and why do old men insist upon driving uncomfortable cars which make them look foolish once they park and struggle to get out from a position of near-supine discomfort so debilitating that you can almost see the decrepit arches of an arthritic back? Foolishness, of course, is not the reserve of the young only, as middle-aged men with youthful grins and old men with conniving friends whose sole purpose in remaining a soul-mate is contingent upon peeking at the bank account of retirees, reveal and manifest daily.
In the end, the test that has always worked for this writer, is twofold: First, that sincerity is never defined by more words piled upon a previous set of words, but action which follows to concretize the empty promises of uttered speech; and Second, that everyone in the world can do whatever he or she wants, so long as you are willing the pay the price. Thus, as to the latter, it is all well and good to say you want to do this or that, but the problem occurs when consequences unfold, and you expect others to pay the fine, complete the obligation, satisfy the debt or expend efforts to extricate from the difficulties created.
For children, there is always an excuse: Parental obligation and the minor’s claim of not having the maturity to “know better”, compels a feeling of empathy, a reminiscence of remorse, and a hint of guilt for not having spent that extra hour coaching youth baseball or embracing that “quality time” which forever harmed that fragile psyche of that young underling who – by all other measures of objectivity – is described as merely a “brat”. Of the former, one must simply admit that the American folklore of a fool being born every minute – or was it every second? – is reinforced by our own inability to consecrate the condoning cadence of our corrugated cacophonies of constancy; sorry, but once alliteration becomes engaged, it is like putting a finger on the trigger of an automatic weapon and losing control.
More to the point: Most arguments are non-substantive. By that is meant the following: there is rarely a “real” issue of disagreement, but rather, a mere necessity to renegotiate the words used in order to fit into a puzzle where two or more people interact. That being the case, most issues that arise, are resolved with more words imparted, which is simply a further negotiation of words upon words in a language game of meaning, reinterpretation and declaration of purpose.
But as being foolish has a price to pay (refer to the Second Rule stated herein), so the need to follow up with a concrete action, instead of more words (i.e., the First Rule stated above) is necessitated when real issues that have an impact and consequence effect upon lives of others. Most problems in life are self-creations; those who have a greater ability to justify by blaming others, simply get away with it without blemish or repercussions.
For Federal and Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from continuing on in the career of his or her choice, the exception to the above applies: Medical conditions are never the fault of one’s own, and so Rule One and Rule Two should never be considered. It is, instead, Rule Three (heretofore unstated) which should rule: Prepare the most effective Federal Disability Retirement application you can, and file it as soon as practicable, as the wait before the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is long and arduous, but always keep in mind the fodder for our own folly applies to everyone individually, including those within a massive bureaucracy as that of OPM.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire