So, when a person comes in late to a conference, he or she asks the natural question, “So, give me the gist of what has been discussed before I arrived.” Meaning, thereby, that a short synopsis of the “essence” of what has been discussed — i.e., the meat, the substance, the main points, etc., of the meeting.
Often, when watching a movie, reading a novel, coming into the middle of a conversation, and many other forms and formats, besides, a person can quickly get the gist of what is being discussed, what the movie is about, how the novel is progressing, etc. Most people have a need and desire to comprehend the gist of what has been encountered. While peripheral details are often important, unless one has understood the gist of whatever is being viewed, there is a sense of unease which develops.
That’s why husbands turn to their wives in exasperation with the pointed question, “But what is the point of it?” For children, however, it is often the peripheral things which are most important — not whether the story has any central meaning, but the funny way in which Dad reads it; not in whether you come out clean from a bathtub, but whether there are enough soapsuds with colorful reflections; and not whether you have perfectly picked up after yourself, but to be praised for how you tried your best, etc.
We often forget that. For, the gist of life when we grow older has more to do with how we conducted ourselves, and less with how successfully others view us. Then, when a medical condition hits us, we realize truly what the gist of life is all about — not how many hours we worked, but which meals we missed with our kids.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition and where the medical condition impacts the careers of the Federal or Postal worker, contemplation of initiating an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under the FERS system becomes the gist of what needs to be done. The gist of life, suddenly, is that which was always taken for granted and never thought about — one’s health.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.