It is always a burden when the passageway beyond is a mist of obscurity. It helps to possess it, even in partial shades of inane generalizations; but lack of it, especially in youth, is neither a crime nor a blot of misdeeds upon one’s reputation so early in a life or career. We have known them, whether as a “type” or an individual; that rarity of endangered species where the target-point of life is an unwavering straight line directly from birth to death (or at least for the moment when a career goal is sought).
Clarity of purpose is something one “ought” to have, but rarely manifested in the lives of ordinary people. We talk of a nation’s “manifest destiny”, or of the importance of having some “foundation” in life; of faith, purpose and a desire or motivation to – what? That is often the problem; not so much that we have no purpose in life, but that clarity of that essence is too often subverted by events unasked for and circumstances untold.
In W. Somerset Maugham’s novel, The Razor’s Edge, where Larry merely wants to “loaf” after his traumatic wartime experiences – does lack of clarity of purpose as defined by conventional society evince a mere deviation of acceptable behavior, or constitute a complete violation and breach of man’s destined existence harkening from the residues of Puritanism and religiosity in general? (Note the comedic definition of Puritanism from H.L. Mencken: “The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy”).
Modernity no longer believes in destiny, fate, or purposeful existence; and thus do we lack great figures, anymore – as Churchill who consistently defied death in war because of an inherent belief that he was destined for greater things, and thus the gods would not dare to undermine that predetermined fate of life. Instead, the insidiousness of Darwinian belief – a foundation where reductionism to pure materialism and life lived by sensation, pleasure and tactile responsiveness: these are the purposeful endeavors for us all. It is, however, still a requirement that, in order to reach a destination of accomplishment, we “clarify” the “purpose” for which we engage to act.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position, the need to define, refine and clarify such a purposive action is a crucial component in the successful formulation and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application.
Wandering and meandering with merely a general sense of what needs to be done, like Larry Darrell’s search for meaning in Maugham’s masterpiece, will likely result in a denial by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. There are legal statutes to consult; case-law that should be cited; and a streamlining of medical evidence in order to pinpoint, with circumscribed accuracy, the argument and methodology for approval of an OPM Disability Retirement application.
In sum, there needs to be a tactical and strategic clarity of purposive action throughout, in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire