Expenditures can be extracted in a monetary sense; but one can also expend effort, emotions and cognitive exertion, too. We think too narrowly in terms of financial gain or loss, but in every transaction, there is a cost to be paid in terms of human extraction.
The ultimate question, then, within the context of so much busyness and activity, comes down to a fundamental issue: For what reason?
Heidegger sought always the question of Being, and noted that most of human activity is merely an excuse to avoid the ultimate issue of our own mortality, and the question posed herein is a close cousin of such a foundational inquiry. Is it for a momentary respite of quietude? Is it for a flash of a manic moment? Does happiness constitute a pause in an otherwise dreary existence? Is it all worth it to receive a hug from one’s child, or a kind word from a stranger, or the warmth of tongue from a puppy asking for your attention?
There is poetry in life, and moments of incremental advances of worthwhile sketches; but if one merely lives for the negation of X, then one should consider a change in direction or course. For example, if happiness is defined by a temporary escape from pain, then one’s life is bundled up by the negation of a negative (remember one’s math days — of two negatives equalling a positive?).
For Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition, such that life has become a treadmill of daily pain and medical turmoil, and where weekends and days off are merely expended to recover from the weeks and months of physical trials, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS.
For what does one live? Surely not for the condescending feedback from a bureaucracy or agency; it must be for more than that. Otherwise, the price paid far exceeds the benefit received. Federal Disability Retirement is an option available for all Federal and Postal employees who have at least 18 months of Federal Service.
Let not life be a question of avoiding one’s mortality; or, for that matter, to allow for life’s expenditures to exceed the value of the product purchased.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire