What we do in response to outside stimuli; whether we flee, prepare to defend, aggressively pursue, or otherwise stand idle with resignation and do nothing; whither to stand in consternation or to wither without care; throughout, it is the glare of the world, whether by glint of sunlight upon objects surrounding us, or through another’s eyes which magnify the hostility abounding, which requires our tepid psyche to stir in turmoil.
The test of life is often not in others, but in ourselves. By then, perhaps the fight is gone; maybe the slow and incremental shavings that took years to whittle away, manifest a pile of residue left behind, and forever depleting any reserve of response, or stir a final call to arms.
Life has a way of deadening the soul, but it is often the glare of another which provokes the stirrings of the remains of the day. When driving, the sudden glare of sunlight results in a raised hand or reaching for the visor, without thought, in a protective mode; or a reactive temper arising in response to an offending pair of eyes directed with hostility and provocation; in either case, life stirs, and the vestiges of a fight thought lost and gone forever, return with a vengeance and a fury of energy and strength. Don’t ever think that the battle is lost, lest surrender means giving in to cowardice and contemptuous cocoon’s of cornered avarice.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who daily suffer the indignities of harassment and malice at the hands of the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service, who have “given their all” throughout these years, decades and large sections of life and time, the need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management can often be determined by the level of fight left in one’s self. Like squinting an eye to examine the level of oil left by pulling out the long and flexible dipstick from the deep caverns of an engine hidden under the hood of a vehicle, the need to stop and examine one’s life represents a pitstop at a station of reserve.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM is not a surrender of any magnitude; it is, rather, a response which shows that necessity is recognized, that there is life beyond the “mission of the agency” or the “important work” of the U.S. Postal Service, and being treated in ways demeaning does not mandatorily correlate to one’s deteriorating health.
Preparing, formulating and filing for OPM Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is not an indicator of one’s reserve of strength or vitality left in check, but rather the necessary response, thoughtlessly reactive or otherwise, when the glare of another hits the Federal or Postal employee without warning or prefatory contingencies, and when life and living are realized and identified as precious beyond mere voodoo of echoing motions set long ago in a time when youth beckoned beyond call of purpose.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire