They can involve actions which result in intended results, or otherwise unintended consequences; or, used in a different way, it may involve a belief or principle, deeply held and fervently committed to, as the impetus and foundation for social or political action. Focus upon “the cause” can be taken to mean a number of things; as in, “Does it benefit the cause?” or, “What was the cause of X?” Used in the former sense, it can lead to blind loyalty to the detriment of one’s own well-being; in the latter, undue focus upon the origin of X can lead one astray, as well.
For the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition has impacted one’s ability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job, the issue of “the cause” should be a limited one.
If used in the sense of a principle or deeply-held belief, it can result in an irrational obstacle by pursuing “the cause” as in a need to stay the course, to blindly commit to a false sense of loyalty in order to further the mission of the Federal agency or U.S. Postal Service, at the expense of one’s own health and well-being.
If applied in the more prominent sense of the term — one of causality, fault, origin or resulting-consequences, etc., then it becomes an irrelevant issue. For, unlike Federal Worker’s Comp cases, causality of a medical condition, injury, or medical disability, does not play a role in determining one’s eligibility status in a Federal Disability Retirement application.
For all Federal and Postal Workers, whether one is under FERS or CSRS, preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, must always contend with the former sense of the term, and never the latter.
It is that false sense of being “committed to the cause” which is often the greatest obstacle in considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, and not the inapplicable usage of “cause” as in the origin of one’s medical condition, which remains the pervasive stumbling block for Federal and Postal employees. For, in the end, it is not merely a matter of a linguistic exercise; it is not just whether a person uses or applies a given word properly in the grammatical sense, which has a lasting impact upon individual lives and greater social orders.
We have spouses to correct us if we misuse a word; but when it comes to having a medical condition impacting our ability to continue on in our chosen vocations, a misuse of a word here and there is an inconsequential blunder; what really matters is to have a true and balanced perspective on the important priorities in our lives.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire