Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The protective comfort of fatalism

There is some comfort in a perspective that is resigned to pre-determinism; for, if nothing can be changed, whatever we do in life is what would have happened anyway, and there is no changing it no matter how much we may try.  Fate is thus out of our hands; destiny is designed by forces unknown or beyond our comprehension; and the future cannot be influenced by our petty deeds or attempts to deviate.  Taken to the extreme, we are who we are and what we do, how we think and where we end up is purely a matter of fate.

There is, in the far reaches of the spectrum of such a belief-paradigm, a “silliness” that can accompany it – of merely resigning one’s self to sitting, eating potato chips and doing nothing, and excusing one’s slovenly self by declaring that nothing as to what one does matters, so why not just do the minimum requirement of living and allow life’s fate to preside.

The more serious side of fatalism is quite different; it is the protective comfort that, yes, we must strive and go about our lives, but in the end, in a retrospective look at what we have done, it never quite mattered whether we turned left, right, or went straight upon the narrow path, for the determinism of destiny had already been long ago decided.  It is somewhat of an anti-teleological existentialism, in that the absurdity of life is exponentially magnified in a decidedly defeatist meaningless of all actions and even thoughts; for, in Existentialism the French Style, it was in the very decision against suicide that one wills meaning like the figure of Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the hill, only to watch it roll down the other side, and to find meaning in the repetition of absurdity one engages in by pushing it again and again, like life and the monotony of daily living.

Beyond nothingness, there is the protective comfort of fatalism – knowing that one cannot be held responsible for the fated determinism of everything from major events impacting upheavals tumultuous as well as minor, where there is a sense of defeated security in such a cloak of philosophical nothingness.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, there is often a similar sense that is akin to the protective comfort of fatalism – that there is nothing for the Federal or Postal worker to do but to submit to the harassment, allow the agency to punitively demean and diminish, and ultimately to be fired.

But there is the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement, and fatalism will not prevent one’s ability and capacity to file for the benefit.

Indeed, it is the false protection of fatalism which may be the primary obstacle to preparing, formulating, and taking charge of an effective Federal Disability Retirement submission.  It does, however, require an affirmative step in properly and aggressively heightening the chances of success, and that is where the protective comfort of fatalism will not be of help in fighting for one’s rights against the behemoth of agencies – the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, where the real fight against the myth of fated determinism needs to be battled.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


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