Unforeseen consequences have become the expected norm; for, as technology progressively innovates, the quickened pace of advancement defies any allowance for thoughtful retrospection, leaving aside the need for anticipatory planning, as to the future impact of present actions. Creating an antiseptic society which declares that simplicity of thoughtless actions is the goal to achieve, should anticipate a tremendous stunting of evolutionary progress.
For, if the theory of evolution is based upon environmental stresses which force microcosmic mutations, then what would be the reverse impact — when technology unburdens such stresses? We no longer read maps; the GPS tells us where to go, when to turn, what street we are on, and when we have arrived. We are daily told what to do; we need not figure out anything, anymore. When we encounter a life-situation where our involvement and active participation is crucial to the success of an endeavor or process, the training which we have previously been given will reveal itself.
For the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, the process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether one is under FERS or CSRS, must by necessity be an active one, and not passive. Decisions must be made; steps must be initiated; statutory and regulatory processes must be followed.
Life does not run the course of an electronic voice emitted by one’s Smart phone; some functions must engage the mind of the participant; map reading is still a skill which may be required, when the technology we relied upon fails to deliver. Medical conditions have a tendency to stifle, and that is entirely understandable. But the rest of the world continues to forge forward, and so do administrative processes, whether we like them or not.
In the end, the minor evolutionary mutations are never dependent upon any singular act of inaction; but the cumulative impact of a population waiting for direction can be altered by a single Federal or Postal employee who takes the affirmative step in preparing for his or her future by deciding to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits — if not for the greater populace, then at least for his or her personal life.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire