Plato noted the significance of the eyes; as windows of the soul, they reveal the depth of emotion, character, empathy, interest, boredom, meanness, etc.; and just as true, the lack thereof. Laughter provides the concordance of mirth to context; cacophony occurs when the harmony between the two somehow fails to connect.
The pinnacle of sadness is represented when one looks upon an individual, hears the laughter, and sees the revelatory sadness deep within the eyes of the soul. The discordant contrast takes us aback; it is perhaps the height of self-contradiction, where the parallel universes which are never supposed to transect, suddenly violate the very content of definition, and betray the consciousness of self-doubt.
What has transpired? What tragedy has befallen? It brings to mind the poignant story by Chekhov, entitled “Grief” (or otherwise translated as “Misery”), where the death of the son is magnified by the haunting question, “With whom shall I tell my grief?” As the world he continues to encounter is filled with passengers who laugh and carry on with life, the father must continue within the disharmony of his own tragedy.
Medical conditions tend to do that to people; it remains silent, but for the sharing beyond the perfunctory response to the passing, “Hello, how are you?” We are expected to say merely, “Fine, thank you,” and move on. Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers know about the emotional disjunctive between the eyes and the emitting laughter. When the sound of mirth and the sight of pain clash, it is probably time to make an exit by filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
While often not the “best solution”, it allows for the Federal or Postal worker to leave one’s employment, secure a disability annuity, and seek a restoration of one’s health, in order to reinvigorate the soul behind the eyes of tragedy.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is a long and arduous journey through a bureaucratic maze. There is the process itself; the need to substantively put together and formulate an effective and persuasive disability retirement packet; and then the long wait before the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Every Federal and Postal employee must make the decision of when and how; but as to the “why” of the foundation, it is when the eyes begin to betray the laughter, that affirmative steps need to be taken to begin to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire