The reference, of course, is to the major philosophical contribution by Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish Philosopher; and his title is a further extrapolation from the Bible. It is an investigation of the test placed upon Abraham to make of his son, Isaac, the sacrificial lamb as a testament of his faith and obedience.
Whether one is religious or not, the value of such an investigation cannot be disregarded. Such a test and endurance; how far Abraham was willing to go; were there indications of behavior which revealed hesitancy; did doubt ever enter into his mind; is obedience to faith ever justified when it seems to overpower fundamental moral considerations; does the author of moral uprightness have the right to violate the very laws of issuance (similar to the theological conundrum, Can God create a rock heavier than He can lift, and if not, does that not undermine the very definition of omnipotence?); what emotional turmoil was Abraham wrestling with, and what of fear and trembling?
These are mere surface questions which Kierkegaard attempts to encounter; the fact that most of society fails or ignores to consider, is a reflection of the state of our own being.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition impacts (A) one’s own health and livelihood, and (B) the capacity and ability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, the issue of fear and trembling should hit close to home. Fear is attributable to the uncertainty of one’s future; trembling concerns the state of persecution one experiences at the hands of a Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service.
Kierkegaard leaves no stone unturned in his rapacious search for truth; for the Federal or Postal employee, even a surface scratching of what Kierkegaard questioned, can be of relevance in moving forward.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may not seem like entering the lofty towers of ivory perspectives as presupposed by Kierkegaard’s work; but it is in the end a pragmatic decision of fortitude which secures one’s future and allows for the stresses of our times to be set aside, deliberately, purposefully, and with regard for one’s own life and being.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire