In geology and archaeology, the term strata refers to layers of sedimentary rock, soil, etc., which provides for identifiable characteristics distinct from previous and subsequent layers, such that time periods and markers can be established and differentiated. From it evolved the discipline of stratigraphy.
The fact that we can actually study dirt and debris and glean meaning from it is exceptional in what we do in life; but on the other hand, it should not be surprising, given the extent of such debris and layers of rot which we allow to form upon our own lives on a daily basis. We rarely even notice how much dirt we allow to accumulate; then, at the end of the day, we look at our hands and realize how dirty they are, and proceed to wash them without thought.
But what of the strata of human debris?
Of traumas and psychological harms which we allow to press upon us, leaving aside the toxic physical fractures which we ignore until it requires emergency surgery. Medical conditions will sometimes occur suddenly; often, however, they result upon the incremental cumulative impact from repetitive laying of stresses, both physical and psychological. And like the strata studied in geology and archaeological expeditions, in retrospective reflection, there are clearly identifiable markers during a specific time period of our lives.
For Federal and Postal employees who suffer from medical conditions such that the medical conditions, whether physical, psychiatric or emotional, impact and prevent one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is important to consider the option of Federal Disability Retirement.
Federal Disability Retirement benefits, filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS or CSRS, may allow for the next strata of life to be identifiably distinct from the previous layer, and therefore allow for the stratigrapher to engage in the true study of relevance: an improvement in the human condition.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire