The last in the tripartite of this conceptual construct possesses a relational significance, where fluctuation of the assigned designation may occur based not upon extrinsic objectivity, but upon a personal sense of attachment, and thus the influence on a spectrum may artificially go up or down depending upon whims of fancy. The middle term, on the other hand, is often seen to characterize an intrinsic scope, where the assignation of pricing can be determined by market forces, such as the capitalistic paradigm of scarcity of supply and increase in demand coalescing to determine the monetary stability of an essential rating of specified consideration.
The first in the series, then, encompasses both — where derivation attaches to an intrinsic specificity for a given item, but may also alter and amend based upon an intrinsic, personal aura. It is, in the end, the first for which we strive; for it is meaning that gives fodder to our actions and persistent struggles, while value is that which we attach based upon the objective world around us, and worth can alternate between the historicity surrounding our relationship to the object or the cold detachment we can impart when loss of feeling results in despair.
Of what value does that which we do, have to us, or to the greater society? That question is often determined by pay, promotions and accolades attributable to accomplishments recognized and applauded. What is it all worth? The unstated addendum to such a query, of course, is encapsulated in the following: “…to you?” For, worth is often clouded by a sentimental attachment or clouded histories of unknown psychosis; that is why auction houses and bidding wars attempt to portray an impervious face of dispassionate aplomb.
But for meaning, well… Meaning is what we bring to the fore, embellished by our own sense of bloated narcissism, and derived from childhood dreams and sophomoric pretentiousness. We attach too little to true value, and too much to sentimental worth. And when it all comes crashing down because of the fragile house of cards upon which we built our lives, we sit in amazement and wonder, “What did it all mean?” Such questions will often arise in the midst of a crisis.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must contend with a similarly troubling tripartite of parallelism — of meaning (corollary of the medical condition which erupts in questions of why); of value, where the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service attaches extrinsic obstacles which signify the course of one’s future within the Agency or the U.S. Postal Service; and worth, which must emanate first from the Federal or Postal worker within the standpoint of whether continuation with the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service is even practical, given the loss of meaning and the reduction of value to the Federal agency and the U.S. Postal Service.
In the end, the striving of life is encompassed by the tripartite of human mysteries; we search for meaning in a world devoid of determinable value, and must yet come to terms with the worth of ourselves in relation to the things we do.
That is why, when a medical condition begins to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is merely an intermediate step towards finding the next phase in the search for meaning in life, the value of the search, and the worth for which we struggle.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire