There is much talk these days about energy, vibrancy, health and stamina; what defines it, that which best represents it, and to whom we attribute the importance of superficial concerns. This is an age of appearances, and it has been now for many decades. We still hear talk about the disjunctive opinions embracing the first televised debates between Kennedy and Nixon – how, for those who viewed it, the former “looked good” and the latter appeared “drawn and shady”, with dark shadows under shifty eyes in contrast to the well-tanned presentation of the former.
For those who didn’t have access to a television, or otherwise sat forlornly in a corner pub sipping the froth and listening somewhat distractedly, the voices emitted from the trusty radio transmission evoked a different opinion and perspective: Nixon won the debate, and Kennedy sounded less confident, less knowledgeable on the substantive issues. So, who was right (note the past tense, as most who were old enough to pass such monumental judgments have already entered through the corridors of Dante’s Circle)? Or, is the judgment of “right” versus whatever other categorization one may presume, of irrelevance, and it is all a pot of bosh left to subjective opinions cascading down waterfalls of opinionated tropes?
There is, in the end, a vibrancy factor which we all care about, whether or not it shows, or to what television personality we may attribute such sustained bursts of energetically deplorable innuendoes. “Charisma” was associated with the Kennedy presidency (likely imparted by the conspirators and inner circle of advisors and political hacks), and the entrails of Nixon’s later administration became an emblem of who we are today (yes, he must be turning in his grave when comparing notes with today’s standards as to what constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors resulting in insinuations of impeachability).
For the rest of us, however, the vibrancy factor is a very simple matter: Do we live life with a liveliness of hope, or dread each day with the burden of despair? That simple bifurcation defines most of us. For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition burdens and drags, and depletes and destroys – the choices are fairly simply and straightforward: Stay, walk away with nothing, or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
The first of the tripartite is rarely a true option if Federal Disability Retirement is being contemplated because of a medical condition; the second, barely to be considered because of the time already invested and the question of one’s future stability is asked; and so the Federal or Postal employee suffering from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, must ask and consider the viability of the “third option” – Federal Disability Retirement.
For, in the end, the vibrancy factor rules us all, whether because we attribute self-worth and society’s superficial concerns to the advent of television or not; “vibrancy” has to do with life itself, and the innate charisma of a soul battered and pushed about, but rarely beaten until life’s loss of vibrancy takes its ultimate toll.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire