In those Eisenhower years with residual trails into the following decade, we had those perfect television paradigms – of “Leave it to Beaver”, “Father knows best” and “My Three Sons”, while the world around began its transformational process.
Hollywood decided much later that they needed to be at the forefront, leading social change and forcing cultural avant-garde transitions even if merely experimental and questionable for any positive good. That decision is in stark contrast to the turmoil of the 1960s and 70s, where the staid and stodgy traditionalism of television series barely reflected the reality of the deconstructionism occurring in real time.
Somehow, those old sitcoms provided a paradigm of perfect lives and traditionalism that secured hope for the rest of us; for, the reality is that, like Dutch’s childhood and the rest of us, we grew up with messy lives, and paid the price for the rest of time to try and correct it and match it as against the paradigms of a reality that never was.
Medieval theological arguments always include the notion that, we would never have an idea of perfection unless there was some entity in the objective world that matched such a concept. It is merely an extension of Plato’s argument for Forms, where the particulars in the physical world are mere imperfections striving to compare to the ultimate conceptual constructs of inviolable Forms.
That is often the problem with comparisons and arguments by extension; they make of our lives unsatisfying, precisely because we can never meet the expectations of others, let alone those we construct in our own minds. That is why medical conditions can be so insidious; we possess and carry around with us those Platonic Forms of perfection, and when the reality of a medical condition prevents us from completing the career, the project, the lives we believe we were meant to live, the dispossessing trauma of realizing that we fell short results in a despondency because we set up paradigms of expectations that never were.
The question often left unanswered is: What are the values involved? What do we believe in? What constitutes reality, as opposed to a fantasy based upon unrealistic expectations? Isn’t “health” the priority of life?
If so, preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application by Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers when a medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing the essential elements of one’s position, is the next logical step based in a reality-basis of an imperfect life.
Whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the fact that medical conditions further add to messy lives is no matter; we all have messy lives, and whatever fantasies we held on to when we enjoyed those old favorites, ignoring the problem never solved anything, and perfection should always be left to Platonic Forms in the dialogues of angels whispering among the heavenly orbs that remain hidden in the esoteric pages of those theological arguments long shelved in the monasteries of libraries long forgotten in the dusty bins of rotting books.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire