We all do it; but the fact that all engage in it does not mean that the quality of what occurs behind the mask is equal in kind. What betrays the workings of that which lurks behind the Noh mask? Does the backstabber ever recognize the evil that is perpetrated any more than the Wizard behind the curtain believed that something untoward was being accomplished?
In architecture, a facade is the outward appearance or frontage that represents the initial encounter, entrance or first impression when approaching or entering; it is a neutral term in that it doesn’t connote or denote anything beyond that which it is — the first impression of the outward appearance. But when that same term is applied to human beings or other contexts, it takes on a secondary implication of doubt, motive, underlying processes or even evil intent that is deliberately being concealed for the nefarious winds that need cover.
We all wear them; some are more adept at maintaining it in order to conceal and veil; while others can only establish it for a short period, then confess to all that nothing beneath was meant to harm.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who carry a facade in order to conceal the medical condition that continues to debilitate, deteriorate and prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the strain upon one’s psyche can be enormous and trying.
Over time, the facade must by necessity begin to crumble, to fade, to unravel and reveal; it is the inevitability that is often so fatiguing. When the critical point of intersection occurs — where the priority of the medical condition surpasses the need to maintain appearances — it may be time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
At some point, we all have to become “real”, and the facade that hides the face of a building does so without concealing anything precisely because there is no “there” behind the face; but the human being that puts on the Noh mask cannot for long maintain the facade that conceals the human suffering within.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire