Are the two identified only by comparative existence? Can one abide in pure mediocrity throughout a lifetime, only to be fooled into thinking that excellence has been achieved, but on the day before extinguishment from this universe, be visited by pure excellence that suddenly compels one to realize that all along, only a ho-hum level of mediocrity had been attained?
Conversely, can one maintain a level of excellence without a comparative standard against which one may know what “mediocrity” consists of?
It is like the grammatical elevation learned in former school days, of “Good”, “Better”, and finally, “Best” — how does one identify the last in the tripartite series unless there is a comparison against that which is lesser, and how does one ever realize the progressive nature of one’s endeavor unless there is improvement to realize?
One may argue that excellence cannot exist except and “but without” the coexistence of mediocrity, and thus the corollary must also be true. Isn’t that the problem with everything in life — excellence, once achieved or realized as a goal, becomes a hollow voice of regret when once mediocrity is the standard to which one is reduced?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition has reduced one’s ability and capacity to perform one’s Federal or Postal position and duties to a level of mediocrity and struggle just to maintain a lesser standard below what one has become accustomed to — of excellence in all arenas, including health, personal life and professional goals — the reduction resulting from one’s deteriorating health is often accompanied by a sense of having become a “lesser” person precisely because one has known the “better” and the “best”.
“Good” is not enough, anymore, because “better” and “best” have once been tasted.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits may not be the “best” answer to all of one’s problems, but it is the better solution to the Federal employee or Postal worker who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, especially when the “good” is merely an exercise in mediocrity where once stood excellence.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire