Can the precipice of elation last for long? What of contentment — a seemingly “lower-level” joy that pervades and remains for the duration of a season? Does evidence of its durability depend upon a smile frozen upon one’s face, or can it continue to establish its existence with gleaming eyes and a perpetual grin that seems never to go away? Is glee in youth different from a winter’s discontent followed by a summer of joy, and does a period of happiness fostered by nostalgia the same as two young lovers who proclaim the currency of an unfettered passion for life?
Modernity celebrates the cult of youth, and it is thus assumed that happiness is the sole possession of those who look and declare youthfulness; but in the end, is it just wasted energy that dissipates because the young have no knowledge of how to handle such emotional turbulence? What does it mean to “be happy”, and should it ever be considered as a worthwhile “goal” as opposed to a byproduct of a life well lived?
When a person feels elation, should the advice be: Temper it, for such a spectrum of heights will never last and you will find its opposite and negative effect at the end of it all — of dread and dismal desolation. Or, should one just enjoy it while it exists, and deal with its opposite when it comes about?
Aristotle’s approach of finding the middle ground — of a moderation of temperament and approach to life — may allow for happiness lasting precisely because the height and depths of the spectrum of human emotions are never allowed to consume us.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the idea that happiness lasting can no longer be attained is a pervasive feeling because of the medical condition itself and the effects upon one’s life and career.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS may not be the “solution” to attain happiness, but it can be a process where intermediate goals can be achieved — of what to do during the pendency of one’s medical condition; of how to change careers; of how to attain a sense of stability for the future while attending to one’s own health and well-being.
It is a means to an end, where happiness lasting can be seen in the short-term goal of securing one’s future by filing for, and obtaining, a FERS Disability Retirement annuity before the next set of challenges in life’s fulfillment of changing circumstances must be faced again.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire