When we were young — no, not the opening lines of a Christopher Robin poem where the hunt for a clove of honey is the day’s goal, but an observation about life’s folly — we harbored principles and moral codes that required strict purity: Success without compromise; life that is perfectly lived; avoidance of mistakes that our parents made; beautiful kids who will exhibit their inherent creativity at every turn, without a wail or disobedient scream of tantrum; and even if such goals of abstract purity never come to fruition, at least there is Instagram in the modern era where we can pretend to have achieved such paradise of ends considered.
Youth pretends to such abstractions; reality tends to soil such purity; and goals formulated at the beginning of life require constant moderation and adaptation to the experience of reality that is encountered throughout. Such goals of abstract purity are best left in the Ivory Towers of Academia, or in the forgotten memories of childhood dreams. For, it is reality and the objective world which must be contended with, and not the conceptual paradigms that make up the dreams and fantasies of our former selves. In the end, grownups don’t have time to waste upon the goals of abstract purity because life is too challenging and reality too stark.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer 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 position, the Goals of Abstract Purity should be replaced with the Ends of Realistic Objectivity: Of continuing with the Postal Service or Federal Agency only to the extent that one’s health will allow, and to begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS.
And what of those former Goals of Abstract Purity? You should place them upon the heap of memories that allowed for youthful folly, and realize that one’s health is the ultimate goal of purity — and it is no longer a mere abstraction, but a reality that must be faced.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire