In life, inertness is considered “bad”; it is progress, the ascent of man and the constant striving towards attaining and achieving which are considered “good”. “Growth” and the incessant need to extend, expand and extoll the virtues of acquisition and accomplishment remain the medals of success; and whether we agree with such values, it is as if we never had a choice. Isn’t how we define the parameters of what is important to us the basis of happiness?
For Aristotle, the world was seen in terms of constant potentiality striving to reach the actualization of an entity’s intended fruition. Thus, a stone does what it is meant to do when it constantly falls to the lowest point in the chaos of the world; a lion achieves its value of Being by being what it does best — of being the aggressor and catching its prey; in other words, by being a lion qua lion-being.
And what of man? To reach his or her potentiality by achieving the essence of what each individual human being was meant to strive for and accomplish, but in a moderated way without the excesses of either extremes upon the spectrum of choices (read his Nicomachean Ethics).
Growth, for every organic being, is crucial to the very essence of its reason and value for existence. It is thus its opposite — the “growth stopper” — that is considered as “bad”, “evil”, and contrary to human nature. But sometimes, in life, we have no choice in the matter, and having a medical condition is that “growth stopper” that must make one pause and redirect one’s focus and value. Ultimately, 2 things have to always be done: Define what values constitute “growth”; then, determine the best course of action to progress in that endeavor.
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 job, “growth” will need to be redefined. Is “growth” worth it at the expense of one’s health?
FERS Disability Retirement is not a “growth stopper”, but a growth enhancer — for, it is a retirement and a basic annuity to allow the Federal or Postal worker to pause, refocus one’s priorities upon one’s health and well-being, and then take the steps to progress toward other endeavors and vocations in life. In other words, to re-prioritize. Yes, the medical condition can be seen as a “growth-stopper”, but it is how we define our values which makes all of the difference.
Robert R.McGill, Esquire
FERS Disability Retirement Attorney