We all dream of having contributed to society in greater or lesser ways. Whether individual achievements are enough, where private satisfaction is gained through a restricted circle of those “in the know”, is doubtful; and even of leaving a name behind on a building, a statue or a commemorative stamp — what difference does it ultimately make, the cynic would wonder aloud?
When we pass by a building with a nameplate in one of the bricks or chiseled into the mortar, do we even acknowledge it, let alone recognize who that person was or what contribution he or she had made to the world? Do we stand and Google the name and ooh-and-ah at the achievements bestowed? Or of a statute with the proverbial fountain spewing daily freshness of recycled water, of perhaps a general who had once-upon-a-time led a charge and captured or killed a great opposing force — is that what we consider an achievement worthy of a bronze emblem?
And how about the more subtle legacy, of leaving imprints and personality traits, whether positive or negative, in one’s children or grandchildren? “Oh, he is just like his father!” “She reminds me of her mother.” Or of those quiet achievements by challenged individuals daily around the world; we know not what effort it took, but for the person making the effort in the silence of his or her private suffering.
Achievement is a funny animal; it is ultimately a feeling; otherwise, why would we build statues to declare it to the world if we truly believed in the legacy entombed?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows the Federal or Postal employee to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, perhaps the achievements one had hoped for in one’s career are no longer achievable, and thus the “legacy” of achievement is no longer possible.
In that event, the Federal or Postal worker needs to reconsider the values once sought, and to re-prioritize the goals pursued. Perhaps “health” was not part of the original list, but should be; and that is where an effective preparation of a Federal Disability Retirement application comes into play: One’s career was never the legacy to achieve; it was merely down on the list of priorities to be sought, where one’s health and well-being should have been higher on the list to begin with.
Robert R. McGill
FERS Disability Lawyer