We observe the facade and conclude too quickly: Others live perfect lives; mine? What a mess it is.
Have we evaluated all circumstances in an objective, rational fashion? Isn’t the corollary and natural next question to be: That “other” person — what does he or she see when observing me? Does the same conclusion follow: The facade which reveals calm and competence — It is a life nearer to perfection than my own; mine?
And so the cycle of discordant irrationality continues to feed upon itself. And, of course, the Internet only further enhances and exacerbates such folly — of Facebook and Instagram, where “perfect” lives are lived in a 1-dimensional existence; of selectively chosen photographs of perfect couples, perfect meals, perfect vacations and perfect existences are somehow depicted in appearances of perfect lives. Then, the truth somehow leaks out — this person just got a divorce; that person committed a crime; the other “perfect” person was publicly doing this or that, etc.
It is funny, that phrase — of truth “leaking” out, like a cracked glass that slowly seeps with agonizing revelations or a pipe that drips until the flooded basement overflows with a deluge of falsity.
The messes we make are often mere minor anomalies; they become messes when we try and contain them, hide them and act as if ours is the only mess in the world because comparing messes never reveals anything; everyone hides well their own messes; we just think that everyone else is perfect.
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 job, the messes we make are often a result of failing to act. The Agency is no fool — they see the excessive use of SL and request for LWOP; or the loss of performance acceptability; or the loss of attendance continuity, etc.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS is not an admission of the messes we make; it is, instead, the truth behind the reality of the medical condition, and the real need to attend to one’s health, which should never be concealed, but openly acknowledged in order to move beyond.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire