The challenge of the day ahead may not even be known, yet. It is like the parable of the young man who thought that the day’s challenge was comprised of taking a test that he had barely studied for; upon waking, a tornado crumbled his house and he lost all of his belongings; his fiancé broke up with him and ran off with his best friend; his parents informed him that they were financially ruined and could no longer pay for his tuition; and on top of it all, his dog and only remaining friend ran off with his now ex-fiance, preferring her company to his.
But that he could have seen the difficult road ahead as merely the test-taking task; reality was much harsher than the imagined problems, and yet his imagination and worry about the test for which he was unprepared caused greater damage by robbing him that morning of a sense of peace.
Now, take the counter-parable: The same young man, but he woke up worrying about potential calamities that might occur: Maybe his fiancé didn’t really love him and would run away with his best friend; perhaps his parents will encounter financial difficulties and leave him penniless; it could turn out that a tornado could hit his town and destroy everything; and what if his dog ran off, never to return again?
None of these events happened, and he got up early, studied for his test some more, and performed adequately. Yet again, however, the worries he worried about — although none came to fruition — did greater damage to his health than the reality of what actually occurred.
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 his Federal or Postal job, the difficult road ahead is comprised of a number of factors: One’s medical condition; the incompatibility between the medical condition and the Federal or Postal job; and whether or not the Agency or the Postal Service can accommodate you. Let’s not worry about things that may or may not happen, but attend first to the things that are actually occurring.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire