What does it take to remain relevant? To begin with, what does it mean to “be relevant”?
Certainly, the grade schooler who sits in the middle of the class but is rarely, if ever, recognized, is not “relevant” to the greater perspective of society in general. Yes, yes — each child is unique and made in the image of … (the ellipsis is meant to convey the reality that many of society no longer believes this, but that the pablum of the statement itself is reiterated in nauseous excesses of emptiness, forever with the requirement of nodding heads in agreement despite its acknowledged vacuity of meaning).
On the other end of the spectrum, if you are shuttered away in a nursing home with only minimal times of punctuated visits by relatives, it is likely that everyone would agree that you are no longer “relevant”. Here again, there will be loud and vociferous protestations — that grandpa was a war veteran and gave great contributions to society; that grandma was the treasurer of some civic organization “in her time”, etc. But the mere fact that old people get shoved into nameless nursing homes is, in and of itself, a validation of categorizing the person as “irrelevant”.
No one likes to hear about such things in such harsh and blunt terms, but the fact is that modernity is only concerned with the superficiality of youth and beauty as the criterion for relevancy, which is precisely why younger and younger children “act out” and older and older irrelevant men and women keep going back to the plastic surgeon to remain relevant.
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, to “remain relevant” is to hold onto the job and ignore one’s progressively deteriorating medical condition. Or, that is often what the Federal or Postal employee believes.
The better way is to stop being part of the herd mentality, and ignore the societal constructs of what it is to “remain relevant”.
Consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and move forward beyond the daily grind of trying to remain relevant. Contact an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement, and move forward in your life by creating your own definition of relevancy.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.