To live in the past is to stunt growth; to merely exist for the present moment, an afterthought’s condiment to the greater self we can be; and to constantly strive for the future is to lose the meaning of life. There is always a balance to be reached — not only in the past; not merely in the present; not solely for the future. The three negations — of not, not and not — is a difficult recipe to bake.
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics attempts to teach of the middle or “mean” path, but these days, modernity is unable to comprehend his teachings because we no longer understand the concept of moral virtues.
In modernity, nothing moral is of any consequence (there we go again with the negation of a concept). So, let us try and delete and extinguish the negations, and rephrase it in positive terms, if we can. Often, the past we imagine is not the true characterization — for, that terrible childhood we experienced in contrast to the perfection of our neighbor’s past, is often a false magnification of our biased memories. Many of us had bad childhoods; of terrible, destructive parents; of neglectful siblings; of hard times.
First, rebuild the past memories; compartmentalize the negatives and focus on the happy ones. Second, don’t compare your present circumstances to the past, but paint a picture of hope for the future. And third, formulate a positive statement for the future — such as, “There is always a pathway forward, under any circumstances”. Then, live the life of virtue by sticking to the balance between past, present and future.
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 the Federal or Postal worker’s job duties, the future may need to be “painted” with an effective application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits. The past we imagined must now be set aside; the present circumstances must merely be endured; the future may involve a different career, but it is nevertheless a pathway forward.
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.