Seeking out the pathways of precognition by consulting with the ancient oracles, was merely that same attempt. Prediction and foreknowledge were the precursors of script writing; as the former failed to provide an advantageous statistical weighting, so the shift to a more pragmatic approach reflects the recognition that the gods provided no greater insight than mere chance, and so we’d better get on with life and attempt to control fate, destiny and the travesties of life’s lottery by writing the narrative ourselves.
Thus do economic systems of varying control mechanisms arise, where socialism and fascism, state-run artifices constructed to ensure prevention of extremes, thereby comforting us from the worst nightmares and fears born of childhood insecurities.
Virtual reality is safer than real reality; staring into a smartphone and chasing figments of imaginative characters and ghosts that exude cuteness in violent but funny ways, are all preferable to facing the harshness of daily living. We may not know when we will capture the prize, but the script has been written so that it becomes settled law as to whether. Reality shows may sometimes surprise, but the unexpected itself is easily anticipated; that is part of the deal, and there is not much art in it after all.
Shakespeare’s quote comes from his play, As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
Such was the surrender to fate, now replaced by inane self-help books which purportedly boosts one’s self-confidence, makes one look like a Reality T.V. personality, and allegedly creates wealthy patrons of us all. All throughout, we seek merely to obtain a copy of the script of life so that we can practice our parts, and not have to think about what must be done. We seek predictability when the world offers chance; beg for mercy, when all there appears is savagery; and fall prey to the oracles of modernity, when even the ancients failed to deliver.
In the sphere of Federal and Postal employees, of course, it is the medical condition itself which was never asked to be included in that script of life. It is one of those “curve-balls” which happens to the other guy, and never to us; or so we always played our part to live by. But when it occurs, and life presents the unpredictable in a chaotic universe of harsh reality, we are asked to simply “deal with it”, and so we must.
For the Federal or Postal employee whose medical condition begins to impact and prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Postal or Federal positional duties, the script which must be ad-libbed is the part where decisions concerning the future must be engaged. Should I file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits? When should the process be started? Is it ever too late? Is the Federal Disability Retirement application filed with my agency, or with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management? Should I consult with an attorney?
These questions, and many more, even the ancient oracles would not have been able to answer. The undeniable fact is, that the script of life rarely is written to reflect the reality of life’s harshness; it simply “is”, and must be acted upon according to what is given, even when consulting with the high priest or priestess of the ancient oracles provides only silence and an impervious unresponsiveness.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire