It is through identification that constancy is maintained. When we look in the mirror in the morning, we identify that reflected individual as the same person whom we knew a decade before — despite the greying hairs, the tributaries of creases and wrinkles; we brush the gray and wash the rivulets, and turn away knowing that our identity of today is the same as before.
Similarly, when we recognize a childhood friend from long ago, we greet him or her through identification. We might say flattering (and perhaps somewhat untrue) things like, “You haven’t changed a bit!” Or: “Gosh, you look great!” In either and both cases, it is the identification itself which establishes the constancy of life.
One does not sever that constancy by pointing out the changes — of saying, “Wait a minute. You didn’t have those wrinkles, and you were just a skinny little guy when I knew you 20 years ago. You are not the same person, and therefore I do not know you!” Such failure of identification — would it be true, or not?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows you to continue in your choice of career with the Federal Government, always remember that identification still exists and constancy may yet be maintained — the only change is not in the person, but the incompatibility between that same person and the job which one has.
You will remain the same person — albeit with a medical condition. The change is not in you, but in the fact that the job you hold is no longer compatible with the you of today, of the same identification with the you of yesterday.
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.