Isn’t that enough? Shouldn’t it be? Or, do we feel obligated to append a dependent clause, as in, “A lifetime of achievements,” “…of having accomplished X, Y and Z”, or even: “A Lifetime devoted to…”. Must there always be the subsequent appendage, or isn’t living a lifetime enough in and of itself?
Was Aristotle right in depicting human beings (and everything else in the universe) as possessing a purposive reason for existence; or, as the French Existentialist had declared, does existence precede essence, and instead of being fated with a predetermined destiny and an inherent basis for being born, we can simply “make up” the reason for our essence and thrive in whichever direction we choose, in whatever endeavor we decide upon?
Is simply having a “lifetime” not enough? Must we always have a reason and rationale for our existence? Or, is it enough to have an ending, like Yasujiro Ozu’s tombstone which simply has the characters of “Mu” — “nothingness”? Ozu certainly “accomplished” much; as a director, he is recognized for his quiet brilliance and insightful dialogues, as well as depicted scenes of serenity and human conflict. In the end, it was merely a lifetime, and nothingness followed except in the minds of those whom he left behind.
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 or her job, the “thing” that often compels the Federal or Postal worker into working beyond what the medical condition allows — i.e., of “working one’s self to death” — is a sense that having a lifetime is not quite enough.
There is the “mission” to accomplish, or the work that needs to be completed, etc. But when it comes to the critical point of choosing between one’s health and such a perspective of accomplishments, there should be no indecision: Life itself is precious, and one’s health is the foundation for a life.
At that point, filing for FERS Disability Retirement makes sense, and consulting with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law should be the next step after realizing that a lifetime is, indeed, sufficient.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire