At what point does a “good” turn transform into a negative? Can one help so much so that dependency becomes the habit and negates the “goodness” that was once always a part of the deed? Isn’t “going to work” a “good” thing? When does it turn bad? Is there ever a point where the quality of X becomes diluted so much so by the quantitative increase of the primary identifying ingredient of X to where the essence of X becomes negative-X because of too much X within X? Can there be, in the simplest of terms, too much goodness where goodness itself turns bad because of the overwhelming goodness involved? Why is it that the following syllogism doesn’t quite work, and where is the fallacy involved?
Water is a necessary component for life
Life requires water in abundance in order to survive
Therefore, the more water, the greater abundance of life
But we all know that consuming too much water can kill a person. And, isn’t that the complaint that we have in almost all aspects of living — that we come back to Aristotle’s essential wisdom that there is a “mean” or a “middle ground” of moderation where the extremes on either sides — neither too much nor too little — is the balance in the life that one should always strive for.
That is the basic component of happiness reduced to its pure essentials: of the porridge that is neither too hot nor too cold, but “just right”; of leisure time that relaxes but doesn’t rob from sustained periods of productivity; of a nap that satisfies but doesn’t make one groggy; and of entertainment that borders just to the edge of credibility but stays within the boundaries of allowing one to suspend disbelief, such that one can enjoy it without sighing, turning to a loved one and declaring, “That just isn’t believable.”
But where technology comes into our lives, perhaps we have come to a saturation point where we no longer believe that the “next new innovation” is going to save us any more time or enhance the quality of our lives anymore than the last version of our Smart Phone give us the promise of nirvana that we all stand in long lines to attain. And so the question again turns full circle: When does a “good” turn into a negative?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers whose medical conditions have come to a point where it prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal position, the vicious circularity of the circumstances makes it into a paradigm where a good turns into a negative: Coming to work exacerbates the medical condition; the stress of being unable to perform the full essential elements of the Federal or Postal job further increases the stress; the Agency or the Postal facility begins to turn upon the Federal or Postal employee; and the job itself — once one of the many “good” things in life — now becomes a detriment and a negative.
It is then time to consider preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and thus turning that which was once a “good” but had transformed into a negative, back into a good turn.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire