It is the latter which most of us do, or pretend to do, and which stunts the capacity to engage in the former. And so that which we should be doing (the former) is prevented because of that which we are already doing (the latter), in a never-ending cycle of self-destruction.
Those Internet internecine attempts which include Facebook and Instagram don’t help in these matters, and perhaps exacerbate them exponentially. For, in both cases, they encourage each one of us to “appear” to be living perfectly, when the whole endeavor of human existence should be a striving towards perfecting our lives — i.e., of recognizing the imperfect status of our current condition, having a paradigm towards which one strives in order to correct those defects, and thus towards the “end” of this prosaically-described “journey” of sorts, to be able to declare that “perfection” was somewhat achieved.
But — no — instead, we create an appearance, a facade, a dissembling image of one’s appearance and put forth a self-portrait of an already-achieved perfection: The perfect happiness; the perfect outing; the perfect couple and the perfect participle.
The origins of philosophy (i.e., Plato, Aristotle and those who followed) were always concerned with the differentiation between “Appearance” and “Reality”; in modernity, the two have been conflated, where one’s appearance is the reality of one’s existence. By commingling concepts which were once clearly bifurcated, we prevent the capacity of human beings to strive to be better, to grow and mature towards greater fulfillment of one’s potentiality.
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 one’s Federal or Postal job, it is a familiar concept — of hiding one’s imperfections in an environment that demands perfection daily. Medical conditions and their impact on a person’s life — these are considered “imperfections” in a society that demands nothing less than perfection. Thus does the targeted harassment begin — to “punish” the very person who needs support, empathy and understanding, instead of the constant barrage of unneeded animosity.
Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may not, in and of itself, be the perfect solution; but, as imperfect a solution as filing a Federal Disability Retirement application may seem, the appearance of an imperfect solution may be preferable than the perfection expected but unattainable in a society that appears to be perfectly fine with imperfections pervasively perfected by appearances of concealed imperfections.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire