By all accounts, he or she doesn’t exist, except perhaps in theoretical constructs of theological paradigms; and of academia, where one may argue some alternate version of Anselm’s argument by positing that, because the concept of perfection could not be thought of without the reality of a Being constituting perfection, ergo a perfect Being – God – must by necessity exist.
Yet, we live “as if” the perfect person exists – either imposing such a standard unknowingly, unwittingly and unwillingly upon our own selves, or by thinking that movie characters actually exist somewhere in the ephemeral world of Hollywood, Instagram and Facebook concoctions that only put forward to the public’s eye the image of perfection.
We overlook the distorted concept of perfection when we say of a movie character, “Oh, he’s not perfect; he drinks too much, cheats on his spouse and is violent.” Yet, the make-believe character still solves the mystery, is philosophically coherent when drunk, and somehow remains an attractive character despite all such character flaws. In other words, despite the appearance of flaws, we make gods of characters we create.
It is the same on the Internet – despite the knowledge by all that there does not exist the perfect person, nevertheless, we allow for Facebook postings and Instagram photographs of meals, dogs, kids, families, selves and neighborhoods as the perfect depiction of unblemished lives. And of ourselves, perhaps the greatest of culprits alive – for perpetuating the mythological depiction by engaging in the flim-flam of projecting the existence of the perfect person.
Yet, what is the alternative? No one wants to hear the perpetual whining of the constant apologist – that person who points out his own failures and shortcomings at the drop of the proverbial hat; of he who apologizes for the slightest of errors, the scent of a mistake and a hint of failure to reach perfection. Name a movie character or a movie, excepting a comedy, where the character is merely a bundle of imperfections and unattractive to boot. Even Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther series, played long ago by Peter Sellers and by others more recently, captured the culprit in the end, despite all of the blunders and pitfalls.
In the end, we all participate in the grand larceny of perpetuating the existence of the perfect person – until we are hit with a medical condition, and the façade then suddenly falls apart. Yet, everyone else continues in the charade.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who can no longer keep up with the make-believe world of the perfect person because of a medical condition, where the medical condition prevents the appearance of the perfect person to perform all of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, it may be time to admit imperfection by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted ultimately to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the imperfect Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
For, in the end, it is the perfect person who embraces the imperfection of this world, and that is at least a beginning for the Federal or Postal employee who must continue to face the Federal Agency or the Postal Service in facing the reality of living imperfectly in this all too perfect universe.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire