Nature is not the penultimate paradigm of perfection. Think about it: the entire apparatus of evolutionary advancement is based upon the theory of accidental genetic alterations of incremental imperceptibility, over great expanses of time, as opposed to the disfavor shown to sudden mutations. Survivability of a species depends upon environmental adaptations and genetic flexibility in the hereditary accrual of alleles, favoring small and progressive steps of advancements dependent upon environmental pressures and factors of change.
Grand mutations and the fictional existence of the “missing link” are rarely successful; mistakes are successful if accomplished in small portions; but they are accidents of reliable anomalies, nonetheless. It is thus upon missteps, accidents, and mutations which we rely for advancement, and not a teleological drive towards a perfect being, like Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover. And squirrels do sometimes misjudge a branch, and fall from the sky.
That is why it is anathema for the Federal and Postal employee to refuse to accept one’s vulnerability because of a medical condition, as if he or she did something wrong. Youth tends to begin life with a view that upward mobility and progression is always to be expected; but the reality of life is that the principle underlying the universe favors interruptions and interludes. Having a medical condition is simply an event which is a natural part of life; and as mortality proves an organism’s existence, so a medical condition is merely its temporary reminder.
Thus, for the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition impacts one’s ability to perform the essential elements of one’s job, there should be no cause for embarrassment or shame in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS or CSRS. Yes, filing for the benefit is an admission of one’s vulnerability and susceptibility to nature’s admonitions; but as we agreed at the outset, nature is not the penultimate paradigm of perfection, and our bodies and minds are part of the macrocosmic universe of nature. To defy the natural degeneration and imperfection of nature is to ignore reality.
Sometimes, it is only when a quiet walk through the woods is suddenly interrupted by an unexpected thud, and we turn and see a dazed squirrel looking around as it limps off in confusion, do we recognize that perfection is a fiction created by man, and refusing to file for Federal Disability Retirement is a stubbornness that borders on ignorance.
Even the squirrel knows that much.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire