They are now in most localities, in communities throughout, cropping up like a movement that pervades imperceptibly in quiet amalgamations like forces that cannot be seen but are still known to exist.
Farmer’s markets represent the strength of a community, the support of a town and the reverting-back of a city, to a time where local farmers were important and the packaged foods that come from foreign countries and line up on the shelves of corporate supermarkets are rebuffed by “buying local” and “supporting the local farmer”.
There was once a time, some many decades ago, when every town went to the corner butcher to get the day’s cut of meat; when farmers grew crops for one’s own family, and for the community within the bird’s eye-view from the door of one’s house; when traveling to the next largest city, or even crossing a state-line, was a big enough deal to give kisses and hugs.
Then, someone “thought big” and believed that refrigeration, transportation in mass quantities first across state lines, then from one side of the country to the other, then from across the great seas – that, from such a grand idea, hunger and starvation would be a problem solved, and profits would soar and the world as a whole would be a better place to occupy.
The pendulum of history always swings back, however, as the movement upon corporate structures was countered with “bigger is not better” and resulting in the idea that the “small” community, the “local” foods and the backyard gardener represented the healthier choice of living.
Somehow, there is a spectrum that always seems to prevail, that arises from within the innate need of human nature: of wanting to grow larger when there is smallness, and wanting to harken back to smallness when one has grown too large. Yet, in most instances, a compromise of sorts must be accepted; for, once the spectrum has run to one extreme, it is nigh impossible to recapture that which was lost.
That is often the problem for the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker who has “grown” in one’s career, advanced, received all of the deserved accolades, etc. To become “small” again is difficult to accept. Yet, when a medical condition begins to prevail upon the Federal or Postal employee, and it becomes impossible to perform all of the essential elements of the positional duties of the Federal or Postal job, the necessity of consider a Federal Disability Retirement becomes an inevitability.
What stops or pauses the Federal or Postal employee from initiating a Federal Disability Retirement application? Often, it is that same psychology of having to resort back to “being small” – of downsizing, of “giving up.” But always remember that one must prioritize one’s life, and without one’s health, there is no life to enjoy.
In the end, the Farmer’s Market is the ideal most of us strive for – of smallness that is manageable, with a healthy side to it of knowing where the food comes from; and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application is similar to visiting the local Farmer’s Market, where the accomplishments of life’s gifts are found most in the small things we cherish.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire