Newton and the Ministry of the Bell Curve


After yesterday’s post, I should have known I was tempting fate. Just found out that someone pretty important to me has had a disappointment of the crushing kind. It feels like the end of the world right now, and one can offer nothing but platitudes –

– God has something better in mind for you [both of you simultaneously thinking does He? Ever?]

– Look at so and so – he turned out great despite the exact same thing happening to him [yeah, and let’s not remind ourselves that he is the second cousin of the guy that used to live down the road from the Ambanis when they were poor]

– Something very similar happened to me 10 years ago, and you remember how crushed I was… but not a day passes by when I don’t thank my lucky stars – I am so happy the way I am today [and both of us know I would have been so much happier had I got what I wanted 10 years ago]

– It’s all for the best [although neither of us feels that way right now]


Is wanting-something-so-badly-that-you-can-taste-it the worst possible way of going about things? Are you unknowingly guaranteeing your failure by wishing for something a little too much? Is that tantamount to inviting an audit from the Ministry of the Bell Curve? These surprise audits, secretly conducted almost always have only one result – stop wishing for the moon, you’re only slightly above average – we can let you have a plane ride, maybe, but you can bid your dreams of space travel good bye.


I’ve had this conversation with my mom so many times. Why do you look at those who fly, she asks me. Why can’t you look at those who can’t even walk, and be glad that you’re jogging! My stock response – “But mom, I WANT to FLY!!!”


Yes, I realize that we can’t all have everything we want, when we want it. If this is some “universal truth”, why is so hard to accept? You’re only ever told “Work hard enough for something, and you’ll get it”, the addendum that “sometimes, that doesn’t work” is left for you to learn the hard way.


Friend – there’s not much I can do for you right now. After a lot of thought, I could only come up with yet another corny bromide – hang in there, buddy. Newton is overrated. Oneday, someday, they’ll tell us that gravity was just an illusion, maintained by a giant machine that can’t be run anymore, as we’ve run out of fossil fuel – the long and short of it is – hang in there today, you will fly – someday.



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