Originally Published on Inforum on December 30th, 2017
Society is a bell curve. Most of the people are medium height, only some are very short or very tall. Most earn average wages, while some a little and some a lot. Most are moderately educated while some are scholars and some could not go to school.
There is a bell curve for everything—wellness, goodness, fitness, pertness. Bell curves show the state of our physical health, economic condition, moral standing and spiritual well being.
These bell curves are generated by us. Each one of us contributes a dot to a bell curve that represents our society.
All bell curves are not perfectly shaped because we do not contribute to them consciously to make them look good. Each one of us acts following his or her own free will, whims, impulses, peer pressures and occupy a random point on the bell curve.
When the society in general starts overeating, the bell curve starts to move towards heavy side. When society considers dieting meaningfully and effectively, then the bell curve starts moving towards the thinner side. When economy is doing well the bell curve starts moving towards prosperity, and when the economy is bad, the bell curve starts moving towards poverty and the lines at soup kitchens become longer.
Bell curves are made to show the state of many affairs. It is used as an indicator of vital signs of the society or a city or a group.
Who moves these bell curves? It is an interaction between individuals and the movers and shakers. When one person is audacious and the results are pleasing, than others follow and so does the bell curve. There goes the morality down the drain with harassment and the bell curve rails to the wrong side as the allegations mushroom. There goes a blurb by the President Bush or Obama or Trump, and along it swings the poor bell curve.
The bell curve of American pulse is in the hands of its idols, its political and religious leaders, its media, its teaching institutions that affect the mood, actions and mindset of individuals, and in the hands of the individuals how they react to the onslaught of sound and sight.
To keep the bell curve in a healthy shape for health, economy, decency, morality, spirituality, respect and harmony in the moods and hearts of people that make the society, the bell curve shakers have to be vigilant and conscientious just as the individuals. Every member of the society has to keep an eye on his moves as their sways make the winds that uproot and shatter pleasing bell curves into economical or moral disasters. Number of murders, terrorist acts, amount of goodwill, all depend on how jumpy, sincere or thoughtful the instigators and their followers are.
Let each one of us resolve to play an effective role next year to move the bell curves positively for our own good and the good of all humanity.
Ahmad is a regular contributor to The Forum’s opinion pages. He has translated, compiled and co-authored “A Gift for the Queen,” “Points to Ponder,” “Why Islam is my choice” and “Words of Wisdom.” He lives in fargo and can be reached at [email protected].