There was a campus legend when I went to Syracuse University that a Philosophy professor posed an essay question to his students as their final exam.  The entire exam was simply one question, Why?   This, of course, perplexed the students who went on to write long and involved answers trying to find meaning to this question.   The legend goes on to say that the student who received the highest grade answered the question just as simply, Why Not!   This is not true, I am sure, but, I wish that it were.

Why, to me, is the most important and most elusive of all questions.  In journalism you are taught that every good story consists of five key elements, Who, When, Where, What, and Why.   We all want to hear the factual details, but, ultimately, the most fascinating part of any story is, Why?   Why did it happen?  Why did he do it?   We spend our lives trying to figure out the answer to why things are the way they are without ever really finding out.   Life begins and ends as a mystery.

Why, you may ask, do I seek the answer to a question that can never be adequately answered?   I don’t know other than, Why Not.

So, while it is appropriate to ask why this past year was so difficult for many of us, why not strive for a better new year even if we don’t have all of the answers.