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Was 2016 Cursed?

Many people have claimed that 2016 was a cursed year.  It seems that people suffered a lot of misfortunes.  Innocent people suffered in the city of Aleppo, many Americans do not like the president-elect they ended up with and, beloved celebrities passed away in unusually large numbers.  Somehow, 2016 seems like an unlikable year to remember.

So, was 2016 cursed?  I find this a very interesting question, not because of the misfortunes that people suffered.  I do not dispute that undesirable events have taken place lately.  But, the reason that I find it an interesting question is because of the use of the word “curse”.  I have to ask people, “What does it mean for a year to be cursed?”.

Did anybody put a curse on the year?  If somebody did, who cursed the year 2016?  I know that there are humorous answers.  Some would say, “My mother-in-law” or, “Donald Trump” or, “Hollywood”.  Or, some philosophers might swear that it was an evil-genius.  Was it Descartes’?

All joking aside, many would simply think that a year being cursed means that fate was responsible for it.  It was meant to be bad.  But, again, what does this mean?  Who or what is fate?  Is it the Egyptian god “Heh”, the Roman Goddess “Fortuna” or the Norse’s “Norn”?  Who is responsible for the curse?

Is it not a mysterious deity?  Maybe, fate means that things are determined.  This may be a great scientific response.  However, if things are determined, human beings do not have any freedom.  Can people live with this idea?  I think most people would not accept a reality where human freedom to change the direction of life does not exist.  So, fate as determination is not an adequate concept either.

What is fate then?  Is it simply a pile of coincidental events stacked upon each other?  This may not be a very scientific answer in a cause-and-effect universe scientists live in.  However, this may satisfy a lot of people who believe that fate is just a bunch of coincidental events.  This idea could be psychologically helpful to some.  Still, once again, living in a universe where people are powerless and helpless may not be satisfactory to most people.

Is there an answer?  Is fate a good answer for the year being cursed?  Was there a curse at all?  So many questions and very few answers in this mysterious universe!  There is a reason that I wrote a novel called “The Curse”.  There is always a lot to think about when someone or something is claimed to be cursed!  What is your answer?

M. J. Mandoki