Q04

Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

Iran getting close to having way too much power! Duh....

BP oil spill. Made me so sad and more deeply committed to living sustainably.

The Vancouver Winter Olympics were amazing and it was so cool to be able to identify with the place where they were taking place.

can't think of anything

There is no specific event, but in general the polarization of people worries me. There is such an us against them mentality even within our own country and that is scary to me.

Health Care Bill passing. How did it pass? Nancy Pelosi and her brass balls. Why? Nancy Pelosi and her brass balls.

I would say the recession, but my industry is relatively sheltered. The big thing for me is Sweden's decision to start charging international students tuition. That put a big dent into my plans for grad school.

The "negative" impact that President Obama has made; lots and lots of unfulfilled promises, and the continued deteriation of the American economy.

The oil spill by BP in the Gulf of Mexico has impacted my home state, directly, more than me personally, but it has made me feel badly for those affected and has probably caused me to eat less seafood and to not buy gas from BP.

The healthcare bill/debacle was so depressing. It was the first solid realization that Obama wasn't going to play hardball. That his agenda of compromise and appeasement would only perpetuate the ineffectual, wishy washy democratic pussy posture that gets nothing done. That waters down everything. That puts political correctness and the myth of inclusiveness ahead of decisive action. It was the end of all that "hope" for me. It was time to put his dick on the table and he zipped it up. Such a bummer, and such a swift return to cynicism.

The oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has impacted all of us. I don't so much feel the affects of it but knowing that livelihoods have been destroyed, a body of water that thousnad of people enjoy and rely upon for their jobs has been ruined and it is just one more glaring sign of how little we care about our earth. It makes me very scared for our planet's future.

I am disturbed by the ongoing violence, the profound ignorance, and utter ugliness in the world. At times I am completely discouraged, at times I feel so sad. Most of the time, though, I still believe that it can be done, that we can "save the world," and that we must do whatever we can to bring some light into this place we've made so dark.

The Roma/Charleville floods earlier this year. I work for an Insurance repairer who received hundreds of insurance claims at this time. We were working up to 12 hours a day (including weekends) So many people lost their homes and property and were extremely emotional. While it was hard to sit on the other end of the phone not being able to provide much relief to the affected people it was harder to watch the news and see just how much damage had been inflicted on these people who had suddenly lost everything

the Manila bus hostage taking. and tourists were killed. i know that it is not the fault of the millions of other Filipinos like me. but the thought that the perpetrator was a Filipino and ones who died wouldn't have died. It makes my heart break. I am worried on how the world will come to view me as a Filipino and the Philippines as a nation. The event also reflects the state of our country. This is certainly a wake up call and I fervently hope we do wake up. This event will come to history as one of the most tragic events of our country and may not even be forgotten. That is why it is a huge deal for rest of the Filipino nation to make up for it. Most especially the younger generation where I belong, we have a lot to make up for and make our motherland prouder.

There were so many events that impacted me this year. Natural disasters all over the world make you pause and think about how unstable our lives might be.

At the moment the koran burning! 9/11 is turning in a way it should not, there is too much hate around the world. Don't want my child to grow up in an environment where people kill eachother by reasons of what god they fancy. Tolerance United as my friend Dirk would say!

War of Irak. I seen how innocent people can be damned and murdered by people that never will paid for that. War generally is the greater source of injustice in the world. And recently, the disappointing attitude of UN troops in Africa, and the humanitarian disaster in Congo-Rwanda. The narco-guerra in Mexico, just as I've exposed above, is another source of injustices, crime, fear and violence.

The world in general. My friend always talks about the nuclear war in the future that will wipe out humanity. This continues to scare me that one single attack could possibly destroy the world

The federal election had me thinking literally, cynically and existentially about the political systems in Australia and 'The Human Condition'

No event has made an impact on me really.

interesting to be answering this particular question on september 11th...this would have to be the fourmile fire in boulder which is raging through the mountains of my home this entire week, while i am away, rocking me from afar...

I want to say the Australian election, but it feels odd. I think it gave me hope that something could be believed in, that some things could change. And to see a country go from the Howard Era to a Labor minority gov't with Greens and Independents holding the balance of power is inspiring. Although I also feel cautious, like maybe politics are always a problem. Can I trust that this is real change? I also have this suspicion that things just swing. But I like to believe it is true change. The beginning of something.

Looking at the way ANGLO IRISH BANK is pulling down Ireland.

The crisis in the Plateau State, Nigeria. Most people who aren't Nigerians don't remember - in fact, they probably don't even know about it - but there was a giant crisis between the Muslims and the Christians. They were fighting, burning down houses, and killing each other. Some of my relatives almost died. Peace and stability is not easy to obtain, and it's a worldwide struggle - being victorious in one war won't stop all the others.

I think that the event that always makes an impact is the war.

The general election, I feel has impacted me greatly this year. It made me take more of an interest in politics which I also feel will help with my degree.

The elections of the (what I consider most important) three nations to me, US, UK and Aus. It was interesting to see in the UK and in Aus how polarised nations have become, that governments have gotten to the stage when they can no longer get away with just slagging off the opposition and putting through mediocre policies. They need to take an active role and become progressive, becuase the voters have shown they can no longer get away with being conservative

The Tories getting elected has really saddened me and I'm concerned for the next few years in this country. A lot of the services and community groups for disadvantaged people are now under threat and I'm really worried what this will mean for people's lives and for our society. It also worries me that a lot of the people I know who work in these will lose their valuable jobs, and I can't see how that's going to help anyone. Meanwhile, the rich are left to grow richer.

The BP oil spill has had a large impact on me. It kills me that the gulf south has another large tragedy just as some industries were starting to recover from Katrina. I'm horrified by the environmental and financial damage that will surely last for decades. Almost as painful as the objective destruction are the comments I hear from people about my home town. "Who would ever live in a swamp?" " Maybe those people shouldn't rely on oil or seafood for their living." "We should just let all the ignorant southerners die out." In these people's minds everyone below the Mason Dixon is a racist, sexist, homophobic, jerk. I wish people understood how much the south contributes financially and culturally to the country. I wish they realized that quite a few of their precious "enlightened" cities are on former swamps or faults. Most of all, I wish people would be more empathetic and realize no human deserves to suffer simply because they were born in one place instead of another.

There were other events this year that affected people in a negative way- the earthquake in Haiti, floods in Pakistan, but the one that impacted me the most was going to the World Cup. I saw people from all parts of the world letting loose and enjoying themselves. I saw so much excitement, amazing athletics feats and a lot of raw emotion from the athletes and fans. It was amazing to take part in something that people all over the world are passionate about. It made me feel closer to the rest of the world.

I guess I am not alone in this one: the oil spill by BP. What a gigantic act of stupidity and ignorance by a big company with so much money and so many brilliant people working there. For me, the impact is a combination of "See! Those big companies only care about money and profit, and not a bit about the environment and the people", and "Hopefully this will be a big step for everybody to realise we need to do a lot of stuff differently". What will happen, I do not know, but I hope this is a major step towards a more environmental-sound society that cares more about people.

So many events in the world impacted me this year: the Gulf Oil Spill, the obnoxious Glen Beck rally, the terrible floods in Pakistan, Healthcare reform, the end of the war in Iraq. But those things are largely abstractions -- things that play out on a large stage but that don't touch me too deeply for too long. Rather, it's the smaller events in the world, the more personal ones, that have lasting impact. This year, two that came just before Rosh Hashanna touched me most deeply. One, as I've already written about was the death of my numinous and luminous friend Gail. The other, the near death of my friend David's six yearl-old girl Rebecca, who, while reading by the morning light so as not to disturb her little brother, fell from the second story window where she was perched. Gail's death came far, far too soon, but it was not inexplicable. Cancer took her, as it has taken so many others. So as unfair and untimely as it was, her death was a part of nature, however ugly and unkind. Rebecca's accident and miraculous survival seem utterly outside of the natural order of things. Why should a child come so close to death? Why should her parents be struck with terror on a Sunday morning? And what angels had her land in the mulch, rather than on the concrete patio, still fracturing her skull, but happily not shattering it? What these two events have reminded me, as only death and near-death can, is how precious life is, how temporal, how easily snuffed out as suddenly as a gust takes a candle's flame. Life can be blessedly long, but it can also be mercilessly short. We, I, must live life with all our hearts and all our might every, single moment. Whatever we do, we must do with the whole of our hearts, the whole of our minds, and the whole of our bodies. That's what I want to take away this Rosh Hashana, that I must commit to living life ardently, drawing every breath, tasting every morsel, feeling every bend of joint and tug of muscle resonate through my entire being. Each task I undertake, whether chosen or simply put before me, I must fully embrace and hallow it with meaning. Life is too precious to do anything less.

The rise of the"tea party" and resurgence of the conservatives in the US is making me less optimistic about the next few years.

the gulf oil spill has made me reconsider man's impact on the world and the earth's reaction to man... namely, i have lost faith in our ability to sustain life on earth and am pretty sure the oil spill was the first sign of the end. either we are getting rid of the planet or the planet is ready to start getting rid of us. and i think i'm okay with it...

The fallout of the recession has made me think about the way I over consume and live beyond my means. I am trying to be more sensible with money, and less greedy. I am a privileged person and should't need to borrow money in order to enjoy life. I waste so much of everything, it'll do me good to cut down. I think the world recession and hangover from the excessive years have made a lot of people look back grimly - ashamed but also feeling we were in an endorsed orgy of consumption. Lots of individuals have changed their frame of mind but I doubt the governments and institutions have. But I can only try.

Many things that happened in the world impacted me this year. First, the law in Argentina that allows gays to marry. That has impacted me because there is still advancement going on, and change is happening. It makes me happy to see people have their rights. In addition, the man in Florida that wants to burn the Quaran also impacted me. That showed how close minded and disgusting people can be. Most importantly, those two events made me realize that I would love a chance to become either a politician or a lawyer. I want to make the world right. I want to help people have rights and I want justice. I want to make a difference most of all, and I think it is possible. This entire thing has motivated me to be active and try to help the communities that are put aside or discriminated.

there are so many that have impacted me in different ways. From the "person" in FL who wants to burn someone else's holy books because they aren't the same ones he uses (needless to say - I am VERY angry and vocal about how I feel ab out this!) to the downturn in economy and the realization that this could happen to ANYONE at ANY time and any efforts to help others as well as the criticism of our president who I believe is doing his very level best to follow through on his promises to us. He isn't the ONLY person who makes policy - we all do in some sense - and congress affects MUCH of the policy - frequently adversely! As for other promises he has made I do believe firmly that they will be addressed as time and circumstances permit. Right now he has been trying to put out the fires of adversity and flames of hatred and negligence. Given everything I think he has done an excellent job!

The devastation in Haiti just brought home to me once again how ridiculously lucky I am to have been born into the circumstances that I was. I must remember to never take it for granted and to do what I can to make things better both near and far.

It's difficult to choose just one, but push comes to shove, I was very bothered by the hostility against (and even arrest) of some of the women who prayed at the Western Wall. It reminds me how backwards Israel still is when it comes to religious freedom and progress, and how far we still have to go.

the oil spill in the gulf has deeply saddened and impassioned my family to be more intentional about how we are making an impact in the world - although we have already been environmentalists for years, we now also include how we use our language to help heal the earth in such times.

It's 9/11/10. 9 years ago was the most devestating day in the history of this country. To demonstrate his disdain for the Islamic faith, Pastor Terry Jacobs almost held a Quran burning protest at his church in Florida today. It solidifies my general disgust with religion and in particular, those who feel like their beliefs are more important and (insanely) more accurate than their counterparts. Just proof that there are morons in every part of the world. Can't we all, seriously, just get along?

Must say the world at large is less important nowadays than the more immediate environment of home, work and family. Obama certainly has been a disappointment on the world stage. The situation n Israel and the Middle East appears as precarious as ever. The Time cover story was atrociously ill informed and unnecessarily negatively provocative. Iran is a major potential destabilizing and destructive world force. Nothing spectacular this year. Just more muddling through.

To be quite honest, I don't really remember any big events from the past year. None that had any effect on my life, anyway. I noticed that they happened, sure, but my tiny world was busy enough with its own events.

The obvious answer is the recession. Cutting back on trips, and the wants of life and focusing on what we really need. Learning to save for the future has made a great impact. I really had to learn how to grow up.

The global recession. I am redundant and there are not very many jobs out there. The new Tory led coalistion government is also making things worse in the UK. The job situtaion is going to be a lot worse now we have this new govt!

A terrible fire arrived last week to my parent's hometown, and came very close to my grandmother house. I has burnt woods, crops and has scorched the land. A lot of people had to leave their houses as It has spread for miles. I feel helplessness. I have the certainty that whenever I come back there I may not even recognize the place.

The trial of Prop 8 and related LGBT rights issues-- the gains and the setbacks have made this a rollercoaster of a year.

The slow demonization of Islam, from the banning of minarets in Switzerland, to the discrimination against veiled women here in Iraq, to the manufacturing of the "Ground Zero Mosque". There is little that has terrified me more than the slow stripping away of the rights of Muslim peoples in North America and in Europe, and the way in which hateful rhetoric is becoming more and more accepted. It makes me feel sick. It makes me worry a lot. And it makes me wonder what I can actually do, other than feel sick about it. I am still thinking about that, because I feel like if I do nothing I am complicit.

I worry about the fringe lunatics whose objectives are frightening. There is not one event but just the overall global sense of an impending shift to extremes vs moderation. Life is much scarier than fiction.

The continuation of the downfall in the economy has probably been the thing to effect me the most this year. As I've talked about many times before, my dad lost his job and we've had a lot of changes since then. It may also affect me when I graduate from college this year and have trouble finding a job.

The ongoing conflict in the middle east is an ongoing concern for me. Much of my identity is linked to Israel and it distresses me to hear that Obama still believes that the USA can sit down and negotiate with people that want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Iran continues to threaten Israel and US interests and I worry that it will be too little too late by the time America responds.

Nothing much. Sure the hostage-taking a few weeks ago impacted me. I was shaking the entire time. But I got over it. Whatever. Fuck it.

Many events were highly impacting on me due to where I live. the situation in Lebanon and the death of Dio affected my perspective on things and my pride as a metal head and a human.

The controversy over the mosque in downtown NYC has left me saddened about the people in this country. Hatred and bigotry will do nothing to make the world a safer, better place. And the exercise of freedom of religion is central to our values. How can a Jew stand for denial of that right?

The world, our beloved mother, is shuddering. Daily there are disasters, floods, fires, wars, sorrows. The earthquake in Haiti held me in its grip and I was looking to see if there was a way I could go and be of some help. But nothing has brought it home like the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The wound in the floor of the gulf caused by the selfishness, the carelessness, the greed, of men. The devastation to the environment cannot be measured. This will impact us for a long time. May there be some benefit from it. God bless and protect our mother.

The passing of health care reform. It's a small, imperfect first step. But we're on our way to universal health care and to joining the rest of the civilized world.

I was very happy that the courts threw out Proposition 8, and more recently, said that Don't Ask Don't Tell is unconstitutional. As a gay man, these are good signs that the struggle is finally moving in our direction.

The earthquake in Haiti. It made me think about other people's suffering on such a personal level. Thinking about people losing their loved ones, babies left without anyone to care for them, homes and lives destroyed. The deaths made me feel like there was nothing anyone could do to help, because the damage was already done. But then when there were photos and videos of those who survived...especially babies and children, it made me aware of how much you can help.

The oil spill in the gulf. Not only did it ruin our beach plans which spiraled things in a crazy direction bc of events of our backup plan, it ruined so much of our precious earth and sea creatures. It was devestating. The clean up is still not done and this happened in april! It is a mess, but on the positive side, it did make people step up and realize the environmental impact.

Erm, I try to stay as unaffected by things that don't involve me as much as possible, but I suppose the election of the coalition? As that may have the most aaffect on me out of anything? I don't know for sure to be honest...

China taking over Japan in terms of economy size - the tides come and go, but what is important is to stick to what you love. I am sticking with French, art, words, and my aspirations. I am glad I didn't choose to go 'bicultural' and torment myself just for the money.

The rise of the Tea Party movement and lately Islamophobia shows just how polarized and out-of-touch with each other the American people have become, and how much power partisan special interests in the cable news and talk radio wield. I really and honestly fear that we're seeing the beginning of the end of the American Republic.

the earthquake in christchurch effected me. it made me realise how scary things are, and how they /could/ effect me. i am glad no-one died.

Economic instability. Although not as impacted as others it has forced a change on our lifestyle. Our household income decreased about 30%. The bright side is that we realized how lucky we are to have the capability to keep our home and still our maintain our basic needs. Not everyone can say that.

The rapes in Congo - As the mother of three daughters,I am deeply troubled by the scale of rapes being perpetrated on innocent girls and women of all ages (and some boys) by militias in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I wish the world cared and would intervene on their behalf. I find myself thinking that if it were me and my daughters how I would desperately want those who have power to speak and act to help them.

Being bullied last january by a girl who I believed was my friend. After months, I've finally made new and true friends who I'm myself with and that event showed me how fake some people are.

The govenor of Delaware finally pulled his head out of his butthole and signed a mobile phone ban for drivers. I'm glad that some stupid peoples' lives will be save for them to do other stupid things.

I recently read about the honour killings, this series of murders and mutilation of women not only in the middle east as one may expect, but in America and in Europe as well. And it terrified me. It fucking terrified me. I suppose I'd sort of disconnected myself from the news when I was at Stowe in favour of cooler things like smoking and drinking ha! And now I am playing catch up. I think mostly I am not affected by the news, or I am but I try to avoid it because it scares me and I don't want to live my life in perpetual fear. I can't. I want to be happy so I compartmentalise the side of me that reads news and the side of me who skips through fields of daisies. I don't know. The booker prize nominations were shocking and THANK GOD the final big brother ended because I LITERALLY thought that it was going to be a never ending tirade of idiocy. And perhaps that infinity of big brother scared me more than anything else!

World Event that has impacted me? I don't know if a world event has really impacted me, so much as made me more concrete in my choices.

I'm not sure if this qualifies as one event, but the economy crisis, the handling of the Taliban, Immigration issues, the fight over ground zero, etc etc etc. I have lost faith in our elected officials. They pass the buck, they lie, they selfishly vote for more money and power. I do not trust anymore. That is very sad indeed.

The BP oil spill. That left me speechless, I mean. Seriously, just the year I start to fight global warming for myself, comes that and BOOM :(

Just a week after leaving Israel for Turkey the flotilla fiasco exposed, for me, the impact the media has on its audience, and the way politicians move from side to side to remain in power. The story, told from different vantage points that I was fortunate enough to absorb, is never what you think. Crazy.

The collapse of the economy has had a a large indirect affect on me. We aren't really suffering, but the chasm between the wealthy and the poor is definitely growing as a result. Reading case files for Voices for Children, I see an upward trend in the abuse and neglect of kids taking place as a result of people feeling at wits end.

I would have to say the economy. I am a pastor of a church, and because of the economy, our donations are down -- we've had to tighten out belts like everyone else -- which makes it harder to do good works in our world.

There have been a lot of natural disasters this year. For example, the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, the oil spill in the Gulf, and more. Makes me realize that climate change is real, and that it will have real impacts on people sooner than we ever thought possible.

Definitely the BP oil leak. Too much damage was caused before they could "fix" it and Obama isn't helping. It impacted me because animals were killed and water was tainted. My heart goes out to the rescuers and everyone involved in helping clean up the oil leak. Thank you all.

Health care passed! Gave me some hope.

The emphasis that the conservative right has taken against anyone that is not like them has impacted my thinking about mainstream. It sickens me to think that our country is becoming less tolerant of differences.

The pastor who intended to burn Korans on 9/11 impacted me this year the most. Despite the outpouring of protests against this act it pains me to think that so many people don't have a problem with this and that so many people hate Muslims as a group. This makes me feel hopeless that so many people are so ignorant and will cause our country so much ill will. How many of these same people believe that Obama is a Muslim?

I feel very involved in national and international politics and am scared and angered by the right wing lunacy going around everywhere. There are perfectly good reasons to be right wing or conservative, even though I may disagree with them. But currently, there is so much vile dishonesty and fear mongering, it's sickening.

For my family and friends the continued downfall of the economy has had an enormous impact on us. On a very personal level it has meant my husband is going to lose his bonus this year which is 75% of our family's income. But outside my immediate family so many friends have lost their jobs and many friends continue to struggle to find jobs (including my brother in law).

The earthquake in Haiti touched me in a personal way - my daughter's ex boyfriend is Haitian and he still has family there. To know his fear, on top of all of the hardships that he has already experienced, made me feel angry, empathic, helpless, privileged, and guilty, all at once. We wired money to his family, and he was fortunate - although homes were lost all of his family survived. Then, because Haitians in this country illegally were given special immigration status, he was finally able to go to school and work legally ( he had always worked and was law abiding in all ways other than in terms of his immigration status ). He is now working in a hospital and training to be a paramedic. He struggles with the fact that his life has improved because of a tragedy. Knowing him throughout these events has made me more aware of how my own circumstances and choices - and it has been stunning to see how much this " illegal immigrant" has taught me about the challenges and blessings of life.

The change of Government had a great impact on me even though it wasn't the outcome I wanted but it is definately better than just a Conservative or Labour Government

An event? I don't think that any one event really impacted me. The collapse of the Greek economy began while I was in Athens, it impacted me because I was there and I suppose I was sensatized to the European financial problems then. The actual impact of that was actually no greater than if I had been unawear of the situation, I was just present with it as it unfolded. I feel more impacted by so many little events. Proof to me that it is not just financial instablity that concerns me. Our inability to work and play with others, the wars, the politics, the disinterest in the disinfranchised. No one big event points to these things, just all the second page stories of disinterest, disrespect in unkindness. I long for a compassionate world.

I have been working on creating service opportunities in my school to increase people's connectedness to the world...especially the earthquakes in Haiti and the continuing lack of educational opportunities in developing countries. The war in Afghanistan and the increasing popular anti-Muslim sentiments concern me because intolerance and hate have no place in my world.

The general election it made me more aware of politics and what parties stand for. Although I am still not completely aware of all the policies and who is best for me it stil made me feel like I knew more and my vote is starting to count.

Watching the US become further divided politically has really made me rethink the culture I was raised in. As a left-leaning independent in a predominantly Republican area, I've seen what happens the political climate shifts.

The civil unrest and violence in Thailand. I was supposed to volunteer there over the summer, helping children and adults who had become victims of sexual trafficking. Instead, it was too dangerous for my group to go. It made me see how when governments use violence against non-violent protesters, it really affects the entire country. People unrelated to the conflict, who could have benefitted from my group's help, were left helpless in light of the dangerous situation.

The oil rig exploding comes to mind quickly. And like most powerful events, we still don't really know how this will effect us- in the present or distant future.

The recession has had a devastating impact on my family. Our household income is half what it was 5 years ago. Its now to the point we have had to sell our home. Yet, in the midst of all this, we are still happy, healthy and incredibly loving. The white picket fence suburban home was once terribly important to me. A symbol that I had made it. Symbols are just that...illusions imbued only with the meaning we give them. Love, however, is real. Doing something that gives your life meaning is real. Kindness is real. When you strip away the luxuries, what do you have left?

I don't want to seem small-minded, but I've kind of surrounded myself in my own bubble this year. While the earthquakes in Haiti were horrible, the floods in Pakistan despairing... I haven't really been able to do anything about it because it takes money to fix these things. And money is something I don't have. But there have been some good things. Some large steps taken in the deaf and hard of hearing community. And states are taking smaller baby steps towards providing the same civil rights to gays and lesbians that straight couples get... And then there's the economy. *sigh* It's all too much. I just want to live to the next year. And hope that tomorrow will be better than the last.

Obama. Just Obama. He made a bunch of promises and kept some of them- but for the most part, it seems like he hasn't been doing so great. Our economy's still mediocre, our healthcare is sort of scary, and...I dunno. Our country's changing and not in a good way. On a lighter note, the National "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit Day" was pretty awesome. P:

I guess personal events always seem important. On a national note, the health care bill was signed into effect by Obama after Congress finally agreed. Now health insurance is more accessable to many ( including my 21 yr old son who is now eligible.) This was monumental for those who cannot afford the high cost to insure themselves. While the Gulf oil spill affected others personally, not necessarily me directly, I feel it was emotionally upseting watcing videos of the escaping crude into the Gulf. Equally disturbing, were the endless videos of wildlife harmed by this.

Right now I'm thinking about the oil spill, but then there's the economy, but maybe they are connected. I feel as though the world is going to "hell in a handbasket" and I wonder how long we can all hold on. Our enrollments are low which means we can't do what we want, we haven't had raises since 2008 (although I do get a stipend for my work as Interim Dean) and our belts are as tight as they can possibly be. Pretty gloomy-and this is what we're leaving to the next generation!

The widespread criticism of Obama, coupled with the rise of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, has made me feel alienated from my country. Obama's election had made me excited for our collective future, but witnessing the fickleness and impatience of the country has me worried and dismayed.

the new turns on the ecuadorian indigenous fight against Chevron... the new evidence that emerged of Chevrons corruption... it just made me sick and angry, not only cause it's happening in my country, but cause it could be possible that the years of battle for their life, the indigenous have behind them can be totally in vain if Chevron keeps on twisting and turning the truth (and paying people to cover up their shit)!

The BP oil spill in the Gulf continues to depress me. As a Texan and a life-long lover of the Gulf coast, I feel like we'll be reaping the horrible consequences of their corporate negligence for decades, even as those in power offer up little except mysterious platitudes. When will we ever take full responsibility of our actions in regards to our environment?

The way everyday life is where I live, it's hard to be truly affected -- to be affected in a concrete way -- by world events. The impact is often only emotional: outrage, sympathy, fear, relief, helplessness. The global economic downturn has affected me, as I've remained jobless for over a year, but my parents have been able to help me weather the storm financially. The lasting effect of the downturn may be more apparent in the long term, in reduced earnings over my lifetime; greater financial insecurity (perhaps the end of "retirement"); confirmed distrust of an economy so focused on imaginary money (Wall Street, credit crisis) and consumption; disgust with public and private leaders who want to preserve the perks of wealthy individuals and corporations rather than invest in the average citizen.

It's really hard for me to answer this question. A lot has happened to me this past year; but in comparison with some of the things that happened globally; earthquakes, floods, oil spills... the things that impacted me directly just dont seem as important.

The Twilight Fan Event in Stockholm, I was there, I was a few meters away from my rolemodel and idol, I was united for 2 hours with people exactly like myself. It was amazing

Julia Gillard becoming Prime Minister, I suppose. It made me interested in politics for once.

without doubt the world cup in ZAR. Made me crazy homesick, but loved living through it vicariously.

The oil spill, because I realized that one day, something may not by that big, but if it continues, it could build up to something huge.

Like so many others, the down turn in the economy has personally affected me. My taxes, insurance, and so many things have gone up, while at the same time what I have has gone down in value. It's hard to make ends meet, and hard to accept that there's nothing I can do about it. I'm learning to conserve, but there's no joy in that. Although many people have it worse than me, I still worry about the future constantly, and it seems to permeate all aspects of my life. I wonder what I'm going to lose in the future, and if I'll ever be happy and carefree again.

The earthquake in Haiti. It's been tugging at my heart to go over and help and I think by doing so I'll get a domino affect of positivity and advancement in my own life.

I actually knew a young soldier that was sent to Iraq; fortunately, he returned safe and sound.

i love elections - the build up, the sense of involvment, the range of emotions, the feeling of being connected to history. this year's was even more compulsive - staying up all night following it on twitter, facebook, telly and radio. hearing how people (in my own community) were unable to cast their vote. watching the drama of a hung parliamnet unfold. the sense of horror/outrage that we're returning to the dark days of thatcher, that my neices and nephew now have to grow up (as i did) under the tories. it may not be the best system and it was certainly the worst result but what a ride!

It wasn't a direct impact, but everything surrounding Prop 8 in the last couple of years has had a huge effect on me. I think I've felt every emotion possible depending on the different decisions made.

The earthquake in Haiti... never before has something like that had such an effect on me. I was shocked and felt so helpless...I'm still affected, and I don't know why...

The earthquake in Haiti has really affected me. I am more interested in world issues and have join groups in my school such as Global Council to expand my knowlegde. I want to learn more about what is going on all over the world and not just what the media finds to be relevent.

This whole mosque debate is really atrocious. The fact that it is now acceptable to be openly prejudiced and discriminatory against a group of people based on religion in America is really scary. That, and the fact that so many Jews are hopping on that bandwagon makes me fearful--whenever you open the door to that kind of blatant hatred and scapegoating toward a group of people, you know that the backlash against the Jews is not far behind..

i guess it was actually last year, but president obama getting elected was monumental. it gave me great hope. i watched the inauguration with a feeling of hope and happiness for the future. it moved me to tears. i sat in front of the tv alternating weeping and grinning.

The financial crisis has impacted me because though I'm employed many friends aren't. It's made me examine our economic principles critically. It's made me grow closer with friends who struggle as I do what I can to help and encourage them. The Obama presidency this year has made me lose hope for real change and social justice. It seems that even when I vote for someone who seems able to lead our country in a direction I think is right, that person won't deliver. I'm not sure if it's pressure from the system, the desire to keep power, or lack of conviction. Then I am profoundly hurt by the division and racism I see in full force.

Although I can't think of any one thing that has happened in the world and has impacted me, I guess I would have to say the recession. Before I graduated I couldn't care less. Since my graduation I have struggled to fulfill my plans - mostly due to finance and work. At the minute I have a job but still the lack of work out there has meant that Thomas is moving to Southampton. I think that plans that would have been easily achieveable a few years ago have become dreams.

All of the natural disasters that have ocurred in the past year. They made me thankful that I have never been involved in one, and that I shouldn't take anything for granted because it can be wiped out in seconds.

The Gaza flotilla incident and news coverage deeply affected me in that I felt like the world was out to shame my homeland and my people without ever being inside our home and seeing who we really are. It made me lose faith in people's ability to be fair and open to all sides of a situation. It made me feel hopeless and I hate to admit it but I feel as if a tiny seed of shame has been planted in my heart about my support connection to and love for Israel. A seed that truly has no place there but was generated by others. I realize the stories I was taught and the ones I tell myself are just one version of the truth but the pain that this incident caused me leads me to feel that my connection to Israel separates me from others in this world and will always make me different whether I choose to live outside of the Jewish community or not. I realize that many Jews don't feel connected to Israel. But I feel like they have let their seeds of shame (planted by others) take over their love, and I do not want that to happen to me.

Watching the Gulf Oil spill was terrifying. Seeing those poor people's lives being destroyed, once again, as our government gives primacy to big business and oil once again was dashing and infuriating. I am moving from the US next year. I thought I would be sad, but as it turns out, I am not. Maybe that makes me sad.

This year has been depressing, the Dems made all sorts of promises, took control of government and have not acted on their promises. (same sex marriage, etc) Also the economy has been awful, making companies work us all to death and we don't have a choice since we can't get another job and even if we did they all are expecting too much from their workers.

The BP Oil Spill was something that captured my attention for a lot of reasons. Not only was it something that endangered my home, but it seemed hopeful that after such a calamity in the environment, there might be some change - namely a shift toward energy and climate legislation. Sadly, the only good that could have come out of such a disaster fell short. Thankfully, however (at least so far) it did not manage to find its way to the Keys, although I wonder about the environmental ramifications of the event moving forward.

The flooding in Pakastine, the raging fires in California...I watch only for a few moments then turn the channel hoping to make it go away. But those imagines and the thoughts of those suffering stays with me and makes me thank God for my safety, yet fear for it as well.

The Gulf oil spill, the Obama Insurance reform and Wall Street issue and now the salmonella scare with eggs. These have all brought home the fact Big Business have each and every politician in their back pockets. I have been aware of this for much of my voting years but it seems like all these together have really impacted me. I have become so apathetic that I don't even want to, or see the need, to vote. Ever since the Bush administration I have wanted to live in another country but I see that most countries have their own set of corruption. America is no better nor worse. My husband told me years ago, that if America was in need of change that it would take a revolution. I agree with that today.

The economy going down has hurt me greatly because I still don't have a job.

The earthquake in NZ and seeing how different my reaction was becasue of being her - wanting to do something now (eg KMG to fill up her car with diapers and deliver tham to an emergency centre) and her humming and hah-ing New Zealand doing so well in the World Cup soccer. A lesson for the kids and a reminder for myself in kiwi mentality that you don't give up and its not over till its over - the last seconds of injury time goal for a draw. World Cup in general. ArchBp Desmond Tutu's speech "We are all Africans! Welcome home!" Tour de France, a reminder of my trip when I was 26 and bicycle riding in general

The so-called manufactured controversy surrounding the "Ground Zero Mosque". I haven't ever been so frightened for our nation and our national ability to think critically before. It's no more a mosque than calling a hospital that happens to have a small chapel space inside it a 'church'. It's a community and recreation center that happens to have a prayer space within it. How is that so fundamentally different than a Young Men's Christian Association gym in the neighborhood? The manufacture of outrage by the GOP is evident by the timing of the controversy. The center had a front page Times article done on it close to a year ago! Why the outrage now? Just weeks before national elections? This entire mess has angried up my blood, and I feel great sorrow for my Muslim brothers and sisters who must feel the brunt of this hatred so acutely.

Today we worry if a pastor in a small Florida church will inflame the world by burning Qurans. It drives home the point that we are not mature enough to handle religion, nor are we mature enough to live without it.

The financial decline of most countries has reminded me of the interdependence of the world. It also reminds me that our resources are limited and that we're heading for disaster if we don't learn to use develop alternative energy.

The popularity of the "Tea Party" frightens me. The extreme views of these uneducated, ignorant "white guys" who are nothing but selfish, self centered, and incredibly myopic people offend and scare me because they seem to be gaining traction. The outlook for the upcoming US elections are bleak in my view, though it's hard to imagine that the legislative environment could be worse than it has been these past 2 years. On the other hand, the fact that there are new peace talks between the Palestinians and Israeli government does give me hope. Maybe we will see real change there...ken y'hi ratzon....

The war in Africa... A friend of mine was deployed this year, and I worried about her incessantly... (yes, there are females in combat zones, and yes, they do risk death and injury on a daily basis) My friend made it home safely, thank God...

I'm not trying to sound like everybody else, but the economic downfall did hurt our family a little. Our credit wasn't good to begin with, so in an economy where even people with good credit were having a hard time, the ones with poor credit felt it even worse.

Of course there was the Gulf oil spill and the Haitian earthquake (both heartbreaking), but I think I was most affected by the Israeli flotilla attacks back in May. There was no question that Israel was wrong, and I felt embarrassed by their actions. One night I walked by a protest at a church on Atlantic Avenue against the attacks by people who were pro-Palestine, and across the street was a small group of Israeli supporters (many Hasidic). For the first time, I couldn't honestly say I associated with them, and I felt so sad by the fact that Israel was wrong and that people might turn against the Jews as a result. It really made my heart drop about the state of the world and wars of religion in general.

It may sound horrible but I often try to distance myself from many of the world tragedies. I often find myself too affected by them so I've learned its better for me (mentally and emotionally) to not focus on what is happening "out there." I try to pay enough attention to know what is happening and to view it as neutrally as possible.

The Gulf Oil Spill, the tragedy, the catastrophe, the wildlife innocently destroyed by mans greed and recklessness followed by the gangster political response including the use of chemical dispersants, censorship of the media, media complicit in the censorship, how when after endless days of spills they had the nerve to say it was cleaned and over and the fish safe to eat........ I have a stronger desire to be ecologically in tune and try not to allow the disdain I have for the gangster government to infect me.

The events that have impacted me personally this year are the Gulf Oil Leak, the insane pastor from Gainesville, FL that wants to burn the Qu'ran, and the over-turning of Prop 8, followed by the stay of judgment and...funny as it may seem, the book called "Like Me," by country singer, Chely Wright. There have been many other WORLD events that have also been impacting, but these few things in the U.S. have most profoundly altered my life. BP Oil and Pastor Dipshit-Jones have caused me tremendous anxiety, and all of the equal rights in marriage stuff is of concern to me and my partner, who have been together for many years and have raised 3 children together, who are now 20, 21, and almost 23. Chely Wright's book has been a wonderfully freeing and positive thing for me.

The event that has impacted me the most is the Obama Presidency. I don't think he gets enough credit for his actions in office, and the press coverage of all national politics is silly. If you only read the news, you would think the Tea Party was a majority position in the US, rather than the marginal/fringe phenomenon it really is. I lost my job this year, and the little heralded federal subsidy for COBRA coverage (part of the Health Care Bill) has done much to help me and my family. I think the details of national policy are important, and frequently it is the little things that really help average American families (while the newspaper coverage dotes on such idiocy as the non-existent "death panels."

Not one event but many episodes of the same: terrorism and all the issues associated with that.

I feel bad that I don't feel worse about what happens in the world. I am focusing more on my circle of influence. When I can, I will grow my circle wider and do more so I can care more.

I can't think of a single thing that comes to mind to answer this question...so many things that have impacted me in the previous year were things that actually began or happened in the year or two previous.... I think the on-going nature of the economy issues, the enormity of the issues the President is having to deal with, including issues that are hold-overs from previous presidents, the global realization that we are on one planet and not in individual countries isolated from each other have all played a part in the impact of this past year. Being homeless, without work, no health insurance but needing health care have been the main things that have not been able to be resolved for me this year. I remain hopeful, positive, forward-looking and -thinking in my thoughts that the world needed a wake-up call and we're getting it!

I don't think there is one event that has changed me this year, instead I think the accumulation of the auto industry bail out, the unemployment rate, the lack of more rapid change with President Obama's election have made me more cynical and more focused on my and my family's economic and social wellbeing.

We have Lula for president, and for the first time in my life I did not fell comfortable in my country. So I ask for the German citizen, that I have the right because of my parentsthat were born there before the Nazis government. An event that I, which was a fighter against the dictatorship in Brazil, would never imagine that I would do it. I did not fell, as a Jew, save in Brazil anymore.

The economic downturn helped make buying a house a reality for me. It's such a good feeling to have a place to keep my family safe.

I feel there have been so many life changing world events that it is silly to even try to pick one. But being silly as I am, the one that "speaks" to me has been the story of the disastrous oil spill in the gulf... the explosion that killed and got the news attention, the oil polluting waters, animals, jobs, our hearts... and yet as a nation we are so reluctant to change ANYTHING... power has gotten into us like a sickness that is chronic and crippling... our dependancy on money and what we think it buys... but mainly THE FEAR we live with daily (and are fed daily) has devastated our spirits... mine for sure.

This year, not so much... although I've become increasingly upset about the Tea Party folks and the move to Christianize America.

There have been many incidents in the US (votes on gay marriage, health care changes, Mosques being built) that have caused extreme reactions from people. It is obvious that our country is very divided and it makes me sad to see such hate and intolerance.

the BP oil spill really affected me because I care so much for animals. It really made me take a look at the oil companies and how they run their business, and made me really concerned about the environmental risks. It also made me feel really useless, because I could not go down and help. Next time something like this happens, I would like to be prepared to help.

The flotilla incident in Gaza was really depressing and confusing for me. I feel like both sides had a right to do what they did. I felt saddened that Israel attacked the ship, and I also felt saddened that the people on the ship thought it was a good idea to attack the soldiers. The worst part about it is that it took all the focus off the actual problem, the blockade itself. I appreciate the efforts of individuals to go against a stronger force with smaller actions, but ultimately these are all lost causes because the events become self-contained and hardly ever make a dent in the larger problem. But what's the flip side of that? Should we just shut our mouths and never challenge forces larger than ourselves?

Obama as President has helped me any my family so much.

The global economic meltdown caused me to lose my job. How? Because there's less money being spent in the O&G industry. Why? Same answer.

No events have really impacted me to be truthful. Nothing really suprises me any more.

Though it wasn't entirely this year, the economic crisis has affected the people I love. My boyfriend lives 300 miles away and can't move closer until jobs open up. My sister is frustrated and struggling through her last year of a master's degree, unsure of whether or not she'll be paid next year.

I'm honestly not sure. There were many small things, but they all begin to blur together. I'm sick of the continued Conservative Christian bullshit, but that's not new. I just hope this country doesn't continue on the path it is currently on.

Even though I was not directly affected by the oil spill in the gulf, I'm grieved that we as a species can't get out act together to prevent this type of egregious offence. I'm heartbroken that the seas I love and yearn for are being so polluted that their livelihood is in peril. I fear that soon we will no longer have food to glean or seas to sail because of either environmental or human danger (pirates, etc...).

The continuing bad economy has caused my business to tank. I am having to make several huge life changes b/c of it. Actually, I think most of those changes will work out to be positive moves even if they are painful while happening.

The UK elections. It was my first time voting as a British citizen and it made me reflect on the importance and luxury of living in places where a woman has freedom and can vote, versus the many places in the world where this is still not the case.

None of the events of the world have really affected me. I just really don't care about things that are happening around the world. I know a lot of people thought the Haiti earthquake is sad, but honestly I'm just glad it didn't happen to me. I don't care that all those people died; the world is already too overpopulated anyway, and it's not like any of the people who died were living such a great life anyway. So I just don't get why everyone was making such a big deal of it.

My in-laws live in south Alabama, and the oil spill has affected them and many of their friends and loved ones. I can feel the stress of the situation every time we visit. The repercussions will be felt for a long time to come.

the BP oil spill. Our oceans are the place we go to recharge and reflect, and now even Miami is covered in oil slicks. Our wedding in Cape Cod was on the ocean and there was a scare that even those waters would be affected. It has all made me realize how fleeting and delicate nature is and how we need to vigilantly protect it. This whole mess was based on greed and on money... and no amount of money is worth the anhilation of our oceans and nature. We need to check ourselves and scale back on the greed and consumption. We are all responsible for this happening to some degree.

An earthquake nearby my hometown. It made me realise how quickly things can change and how vulnerable we are as human beings.

I was really affected by the BP oil spill. It seemed to tap into all my worse fears about the environment and the future of humanity. Seeing the brown pelicans covered with oil--they are my favorite creatures, I could barely look. It feels so wrong to be doing this to nature. I also for the first time began to connect my pulling up at the gas pump to the state of our world. Not that I really have done anything different--with my lifestyle and where I live, I am tethered to the gas pump. But I felt this implicit connection--and therefore complicity--most deeply for the first time.

The oil spill in the Gulf has definitely got me more concerned about our planet and what mankind is doing to destroy it.

I am deeply disturbed by the ability of raving lunatics to get media attention. People who want to burn books in the privacy of their home are free to do so, but it should be a hate crime to advocate the burning of another religion's holy books on public TV.

Obama voted president. The potential health care reform & economy putting all on edge & uncertain about the future.

The 2010 British election. It was the first time I got to vote. The televised debates made it more intense and really gave the voter an opportunity to understand the different parties. It was also particularly interesting and exciting to see the Liberal Democrats rise - proving that despite the past you can still make a strong impact.

The whole state of the world is a mess. It makes me depressed to think about it! I know there are lots of good places in this world, but no one ever shows there. They're not exciting enough ;) I just hope things start to improve!

The financial crisis has affected my bottom line but not my life. I am a saver and can always get through what ever ups and downs happen, plus I know that money always comes to me so I never panic about it.

The earthquake that took place in Haiti on January 12 of this year had such a profound and unfathomable impact. 250,000 people in the capital of the country were killed. Many of Haiti's greatest activists, intellectuals and leaders trying to raise the country up against all odds. This horrific event has changed the course of Haiti, which was already left to desperately struggle. And I was reminded again, like after Katrina, and along side the BP oil spill disaster, that the US and other more powerful nations' leaders have no adequate plan for responding to global catastrophes. Now i fear that in such a desperate situation Haiti will be preyed upon further by these more powerful nations. I have yet to put words to the enormity of the event, the small fraction of the pain i witnessed via global media, or the images and news reports released that did further violence to the people of Haiti...I hope for something better for Haiti and i have absolutely no idea how I might contribute to that something better.

We live in uncertain times and all of the attempted terrorist attacks here and abroad has had an impact on my daily living. But I have tremendous faith in God and our country and I know that peace will return once again.

The BP oil spill. Catastrophic to the economy, the beaches, the ocean and everything in them AND to my descendents. The health of the oceans affects the health of the world. I closed my BP account and am more consciously looking at the business practices of large corporations and will boycott them as needed, I've contacted my legislative reps, and I continue to recycle everything I can. Don't flush medicines!!

Attending the trial of Charles Taylor in the special court of Sierra Leone, in which Issa Sessay testified. Issa Sessay had been previously convicted in Sierra Leone and sentenced to fifty-something years. Following the court's decisions, and ten years after the conflict, Sierra Leone is still the third poorest country in the world. It astonishes me that despite international criminal law's lofty goals of ending crimes of the highest degree, it has no infrastructure in place to actually improve conditions in the places where these crimes are happening (which is the only meaningful way to prevent them from happening again).

The continuing fragility of the world economy is impacting me because I still have a mortgage and an adult child who is still dependent. There are fewer jobs for me and for her to ease the financial burdens.

The incident between the Palestines and Israel. Made me slightly hate the Palestines, at least at the first few weeks after the incident. I mean, carrying guns and saying it's for helping the needing people in Gaza? Right...

The Credit Crunch. There are less jobs now, in the time that I really could use one =[

The gulf of mexico and the oil spill. I am so saddened and sometimes feel so hopeless by the way the world is hurting. It makes me wonder what I can do to help this world. As of now I do not have an answer. All I can do is continue to pray for our sweet planet earth and for us, her inhabitants to take care of her, nurture her and make sure she takes care of us.

The recession hit home this year. Lloyds owes the government loads of money so has to cut costs. One of the costs was to intergrate the HBOS and Lloyds servicedesks. Resulting in my redundancy. There has also been some miners in Columbia trapped underground and they are currently digging a shaft down to rescue them. This will take until November to do. I can't even begin to think of what it must be like to be trapped like that.

Terry Jones and his threat to burn multiple copies of the Koran to protest the mosque to be established near Ground Zero. The whole negative reaction to the idea of having a mosque several blocks away is obsurd and unacceptable. It's not Al-Qaida setting up camp. It's a place of prayer for Sufi Muslims who are closer to Buddhists than to Al-Qaida or the Taliban. We are so ignorant at times it's scary.

The BP spill. It just continually gnawed at me: everything I was against in one of the worst case scenarios. If anything, I guess it did strengthen my environmentalist beliefs and perhaps set me down that course in a career.

The Low Interest Rates To Save. It is unfortunate that the Federal Government pass on to the financial institutions, that the consumer should have low interest rates to save. This is not a win, win plan, instead it is hurting the consumer!

For the second year in a row I can't think of any. This probably means I ought to be a little more invested in the world around me!

Definitely the economy and the never ending war. I find I avoid the news, it seems nothing but negative. I feel that the war is dividing the world into 2 sides, regular everyday people and religious radicals. The rich who the economy has not affected and rest of us. I feel our own government sold its soul and the stock market and banks went with them. Along with that, is the fact that the values of regular society seem to be going downhill as well. My way of life for me is to be separate from the average and I feel Reform Judaism has been the only thing I have had to turn to that maintains some level of sanity in this world of intolerance and low standards of morality. Today is the anniversary of Sept 11 and is probably a bad day to answer this question.

The economic downturn is the only world event that has affected me personally. It has not had terrible consequences for me but has affected my ability to move up in the company where I work, our work environment has been scaled back and I work with dramatically fewer people.

The Flotilla incident showed me that Israel will never be accepted as legitimate. I see the mortality of the state and have been thinking that perhaps it's time I return to Israel while there is still a state to return to.

The economic "crash" affected us in so many ways. We had made the decision a few years ago for me to stay home and my husband would support our family. It seems that this year would have been the year for his business to take off yet here we are today still struggling to make it work. It has tempered my "can do" spirit.

The Icelandic volcano debacle: I have people close to me who currently live in Europe, and I realized how far away they really are.

I have been heavily impacted by the economy and by the raging costs of health care. I am a diabetic. When I lost my job and had to pay the cost of COBRA, I was rapidly overwhelmed, my small savings obliterated. I often faced the choice of buying insulin or paying the mortgage. Eventually, I lost my home. I could find no work for over 10 months, and finally secured a job that required an out-of-state move. I was too broke to move my possessions, and had to sell pretty much everything I owned. My friends were loving, supportive and generous throughout, and helped me regain my equilibrium, sometimes buying my groceries.

The constant obstructionism and lies of the Republican party affect me daily. I'm so tired of being outraged,and just when I think they can sink no lower, a new scandal erupts, or a new lie is told. What really upsets me is that the American people seem poised to re-elect these people to Congress. It makes me want to leave my beloved America. I've believed in this country since childhood, and now, at age 64, I'm watching the probable decline and end of the American experiment. Internationally, the earthquake in Haiti, the floods in Pakistan, the endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Israelis sinking that boat, and their disgusting behaviour in Gaza and the West Bank upset me. What a world we live in!

Today is 9/11/10. I can't think of something that has impacted me right now. However, I am really feeling patriotic right now. I'm so proud to be an American. I'll never forget where I was on that day. Science class at Mound Fort Middle School. I was in sixth grade, 11 years old. I didn't realize then how big of a deal 9/11 was. Now that I'm older and less selfish, I understand. And my heart goes out to all those who were affected or lost loved ones on that day. It was such a horrible event.

As a global citizen, I am always impacted by world events, so it would be impossible to choose just one. I do believe that more people should pay attention to all of the natural disasters around the world. It's Nature's way of letting us know that she's not feeling so hot.

The oil spill in the gulf. It made me so sad, and so stressed. I remember when I was younger NOTHING could touch me - I was made of teflon. Now that I am older (maybe feeling my mortality?) and now that I have children (maybe I am concerned about the legacy I am leaving them?)... I felt deeply upset by how long the spill went on, and how awful it was, and how much damage it did. And why? Profit. I feel a deep grief about how much destruction we have wrought for oil and money. I was sadder about this than a lot of things that affected me much more directly.

New President looking for change. We did not get to this point overnight and it is going to take time. The amount of bigotry regarding Mr. Obama, his wife and children, in my part of this country, has been surprised me. I guess, once a bigot, always a bigot.

The election of Barack Obama has made a huge impression on me (and the world). His stunning partner Michelle has been a strong, tall role model for American women.

The Gulf oil spill. I was in NOLA in March, had shrimp po' boys and sailed out through the Gulf on a cruise. I kept thinking about how miraculous it was to see NOLA hanging on and coming back after Katrina. I kept thinking about the environmental impact of travel, and as we sailed past the rigs at night, our dependence on oil. When the spill happened, I felt so sick, so physically sick that it was really hard to even watch the news coverage. Since then, I've become determined to become as green as I can - growing as much food as I can, buying locally made goods whenever possible and driving only when necessary. I hope to see a complete rejection of oil dependence in my lifetime and I want to fight for that. The planet is too precious to destroy. I want a complete paradigm shift in both consciousness and action.

The minister who plans to burn a copy of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 has impacted me this year. In school we have a world religions class and we learned how peaceful and beautiful the religion of Islam is, and how some have twisted its traditions for evil. These truths only make it all the worse that someone could be so ignorant and mislead to think that desecrating Islam's holy book is right, first of all, and second that it will "teach them a lesson". All it does is spread more hate and fear and ignorance. The irony of this man makes give a wry laugh, however. Most adults think they are in the right above teenagers and children. They always think their experience makes them more intelligent. But there are over 9000 teenagers in my town alone who are bewildered by the stupidity of this one man. That is not to say all adults are ignorant to this, there are many who are very much aware. They are the ones who have done their research and continued their learning throughout their life. Those adults are the ones who give me hope about "growing up".

The controversy over the Muslim community center near the ground zero site--I don't think I realized before this event just how deeply off-base hatred runs in those around me. It's been very saddening. That this hatred is directed at people I care for on a personal level only makes me sadder and more inclined to anger.

The nasty economic situation has impacted me in that I'm now working a dead end part time job with no benefits. I can't go to the doctor when I need to, I can't afford to travel or buy clothes, and it is hard to see a way out of it.

I can't narrow it down to just one event that has impacted me this year. The earthquakes, flooding, mudslides hurricanes and tsunamis in the many areas of the world (Haiti, Indonesia, Gulf) The BP oil spill...so many things shifting in this world right now, and it has impacted me on a very profound and deep level. We, as a human race...are all connected. So this didn't just happen to "those" people. We ARE "them, those, the others." It's time to really get this world headed in the right direction. We have the option to be a part of the problem; or a part of the solution...I choose the latter.

The anti-Obama trend is very disturbing. He has attempted to be bi-partisan and reach out to the opposition, but they have not made any attempt to cooperate or agree. It has never been this way before. He has attempted to follow through but the republicans have shot down each attempt and then complained that he has not reached out to them. People do not realize that they have to pay taxes to get the services that they want: paved roads, firefighters, police, national parks, health care, army, navy, public schools, libraries. How do they think they will get these things unless they are paid for? The republicans cannot have it both ways: increased services and lower taxes. Bush's tax cuts got us into this trouble, let's get rid of them. Let Obama's campaign promises come to fruition. It would be worth trying something other than being obstructionists.

I live in America: let's face it, nothing affects us here. Whole countries can implode and we'll barely feel a ripple. On the other hand, the economy stuff means my mom's not working, and my dad's boss didn't make it for re-election. Home is a little tense and weird. Plus I need to start earning my own money for school and stuff. It probably has a bigger effect than I realize right now.

The fall of the economy, the foreclosures, the pain and suffering, and my own home's devaluation. I do feel most fortunate, compared to others, gratitude for what I have managed to put together. I am also upset for the losses of other, for the greed that contributed to this, and for the overall disregard for people by many in power. Also the continued wars, and the loss of lives, the continued sacrifice of our daughters and sons, for what? Does not make any sense to me.

Many things but most recently the floods in Pakistan. I feel deeply unhappy not just with what the people are going through but the alleged attitude of the international community. I wonder if the economic situation may be partly responsible but it has been said there is a smaller response than to the tsunami. I'm concerned to hear that the Pakistan people may be more heavily influenced by terrorist groups as a result of the flood. It worries me that the response of the 'West' to this may be more military interventionism. I hope this doesn't happen, I feel intervening in a military way in other countries is counter-productive.

The election of a Coalition Government in Britain. On a personal level, it knocked the Party I generally support out of power. But I am secretly kind of relieved-now people have seen the alternative, they know that there was nothing the Labour Party could have done to make things better.

Economic crisis. Has made me feel fearful and insecure. It made me realize how thin my support is. I get frustrated when it's hard to do little things for people whom I love. Despite owning property -- it is now upside down. In fact, I'm upside down after decades of trying to hustle and work, saving aggressively for retirement.

The economy collapsing led to my husband getting laid off. At first it seemed like a short term issue but its been a year now and while the lack of salary is tough, unemployment payments have helped and we are actually really excited about the time the layoff has afforded him and us to think about the big picture of our future. He's going back to school to get his degree in January, something neither of us particularly thought was going to happen.

The earthquake in Haiti was a powerful reminder that most of the things I worry about are insignificant and there are other things which are so hugely beyond human control it's shocking.

Unless it is directly affecting me, events in the world don't impact me, and since nothing has happened here, nothing has impacted me.

Though it may be very shallow, the making of the fan-based parody show, 'A Very Potter Sequel'. The Michigan University students who wrote and performed this show re-ignited my love for all things Harry Potter and, surprisingly, helped show me who I really am. If I'd never seen AVPS, I wouldn't realise just how much of a Geek I really am, and I wouldn't have embraced my geekiness. I'd still be unhappy, ready to leave my whole life behind and start again, because I didn't feel like I belonged. AVPS, among other things, helped me become me. It sounds shallow, but I think it affected me for the better.

I don't really pay attention to world events too much. I hate hearing about the US's "War in Iraq" and I'm too much of a cynic to really want to watch/read the news because it's so goddamn depressing. However, Obama was my candidate and obviously won. It was a thrill to know that my voice helped create this change in my country and I am alive to see a black president, who has been trying his best to fix a fucked up country. I hope he manages to follow through on his campaign promises, because so far I haven't seen much.

The passage of SB1070 here in Arizona has really made me worried about the state of my state and of the country in general. Misinformation and downright lies get repeated often and loudly until they are adopted as fact.

The downfall of the economy impacted my life greatly. I moved to be with my husband who had a job and I didn't. Thankfully, I got a job a month ago so now we're in much better financial shape than we were this time last year.

I don't watch the news or get a newspaper anymore, so in order for a world event to get through to me it has to be really big. The only one that I can think of is the oil spill in the Gulf, which didn't really change my life in any meaningful way. But if we look at the world from the perspective of my local community, I've been changed forever by the new emphasis on alternative transportation choices and the appeal of walkable neighborhoods. This year I moved to the city center because of my city's commitment to our new bike plan and the streetcar project.

The loss of value in my real estate has affected me greatly. It made it much more difficult to move forward for new opportunities in a different city, and our circumstances would be much more comfortable, and much better if I had not lost pretty well everything I'd worked for as well as my inheritance in addition to the fake value of the previously inflated market.

Events more like it. The crazy, climate induced calamities happening around the globe this summer have triggered a depression in me and (for the first time) the feeling that we as a species are very close to destroying not only us, but potentially the planet. I just hope, if humans can't get it together, that we destroy our species BEFORE we manage to destroy everything else.

I've been more and more disillusioned with how dumb and mean Americans can be. I used to love following the news, but now it makes me so upset that I have to take it in small doses.

The recession. We are having a hard time staying a float. But we are managing.

The Gulf oil spill incensed me beyond belief. We still don't know the long-term impact on the earth. I now include Mother Earth in my healing prayers. My hope that this disaster is the turning point for honoring the Earth and treating her with respect.

Although we experienced a recession this year, I do not feel directly affected by it in my family. We continued to lead the same lifestyle as before without any repercussions. In school, however, we experienced budget and teacher cuts. Going into college to become a teacher, I am worried about how the situation will change in the next four years. Also, Obama became President this year. At first everyone--including myself-- was amazed and celebratory that we had a black president. Now, I have grown accustomed to it. He is the same as everyone else and I no longer think of him as "Obama: America's first black President," but as just "President Obama."

The lack in the Oilrig in the Gulf of Mexico shocked me totally, because it needed three months to close it a little. I´m still not sure if it is really closed. And that effected so many people and animals...We just destroy our earth as if we would have a second one.

The downfall of the economy, loss of jobs, businesses closing, etc can all be attributed to one thing (in my opinion) : Barack Hussein Obama. The sooner he's gone, the better off our Country will be.

The ethnic killings of Uzbeks in Kyrgystan. I wanted to think that pogroms had been left in the past, and was even more disappointed by the international reaction: Only a few small notes, mostly on second pages. I was shocked when I realized how indifferent people can be to suffering.

The continued angry political climate. It's so polarized and antagonistic. I'm an Independent, and my leanings depend on the issues, but no one wants to hear that. They think everyone needs to claim a team, pick sides. They want to give everyone a neat label, so they can be placed in the proper column of "good" or "bad". I can't even bear a political discussion anymore; it's exhausted me. It's stressful for me, and it's everywhere. Even those who have similar views to mine think that just because I agree with them on some things, I'm supposed to be in agreement on everything and there's something wrong with me if I'm not, and they can't understand why I don't join in when they speak hatefully of "the other side". It's gotten too personal, too hateful, and when you add religion to the mix it's intolerable. I will continue to vote and continue to try to stay on top of the issues and stay informed, but I just can't discuss it anymore.

The health care debate was brutal--I didn't understand before it that people willfully lie to other people

The economic downfall has made making ends meet even harder for my family. But we'll get through it.

The B.P. disaster really had an impact on me. I have become more engaged in public education about our use of fossil fuels and the need to change our energy dependence on oil, coal and natural gas.

I was sad about the BP explosion but I don't think that it really impacted me, which is sad.

The finiancial situation in the world has affected me and many people loosing their jobs and canceling projects. Many people needed to left their dreams on the plate. The durg war in Mexico is another event that affects me a lot. Is hard to see how the government is trying to fight but the result is the death of many people.

The Haiti earthquake because I never realized how much I took for granted.

Neda's death. I know that didn't technically happen this year but I really found out about it this year and it really made an impact. Also Ruby Siketa's death. It taught me how fleeting life is and that life can be amazing and wonderful but also short and cruel so you have to make the most of the time you have. I want to name my daughter Neda. If I have one. The state of the economy also got me thinking about society and human interaction... I still don't quite understand. But I'm working on it. The Quran burning threat also really impacted me and got me thinking about human conflict and the nature of man and what drives us.

The oil spill has deeply affected me and my feelings about the direction thisi world is heading in. There was one night I was out with my ex -boyfriend and everyone was drinking and partying, having fun. I on the other hand couldnt take my eyes off the television. I felt helpless, sad, and so mad at humans of this world. I couldnt believe that this had happened. Im still greatly affected by it as i wish there will never EVER happen again. I think everything is reactions and this oil spill will have a great harmful effect on weather, food, people. Its scary, and Im not looking forward to seeing all the effects, bc/ its incomprehensible. Killing life. all that life, makes me sick

An event in the world that has touched me are ...The "Women of the Wall" and how they are being treated by closeminded radical Jews. Radical religious people of any religion are harmful. It's not only Jews or Muslims or Christians... pick one or pick them all... radical is not healthy no matter what you're tacking that word to.

The continuation of war in Afghanistan/oil spills/floods/earthquakes/fires. Feels like Armagedden. I am upping my contributions to good service agencies like IRC and AJWS, but I don't feel my actions adequately address the enormity of the challenges. I feel tempted occasionally to go to one of these places: feed the hungry/wash the birds/give comfort somehow. But my general level of fitness and my responsibilities at home--where I do give comfort with my therapy dog--hold me here.

Hands down the economy. Lost my job in of 16 years in 2009 which in turn caused (or forced?) my estranged husband to start a business together. One door closes, another opens so they say. We'll see....

the rev dying! how could he?! just going to see a7x live, first time ever and its not with him. i will cry i reckon. badtimes!

The disaster in the gulf has deepened my mistrust of corporate america and the government. There was collusion on the highest levels of cost savings and environmental 'protection', which is closer to the protection afforded by mobsters the by mothers. Why? Free speech was blocked in reporting this, anyone who wanted to investigate the oil spill was barred from access, using the legal system as a defense, calling all land that had oil on it, BP's property.

I'm in such a private universe today that I have no idea how to answer this. I can't think of world events even. I purposefully ignore the news these days. I have enough to worry about. We did have a general election but I'm not touched by that emotionally at all. Pass. As shameful as that may be.

the number of what we deem as natural disasters over the last year and the devastation left in their wake. haiti, chili, pakistan, russian wild fires, to name but a few... weather and earthly events happen and i wake up, we are but visitors on this wonderful planet, however, we are the disruptors of all the ecosystems we are a part of. we play with a child's innocence, ignoring the consequences of our consumption and waste. we are not welcome visitors, and earth reminds us of that...

The earthquake in Haiti, the floods in Pakistan, and now the rising hate in the US toward Islam. Natural disasters wake me up to both the precariousness of life and how lucky I am to live where I do as very little threatens me that isn't man made. The rise of Islamophobia gives me the perverse opportunity to see what Nazi Germany must have been like with the rise of murderous anti-Semitism. It saddens me deeply but strengthens my resolve to work for tikkun olam.

I guess the economy has had a big impact on me. It's narrowed the job market and made me feel trapped and that I have little bargaining power in my current position.

There have been so many global changes this year, several earthquakes, volcanoes, blizzards,and intense heat. The economy has taken such a huge hit in so many places. For the first time to me it feels like the world is less invincible then I have always liked to believe. Call it denial but I always chose to believe that we could survive anything. I am realizing now how the many people screaming for us to take care of our planet and each other really did know what they were talking about.

The crash of the housing market and the economy made me realize just how corrupted our system is.

The murder of Chelsea King. It has caused me to worry so much over my daughter Madeleine who is 13. At the same time I've been inspired by what an amazing girl she was and all that her parents and community have done to show their love for her and change the law to make sex offender sentencing more strigent.

Grade eight. It taught me what a good friend was because I never knew. I was really obsessed with fitting in, but now I realised that you don't have to fit in with people who are your true friends. I think it was a great experience. I'm glad I found the courage to be myself.

An event? not so much an event as a circumstance: the recession/depression. My whole family has been severely impacted by it, and it has meant that my overall income (for which I am truly grateful) dropped considerably,(yes, government entities do cut the grants for the elderly)though my housing and other expenses all had their usual increases. Still and all, though I have lived below the poverty level for many years, I do have a roof, and that roof no longer leaks, thanks to the kindness of a man I have never met, and for every whine I have, I have a blessing to offset it. So I am thankful for each day.

The DC snow storms were crazy! I love how nature can still lay the smack down on humans. Some sad things happened (like people who had to walk in the street getting hit by cars, because the sidewalks weren't cleared) but on the whole I think it gave people in this area of the country a little taste of what a natural disaster really is. We don't see that a lot here.

The World Cup. My sons and ex-husband bond over their team. And everyone from everywhere seems to bond over this weird competition. The world feels different when the World Cup is happening.

Hmmmmm... Well, the BP oil spill has been devastating. So much destruction and long-term ecological damage. We can't even fathom how this is going to fuck up the ecosystem and rob billions around the world of their livelihood. And we're so concerned about our economy (which IS impacted by this, btw) that our outrage just never came to the surface. The bungled, slow-moving efforts to staunch the oil's flow were so egregiously wrong... Very upsetting.

This was a hard one for me. There are so many incidents -- large and small -- that I get so emotionally roiled about. But I guess the passage of universal health care is the biggest one because it is a right US citizens should have had for years, and finally, even though the Dems barely eked it out and were not very courageous, it was passed. Even in the face of Republican lies and distortions it was passed. And God bless President Obama for sticking it out and keeping at the iportant things he said he would do.

Shamefully, I don't pay much attention to world events as I have enough trouble coping with my own life, especially at the moment. I'm not particularly fond of media coverage, either.

Some of the negative things coming out of israel, like the flotilla and the continued rise of power on the part of the Orthodox has shaken my faith in Israel a bit. The slowing of the economy has made me re evaluate what i hope for my kids. I've scaled back expectations of what their futures may be like.

Haiti's earthquake made me consider for the fst time in my life the possibility of becoming a mother. There suffering was not foreign to me; the Haitian ambassador and his family have been my family's friends since I was 5 years old. I had never seen so much suffering at once, yet I was able to see that people struggled and proved resistant to the hardest conditions. Made me think how fortunate I am on a daily basis!!!

As a self-employed healthy person, I had high hopes that health care reforms would make a big difference in my life. Anything meaningful was derailed in Congress and it just turns out that I will be required to buy health insurance in a few years-- fortunately I am getting married to someone who has health insurance, but he wants to go back for a master's degree. If/when he does, that will leave both of us legally bound to buy very expensive insurance.

After intense involvement in the political process of the last elections, I kind of withdrew from the world this year. Dealing with personal and professional upheaval was enough. Last night, however, I went to a candlelight vigil in support of the constitution -- specifically, the right to build the Islamic community center near the World Trade Center. That felt good; that felt right. But when another participant asked if I was an activist or "just" someone who cares, the answer was clear. And I'm still puzzling about what's wrong with that. In fact, I think we need a lot of more of those "who just care."

the Islamophobia being expressed in the world with such vitriol has really shaped my ability to be more expressive about religious pluralism. I have had to look at my own biases and really consider the ways that I can be an ally. Today, 9/11, I am taking my family to an Interfaith public reading of the Quran. As Jews we can not sit by silently in the face of religious hatred and intolerance.

The best way for me to answer this question is that "world events" are impacting me less and less. For many years now I have not owned a TV in favor of creating my own "reality show." After all, who determines what makes any given event worthy of "the news"? What is important to me, and what I am continuing to move toward, are the people closest to me in my life, and my own inner, spiritual life.

An event in the world that has impacted me this year would be when they passed that thing for the gays in america. It was a huge thing to happen this year because it was something that you wouldn't expect t happen here and I was glad it did happen because for a long time gays and lesbians were not equal they were treated different because they were seen different. This is no longer the case.

Haiti and the destruction & tragedy... I am astounded by what can happen in a moment. I know a lot of people that went to help. I still long to go. When tragedy strikes upon humanity something in me wants to run to those effected; to help and to love. I have worked in 3rd world countries and it is in the middle of the poor that I feel the most alive. Love to be real has to cost us something.

Obama hasn't done anything he promised to do when he was campaigning. He was suppose to change the US for the good. Since he's been president he hasn't done anything.

The volcano in Iceland really showed me that no matter how technologically advanced we are as a race, we ultimately always have to cave to the power of nature. It was really great to discover.

I'm not sure whether it was directly because of the economy, because I'm a freelancer, but I was out of work for a long time -- about 6 months. It wasn't all bad, though....

I have been impacted by the rise of, the backlash that is the so-called Tea Party. It has been difficult to see the free expression of so much hatred and the mass media's complicity in spreading so much non-newsworthy information. It has caused me to wonder about the future of democracy in America. I am still hopeful and believe in the ability of the American people to choose the good over the bad.

I got into a crisis that raised the question if what I was doing professionaly was still the way to go. Should I do something completely different? Do I want to make a drastic career change? Or should I do the thing that I do best?

The earthquake in Haiti, with such horrible devestation, was a powerful example of a natural disaster on a country already suffering from extreme poverty and deprivation. It was, in the beginning, wonderful and impressive to see the outpouring of aid for these people. But at this point, months later, the conditions in Haiti have improved very little. Thousands of people are still homeless and hungry. Basic services like water, sewer and electricity have not been restored. And the press has gone away. Chile also had a massive earthquake. Not so much aid went to that country, I think, because the Chilean government was on top of it. Clearing away and rebuilding began right away and services restored. Chile is recovering well. Then Pakistan, with unpopular politics and beliefs, flooded and devestated on a much greater scale. And while the media covered this disaster, aid only trickled in. Pakistan is still in desperate need of water, food and shelter with winter approaching. And the media has gone home. These events have impacted me, as I ask the question, "How do we choose the people to help?" It seems to be based more on politics, or culture than need. At this point, I have no answers. I will, however, reflect on this throughout the year.

The proposed Quar'an burnings on 9/11 (today) made me see that we need to connect among different religious, cultural, and social groups. I am so sorry to all the Muslims out there who are being hurt by this, and it makes me think about all the different ways our global community has of hurting others. Quite simply, it makes me sad.

The flooding in Nashville impacted me, mostly because I didn't hear about it until days later. I can't believe a national emergency happened so close to my home - I even knew people who were displaced by the floods, and I didn't hear about it until days later. It made me see just how self-centered I was being at the time.

The passing of universal healthcare is going to impact the amount of people going for my future career. Suddenly, being a doctor isn't as lucrative as it used to be. The economic downturn also worries me since my applications are going to be even more scrutinized than they already are (no funding in UC's and other privates).

General election resulted in a hung parliament for the first time in generations, I was quite excited but for some reason everyone I know seems to be moaning about the cuts etc which is ironic since it was the other party that shafted the economy so the cuts were needed in the first place!

There were quite a few: Realizing that Obama is just a politician, not a magician. Realizing that, yes, our government lies to us everyday about the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. The recession

The stoning of women who are accused of adultery..the rape of women as a tactic of war..the continued practice of genital mutilation...all point to how we cannot rest and cannot stop working on the behalf of human rights everywhere, especially where women have no voice.

The gulf oil spill. Not only was it an incredible ecological disaster, it affirmed for me that people will always look for someone to blame instead of a solution. While I feel that BP bears responsibility for the disaster, I feel angry when I hear coworkers who drive Escalades say that BP bears the *only* responsibility. We are all consumers. The only person you have control over is yourself. It's time for *everyone* to look at how their consumption practices affect the world.

Obama so far has been the worst president in our history as a great nation. Not only does he continue to approve laws that strip us of more freedoms, but he neglects to follow through on his campaign promises. Look at the BP oil spill, what was done to help with that? Him eating seafood still? Great, we need to impeach this motherfucker.

it's not the biggest news, but the forest that burned down near my village affected me greatly. Made me furious when I got to know that is was because of someone had made a camp fire during very hot weather (!) Also made me think about wat there was left, which is beautiful too.

The Deepwater oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been foremost on my mind. Billions of barrels of oil spewed into the most ecologically diverse, species-rich, fragile wetlands in the world. The coastline was devastated and instead of making it better by working with all the volunteers who came to help fix the mess, BP commandeered the effort, hijacking our national response and doing very scary things, like using tons of chemical dispersants to make the problem go away. At a time when our environment is so clearly facing terrible challenges, for this spill to happen simply terrifies me. I cannot fathom how this will be made better, and the impact from the oil in the Gulf will continue to spread ripples of devastation across the planet. I am so sorry for all the life that this has impacted.

The hurricane/earthquake fiasco that happened in Guatemala. My roommate and friend are from there and hearing about what the families went through was a big wake up call to be grateful for everything I have.

The attacks and killing to the humanitarian boat going to Gaza. I fell ashamed of being Jewish. I do not believe that being Jewish means that I have to support a country that is ruling by people that is committing atrocities, oppression, and many times behave against human rights. This time was against these activists, in the past was on beduims and Palestinians. I had bigger expectations from a Jewish State that born around socialist ideas . I expect more kindness, more tolerance and more humanity. I believe the politicians and the army is not behaving in a Jewish way. The killing of activist on the sea, and on communities during the construction of the wall is devastating, but is not new, it was hard to realized one more time that Israel is like any other imperfect country, a country where money and fear rules rather than values and Jewish teaching. I fell very sad but with hope. Not all Israelis are like the actions of this State. I have recently seen Budrus the documentary. I am happy to find out that there is a small Jewish young generation committed for the change, the inclusion and peace. Meanwhile I live with this dilemma. I do believe in the need of a State for Jewish people but I am not willing to support in any way that in the name of Judaism people commit crimes, behave with arrogance and forget who we are and where are we coming from. I will not support a Jewish elitist country that segregate minority communities and give them less right for not being Jewish. Finally, I scared because the situation with the float is another example of bad behavior against Jewish teachings that could increase antisemitism in the world. There are many ignorant citizens around this planet, a lot of racism exist latent in Mexico, Argentina, France, USA, Venezuela, Spain, etc, that associate this irresponsible and massacre in hand of some few Israeli Jewish as a way of thinking and behave of all Jewish people. Florencia Davidzon

Hearing about the stoning of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. It is beyond my belief how some countries can even allow such horrible metods of punishment, and even apply them with insufficent evidence. And this is for adultery? This shows us what become of countries ruled by religion - Islam as Christianity.

The Deepwater Horizon spill really shook me. I couldn't believe we had reached a point in society where this sort of catastrophe was even possible. And the fact that it took so long to clean up was just evidence that this world can often run on money as opposed to good will.

Becoming a grandmother for the first time is the event that has impacted me most this year. It has shown me what a wonderful mother I raised. It demonstrates that I and the generations after me will have a positive influence in this world.

I guess, if I had to choose one, I probably couldn't. I don't really listen to the news that often, or watch it at all. I can't really distinguish between events that happened this year or the year before, because they all end up being quite similar. My mind tends to be quite similar to the general public when it comes to current affairs. Short-sighted and short-term. Things pass you by quickly and then soon enough another earthquake, another hurricane, another tsunami, another oil spill passes you by and you haven't had enough time to process it. The only thing in the world that's happened within the past year that's affected me has been the fact that I've realised the amount of suffering on this earth that has occurred and the not so equal distribution that has resulted. Also, the short-sighted and short-term memories of those who live in this world, and how influenced they are by the media and their influence. It's sad how much we seem to care about others, but only for a few months, until another disaster is in the forefront of the news.

I remember that one of our programs in Ethiopia seemed that people weren't doing their jobs and feeding malnourished kids...all for selfish, lazy reasons. I had a hard time reconciling that some people truly are that way, and I mourned the people who may have died from their selfishness.

In a very selfish way the bp oil spill impacted me. It made me realize how kind of isolated we all are from so many large scale tragedies if we aren't in the city it happens in. Which makes me think of the tragedy that will land in my city or my house and how I'll worry about it then. It also makes me realize that I don't do enough, and don't care enough.

Was out of work while the World Cup was on, which wasn't a good thing to happen, but turned out to be the best time for it to happen. I got to see most matches and despite the standard of football being quite poor, I really enjoyed the tournament, even with England's inevitable exit.

Haiti earthquake and then the world's response to it. Texting to donate. On the ground doctors using iphones to help take care of patients. Social networking sites used to coordinate and volunteer. It's like our technology is finally beginning to go to the next level to help with the world's greatest problems.

We've had a lot of natural disasters--not that there aren't a lot all the time--that have been particularly horrific. Massive earthquakes in Pakistan, Haiti, Chile, and the subsequent problems like flooding, for example. My brother-in-law, a contractor, did some work post-earthquake in Haiti and instead of building like we all expected, he helped recover over 60 bodies from the rubble of a large hotel. Thinking about that really put things into perspective for me, not just for that disaster, but for the people who live in poverty every single day. Helping them means sacrificing a lot of ourselves, not just donating money to some faceless entity and hoping it helps. I hope to do more social work the next year.

The UK general election: it was the first time I saw my friends and peers genuinely questioning their political values and taking the whole situation properly seriously instead of just voting left because it was 'cool'. It had a huge impact, emotionally and on friendships.

The emergence of the Tea Party. On the one hand, I was somewhat encouraged that their arrival seemed to be concurrent with a growing scrutiny by the public of political processes in general. On the other hand, while it's been known for some time that there are plenty of nuts with conspiracy theories who pay politicians and entertainers with their viewership, it's been disheartening to be, in the age of an increasingly globally connected world and in the age of the Internet, to have these knuckleheads parading around trying to represent the American people, while the rest of us seem to be too dumbfounded (and certainly not as interesting to the media) to make a venerable comeback.

A lot of world events have affected me this year, in subtle ways I guess. The legal actions on Prop 8, Don't Ask Don't Tell, and other gay rights have really driven home the fact that the personal is political. The sad state of the economy has helped me become a wiser spender, and a better saver. I think it is helping me work to do without, to make to, and to reuse. This, in conjunction with the increasingly sad state of our natural environment (a point driven home by the BP oil spill) have all increased my awareness of my impact on this world, in what I use, take, and contribute to the world around me.

The earthquake in Haiti was heart wrenching. I heard many stories too painful to repeat. Too horrific. And one of the most powerful impacts on our household was jumping into action. We were in communication with the Haitian Embassy, the Dept. of National Security and any airlines who were available to assist us with helping the orphans of Haiti. I have never felt so pulled and been so successful. And we had never done anything like this in our lives.

To be honest, I've pretty much left the "events of the world" to concentrate on personal events that impact me. I've spent so many years working with several service organizations that help those in need, and when it was my turn, when I was the one in need, there wasn't any help around. Realized that no matter how much I'd like to think there is some kind of universal Karma, there isn't. The world will do just fine, or not, without me.

The overwhelming evidence that the stock market does in no way reflect the actual value of a business - it's a casino of epic proportions. I am not happy that I surmised this several years ago but am stunned at the level at which greed is the byword of the day for financial institutions of all ilk and no remorse or even awareness of the damage that these institutions have done to people outside the washington beltway or the New York eastern business corridor seems to be evident in CEO/COO/Boardroom behavior. All they clamor about is how "unfair" the new regulations are, how much they are going to cost "them" and no regard for how much they have already cost the American and European Middle Class, which is now the poor, homeless, jobless and bankrupt because of their personal and corporate greed. And the MSM is not actually telling us anything we don't already feel in our respective "guts". They quote the institutions when they say things are getting better, but we know they are shilling for the corporations who pay their bloated salaries.

The Pakistan floods were pretty altering, as I saw what the people of Pakistan were going through on the news. I also thought the oil spill was pretty catastrophic. However, today I am mourning 9/11, which is obviously a big event in history.

I think the flotilla incident impacted greatly because I was in a very anti-sematic city when the incident happened so I feared for my life.

The baby steps forward on equal rights for gays and lesbians. Although I'm straight, I have many gay/lesbian friends and family -- and I believe strongly that they have the right to form legally recognized relationships in our society. They have the right to build their own families and enjoy the privileges that straight couples seem to take for granted.

This year, terrorism came to my former employer and the guy holding the gun was a white and the crazy ideas in his head were from a well known conservative talk show host. Thankfully, he was apprehended by the police shortly before shooting us and another nonprofit. What was our trespass? We started a program to create 'green' jobs. Really, that's it. We're a bunch of peace loving nonprofit people. But he had a gun and was on his way to our office to kill anyone affiliated with our charity. If he had done his homework, he would have known that I was the lead staffer on that project. He came for me. My grandfather was a union organizer in the 1950's. He was threatened and had guns pointed at him. But it was always a local operating in the shadows. Now the incitement is at the national level, and being agitated by a publicly traded media company. George Washington said, "to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens." I am ashamed that the brilliance of our founding fathers is being twisted into hateful and divisive actions. I am scared that our country is too big of a family to stick together.

The earthquake in Haiti reminded me of the vulnerability of that country and the great work done by people like Paul Farmer to bring equity to vulnerabilities.

I hate watching the news because it depresses me. There was a man who was shot dead for no reason just outside his house during his daughter's birthday party. The poor girl watched her dad die on the day she should have been carefree and celebrating. The whole family was thrown into mourning with no reasonable source of closure. How do you get over that? Things like those are what make me grateful for my family and friends... the things that remind me to be as loving as possible and make sure everyone in my life knows how much I care about them... even if it's sometimes hard to communicate it.

Everything that has happened in politics and the economy has effected me.Im 14 now,and ive emersed myself in what is going on in the world.When the presidential election was going on,i only listen to the good things about obama,2 years later,i realize he hasnt really done much.Nothing has became worse,but nothing better.I understand though,because having bush as a president ruined so many things about america.Obama cant fix 8 years of corupted government in 4 years

answering this question on 9/11 is eerie. Oh let me see- we are so inundated with terrible news all year long it's hard to pick just one. Also being a social worker, it can blur a lot of negative things into one. The law passed in Arizona this year regarding the "control" of immigrants was pretty embarrassing for the entire country. Being in Israel and actually seeing where two Israeli soldiers were shot and killed just days before was also pretty moving. Even if it was just a moment- experiencing what Israelis go through and experience to live in their country is an incredible thing. What strong people.

As a life-long practicing optimist, this year has taken a psychological and emotional toll. I hang on to positive energy with my fingernails! But the earthquake in Haiti and the BP spill seems to have shaken me loose. Then, hit again by he flooding in Pakistan, people seem to become numbers of deaths and lives ruined. Sometimes it feels like we drift along in our lives while mayhew ensues. It gets more difficult to remain optimistic.

Universal Health Care Reform being passed in the US was a huge step in the right direction.

The continuing deterioration of Israel's good will in the world causes me concern. The change of textbooks in Texas, shows a growing dominance of Christian right wing philosophy that does not bode well for anybody. A group of people who cultivate and extol ignorance are growing in influence and spreading like a cancer.

Hm, I don't really care about the world, but if I have to pick one it would be the economical crisis. It affected me through my family in a bad way. :)

The oil rig that exploded in the Gulf and proceded to gush 1000's of gallons of oil out into the ocean every single day until BP got it plugged up. The people in New Orleans, Florida etc. were so hard-hit by this. I think the worst part of it was how the president of BP acted Like he couldn't be bothered to a degree. I guess it just brings home more the fact that this world is so caught up in consumption that we destroy the world to get to what we want.... people, land, animals....

The controversy over having a Muslim community center near Ground Zero is a testament to how much trouble this country is in. It's like putting Japanese-Americans in camps during WWII. Another ridiculous demonizing of "the other" that we'll end up apologizing for years from now.

The big old spill in the gulf. It reminded me that we should be looking for ways to better protect our environment. The toll of that spill is ever increasing. The loss of marine life. The damage it's doing to entire ecosystems may never be undone. It's very sad to me that human greed and laziness led to such a disaster. As Americans we are outraged, but I believe it's mostly outrage because it was a foreign company. If they company wasn't foreign, I believe there would have been less backlash.

The Iranian election protests made me really appreciate our freedoms here in the States. I tried to follow the news as much as possible, but as with most international news here, it was overshadowed by something that wasn't as important politically.

The Gulf oil spill. I have felt both angry and frightened of this disaster. At the same time I have been hopeful that it would be a wake up call, while realizing that it probably won't be, not to the American consciousness anyway, not in any meaningful way, not in a way that really motivates people to do something different. It has occurred to me that perhaps this is a perfect world, as fucked up as this world seems to be. I've realized that when we finally destroy ourselves, taking a vast numbers of other species along with us, that the earth will grow back. It will be a completely different earth just as the earth now is a completely different earth from when the dinosaurs roamed. As the spill continued and my realization grew that the American public would only care about this for as long as it was in the news, my inner worry grew. I asked a friend what he thought and because he is a wise man he said FEAR NOT. I'm taking his advice.

Only natural disasters, and only to the extend that some of them affected other humans.

The Yankees winning the World Series doesn't seem like such a big deal, but it was for me. Not a lot has gone right for me recently and at the very least I have that to hold on to. Theres a reason that I get so emotionally involved in sports and its because its sometimes all that I have really got.

The economic decline of the USA over this past year has definitely affected me. People have lost their jobs and have been unable to find new jobs - especially people in my age bracket. I've seen the value of my house hit rock bottom at $55,000.00. Unbelievable. We'll now be very, very grateful if we can get what the house was worth ten years ago, when we list it next month. I've seen the Stock Market drop to the lowest numbers since the Great Depression. I've watched the interest rate on my savings account drop to 1.5%!! Businesses I've been familiar with for MANY years have gone out of business. (Mervyn's was the biggest shocker.) And so many banks have closed their doors! I wonder if Americans will ever again be as flush as they were before this recession.

I honestly can't think of a world event that has really impacted me, although I think the downtown of the economy has made me more stressed and worried about the future. Here's something: my best friend was deployed to the war in Iraq for nearly a year. I really missed him and am so glad he is back. I didn't realize what a grounding effect he has on me. Spending time with him has already made me see the world a little differently.

People protesting the building of Mosques here in America. This makes me feel sad and somewhat angry to learn that here is so much hate in people's hearts that they can't tell the difference between terrorist and peace loving people. Part of the foundation of this country is religious freedom for all.

The earthquake that hit Chile on February 27. I'm chilean and, even though I consider myself pretty lucky compared to oh so many other chileans, my family suffered from seeing my grandmother loose her home. On the bright side, we are all OK. The suffering the earthquake brought to my country is still seen and affects each and every one of us.

Seeing all of this hatred pouring out in the name of Christianity is making it harder to keep my faith in the resiliency of our country. It seems that over my lifetime, when John Birchers were so on the fringe, that that extreme and rigid way of perceiving the world has become mainstream. I see people touting the sacrosanct Constitution (that they alone know what the framers intended) and yet talking about dismantling all parts of it they don't like, like civil rights and the commerce clause and even the definition of citizenship. I see some prominent and actively hating Christians live without even lip service to the Sermon of the Mount. It seems that the information age has magnified extremism to the spotlight where it is fallen upon by enough people (who then gorge on it) to create what feels like a national wild beast. I am really worried for my grandkids. I am passionate about preserving democracy for the people of this country. I will continue to struggle to stay positive and contribute and hope that the pendulum swings back toward rationality and the Sermon on the Mount, ie heart, but right now it is tough to have faith in that.

A judge ruled that Prop 8 is unconstitutional and while the fight isn't over, it's a good start. It makes me hopeful for our future as an accepting and inviting country.

The amount of drama that surrounded the health care debate, really surprised me. Seeing elected officials and "well-educated," Americans believing crazy lies and falsehoods, and not debating actual facts. It made me doubt my faith in government to be rational, civilized, and sane.

Back in May, I experienced Anti-Semistism first hand in my life with my own eyes. It is one thing to read about it in the history books, read about it in biographies from people who lived through the Holocaust, and it's another to hear about on the History Channel. However, when you experience it first hand with your own eyes and see it with your own ears, it really changes your perspective on the world. It also makes you realize how cruel the human race is towards each other and wish the world would be a better and more peaceful place. I wish our politicans would get off their high horses and do something about this.

The political situation surrounding the building of the Ground Zero Mosque and subsequent backlash from that (i.e. the "pastor" in Florida planning a Q'uran burning) has been quite frustrating as a follower of Christ. While I don't agree with the establishment of the Mosque at Ground Zero, it's more out of sensitivity for the New Yorkers who do not wish to have it in that place, not out of disrespect for religious freedom. In that same vein, I am extremely upset at the man in Florida who wishes to display his religious superiority by burning the text of another religion. Whether I believe they are following truth or not is not the issue. What IS the issue is that we were all created with the freedom and liberty (especially in America) to follow the path we choose. It's what makes us different from every other being in the universe. The fact that this man is choosing to disrespect another human by destroying that which is held dear is the lowest form of humanity on display.

The oil spill in the gulf turned out to be one of the most thought-provoking subjects discussed in the journalism class I taught. Students were so engaged in any activity we did that involved the oil spill and it turned out to be a way to get them to care about knowing the news, a value I was happy to foster in them before watching them graduate high school.

The Haiti earthquake. The level of devastation was indescribable. The level of pain, the amount of loss endured. It made me appreciate what I had, but also made me feel much closer to my fellow human beings, in a way that I might not have anticipated, insofar as it really motivated me to lead a meaningful life.

The growth of the tea party reminds me how alienated I am from so much of American society and how isolated I feel from so many of my fellow Americans (and how little I may have in common with them). And that makes me sad on so many levels...

Today is 9.11, and even though it marks the anniversary of something that didn't happen this year, I find I am...at a loss to remember anything else. It reminds us that this year we have not come closer to global peace, and that we still have trouble reaching out hands of friendship to one another.

The Rwandan election. I spent this summer leading up to the election in Rwanda with some people who have become family. My fear is that the progress that was made will somehow crumble and dissolve into civil war or worse.

President Obama being president of the United States has set an excellent example of how to fight for what you believe in, against all odds. Healthcare reform for all is in place in the US and that is huge. I have also learned through observing his leadership, that I must not be impatient and expect miracles to occur in a hurry. Being consistent, thoughtful, logical and measured is not who I am always, but I see results with Obama, which come in small steps. The economic collapse was not his doing, and seeing that we are slowly, very slowly getting healthier is quite reassuring. I hope the rest of the country don't get so impatient that they vote for the empty promises party, which got us in this terrible mess to begin with.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico really upset me because it seems that it could have been stopped way before it was. I also do not think drilling undersea is a great idea, oil-spills in the water not only affect the ocean but sea life, birds and the environment as a whole. We already have a problem with global warming, which is scary, why make it worse? Not to mention I love animals of all kinds and to see them suffer due to man's stupidity and careless and greed makes me sick.

So much of global events in the last year makes me despair - the war in Iraq, the plight of North Koreans, Afghanistanis, Gaza Palestinians, Tibetans, and the regressive government in Canada. The last, but not least, the global recession. The recession hit me hard because I moved here to the US from Canada just as the economy took a nose-dive. It caused, at times a seemingly irreparable rift from my husband, whom I moved here to marry, because of the financial burden on him when I couldn't get a job. But then not being able to do so is leading me back to my childhood dreams. If the money is crap all around, then I'm going to do what I love most. No matter what anyone thinks of me, I'm the most accountable to me and responsible for my own happiness.

I think that "World Events" tend to impact me more indirectly. For example, a different president/political party is in power, so the people around me that are on the left complain less, and the people around me on the right complain more. My whole life, presidents and parties have come and gone, my life seemingly not changed directly by who is in power. Though I am effected by the atmosphere around me. Eight years of complaining from the left, now we start a new season of complaining from the right. But how much is really changing beyond our perceptions and our attitudes? I can't really think of any "World event" that has impacted me, I guess if there was something that did, it must have not impacted me that much because I don't remember it.

The econmic conditions threw meout of a job and into a new way to work. It also gave me the new opportunities that I work in now. I have stareted over at 50 (now 52)years of age I am scared and resentful and energized and liberated.

The deaths of four "settlers" including one pregnant women so close to Rosh Hashanah and the news media's callousness towards it has made me realize how much we need Hashem's help.

The way the US is being dragged down is making me crazy: Obama, his narcissism, hatred of America, and his refusal to supply a birth certificate; the embrace of islam and the rise in anti-Semitism; the idiots in NY and the mosque of the conquest at Ground Zero. Before, I didn't really care about politics and didn't worry about America. May God protect him - that SOB pretender as a martyr is the LAST thing we need. All that being said...the event that will impact me will be the November elections: if we don't turn it around quickly, it'll be too late.

The general election in Britain finally happened after we were cheated out of one when Blair resigned. It made me more politically conscious after I did lots of research into the different parties' policies and watched the first ever party leaders debates in Britain. Unfortunately the wrong party won but I hope that the next election will be all the more positive for the Liberal Democrats, if they manage to push some of their ideas through in the coalition.

The Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While I have not personally touched, or been touched, by the oil, I know that it has deeply affected the waters of the Gulf and the entire chain of life there - from the microscopic life forms, to the year's spawning of fish, shrimp, and other aquatics and on up the food chain. It is a horrible reminder - perhaps needed once a generation - that our relentless consumption of fossil fuels hurts the Earth - and we will not be able to escape the effects of our own actions.

The visit of my brother who lives in New Zealand. I did not expect that he would ever visit me at my home in WA state

Oh goodness, so many, and at the same time, none. I worry about the world until I simply cannot, anymore. I've been effected by every human rights violation, by the economic crash, but the political stalling in Congress, by my loss of faith in the political system.

The BP Oil Spill has greatly affected me this year. It's amazing to see how many people would be negatively impacted from one mistake. It's also amazing to see how many people help those who are in need, as well as the wild life that have been affected.

The economic downturn affected me in the sense that I suffered a pay cut, loss of hours at work and had a difficult time finding a new job. Now I'm working two part time jobs barely making above minimum wage.

The fact that Iran now has nuclear capabilities and that Russia is overrun by fires.

The Gulf Oil spill had a huge emotional impact on me. Having gone to college in New Orleans I know first had how beautiful the city is and how much its economy relies on seafood. My heart hurt for all the people whose lives and incomes were affected by the spill. In the face of Katrina and the lagging economy it was another harsh blow for the people who live there and rely so heavily on the Gulf for their livelihoods.

Among many events, the death sentence by stoning sentence of women in Iran brought to my attention the brutal laws we still have in the world, not counting the many brutal unwritten laws no one even does anything about, and the many world public injustices that go unpunished. On the other hand of our controversial human nature I rejoice with the world's efforts to save the miners trapped 700 meters below surface in Chile.

The earthquake in Haiti and the resultant conditions for the Haitian people, many of whom already lived in extreme poverty, had a big impact on my understanding of my priviledge as a white woman from the middle class. I've stopped relating to the "poor me" syndrome and moved to the "lucky me count your blessings" state of mind.

The economy has particularly impacted our horse boarding and lesson programs but at least we still have a roof over our heads, can buy gas and groceries and feed the horses. We are better off than a lot of people the world over.

The oil spill in the Gulf was a huge event that continues to have world-wide consequences. It shows us that we cannot let companies go unmonitored and have to hold them responsible for the consequences of their actions, accidental or not.

The volcano eruption in Iceland, the earthquake in Haiti, flooding in Pakistan: "natural disasters" that were unnatural in their intensity. The BP oil spill: a man-made disaster that the press did everything to keep quiet so as not to damage Obama.

Obama's election. As an old civil rights champion from early times, it was an incredible moment, very unreal. He does not walk on water, but he's fairly smart and calm and has broken a huge barrier. While there is a camp that believes slavery was our fatal undoing and that our future will never recover, the possibility has become real and that is amazing and while the racism and hatred are frightening, they are out in the open and we can look at them and i hope deal with them.

It's difficult to say what event in the world over this past year has directly impacted me. There are countless things that indirectly impact me in one way or another. For example, the ongoing conflicts overseas have pulled a number of close friends in the military to support such efforts -- whether they agree with the reasons that our country is involved or not. Or, there's no doubt that the massive oil rig catastrophe down in the Gulf of Mexico, the passage of major health care legislation, and the earthquake in Haiti haven't had some form of indirect impact on me. Or, to an even more extreme, the fall from grace of Tiger Woods or the loss in the NFC Championship Game of my beloved Minnesota Vikings have had some form of emotional implications as well. But, living in the midwest, often far away from the world's crisis and triumphs, the closest I come to experiencing any event is through the Internet, print media, or television. For this reason, as I reflect on it now, what really surprises me is how seemingly detached from the rest of the world occurrences I have felt in the past year. I've played little, if any, role in world events. Most of it is surreal occurrences flashing across a screen or page. I imagine that I'm not the only person that may feel this way in our small corner of the world. From this reflection, I realize it's time for me to have more of a *direct* impact in things happening in the world; whether responsive to crisis or celebratory in triumph, there must be something that I can do to make the event truly have an impact on the lives of those of us that may be far removed from the actual event...

The earthquake in Haiti. It didn't directly impact me, but it was a vital reminder of so many things---the poverty that most of the world lives in, the riches that families have that have nothing to do with money, the blessing of living in America and how proud I am of our willingness to help others: we may not do it perfectly, but in seasons such as that, the American spirit of generosity never fails to make me proud!

One of the biggest events in the world this year, was Michael Jackson's Death. I was not sad, when It happened. I just got a chance to appreciate his music a little bit more. I guess when he died, he stopped becoming the butt of all jokes, and people actually realized that he had beautiful music.

We have a African American President; our first. An idiot religious zealot threatening to burn the Koran on Sept. 11th. The seemingly impossible real estate market. So many things really. It seems that alot of people are out of work, and it is a scary, daily, reality. I think the biggest of all though, is the ever growing religious intorerance.

I think the fact that the economy is falling has greatly effected me because it limits me in school by cutting electives in school. It makes choosing a career harder because i cannot experience everything fully.

I think two events impacted me. First, the earthquake in Haiti. It would have been hard not to be saddened by this incredible devestation, but it felt personal to me because someone I know was in the process of adopting a child with special needs from Haiti. Luckily he was okay and she was able to go through an expidited adoption. It made me really pay attention to this story, and put my own problems in perspective. The other was the incredible intolerance shown with the proposed Islamic Community Center in NYC near Ground Zero. It made me even more committed to religous freedom, tolerance, and separation between church and state.

The economy has impacted me this year. It seems like prices are going up, the price of milk is ridiculous. I am trying to save and eventually buy a house but if things don't start getting better I think that dream of mine will never happen.

I'd have to say the current Middle East peace talks. I must be more of an optimist than most but, with 2012 coming and all that, I have a true belief that maybe this is the time.

A world event that impacted me was the earthquake season that rocked all corners of the earth. While I was not connected to any of those events, I participated in many fundraising events to support those who were. These included food fasts, lockins, and sales to raise funds and awareness. The work that was done was powerful and impacted me in an amazing way.

An already occurred event is the signing of the health care reform bill. It's only a small step in the right direction; good health is a right, not a privilege. The health 'insurance' system in America has been bothering me for a long time and now we're on the road to health justice. Now that direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have resumed I am hopeful they will agree on a 2-state solution. If that happens it will be the most important event for me this year. Peace and Justice in the Levant always hangs over my head.

Has not happened yet, but the bitches are rising GST to 15% on the first of October, thats going to have an impact!!!

The economy, in my country (because I'm not from the U.S) the president.... which the economy in my country is a big consequence of the president. It has been really hard, many people are losing their jobs, and you have to fight to stay in yours. I'm not going out as much as I used to and I'm giving up some luxuries.

The Gulf oil spill was a horrible event to watch happen. Unfortunately it's probably STILL not much better, it just hasn't been getting as much media attention as before. Things like this have really pushed my decision to study to be an engineer and hopefully fix some of the stupid mistakes people have made

The Gulf oil spill was such a tragedy on so many levels exposing corporate greed at the expense of a way of life for not just people of the region, but also for the wildlife and natural habitat. I had hoped this would be a wake-up call, but it seems like it will fade into the background like so many other important issues.

No event in the world has impacted me to my knowledge because I don't know about events in the world. I am very uninformed about current events. I know every detail about things that interest me, but don't work to gain any worldly knowledge. I get info from facebook and oprah radio.

Prop 8 starting its trek up the federal court system.

It's hard for it not to be the recession that has had the biggest impact. Even though I haven't been affected directly by it, I saw the effects across the globe. I felt ashamed, disappointed and let down by our governments and the banks. These are the people who we voted or have allowed to manage our financial assets and they have just used us as toy.

The death of a relative. It showed how far our families have drifted apart and its just because of words uttered by emotion. And we know that emotions are unstable. But its all we have.

When the entrance sign of Auschwitz was stolen. I had visited the concentration camp only a month before. Even though the sign has since been recovered, it is in pieces and will never be the same. The opportunity to enter the gates and experience that sign "Work Will Set You Free" as my ancestors saw it was an experience that will forever haunt me and that others may not people able to have.

The unemployment rate has skyrocketed at the same time I'm ready to rejoin the workforce! I guess another challenge was necessary for me.

I can't really think of anything. I don't watch the news or really stay on top of things like that. My world has shrunk.

I think the BP oil spill impacted me. For the first time in my life I really questioned the relationship of big business and politics. I wish more action was taken by our politicians to manage this disaster and prevent future disasters of this magnitude because it is clear that big businesses can't be left to police themselves. Between the oil spill and our food supply constantly facing one contamination crisis after another I am left wondering why more people aren't angry and demanding better stewardship?

Wow What hasnt. I think that the economy and the continuous downfall of our way of life is by far the most important event of the past years and also the reason why I believe that we are less civil to each other, why racism and sexism and homophobia and xenophobia are rising. We need to get this country back on track and unfortunately the Obama haters wont allow that to happen. It saddens me

Oil spill in the gulf makes me further concerned about the future of the people in the Gulf - the nefarious influence of corporations - despondent - pessimistic - but more firm on need to continue working for "people power" Also reminder that such catastrophes happen frequently in "third world" countries with people's homes, environments, health, sense of place, way of life destroyed with little or no attention or recompense ...

The economy this year has driven me and my family quite a bit. The daycare center where I work has lost families because they've lost jobs; my husband's business, while still going fairly well, hasn't been unaffected. I have been extremely fortunate, as I am still working, but friends of mine have been out of work for a very long time now, and I hope this all evens out soon.

Although the huge earthquake in Haiti happened last year, the relief effort carried onto this year, so I hope it counts! As a member of the Rosenort School Student Council, we decided to help with the relief work in Haiti, and organized a community wide fundraiser. In that fundraiser, we made around $2000, which is a lot to make in one night in a tiny town many miles away from Haiti. It showed me that I should be thankful for the community I live in, and not take the kindness of strangers for granted.

I can't say that the earthquauke in Haiti has affected me in a negative way, but it was wonderful to see how many countries banded together to help the people there. I just wish that we could find a resolution to the terrorist situation and let all of us go back to living our peaceful lives before 9/11. Despair and heartbreak will always be close by when natural disasters hit...it's when things could be different ,and evil lurks outside, that is hard to take.

The continuation of the banking crisis meant that even the lowest paid employees of banks (I) suffered. I don't think I deserve to be lumped in with the millions-earning twats that play with money, I'm just trying my best to do my job and their fuckups mean that I don't get the meagre rewards I deserve. I truly hate my job.

I am eating less meat than ever before. I love our president and always want to come to his defense when people criticize. He inherited a bag of shit from the republicans who broke the country and possibly the world. I hate that people aren't more patient with him and that the racists and christian conservatives are so senseless. I am moved to tweet and facebook about global issues. Not about my petty life. Iraq made me feel I get to have a say. Having been there opened my eyes to the horrible nightmare we're in over there.

The down turn in the economy has effected the number of available jobs, which has impacted me. The continued conflicts in the Middle East have caused me to be very aware of violence against women globally. This has made it such that this is something that I want to work on as a major part of my life. On a larger scale, I am so proud that our country elected Obama as president. What I would like for the future is for the two warring parties in this country to put aside all of the hate talk and actually work on the things that are good for the people who actually live and work here. Many of Obama's campaign promises/issues could come to fruition if the political rancor were transformed from distraction to interaction.

The trapped miners in Chile - absolutely horrific situation and I wish I was able to help them more.

Extreme right wing Geert Wilders party PVV booking a major victory in The Netherlands elections. I'm embarrassed to be Dutch right now. We live in a country where we have incredibly high levels of comfort, luxury, social security, safety, FUN, possibilities to grow (I'm 35 and studying at university) etc. The financial crisis has largely passed us by (as compared to the US for instance). Yet an increasing number of fellow Dutch citizens doesn't see it this way but feels unsafe and insecure and is looking to solve these feelings by voting for a hardline maniac who is preaching hatred and is making me so so very sad. I feel quite powerless in the face of this national bad mood, but the only thing I can do is live as righteous, fearless and hopeful as I can and talk to people and try to spread a more positive vibe, show a different, happier outlook on life.

I suppose the last combat troops withdrawing from the Middle-East. I'm not American, nor do I even have any relatives in any form of army, but to me that signified a change, a coming of peace. The start of a new era. Similarly the over-throwing of Proposition 8 in California. That too is a massive signal of times to come, of an ever-growing inching towards equality and freedom.

I've been finding through these questions (only 4 so far) that I'm not living a full enough life. Now I have often been proud of how unaffected I am by world events. If these are life's biggest questions I don't have a life. Nothing in the world impacted the way I live my life. Deal with that 10Q.

The BP oil spill -- what are we doing to this wonderful planet where we live -- how arrogant we are. I am continuing to be more aware and committed to understanding we live with the planet and others...the planet is not here to serve our reckless choices. In one speech Alan Watt said like an apple tree "apples" the earth "peoples"...did you ever see an apple abuse the apple tree!

The floods and fires that are connected to our wastefulness and lack of care for resources has made me much more aware of what I eat, and how much I waste. I now eat very little meat and try to be aware of ways I can conserve more.

The global financial crash didn´t impact, but it just confirmed something I´been having in mind for the last 15 years or so: the capitalism-monetarism system is over and is no longer viable. I don´t know what human kind will come up with if we are to last as a specie living in harmony with planet and with each other.

Haiti was CRUSHED by a friggin' earthquake. I think that's a little bigger than United States politics. An entire country devastated, countless losses... Cannot even begin taking being a safe U.S. citizen for granted, after that.

Nothing I hate to be rude but these questions are kind of buming me oot

The sinking of the South Korean naval ship really made me think back to my home country and how the threat of our northern neighbour still exists. I realize there's still a bit of debate over whether or not N. Korea actually sunk it, but the fact is that it's scary just thinking that they're capable of such things. I wish the world would pay more attention to the two Koreas, instead of pushing it aside like an idle threat.

The recent speech in Washington by Glenn Back in the same place and on the same date as the Martin Luther King speech. It just proved to me that nothing in this world has any real meaning except what any individual or group attributes to it. Things can be viewed as either sacred or profane and both views are equally right and equally wrong. Nothing is "one way or the other," as long as there are at least two points of view. Attention is everything.

The economy failing to pick up. My husband lost his job and even though he is smart, hardworking and creative he is not even getting interviews.

The ongoing budget crisis in California has greatly impacted the schools, which means my daughters' schools continue to struggle, their teachers are threatened with pay cuts or layoffs and class sizes are going up. Also, cuts to early childhood education mean it will be harder for me to find a new job with my new graduate degree.

I've never really payed attention to events in the world, mostly because I'm young and I've been worrying about myself. But this summer, two of my friend's moms were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and it made me realize that everyone is affected by this war that we shouldn't even be having. We're America, we're supposed to be the country of freedom, but we're forcing ourselves upon other countries and making them see that their ways, ways that they've had for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, are wrong.

The premiere of Lady GaGa's music video, "Bad Romance", sparked something in my mind and lead me to become a complete and total GaGa nerd. In discovering her, I've discovered myself and learned to lose the negative self-conscious behavior that used to be a huge problem for me.

The gulf coast oil spill made me very sad for the wildlife and the mess. It made me think about taking responsibility for the messes that I have made and admit to them readily instead of trying to shift the blame onto someone or something.

For actual world events, I think the rise of the Tea Party and rogue and I think dangerous Republicans has definitely effected me. I have more time and I guess desire to follow the economy and politics and it's a bit scary. It's crazy that now George W. is being considered almost a moderate Republican and is being looked to for good things he's done (religious tolerance as one), when just a little more than 2 years ago he seemed on the far right (as far as politicians with power), and it didn't seem like it would get worse, and now it has. I fear for our individual freedoms and the state of our union down the road.

The economic problems the country is experiencing have personally effected me. Air fares have risen so much that travel to overseas destinations is almost out of the question. We might have traveled to Europe this year but didn't feel like we could afford it. May try again next year but don't imagine prices will moderate much by then.

The collapse of the Chilean mine has impacted me just recently this year. When I found out that 33 men were stuck in a small, enclosed space underneath the earth, it took all my strength not to cry for them. The collapse of the mine has impacted me in a way that has had me re-evaluate my life, noticing that though life may seem like a bitch at times, I have it pretty good: I have family, friends, a comfortable life, and the knowledge that I would never have to enter a mine, and this has humbled me a bit to where I don't have a show of pretentiousness about me.

i feel as though there have been many world events that have only slightly impacted me and i feel as though they should make a larger impact on me, or i should at least know more about them. for example, the oil spil, the war on terror, the gaza-israel conflict. i feel like i should know more about them and should learn about and from them.

I can't think of a world event that has impacted me, other than the usual sadness & anger about the wars, & sorrow for those who live in hunger & poverty & disease, & those whose lives have been destroyed by natural or man-made disaster. I thot the oil spill in the Gulf would impact me because my partner of 8 yrs who is an environmental scientist was possibly going to get to do remediation on the shorelines----but he left me a week after the spill, & I haven't heard from him since.

I guess I'd have to say the economy. I was directly impacted in that I got laid off. I could now connect to the stories about unemployment and job search -- something I hadn't had to think about so personally. It was kind of weird to be part of the % of people out of work.

El crecimiento de la inseguridad en el país. Me da tanto miedo ver tantas muertes y pensar que ya nunca podremos salir a la calle como antes.

The frequency and magnitude of natural events that devastate nations is scarier to me than ever before. Even if we had access to unlimited funds we can't fix things like the results of the earthquake in Haiti or floods in Pakistan quickly or easily.

the opposition to the mosque near ground zero in manhattan has made me really think through my biases about moslems. is it islam we're at war with? is islam inherently violent? why don't we burn a radical moslem book instead of the koran? the bible has lots of violence and bad values in it too... but it can be interpreted. we should be taking a stand against radical islam, not all of islam, right? and against all radical streams, not just those that are moslem in association....

The Chilean miners being trapped underground has prompted my most personal response. It seems to hold symbolic meaning to me. I relate to these men, as their situation represents my own sense of being trapped, awaiting the circumstances that will release me into fresh air once again. I don’t wish to minimize what these miners and their families are dealing with. For me it’s just a matter of finally obtaining work again, crawling out from a pile of debt and the depression it has initiated. My rational mind prays for those men often, and hopes their rescue will be sooner rather than later. But I find I harbor a strange, twisted superstition that our eventual success/recovery is tied together.

I know it sounds silly, but the death of Michael Jackson effected this country in strange ways. At least it has effected how I evaluate the values of the world we live in. Celebrities and athletes are our gods. But we are as fickle with them as our ancestors were towards the gods up in the heavens and in far reaching mountains. The majority of people worship their gods when they are up and things look good, but forget or ridicule them when things are down. We have no loyalty to anyone but ourselves.

The brouhaha around the construction of Park 51, a.k.a. Cordoba House, has had a major impact on me. I've been angered and saddened by the concomitant wave of Islamophobia, which has spurred me to take more action to reach out to Muslims and to try to show that those who profess hate don't speak for the rest of us. Recently I acted as the conduit for donations to a New York mosque whose rugs had been damaged by a drunk man urinating on them in an act of anti-Muslim hatred. 65 people, of many religious traditions, donated over the course of a weekend. It was awesome and humbling to be involved with that.

All the natural disasters; Haiti, the floods in Pakistan and so on, have made me so much more grateful for my own safety in this country and I have realised the importance of volunteer work which I plan to commence in Summer 2011, without people willing to help out, the death rate would be even higher, and we should all give what we can to help people who really are not able to help themselves.

the oil spill. how in the world could we be responsible for creating such a gigantic problem for our world and it's inhabitants.

Recession.Husband lost job but my biz is thriving. It has changed the dynamic in the realtionship but I think it's for the better. Since he is home more now he has finally realised how much I juggle every day between the kids, the house, the business, clients and his family.

The economy has impacted me, in particular, bank consolidation. The lines of credit I rely on for slow times in my business have dried up. Credit cards are allowed to triple their interest rates overnight making a seemingly endless cycle of debt. It's hard to see light at the end of the tunnel.

The BP Spill has impacted my life by allowing me to know my new neighbors in Mississippi, their quiet, non-cantankerous manner, and their firm belief that a divine power has His hand on them, no matter what might befall them.

9/11 even though it happened nine years ago. I watched the film Remember Me this year and really thought about what a catastrophe it was for people and those who were affected. It also made me think about life after death and I am trying to revaluate my faith and reconnect with God.

The planned Islamic center near ground zero revealed the best -- and worst -- characteristics of Americans. It's become one of America's great tests of religious freedom. With the whole world watching, I hope we pass!

Right now the major event I have seen is the speech stating we are ending hostitilities in Iraq. I pray that it is true...that it is not a replay of Bush's Aircraft Carrier Stunt. Supposedly this war has been "Over" for years now.

The rise of Islamophobia, xenophobia, hateful lies about President Obama, fear-mongering, and distortion of reality has made me hold ever more fast to my patriotism, to my belief that "all men [and women] are created equal," my belief in the 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Religion and Religious Expression, and my affirmation of what is written on the Statue of Liberty -- "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." I want my daughter growing up in a free America, with an educated populace, striving together for piece, unity, and to solve together the problems that endager our nation and our world.

The rise of the ultra-right GOP "tea party" really frightens me. Their agenda is so religiously biased and so elitist that it scares me to death. I think the basic rights afforded to me and to all Americans by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are being threatened by these people. As an agnostic and a supporter of women's rights, especially reproductive rights, I am right in their cross-hairs.

The earthquake in Haiti really put life into perspective. We get so worked up over the little things, picking up dry-cleaning, returning emails, going to the gym, etc. And there are kids in the world that are homeless and without parents. Makes my worries seem trivial.

It would have to be the numerous natural disasters that have befallen the planet this year, not least the eruption of the Icelandic volcano in April. All uncomfortable reminders that we are an insignificant infestation in the Universe.

Obama was elected. It made me realize that anyone can make their dream happen. I felt the world shift. I cried. I was so happy. How cool to watch that happen. Everyone was celebrating. The next day I saw IN THE HEIGHTS on Broadway, written by a man in his sophomore year of college, who went on to star in it - and the show's a huge success. If he can do it, if Obama can do it, I thought...I can make a dream of mine come true. I realized I had lots of potential and energy boiling up and needed somewhere for it to spill over. Michael Jackson's death. Made me realize that if someone so iconic, so ingrained in pop culture, can pass away without warning, so can anyone. I didn't realize he was mortal, and it reminds me that anyone can leave this world at any moment. I've started expressing to my loved ones how much I appreciate them, and taking advantage of opportunities. The plane that landed in the Hudson River. The photo of the plane in the water, passengers standing on the wings calmly in a line, cooperating, helping - moves me. Seeing people work together in a crisis like that...knowing that the pilot did an incredible job, the flight crew stayed calm during the emergency, and everyone on board helped, listened, and survived. No injuries. It was amazing. It was refreshing to see a story like that - with a totally positive message - on the news.

Obama being President. This has given me a Great Source of Hope forHealing for our Race and our Planet.

My first thought after reading this question was the earthquake in Haiti. I'm constantly afraid of an earthquake here in L.A. but seeing the devastation of an earthquake of that magnitude in a place with little infrastructure and widespread poverty opened my eyes to the consequences of a real humanitarian disaster. The earthquake occurred while I was reading "Mountains Beyond Mountains" - the story of Paul Farmer, Partners in Health, and Zanmi LaSante. I was so inspired by their work and his fierce commitment to what is right and just in international health care issues. I felt a renewed commitment to my nursing studies and was inspired by a favorite professor who volunteered in a tent hospital shortly after the quake. At the same time, I felt impotent and ashamed of my daily selfish indulgences. I also felt anger at the forces of corruption and injustice that lead to events like this. How can be a better person every day?

The BP oil spill in the Gulf really troubles me. How is it possible that such a giant in that industry was so inept at dealing with an issue they should have anticipated? Just as I expect the commercial airline pilot to get me to my destination safely, I expect an oil company leader to know how to clean up their mess. Instead, thousands of people whose livelihood is based in those waters have to suffer.

I have felt distant from the world this year. I feel like events are in motion, but there's nothing that has changed me or my life. The economy is still bad; there was a terrible oil spill, health care passed, the Republicans still stonewall, the Democrats still dither, and Fox news is still disgusting. But despite the fact that these events will, over time, change my world, for right now, none of those things has truly affected how I live, what I do, or what I believe.

The move of troops out of Iraq and more into Afghanistan. I was happy to see troops leaving Iraq but more and more worried than ever. A friend of mine from high school was deployed to Afghanistan with the latest insurgence of troops. While I am not super close with him anymore I think about him everyday and hope that I won't have to attend his funeral.

The explosion & leaking of the oil derrick in the Gulf of Mexico was very disheartening. I feel for those 11 workers that were killed, but I feel more sad for all the fish in the sea. Dispersants were put into the water to disperse the oil without knowing what the consequences would be to marine life. Even though the media says that things are fine....the well is capped & no longer leaking, & there was not too much impact on sea life, I don't believe it for one minute. They don't seem to realize that all living things are connected in some way or another, & when something like this happens it will have long term devastating effects in ways that we can't imagine. I still don't understand why this tragedy didn't cause an uprising in people to find & work towards alternate energy sources.

The passage of the Healthcare Bill was a collossal mistake. Not because of the law or the changes in how healthcare will be administered in the US, but because of how stupid the political process became during the discussion. The Democrats refused to include the Republican ideas, and as a result had a difficult time getting the necessary votes for passage. It taught me that bi-partisan support on major changes to laws are not only helpful but necessary for proper political support from the citizens.

What most impacted me this year is the situation of the people under the mine in Chile, awaiting for being rescued from that. It impacted me as I identify with how they might be feeling, and their families.There are circumstances in our life which escape completely from our will, as this one. Wish I could do something for that. For the moment, just pray. I think there must be many people in the world praying for them and this situation shows us that we are all One, and that we have to be together in the different problems of our planet...

I think I was impacted by Obama being elected. Because... everyone thought that once he was elected the world would automatically be fixed. Everything would just fall into place and life would be happy again. It has taught me to really be wary of what people promise and what actually may happen

Its kind of sad because I should probably be thinking about the politics--the death of Byrd, the renewed Peace Talks in the middle east, and all that--but really, it was the world cup. It was by far the best time to be underemployed. I spent lazy afternoons with friends, family, and barbeques. I felt good getting caught up in the insanity and the commraderie of it all.

The economic trouble in many countries has been huge - and even in our little place at the bottom of the world, it's had, and is going to continue to have, an enormous effect on our lives. Options are fewer, housing is impossibly hard to afford, and my generation are constantly being told that we have to provide for our own retirement but at this rate we'll still being paying rent and student loans when we're 80. Bah, it's all too depressing. On a more positive note, though, seeing more and more countries (and states within the US) recognizing same-sex marriage has been a beautiful thing, and it gives me hope for humanity as a species. Even though I've got no plans to marry anytime soon, it makes me feel like I'm a full human being in the eyes of the world.

Interesting. Makes me realize how little attention I give to anything outside of my periphery these days. And it used to be quite the opposite - int'l news and power as intrigue. A form of porn for me, really. A distraction... I really don't have an answer for this question.

Two years ago, in Brasil, a five-year-old girl fell of a window of her dad and stepmother's condo and died. Investigators found out later that she was actually punched, asphyxiated and thrown out of the window by her own dad and stepmother. This year, after two years of investigations and trials, they were both finally considered guilties of the murder and were sentenced to a lot of time of imprisonment. As a student social worker so used to see people do this kind of things and don't receive punishment at all, that impacted me on a really good way. I think not just me, but our entire nation (more than 98% of the Brasilian people was aware of her case and begging for justice) felt relieved to see that justice has finally been made to that little girl and that there is hope for righteousness in our country.

Although I have a stable job, I have been effected by the economy in that I have received a paycut, instead of a raise. This has provided a little extra stress for our family, and despite our best efforts we do not seem to be able to get ahead financially. However, the current economy has also encouraged us to reduce our debts, paying cash when we buy things, saving up for cars rather than paying them off.

The fact that aliens have YET to invade, despite all my preparations. *sigh* I guess I'll have to just stuff all my gadgets back into storage.

I think a lot of the Prop 8 stuff in California has impacted me, because it forced me to evaluate exactly where I stand. And it feels good to finally be able to say confidently that I think marriage is okay for anyone regardless of sexual orientation.

The transformation in the economy affected me in such a positive way, a way that gave me the ability to change my entire life! I took time to re-evaluate my life and what I was doing. I have taken risks and stepped out of my comfort zone to begin a business of my own. I am now an entrepreneur with a business that is growing. I have a life that is going in such an unbelievable direction that I am amazed each day that it is mine! Every moment that I can, I thank God for this blessing and my new, better and wonderful life.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico really made me think about the damage I cause to Mother Nature with all the oil I consume with my big car. So, I decided to buy a motorcycle for going to work.

Noise about other people and the right to practice their religion, and where they please to do it. An increase in violence, as some people feel more desperate. No calm voice, from any politico.

The attempt to build a Mosque near ground zero as well as the attempt to burn a Koran Day rocked my world. I wonder what the "right" answer is. I am confused by the fact that all lines have gone far beyond blur. What will become of our freedom, our safety, our way of life?

The 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver. I think that is going to effect me for much longer. The vast amounts of money spent were incredible, and it seems like a waste of time. I never got into the spirit of things, because I couldn't get past the bills. It was harsh that we only Vancouver got a choice on whether or not to have the Olympics, because they weren't the only ones paying for it.

I raised money for the Pakistan flood victims by busking in Oxford with Sol Samba.

The poor economy, and its impact on my town. All the empty storefronts, the homeless infiltaration of Downtown...the heart of the city is dying and I'm living in the midst of it...My partner's family restaurant shut down, and it made it all seem so much closer.

The earthquake in Christchurch, NZ. Having just been there 4 months previously, it was nothing I would have expected. Hope our hosts are OK.

President Obama being elected inspired me and has given me hope. It's great how hard he worked for health care in the USA. I think people who criticise him just don't see how much opposition he faces. I still believe he brings hope for the world!

Negatively - the economy. I was laid off and took another job that I am really not happy with because I was afraid of being out of work. The uncertainty is definitely a real concern as my husband and I attempt tot purchase a home. Positively - Barack Obama's election made me feel a pride in this country and my fellow Americans that I missed throughout the entire Bush administration. For the first time in years I felt optimistic.

Although I have not been touched directly by the poor economy, the war in Afghaistan, the oil spill in the gulf, etc., I am very concerned for the country and the world. I think that generally the quality of life for many has deteriorated.

The rise of the "Tea Party" advocates from the Christian right who feel that "Jesus" should take the wheel of our country & government. I find their bigotry and racial hatred terribly disturbing on so many levels. It would be easy to believe these are all "wackjobs" and if/when the media has found a new focus they will fade away but I find myself fearful that they will gain political power as many people in our country live in fear of loss--jobs, lifestyle etc.

The vicious attacks on President Obama and refusal of parties in Washington and Albany to cooperate with each other has made me quite angry and discouraged. But it has moved me to become politically active again.

A lot of things have happened this year, a big thing was the Immigration Law in Arizona. By no means does this directly effect me because I am not of foreign-descent and do not look it. But becoming a recent native of Arizona and getting to know the people here, but legal and illegal, has really shown me that although our country is becoming overpopulated, by attempted to not let people come in, and deport others based soley on how they look and is a complete violation of our rights. I'm lucky as hell to be white, and for it be noticeable, that doesn't mean it's easy for me all the time, but it's not fair to call this the land of the free and then deny people that same freedom.

In April, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill happened. The whole thing made me so sick to my stomach...so sick of our dependence on oil. But I felt conflicted because it wasn't "their" fault, it was "our" fault...anybody who drives a car shares the blame. Opening the paper day after day and seeing new ideas failing made me so sad. I stopped reading the oil spill articles. My hope was that this disaster would permanently improve the public's attitude towards alternative energy and decreasing our dependence on oil. Unfortunately, that hasn't really been the case. Things really haven't changed all that much, which is very depressing.

this might sound lame, but the world cup had a pretty huge impact on me. It's the first time i've ever been interested/involved in sports. But now, I love soccer. International soccer. for a whole month, my daytime schedule was defined by who was playing who and what matches i wanted to watch.

it's the economy, stupid. and healthcare.

the economic times showed up and i gained peace eventually.

The BP oil spill affected me more than I expected. It made me truly sad and made me think more about our environmental destruction than I ever have. How can it become any more clear that we're destroying our planet and oil cannot be part of our future?

I am fortunate to say that I feel largely insulated from large-scale global political type events, although the recessions might be a good example. I feel like as long as I keep my job (which is never guaranteed of course) the recessions benefits me as it lowers the average level of affluence for members of my peer group (ie educated white 20-somethings). Since I grew up in very modest circumstances I have to admit I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder for having the decadence and prosperity of the 90s rubbed in my face during many years of financial hardship, so in some ways I feel like I deserve to have more success than others, and especially, to have success when many other people, even close friends, are struggling. On the other hand, I do worry about America's long-term decline in prosperity. I already see many examples of members of my generation failing to replicate the lifestyle their parents' (boomers) success garnered them in their childhoods. I do wonder most of all about health care in America. It's been said that's it's expensive because most Americans have all their basic needs met and are thus willing to spend a lot of their income on high-quality (or at least high-cost) health care- a marginal rate of substitution issue. Obviously though the sharp rise in health care costs concerns me, based on the fact that I might have to get my chest worked on again someday, and of course I will always face the possibility of a catastrophic accident/health problem wiping out my entire personal fortune. Bottom line, I can't possibly imagine I will ever be homeless or starving. Most of my money, and most of my concerns about money, come down to arms race issues. Like I joked with my brother, my motivation for getting an iPhone yesterday was about 15% for the added functionality (mobile internet, combined ipod, facetime) and about 85% arms race.

The realization that USA Media is lying about Obama, and many things, as their advertisers are who they want to serve, regardless of the real truth. Sad but true, and one of the reasons that USA Media is shrinking rapidly, and fortunately the New York Times is exposing things like the Rich Men behind the "Tea Party" which is similar to "The Jon Birch Society" of the 1960's.... Google "Media Fail" to get more truth about Media Lies.

No wars, natural disasters or political decisions have really had a huge impact on me (Thank God). The only thing I can think of right now is the passage of health reform and tax cuts. Aside from that me and the world have had little interaction outside of my daily routine.

Elections made an almost racist political party one of the largest of the land. If this party really will govern, I think we have to move to an other country.

The tragedy in Haiti was something that affected me, because it was the first world event that my godsister was aware of. At 5-years-old, she helped to raise almost $200 for the people in need.

The BP oil disaster has made me really fear for our oceans and more importantly, our attitude toward the environment. There appeared to be a great disregard for the ocean as evidenced by the lack of expediency and efficiency in containing the spill. So many people with so few ideas and so little oversight is simply downright scary. I really fear for the world that my son will inherit. Where is our attitude of care and value for the world we are lucky enough to inhabit? We seem to assume that we can do whatever we please without recourse because the ocean is not going to yell at us.

My disappointment that Obama's election hasn't changed the country in the ways that I envisioned and the rising of the fundamentalist right...creepy, is it more than backlash? That Sarah Palin is increasingly popular makes me crazy. When I try hard I can remember Anita Bryant and that the lunatic fringe has often seemed as though it was taking over and from time to time does. Makes it important to support the causes and people that we believe in. Fiddling while Rome burns....who's paying attention to climate change?

I've been appalled by the ignorance of politics that many people have. Many form an opinion without any basis (18% believe Obama is a Muslim, really?), and believe that they have the right to any opinion, no matter how poorly informed or thought out. They think it is okay to announce, as the Gainesville minister did, that they are going to burn the Quran, without considering the possible outcomes of such. They believe that there should be simple and easy answers to the problems that our country faces. I am not as well-informed as I would like to be. I have surely made poor political decisions; nonetheless, I hope that I have made decisions without referring to my pocketbook and my own self-interest. I have tried to use the intolerance I see to remind me to choose--and continue to choose--to be compassionate, wise, and courageous. The Chilean miners--at least their leaders--seem like good models of how to handle pressure well. Could I do as well?

The Statement of Principles signed by many orthodox rabbis detailing how Orthodox Jews should act towards gay Jews within the community. Growing up as an Orthodox Gay Jew and reading the Principles shows the Orthodox community is finally ready to acknowledge homosexuality within the community. These principles were groundbreaking - even though I felt they could have gone a step or two further.

I would say the recession/depression really impacted me this year since it impacted my customers and their ability to pay their invoices timely. This affected some of the orders I received, or did not receive.

The earthquake in Haiti impacted both me and my family. Though we know that Haiti is much closer to the United States and has less resources than Sichuan in China might have, our family learned how location can affect the reactions of people. Of course, people freaked out with hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike in the U.S. because they hit on our home land. Haiti was close enough for everyone to get nervous and immediately begin giving a helping hand to those who lived there and survived the horrible event. What confused me was that Sichuan got so much less aid from the U.S. I heard people casually telling each other, "Oh yeah, some place in China had an earthquake... oh and did you hear what Lady Gaga did this time?" while in the event of the Haiti earthquake more people became lively in the project to rebuild the lives of the people there. Sichuan's earthquake hit a whopping 8.0 on the Richter scale while Haiti was a 7.0. Whether it was because Sichuan had China helping, racism, location, or what not, the differences really opened my eyes and has made me more observant of the United State's choices.

The economy has made it realy tough in Cleveland to find a good paying job. I see it all over the area....the closed down businesses and shops. This area is becoming a graveyard for personal businesses and economic growth.

The economy comes to mind right away. The lack of jobs is really hurting not only me, but a lot of others.

Although this might not be considered a huge worldwide tragedy, I think the death of Michael Jackson affected many people, including myself. I remember growing up and listening to his songs, dancing to them with my mom, etc. We had also planned on going to one of his London concerts. I can't really remember another time when everyone - TV, Internet, Radio, etc. paid so much attention to a single person. Many think he was a bad person who did horrible things to children, but I don't think so. I think he is and always will be the King of Pop - no one can ever match up to him and his talent.

When Jimmy died. He was my idol. Avenged Sevenfold will NEVER be the same without The Rev.

I wouldn't say it affected me greatly, but the BP oil spill has made me a lot more conscious about the effects of human interference in regards to the environment. I want to learn more about eco systems as I learn about Biology further, and I want to travel a lot in the future, with all of these natural parts of the world diminished because of things we as people have control over, I fear I won't be able to experience the world the way I should. So essentially, for my own selfish reasons, that has affected me.

The economic recession. I'm thankfull to have a job and good health!

The Great Recession, most obviously. I work in the film industry and the number of projects produced has been cut by more than 50%, and writing for film has become an almost entirely speculative industry. I fear that what happened to the music industry in the Napster-era is now happening to film.

The BP disaster in the gulf was devastating. Not only was there loss of 11 lives. The general lack of urgency, dismissal of experts and ideas was appalling. It gave me the sense that giant companies can get away with whatever by just paying a few fines and firing thier CEO. I felt anger. Hopeless. Betrayl. Second, passing of health care reform in the US has made me feel hope. Hope for those struggling to afford medication. Hope for the people who have to make a decision between food and medication for thier children.

Not a single event, but just the economic and political situation as a whole. I realized that the Obama Administration (I campaigned for him)is really driven by the interests of the lobbyists and campaign contributors rather than by the people's interest, just like every other administration. This realization and the bleak news everywhere were making me depressed so I decided to 'retire' from current events. I used to be really up-to-date on politics, and world news, etc.., but now I only read about them every once in a while. I even turn off the radio every time political news come up. I just can't take them anymore, and my sanity comes first.

The new health care bill. I don't want it. Yeah, it would be great to have health care available to everyone, but they shouldn't go about it the way they have. If they REALLY want to help people, look at the health care systems of the UK or France and learn off of them. It shouldn't be for the money. It should be for the good of the people. How has this impacted me? I thought there was hope for politicians after Bush left, but now, I've given up hope that there are politicians that do their job for the people, not the money.

A lot of celebrities dying- many of them way too young. All of those teenagers dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. It really put my life into perspective. I try to see what is important and what isn't- my priorities are very different now rather than what they were a year before. Material things don't matter, it's people, once they are gone, they are gone and you can't ever bring them back. I take care of myself way more than I used to. I'm a vegetarian now, and I exercise everyday. I feel better, I look better, and best of all I am healthy.

My initial thought was the Pakistan floods, as we donated to the DEC fund after that and seeing the scenes on television of people with nothing. Makes you humble, grateful for waht and who you have, less materialistic. For a while, anyway.

The Haiti earthquake was an event that impacted me emotionally this year. Watching the news coverage broke my heart. It was wonderful though to see the world come together to help the people of Haiti. It saddens me that it seems to have been forgotten in the main stream media.

My first inclination would be health care reform, although it did not directly affect me in any way, I think it was a great direction for this country. More so then that, what else comes to mind is the great political rift that is occurring between democrats and republicans. I’m not sure when exactly I got more interested in Politics- maybe it was when I came back to LA and started at CSUN, somewhere in there it hit me to care about politics. Since then I really do care about politics and it is disheartening to have a government right now that is at such a stalemate. The American people want quick fixes, instant gratification- they don’t see the big picture of all the things Obama has brought to our country and all he has had to deal with because of the previous administration’s mishandlings. What if Obama came into office and acted like Bush? I couldn’t be happier with the job he’s done- he’s helped American gain respect, got us out of Iraq, reformed our health care system, reformed our banking system, gave people back their rights against those who just want to make money off them. He’s broken stereotypes and divides between nations, he’s brought hope and some financial stability to those affects by the oil spill. He’s done so many remarkable things since he has been president and it is a shame that the Republican Party has decided to be immature racists who want to stop at nothing to see him fail but he hasn’t and they keep fighting. History will look back at his presidency with kind eyes and will blur out all the hate and the ignorance in this country against him. That has affected me, the political divide- it really is unfortunate and there is no sign of things getting better...

The latest outcry over the Islamic Cultural Center in lower Manhattan upsets me tremendously. It has caused rifts in my family, as we divide into those who vehemently support the mosque's mission and believe in freedom of worship, and those who believe that it is a victory for those who attacked the WTC. The divide between people in these two camps is so vast and vicious, and I can't help but be impacted and horrified by my countrymen who blame an entire religion for the acts of a small group of evil people.

The fires around Moscow made me worry a lot about my aunt and cousin who are living there.

The downfall of the economy resulting in lost income. This is a tough time to be in commissioned sales... I am struggling to keep my house.

The failure of the Real Estate market to bounce back has really affect me financially and my ability to get ahead or even be able to handle emergent situations...

Issues on green energy, sustainability and global warming really threw me through a loop, noticing everyday the actions people WEREN'T taking to sustain our planet, makes me very upset. I had some horrible anxiety about global warming. It really makes me question where our country is going.

when the israelis stormed the boats off of the coast of the gaza, i realized how fleeting support can be for my people. I worry that the support of "friends" is not always a sure thing.

The behavior of the Republican party this past year has totally astounded me. The results of the last Presidential election clearly told the Republicans to sit down and shut up; they have, since then, done everything they could possibly do to hold up the process of getting anything accomplished in government legislation. I am by no means a "Political" person; I don't care about politics, don't care much about the rhetoric or the posturing. However, this whole Washington BS session has totally disgusted me. I personally would like very much to see the leaders of the Republican party facing charges of attempting to overthrow the government of the USA.

The economy has certainly impacted my life. At a time when I need a full time job and benefits, all I can find is part time work. I'm picking up all the extra work I can.

Having Obama as president has made me more hopeful, despite all the difficulties. It has made me significantly less embarrassed about our leadership.

Obama's passage of socialized healthcare. The sense and notion that our country is turning to socialism and a greater dependance on government control. Additional disappointment with the obsessive greed of capitalism. The thought that relinquishing more controls to a government run society is not the answer and the disappointment with the institutions of power that profit without social responsibility. All the rhetoric for social change and we have big unemployment, homelessness, men, women & children without hope for basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, training, education, employment. The unsecured borders, the enormous influx of illegals to the country, the enormous waist and fraud destroying our country. The perversion of justice and the constitution of the land.

The economic crises has made everything at work a lot more stressful since jobs have been lost and more job duties have been doled out to less people. Little mistakes are perceived as more severe than they should, which slows work even more. The general atmosphere is a high buzzing stress bomb just waiting to dismantle the division.

I wish that I were more impacted and moved by events that are going on in the world rather than focusing on my own microcosm. Maybe this will be part of my new years resolution for next year, to be more concerned about the world around me. I think that this would help me to keep a better perspective on life...

I saw a video sent through email about pointing the Hubble Telescope into what scientists believed to be a blank space in the sky, with no stars, or anything. What they found was hundred of millions of individual galaxies. That was only one speck in our night sky. My father's comment to me after the video was how argumentative people can be over God and religion, and why us humans think we're so special with our God, when there are clearly an infinity of other planets and galaxies out there, some must certainly be holding life. This has changed my perspective on religion and clarified my beliefs for what happens after we leave Earth.

When David Cameron apologised for Bloody Sunday I sat on the edge of my bed and cried the tears that I could not cry all these years because they were held back by the anger at the injustice.

I can't think of one that has really impacted me. I feel very removed from society as a whole sometimes. Maybe because I feel isolated in the midwest and no longer feel part of a global culture like I did when living in France.

The my eyes were opened to the continued poverty and corruption in Kenya. It gave me a new perspective on philanthropy and aid in developing countries.

The fall of the economy affected me greatly this year. I lost my job early in the year and it took 7 months for me to find a new one. Being off from work meant major changes in everything I did. I missed events because I needed to save the money.

The General Election, mainly just because it's something that affects us all - though my feelings about it were complex and ambivalent. It made me think quite a lot about my political opinions, and the relative importance of different issues I care about... and consider where we are heading as a country. No longer living under Labour was a strange feeling after having spent most of my politically-conscious life in a post-1997 Britain. The Flotilla incident also caused me to reflect about media depictions of current events, confirming some of the things I've thought, and stimulating me to take an even greater day-to-day interest in current events concerning Israel.

After the earthquake in Haiti this January, I didn't know for a long time whether my sponsored child was dead or alive. I had never been emotionally affected by a world disaster before. This made me realize that I do care deeply for my sponsored child. Sometimes I had wondered if sponsoring a child is just a thing I do to feel good about myself, and I was tricking myself into believing I felt anything toward a child who exists in my life only as numbers, a picture, and the occasional scripted letter. I worried for her and I wept for her country. Haiti's tragedy reassured me of my love for my sponsored child and made me examine why I am reluctant to be moved by all of the world's suffering.

We passed health care reform! Even if the vote went along partisan lines, its now on the books for all Americans. By the time I finish my training as a Family Practitioner, a large majority of the bill's initiatives will be in effect, and I will, G-d willing, be someone working on the frontlines to help get those who have long been priced out and neglected by the healthcare system back into regular and routine care.

The forest fires that went on Europe, mainly in Russia and Portugal. They get on my nerves because most of them are all started by man and have such a huge impact on the environment and animal habitats it's just disgraceful.

When I got pregnant I realized that life can be difficult but sometimes there's someone who really needs you. So you have to push through the pain and teasing and freaking give birth to a fetus.

The lack of "change" promised by our administration has soured me on both political parties. It is way past time for Americans to take back their country from the special interests.

The economic collapse and recession has destroyed our businesses.

The court's decision to overturn the ban on gay marriage in California. I've grown up with gay family members and see them as absolutely no different, and it's heartening to see that maybe the rest of the country is starting to go that way too. I believe that this issue is truly my generation's civil rights movement, and I can't believe that a nation of people who speak about "liberty and justice for all" would deny someone the same rights as they themselves are entitled to.

The BP Oil spill has made me consider the environmental impacts of my actions and start to change them. Its lead me to appreciate nature more, but also realize that our materialistic society causes these things to happen.

The flooding in Pakistan...just like when the tsunami hit a few years ago, and when Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast, I am so impressed and scared by the way big water can wipe away the fortunes (mostly small "fortunes", since many aren't insured well, if at all) of so many in an instant. And what's left behind is so odd, and generally so useless! One china saucer will be left whole, in the mud, while boats, cows, houses are swept away. I know people say drowning is an easy way to die, but I would much rather crash and burn!

THe flood in Tennessee and parts of Kentucky (where I live) showed me two things- the resiliency, strength, and determination of people and the fickleness of the media. After watching tons of media surrounding natural disasters in other parts of the world and even our own country, my little area of the world was almost completely ignored. I wasn't even aware that Tennessee had had flooding worse than ours until two days later and I do watch the news daily. We're a strong and silent people in foothills of Appalachia and I suppose that had something to do with it. But I find it sad that people lost their lives and homes and nobody noticed.

The realization that the big food industries are really NOT for us.

I think the Gulf leak had the greatest impact, personally. As I had stated before, I took up swimming a mile a day to heal my shoulder and I think this gave me an affinity and appreciation for anything that moves through water. I know how pissed I am when the pool is a little cloudy, my heart went out to creatures whose home suddenly went noir.

The Chilean Earthquake, because I live in Chile, and I was near the sea when it happened and I was terrified. I was alone in a 20th floor, with my ferrets for company. I was scared that my ferrets would get hurt, that the building would just colapse, that a Tsunami would kill as all... etc I thought that if we had to run away from the sea, I would have to take my 2 ferrets, and run with them... but, could I? they are small and fast, what if they run away from me? what if they are hungry and I don't have food for them? they die if they don't eat every 4 hours! I knew that my parents could take care of themselves, but my ferrets, my little sweetheats couldn't. I was mostly scare for them that for myself. They're a important part of my life, and they depend on me for everything. Of course, I was scared that I would die when I saw part of the stairs on the floor when I was getting down from them... Of course I was cold because I was sleep when it happened and was wearing just my pijamas... Of course I was scared when I couldn't stand on my own 2 feet because of the movement... But it was nothing compared to the feeling when I thought that I could loose them.

The earthquake in Haiti...made me think about the disadvantaged and the fleeting promise of change and reform.

The earth quake in haiti made me think that life can change in a secound ,nobody can escape death

The hung Parliament in Australia made me realise that it is just as important who you put last as who you put first when you vote. It made me think about the sort of future I want for my son and the values I want our country to foster as well as what services we will actually need. I voted differently in this election for the first time.

There is no one event but a series of signs that signal the anger and hate in too many people's mind and heart. As usual, religion has been at the core of so much unrest. Mine's better than your's. Intolerance all around. No respect for the differences between us, rather ignorant fear manifesting itself as a righteous cause. I thought, naively, that we'd passed some sort of threshold when Obama was elected. That was both foolish and wrong. There is no doubt in my mind that much of the unrest in this country is due to underlying mistrust of a black man as president. Racism rearing it's ugly head in overt and subtle actions. All this has brought a sense of disgust and ennui in me and my motivation to act for a progressive agenda. I am generally an optimistic person, but my glass is becoming half empty.

Haiti earthquake. Lost humanitarian friend there January 12th. One of numerous deaths of friends/family this year and in recent past. So difficult to comprehend what seems to make no cosmic sense. So much suffering by the "good guys". Yet I'm now drawn to faith in God more than ever.

Having Obama as President has made me worry for the future of this country more than ever before. He doesn't seem to really know what he's doing. He's all flash and no substance. I hate how he kow-tows to other countries . And I fear that he has no real feeling for the average white American. All in all, he has not proven to be a Head of State in whom we can trust and that scares me.

Due to the economic downfall, I've had to face the prospect that there may not be a job waiting for me when I get out of school. I've spent my life working towards this goal and there's a decent chance that I will be waiting tables for awhile.

The downturn in the economy has change our lives. I was without employment for nearly 2 years and my husband lost his job of 20+ years in March. I was fortunate to be offered employment in June and my husband is reinventing himself. It is a scary time, but exciting at the same time. We are trying to simplify our lives and are realizing what is important to us.

The shooting death of Neda Agha Soltan by the filthy murdering Basij bastard broke my heart. To watch a little girl with a bright future die because some low life was abusing the little bit of power he'd ever have in his crap life made me crazy. To this day I don't even have to close my eyes to see that lifeless gaze. Ironically 'Neda' translates as 'Voice'.

The rise of the Tea Party. I've seen our county in periods of ignorance before, but never before have I've seen hate so powerful be so popular, all in the name of being American. The hypocrisy these people tout would make me laugh if it wasn't gaining power.

The passage of health care reform should have brought me great joy. Unfortunately, Obama's health insurance reform simply puts a bandaid on a bullet hole. I was disappointed in how little it does to address the health care crisis in this country.

Definitely the economy. I had all these plans to go off to a four-year school, and I've held back on so much that I want to do because I want my family to stay financially stable. I don't want them to feel insecure. However, I'm glad it happened, because I love the decisions that have brought me to where I am today. I feel so much more mature.

The earthquake in Haiti, it showed how we can come together to help a country in need, but as soon as the media leaves, so does our attention and the world's attention.

The war in Gaza has greatly impacting my life this year. Working on the Oxford University campus during the event, I experienced how violently such happenings can effect all our lives and the way we interact with each other. Respect for each other can so easily be disregarded under the auspices of political activism, particularly on campus.

Is the downfall of the economy an "event in the world"? I have been greatly affected by that, since I am trying to sell one house, buy and move into a new house, and still keep helping out my children financially. So I've cut down a lot of things (actually, this was mostly positive), but I wanted to provide more help to one of my children who works in a very poor area, and am not able to do so at the moment.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has impacted me more than any other worldwide event this year. I really feel for all of the people whose jobs were lost because of this and all of the people who live in that affected region. Also, I think what's happening to all of those animals and their environment is terrible, and my heart goes out to everyone who is involved in the cleanup. I'm not too pleased with BP at this point, either.

If I may take the question more literally than I suspect is intended, the "world event" to have effected me most "this year" is 9/11 (and not just because this question comes today, on the 9th anniversary). In early 2010 I was privileged to spend some time working on a brand strategy for the new World Trade Center. Central to this engagement was a month-long research programme for which my colleague and I interviewed dozens of people involved with WTC, the majority of whom had been present on the day. Rarely does one's professional life afford such a remarkable and humbling experience. It has deepened my appreciation of - and connected me more deeply to - the defining event of our time.

The earthquake in Haiti and floods in China and Pakistan make it all too clear that some matters are truly out of our control and the intangibles are what are much more important.

This year's general election affected me as it was the first general election that I have been old enough to vote in. I absolutely loved getting involved in what was going on, following the campaigns of the main parties and making up my mind which policies I supported. I chose the Liberal Democrats and supported Nick Clegg's campaign as best I could (best way being having an 'I agree with Nick' sign in my car window!). Even though the Lib Dems didn't win (mainly because of the flawed voting system), the party has still gained power through the coalition government and Nick Clegg is a key part in how the country is run. Following the general election made me feel empowered and made me want to have a say in how the country is run. The results showed that my opinions do matter and that if people stand up for what they believe in, we can make a difference.

The economic recession and all the politics associated with it has affected me this year. It is so scary how Nevada treats education and the affects the economy has had on the state has it doomed. I can't wait to graduate and get the hell out.

The flotilla. This was one of the first times since i've started following israel news that i've seen how quickly the media can blow israeli news out of proportion. i've been reading and thinking a lot about liberal zionism, and i think of myself as one, but i really feel that israel was misrepresented during the flotilla. it makes me worry about how the world perceives israel.

Wow, there have been so many big news stories this year, it's hard to pick. The troop withdrawal from Iraq, the Haitian earthquake, flooding in Pakistan, health care reform... But there were two events that really hit me this year: the Massey mine explosion and the BP oil spill. When the Massey mine exploded in April, 29 men died. They were good men who worked hard to provide for their families. When I saw their wives, mothers and sisters on the news, I sobbed. My heart just broke for those women. Now, it turns out that the mine exploded because of safety violations made by the owners to increase production. What a waste of good, decent lives. The BP rig also exploded in April, and 11 people died. The rig proceeded to gush crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico unchecked for several months. The crude oil washed up into the marshlands, and sea birds were coated in it. When the news released pictures of the oiled birds, again I cried. So far, over 3,000 birds have died from the oil. The people of the Gulf Coast lost their livelihoods because the shrimping waters were closed. Both tragedies should have opened the eyes of the American public to the need for clean, renewable energy, but nothing has changed. Congress couldn't even pass the comprehensive energy bill this year.

I actually had to look up events for 2010. The earthquake in Haiti made me sad but really, life outside myself doesn't really affect me much. I think that's pretty sad.

The arrests at Agriprocessors, and the Rubashkin trial: they confirmed for me that I should try as hard as I can for a vegan diet; animal cruelty seems more important than any ritual observance in becoming more religious. I even found myself avoiding tefillin because the parchments and cases are from animals.

The groundswell of support that the far right wing has been enjoying of late is profoundly alarming and disturbing to me. These people are almost as bad as the terrorists they claim to be fighting against. I find their rhetoric about America needing to get back to its Christian roots revoltin and frightening. It figuratively keeps me up at night to listen to and watch these ignorant people reiterating the racist, bigoted comments of their purportedly "educated" leaders. This type of blind allegiance is what led to the extermination of millions of people in the Holocaust. What scares me that much more is that I don't know if there's a way to reverse the trend.

The BP Oil spill. Though the spill didn't personally effect me it will in the future. Im growing up and will be living in whatever world my parents generation leaves me. The oil spill showed me that maybe that world won't be so great. It was almost like a wake up call. Hopefully people will start to realize how poorly the human population is treating Earth, and take action to protect it.

I am fortunate that I have not been directly affected by the recession, floods, war, oil spill, fire near Boulder, excessive heat, or any of the many natural or man made disasters this year. They affect me indirectly by making me count my blessings.

I would say the event(s) that has impacted me would be the extreme weather that has affected the World. It truly concerns me to think about how these climate changes will affect the World in the years to come.

The thing that's impacted me is that I CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING! I know alot must have happened in the world in the past 365 days, but I can't think of anything that has impacted me. Which means I'm either selfish, or callous, or both... I guess I was just a little absorbed in my own world - a lot has happened to me in the past year.

The global financial crises may have provided me with an opportunity to start a new business. People need new, powerful, and easy to use tools to help them learn new jobs or learn about products and services that can help them save money or make money. I'm going to try and provide those tools through "LearningWeb". I'll be interested to see how this reflection plays out in the next year.

Not really the world, as it was in my own country, but the General Elections this year, as it was the first time I have voted, and the first time I've taken any kind of interest in politics. I became active in finding out about poilicies of the different parties, and deciding where to place my vote, knowing that, for the first time, the new government would have a direct impact on me, as a soon-to-be graduate, and out in the real world.

I lived in Boulder, CO for over 30 years & left about 7 years ago. I know many of the people living in the path of the fire. I'm concerned about their welfare.

Bieber Fever has impacted me inthat it caused me to almost completely reject the pop music scene and go back to my roots listening to indie artists.

This question is hard because the past year was entirely consumed with Poppo's illness and death, and my job. I think that there is continuing disillusionment with Obama. He talked about empowering us, but has not changed the system. Just talk. It's depressing.

There was a meteor shower. At the time I was camping by the sea with my friends, we all stayed up to watch it with hot chocolates/teas. We all got very excited about them and watched them for an hour in the bitter cold! It made me realise all the possibilities of the universe, how something as extraordinary as a meteor shower could exist. Anything could be possible. But also how small and insignificant individuals are in comparison. It also made me miss my boyfriend who I'd been away from for almost 3 weeks at this point. I don't think I could stand it without him, it was bad enough having no one to snuggle up to! It also made me appreciate my amazing friends, even if they used this as an opportunity to make fun of me further.

The recent events in the catholic church in Belgium made me question my religion seriously. How can I still believe if the religion is represented by people who abuse young kids? I concluded that I no longer consider myself a real catholic.

The historic blizzard in Baltimore. It was interesting to be part of a rare and scary weather situation, and see how the city reacted. It brought me and my roommates closer together, and launched my new ritual of actually eating breakfast. :) It was also inspiring to see the city slow down and crime come to a halt while neighbors came together to deal with the situation.

I'm realizing that I'm not that in touch with the world. An event that impacted me is the sinking of the South Korean submarine by the North Koreans. It reminded me that there is still a war going on there and that peace is not likely. I felt concerned about what might be the ultimate outcome of that situation and remembered all the North Koreans who are living below the poverty level. I felt powerless to do anything to help them. I still feel powerless. I know that they are suffering many injustices, but I feel like my individual contribution is worthless. I never realized that I felt this way until this moment.

The BP oil spill. I feel angry that politicians (on both sides of the Atlantic) are so willing to obfuscate the problem for the sake of the oil industry. Watching the oil spill for days into months was surreal. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, dying birds and turtles in our Gulf waters and we're not marching in the streets. Our fatalistic global dependence on oil makes me feel helpless and frustrated. And the drum beats on, the CEOs go golfing and we all get into our cars alone to drive to work. The U.S. needs to step up and begin subsidizing green innovation in a serious way - this is how the oil industry began. We cannot solve this problem maintaining the status quo. Standing still will just lead to more environmental devastation and war.

Well this was a pretty hard year for my country. A plane crashed with our president, his wife, generals, ministers and other but not less important officials. Later there was a big flood in Poland. Then quick elections came and then another flood. Then people started fighting about the cross and sort of everything that they could. I guess because they're tired and frustrated by the amount of national disasters that happened to us in such a short time. That all came with economical crysis that seemed to miss us just until last year started. So this was difficult to go through for us and it affected sorely everyone that has some kind of connetions to Poland. Whether it was in his hearth, or because he had his house destroyed, or he just wanted to do some buisness.

I think being that this is the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it is fitting to reference the attempted building of a Muslim community center a few blocks from the World Trade Centers site. To me, this is so counter to what the United States stands for as a nation. 300 years ago, our men gave their lives to win our freedom to practice as an independent nation. They were willing to do so because they wanted to escape the religious persecution they felt in England. And now we want to target, humiliate and attack other religions in that very nation? It seems ridiculous that that would ever even cross our minds! Florida pastor, Terry Jones went as far as to rally Americans to buy a Koran and burn it today. I find this to be wrong on so many different levels. For one, the message of Christianity is not to attack others, but to welcome and love them. Free will is so heavily emphasized and yet it seems many Christians are not willing to let others exercise that gift from God. I'm not talking about abandoning all evangelical endeavors, but it seems like you would attract more people if you tried to peacefully, gracefully, teach them about your ideas on religion rather than beating and burning them into submission. Secondly, the Muslim extremist groups responsible for the 9/11 Attacks hate us because of our Western ways -- Does Pastor Jones honestly believe that abusing their sacred text is the best way to start mending our relationship with these people? Now you may be saying, "Why would we want to mend our relationship with the evil that attacked us?" but if we don't make an effort to break the cycle, things will only escalate until somebody breaks. This world would be a much better place if everyone took a nice beak bowl of tolerance for breakfast.

The oil well disaster on the Macondo platform which killed eleven men, bothered me greatly. Bigger than the oil spill that occurred was the fact that this could have been avoided if the upper management officials had let the oilmen do their jobs with the proper safeguards and also pressuring them to do the job faster than possible with cheap and unsafe equipment was a contributing factor. This was clearly industrial homicide. Tony Hayward should have been arrested, rendered to a foreign country just like we do terror suspects and tortured until he outed everyone under him responsible for this. I work in the oil industry and see upper level management shenanigans like this all the time.

Obama got elected as president. He's terrible.

During the recent election in Australia both sides of politics were competing to see how conservative and short-sighted they could be. Issues such as the fair treatment of asylum seekers, the proposed internet filter and the lack of any proper policies on the economy and infrastructure for the future got me angry and frustrated. I got involved personally in politics for the first time and volunteered for Get Up! I was suprised at how strongly I reacted to the campaign as I've never felt that strongly about politics before but reflecting on it I can see that over the last few years I've become more concerned about what happens in the world - not sure where that will lead but it should be interesing!

The earthquake in Chile. Experiencing it on the 13th floor of my apartment building was life changing. The fear, the unknown, the aid, the solidarity, the communications, all of it.

The Mavi Marmura incident has a significant effect on me. I had several sleepless nights over it, which messed up my days. I became involved in debating / discussing the facts and media coverage in my interfaith group with Quakers and also with a Muslim freind and in my own family. I also tried hard to understand for myself what the true facts of what happened were. It troubled me that Israel got so much flak for what seemed like a simple act of self-defence. It seemed most unjust. On the other hand, I felt that Israel did not deal entirely straightforwardly with the world in laying out the full facts of the situation. They handled it as a "Defence matter". The Israeli army took possession of all the media (mobile phones and camera footage) and then leaked the bits that suited them. They must have had video and audio of the period just before they dropped commandos onto the deck and chose not to make it public. Do we really know the whole truth? There was some apparent mis-information in an Ha'aretz article in the form of a picture of a Yemenite man with a big knife, that didn't appear to "fit" what it claimed to be. I wrote to the paper about and never had any response.

Listening to people talk about how they perceive individuals from or in other countries or of different religions has made me understand that there is a long way to go before we can even hope to approach a peaceful world. I believe there is still way too much fear in the world, mainly fear of scarcity and fear of each other. I also have come to learn that there are more people than I would have expected actually working for peace.

The earthquake in Haiti and all the suffering people. It reminded me of Katrina, and made me want to help, which I did.

Obama. He claims that he is the "hope" for America, but I don't know if he even knows what that means. I certainly haven't seen anything from him to be hopeful for.

My children have always disagreed with me when I have told them relationships among the races have improved since I was their age. While checking my Yahoo mail, I read a news spot concerning the School Board in Cary County, NC. The idea of sending their children to neighborhood schools, if the demographics had changed in the last fifty years, did seemed reasonable to discuss if not pursue. This is from an outsider who only read a small blurb. But, the tragedy was the comments on the article from other people who had read the article. The comments showed me my children were correct and that my generation seems to have done little to begin looking past their nose.

I guess I will have to say the poor economy has effected my life the most. It hasn't HUGELY impacted me, but since I'm in the restaurant business, we have noticed a decrease in customers choosing to dine out, or when choosing to dine out, they end up patronizing us less. I am grateful to have a job in a business that was hit hard, but I know that we are unable to operate at full speed because we don't have the money to hire people for critical positions that will help us operate more smoothly and make more money in the long run. That was quite possibly the most boring answer I could have given to that question. I'm sorry for boring myself.

The turbulence in the world this year has affected me and made me think about many great questions. There have been so many natural disasters in the headlines - floods, earthquakes, and the like - and it makes me wonder, where will it end? Not to mention political instability - more deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict hot spots around the world. More intolerance, violence and inflicting of harm on other human beings. Political oppression, torture, attempts to enforce one's ideals on others. And it leaves me with the question - why? How can people be so cruel to others who are wrestling with the same struggles of trying to make the journey from life to death, who feel and think and suffer? Are there so few decent people who have empathy with others? Where will it end? Will the dictatorships and 'big brother' societies of literature and film become a reality, and in my lifetime, as the ultimate method of controlling others and gratifying oneself, as methods of information and communication become more and more advanced?

The bigotry and religious extremism and right wing jingoism and lack of knowledge of other cultures particular the irrational fear of all Muslims and the whole mosque situation in NY have caused me to feel extreme dismay about the future of the USA and the principles it stands for

I find that as the rhetoric coming from the far right and far left gets ever more extreme, I withdraw into ever more local concerns. This year I've barely listened to the news. It isn't that I don't have opinions; it's that I don't perceive anyone to be listening. The attempts I've made to stand my ground on nearly any subject have stressed me tremendously. I've got a few subjects on which I've vowed to speak up every time, and I'm true to that, but otherwise I keep my focus as close to home as possible.

Obama has tried to keep to his promised words over this past year. There has been a goal set to end the war in Iraq and to help fix civil rights to allow gay marriage. These are great goals that seem to slowly be coming a reality.

THE ADVANCEMENT IN TECHNOLOGY, THE FACT THAT IN THE PALM OF MY HAND (MY PHONE) I WATCH THE NEWS AND I AM ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH EVERYONE.

The crisis in Haiti was a huge presence in my day to day life. I think it impacted me more as a study of how badly humans behave in the face of catastrophe than as a tragedy -- the number of people and groups trying to capitalize on the disaster was sickening, and the fact that it's disappeared from the news now is inexcusable. Americans are interested in world news exactly as far as it affects them or affords them opportunity for personal gain, and it's among our ugliest qualities. Really this was a year full of legislative disasters within the US, each more disappointing than the last. There's not much to be said except that the system is so broken, I no longer have much hope that it can be fixed.

Economy and the Supreme Court deciding to not answer a question about retro punishment.

The hatred regarding the community center/mosque to be built in NY and the pastor threatening to burn the Quran have affected me greatly. I'm Muslim and seeing the strong hatred towards my faith isn't easy. It amazes me to see how much ignorance there is in this world. I despised the pastor for his actions but was stunned to see response from so many people on the internet agreeing with his actions. The worst part was seeing how wrong they were about Islam. What would it take to teach these people the truth? At the same time, I saw responses from friends and acquaintances that I would never expect. I saw people who lost loved ones in 9/11 respond so positively to Islam and defend it. It made me delve deeper into my own thoughts and realize how strong these people were to be able to look past the worst and not just understand my faith despite what it stood accused of, but actually DEFEND it. Just goes to show how different the people in this world can be. Forget being on the same page, will we all even be reading the same book at any point?

The only event that has any importance to me that has occurred this year is the loss of my father. Cancer is a terrible thing. I tremble as I flash back abd think about how my father was in so much pain. I remember the days he would struggle to talk and breathe. I sat with him everyday and held his hand until he woke up. I remember see the X-rays and scans ofthe beads of cancer growing and spreading throughout his body. I remember standing there as his body shook when they struggled to revive him. I remember his eyes starring back at me empty and iced. I remember when he left me to go home. The only thing a out him gone from this earth is that he is free from harm. I wish I knew how to save him bit I'm nobody's God. I hate cancer. I hate it exists. I hate how it looks. I hate how it hurts people and breaks families apart. My heart goes out to anyone who is plagued by such an evil. I'm glad that daddy doesn't have to feel it anymore.

Being witness to Barak Obama as the leader of this country is probably one of the most significant events that I will have experienced in my life time. Regardless of my political stance, to see a Black man become President of the Free World is the most amazing, humbling, uplifting, encouraging event to witness. For centuries, American people have been able to witness, embrace and share in the life and family of the American President. I am proud that the world can witness an African American family. There are so many stereotypes of what Black family life "looks" like and I think it is amazing that people can learn at the core there are no differences. For the things that are different culturally, I hope that it would open up the door for postive conversations and break down unfounded prejudices. Although I was born in the late seventies and bipassed alot of the racial injustices that have happened in this country...I have encountered blatant racisim in my life. I think what people from other races (who may not have ever encountered this) can't understand is whether you have had one racist experience or twenty it definitely impacts you greatly. I have seen this country make so many strides this past year to heal racisim. Although I still see, hear, and witness all the racial innunendo and propaganda spread about Obama's leadership - it doesnt negate or take away the pride I feel. I feel this is one of those moments, Martin Luther King dreamed of.

I've always turned a blind eye to the machinations of our national and global economys, since I felt they were difficult to understand and only marginally affected me. After the new administration performed massive bailouts and passed spineless Wall Street reforms, I began to watch the way many corporations (lenders, insurers, manufacturers) scheme, manipulate and exploit everyone and everything to serve the rich. It's turning me into an activist for total corporate transparency and prosecution.

The economy has effected me the most. I was laid off in June of 2009 & was unable to find work until a contract job I have found now in Denver, CO. It's hard to be away from home but great to be working again. People don't understand the toll of this economic downturn on a big segment of our society. I never had a problem finding a job until this year. Until we see companies rehiring people on a regular basis the economy will not fully recover.

The inroduction of higher taxes for companies with high profits by Austalia's socialist Labor Government to balance their wild and wasteful spending. The second case of inland piracy in Australia's 222 year history. I have heard it said that a democracy is where 51% of a population forces their ideals on the other 49%. It is not ethical to impose special taxes on special groups for political gain.

The announcement that the Supreme Court overturned Obama's focus on stem cell research. I am a 6-time cancer survivor and count on stem cell research to save my life and the lives of millions of others.

It's September 11th and all I can think about is that day. That day nine years ago when ours lives were forever changed. That day that made not hearing an airplane in the sky feel empty. That day that has led to increased hate and intolerance. That day that we allow to continue to haunt us rather than transforming into an opportunity for growth, compassion, and positive change. That day. Today, events related to this include the hateful noise created by a sad Christian priest who espouses nothing but hate and self-interest. This man wanted the spotlight and got it by claiming he would burn the Koran. I wish someone would have retorted that we should nail him up on a cross and crucify him, but then again I'm just being as reactive as he with my own words. Today, I also think about the the Islamic Cultural Center that must be permitted to go forward with its plans to open and promote its Sufi message of love. On September 11th if we allow such anti-American rights to trample our (all people) freedom of religion and right to property, then how can we ever go on and claim to honor a soul who dies in defense of these? The will have died in vain. I guess today, the event I'm thinking about is Ground Zero and it's future transformation into a place of diverse interests and shared unity for prosperity regardless of race, sex, or faith.

The fight for marriage equality in general made me feel like I need to be more involved and informed. I hate weddings and yet the thought of marriage inequality makes me feel like crying. I helped, but not enough.

The event that has had an impact on me this year was when Chris left for Brewing school for 3 months. I stayed home with the boys alone (and alone meant more then I knew at the time). This one event became many many lessons that I learned about myself, my role in this life, my role to my loved one, I learned the art of self care, I learned who was a true and deep friend. I learned and am still learning so much about this all (and more), just from Chris going off to Brewing school

The economic crisis. I feel my community in the pinch, and I see how it impacts each family differently, whether directly affected or indirectly. Some families are pulling closer together, others are pulling apart. Some are seeing it as an opportunity to enjoy quality on the cheap. Others are seeing it as an opportunity to help those in need. Me? It makes me all the more eager to vote with my dollars and pay off my debt.

The earthquake in Haiti. Such a challenge to give the type of help that actually makes a difference.

The oil spill and it's impact on the life of our planet and all who inhabit it. Time for a values check.

My beloved father died. Not a global event, but it rocked my world. His love was as unconditional as it comes. After my mother died, he and I became closer than ever. His presence in my daily life is deeply missed.

The oil spill in the gulf. We have a cottage on the east coast of Canada and although the oil is in the gulf people seem to forget that all the oceans are attached. We haven't seen any reprocussions as of yet but that much oil can't be spilled and not cause major issues down the line. I love the ocean, I love to swim, surf and be by the ocean, why don't people see what we're doing to it?

The world cup showed me how people are united. It also gave me a way to connect with my hispanic peers. I als made it a personal mission to go to the world cup one day!

when I realized questions I was sending into a TV show were being answered on air

The attacks by the ultra-Orthodox on women praying at the Western wall have caused me to rethink my outlook on the relationship between religious practice and visible statements of religio-political ideology.

Our Prime Minister was abruptly sacked by wheeler dealers in his own party. (This is Australia). I was shocked and profoundly disappointed: not that I wasn't critical of many of his decisions too! But it was the way it happened: the ruthlessness of party politics, the intolerance of bad polls, the way the opposition jumped on the band wagon. The fakeness of it all. Very saddened by the short term thinking too. How will we ever enact real change if we can't take the heat of changing public opinion? Where's the visionaries?

The increasing power of the media in affecting and steering public opinion in a negative direction worries and infuriates me. There are so many good and wonderful things out there, but all we get to hear, see and read is what goes wrong and what doesn't work. It's very hard to stay focused on the beautiful things in life and this world these days. And when you do, people who think they know better will tell you off for being naive. It's tough to stay true to yourself sometimes.

The discussion of whether a mosque should be built at Ground Zero. It's really bothered me to see the vitriol being directed at an entire religion, the anti-American sentiment (I mean the anti-freedom of religion sentiment), the pure racism. This isn't American values; this isn't what we're supposedly fighting for in Afghanistan. We aren't "them" so let's not act like "them" and not give the terrorists more fodder for recruitment, okay?

Does the new Harry Potter movie coming out this year count? But really, nothing has really impacted me at all. I mean, there's the recession but, well, that's always been here. You know what I mean. Nothing really hits me close to home, so it's all good. I suppose the only other thing is all the drug cartels going on in Mexico. It doesn't affect me, but I don't like that at all. It's horrible. The things going on there. But anyway, I like it better this way. I prefer nothing happening than something bad. Here's to hoping it's the same in one year!

Well.. Obama being the president made me want to go to USA even more. Other than that, I never let wordly things impact my life if it doesn't mean it makes it brighter. I want to focus on love and happiness. So, the one thing that impacted my life for the better for real, is Justin Bieber's album "My worlds". It, and him, has brighten up a lot, and I mean a lot, of days. But that's not worldly isn't it? Haha.

The real estate market crashing has made our lives and dreams completely change.

The BP oil spill in the Gulf. In addition to the environmental and economic devastation, it made me realize that the nation abandoned the people who suffered through Hurricane Katrina despite all of our promises. The region is still not back to where it was before Katrina, and the spill has only set them back further again.

Going to the Obama inauguration in washington DC mall. I realized the little me could be part of something big and in HISTORY. I had the desire... to actually go. I also voted for the first time ever. Obama a visionary , positive man wanting to take the chance to see through what he BELIEVES he can. I believe, and with patients it will prevail.

Does it make me a horrible person if I say that none of this year's world events has personally affected me? I sympathize with the plights of the Gulf Coast business people; I grind my teeth at the state of Arizona's racist laws; I feel helpless to affect the lives of the affected peoples of the Haiti Earthquake and the Pakistan Floods. Even the economic crisis hasn't really hit us as hard as others; I bought a modest home and have a cheap mortgage, and thankfully my husband and I still have jobs. It's not that I don't know what's going on, either...I listen to NPR's news programs going and coming from work. I believe I've become desensitized to it all.

The devastation in Haiti reminded me that as hard as we try to repair the world, there will always be disasters and never quite enough resources to fix them. But, also--as long as our hearts and intentions are in the right place, there will also always be hope and an opportunity to do better the next time around.

I guess the economic downturn. I've retired; I wanted to continue working but was unable to find anything more than a part-time job that really doesnt pay a whole lot. Gas prices, food prices, utility costs -- wow, everything keeps going up up up. Trying to learn to live on a "fixed income" is not easy.

An event in the world that's impacted me this year was the earthquake in Haiti. Seeing the reaction of the people there, many of whom are deeply religious, moved me to tears, and humbled me when I recognized how dependent on God they are, regardless of the circumstances they are in.

When the Labor Party ousted Kevin Rudd for Julia Gillard. I was excited at the fact that we had our first female prime minister and was impressed by her performance in her first speeches but I was disappointed to see Rudd cut down so ruthlessly. I just kept wishing he could have listened more. The previous election promised so much after 11 years of John Howard and it was disappointing this election to have it tied and to see the Liberals making ground. I had higher hopes for Kevin Rudd.

The possibility of punish a woman in Iran because she has been acused of adultery and murder. Besides that, the punishment that is killing her by hit her with rocks to her face while she is burried entire body except the head, is terrible, unbelivebable, incredible. I can not belive such thing could be happend in this century. It has not decided by that Goverment if this is going to happen or not, I HOPE NOT!!!

As a teenager in highschool, people work very hard to make sure that events in the world don't affect me. Which, I suppose, is a good thing, overall. But, some events can shape people into being better than we are. And I think this generation is in serious need of the perspective that the world can offer. But as for the question, The presidential address to students next week means that I can get out of school. That's pretty much the extent of the world's effect on me. And it's pretty sad.

The BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico has brought a new sense of awareness of issues related to oil dependence and the environmental impact it has on our planet.

SEPT11 2001 Do Not- Build a Mosque 2 blocks from this area? Show that you Understand the Pain and Death, that has happened near this area. By Building futher away. I think the word that could be used is Compassion. From all Nationalitys or Religions; Great Respect is now needed; (CALM )a situation that is causing Further Distress.

The mosque debate has lit a fire in me and in my teaching. It has shed light on the fact that in a new teaching of history and social studies, we should be teaching students how to discern facts out of sensationalism and bias. It impacted me as a New Yorker, because it reminded me that New York City lives in its own insular bubble of "live and let live." No, I'm serious, it does. Now I see that there is a large part of the United States who do believe whatever they read and hear without considering the source and looking at all sides of the issue. It made me realize that we are teaching our students lots of facts that they can look up on their phones instead of teaching them where to find information, how to interpret it, and how to create their own opinions based on it. Not to mention the fact that a lot of Americans apparently missed the section of US History where we granted freedom of religion and private property rights.

Rather than a specific event, I note a trend. There was an horrific earthquake in Haiti. One of my colleagues organized a medical relief mission and wanted me to go. Thanks to a passport glitch that could not be corrected in time, I did not, but I realized that I am at a point in my life where "going" is an option. The gulf between my employer's business practices and my values became wide and deep. I resigned and started my own business. I am at a point in my life where this was an option. A dog needed a foster home. My plate was pretty full, but I took him in. He bonded with the pack here and stayed. Saying "yes" was an option. This year I have had astounding opportunities, large and small, to say "yes" to what matters, and overall I think my responses are trending in the right direction.

My community passed a non-discrimination policy that included sexual orientation and gender presentation as protected statuses. Because of this, I was able to be more "out" without fear of losing my job.

The Christchurch Earthquake. September 4th 2010. I am a Christchurch resident and though my house didn't suffer any damage, especially compared to everyone else, this earthquake has affected me both positively and negatively. In the negative sense it's stressed me out a lot, the university library is now closed for the rest of the year, making it near impossible to complete assignments and I'm worried. This is the last semester of my degree and I wanted it to go smoothly. However, this earthquake has shown me so many positives. A communities ability to come together in an hour of need. We were so incredibly lucky in that there were no lives lost but many people have lost their homes and livelihoods but so many people have risen up to give them help and comfort during this difficult time. While our disaster cannot even compare to the massive world disasters that have hit and are still hitting, like the Pakistan floods or the San Fran Floods, or 9/11, the christchurch earthquake has been a beautiful example of how a small city of people can band together to show such love and care. It's amazing and I'm so proud of our little city and little country. We may be just a small group of islands at the bottom of the world but we have shown the best earthquake management of any country in the world recently. Love you Christchurch.

That would be the murdering,and stealing of body parts of the albinos in Africa. People pay very high prices for albino body parts, in which they believe potions done by a witch craft will make them rich,and prosperous. I'm just dumbfounded how in this day and age such ignorance can exist. Such evil! I ask myself how can God permit this to happen? It's very upsetting to me.

I am so concerned -- in fact, disturbed -- by the anti-immigrant, socially sanctioned racism that has spread in this country this year. Toward Latinos and Muslims. What used to be considered (and dismissed) as extremist, ultra-conservative, evangelical thinking is now more and more accepted... and in some cases the norm. This reminds me of post-WWII Japanese internment camp mentality. How can we look on that time so shamefully when the current generation is harboring equally dangerous feelings toward these new groups? Are we any better than those who were afraid of "the Japs" in trying to block the Ground Zero Mosque... forcing Latinos in Arizona to show their papers without cause... being stopped for "DWL" (Driving While Latino") in Prince William County... Why can't we remember that we are all children of immigrants and refugees? Our ancestors left their countries because of the same kind of persecution. Or experienced it once they got here. Why can't we make the effort and have the desire to know people from other countries and cultures as people, not just as "them"? Why should it be "them vs.us" when everyone wants and ultimately needs the same things in life? And we need each other to get there and achieve it.

Here's the strange thing, I can't think of a major world event that has dramatically impacted me this year. The economy has affected me and my family greatly, but that feels like a more ongoing event.

The Australian prime minister being removed from office by his own party. He had done a lot of good for the country and had some real plans for the future. He fell because of unjust opinion polls and a corrupt and biased media. My faith in people was shaken worse than it has been in a long time.

the economic collapse...Im probably about tolose my job and am faced with setting up my own law firm, and Im very scared

the rejection of building islamic centre on ground zero really showed how narrow minded some people are. i thought religion teaching is a guide how people should behave and interact to each other.those who believe in one God should act like wise.one of the most important teaching in religion is to respect others every body is entitled to their owns beliefs . my religion is mine yours is yours what you believe is yours and will not be implicated with others.so why not live together side by side happily is it not our believe in God is to love Him for what He had given to humanity? H O P E ?!?!

The general economic downturn that has led to a cutback in hours on my job. I MISS that 20%. However, it means I have more time to spend with my mother.

The Flotilla incident in Israel ... it showed me how completely skewed the media is and how unfortunate it is that the world views Israel with such a skeptical lens when the video and footage and interviews show how clearly violent those on the flotilla were in their intentions. It's so frustrating!

The oil spill in the Gulf has saddened me to the center of my being. The impact of this spill on an already nearly fatally damaged environment is devastating, and truly I weep for the loss of ocean life, for the gulf residents livelihoods and way of life, and of course for the lost platform workers. But my overwhelming concern is for the environment. Will we ever wise up as a world and begin working hand in hand to reverse the havoc we have wrought upon our beautiful orb? Not air, nor land, nor water....nothing remains pristine or undamaged. and we world citizens act like we don't care....

When the Israeli army attacked the ship heading to Pakistan the State of Israel got verbally attacked by not only Pakistanis but also world wide citizens. People ignorant of the good that Israel has done, and of how much Israelis tried to avoid war with Alkida, began to make state that Israel should be no more. As a Jew I found this terribly hurt, and upsetting. While in no way I condone what the Israeli army did to the Pakistani ship - in fact in many ways I condemn them for it- I was upset and angry by the way people were accusing Israel of being a terrible war mongering country that no longer had a way to exist. I began to feel a stronger connection with my religious home land that I had not felt before. This terrible mistake the Israeli Army made, made me realize that this country was flawed in some ways, but it also made me realize just how important it was to my culture. Today I am a stronger Jew because of it.

The recession has impacted me--we haven't been able to sell our house, which has meant that I am stuck in my current job. I'd like to get out, although I love my house. I'm trying to go with the flow and am happy with that for now.

The economic recession has impacted my life. I'm finishing school this year and I have no idea how I am going to find a job in academia (or anywhere). Despite the fact that I've spent the last 7 years working on my PhD, I'm currently looking at bartending and waitressing jobs because I am afraid that is all I can realistically acquire.

A major change in my career was forced upon me - of which I wanted to happen but feared I could not financially handle the change. The change is just at the beginning switching my lectures from Algebra and finite math ..... into my own written curriculum on Frontier Love. The freedom of spirit is intoxicating.... and moving into my true self ....where the merging of mind, body, spirit and soul become allowing bliss. When I read this again next year... I would just like to say thank you to my own mind, body, spirit, and Soul for taking me on this beautiful trip of being.... lots of love xxx

The continuing bad economy has effected me greatly. I have been out of work for two years and my father has been out of work for a year. It's incredibly hard to even get an interview. Money is a major concern.

The protests and siege in Bangkok Thailand. I was there twice recently (prior to the protests) and spent a lot of time at the Centralworld Plaza that was torched when the protesters left. More importantly, and personally, this was all going down when I met Janelle. She was impressed with how smart I was and knew so much about what was going on there. My "six degrees" of separation to those protests, I suppose. Can't help but put two and two together.

An event in the world. Hmmm. I would have to say the World Cup this year totally affected me, in a good way, and got me focused on international soccer and how sports can connect us all. It was great that the U.S. team did so well, and I enjoyed rooting for all the teams that are from places I have been, or where I would like to go! It was a totally positive collective experience for the entire world and I like to think of the camaraderie and sportsmanship that connected everyone across the globe during these games. :) GO WORLD!

The biggest thing about world news this year has been the tremendous number of natural disasters. I believe this is an outward sign of the evolutionary process of the entire world. My hope is that it will serve to help us all shift our consciousness. We create our world, but our world, the earth, has a consciousness of its own as well. I believe that every disaster, every death, while seeming terrible on the surface of things, is in fact serving us all to move forward in this evolutionary process...the process of ascension, the process of awakening to a new reality.

The oil spill in the gulf showed me how ineffectual big businesses and our government seem to be. It made me very aware of how important ethical responsibility is, and how much it seems to be lacking in our society nowadays. It also showed me that there is a lot of big talk, but very little big action to back it up.

The gulf oil spill has impacted me this year. It didn't cost me money but it really raised my awareness on the subject of our sacred resources e.g. water. I may not be King Neptune, Aquaman, or Prince Namor, but I empathize for all the wildlife that has suffered due to the oil spill.

I find it very difficult to answer this question. No one even comes to mind, but a collection of realizations. On the one hand I became 65. On the other our grandchildren keep growing like sprouts. The world keeps turning. People keep living and dying. We keep crying a little and laughing a great deal. Love and family and health are the most important things. Perhaps, outside of that, is the realization that most faith is built on false hope in a narrative that people told and wrote centuries ago. Intelligent people either believe or pretend to believe the story. Good and evil acts are done in its name. What would happen if the narrative were revealed for the fiction it contained?

the sinking economy. Watching the place I work slowly go down the tubes because there is no building going on.

I am in a strange bubble because while America is in a recession we keep doing better financially each year. As friends suffer through the second year without a job we are becoming millionaires. It is very surreal. I am happy to be doing well financially but not sure how to reconcile it with the world around me.

It looks like the end of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and I'm very glad about that. As a Christian, I obviously believe that homosexuality is a sin, but at the same time, who I am (or we as a nation) to judge that? To me, if a gay person wants to serve their country, we should thank them and treat them like any other solider, instead of asking them to hide their lifestyle away. Just because I don't agree with it doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to serve their country openly and with pride.

The war in Afghanistan. A few people I care about greatly were over there fighting. I kept thinking the worst was going to happen. It actually helped me with my faith. I had a VERY long list of prayers every night, and now they are home safe.

The oil spills in the Gulf have been heartwrenching. My family lives in a Gulf state, and I grew up there, and although we haven't been affected directly by the spill it has made me even more aware that fossil fuel consumption can't go on much longer.

Geico made a TV commercial where the little piggy goes wee wee wee all the way home. It changed my life.

The economy less work

The strange weather we have had this past year, in particular our very snowy winter here in the mid atlantic states, affected my earnings negatively. Psychologically, it was a positive experience as we rarely have so much snow that everything grinds to a halt. I loved the enforced inactivity and the lovely snowy vista. It gave me time to breathe during a stressful year in a new job situation. It let me catch up on sleep and get some great exercise shoveling. I think the rarity of that much snow makes it a true holiday in my state (Maryland). Actually, I didn't mind giving up the money at all!

The Olympics, winter or summer, always inspire me to achieve beyond what I can imagine. I hope to act on that one day.

All of the earthquakes have really scared me. My area is due for a big earthquake soon and I worry about it a lot. I also feel like this is one of those things you read about in the Bible and Book of Mormon and we are getting close to the end of times. If nothing else it has certainly made me want to get out of debt and get our food storage built up asap.

The BP Oil Spill. It opened my eyes. It is amazing how small oversights adding up can result to something so devastating to the world and its future.

I feel like I've been out of the loop world-news-wise. Or that I'm so influenced, even against my will, by our ADHD-style media circus that I forget important events as quickly as they fade from the newscasts. Or perhaps that I, for whatever reason, am simply not that affected by world news. It's difficult to see how what I read in the news directly affects my life, even an important event occurs in my own country. I think the oil 'spill' in the Gulf of Mexico somehow managed to transcend that barrier for me, though. It disgusted me in a visceral and emotional way. It demonstrated just how careless we are with the earth and our resources and how little concern we have for the environment (although I guess by 'we' I really mean huge corporations and the culture-at-large). That event fed my drive, in a very real way, to save the world through conservation and environmental education. To save ourselves, in other words, from ourselves.

The Haiti earthquake. It helped me to see how fragile this world is and to look beyond myself to others who are so much more in need.

The Flotilla incident and the total distortion of the facts by the international media brought to life the extent to which Israel is unprepared for this new type of threat through the distortion of the truth. The Hatian Earthquake has made me much more aware of the massive poverty that is right in our back yard THe Oild Spill in the gulf has driven home the amount of damage that can come from our total dependence on oil

The economic crisis has definitely affected me, plucking me from a job of 11 years. I'm still trying to recover, working part time and searching for the rest of my life.

Not an event, but learning about the Israel/Palestine conflict. Perhaps the event that most symbolizes my shocked awareness was the murder on the Gaza boats that happened when I was in Quebec. But what this awareness did do was bring to a cause that I feel so good about supporting - J Street. And because of that and the minyan, I feel and have been accepted by my small Jewish community which holds incredible meaning for me. Why? Who knows.

The various extreme hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc, this year have made me more passionate about global warming and its effects on these things. I've become more outspoken about global warming and tend to shove the facts in people's faces when they claim it's a hoax. Honestly.. I'm probably a bit irritating.

The pastor in Florida who wanted to hold a Koran burning on 9/11 made me plenty angry. That kind of hatred and intolerance is inexcusable. It's more of a shame that the media gave this man the opportunity to be noticed, making this a matter of global significance.

The continued badgering and demeaning of Obama has impacted me, and continues to. Its mind blowing to even think about what he stepped into, but since he got there, which was a triumph and a life changing moment for the world in the first place, he's been pecked at, subliminally stoned and hung, and publicly undermined. I am moved and inspired by his unlimited forgiveness, positivity, calm and his 'not taking the bait' countenance. He handles things like a mature person should but that is something I haven't seen a president do in my lifetime. I still have hope, and I hope he can hang in there under this incredible strain.

The housing crisis and the domino effect it has had on California's economy, most notably the budget shortfalls in education. I'm a native Californian and a product of this state's public school system. I've benefited from everything from the Head Start program to Cal Grant money to pay for my college degree. Now I look at my niece who's in her Senior year of high school and she's faced with the prospect of not even having the chance to enter college next fall because the local university may not even admit freshman due to cutbacks. This makes me feel for so many of our state's kids, and for the future of one of the country's leading economies. How will we recover?

wow. I don't have much time to think about this one. It's 11.19pm at nigh and I am trying to get to sleep. But I say I've been pretty active in the Child Nutrition Act. I feel like I've been pretty insular lately. Focused on our work on the bus, family stuff, surviving. I've been following Health Care a little. Not a huge part. Israel's actions have made me more and more not believe in a state. I've been going to more Nuke Free events and believe more and more in a peaceful world where there is no need for war. The accumulation of events (the oil spill included) just points me more and more to radical peace. that's what we need.

Eventhough I had already had an interest in Haiti, after the earthquake there it made more more passionate to help the country. This year instead of gifts for my birthday I asked for donations to healingforhaiti. I was excited to help and hoped I encouraged others to think of others, even on a day that is "supposed" to be about you.

The huge debate over the building of a mosque in NY I find it appalling that Americans would ever be against religious freedom. I am ashamed to live in this country with bigots and those who oppose freedom. God help us all!

Due to the state of the world economy, I have witnessed a shift in society . COMPASSION !

Earthquakes and oil spills expose the human capacity for greed and for love.

The economy has impacted me. The world of foundation funding and the subsequent loss of funding to my agency impacted my life significantly. Losing a job, for any reason, impacts a person. However, while I am scared of the future, I am excited too. It gave me the push to jump into a risk of my EdD and launching my own consulting business.

Julia Gillard. Yay!

As a New Yorker, I feel this question is very appropriate for today (9/11/10). I experienced how disaster destroyed and then brought so many people together in the most raw way that I have ever seen. It's hard to choose just ONE answer for this question, so I'll describe two that have impacted me: The earthquakes in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan. In all situations I felt helpless. I am realizing that all alone, I AM helpless. My heart and prayers go out to both countries. I donated money towards the relief of both. I cannot change the severity of the situation, but that didn't and won't stop me from doing what I can. No body can change the world, but together we all can. O.K., Now you can start the violins...

There have been a lot events in the past year. Most of them negative it seems. Between broken promises of polititions to the wall street/banker bailout, to layoffs......the events keep getting worse. I fear for the future and most of all I fear for my children's future.

STFU

the continued fighting in eritrea which has been causing emigration as far as israel's borders impressed me once meeting two lads who had made the trek and came looking for a job at ein-shemer. howhhelpless and dependent they are upon other's goodwill, and how politely they conducted themselves! how harsh their fate is, having witcnessed cruelty and having had to leave home knowing it was probably forever. my contact with them as they walked past my house and with their minimal english explained their purpose in being here, having come all the way from hadera (how?) remains vivid in my mind. they returned the next day, not having made the introductory phone call asked of them to fix an appointment, and were turned away for lack of the work manager's availability, among other things. who knows if they even had access to a phone in their refugee shelter to contact?

The ring of fire has been particularly active this year. So many large earthquakes, volcanos, and tsunami's make you really nervous. Living in Southern California this has made me realize that I am not nearly as prepared for the big one as I think. And that I won't make the same mistakes as the Northridge earthquake. And of course everyone thinks this is a sign of the end times.

This one is difficult. I guess maybe the rise in gas prices? I know everytime I'd drive past a gas station and see the prices rising, I always got nervous and thought of my parents and their money situation. Usually when prices were high and my mom would ask me to go through a drive through somewhere, I'd always say no, not wanting her to waste gas. Also I think the election of Barak Obama was significant. It bothered me that people say so many negative things about President Obama.

Downturn in the Economy made me buy a franchise to provide an income. It didn't. Downturn in the Economy got me a job at a bank which was acquiring other banks. Old mainframe software still exists.

The latest event of a Pentecostal minister in Florida making his statement affect the way the world looks at Muslims. I am not Muslim, but after that event - where the minister decided to burn the Quran (Koran), I remembered so many incidents in recent days that were aimed at Muslims - the building of the Community Center 2 blocks from Ground Zero, the accusation from the right that our president was Muslim (as if that were something that could be termed a 'bad' thing). Made me realize that there are many in this country that are disconnected from the ideals of our founding fathers - freedom of religion was what this country was founded upon. And yet the do not see the Islamic religion as a religion? Because there are extremists? Do we not, as Christians, have our own extremists? Is the reverend in Florida not just an example of such?

There have been events where Tom Felton fangirls have attended, and I have discovered they can get VERY defensive when they have any kind of slight criticism (whether constructive or not). It has taught me that people can become defensive about such trivial things and not everyone is as relaxed and care free as what I can be, and that there are some things in life that are better off left alone. Not everyone has the same opinions, and some people have different maturity levels, despite how much we believe they should act in different ways. Sorry....but nothing political or world affairs could come to mind that has personally affected me!!

This year, the economy has impacted me the most. This was the first year I was living out in an apartment on my own and I'm absolutely terrified I won't be able to make ends meet.

The economy. It has changed how I live and make future decisions. But I live better now, with less stuff and more time for family and friends, and more time to do nothing. So I earn less but live more.

It was in the beginning of the year when Haiti was hit by a massive earthquake that brought a disaster to the country. Seeing all the people's faces after losing their home or family members was devastating. I tried to help as much as I could by donating to red cross that helped those in need. It was a disaster that united the world and it was a moving event.

Glenn Beck at the Lincoln Memorial on MLK Day has horrified and sickened me. Has made me despair over the racist nature of the gesture- the need to take down the uppity black guy who took oath there by trying to manufacture historical significance with a whiteguypallooza. Tea Party/Beck fans are gross versions of an America that deserves to be scorned and hated.

I cannot think of one outstanding event that has impacted me. Rather the small ones; the events that few people are aware of happening. The friends and relatives who are no longer here. Some who did not live their full "4 score and twenty", some lived full and long lives. None had easy deaths. Cancer was the common killer for all. My father, in the middle of his 85th year literally dropped dead in front of my mother. A quick and easy death. They were neither great nor famous. For their families they provided warmth, direction, love and example. Now they are gone! No longer a quick phone call or email for conversation, opinion or advice. And I miss them all; their warmth, their wisdom and their love.

I am worried about the viability of our planet as a human habitat. The BP oil spill was so huge and out of control. It was also unnecessary if proper steps had been taken by the company and the regulators from the beginning -- which is how things should work. Instead there was greed and corruption. It made me feel pessimistic about whether things can work out well for our planet or not.

My family and I have been so protected. Our economy has destroyed the quality of life and the hopes of so many. Disasters like the earthquake in Haiti and the flooding in Pakistan have left millions of people in untenable situations. The fear and ignorance in our own country seems to have a viral quality. It's a hard question to answer because so much is wrong. Am worried about our country, and about people everywhere.

The Chilean miners being trapped. It's difficult for me to visualize what it means to be a miner, the conditions and the kind of people who take on that work. Seeing them on newscasts gives me a small glimpse into the kind of work they do. They are happy to be communicating with the outside world, seemingly cheerful, and I wonder how I would react if I were trapped like that. The size of the containers they send supplies in is very small, and I can't imagine how nutritious food gets sent down. Are they surviving on energy bars and water? Are they allowed alcohol or cigarettes?

In general this year seems to have been bad for natural disasters. Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes etc. I'm scared of what we've done to the planet to make it this volatile. Especially here, too many of these events have happened so close to home. This country is supposed to be safe.

The threatened burning of the Koran, it's frustrating seeing people insistent that they can do evil in the name of Jesus

The Gulf oil release and the subsequent handling of same -- the company, the government watchdogs that weren't, the cleanup and reimbursements -- the whole thing just pointed up to me how corrupt and sold out the whole government is to big corporations and how helpless they are to do anything to fight against corporations' control of our whole economy and lives.

The earthquakes in Haiti and Chili has opened my eyes even more to the natural tragedies I am so fortunate enough not to encounter. They have reminded me how humanity will always pull together at a time of need, regardless of personal endeavors.

The earthquakes here in California really made my life change. my sister was paranoid for weeks and people were talking about it being a sign of the end coming

Ongoing global warming. I can't read too much about it because I feel very depressed and anxious when I do. Global warming and other ways in which we are destroying the earth is continuing to degrade quality of life for all, and may lead to very scary circumstances. I have a goal of consuming less, recycling more, saving more energy and water, purchasing smarter.

Corruption in Common Wealth Games-2010 Mr. Suresh Kalmadi was a Mr. Clean untill today but IBN News and Times News tore his image on TV News and shown the World his true image.

As a wetland scientist, the Gulf oil spill has had a strong impact reinforcing my desire to protect and restore wetlands and end offshore oil drilling. I've even tried to drive less.

The threatened burning of the Quran, to think that people in a group of church going individuals could be capable of such hate is frightening to me. I am a Catholic myself and if some group was violently going to destroy what I consider a sacred object, I would be deeply hurt. This behavior must not continue to grow here. Fighting violence with more violence breeds, violence. Am I the only one concerned about the lack of moral and religious commitment? I think not, I hope not, I pray that is not going to be the norm here.

Ummm not a big news guy... But the Olympics. Just felt proud about Canada doing so well fills my heart with Pride, maple syrup and mustache clippings from a lumber Jack.

The man who wanted to burn the Qur'an scared and hurt me greatly. It was an example on how much Islam and muslims are misunderstood. I have the luxury or living in a muslim country, but there are muslims who don't, and it is hard for them to be right there in the midst of all the hate. I feel bad for them! When will the world understand? When will they stop hating on us? People have got to stop indicting Islam for what some muslims chose to do. Every religion has its whackos and its crazy people, but no one ever punished the Catholics for what O'Reilly, Gingrich, and Hannity did. No one called Judaism a religion of terror for what Crazy Eddie did. STOP BEING IGNORANT AND LEARN WHAT ISLAM REALLY TEACHES! There is a reason why we are the fastest growing religion on Earth. Think about it! Just think!

The wars in Iraq and Afganastan has impacted me. My heart is full of pain and compassion for all affected by war in this country as well as in Iraq and afganastan. We have wasted so much money on war that could be used to improve life in our own country and we have lost the respect of Islamic and other countries.

Life has impacted me this year. My twentieth year of life has also been the most hectic, drama- filled while managing to be my laziest. Oh, what lives we lead.

The 2010 Winter Olympics here in my hometown of Vancouver - beyond the emotions, highs and lows, and of course watching Sidney Crosby score the gold medal game-winning goal, the Olympics brought out a spirit in this corner of the world that made me feel connected to other people in a way I've never felt before.

I am a selfish little American. I worry alot about money, myself, what I am going to do in the future, myself again and so on. I am kind of embarrassed and sad to admit that I don't really follow any worldly news. But I know that I am very excited that Prop 8 was appealed. This impacted me because I strongly STRONGLY support gay marriage and I am a completely open person about gay things. It possibly made my day, my month when prop 8 was appealed. It affected me because I feel like I don't like one gender, and if I feel I want to get married to a woman, then I should be able to. I still feel like even the debate of gay marriage is completely unfair because who is one person to say two people who completely love each other and deserve eachother do not get to be joined together in matrimony? Gay couples don't preach to straight couples about how being straight is completely wrong. What's wrong is the ignorance: that just because something inscripted in the bible thousands of years ago says that it is wrong.

it doesn't directly work like that for me. The closest: the floundering over BP spill

Prop 8 was repealed. This really impacted my life, because it helped me get my gay friends to understand that their sexuality isn't a bad thing, and that people will accept them for who they are if that gather the courage of taking the plunge of coming out.

I lost my job as a result of international financial crisis. It was really hard to get a new job and I couldn't afford to stay in my apartment anymore. I had to return to my home country, and I stayed with my mother for months until I got a new job back home in May.

The big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico reminded me of how careless we are with this wonderful world that we have inherited. It reminded me of the importance of efforts to end our dependence on oil.

All the natural disasters that have caused havoc throughout our world, particularly on poorer nations. It breaks my heart, but it also makes me feel responsible. We CAN do something for these people. I hope that I start to act on these feelings and be a volunteer or donate or help in some way. I am so fortunate to live in Australia, in a country where our problems are so slight compared to those of other nations. I can't take this for granted.

All the scandal with Catholic priests has made me ashamed of my faith. I feel like when I tell people I'm Catholic all they see is the bad, and they can't separate the sinners from the Church.

A young girl was burned alive by a smoke grenade and subsequently shot in the neck and killed by a Detroit SWAT team. Her father was thrown to the floor and handcuffed in a pool of her blood. Why? It was all an accident, wrong address; the father wasn't even the target they were after. This story devastated me. It made me realized how easily the precious ones in my life could be taken from me. To the father of that young girl, your pain and loss will never be forgotten.

After 26 years, the courts in India gave its verdict on the Bhopal gas leak which resulted in the death of thousands of people and continues to cause health related problems to thousands of others. By letting off the culprits with light sentences, the court delivered a stinging slap on the face of the poor people who have been waiting for justice for a quarter of a century. It made me feel mad that we as a country continue to dishonour the lives of the disempowered despite being a democracy. The rich and the powerful continue to get away with murder while the poor continue to be voiceless.

My son was supposed to go to Turkey on an int'l space camp but Israeli authorities cancelled thier permission to go there. It was a great disappointment, for him cause he missed the camp, for me because I hoped politics wouldn't affect us that way.

All of the natural disasters that have been going on around the world have deeply affected everybody. We have had earthquakes left and right, floods in Pakistan, and the gulf oil spill. I think it is sending everybody into deeper thought as to what this world is going to turn into. Will the world really end in 2012? Although I do not live near any of these places of disaster, I still feel for the people affected and can only hope that there is nothing to follow.

I can't say that any world event has effected me greatly. The recession has definitely played a part in how my family is able to spend excess money, but it hasn't been such a hindrance that I notice in day-to-day life... probably because at the moment I finance everything in school loans.

OIF and OEF... for the obvious whys. How... the heavily contemplated notion if deployment for me, Zen, Lani and, actually, Oni has given me a sense of independence and simultaneously belong to my family more. ;)

The downturn in the economy. Australia has been sheltered from it a bit, but I think things will start effecting people soon

Erm, UK elections I guess. Although I can't vote it was interesting, and I rather liked G Brown. :( Also the recession is still happening, but not as abvious now? Aaaand wars all over the world and poverty.

7.0-Magnitude Earthquake in Haiti in January. The earthquake brought to the fore how truly thankful I am for my country. The people of Haiti are so impoverished-- how can more be taken from people who survive on so little? I have worried and stressed about things that are insignificant compared to what others have endured. I need to remember that.

The continuing recession. The value of our home has dropped further so our hopes to move into a larger property have not been realised. We had hoped to move this year but now it looks like it could be a long time before we can due to negative equity.

The general economic climate impacts me all the time, although, this is fairly tenuous.

This last year has seen the recession hit in a big way, this has affected me as it was hard to find a job once I left the Debenhams Grad scheme, meaning my debts climbed and my wages got smaller. I was applying for 7 jobs at a time and feel very lucky to have my current job as a marketing assistant in Lincoln. This also affected me as my Dad is self employed and as peoples disposable income has been dramatically reduced they haven't spent money on conservatories and therefore his business and our house etc are at risk.

The Israeli / Gaza war - what bothered me was the double standards by which it was analyzed in the world. I watched recently a documentary 'Ground truth' about US troops in IRAQ - it showed footage and interviews with US soldiers... who I support - but it showed the ugliness of war, and by comparison the lengths which the Israeli army went to to avoid civilian casualties was remarkable. An approx. quote from US marine: "If we're receiving fire from over there, we take everything out... nothing will survive - women, children, everyone... we don't look for the one in 50 that is firing... all 50 are going down - it works... we didn't loose a single member in a firefight". Such a contrast - it made me very sad.

the world? what world? sometimes i'm not sure if i'm actually in it. so wrapped up in my daily grind, the drama of my completely dysfunctional relationship, and basically just trying to make ends meet. i wish it weren't so...but this isn't really new. sometimes the "world" is just too depressing. i actually cry sometimes hearing what's going on in the world. i cry listening to music, i cry hearing about people living in poverty, i cry seeing pictures of the pelicans covered in oil from the BP spill. i guess sometimes the best i can do to keep a lid on my emotions is bury my head and pretend my little world is the only one that exists...and the big world around me is going just fine.

Viewing the "Florida Pastor" and his call for the burning of the Quran while living in a predominately Muslim country. It has impacted my cultural lenses and has given me a better glimpse into the heart, soul, and mind of this countries people.

Even though there were many natural and unnatural events of troubling consequence--the BP oil spill, the earthquakes in Haiti and China, the economy and the inability of our government to distribute the vast wealth in this country more equitably is the most troubling to me. While it did not impact me in as many personal ways as it has many people in this country, I hate the fact that my children will inherit a world/country that is so off balanced, where economies are destroyed by greed, where CEOs and other executives overpay themselves while shipping good jobs overseas. Those of us in the trenches lucky enough to have a job have to try to work with people who can barely speak English, who know nothing about our business and who literally waste our time while seemingly providing us with IT help. Plus we are trying to produce the same high quality products with few staff because again the executives who seem not to have suffered at all and certainly have no sense of sharing the pain, so they keep their bottom-lines and their bonuses solid by laying off people. It disgusts me that greed has caused all this. Why do these men, and women, feel they Ned so much money?

An event worldwide....hmmmmmm I have become more aware this past year of the growing need to conserve our earth's natural resources. We are a wasteful people and the earth is beginning to feel and show the results of this way of life. Less is more, live simply, do I really need this, why am I buying this, are all questions that I ask myself consistently... While we all need to change how we live, I can only be responsible for myself and changing my ways which models to others who might then make the decision to do the same.

The yoyo discrimination of gays regarding marriage affected me, a straight married woman in a profound way. I cannot comprehend how many of my conservative friends do not see this as an injustice. Even worse, I am disappointed beyond measure by the cruel, elitist and abusive things they post on social networks like Facebook. It your right to have an opinion on any issue. But to be personal and cruel is a sign of immaturity at the least.

Katrina's 5 year anniversary was personal, but nonetheless it was global as well. seeing everyone talk about it again, but hearing it from outsider's perspective was actually heart-warming.

Watching the FIFA World cup in England was really special. I got to see, at the same time, the bonding and competitive spirit of friends from many nationalities. I watched England v USA from a pub in Edinburgh and listened to foriegners cheer for my country, knowing that I was actually the foriegner.

The Boycott Divestiture and Sanction movement against Israel has come to my small town, and I am so saddened that Israel is being singled out and that people do not look toward other nations' appalling behavior. And now, as a Jewish person I feel threatened.

Though not nearly as much as I should have, I've thought a lot about the flood in Pakistan. It's been devastating on a scale rarely seen in natural disasters but has not garnered nearly the attention of Haiti or China. I wonder if it's the political and perceived cultural differences between the U.S. and Pakistan which has led the media and, as a consequence, much of the U.S. populace to not care. That would be the real tragedy.

I don't know that there's one event that has impacted me greatly. It's a lot of things that have overall made me feel much less secure than at any other time in my life. There's the continuing instability in the Middle East, our so called leaders in Washington who won't work together for the benefit of the country, and the world. The economic downturn that's costing people their jobs, their homes and, in some cases, their lives. The greed of Wall Street. This list goes on and on and on

The downturn in the economy has not impacted me the way you would expect. For years my husband and I rented and waited for home prices to come down. Now that they have we were able to buy our first house, a new car and furniture, all at great deals! I also got a new really great job. I feel bad celebrating when in the media there are so many stories of people out of work for many months and losing their homes to foreclosure, but the downturn has been great for us.

The total and utter degradation of American politics happened this year...I mean, it was starting to happen years ago, but I think this year politics in our country officially fell apart. Politics was my first true love and though the nature of the love has changed over time - as I grew more mature, more savvy - the love itself has grown. But this year that love has been tested as never before and I am sad to say my love for politics is not holding on...I feel like US politics and I need to take a break. So much resentment and disappointment from me. It makes me angry and frustrated and that's not how I want to live my life!

My brother was one of the first group of American first responders in Haiti after the devastating earthquake there. My fear for his safety was enormous, and his being there made the human scale of the situation real to me, and made me realize in a small way how families there (and in the many other natural disasters worldwide this year) were affected. It also made me realize that his commitment to helping in such situations really does put him in danger. He became even more strongly my hero.

The earthquake in Haiti was devastating and reminded me of the power of the earth to give and take.

America pulling out of Iraq has given me hope for sustained peace. This war has gone on for most of my lifetime, and it seemed as if it would never end.

An even this year that impacted me greatly was the BP Oil Spill in the gulf coast. It was such a horrible experience to see that on my way home from Israel in May 2010. So many sea animals died or were injured. I'm sure much of the wildlife will be effected for year.

The argument about the Mosque. First of all New Yorkers were fine with the creation of the Islamic community center. It was under the radar until Sara Palin and the Tea Party fanatics used it to spread their bigotry. The fact that the Anti Defamation League objected to this is incomprehensible. The United States Constitution protects the rights of all people. The objection to the building of this center near Ground Zero reminds me of Naziism and the rules that curtailed Jewish activities in Germany in the 30's.

My friend's 22-year old brother getting cancer. Things started feeling ever more fragile and random.

I used to keep up with the world news but now I really don't. I might start again when I've changed jobs and consistently have more free time (although I'll still consider it primarily entertainment). But for now, I don't miss it.

Prop 8 overturned. Maybe someday I will be able to marry the one I love.

It's not really an event in the world but when I was in India the floodings really scared me. It was hard to believe those things could happen to me as well. Living in Holland is so safe and sound, we never have to worry about hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and so on. Seeing the floodings on the news and realising it could be me overthere scared me. Though it made me appreciate my life in Holland and Europe more. The sad thing about these disasters is the disability to change anything about it.

I've been searching the web and my brain, and honestly can't come up with a "current event" that's really affected me this year. I live in a bubble?

the mosc being built or not.location doesnt matter it is not disrespectful to put one in ground zero. they didnt attack us. we need more peace and acceptence and less hate and ignorance.

The general destruction of the world-- from both human and natural influence-- has really opened my eyes to suffering. I have gained a bigger heart for people.

There are so many. I am a big believer and admirer of Obama. I want to trust that he knows what he is doing and that we are in good hands, and in fact, I do believe this. Passing healthcare for all was a big deal, even if we got less than half a loaf. Failing to act on climate change was also a big deal. But, I can't let my disappointment for what we didn't get, get in the way of my appreciation for really how far we have come. Now, if we could only get the economy straightened out again...

The Earthquake in Haiti. Devastating, close to home. Humbling. These people live in poverty everyday and then what little they did have was gone and friends and family missing and dead. How on earth could I ever feel bad about my situation. How could I or any American ever complain about our life. We are blessed, we are fortunate and I am happy and proud and positive.

The recent controversy over the Quran that was started by a preacher who wanted to make a name for himself by melding ego and hate -- the highest order of self-love and the highest degree of other-loathing -- and it consumed this country. I feel that as Jew we have to allow others to worship where and how they see fit, as long as others are not harmed, because historically we have been unable to practice when and how we want. Justice is granting to others the rights we claim for ourselves, and if we are to be a just people and a just country, we have to allow others to do what we would choose to do.

I suppose the collapse of the economy was the biggest "world event" for me, in the sense that it inspired me to fix my own money situation. I finally got my finances in order-- I got out of credit card debt, I stopped feeling out of control when it came to money. I realized that the only person who can control my financial future is me. Should be interested to see how I do with money when I'm on a fixed income and have to budget and control my spending. Hopefully I'll break my bad habits once and for all.

World-wide recession has probably kept me from employment because I'm up against recent redundants.

Health care reform has meant that my daughter now has health care, through us, until she is 26. She, of course, managed to need to go to the emergency room 3 days before the coverage kicked in. Argh. Like most Americans who still have a job, I have carried an awareness, almost constantly, about the state of the economy and the hemorrhaging of jobs, like I might be standing on a cliff that is disintegrating under my feet.

an event? so many events :( the earthquake in Haiti the flood in Pakistan the rape and pillage in Congo, in Georgia the gang activity that continues in the inner city I am frightened by our vulnerability, and by the sometimes cruel, even barbaric, behavior humans can exhibit. I recall my own family's history, my grandparents suffering. Then I also become profoundly grateful for the freedom and peace I have known here in my life, and heartened by the charitable and caring responses that we undertake. We need the bad to see the good more clearly sometimes. :(

The financial crisis/recession continues to shape my views of world events and my understanding of the world I live in. That said, I can't honestly think of a specific event that has impacted me. Obama's failure to lead the legislative overhaul I hoped for has been a reality check and a wake up call to the crawling pace of change on a national level. I've had to get more realistic.

I think I'd have to echo my answer from last year, which had to do with Obama's election. This year I have been deeply troubled by the mood and direction of the country, the political atmosphere and the challenges we and the ret of the world face. As I posted recently, there are times I feel like I am too sensitive for these contentious times, but it's also that I care so much, so I find it hard to detach or not get emotionally involved.

Is it bad to say that there is no world event that has impacted me? I don't pay attention to world news. I feel bad for all the shit happening but I can't help it, so why should I get upset about it?

I can't even pick one. This has seemed like a horrible year, natural disasters left and right, unemployment an absolute mess, very young celebrities dying, terrible murders- especially toward children- so depressing. Wars, meaningless suicide bombings. I cry when I read the news now. Every time. Maybe I've just become more sensitive to it.

A young man in Parkersburg, Iowa took the life of his former football coach, a man who was loved by all and lived a life of love and faith, Ed Thomas. A nation mourned this small town Iowa high school football coach, not because his team was the best, but because he was a good man, who took pride in teaching his players how to be good men over teaching them football. He was recognized at the ESPY awards, showing the heart and home that Iowa has to offer the world. I can't understand why anyone would do this and I pray that his family continues to get the support they need.

The ground zero mosque. It is disheartening how we are becoming the people that the terrorist want us to be. Best idea I have heard. HAve different religions open their place of worship around the area and they will all mix and mingle every-time they go to services or have events. The melting pot idea instead of isolation, hate, and bigotry out of fear.

The election of Obama has frightened me in a way that I will never shake. The freedom that being American has always meant to me is now threatened and I deeply fear that the quality of my life may never reach its full potential due to the changes that will result from this president's actions.

I wasn't too impacted by what was happening with the world this year. Maybe I was a little too self-centered. Maybe looking at the bigger picture puts my problems in their true perspective. That's something to look at.

Is it odd that my mind is blank? I could say the BP oil spill, but it didn't really impact me directly. Except to push me to be more distrustful of those in charge, and the media, who doesn't report things without a slant.

Iran started fuelling its nuclear reactor. This will emboliden fanatical muslims and drive us nearer to a global religious conflict

I am dissapointed in Obama....the economy has taken a downward spiral and his promises haven't come to fruition, he has just made it worse. It feels as if the whole country is in a gloomy mood. It's sad, but I just try and stay in the positive. I believe in this country and know that we will bounce back.

Passage of Health Care Reform will surely affect me at work, since I am a doctor at Kaiser-Permanente, as we expect to gain many new members as a direct result, but to get paid less for Medicare patients. However, since growth is good for us, I expect this will be a net positive for us, and for the country.

The most significant event that has impacted me has been the downfall of the economy. It affected my husband's job greatly. While the outcome ended up being positive, we spent more than a quarter of our year undergoing a pretty significant amount of stress. This, just a few weeks after the birth of our child and lasting for the first few months of her life. As our family's only breadwinner, it was a very stressful time for my husband and the uncertainty around his employment situation was very hard on our relationship and his relationship with our baby.

This summer, Israel's Knesset considered a bill that would have given even more power to the country's Orthodox rabbinate to determine who is a Jew (for purposes of immigration, marriage, etc.). The American diaspora reacted swiftly and vocally: Jews come in many different denominations. It warmed my heart to know that American Jewry was fighting on behalf of people like me, a (non-Orthodox) convert. I don't know that I want to make aliyah, but I want to have the right to do so.

I need to pay more attention to world events. I am too concerned about my own little world - selfish in that way I guess...

The combination of natural and man-made disasters along with world-wide downturn in the economy has been very depressing. I feel helpless to make a difference, though I volunteer locally and contribute financially to a variety of help organizations. The current atmosphere of religious tension and conflict is threatening to the entire world as well as this country, and I don't see any easing of this.

The liquor store on my street corner opened.

The ship that ran the Israeli blockade of Palestine/Gaza and was attacked by Israeli troops. Whether it was warranted or not, the way it was handled with a pre-emptive strike left me wondering which was worse... the ship possibly smuggling in weapons or the troops possibly harming civilians trying to do good. The ship was named after a young woman who was killed trying to make a positive difference in the world. It really left me wondering... do ends really justify means.

I think the earthquake in Haiti and the suffering of the people who live there.

The economy and my fiance being out of work for as long as he was. The BP spill which helped me to understand the effect of the environment and how we care for it effects the economy. Also, the bureaucracy involved in the clean up. And, most of all my how my faith in Obama was rocked by his inability to stand up and be the leader I wanted him to be and stand hard and fast with BP.

The Olympics in Vancouver were quite inspiring for me, especially with the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili. It showed me that, even in these trying times, the world came come together in solidarity and compassion. Maybe there is hope for us.

I think of myself as a Cynical Optimist. The resurgence of dogma, the deregulation of financial institutions and the economic collapse, the continuing evolution of a de facto class structure and the propaganda supporting it; these have confirmed my cynical views and mocked my optimistic ones to the point I am becoming a plain and simple pessimist.

I feel so out of touch with what is going on in the world that I don't even know how to answer this. I feel I have been in my own world worrying about what to do here that the world around me seems so insignificant. I know that the oil spill was a horrible event but it hasn't affected me personally yet. Maybe when it reaches 'my' world I will understand the impact.

The Gulf oil spill. Like many, I was sick and emotionally distraught over mankind's love for money and greed, and its lack of caring if it devastates nature and the world at large, people, societies. Rich businessmen seem absolutely abhorrent as a rule, nasty people, devoted to doing whatever they can to gain more money, methodology be damned. It was all very disheartening and having innocent animals be caught in the oil was so upsetting.

The continuing recession in America, and its impact of employment. I've been unemployed for thirteen months, and so far have difficulty even getting a call or e-mail to let me know I'm not under consideration. The employers' market has removed any need for even this simple courtesy, and this additional level of uncertainty only adds to the stress produced by my diminishing resources.

Disasters have so saddened my heart this year. The terrible earthquake in Haiti, already suffering from poverty. The oil spill in the Gulf and concern about really shitting in our own well-planet Earth. I haven't been personally impacted on a day to day basis, but I feel very concerned.

The various legal wins for equal rights for gays and lesbians, such as the judge here in CA overturning Proposition 8 and another ruling DADT unconstitutional, give me hope that, while our country is still largely mired in bigotry and hatred at times, we're moving a bit closer to a truly equal society. Here's hoping we stay on that path.

It's so interesting reflecting on the "world" and not being able to recall anything BIG. I think its a result of having news pushed at us 24/7. Everything becomes "big" and then forgotten. I guess ranking 1st on the list would be the BP Oil spill and how man made technologies destroy the natural world we inhabit. The Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan Floods also come to mind. And how Pakistan seemed to be forgotten by the international community. Also, the Mosque to be built on Ground Zero or actually near Ground Zero, the minister in Florida wanting to burn the Koran...what are people thinking?

GLBT people have continued to make strides toward civil liberties, despite a biased political environment and the fomenting of hate from the radical right. Prop 8 was overturned by the California Supreme Court and major military leaders are supporting a repeal of DADT. This, along with the re-start in Israeli Palestinian peace talks, has left me feeling hopeful for the future. It seems that justice is on its way.

It's September 11th and living just a few short blocks from the WTC site, I can't help but feel the impact of everything that means. All this nonsense about how a mosque going up right near the site is an affront to the people who lost their lives nine years ago is just showing the world how narrow-minded Americans really are. We're supposed to a melting pot, with a welcome mat for anyone who wants to come and build a life here. But it's just a lie and an embarrassing one at that. When I travel the world next year, I expect that I will be treated with well-deserved disdain just for being an American. I hope that I can a) turn some perceptions around and b) become more than the ignorant citizen I currently am.

"Officially" sending troops into Afghanistan instead of bringing home our troops scares me. Dying for oil and fighting for freedom are two different things. What are we really fighting for?

Well, I think that all the catastrophies that have happened. The earthquake and the miners that got trapped here in Chile definitively impacted me. As a Chilean I can say that these two things really affected us and made us stronger, I think. Personally I believe I'm more Chilean than who I was before the earthquake and the trapped miners. With these two main events, a country was united in the grief.

I don't think there has been a single event but a collection of events that have fed my growing concerns for the continuation of mankind on this planet. It is with growing urgency, I feel the need to figure out what my part is to contribute to an awakening that we are one people and what happens to one (good or ill) happens to all. Jeremy Rivkin's "Empathic Civilisation" gives me hope. As do the work of the new communication technologies to help us learn to be human again and have real conversations that matter - Harrison Owen's "Open Space Technology, Peter Block's "A Small Group", Toke Paludan M¯ller's "Art of Hosting", and others (World Cafe', Appreciative Inquiry, Positive Deviance, and...) But the Tea Party, the Coffee Party, Glenn Beck, Koch Brothers, hate speech, BP Oil Spill, Global Warming, and more - bring me low. Denial of reality and the divisive nature of the politicians in the USA wear me down. I despair that evil will overwhelm the good that is happening in the world. How many of us are willing to set aside our own personal agenda for the benefit of the greater good of this planet?

the floods in pakistan. i sat at the tv and cried. the world is a sad place.

the gulf oil spill highlighted the importance of keeping the wealthy comfortable at the expense of the environment. i was hoping that it would spark some sort of green revolution, but things seemed to go on as usual. the media focused on smaller, silly things and those who were not directly affected by the spill were able to put it out of their minds. it made me more determined to do what i can to be environmentally conscientious. the demise of the economy also brought into light the fact that in our republic, the small percentage of wealthy people have control while the majority of people struggle. i was appreciative to have a secure job and paycheck. it made me glad to have gone into medicine. but i see people struggling. and prices in stores have gone up!!! the madoff scheme and the ensuing info about bank ceo's and other high rankers taking federal funds, earmarked to help the banks, and using them for their own vacations was appalling! i strongly felt that gov't should go right into the bank accounts of these individuals and take money out and distribute it among those who lost their jobs. the continuing war in Iraq/Afghanistan once more spotlights how money for big corporations is america's prime motivator. the lack of media attn to those who are fighting this useless war is unforgivable. that this country does not pull out is a disgrace.

The economy problems continue to be a concern. On a personal level my family has fared relatively well, but the industry I work in has been negatively affected. That makes me fear for my long term employment.

The overturning of California Prop 8 by a federal judge impacts me as much as anyone in a same-sex relationship. It was a legitimization and recognition of our relationships. And it could impact me directly if I choose to move back to CA and want to get married.

I mean, it's kinda hard to know for sure if anything out there in the big world effects my little life, but I guess judging from news, etc. the economy has had a lot to do with me not being able to find a new job. I mean, like I said, I don't know if there is a direct connection but maybe there is. People don't seem to be moving around too much, taking too many chances, etc. A lot of people are out of work so the competition for work has increased exponentially. Being that I have basic administrative experience instead of a specialty or something I think it has been harder to find something new. Ugh. I am completely absorbed with my own well-being. I guess there could have been hundreds of other ways to answer that question.

The furor over the muslim center at the ground zero site has solidified my dismissal of organized religion. I refute all of them. I respect the tradition, the ritual of it that binds together generations upon generations, the way it can be a comfort, the identifier of a tribe. but I utterly disdain the rest of it. How it mostly leads to self-righteousness and hypocrisy. How it becomes a justification for horrible things visited upon whole races, and a reason for people not to care about such atrocities. How it is a guise for hatred and persecution, fear and perversions. I will not ever worship at a church again.

The earthquake in Haiti was such a devastating tragedy, but it also gave me a lot of hope about the virtue of our global society and how technology really can help in situations like this. I was astounded by the speed with which new and existing communication technologies and social networks were used to allow the world to effortlessly donate money, spread information and contribute to aid workers on the ground. Small aspects of this had been implemented before, but nothing on this scale. Since this happened, a lot of these systems have been standardized and used for subsequent tragedies, causes and other important efforts. Also, I can't ignore the fact that the iPad was released, which has certainly changed my life. Every day I want to get rid of my laptop more, as this is such an incredible, fun, effective communication, information, and entertainment device.

The large number of natural disasters just highlighted how we as a species have to change our behavior, and fast. If we don't practice tshuvah tootsweet, it is going ot be too late. It inspired me and my husband to put solar on our roof and develop a rainwater collection system. We also started purchasing less items, reusing, purchasing taking into consideration the ecological impact of what we're buying and the like.

I have been upset and afraid of the growing number of American people who barely conceal their bigotry. Encouraged by politicians, television and radio personalities to defend their no-nothing spech with the First Amendment and wrapping their convictions in the concept of being "Real Americans," it sounds like an echo of some of the worst chapters in history. I recently saw the film "A Face in the Crowd" with Patricia Neal and Andy Griffith. It was made in 1957, but its story of a man who becomes a radio folk hero and begins to use his power to influence people and the government is still an important, relevant commentary on people like Glen Beck and Sarah Palin. It is almost comforting to see that, at least forty years ago, there was such intelligent commentary on this phenomena.

There were two events, months apart, that I found heartbreaking. The devastating earthquake in Haiti and the more recent report of the systematic rapes of women and children in the Congo. I was reminded that we still live in the world where people believe some folks are more worth saving/helping than others. Sadly, the determination of worth frequently boils down to race, gender, and the perception of power. While it is true that humanitarian aid flows and moral outrage is expressed at some atrocities, the aid and rage are limited to the time of our collective attention span. Yet people continue to suffer beyond the time allotted in news coverage.

I guess on some level I would have to say my deepening awareness on the situation of the girls and women of the Congo and the link of their suffering to cell phones and laptops. It has brought me to understand how deeply interconnected this 'global' world is.... how helpless we all can be to the tide of greed and power.... and how manipulating that power is of hundreds of thousands of people. Also how blind, deaf and dumb we must be in order to keep our 'cultures' and 'societies' going even at the cost to others. And how asleep we must keep ourselves and allow ourselves to be kept. I go through moments of thinking I can do something or am doing something.... but when it does not sustain or 'life' distracts me..... I loose my connection to the fact that there are still women and children who are being raped in the most inhumane of ways.... so that I can type this answer into the 10Q archive and have it sent back on my laptop a year from now.

It's not a specific event, but rather something ongoing, which is increased intolerance and divisiveness in our country. I don't know when we turned in this direction exactly--I know elements of it have been present for years--but it feels like it's reaching dangerous levels. It pains me (and scares me) that the majority of people in this country have become so uninterested in the truth; it appears most people are ready to throw anyone under the bus who has different values or who disagrees with them. As I struggle to keep an open mind and heart about many things, hearing daily tales of the fringe elements who are becoming increasingly mainstream gives me more and more doubts about our society and its future. I'm involved in several efforts aimed at empowering the disenfranchised, but I wonder whether it's enough.

The economic recession. My husband and I were both unemployed, and I spent the better part of the year this year looking for a job.

The earthquake in Haiti. It shook me and I wanted to help more than I already do.

The arrest of Nofrat Frenkel for wearing a talit at the Kotel. This triggered a sequence of events which has stirred my religio-political passions into active support for Women of the Wall and religious pluralism in Israel.

Hmm...big question. I guess last year I would have said breaking up with Tom. This year I'm gonna go with - actually I can't answer that at all. This year has just been so much about the fun, that no one thing has really been like "POW!" - then things change. I've just been doing things I want, taking more risks, going more places. Like today I'm in London to go see a show with a friend that I've known for a year and a bit. I would never have done this last year - or even a few years before that. I just think I'm living more in the now than putting everything on one event. I guess the film journo opportunity is shaping something - but I don't know what yet.

The overturn of Proposition 8, stating, "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Although, at present, there is a stay on this decision, I still have hope that this hateful and discriminatory constitutional amendment will someday only be a distant and embarrassing memory for this country, like the Jim Crow laws are now. As a straight woman (and a non-Californian), I'm not personally affected, but as someone with a sense of decency and with gay friends who deserve every single right that I'm entitled to, Proposition 8 deeply offended me. Also, as a former Mormon still living in the heart of Mormon country, reactions of those around me double-sealed my exit. As a child in church, I learned a song that comes to mind when I hear Mormons preaching hate. "Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too..." I heard ugly, celebratory reactions the day Proposition 8 passed and visceral anger the day it was overturned. A church that calls itself, "...of Jesus Christ..." should take a lesson from the songs that are taught to their innocent children.

The trouble and drug trafficking war here in my country has made me even more aware of the corrupt system that we live in. While it is true that there are people whose actions are for good, many others act on their own benefit.

The continued war and the role of the US in the Middle East has an impact on me. Although I am fortunate not to have lost family, seeing and reading about other local families that have lost such young men during battle is profoundly disturbing. These men leave behind young wives, children, family and friends. I am grateful that these strangers to me are willing to risk their lives for the safety of our country and for trying to establish some form of peace and order in a foreign country. I will always be troubled that their loved ones must suffer a loss on our behalf.

BP oil spill. This event has impacted me beyond the human component, i have been so deeply sadden by how the wildlife, animals, alike have been hurt by the spill. I am a HUGE animal lover. I believe that animals are just as important and needed in this world as human beings are. The BP oil spill has destroyed the ecosystem somewhat and the homes of many wildlife creatures. It will continue to play a role in all of our lives forever and life as fish, birds, etc. know it to be in the waters that have been impacted will never be the same.

I'm simultaneously more optimistic with the election of Barack Obama, and more cynical as I learn more about the roots of the economic crash. I think on the whole I feel more disempowered about the true workings of government (as opposed to the visible workings of government).

Events... so many. First came the economy crash last year and past that year, when things were looking up hurricane Alex hit my hometown (Monterrey, Mx) and it completely RUINED my city! It was horrible, it hurt to see all our streets literally gone, they were swept away by the water and the speed and strength running waters had, it was unbelievable! The force of nature is something Ive even more learned to respect. And then, after all our city, people, friends and neighbors got up and started putting the city back together came the "Z's" group who has totatlly changed most of our lives, theyve taken over our city, our lives... the way the've just taken over everything is incredible. Its not as bad as the news puts it, yet living here and having lived in the most gorgeous city and funnest and safest to what's going on its a 180... All that hurts, it hurts to see Mty go thru what its going...

It might be just across the Bay, but a puppy was accidentally put in a microwave for 15 seconds by a little boy who didn't know better. The puppy was severely injured and was given to an animal rescue. They believed he could make a full recovery, even though he was in much pain. The surgery though, was 12,000. I heard all this in a news article and started crying. I cried many times over the thought of this poor puppy in pain. I donated money, as much as I could afford as a student, and checked the website frequently to see how he was doing. A month later, I received a letter in the mail letting me know of the puppy's successful surgery! And shortly there after, I saw on the website that he was ready to be adopted. Now I check, and his picture isn't on the list anymore, meaning they found a loving home for him. It wasn't a worldwide event by any means, but this little dog who I will probably never meet, made a huge impact on me. It makes me hope to do more.

The ongoing court battle over Prop 8 has affected me, largely because of the stress it has put on my gay friends.

I've been in my own world a great deal, so although so much has happened, I feel like it's been a movie or something - even the Haiti earthquake, the oil spill, the more recent Pakistan floods, all the economic and political stuff, etc. Maybe the rise of the tea party has impacted me a little more than the other stuff, because I've been spending so much time thinking about how people are impacted by their emotions (and their emotional issues) to such an enormous degree, and that the tea party is really just a big agglomerated reflection of the emotions and feelings of lots and lots of people, and that it's a little scary and unsettling because there's a lot of anger and vitriol and knee-jerk reactivity, but also, at the very core of the tea party whirlwind, there's a kernel of truth to it. Like, every crazy or bad or mean or unpleasant thing in the world is usually a kernel of truth wrapped in thick layers upon layers of baloney.

The Earthquake in Haiti. The amount of devastation was unbelievable. It's really so sad that a country that close to us in North America is so destitute and we've ignored it and done so little to help it.

I can't say that a world event has impacted my year. I tend to focus on things personally in hopes of changing myself and my own actions. Well, MJ died. That was huge.

The combination of the anger shown over the proposed Islamic Culteral Center in Manhattan and the possible Koran burning in Flordia reminded me of what is must have been like as the Nazis began to demonisz Jews. As a daugher of German Jews who were able to leave Germany in 1935 (and the granddaugher of German Jews who perished at Auchwitcz) I see such similarties and feel a moral imperative to take a stand against such hate mongering. If not now, then when? If not us, then who?

The earthquake in Chile ended up effecting me far more than I thought it would. Usually I tend to ignore what happens in third world countries because in my opinion our country shouldn't always be the one to pick up the pieces. But this year for nearly three months straight one of my friends told us to pray for Chile every single day. It made me think that maybe we do have a sort of human responsibility to at least be mindful and conscious about what happens in the world around us.

The Earthquake in Haiti.... It not only blew my mind and broke my heart... the astronomical number of victims, the deepening of poverty to one of if not THE most impoverished country in the western hemisphere... but I also found myself feeling uninformed... detached. Like this tremendous tragedy can happen and I go on with my life as normal. Then I had the opportunity to help host a fund raiser in Italy for a charity dedicated to Haiti's children and found myself connecting to what was happening there... finally! And then, back in the States, I was offered a job to do a documentary film that will take me to Haiti to film these very children, from someone totally unrelated to the Italian event! So... wow. I really can't wait to pour my heart and soul into this new project and to be close to the people there.

The earthquake in Haiti was pretty alarming to me. Because Colin had family there, it hit home a little closer just by watching how his family reacted. It also opened my eyes to the impact that college students had on the world as UD students raised thousands of dollars by selling "Hope for Haiti" tshirts.

The Rock Werchter 2010 festival. It was my 1st ever festival and i went with my Dad. It made me feel even closer to him and i got to see my favourite band in the world (Muse) for the 1st time there too!! I was soo happy!!! :) :) :)

No particular event. I wish there could be more peace in the world and that the persecution of woman be deleted from the world.

Siberia is on fire, Pakistan is underwater, and Southern California (where I live) is experiencing weird weather patterns. Yet it's SOOO out of fashion to mention that we are continuing to live with an inconvenient truth.

The snowstorm in dc maybe, but nothing really impacted me from world events, have been trying to take less note of them and focus on my surroundings.

Haiti happened this yea. What struck me is that the Western World, sang, prayed and raised money in droves. So admirable. It gave me pause to think of how life changes in a flash and how these huge catastrophe, natural and otherwise are going on all around the worls, every minute of everyday. Living in Canada, we are sheltered from these realities, and so we watch and feel. It is a lesson in gratitude and in giving, selflessness.

War in Iraq & Afghanistan

Israel and the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident. The enormous outrage against Israel has led me to dig in and defend her more arduously. I don't consider her blameless and don't want to be an apologist for everything her government does. But I do want to be her advocate, and when I criticize, to do so out of love.

I know there is a world outside of my little circle of friends and family, but why cant I seem to figure out how to tap into it today?

The broken way that the US has dealt with gay marriage. It is sickening to me that we can't all just agree that love is love and that is it. My closest of friends are gay men and I just want to see them happy - and the fact that it is such a fight ruins it for them. Half of my friends don't even want to get married anymore - why should they have to fight so hard? I went to a Lesbian ceremony and my heart sunk the entire time. They were married elsewhere legally but had a reception and actual traditional wedding in NY - it was beautiful. Why should anyone have that taken away? It's made me realize that no matter how far we get in technology - people just can't change. Here I am getting married and my best friends can't have that because people are backwards.

Lance Mackey won the Iditarod again. I am inspired to continue to dog sled.

The devastation in Haiti that prompted more acts of compassion and love in the people in my community than I can number. From my friend flying in to help with a group the first week, to another friend choosing to go and live there, building homes and communities, mentoring the next generation of Haiti's young men, the people that will be leading the nation. Being the Light. Living Love.

I very much wanted Hillary Clinton to become the next president, but switched my support to Obama when he won the Primary. I have been energized with the changes he is making and hope that he is able to sustain the momentum.

The BP oil spill had me down in the dumps for about 2 months. It solidified my decision to not bring children into this world. It's a dirty, disgusting world and the inhabitants don't care about each other or the other living creatures they share the place with. There are, of course, exceptions, but I wish they were the rule.

Seeing Obama floundering as President, and hearing SO MANY now say that GWB was not the idiot that dumb people thought he was, has restored my faith in America. He's played more golf in 10 months than GWB played in 8 years. If Bush had responded to the oil spill the way Obama has... I shudder to think of what would be said about him. Obambi's chickens are coming home to roost. YES!!

Watching people lose their minds over the "Ground Zero Mosque" has impacted me this year. It's reaffirmed my belief in freedom of religion for everyone, not just the people you agree with. It's very frustrating, but it's definitely made an impact on me.

I keep thinking back to the obscene world reaction to the "flotilla incident". It still enrages me when I think about how the world is preprogrammed to convict Israel as guilty regardless of the circumstances or justifications. That the world can chose to ignore outright violations of human rights, crimes against humanity and genocide taking place around the planet and yet will vilify Israel for simple acts of self defense and self preservation is beyond reprehensible.

The economy has made things hard at work. I work in daycare and when parents lose jobs they take their kids out of the program. Then our bosses have to downsize and give us furlow days. The only comfort I have is that I am more qualified than several of my coworkers and my bosses have confirmed that the first ones to go are the ones last hired and least qualified. I don't want to lose the good friends I've made but I have rent to pay. Sounds horrible but sometimes you do have to look out for yourself and only you.

The Koran burning. And the mosque at Ground Zero. They both pissed me off. Because I think they are both the product of religious zealots who are completely ignorant to the fact that they are hurting people. Or worse, they just don't care. I never want to be like that. Ever.

This year? I suppose it'd be the oil spill in the Gulf. It's obviously one of the biggest in the US, and just the sheer fact that it happened brought my attention back to the fact that there are severe world issues happening. Admittedly, I'm very naive when it comes to things like that - I don't look into them, and I rarely know much about them. However, with the HUGE press coverage of the event, I was finally forced to start taking part in the world at large again.

The event that effected me the most this year was the BP Gulf oil spill. The fact that we created this ecological disaster and for a long time were helpless to stop it. It was such a blatantly destructive event that would seriously affect the gulf ocean ecosystem for decades to come. What for? So that we can have cheap gas to run around in our gas guzzling automobiles and fulfill our meaningless puny lives... In the end, the event doesn't seem to have affected the psyche of the American public and the politicians have wasted the opportunity that this event handed them, and that is what is most disturbing about this disaster. It was destructive waste by an arrogant species that doesn't even realize it's Hubris - killing the planet that gives it life.

I suppose I'm still reeling from the whole economic problems. I'd honestly blame a lot of whats going on in my life to the economy being so horrible. I lost my steady work because of it and noone wants to hire a full time designer because of it. I'd like to think that my lack of work because of the economy played a small part in the problems with my relationship and it's ultimate demise. I'm not going to sa that that is the one and only problem. There were a whole host of personal, physical, mental, and whatever other problems that led to me and my girlfriend ending our relationship. The economy definitely played a role though.

The earthquake in Haiti was so devastating for so many people, and the people of Haiti continue to live in extreme poverty, many still without permanent shelter. The problem of global poverty has stayed in the forefront of my mind, and I have joined as a volunteer for a relief organization. It is not right that we in the U.S. have so much while so many people have so little.

this business with the Muslim center being built near ground zero really bothers me. Not in the way it bothers a lot of people though. After thinking about the debate surrounding the building of this mosque, I think I have determined what upsets me so much. Radical extremeists exist everywhere and in every country. We, in the broadest sense of the word, give these people press time to rant, rave and sometimes sanely explain their insane thought processes. What bothers me about that is a lot of people are ignorant, whether they believe so or not. This ignorance leads to dangerous situations, like the suicide bombings in the Middle East, 9/11, and others like... I am not sure why people remain ignorant, nor am I sure if it is any one particular person or groups fault. I do know that it scares me down to the bone when people who are not open-minded are microphones for a vast minority, acting as though they are the vast majority. I really do hope that all the strife, hurt and anger is worth it...

The fall in the global economy - because it has effected so many people - both around me and in all over the world. The repercussions are going to be felt for a long time to come.

The oil spill in the gulf was extremely saddening. I was at school when it began and I just remember looking at pictures and crying. Then when I went home it just became a reality and it seemed like it would never end. I know that this will have a huge impact on the environment and the economy of the region I live in for a very long time.

The BP Oil spill and the recall of eggs due to salmonella both had a huge impact on me. Also, reading Jonathan Safran Foer's "Eating Animals." The degree to which corporate greed endangers the earth and it's populations horrifies and enrages me. Don't we know better? The most shocking part is how apathetic and helpless we seem to be. Why is changing our habits so hard? Why is it so easy to be short sighted? Why weren't we all marching in the streeets immediately after these events?

This is again a hard one. Since i can't think of one, i'm gonna take the break up with my boyfriend as an example. That took place 3 weeks ago and it put my life up side down. Luckily i found out that, in contrast to what my ex-boyfriend said, i DO have friends. a LOT of them. And that my family does support me no matter what i do. And that i DO have a life, and that despite what he may say, i can manage my life perfectly without him!

The Recession! This year (2010) I witnessed many of my friends and business associates rise to very high levels within our company, despite (or because of) the recession. This showed me once and for all that strong people can thrive while the majority of others fail. It really took away all of my personal excuses.

We are still at war. I still don't know why. It saddens me.

Great to see the United States leave Iraq... Now if we can only leave Afganistan...

The oil spill in the gulf affected me tremendously. It really hit home just how fragile our environment and the world really are.

I think that the Hope for Haiti special on TV really affected me. I donated because of that special and was deeply saddened by the tragedy of all those who lost their lives, families, homes, etc. in Haiti.

The earthquake in Haiti. How can a nation so poor, with such few resources experience such a terrible blow? If I were rich and famous, I would start and be involved in a foundation to offer practical infrastructure solutions to the poorest areas on earth. Since I am not rich or famous, I did what I could to donate to the cause.

I saw a piece on the news about Jewish survivors taking a commemorative train trip, to mark the one they took in WWII to escape persecution. I can't even recall where the train went from, or arrived to. But the survivors were adults that were remembering taking the trip as children, where they were thrust onto the train by parents who feared so much for their lives that they thought it better to send their children away from them, on their own, with no hope of ever seeing them again than risk keeping them close and see them killed. I have never wept so freely and so sincerely at anything I've ever seen on the news. As a parent, I can't even begin to imagine this anguish, suffering and horror, yet here the survivors are, in our generation. It made me feel completely, utterly thankful for our freedom.

There have been a number of events in politics that have impacted me so negatively that I feel as if I can't watch or read the news. Everything involving gay rights and gay marriage make me so angry at the massive amount of hateful people in this world. I hate the hypocracy of religion. The oil spill made me unable to listen or hear to anything because it just made me too upset. This ridiculous shit about mosques NEAR ground zero also makes me incredibly angry- how does the argument become, "let's all be hateful towards others! everyone else is doing it!" This year the poisonous hate and stupidity in this country has made me just want to avoid thinking about it. I feel helpless and I just get too overwhelmed.

The end of the combat mission in Iraq. While there are still noncombat troops there, and a combat mission in Afghanistan, the fact that one piece of this has moved on is particularly relieving. I saw friends this summer who had served over there, and was overwhelmed by how happy I was just to see them alive. I have spent too many years in my life disgusted with the fact that my friends are fighting wars that began when they were 12, 13 years old. I only hope that in my life I can see those wars end, and all of my friends home safe.

Starting highschool.

I've been kind of massively disappointed in Obama this past year. I stood up for him in the last election, against my parents and everything, and I haven't really been impressed with what he's done in office so far.

I can't choose just one. The Olympics, the end of the war in Iraq, and the oil spill. The Olympics because I love seeing everyone come together to cheer on their country, regardless of the rest of the turmoil in the world. The oil spill because there are so many things it's affecting, and it makes me fear for the future. The end of the war in Iraq because it makes me feel like there is hope for the future.

The earthquake in Haiti. I live in Miami, and I know many Haitians, or kids who are of Haitian descent. I was so sadden by the event since Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and that occurred to them. I remember once reading that they ate paddies made of mud for some source of food. How is it an island connected to another is so much worse off?! It angers me that that had to go by to get the total attention of people. A tragedy. Their houses are made of weak materials since they live on an island and are the poorest people. But, out of the shambles comes light right?

The continuing gay marriage debate has gotten me a lot more into politics than I'd been previously. While the opponents of gay marriage frustrate and anger me, it gives me hope to see so many people fighting for justice even in the face of so much strong opposition.

the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. im very proactive in keeping the oceans clean so this pained me alot. people need to take action and help clean the ocean!!!

This year the war in Iraq had an impact on my life. A boy that I've known since the first grade was killed by a bomb. His wife was only weeks from giving birth to their first child. Although I didn't know him very well, I felt saddness when I found out he had died. It brought home the idea that this war is real and affecting people every day.

I think the appointing of two new justices to the Supreme Court was great....i don't know if it will impact me directly but I am glad that Obama got to do it and it was two women......the economy falling apart makes me increasingly grateful for my teaching job---it's not fancy with big $$, trips, or an expense account, but it certainly is secure... thank goodness.

The only event that has had any impact on me personally is more U.S. Based and it's the economy. Lost hours at work then lost part of my salary now I'm losing my home and looks like bankruptcy is the only thing I can do. When I do look at the World it just adds to the sadness I feel. People killing, raping, murdering children and other based on a God that is different then there's. Whichever God people believe in I don't think he would want this to be happening.

The impending building of the Islamic Cultural Center in downtown NYC. It has made me wonder are all my doubts about freedom of religion and acceptance in America true? It has made me worry, though I am not a Muslim about my own safety in a country that can be so hateful, narrow minded and angry.

i guess the credit crunch has impacted on me a little bit, many businesses going bankrupt and having to make budget cuts, that's why i lost my job. coming from a naive/ignorant person who knows not a lot about politics this is a poorly run country. it has so much more potential, people just need to get their act together, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work it out. some people have said to me that i'm lucky to live in a country like this, but honestly, i'd rather move to another country where immigrants don't flock in by the dozen to sponge off the government. i'm outta here as soon as i can

The floods in Pakistan. I am hurt to see how much people are suffering without sufficient international aid.

The earthquake in Haiti came within days of my visit to Koh Phi Phi, the island in Thailand that was most drastically affected by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Seeing such a resilient island rebuild and continue to do so inspired me to help out in any way I could in Haiti.

I think a lot of things happened this year that belong on this list. Haiti, the continuous recovery in katrina, Gaza... But for me, the fact that we finally were able to pass a universal healthcare bill is the most important thing. Any small step forward gives me hope for the future... especially in America. However, along with these small steps ahs come the emergence of the Tea party and the even more radical right. Extremism and ahte of this sort, fueled by ignorance scares me.

Hmmm ... That one is tougher. Obama's presidency and the hate directed toward it has made me feel sad and hopeless.

Health care reform in the United States. This alone gives me so much hope for the future, and I am so glad that this super power is slowing changing it's ways.

I've been focussed on my own family and work this year so the wider world has not greatly affected me. The earthquake in Christchurch has rammed home to me how lucky I have been to travel and to experience new and interesting places before they are lost or damaged.

I am deeply and profoundly impacted by the response to building a Mosque/Community Center in New York. The people who are shouting the loudest are also those who would fight as hard to carry guns at Ground Zero and yet have no sense of the irony. I simply don't understand why or how the way people disagree has become so disrespectful. I am weary not because there is nothing to argue or fight for, rather it's the way the fight is being fought that breaks my heart. I want the fight for truth to be from the truth of the matter and a place of respecting the opposer instead of a frenzy of name calling and chest pounding. When the Imam spoke of his concern for how denying religious freedom to Muslims would be seen around the world, I actually heard "news commentators" accuse him of making a threat. Making the other side wrong, does not make the other side right. When people, especially people with an audience, are reacting without considering what someone has it creates the illusion that there is only one point of view. We used to be a country where we had a the right and the priveldge to agree to disagree. Now disagreeing appears to be an UNAMERICAN ACTIVITY. I miss the exploration of ideas and idealogies and am weary of the trauma-drama spinning out of control from the "News" which now more resembles Reality TV than journalistic endeavor.

The Olympics always fills me with hope & optimism. And a bit of jealousy.

All the natural disasters really affect me. The tsunami in Indonesia a few years back, Hurricane Katrina, earthquakes all around the world... This year, the earthquake in Haiti made me so very sad. That country was so bad off to begin with, now this... I wanted to run there and bring home 5 children to live with us.

The earthquake in Haiti and subsequent earthquakes elsewhere have impacted me. While war is always bad, there is always a chance that peace talks can be brokered. When it comes to natural disasters, no amount of talking can stop nature from taking your home, way of life, and those close to you.

I feel remarkably unaffected by events in the world this year, which is startling. My world has grown smaller and deeper. It's not a good thing on many levels, but is in terms of my own happiness.

Not really an event in the world but close to, the preached who had planned to burn the Korans has really made me question my faith in humanity.

I think the economic down turn had a big effect on me, particularly on my summer. I had a really difficult time finding a job. The first month of summer, with no work, was really hard on me. I couldn't afford groceries and lots of basics, and had to make a ton of sacrifices about things I wanted to do but couldn't. Even when I got a job, it was part-time, and not enough money to cover all my basic expenses like rent, groceries, and bills. The summer was very difficult financially and I had to make tough decisions about activities. It made me grow up a lot--it forced me to choose things that I needed to do instead of what I wanted to do. This sacrifice is central to being an adult--separating needs from wants, making responsible decisions. After this summer, living on my own, eating ramen noodles so I could buy dog food, I can truly say that I'm no longer a child. Am I grown? Not quite. But I'm not a kid anymore.

continued unemployment has led to lesser health insurance coverage

The BP oil spill didn't affect me personally, but as an ocean swimmer it really upset me. It also makes me sad; this event is just one example of how we (humans) are totally making poor choices. Relying on oil so much has caused so much destruction to the world politically and int he natural world. I am also to blame: I have a car and drive around 100 miles a week or more.

The passage of health care, as limited as it was, can be a giant leap forward.

It has been said that history is written by the victors. This was painfully apparent as the debate heated up at the Texas State Board of Education. I downloaded the proposed curriculum and was horrified to find the bias towards white conservatism. Little to no credit was provided to the large Hispanic influence and accomplishments, nor to the first residents of Texas, almost as if Texas was never first inhabited by the American Indians nor conquered by the Spanish. And while there is some reference to how the Spanish mistreated the natives, all mistreatments to both the natives and the Spanish descendents by the Anglo Americans has been conveniently left out. In addition, students are to learn how regulation impedes economic growth, but there is no mention on how the lack of regulation led to the current great recession! The above are but examples of the ill conceived curriculum, proving that the curriculum was not drawn up by educators but by politicians with an agenda. Needless to say, this got my blood boiling and has me wondering if this is just an example of where our nation is headed. If it is, then we are surely doomed.

I found out that some 16,000 to 17,000 children die of starvation each day compared to 2,250 abortions in the USA each day, and I wonder: Why don't we hear more from religious groups about their feeding the hungry?

There was a global recession and although it didn't affect me directly, I affected a lot of people I know with job losses etc.

Honestly, this is a year where I was so focused on my family, improving my self, and sometimes my work that I really tuned out on world events. At this moment, I can't even remember any event of significance that happened in the world this year -- whether or not it affected me. And I'm OK with that, even if it sounds selfish.

The Gulf Coast Oil Spill. It made me realize that we can not take this life, this earth for granted. It impacted me in a variety of ways because my view on the earth's population, creation, and what we are doing to mother earth have all changed. I realized that the earth is an organism and if mankind does not do something differently then we are going to be in for trouble. We are a cancer multiplying at a rate fast enough to kill our host, and the answer is not in continuing to live the way we live. It made me realize how many people just live day to day with no altruistic feelings or actions, and it is sad and I do not think that religion can save any of us if that happens.

The strange denial of global climate change and the simultaneous awareness that there are lot of dramatic shifts in the weather. In a parallel way, the economic collapse exposing the unfair, unworkable foundations of our economic system which people insist on ignoring. In both cases, there's a level of inertia that makes us unsure of what to do differently, so we just keep doing the same things that have been proven unworkable. I'm not exactly sure what to do with any of it either.

Certainly the disasters in Haiti and Pakistan. But more than that has been the issue of building a mosque and educational center in southern NYC. I have actually lost friends over this issue. I think that as Jews we can relate to our Islamic brothers and sisters. What if we couldn't build a JCC somewhere because it offended people? The entire Islamic people did not cause 911 - a few bad apples did.

Very disappointed and uninspired by the recent federal election here in Australia. Politics in this country needs a serious overhaul, for in my opinion, the entire process and outcome did not feel in the least like it reflected a 'Democratic Process' that represented what the average Australian wants for our future. I am no gravely concerned for the future of a country that has so much going for it, but is progressively being strangled by bureacrats that prefer to default to archaic means of governing and taking far more than it gives back in return. We have a serious brain drain in this country due to being overtaxed and overburdened, leaving us dependent (still) on primary industry - this is not sustainable! Whilst we continue to be governed by people who think that Taxing its people is the only way forward, our time in the sun will be very shortlived!

The Gaza Flotilla gave me a lot of work and raised my public profile. So it wasn't all bad I guess.

The subsidy on health insurance for the unemployed that Obama passed, as well at the extension on unemployment benefits. Without them I would have been fighting cancer while unemployed and without insurance. I am grateful for a president who has shown compassion and taken important action to support those of us struggling in this economy.

The earthquake in Haiti impacted me because an acquaintance from college died in the earthquake. He was there doing missionary work. Reports said that he sang hymns under the rubble until he passed away, which really means a lot to me because we were in choir together. I was also impacted by the gulf oil spill. I realized how much I care about the environment, even though I don't do as much as I should. I've been more proactive on the recycling and reusing efforts in my household.

I do not know how to answer this question, and wonder if it means that I have become too insulated in my own academic bubble to be aware of what is happening in the rest of the world -- which is not good.

I suppose my disappointment at the ability of Obama to meet the goals he set for himself sadden me, though he seems to be finding his ability to come from strength, which is good. But I think the most significant thing was the death of Ted Kennedy. He was a great statesman and a true, true liberal. Perhaps the last of his kind, by which I mean willing to go to the wall. Further, he had a very humane agenda and the ability to follow through.

Acting in a movie in a way that was fun and funny and given the time to let be. A freeness of expression.

Since 2009 I have been following and advocating for an organization called Invisible Children. They are a group that work to stop the abduction of child soldiers in Uganda and help to rebuild the war-ravaged country. This may, a bill dedicated to the cause (the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009) was put on hold by Senator Coburn of Oklahoma. Invisible Children set up a "hold out" to convince him to let the bill pass. For almost two weeks dozens of people slept out on the streets in front of Coburn's offices in OK to show him that we wont back down until he relents. The people at the hold out showed people all over the world that change is possible without violence. You'll find more often than not that a little bit of politeness goes a lot further than violence. Because of these brave people, the bill as able to go through the Senate and the House of Reps and be signed by President Obama. It is officially the largest piece of legislature to ever be introduced about east Africa. It really taught me that ordinary people can make a difference.

The BP Oil Spill. I'm not sure that we can just call it a spill. I would call it an 80,000 barrel-a-day spew of toxic chemicals into our Gulf of Mexico. The place I learned to fish, saw my first porpoises close up. This ecological disaster has broken my heart over and over.

The economic downturn affected me, I ended up loosing my job (as well as everyone else in the company) when the company i was working for went bankrupt. However it's all turned out for the best so far. The oil spill also affected me. I was really angry that nothing was done that was effective for such a long time, that the pollution just kept pumping into the ocean.

The world went on without me in it for the first part of the year. We will see if the second half of the year happens with more awareness than the first half.

Anything and everything having to do with Obama. He has done nothing but told us lies and tried to cover his own ass as he tried to make excuses for the things he is putting this great country through. He needs to learn that maybe everything Bush did wasn't all bad. Obama made a lot of empty promises to this country and has so far not proved any of them to be real promises.

Prop 8 being ruled unconstitutional! As a member of the LGBTQ community, this is fantastic news. There's still a long way to national equality, but this was a HUGE step in the right direction. We could have equality sooner than we thought we would.

The earthquake in Haiti was clearly significant. I never knew what a large population the greater Boston area has. It was an interesting test of how to support a community (CEOC) that does not have a culture of being supportive or talking about personal lives. I felt like people really pulled together resources and time for Raymond and was touched at the generosity of my family also. Coming as part of a string of devastating natural desasters, I was very aware at the time of how much I have to be gratful for and how precarious life is--how much it changes from moment to moment. On a much smaller scale but still meaningful to me, was the Pride March and being part of the flash mob that danced in the Boston Hyatt lobby to bring attention to the injustice of firing dedicated workers and leaving them without benefits in order to save money by contracting out their positions. It was the first time I felt like I was doing something risky and definitely pushing my comfort level, in order to stand up for something that I believe is important. I felt powerful afterwards. I felt like I had experienced a true colaboration and together we had done something important for the worker's struggle.

Oil spilt in the Gulf. I think we have not yet realized what this major disaster will do to our planet and it shows how unconscious we are, and how this "rational and developed" society has not understood we´re just part of this planet, we act as if it´s some company´s ownership, shame on us!!!!

The pettiness of the healthcare debate has dropped my faith in our system of government to solve real problems that we face. How did "conversations about options with Seniors" become "Death Panels"!?

Our school was put on the national news & BBC for that silly Cinco de Mayo incident. And Ms. Lemos stabbed her husband. Goodbye, assistant principals.

Any major disaster such as an earthquake makes me see how we are a small part of the world and we as humans cannot control everything - very humbling.

The news coverage of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico affected me greatly. I don't even know why- I don't even watch the news very often. But something about the way nothing was working and the leak was just going on and on and on made me feel like I was watching helplessly while the world was being destroyed. That might have been a little melodramatic, but it was true of one small part of the world. If nothing else, the whole situation made me want to get involved in something that cares for others, either animal or human.

Obama and the Democrats passing Health Care legislation felt truly historic, and I was glad to have protested and done some small amount of work on its behalf. I only pray the benefit is extended so that everyone in this society who needs it can get the care they need--so that the bottom line (as Rabbi Michael Lerner would say) is about love and compassion and not profit. On another note, the spill in the Gulf of Mexico makes me feel truly fearful about our ecological future.

An event in the world that impacted me was seeing the reaction of people to Obama. I feel that I learnt how to tune out the hate, and the blindness. It made me believe that there are more good people in this country and world that are willing to open their eyes and see all the changes that he has made and followed through on. I wish they would see that most of the things he would like to do are gaining no support from Republicans and that is making it hard to have solid progress and change. I still believe that he is doing a good job and I believe that our economy will improve. God bless America, God bless our President.

Deepwater Horizon - it was both motivating in terms of my line of work and disheartening in terms of how far down the path we are of destroying our natural habitat. We humans are moving farther and faster from our place in nature and towards our integration with silicon intelligence. -Written on my iPad-

There are several, but the one that has impacted me the most is the Gulf oil spill (gusher more like it). It terrifies and infuriates me, that we as a culture and a society have so little regard for the Earth, that we have let technology and greed take over our lives, to the point of polluting the source of our lives on this planet. My husband and I both are environmentalists at heart (we both drive diesel cars on biodiesel made from soy bi-products), but we too exploit the Earth to a certain extent (e.g. buy some food from more than 100 miles away). As we used to say in the '60s, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem!" We have grandchildren now, and for them and all the other future generations, we need to stop living on technology destructive to the Earth, and stop supporting a culture of greed.

The Fotella incident which happened of the shores of Israel. It showed me how much antisemitism there is among the media and much of my peers. People not being able to understand that what happened was a matter of self defense.

I would have to say that event is the increasing lack of willingness on the part of the Republicans, to work in true faith with the Democrats and our President to solve the grave issues that face our country. I find myself for the first time, tuned-out, disinterested and lacking hope. And I was SO hopeful and bursting with pride 2 years ago.

Chilean miners being trapped underground. Puts things in perspective.

The economic situation has affected everyone I know. Lots of people in my family have experienced a downturn in work, including my husband - and in particular, while we were planning our wedding, it was very difficult to make sure we were not asking for too much, of ourselves and family, while we were all in financial hardship.

For some reason, the earthquake in Haiti really shocked and effected me. The sheer number of people who died was shocking, and it's just about the worst country this could happen to, since they are so poor and helpless. It impacted me because it reinforced my realisation of how lucky I am and how so many people on this earth suffer for no reason.

I honestly can't think of anything - perhaps I live in a bubble with little awareness of what goes on in the world. I hope that isn't true.... but life has been so hectic on the personal level that it doesn't feel that I have been affected by global events.

The Australian elections - our first female prime minister, a good thing, but her speaking voice gives me cultural cringe!

My favorite mobile OS, Google Android, has grown in market share, usability, features and generally in the past year. I strive to become a "hobbyist developer" (is that correct?) for the platform and I'm glad, it has made me a believer in mobile and web technologies - an aspect I usually scorned from my firm desktop application days.

The breaking of the drought has been a wonderful occurence in my part of the world. Seeing green makes me feel good.

The rise of the Tea Party movement has made me feel like a coward. When I read about McCarthyism, I always thought, "how could people stand by and let that happen?" I know how. I am so depressed by the racism and fear-mongering that I just sit back and do nothing.

The UK General Election got me much more interested in and engaged with politics, and I now know where I fit on the political spectrum.

A few things have impacted me this year. The economy. This has hurt my ability to do my job, as well as hurting me financially. With the downturn in the economy, we don't do as much business as we have in the past. This in turn keeps me from making bonuses. Obama. He has been such a horrible president. Although I didn't vote for him, I did expect him to keep his promises. The economy has only gotten worse, while he sits back and blames Bush and anyone else he can find to blame. He hasn't done anything about gay/lesbian rights. Just seems like he was elected because of the color of his skin, with no hope for the "change" he promised. So many prominent people have died this year. Farah Faucet, Michael Jackson to name a couple. Life is just too short to take for granted. I want to live my life to the fullest.

I have no idea, I'm not really one for world events but I guess the war that still is going on in places like Iraq how innocent people are still killed just because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The downturn of the economy made me even more determined to live my life debt free. I am paying off all the debt I have as fast as I can and I don't plan on EVER racking up even a cent in unsecured debt ever again.

When I was in Israel earlier this year, I saw a demonstration about the continued captivity of Gilad Shalit. Here is a young man, serving his country (as every Israeli is required to do), who was kidnapped and kept incommunicado for more than 4 years without even a single visit from the Red Cross. I can only imagine the anguish of his parents.

Arguments over oil research in the Falkland Islands reminded me that Argentina still looms like a smoke cloud on the horizon over my home country - and also that there are many opinionated people in the world who talk too loudly after doing too little research. It made me wonder, if they can get their facts so wrong on a relatively small issue, just how much cr*p the press are feeding people on major issues.

The downfall of the economy affected us considerably. My husband's business lost money, our financial situation was critical, and living in the state with the worst unemployment was also hard. If nothing else, however, it's made me realize take nothing for granted and live each day to the fullest and enjoy the time we have here. Nothing is forever, and you shouldn't spend time worrying or miserable. Worry just ages you. It doesn't make you stronger or change the situation. It's taken me 44 years to figure that out.

I feel having Obama as president has definitely impacted me. It has shown to me how far our country has come, and his views and actions in office have really caused me to reevaluate my beliefs and political views, as I've gotten in many a debate with friends and family over him.

The snow-pocalypse of 2010 in DC was a pretty awesome event. It reminded me of hurricane days back in florida from when I was growing up. this storm tested our patience, but in the end, we all came out alright.

The economy.........very hard on my business

Nothing has really impacted my life. My eyes are just barely opening to rights for people who have none because of what they are. But other than that, I don't really pay attention to things that happen on a coast-coast nor global level. I think that should be a goal. Pay attention to things that I have no control over, and act on the things could effect me.

The oil spill definitely affected me because it made me realize how precious wildlife is and how responsible the human population is towards taking care of them.

Unemployment has impacted me greatly. It has been the longest employment drought of my life. I'm not used to someone as smart as I am being told repeatedly that I'm not good enough.

The continued ability of our current administration to choose the wrong solution to our problems every time. Our economy continues to suffer. Individual hosuseholds tightened their belts and made adjustments. Businesses tightened their belts and made adjustments. Our Federal Government feels they are exempt from having to do this and we continue to struggle and suffer. Of course, this makes our business boom; so why should I complain? I do not like to see everyone struggling so much.

I felt for the first time the need to understand and share in the elections. I sided with Labour and Labour were the only party who didn't get elected! I'm massively disappointed in education reform (or lack thereof) and I'm saddened by crime. Most of all, I'm ashamed that I can't think of a single public event that has impacted me. I can remember having lunch with my mum on Oxford street on the very hot day in July (I think) while we shopped for wedding outfits for George's wedding and Gay Pride went past. It made me quite emotional and thankful to live in a place where it's accepted and celebrated to be gay. This year Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch died, along with Alexander McQueen and my nannie. And I don't yet feel like I've done anything to make them proud of the influence they had upon me artistically.

JAFI changed its mission to focus on strengthening Jewish communities. It reinforced the work I've been building up to for ten years. It was really encouraging!

The passing of the health insurance bill gave me hope that maybe the American government actually can get things done and bring on some progress.

The opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Wow, that's probably lame compared to all those world events. But it's the truth. It has impacted me because it was a great experience I got to share with my best friends and it has made my entire year the best year of my life. I will always always remember that weekend and the people I got to share it with.

Has to be Obama getting elected recently. I never thought I would see a person of color ever hold the country's highest office in my lifetime.

The economy has greatly effected the finances of my company. I will not recieve a raise after a review or anything. I just sit around and complain about Tim Pawlenty being a horse's ass.

All of the earthquakes that have been occurring have impacted me this year since I live on a big fault line. Now more then ever I feel like there will be a big earthquake in my area in the near future.

There were many significant events this year, as there seems to be every year. The oil spill in the Gulf was disturbing at the time; now it is disturbing to me because of how quickly we seem to have moved on. The economic situation has me feeling anxious much of the time, even though I have a stable job. I fear that the economy will now continue like this for a long time.

State budget deficits meant mandated furloughs for this year and next. I was happy to go along with the furloughs if it meant I could keep my job. We may have more furloughs in the years to come, but having lost my job to downsizing before, furoughs don't look that bad.

So many scary and awful things have happened this year, I can't think of just one. Nothing has impacted me personally, I'm lucky I guess.

The event that has impacted me the most is watching my fellow Americans become less and less tolerant. It's sad to witness people become more and more hateful towards people who are different; different color, different religion, different sexual preference. It seems that, as a country, we are going backwards on this issue all of a sudden.

The majority of the large events continue to feed into the fear mongering and poverty mindset. I must admit that concern is justified but I do my best to distance myself from taking in such negative programming thoughts. My habit to keep my head in the sand is by far the least productive means at keeping from catching that sickness but until I am able to stabilize my own personal world, I prefer to keep an observer point of view and do my best to keep my own slice of reality in check.

The continued economic recession has meant that as a member of the collective class of '09, work has been scarce and I've seen many of my peers struggle to find employment for prolonged periods of time. It's rough, and I am torn in my own displeasure with my work and the gratitude I should have for landing it in the first place. Ack.

I think all the natural disasters that have happened in the US this year have really allowed me to love where I live even more. Michigan might be cold in the winter but there won' t be huge floods or fires, earthquakes won't kill people and life can be secure. If you can pay your bills, Michigan is a great place to live!

there isnt one specific event that i would say has been a major impact for me, but a combination of all of them, making me realize that while 2012 predictions are still probably a load of crap, the world is out of balance, and we are heading in a direction that will only get worse because people are all so blind to what the real big picture is, people are so concerned with their own interests they cant see that they are destroying themselves. because of the things i have seen and how people have reacted to them it makes me feel that i have lost all faith in the human species' ability solve the problems we all face

The earthquake in Haiti had cruel comsequences for the families, and thousands of children ended up orphans... Seeing this and spending lots of money with fertility treatment made me think (us) on adopting....

Well the recession within the UK has started to affect me, in a good way it's made me evaluate my finances and I have almost paid my credit card off now so that is a positive. On the negative side it's made me realise how fragile the economy is, how fragile my once secure for life job is and it's making me scared that I haven't planned enough for my future and worried that if I do get made redundant then I won't be skilled enough to do anything else. Which is silly but it's still making me worry. I plan should I survive in this job, to make many saving pots. One for omg no job, one for treats, one for future argh the thing broke and we need a new one and the secret one only I know about which is for babies and weddings. Not that I've been asked yet but you know, doesn't harm to plan right?

I have to admit, I have been pretty self-absorbed this year with my fertility quest. Not that I am not aware of the events taking place in the world around me. I would have to say that the oil spill into the Gulf probably affected me the most. To think about all those people who are finally getting back on the their feet after Hurricane Katrina, who now have to worry that their livelihood is threatened yet again. Not to mention the thousands of innocent creatures that died as a result of the greed and carelessness of BP.

The Gaza Flotilla incident, the Glen Beck rally, the Tea Party, all speak to media creating news rather than reporting news, this trend is very disturbing to me, because in Nazi Germany the media manipulated the masses for great evil, what could they do in this country?

Continued world wide economic recession and high unemployment. Makes my savings less and effects so many people I have contact with

The frenzy over building a mosque at the site of 9/11 has affected me. I simply don't understand the furor over a house of worship. I am Jewish, and have a neighbor who was killed on 9/11, but I am not threatened by the prospect of this mosque. I hope it gets built, but I fear for the safety of its worshipers. Islam is not the enemy.

The release of Inception. Ahaha. It's such a cliched thing to say but it's reignited my love and intrigue for lucid dreaming. I actually had my first lucid dream not long after seeing it.

The mosque debate in NYC. I live a few blocks from this site, and experienced 9/11 and was in NYC that day. The fact this is an issue is so disturbing to me. Our entire society is based on tolerance for this type of thing. Moreover, it is such a distraction from the many fundamental problems we face.

Considering that I had to google "World Events 2010" in order to get a basis for answering this question... tells me that I'm very wrapped up in my own events versus the greater world around me. As I looked through the 2010 timeline on Wikipedia, the events I remembered most were Earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Natural disasters are always humbling to me, because so many people's lives are permanently changed by something that's totally out of their control. It's a reminder that something devestating could happen at anytime, to anyone, and that we should always be thankful for the loved ones around us.

The Supreme Court decision to repeal Proposition 8 and furthermore ruling it unconstitutional. This event affects me not only on a personal level but on a social level because it means a lot for the progression of our society. I did a lot of campaigning against prop. 8 when I lived in California, and even though I currently have no desire to get married, the fact that the LGBTQI community is beginning to have the choice to is what matters most.

The economy continues to struggle... and we now seeing the destruction just beginning to weigh in. The fear of all this is causing society to not make calm and collective decisions. Inciting "buring of korans" to "prop 8" has been disappointing behavior from the community we live in.

I haven't been so impacted by the world, b/c I think I've been tuning out & circling the wagons. The BP oil spill made me realize that I was putting even that horrific, huge, devastating event in that back space of my head that I use for far off wars, global warming & other things that are almost inconceivable. I want to start caring more & thus engaging more.

Every day that I saw footage of the Gulf spill, my heart sank more and more. I was certain that this would convince all the skeptics of the consequence of oil consumption. Now that it isn't BIG NEWS any longer I'm afraid the lessons will be forgotten. Perhaps if the oil was in our drinking water or we could see it in our front yard. What will it take to for us to wake up to the damage that we are causing?

The flooding in Pakistan has made me want to become more involved with humanitarian efforts both abroad and at home. It is a puzzle piece that has been missing from my life. I really want to help others.

The reactionary trend of both political parties in the United States (and especially the apparent growing legitimacy of the Tea Party!) has made me anxious about the short-term prospects of our American democratic experiment. But it was news of the so-called "Flotilla Fiasco" in the Mediterranean, involving Israel's IDF and a mostly Turkish group of protesters, that most stressed me this year, especially when considered alongside the more recent "Ground Zero Mosque" brouhaha in New York City. These two news stories may not seem obviously connected, but both provoked strident and dissonant responses from American Jews, my adopted "tribe" (or, more accurately, the tribe that will soon adopt me). I'm a "J-Street Jew," and I tend to favor compromise over stiff-necked behavior, and interpretation over literalism. "AIPAC Jews" don't particularly like or trust "J-Street Jews," sometimes going so far as to label us self-hating or anti-Israel. Far from it, I want (and we all need) Israel to survive, for a number of very, very good reasons. Chief and most universal among the reasons, Israel is, along with America, one of the two most important political and cultural experiments going, and I have a lot of emotional stock in its success (as should every other cosmopolitan). But a part of that success, to my way of thinking, is that Israel must always take the moral high ground so that it can be "a light unto nations"; that necessitates its erring on the side of caution. Doing so will win the Jewish state a great deal of international goodwill (even in the face of undying Jew-hatred), and allow the upstanding, forward-looking nations to pressure the leading lights among the Arab states to call for peace over the objections and violence of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other such militant groups. Sadly, there are many in Israel's government who take a hardline, "Likkud-nik" approach to "the Arab problem" and to the international community, and theirs' are the policies that "AIPAC Jews" support. The mismanagement of the IDF soldiers in advance of and during the Mediterranean blockade run attempt resulted in the loss of life. That end was avoidable, but "AIPAC Jews" and many Israelis insisted, horribly, that more force was warranted! The "Flotilla Fiasco" was, I fear, an international turning point, a moment when all the Jew-haters around the world were given license to scream, "Look, the Jews have done it again!" (The "again" in reference to the December 2008 campaign in Gaza, after which even IDF troops admitted to immoral and unethical actions that were ordered from on high.) And so "the Jews" have done it again, just as the United States, time after time, has stepped into moral and ethical "quagmires," usually while involved in one military campaign or another. Both countries are guilty of reckless and exceptionalist behavior, and both should be held accountable. The difference is, in the international court of opinion, most commentators only demand a slap on the wrist for the U.S.; a great many call for the end of "the Zionist experiment." Yet, even in the face of so much hatred and suspicion of Jews, American Jews have largely turned around and directed such bigotry at American Muslims, as is expressed in conjunction with the "Ground Zero Mosque" situation. "Two Jews, three opinions," the expression has it, and that's usually, I think, positive, a sign of a thoughtful, engaging people. Increasingly, though, it seems that only one opinion (about certain issues; i.e., Israel or Islam and "the clash of civilizations") is considered acceptable in the American Jewish community. American Jewry, like the American body politic at large, is becoming increasingly reactionary and nationalistic. This frightens me.

The conflict in Afghanistan has been on my mind a lot lately. The more I learn about it, the more futile it seems to be. I used to think that if we all just understood each other, no wars would be fought. But this conflict is making me think that there are certain intractable differences that we will never be able to get over when it comes to that conflict.

Health care in reform in the US. It should have made me happier about the state of the nation, but the right-wing hysteria actually made me very sad about the state of this country's media/political system/social policy/general sense of common decency.

All the bail out money spent on people who then turn around and use millions on bonuses when I cannot get financial assistance, like many others, to save our homes or buy groceries. I have been lucky that I have someone willing to help me when I needed it.

I can't think of 1 big thing. There was the oil spill which was blown up by the media and wasn't as bad as it seemed. I went to FL, it was fine. haha However, the recent "Muslims building a mosque near ground zero" situation is challenging my logical views and my "feelings". I know that they should be able to build it. It's a free country. However, extreme Muslims killed thousands of people and caused so much pain just a few steps away. I just don't want to take someone's rights away because who is to say that the gov't can't take my rights away next? :/

The men who are locked in te mines. It seems terrible to me to be cut off of anyone who loves you.

A lot of things that go on in the world scare me. I worry about the safety of the people in Israel.

The proliferation of the Tea Party movement has had the biggest impact on me. I am shocked and dismayed at the level of vitriol, lies, and hate directed at Obama. While I am disappointed in many things about his presidency, it is clear that the right wing is determined to make him fail with little concern for what is best for the country. The opposition to health care reform, an effort long sought from both sides of the aisle and of benefit to all Americans, was a horrible distortion of the facts to scare the public into thinking insurance reform was somehow a socialist takeover. This group of people, complaining about tax & spend Obama, even though he lowered their income taxes, has no parallel from the awful Bush years, while our country was being driven into the ditch. That's when these people should have been complaining.

The earthquake in Haiti and Chile. The trapped miners in Chile. The oil spill by BP These impacted me by showing the magnitude of corruption that exists in this world and how corporations exploit and use humans for their profit and benefit. It made me more conscious of the companies I support by spending my dollars with them.

The economic downfall affected me as prices went up and I didn't get any increase in my salary. I realised that I was heavily in debt and didn't cope with my monthly salary.

The response to the various natural disasters across the world (Haiti, Pakistan, etc.) showed me the impact of technology and connectivity in today's world. When Hurricane Katrina hit five years ago, we could not respond and help with the immediacy we were able to in the last eight months. I am truly amazed by the power of technology and its ability to unite people for a common cause. I am also impressed by the selflessness of millions of people across the world - these moments remind me that technology can be a good thing for us.

None. I suppose with everything happening locally, things in the world seem relatively small. Those things that I have a personal impact on are the things that most affect me. World events seem distant.

There have been many, but I believe that the issues surround a mosque being built near ground zero have made my eyes open a little bit wider. For the first time I have noticed the enormity of xenophobia in post-9/11 America. America means religious freedom, and it doesn't mean "Christianity Rules All" freedom. And from this, the appalling fact that other religious leaders stoop to low levels by burning, desecrating, other religion's holy books. What would your g-d think? What would she say? I have a feeling they would disagree with the recent events. Shame on all of you.

There was a scare/threat of a shooter in my College Library while I was in class that evening. We locked ourselves in and waited it out as best we could. In thinking back on the event I realize that I was not scared to be there or to face a conflict if it came up. It was scary to think how careless and cavalier I was being/thinking with my life. I wonder what it takes for me to take things seriously and actually approach situations with the gravity and sincerity that they deserve. Sometimes my care-free and lightness is good, but other times I wonder if it is best to be more serious.

The US Census gave me employment for a few months, and ultimately, made me eligible for unemployment benefits. For that I am grateful.

The event that comes to mind is the earthquake in Haiti that occurred this past year. For me, this event brought the dire situations that others live in to light. It is easy to get lost in our own day-to-day dramas and get lost in our own concerns while losing focus on how good our lives are how much we have. I was honestly saddened to see how much destruction and loss the poor people of Haiti had to deal with and I was also reminded to be grateful for the wonderful things I get to enjoy everyday.

The event -- or events, rather -- are the series of enormous natural disasters that have plagued the world this year. The earthquake in Haiti, the flooding in Pakistan, fires in Russia. Everything is bigger, more powerful than ever before in my lifetime, at least. It's hard to keep up with them all. It makes me ponder the place we have in the world, and recognize how little power we really have to control our lives. Is it global warming as a human problem or just a phase in the earth's cycle that is beyond our scope? So many big questions and so few answers.

The earthquake in Haiti. It was the week before my birthday and while it was all over the news here in Florida, on the 12th and 13th on my reading list and FB, people knew something had happened, but had no idea how bad it was. Maybe they weren't paying attention, maybe outside South Florida people weren't looking stunned and calling friends and family in Haiti to find survivors and get people out of there and help any way they could. So I created a livejournal community and posted asking if people would donate their time/effort/creativity/items to an auction, and for the first hour or two, it was relatively quiet - and then, there was an amazing outpouring of support and interest. Within a week, we had pledges of over $120,000 and by the time the sums were all counted between our project and Help_Haiti_Heal with the HP Alliance, we had raised about a quarter of a million dollars, thanks to ordinary - and extraordinary - people. J.K. Rowling donated a set of books to the Help_Haiti_Heal fundraiser, Naomi Novik donated a character name, other authors donated books, and their contributions were amazing and wonderful. Almost $40,000 was raised from people donating to get a chance to win those signed Harry Potter books. But the offerings from fanfic authors brought in over $40,000 too. Fanartists, graphic designers, vidders, chefs, knitters, costume-makers, postcard-writers, website-designers brought in almost $100,000 more. That's people-power. That's the truth behind our slogan: Creativity is Magic. And creative people can do magical things.

The proposed Koran burning day, and new Mosque near the WTC. I realized, gratefully, that my views toward Islam have evolved, and I do hold hope there are moderate and peaceful members of that religion. Yesterday I saw a bumper sticker that read: "Everything I need to know about Islam I learned from 9/11", and my immediate reaction was just: hate. Closed minds lead to hate, which is not HaShem's way.

God, there are too many to list if we talk about how it feels that the world's going straight to hell in a handbasket. I'd say the overturning of Prop 8 was a rare shining light in all of this darkness. While the decision doesn't seem to have changed any of the naysayers' minds, it's a hopeful sign that some people in the upper echelons of power have half a brain and the courage to stand up for what they feel is important.

The Haitian Earthquake---we are so lucky to have what we have. Health care reformed passed, thankfully.

As I get older, the endless violence in the world seems to meld into one phenomenon.

No particular event - just the growing scariness of the hatred in our country for "the other." Seems like permission to be front and center crazy full of hate these days. Things were slightly more civil under Bush. So telling.

Ugh, there are so many. The Haiti earthquake in January, the BP spill in April, the Pakistan floods in July, and the rising tide of fear, intolerance, and irrationality in our country, fed by inflammatory, manipulative misinformation and disguised with words like "patriotism" and "freedom". All of it increases my devastation at the tragedy of human existence. How negative forces (greed and fear, mainly) rise to the top and drive the direction of our existence, and benevolent forces (compassion and interest in the common good) are weaker and inefficacious. I refuse to believe that this is "human nature", because the nature of any living thing is to ensure its survival, and humans are smart enough to know that that's not an independent endeavor. There is not a Rich Earth and a Poor Earth. There is not a Sunni Earth and a Shiite Earth, a White Earth and an Other Earth, a Gay Earth and a Straight Earth, a Saved Earth and a Damned Earth. There is not an Earth for animals and plants and an Earth for people. There is just Earth. What happens to any of it happens to all of it. That should be an instinctive understanding for humans.

Obama became president - that was a huge deal for everyone. Also, I was very effected by the earthquake in Haiti.

Mosque at Ground Zero. I believe strongly in the freedom of religion. It is what this country has stood for throughout history. We don't have to like our neighbors, but we do have to extend the same rights to all citizens.

I think that the passage of health care legislation has impacted me most--not directly, but in terms of how I think and how I hope for the system. Perhaps the largest changes that it has brought to my life are due to the schisms and the divisions, not the unification and benefits of the laws. Maybe things will improve once we start to see the law enacted, but for now I think it's just been tremendously painful to watch the country struggle with how--or even if--to develop necessary change.

He finished school!!! I am not a school widow anymore. I don't feel like a struggling single parent anymore. He has relaxed and our marriage has become stronger. I am a more present wife and he a more present husband and father. LOVE <3

The downfall of the economy has caused a drop in tips, and thus I have been making less money than I should have been.

Anti-Islam sentiment running rampant thought out the States. Really bugs me. Our nation was founded on freedom of religion and a lot of people seem to have forgotten that fact.

If I'm honest, there hasn't really been a world event that has impacted me this year...

The health care bill passing - really made me look at what I believe about government and politics and seriously consider the future in regards to my family, our health, and our finances.

The volcanic eruption in Iceland caused me to arrange other means of travel than flying and led to finding out that I had met in one of my travel companions, the woman I have always been waiting for.

I started taking medication for obsessive-compulsive disorders, and since starting it I've found that I now enjoy my life much more than I had in the year prior when I was trying to cope with my problems without it. Though it does make me a little bit drowsy during the daytime, causing me to create stable sleeping patterns in order to be able to study and go to classes, it has nevertheless been a great help to quieting many of my anxieties and agitations, particularly with respect to problems in my relationships with both of my parents. I am now truly enjoying the quality of my life, and I hope I will be able to continue doing so, even if I need to at some point discontinue with this medication.

The uproar over the Islamic Community Center in New York City has solidified my fears of where America is heading – a self-righteous downward spiral that hides behind “morals and faith.” I think the events of 9/11 were despicable and I cried a lot that day, but to condemn an entire population based on the actions of a few radicals is ludicrous. I feel that America is trying to alienate itself from the world while also proclaiming superiority and this paradoxical mentality is going to hurt, if not destroy, this country. These views and reactions are even focused in on our own citizens, just look at the so-called moral war against equal rights for gays and lesbians, when divorce rates are an all-time high. How bout we even the playing field and take away rights of Christians, or straight couples, or anyone else that is the opposite of those who are being discriminated against in this country based on hypocritical beliefs or down-right ignorance. Wake up America! We’re going in reverse – not forward!

The ongoing peace talks between Israel and Palestine continue to affect and impact me. As a person of Jewish heritage, I feel it is extremely important to protect Israel, its land and its people. Historically we have been forced out of our homelands in the most brutal of ways. So, I want to ensure that we remain in Israel, where we rightfully belong. However, I know that apart from the militant Muslims, there are many innocent Palestinians who suffer at the hands of Israel's military occupation and it is not fair to them. I don't know what the solution is, but I pray that peace will prevail.

I feel very safe and isolated here, but I also know that I'm not. The economy has spared me personally, but one of my children does not have a job, and another will be looking for one in a couple of years. I know that the one who is currently looking is at least partially impacted by the general economy, as well as the peculiarities of his field. The one who will be looking must also question where will the jobs be. That is perhaps the greater issue troubling me for them - they may find many more limitations on their choice of a career. When should one give up on a dream?

The earthquake in Haiti, though not in the way one may expect. Watching the benefit concert, I was introduced to the song, "Hallelujah," by Leonard Cohen. It's beautiful and haunting and became an instant, emotional favorite to me.

Gaza flotilla. It showed me that the world still hates Jews & sides with its enemies. It made me more determined than ever to make aliyah.

The primary election in Minnesota. I worked hard for an experienced, intelligent, thoughtful woman candidate. She lost. I saw her struggle with issues of body image, gender and authority. Her struggles and grace in failure were inspiring. I still wish she would have won.

The activity of the Iceland volcano showed me that Nature is the only powerful element in this planet and no human being can fight agains it. The wars that have occured scared me. Human being can't stop showing it's cruel nature. The oil disaster in USA was really sad. The environment there will take hundreds of years until they recover.

The economy not improving has really affected the world or maybe just the US is where I feel it. I see so many people desperate for jobs, to make ends meet. I feel so fortunate but even the fortunate people like me feel shaky uncertain, like anything can go at any minute. So I guess the hightened insecurity impacts me and so many more so much more around me.

Shavout this year really touched me in a way i did not expect. The sharing and the learning really helped me get in touch with my judaism and how much i love it.

obamas healthcare plan. if what he says is true i will now have healthcare coverage under my moms healthcare until i am 26. i am overjoyed if this happens. healthcare is too expensive and i'm fresh out of college with no job yet. it's happening at the right time.

The World Cup in South Africa was a major event for me, something I followed from the start and enjoyed immensely - at least until England were knocked out so disappointingly.

I have to say, the South African Soccer World Cup... It made me SO proud of my country and our beautiful people. The events ran smoothly, the stadiums were fantastic, the 'gees' was incredible... It was a very exhilirating time and amazingly unifying... 'Ayoba!'

The threatened burning of the Q'Uran by the whack-job pastor in Florida. 30 or so folks galvanizing the world. It amazes me that folks continue to be so stupid and underscores why the world continues to deride us as "leaders".

To be honest I live in my own little American bubble and don't pay that much attention to world events. This is something I am ashamed of and hope to fix one day.

I was very much affected by the flotilla incident, where Israeli soldiers stormed an occupied territory-bound flotilla from Turkey, resulting in several casualities. I was affected by this because it was the first time I realized that my world really had changed with my conversion a few months earlier. Living in Brooklyn, it's easy to believe that being a Jew has no (or few) social consequences. We are surrounded by other Jews, living in what I consider an educated and enlightened social context. It was shocking to me to find my feelings and reactions very much distinguished from my liberal but non-Jewish friends. I was disoriented by the sense of otherness that I felt. Whereas once I had been firmly in the middle of a certain group of "us," now it was a different "us" that I seemed to be a part of. I struggled to differentiate how I felt about being Jewish vs. the subject of Israel and the actions Israel took to defend itself or to deal with the issues of Palestinians. I was deeply uncomfortable with friends' attitudes that seemed dangerously close to insensitive at best or anti-Semitic at worst. I learned that being a Jew is not synonymous with being a liberal, and definitely not vice versa, either. And suddenly I had skin in the game in a new and surprising new way.

The floods, the earthquakes, the volcanoes, plus so many people losing their homes, jobs, children and pets ... all have reminded me of how fortunate I am, and that -- as hard as it is to believe -- these are the good old days.

The downward spiral of the economy and the Gulf oil spill. The economy has effected me greatly. I'm just finishing up a master's degree and I had hopes of being rehired where I used to work. I don't think that will happen and it looks like I'm going to have to be self supporting by doing some independent work but in a way I think I may do well promoting myself. We'll have to see.

There really hasn't been one single world event...I am very pleased about the Tea Party movement in the USA. As always, I am paying attention to world events as they impact Israel. I watch the Muslim world slowly insinuating itself onto the rest of the world and I watch the world's blindness and shake my head. I am grateful for people like Glenn Beck, who seem to be God fearing and speaking the truth, but am wary of the fact that he is a Mormon...is he false, as well? I pray for the peace of Israel and for our country to repent and turn back to God.

I'd say that the economy has affected me the most, being self-employed. I've had to expand my type of work and push to get more jobs. Surprisingly, even though I have lost a number of regular gigs, other things have replaced them to the point where I am just as busy as I was a few years ago.

The Gulf Oil Spill. It is hard for me to even talk about because I get so angry about it. The irresponsibility and unaccountability of our world's corporations is unacceptable and needs to be changed. And people need to realize that we cannot rely on oil for our future energy needs.

This year terrible floods swept Pakistan. So many people died within hours and many more within days, weeks and months due to diseases etc.. It really makes me think how id be feeling in a situation like that.. The possibility of losing dear beloved or close friends is horrific. Losing my mum, dad, sister or girlfriend would be heart breaking for me.. i dont think id be able to cope afterwards.. It truely makes me believe how lucky i or anyone else is that we live in a country where things like that dont get anywere near as bad.

Working on the Children's Panel and reading cases about how parents treat their children badly or show no concern and yet inside I am crying out to have my own child, yet I can't due to Klinefelters, it really sucks this imbalance!

The BP oil spill has impacted me. So much of our environment was contaminated in this incident that it makes me want to pay attention to our world more. I have boycotted BP if only to make a small statement that I didn't like the way they've handled things.

Kathrine Bigelow winning the Academy Award for best director and best picture affected me greatly this year. As an aspiring filmmaker myself, to see a fellow women take home such a prestigious award gives me hope; that in this male dominated industry I can do it too. I know that if I work hard and believe in myself, I to may someday stand on that great stage and inspire another girl to throw caution to the wind and go after that dream. No matter the obstacle they feel they may face.

The BP oil spill in the gulf has been very difficult for me. I lived on the gulf coast side of Florida for 21 years, and I love the water. It pains me deeply that the water, sea creatures, and beaches have been so damaged, maybe permanently, for corporate greed. I hope it inspires our government and individuals to be more conscious about protecting our precious natural resources. And I want to spend much more time near water, which is so important to my sense of well-being.

The Haiti earthquake really affected me because I couldn't understand how Americans were upset because the president IMMEDIATELY donated money unlike the honorable GW

ACOG (Amer. College of Gyns & Obs) and the media telling more grandiose falsehoods about the safety (or lack thereof) of homebirths. Packaged as fast food truth for a public who almost never hears the real deal. Makes my job sooooooooo hard.................

Making headway to finding a cure for MS. It gives us all hope & we should ALL plan for our futures. We might not wake up tomorrow morning or we might wake up for the next 36,500 mornings!

Th BP oil spill in the Gulf. It brought home the fact that we are the only species in nature that destroys our own habitat, our own selves. The image of those birds covered in oil. Who are we?! That's what it made me ask - incredulously, but also really. I really want to know. Who would do this to themselves and the planet on which they and their children and grandchildren must live? It's a wake up call for all of us -that we can't take capitalism this far. Money may be what motivates innovation, growth - maybe even the best humans have to offer - but people and the earth on which we live have to come first or we are doomed -

My hometown, San Bruno, just experienced a gas explosion. It was surreal to hear the names and locations on national TV, and to see on FaceBook all the friends who were affected. So sad, but happy to see everyone pulling together!

The iPad. Hands down. This singular moment in history has provided me with about 12% more opportunities for laughter, feelings of superiority, behind the back mocking of coworkers, and general malaise towards mankind that the release of the 3G iPhone. How do you like them Apple(s)?

The oil spill in Louisiana made me re-examine how much I take for granted in life, and how much oil I consume. I began volunteering for the IBRRC, and started taking the train to work or carpooling when I cannot take the train.

The earthquake in Haiti. I felt powerless to do anything but watch and hope.

The Health Care dilemma has caused some great concern in my life. My mom works in the Health Care industry and the socialization and regulation of Health Care could mean doom for her job~

World event, perhaps not. A major local event, perhaps -- and that would be the flooding of the Greater Manila Area due to the rains brought by Typhoon Ketsana ("Ondoy"). I wasn't directly affected by the floods, thankfully, but many of the people I work with and many of our students were. I volunteered to hold the fort in the department and in the ministry office while the heads were out managing the effects of the disaster on their households. I also helped a little in relief operations for our students and employees. I felt somewhat helpless when people were crying out to me for help. But I felt hope in that I saw the generosity of people, financially and with their time. It also brought home the reality of climate change. But I am disappointed that for most people now it's business as usual again -- like Ondoy never happened.

Gaza. I found it horrible. They will never put an end to this nightmare. Also, the begin of the crisis and the loss of my job that led me to let my car in the garage, my beloved car which is my concert hall. But compared to me, i am a privileged and Gaza, haiti and war in Irak led me to relativize my situation - having no more friends and having refused to go to my best friend's daughter's wedding. I will always regret it, but life is short and we must make the best out of it..... My own way was praying God for me and for the others - my family, in particular; my mother and my husband. And I know how God now helps me; I just had to go thru many trials to have my eyes opened. I hope they are... at least, a little bit more!!

i'm embarrassed to admit it, but the death of michael jackson was a big world event that truly impacted me. i NEVER would have guessed that i would be the type of person to cry over the loss of a pop star (on numerous occasions!), but i was. i haven't quite analyzed why it is that his death impacted me so much, but i think it has a lot to do with how sad and isolated his life was. i am also truly a fan of his music, and i can honestly say that in a lot of ways i loved him. i guess part of my grief stemmed from the thought of someone you love dying such a silly, public, messy, painless, but then again maybe painful death, all set to the music of your childhood. such a surprisingly moving event. as i'm sure is the case with a lot of michael jackson fans, who weren't quite sure what to make of the face surgeries, sexual charges, and strange behavior, his death absolutely made me an even bigger fan. i now cherish all of the music he got to make, and love the way it makes me feel.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It shook me out of some degree of complacency and started me thinking more about my wild-assed dreams to pioneer local, sustainable production of food, energy, and raw materials.

The Gulf oil spill has been largely forgotten it seems, which shows just how unconcerned we all are with the environmental damage we are causing. We will not be able to treat the earth like this much longer, but people are more concerned with the "Ground Zero Mosque."

The death of Sheikh Abd el Aziz al Bukhari this year really saddened me. My students were very taken by him last fall, and I hoped to work with him more closely. He was a voice for peace in the Palestinian Muslim community.

Um I think the Afghan floods have affected me. They've made me realize an aspect of my personality that I wasn't sure about. You see, I don't really care at all about what's going on over there. 20 million people affected and I don't even care? Just kind of made me realize how desensitized I am.

haiti was heart-wrenching. the gulf oil disaster was/is exasperating. to watch the right turn the situation around and blame obama has just been laughable.

The occupation in Afghanistan & the war in Iraq & North Korea's inability to function on a human level. My husband is always gone, my brother-in-law is always gone, many of my friends are always gone - but thank g-d my sisters are always here.

The birth of the Tea Parties scares the hell out of me. Blind jingoism encourages divisions and hatred of the people who should be our closest allies. If we are going to rebuild our economy and maintain our American way of life, we need to pull together - not pull each other apart.

The continual economic downturn has affected me because teaching jobs have become far less available, forcing me to expand my job hunting far and wide. I had to move home for this year until the next hiring period in hopes that I can move into my desired career field. Luckily, I've been able to find consistent and fairly stable employment to tide me over until I can continue pursuing my dreams.

The continuing drug cartel violence in Mexico. It hasn't affected me directly, but it's so close that it's a constant reminder of how random the circumstances one is born into can be. Any time people start railing against "them illegals," I invite them to imagine living in Sinaloa with a family and no money. They'd probably do what they had to, too.

The recent up rise against the Islamic community center near ground zero deeply desterbed me. For i do not immidiatly connect 9/11 with Islam. This intollerance only fueled resentment from much of the Islamic world and others. This only shows Ameircan ignorance about religous tradition and believes of others. I'm saddend to hear that a Christian sect has succeded in their goal to stop the plan by using fear and threats...mainly because i found that to be disterbingly terroristic.

The oil spill in the Gulf Coast has really hit me - how much we waste, how little care we give to the planet, how we don't seem to be able to change bad habits...

The oil spill. Seeing all those animals covered in oil on TV was absolutely sickening and depressing, and I can't even believe it took them so long to figure out a solution, especially when the solution was so easy: "put a cork in it" essentially.

The earthquake in Haiti showed me that there are still some people in the world who are truly faithful. I was so inspired by people who started to sing when they realized that they were soon to be rescued-even when they were under many feet of rubble. They praised God for the good that was about to happen to them instead of dwelling on the terrible situations that they were in.

Nothing. I haven't paid any attention to the rest of the world and I don't intend to start now.

Since I've stopped watching the news, events in the world haven't impacted me. I think this is good, as world events (at least the kind that usually make the news) are generally fleeting. If I watched the local news every night I'd just see local crime, national problems, national threats, and maybe the occasional international crisis. Paying too much attention to the former will only make me unnecessarily afraid (most problems only make the news because they are unusual, so why should I have those thoughts and images of suffering and violence in my head?); only the latter is really very interesting. I've started donating heavily to charities, disaster relief efforts in particular. It's nice to have moved to a stage in life where I can give both time and money to the causes I care about. The earthquake in Haiti, and flooding in Pakistan -- those causes have definitely received my monetary support. I like thinking that I have some way of reaching people anywhere in the world who are suffering. It makes me feel closer to others and makes the world feel somewhat smaller. I feel more connected to the human family, as cheesy as that sounds. I like being able to reach out.

Obama being appointed as President and the protests about the Mosque at Ground Zero have affected me in showing that Americans are so hypocritical about being racist or not. It frustrates me to no end.

Arizona SB1070 hits close to home, because I live in AZ. Seeing the nation think that everyone in Arizona hates immigrants is hard. No one seems to understand that we don't hate immigrants. And it isn't racial. I don't care if you're from Canada or England. You should be here legally, and if the Federal Government isn't going to enforce the law, the local governments should be able to.

Due to recession, most of the companies not providing any increment or incentive which gradually increase our financial burden, we are in debt now.

The continuing and increasing environmental crises have brought it home that WE, not THEY, are responsible for doing something, yet left me feeling hopeless to effect a larger change. Maybe in the next year I can become an active participant in making the world a safer and sounder place.

The hurricane in Haiti. This event reminded me that we are all one moment away from having all of our material world stripped away. When you are sitting on an empty milk crate holding all your worldly possessions in your hands, that membership to "the club" doesn't really mean anything anymore.

We see disasters on the news all the time, but they seem so remote, so far away that it's easy to forget. Reading fiction about the wars in Afghanistan, seeing flooding in Pakistan, watching news footage about the ongoing trouble in Haiti made it all hit home a bit more how much I have in comparison to others. It really made me question my own selfish dissatisfaction with life.

The BP oil spill in the gulf is one event that had an impact on me. Seeing the interplay of incompetence between BP, their contractors, and our government underscores the importance of developing cleaner energy resources and conservation. We had an energy audit done in our home to help identify ways of conserving energy... certainly to help reduce our monthly bills and more importantly the help to the environment.

The Earth Quake in Chile! My stepfather was there. It was terrifying waiting to hear from him and getting the live account of the action. the photos were amazing (in both good and bad ways. Calming my mother was a very had task too. the wainting, wondering, worrying. So glad he return safely!

Right now they are talking of the quake and flood, the rise in the price of sugar. Previously, the hiked in the oil price in our country has brought imbalance to my spending vs my income. Everything is becoming more and more expensive gradually. So, who says that money is not important? In order to live comfortably, it is important. I wish to have a new car and a house on my own here in KL. How long do I have to wait?

the housing crisis. we have been put in a position that prevents us from buying a home for many years. our expenses on our home have caused a lot of financial issues within our family that make it difficult to continue enjoying a normal standard of living. i feel very restricted due to household expenses and it's been such a stressful situation.

The continue issues with the world economy has been a challenge. I certainly see some improvement, but so far it appears to be very fragile. I could foresee any number of world events causing continued job growth issues, market collapse, increased violence/wars and so forth. The general fear of bad times puts people into survival mode with focus on day to day. I think this really limits ability for any type of growth.

The way the financial crisis hit Ireland has impacted us both directly. I feel so angry at our government I try not to think about it as I get so upset. I wish the people of this country gave more of a shit, got up off their asses and started a revolution.

The fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina reminded me of how vulnerable we all were, and still are. At the time, I was profoundly affected and realized how much I take my physical safety in my home environment for granted. After reading Dave Eggers book, "Zeitoun", I was reminded of the need to recognize the good, decent people who are around us every day.

The financial meltdown of the last few years continues to impact me, but I can't think of a world event in the past year that actively impacted me

I did a lot of research on JFK this year for a project about leaders who offer tremendous hope. Of course Obama was part of that equation as well. I think as the reality of his day to day leadership has set in---as Americans begin to question him and alternately gain and lose faith in him--I learn how we, as a people, can shift between hope and disappointment---how much we crave to put people up on high---and how that can lead to a range of consequential feeling: from severe disappointment to occasional understanding to apathy.

I'm unfortunately not very plugged into world (or national) news but something that I think about often is the potential punishment of stoning for the woman in Iran who "cheated on her husband". I just think about how there are so many women who think we have nothing to work towards and so many people who think that women are equal to men and I just want to scream. And to think that Iran is my country, and that I live safely and relatively equally in the United States makes me feel both lucky and guilty.

I feel like the world event that impacted me the most this year was the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It just hit so close to home, literally. I prefer Gulf Coast beaches and it was unpleasant to think about how much damage could have been done to those places I love so much. And especially how much it could have affected our tourism industry in Florida.

UK economy crisis - publc sector job cuts. Made me realise that I am really unfulfilled in my job and that redundancy might not be an entirely bad thing! I feel i have become very materialistic and that maybe I could survve if I had to on a lower salary - I think it would do me good!

This has been a year of big change for me, I began by quit smoking and plegded to run NY marathon...the quit smoking pledge lasted 6months...and well the marthon thing , there always next year

The testing by North Korea of nuclear weapons and the development by Iran of nuclear material. There is always the possibility that someone without any feeling for humanity might unleash a nuclear attack on Israel which would then probably proliferate world wide. I fear for the next generations.

The passing of the health care reform in the US and the overthrowing of Prop 8 in California were both really great milestones for this country and I'm very happy about both of them.

I felt really impacted by the G8 riots in Toronto. I was so ashamed that our country appeared tone dominated by anarchists

The earthquake in Haiti made my opinion of several of my fellow Americans greatly decrease but it increased my opinion of other Americans. I cannot understand how anyone can begrudge a country so impoverished and so devastated by such a terrible event the help they received.

The economic recession continues to be a major issue. Continue to have to look for a job.

The Earthquake in Haiti. It broke my heart. How much can one people take?

The change in public sentiment over natural gas drilling has impacted me. Personally, it means my family will probably not make a killing from our farm, and will possibly be spared the drama that my environmentalist parents and the rest of my poor, not-so-green family might have suffered. On a macro level, it may help sway landowners from immediate profits in the interest in preserving the relatively much more valuable and vital resource that clean water is. I hope so.

What is significant to me is that there hasn't been a world event or national event that's affected me greatly. Sure, there may have been new laws or regulations issued that will affect me down the line that I'm not aware of. Sure, a modified and scaled-down health care bill was passed which won't affect me now or maybe in the future. I'm sitting at my desk, struck that I'm so out-of-touch with what is going on in the world because of work and family obligations, that I can't even answer this question.

The Haiti earthquake springs to mind - it's hard to believe that was only in January. Such devastation, and to a country will so few resources to begin with, is heartbreaking. We have very little to give, but donated money through JWS. The passage of Proposition 8 was a bitter moment - it seems so archaic to continue to deny gay folks the right to state recognition of relationships, I don't understand it. I also don't understand the venom with which some people still speak about gay folks. Most recently, the controversy about the Muslim Cultural Center near Ground Zero, and the accompanying anti-Muslim rhetoric, has taken a turn for the vile. The willful ignorance of some people in this country has always dismayed me, but things seem to be taking a turn for the worse. The language used, dehumanizing people who follow Islam, is veering in to the dangerous. Certainly, the series of recent assaults on mosques indicates there are people not content with words. What's the effect on me? I'm fearful and sad for my country. I keep hoping for a light of sanity to come through, and it just doesn't.

The earthquake in Haiti had a strange effect on me in part because my family landed the same day on the opposite end of the island for a vacation in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Upon returning I was pleased and worried by the response in America to raise funds and help out. It seemed too much, too fast and, in the end, the spotlight has sadly faded. I wish we would do more ongoing and do more "at home" (less money was raised initially for Katrina relief).

The BP oil spill in the Gulf. I feel horrible for the people and animals that live in that area who'll be impacted by this disaster for decades to come.

The BP Gulf Oil Spill was very upsetting to us because of the damage to the natural world and also as an illustration of how little control we have over the technology behind our need for consumable energy. It made me feel like destructive events like that are waiting to happen all over the world and that they will increase the poor condition of our planet even more.

Arizona anti-immigrant bill was one more stone in the pile. I am tired of hearing immigrants slurred when the vast majority of us in the US are immigrants. I and my family have benefited from our experiences with recent immigrants. Some of my best teachers and friends have been immigrants. Rather than continue to be angry, I am now a volunteer English teacher for those who recently arrived in the US

The furor over the so-called "ground zero mosque" has affected me. I never before thought that those who wished to destroy freedom of religion in this country would gain such power and influence. I realized that only through protecting all ,can I be assured of protection fro what I believe. It has made me more willing to not only defend my own beliefs and place in society, but to make sure that I do the same for others as well.

Situations in the middle east make me stand even stronger with Israel. I refuse to sympathize with those who will not stand for peace while Israel time and time again extends her hand. No matter where in the world I stand, I stand with Israel.

Probably the UK general election earlier this year and the start of the coalition government, because I'm young it will effect me more.

A hard year ... too many choices!

There has been no single event in the world at large that has impacted me more than it has another. I do my best to insulate myself from the manic media, therefore enabling myself to stay focused and centered.

The continued economic downfall in the US has certainly affected me. It is really hard to be in sales at a time when no one wants to buy anything let alone a luxury item. It has taken a toll on morale in the work place too as we have fewer staff doing more work with less encouragement and less pay.

It will always be the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It's hard to see so many people that are miserable (on both sides) because of the actions of their leaders. I always hope that the next year will bring peace and happiness to all, especially to the youth.

The BP oil spill in the Gulf has impacted my life in so many ways. I am so much more conscious of my own transportation methods and just how much we rely on oil. I have cut back so much and have made a step in the green direction. This is something that I feel everyone should do, to protect our environment and the world for our children.

The Oil Spill and then learning about the amount of spillage that occurs regularly in Africa and other less developed countries. It made me sad, but also definitely strengthened my resolve to think globally - act locally. To reduce my footprint and support those businesses that do the same.

The Great Recession has parked itself in our doorway, it seems. It has made me bitter, and envious of those who have reaped great riches at the expense of everyone else. I have worked so hard in my life and now I fear it will all be taken away and I won't have enough to educate my children. I have had to scale back my dreams and expectations -- a bigger house, nicer schools, maybe a family vacation or two -- those all seem like impossible dreams now.

The sheer number and intensity of environmental disasters this year have disoncerted me; from the rubble of Haiti to the oil-slicked Gulf. Is Gaia trying to tell us something? It's easy to become overwhelmed in the face of such suffering.

The lay off's for BSO. To see jobs that used to be secure and well paid are now becoming almost non existent. The economy is just opening our eyes to something bigger and better we need to strive for.. Who will we turn to when the earth catches on fire?

The enactment of health care for Americans. It falls far short of what's needed, but is a step toward the most essential equality there is, the right to exist.

All the major world disasters, Haitii, Pakistan... Seeing the incredible generosity of others and examining my own generosity and where do I spend my money? Also, global warming is real. How can I contribute to reducing my footprint?

This year? What even happened this year? Perhaps the biggest thing is the passing of the health care bill in its diminished form, which is still very helpful to me and to many people in the USA.

It's kind of a default answer, but the downturn of the economy forced me to look at not only my own economic situation, but realize just how bad it had gotten for a lot of other people, including my dad. I realize that I'm one job, one medical emergency, one catastrophe away from being one of the statistics.

The election of the first black president held so much promise in '08 to so many, but that promise is in ashes. Although the election was 2 years ago, the negativity and disillusionment has grown to epic proportions this year. It is hard to remain positive when surrounded by so much fear and negative actions/thinking. The economy. Housing. Illegal intrusions--people; drugs. Disregard for the constitution and law. Condemnation of Israel for the same acts that other countries can do without censure. Fear of Islam.

The oil spill. It honestly has made me so angry that months can be spent trying to stop it while an ocean is destroyed. What were these assholes thinking. How can we keep allowing corporations to function like this. No more fossil fuels - it's simple!

The oil spill. Im a huge ocean and animal activist and it just made me sad, and even though im not from the gulf i felt stressed for a really long time everytime i saw a news update about it.

Working in the shadow of the World Trade Center, the events of 9/11 still impact me almost on a daily basis.

The most impactful and heart wreching event was the earthquake in Haiti. The magnitude of the devastation, couple with the increase in world disasters drove home for me that biblical prophecies that I have studied are coming to fruition. It reminds me that I need to care for my soul so that it will prosper even as my body prospers (based on 3 John 2).

The downfall of the economy and the budget fiasco in California has impacted me most this year. Because of cuts to education, I am worried about being able to keep my position as a teacher and therefore continue to be able to pay my bills and keep living on my own.

Earthquake in Haiti. Made me feel sad for their suffering and grateful for the good in my life.

Earthquake in Haiti. I cried when I saw it on the news-- it was the first catastrophe that actually made me emotional.

The oil spill in the Gulf and BP's lack of effective disaster management solidified my distaste for the oil industry and strengthened my support for alternative energy technologies. I'm still beholden to Big Oil when it comes to long distance travel, but I now walk, bike, and take public transport more when traveling locally.

Education continues to get slammed by lack of funds and lack of high test scores. It angers me to hear the amount of blame being placed on teachers. I agree that teaching needs reform, but if we're going to hold teachers accountable, we need to hold parents accountable. Who judges them? Who blames them for their lack of availability, their lack of support, their lack of funds, their lack of high test scores, their inefficiencies, period? We need to change our attitude about parents, teachers, and learning in general if we want to compete with the rest of the world.

My sister came out to me earlier this year. I've always been a supporter of gay rights, but now the issue is even closer to home. I feel like change -- change for the better -- is a comin', and she will soon have the rights that everyone has always assumed she had as a straight person.

I worry about the state of war in the middle east as well as the state of affairs in north korea.

Hmmm...I think global warming is always impacting me. I've been using my cloth bags at the grocery store religiously and we're using energy efficient light bulbs now. I'm also being much more conscious of turning off lights when I'm not using them. On a superficial side - I'm very sad that Patrick Swayze has died.

Australian politics has left me with little faith in so called leaders

Watching the awful way people have chosen to share their feelings about the Muslem community and the Moslems in the U.S. is really frightening. The guy in Florida threatening to burn the Quran---and all the media coverage given to this loony guy was terrible. I'm scared about Iran and Israel and still saddened about the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The attack on the Gaza flotilla moved me more than I thought. The sense of outrage I felt. The sense of despair. The feeling that irrational violence is cyclical and that we cannot see outside of our cognitive frames was distressing. It was a symbol of other oppressions, destitutions, disasters that people find themselves in. The death of the flotilla activists was painful and indefensible. If this is a time of reflection and atonement, then let that spirit by political as much as it is personal. Let's step out of the cognitive frames that NetanyaHamas want us to remain in. The flotilla reaffirmed that side of humanity that is willing to die caring for others.

A lot of things. I really care about the environment, the Earth and everyone on it. I just feel so sad that I'm not able to do more to help.

I am hugely affected by the passage of what begins the fight for universal health care in the only first world country that lacks it, America. Post-Cancer, I will never receive the health care I need that won't come at an outrageous price.

This year as with the last few the economy has really hurt me financially, however I have been luckier than most to obtain a foothold in an industry that has performed poor over the last few years which will (hopefully) let me see massive gains going forward. I've really tried to position myself career wise owing to my belief that the worst is over.

Hearing the audio footage of the attack on the innocent film crew in Iraq really upset me and made me realise how scary and horrific it is over there. I hope it is over soon.

The eathquake in Haiti has had an inpact on me this year. Peter from Changemaker talked to us about it, and I feel so sorry for them, and want to help with my whole heart. I really hate injustice, and I feel so angry and sad when I hear and see things like this, and at the same time, I feel so inspired to lend a helping hand. Hey, I can learn to write with my left hand, no problem. I think people should look around more genereally, and really look. I think the world would be a much better place if people cared a bit more, and did little things like smiling to strangers on the streets.

The earthquake in Haiti really made me question my faith. How could such devastation be wrought on such an impoverished people?

In all honesty, I have not followed world news enough in the last year. The war in Krygystan effected me in so far as it effected Alanna. In general, the down economy has effected me as well since it has kept many of my friends from getting jobs.

everything surrounding islam and its controversies. from the banning of head scarves to the burning of qurans. i wish the world and america could be more tolerant to this religion and understand that not all followers of a religion practice that religion in the same way. not all of the followers are fundamentalists and power hungry.

Honestly, I don't feel like the major world events of the year have affected me as greatly this year - of course there are the continuing ones such as the Obama presidency or the economic collapse, but things such as the Pakistan floods and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico felt distant and not directly relevant. It bothers me a bit feeling so isolated, and I would prefer to have been more shaken by these - it's almost like a state of numbness toward the constant world disasters that has kept me from it. The one event that has come closest to affecting me, though still indirectly, is the health care bill. I'm thrilled at the protections that it should in the future offer to people like my friends that are struggling post-college, although it's frustrating that it's not going to apply soon enough to them. It also is making a big difference in areas of study within my field, and I really hope the vulnerable populations that I study see positive impacts in the near future.

The continuing economic downturn challenges me. Having moved to an area of the country that has been in contraction, I find myself struggling to maintain hope for the future vitality of the region, especially when it comes to attracting my generation to the area. Because I work in the service sector, my life here, which I enjoy tremendously, depends on regional economic growth and prosperity.

The economy still struggling and my business barely getting by has been a growing experience. Since its been difficult for others too, it has also shown me a lot about people's character.

There are no major news stories that affected me. I'm insulated like that.

The Haiti earthquakes. As great a disaster as this was, I am hoping that it will focus enough attention on Haiti to bring it into the 21st century.

To me, the rise of the Tea Party and the ugliness of the birthers and outright hate has taken my breath away more than once. The idea that some people in the USA would keep on harping that a sitting President was illegal and then the idea that he is a Muslim/that he practices Islam or that he is not Christian enough makes me wonder if we have progressed as much as we thought we had. The idea that we, in America, would ever sink low enough to curtail the rights of others - for basically religious reasons and even deny them the same basic rights that others have bothers me. I look at people being elected to congress with some of the most hateful ideas yet and I wonder WHY? It affects me - even though I am not in any of the targeted groups (I am not Hispanic, am a legal US citizen, am straight and won't ever need an abortion) but it will affect daughters, granddaughters, sons, grandsons & relations for so many generations to come. Just have to pray that everything swings back the other way - and soon.

The xenophobic and racist law that got passed in Arizona! Just so discouraging that we as a country are not moving forward in any unifying way. Some of the same demeaning tactics that were used to vilify and discriminate Jews, Gypsys and homosexuals during WW II in Nazi Germany are being used against mexican immigrants and people of color. IT is horrifying, disappointing and sad that this is where we are at and that our Government and President, who is a person of color hasn't come out against this law!

The killing of aid workers in Afghanistan by members of the Taliban had a big impact on me. It's the whole good vs. evil theme that occurs time and time again.

The economy caused me and my fiance both to lose our jobs and move from a city we loved to a place we hate just to make ends mean. "I'm no longer living; I'm just killing time."

Yesterday I heard that that loonbag Ahmedinajad got "censured" by his own government (if only I knew what for) and that three Iranian diplomats are seeking asylum in Norway. I am out of touch with world events--focused on myself in a way that is sad and makes me sad but seems necessary--but Iran is an evil place right now, and I hate that man and would like to think somehow God has a conscience and people will be able to get rid of him and his regime.

The federal judge in San Francisco turning over Prop 8 had a big impact on me. On the one hand I was thrilled about the progress, but I also wasn't going to hold my breath that it would go unchallenged. I was happy to hear of Gov. Schwarzenegger's support of the decision, and I hope that more progress is made in the next year until I can finally marry whoever my heart chooses.

It's not an event in particular, but the economic state has impacted me. I feel smart and experienced and for that reason in "this economy," it's difficult to find new work opportunities, because "smart" and "experienced" come across as "difficult" to potential employers, who are taking advantage of this climate by fostering a "buyer's market" of employment. It's disgusting and has not only impacted my bank account and lifestyle (yeah, I know, whine whine) but it's really affected my self worth and has made me really depressed.

I think a lot of events have impacted my thoughts on the world today. One such is I feel more on a national level than world level, but it still reflects us a country for the rest of the world, but the gay rights issues. I guess I don't want to come off as insensitive but I cant understand why it has been such a struggle, gay or straight it really should not matter who can and can't get married. Why the struggle must spill over so much. What should matter is that the ones getting married are in love and ready to make it work through good times and bad, gay or straight.

All the major natural disasters: Both Earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, the flood in Pakistan... It is impossible not to feel sad and helpless, regrdless of how much you can do about it.

Most likely, it would either be some Hindutva/Taliban nutter who has killed a million people anonymously, or the adivasi massacre. The adivasi massacre, in addition to the fact that Obama, and Manmohan Singh, and all the rest didn't really turn out to be 'nice' people. This is something I'm still working through, albeit really slowly, but when I heard about the 'state-sponsored' terrorism, it sort of blew my mind. Up until that point, I knew the government was inefficient but never thought they were capable of doing evil. This clearly showed that for a couple of really rich corporations, they were willing to murder hundreds upon thousands of people. Not only that, but they spend crores of state money, while raking in personal profit. Corruption on this scale I've never seen before. I'm still struggling to come to terms with it, and get myself a point of view that's well reasoned out.

the economic downturn has played havoc with businesses all over, as well as my own. I'm fortunate to have a husband retired from the govt. with a decent pension.

The death of Neda Agha Soltan on 6/20/09 has impacted me every single day since. I can no longer have a knee-jerk response to the Arab world or Muslims even though my gut instinct is to be wary and distrustful.

The iceberg that broke. I really want to figure out how we can slow climate change

The rise of the Tea Party movement has made me more resolute than ever to my liberal values. It has reminded me of the need to always speak up and stand my ground, even when I think so much progress had been made.

The BP oil spill has really driven the point home that humanity needs to take responsibility for its impact on the world. This ecological disaster will have consequences that right now we can't even imagine, but that our children and grandchildren will be left to deal with. All the more responsibility on our shoulders to prepare and educate the coming generation.

I'm constantly chilled by the fact that the world affects me so little. I'm in a bubble, and I need to change that.

I join the chorus of those who have talked about the huge economic downfall (thanks, Bush) and the disappointment at how the senate has stalled and watered down good, real changes. I'm disappointed that Obama has surrounded himself with economic policy people like Larry Summers, and does not seem to fight hard, down, loud, to get some jobs done. What IS IT with Netanyahu and the stand against some peace?! Peace, people, just for a little while,please.

I suppose I should say the earthquake in Haiti - it did definitely affect me, but it also reminded me just how many of these terrible tragedies happen day in and day out across the third world, and how little any of us ever hears about them until they happen nearly in our backyard. The outpouring of generosity to Haiti from people around the world was great, but what about, say, women being raped and hacked to death constantly in Congo? Why do we never hear about that and do nothing to help them? Why don't pop stars get together and make a sappy song to sell for their benefit?

The protesting of the Mosque being built in New York City. Even though it is still going on I think it has had the biggest political impact on me because I've started to realize how unconstitutional we actually are and how our Amendment rights are not being protected. It hasn't been the thing that made me want to get into politics, but, it has been another push forward in that direction for me.

BP Oil Spill. It made me realize how dangerous my job can be working offshore. Very rarely things go wrong out here, but I now realize that if something does go wrong, it will be big. The spill also changed how much confidence I have in the government's word. Government figures began twisting the truth to cater to what the public wanted to hear.

The sudden death of a friend, who was my age...only 30. It made me realize we're not around forever. I learned to seize the day in a way I never did before...making decisions I never thought I would...I love it.

The oil spil... all that belic conflics. All that sucks! A group of people make them happend so they can profit from the life of others. THEY MUST BE STOPED!

I can't think of a single thing. I could really care less about world events. I'd rather pay attention to what's going on directly around me.

The economy — we have kept our jobs and are doing okay, but I think it has left an overall sense of precariousness in our society. I am personally trying to channel that into feelings of gratefulness and generosity rather than fear.

The continuing tragedy in Darfur. Noone should starve as a result of the greedy tactics of their own government. It's blasphemous not to mention inhumane. How can we, human beings, treat each other with such disrespect and inhumanity?

This year I followed the general elections alot, understanding what the different parties stood for. It also made me look at what each of them we're doing for the LGBT community, and what they have done in the past. I supported the Lib Debs.... well that was until they paired up with the Tory's. Who know's what the UK will look like this time in a year, with them in power!

What event hasn't impacted me this year? The financial status of the world has impacted me and my family the most. Fortunately we still have our home and I still have a job. The oil spill has impacted even more my questions about how we live and utilize the natural resources of our world and what we should do about it.

Obama's election. Historic, moving, evidence that we have moved forward in ways that feel right. Unfortunately, he cannot solve the world's problems, and there is still racism, ill treatment of human beings beyond one's imagination, and the US appears to be retreating as a world power of humanity, economy, and as a model for other cultures. I still see the immigrant tenacity evidenced throughout our country and the world - those who see better and strive for it, despite an abyss of roadblocks. I am proud of those people and want positive results of their efforts to be their rewards. As we observe the backlash by political and religious zealots and Obama's political thrashing, I am concerned that the conservative movements coming into office will effect changes that threaten personal freedoms. Let's see.

Without a doubt, the earthquake in Haiti. It pushed me to finally set up a monthly contribution to PHI. The people cont. to remind me of how much I have and how little I NEED. I am now working on the 100 thing challenge, trying to save before spending so in my small way I can be more of a philanthropist and live a minimal lifestyle. Hope this works out in 2011!

The Conservative Republicans' approach to the 2010 mid-year election has renewed my dedication to the Democratic cause. I continue to give time and money to keep well-funded idiots from taking back Congress.

The recession continues and now I join the jobless many. I'm trying to look at this time as a way to reevaluate my goals, take a step back from the intense rush of job-gradschool-job, and see what I really want to do with my life.

I think the multiple decisions (and reversals of decisions) around gay marriage in the US have had the biggest impact on me. Not simply because of the outrage that I have around the double standards - but more deeply how I feel about marriage as an institution and even monogamy in general. I've had to question my own allegiance and defensiveness around monogamy in light of the fact that I don't ever want to get married again. The fact is I am really able to see myself with multiple partners - or am at least open to exploring this. In part this may be a result of being a hell of a lot more comfortable in my own skin. Sleeping alone is a lot easier than sharing the bed. At least most nights!

I have been very upset by the whole "Ground Zero Mosque" debacle. While it hasn't changed my life in any way, it has reminded me that I am deeply passionate about equality of all kinds as well as the freedoms this country purports to offer. I am increasingly angered by the rheteroic of the opposition in this and many other issues and am flabbergasted by the way many people in this country react to difference. This issue, while not major in the grand scheme of things, is sadly emblematic of problems we face right now as nation and how little we have learned from past hatred.

The oil spill, and hopefully it's erosion of the world's continued insistence on seeing a distinction between environmental catastrophes and human rights catastrophes.

I have no more ? only unanswered ?'s GOD bless you all...

The BP oil spill. Makes me long for a renewed world.

Moving house. Too recent for me to truly evaluate but the fact that I loosened up and didn't care as much about what people thought meant that I made some of the best friends and had some of the best times in the months before I left. I felt like this was ripped away from me without me really realizing what it would be like when I arrived. Would give nearly anything to be back.

The BP Oil Leak/Spill has impacted me in a greater way than one might think. I'm not physically impacted by it on a personal level since I don't live near the Gulf Coast, and I don't vacation there either. I think that the reason it impacted me so greatly was because I was in such horrific awe at how much oil was pouring out into the gulf waters at such a rapid rate. I don't know how that will impact me in the future-- but I'm sure it will, and it has to impact my son's generation as well. I remember being angry at the lack of proactive responsibility BP showed. It seems this entire disaster could have been avoided. This event made me more aware than ever of the fragility of our earth, and made me want to do more to try to protect it-- even if that is only through helping the kids I work with become more aware-- and improving my own practices toward "going green".

The question of the mosque near ground zero- it has decidedly put me in the "liberal" box- which shocks me. And its hard to be on the side of religious freedom- when I cannot stand the ideology that I feel forced to protect. But ultimately it defines my character- I cannot demand freedom for myself and deny others that same right or liberty. And so- i can sleep at night- even if it means that sharia law could someday become the law of the land (doubtful- but possible... who knows?). I can remember a time when I was against gay marriage too- I'm ashamed to admit... this was this year's "gay marriage" debate for me. Eye opening- and a re-committal to my core belief: LIVE AND LET LIVE.

the gulf oil spill was such a huge deal because it was right in front of our faces- humans ruining the environment day after day after day. We caused this and it respresents everything awful about humanity. How can you ever go back?

I'm going to go with a positive world event, even though it is close to home. The day that Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that California's Proposition 8 was unconstitutional was one of great joy for me. I'm in a heterosexual marriage, but equality for my family members and friends who are gay and/or lesbian is very important to me. I hope that years from now, my children or grandchildren will look back and be completely amazed that the right to marry once wasn't available to all - just like institutionalized racial segregation seems unthinkable to my generation.

So far nothing has directly impacted me. But I have to say I am very sad in the direction that this country is going.

The Oregon Bach Festival. Holy crap, it was the best experience of my life. Working with teenagers so dedicated to music, and talented to boot made me feel like there was more hope in humanity. Working with Bobby Mcferrin, Roger Treece, Anton Armstrong, and Helmut Rilling has ultimately changed my life. It showed me that music is where I'm meant to be. And I will cherish every moment involving my work from now on.

The financial crises and the continued and disheartening unemployment has been a drain on my happiness with the president and the world; his failure to focus on the problem, the deep suffering that it has caused and the inability for most to see or feel it - excepting Bob Herbert, has been a concern of mine. I wonder if it too has effected my psyche, with a fear that we will not be able to make it financially though we have done fine so far.

As anti-Israel sentiments build all over the world, I want to remain a strong advocate for Israel on campus and do what I can to educate those around me.

The "Tea Party" has gained a foothold - even ascendancy - in this country. As Mark Morford put it, we are all witness to the first political movement whose success is entirely dependent on (and a symptom of) the failure of the American Educational System. And with it, I find myself completely and utterly despondent that I will see any return to common sense or decency in my lifetime, and am even more discouraged that my own party (Asses all) will pull their heads out of their - Oh Look! A Pun! - collective asses and do anything meaningful to combat the Forces of Ignorance and Fear.

If we count the ongoing financial meltdown as an "event," that's affected me and my family enormously. The BP oil spill enraged and terrified me. Those verbs are understatements. The overturning of California's gay marriage ban was pretty exciting and meaningful, if not personally impactful. Other than that, I've been pretty damn self-absorbed this year. I've turned inward.

The economic downfall finally hit me this year. I had purchased a new home with FADA support- which is great. However, I now I am starting to feel stressed financially - which is the first time since the recession started.

The economy screwed my life and left me stuck in the crappiest job that ever crapped.

I think the oil-spill affected me in a way. Though not living anywhere close to the location at all, it made me think about things in a different light.

the tragedy at Raspadskaya mine. I understood that my job sometimes feeds from tragedies.

The earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan rattled me this year. It feels like the natural world is turning against us, its largest parasite. And of course, we contribute as a species to our demise, by allowing financial considerations to allow sub-standard building codes for the majority of our populations. The stories from Haiti were heart-rending; and as individuals, we can have such strength and grace. But as politics there get back to business as usual, I despair that we'll ever see real change. Although the devastation in Haiti was on a far greater scale, the only site I have experienced first hand was in New Orleans, and the outcome was much the same. Outrage, followed by inaction. As for Pakistan, I am saddened that in America, our political and religious prejudices have resulted in a general lack of interest in the worst natural calamity there in generations. My friends downplay it , because the real numbers of dead and the full impact of the floods hasn't been seen yet. The stories of survivors will start coming soon, and I hope they forgive us for not reaching out to them more. I fear that they won't be able to, and that will lead to increased political problems in the future.

I am continually affected by the "news" about the demise of the media. As this is the industry in which I work, I feel knots in my stomach every time I read about layoffs, buyouts and plain old shutdowns. Getting away from the personal reasons, I also fear for my country if we do not have journalists who can make a living digging up the unpleasant truths. It may be easier to ignore, but it's certainly not better.

All of the anger and irrationality from the Tea Partiers is upsetting. I am scared that crazy people are taking over the world.

Going to school at Saturdays. I really hate it

I can't think of one. I think that is a bad sign. Am I so unaware of the world that I am not focused enough to see a larger event? OY! That needs to change.

I live in Illinois, and the state corruption is out of control. It has affected jobs, conditions, attitudes.I live in a mess.

The growing visceral hate-filled divisive politics in this nation. It's hard to filter out the racism and vitriol spewed on my city, our president, the educated, etc etc. by the Tea Party etc. I try to see the other side, see how I am equally stubborn in my opinions, see how the left is just as hurtful, but I don't see it. The growing hatred, fear and racism makes me sad. I look to Obama for leadership as he seems to handle it so amazingly well, by just proceeding, getting his agenda done and moving ahead. I don't agree with others here that he's done nothing. Baby steps... the only way to change.

downfall of economy. My apt lost value. No more home equity.

Lonesome George had sex. All of those saucy swedish vets that paid the old guy a visit must have done the trick. I visited him in 2005 and the locals would laugh at him and call him gayboy. The lasy great Pinta tortoise

The record unemployment has really been hell and hit myself and my friends very hard. I am still struggling to find work. It is a very disheartening circumstance and is proving hard to keep the spirit up and re-writting those cover letters and resumes! Quite a downer really....

The end of LOST was pretty devastating for me. I'm still not over it.

The flotilla incident affected me. It spurred lots of conversations, got me excited about defending Israel, and inspired my first-ever dvar Torah.

Health Care reform bill really made clear how disconnected our politicians and media elite are from reality... the loss of Ted Kennedy around that time just solidified the dire place our politics is in

The strife in the east - from floods in Pakistan, to wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, to tensions between Israel and Palestinians - all seems to be very interrelated to the peace and well being of us in the United States. I am living more modestly, hoping that we can become world partners in a way that allows other countries to be secure in their own economic and cultural directions so they do not feel threatened from within or from outside their borders.

Israeli soldiers boarded a Turkish 'aid' ship trying to dock in Gaza. They were attacked brutally and finally the IDF was forced to open fire on the assailants and they killed 9 'activists' The world predictably condemned Israel. I defended Israel to anyone who would listen. The double standard wears on me. And frankly it makes me dig in my heels more, since I see how unfair and unequal the treatment Israel gets in comparison to China, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and a dozen other countries that are guilty of gross human rights violations. The USA was running a prison in Iraq that turned into a torture camp and though they were critiqued it was nothing compared to Israel defending its soldiers who were boarding a ship that had been warned to stop. The inequity alone is proof to me that it's not a simple critique of Israel, it's neo-anti-semitism.

The mass murder of the people in Mexico a couple of weeks ago was tragic. It reminded me that I want to be actively working for social justice in the world, in whatever small way I can. Right now I don't feel like I have the time or the energy to look very far outside of myself.

This event did not occur in the last year, but I still feel upset about it. California voters passed Proposition 8, which recognized marriage only between a man and woman. This decision impacted me because I have many friends who cannot exercise their commitment to each other, and more importantly, have the legal rights of others. I also affects me because it is a measure of how the citizens of the state think ... and this is discouraging for the future. If in 2010, we can deny basic rights to other humans out of fear or irrational beliefs, where will this lead us?

The general rise in religious radicalism, the growth of rigid positions and opinions - these really make me nervous and give me concerns. It permeates American political discourse, and it colors the way the world sees us. In the wider world the intolerance has grow to frightening proportions. I find myself really being worried about the future of liberal, inclusive, tolerant Judaism. And I want to reach out to Muslims and find a way to pray and work together. Maybe that's a new direction for me. A project to pursue.

The flooding in Pakistan impacted me indirectly, and in a rather odd way. My local shop is run by a Pakistani man, and he has a collection tin for charity on his counter. I put some money in the tin, and ended up arguing with him about whether I should also get my purchaes free. I was the only person who had put anything in the tin for around a week, and he was convinced I was in some way special. I had never had much of a conversation with him until then, but now chat to him daily, and thankfully his friend who had been missing is sae and well. I didn't think people were so closed minded as to not put money in a colection tin because of where the money was going, geograpically.

The Gulf Oil disaster - all that oil - all that water - no way to know anything about anything: how much damage, to what, for how long, what are the effects, when will we know, what about the ocean, what about the wildlife, what about the great treasure of natural resources we are supposed to be stewarding - and look: they want to drill more & deeper. What are they thinking??? When will they ever learn? All I have are 9 small beehives on a 27 acre farm. And I am learning with them as they are tolerating my learning curve with grace & patience. I can help one little space on this planet. And yet I feel there is more for me to do to connect with so many women working in one little place on this planet with a big effect.

I look at the "pile of many" things that are impacting me... the economy, job situations, assorted natural disasters, storms, etc. Life is precious and fragile. God is screaming at people that He loves us and wants us to be in relationship with Him. And people continue to meander off the cliffs....

The oil spill in the Gulf did not affect me personally in anyway, but it shocked me greatly that our country could still let something like this happen, and took so long to get under control.

The U.S. pulling out of the Iraq War. Gives us hope that now maybe we can live in peace at some point.

All the horrible things happening in the world have impacted me. The discrimination, the injustice, it's overwhelming and horrifying how at this day and age we still have problems people thought would be long gone 20 or 30 years ago.

Probably the oil spill, if anything. Damn, that thing went on and on! Just didn't end. There were constant reminders and everything just seemed to revolve around trying to stop it. And then, suddenly, they did. Now I hardly ever hear about it. It got me thinking about how when something goes out of the media, it gets forgotten. There's still millions of gallons in the ocean, killing animals and changing the temperatures of the ocean. Shouldn't we be worried about that? But no, we're too concerned with Lady Gaga wearing a meat suit.

The economy. I'm not sure where to focus my goals or what to look forward to. It used to be that I was always glad to take on new responsibilities in my job because it meant advancement. My salary has been cut and will remain frozen indefinately. It's been that way for a while. We can't talk about goals and expectations and no one can say I'm doing a good job because it might bring up the topic of money. There are some people whose pay wasn't cut and I see them throwing money around. It's futile looking for a job somewhere else because it won't be any better.

The oil spill in the gulf changed my life. i am not sure why this had such an impact on me since i've never been there and am not, directly, impacted by the industry there. i became hyper aware of the role that oil plays in my life and have tried to decrease my carbon footprint, which is not something that i have ever cared about before..not in a tangible way, anyway. i have since started cloth diapering one of my children and have decided how i would like to raise my family to be more self-sustainable (i just have to figure out how to grow food without a yard!). i'd really like to go back to my roots a little and teach my children where food comes from and to raise them like i was raised...composting and getting dinner from the backyard. i have a friend that does it with her family and i'd love to do what they do.

I haven't paid much attention to the world outside of my meager existence. Like I'm not depressed enough already? The only "event" would probably be the drowning economy. But hey, I've always been poor and minimum wage keeps going up sooo..

The passing of 'Obamacare' is a light within the darkness of this world/country. It makes so much sense to me and I don't understand the opposition and the negativity that caused it to become something not quite the same. I have hope that my son will come up in a world that cares for one another, not just who can afford it.

The gaza fotilla incident. i was forced into thinking about it because it was being constantly talked about me, with responsa to it flying around everywhere. looking back it makes me think about how cynical i have become but also how in the end i do defend israel. i hope i am not excessiveky biased, and i have seen things that have forced me to see both sides, but i still havent really made up my mind about israel. this year and in previous years i dont think i have allowwed the news to impact my life much. i hope that next year i will not allow myself to live in such a bubble and be more a part of the world.

This year was the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It impacted me in a big way, because I am Muslim, and the amount of hate in the world really astounded me. I hadn't realized things were this bad. But at the same time, I hadn't realized that things were so good. I saw something on Six Billion Secrets last night. It was a girl posting about how she's discriminated for being different and she's accused of being a terrorist, and how unfair it was. Every single comment talked about how she was a wonderful person, and extremists and terrorists weren't related to her in any way.

I really don't have any opinion.

There have been many things but the thing that sticks out the most in my mind is the media and the announcement that the "war" is over while they send occupying troops into another country for "non-violent" occupation. Are you kidding me? How long until the draft starts and I lose my husband, brothers and possibly sons... Puts things quickly into view and how short and precious time really is.

This is weird, and it isn't really an event in the world. I was flicking through Mick Foley's book and re-reading parts and I came across a couple of lines about a wrestler named Terry Gordo who was awesome in his day but had some kind of head injury in the ring and became a not great performer. He was performing in Japan and Foley said they respected heritage there, what a man had been as well as what he now was (he didn't say it like that - those are my words), and Mick said he wasn't the same since the accident. They were at some small event and Mick said he went to the ring for photos and a couple of people took photos but then Terry just stood there "smiling his sad muppet smile" and didn't take the hint that he should leave. I read that and my heart pretty much broke. I'm still not entirely sure why.

BP oil "spill" just 6 weeks after we landed in NOLA. The realization that we weren't in Kansas anymore, so to speak, came quickly. All my work at EBC over the three years prior almost felt null and void when I figured out how things actually work down here... as terrible as the crisis was, I saw a huge opportunity to make some positive change. But no one's buying what I'm selling 'round here.

The right for gay marriage. This issue is one I feel very stongly about and I have been following this slow moving issue for awhile. Lets' just get this shit passed so gay and lesbian couples can live like a normal marriage.

The earthquakes in Haiti, Pakistan, the fifth anniversary of Katrina. I know that I am at most one person apart from at least one person whose life was wrecked or lost as a result but I was so wrapped up in the daily grind of work and moving forward that I didn't take a moment to care. I am stunned at how small and cold I've become.

Gulf oil spill. I don't live in the US, but I am appalled at this latest example of how the large corporations think that is is OK to put their profits before people, and the environment.

Scams - especially in India. More of the same but perhaps people are starting to wake up and not allow the powers that be to continue as they have in the past. Realistically though - not much. It's not big events, it's the small things, the civility that one expects in life that's still lacking. I've been surprised to see a number of people respond when asked to. More people have to ask more often - hold everyone more accountable.

nothing directly. i try to live my life and be better today than yesterday, and while i try to be involved in the lives of those close to me, i can't think of a national or international event that has sparked my interest or urged me on to greater personal growth and development. i try to make a difference where i can.

All of the natural and man-made disasters in the world - from volcanoes to oil spills to frog invasions before massive earthquakes - it's all overwhelming and scary. We haven't taken care of the world, and it seems at times Mother Nature is flaunting it in our faces. It's harrowing, especially considering that nothing has changed. It makes me more environmentally-conscious.

The decline in the economy has had an incredible impact on us financially. We are digging out of a hole that is so deep it is scary. Once this is righted.....we will never take financial risks again. I don't want to be afraid of opening the bills ever again.

Iran scares the shit out of me. I hope when I'm reading this next year, the world will be in a better place.

The oil spill in the gulf has impacted me really deeply in the way I think about the planet and our impact on it. I have had a perspective of the planet as fragile for a long time, but this is the first time I have thought - man, we have done something that we cannot fix and the planet is going to suffer for it for a very long time. This feeling has permeated my life in a lot of ways.

The hope our country had for Obama seems to have dissipated as he is stuck with the legacy of past presidential (and governmental) mistakes. But his election is still going to go down in history, and paves the way for a racial equity that may finally come about in my children's lifetime.

The recent bomb detonation in Copenhagen will prove itself a larger disaster than one would expect of such a small bomb. Over the next years, politicians will use it as reason for creating new anti-terror legislation that will destroy civil liberty.

Our on-going presence in Afghanistan & Iraq troubles me greatly, as does our country's seeming desire to trash our president. With all that's going on in and for America, regardless of one's politics, we would do far better as a country on every front, if we worked together to support the president and administration, rather than hoping for failure. I am saddened by our collective pessimism and, even worse, by the pervasive apathy of much of our country.

The oil spill in the Gulf. I feel sad for all those directly effected and hope that it makes all of us more energy conscious.

The economic crash, certainly. For years I thought my company was safe and my job wouldn't be threatened, and now it is. The crash's effect on everything else, like gas prices, really changed how I look at money and how I spend it.

The uptake of Social Media. It has created new opportunities for me in business and personal life.

The rise of this "Tea Party" has really impacted me. How can these people be so close-minded? Do they really think they are doing the good, moral thing by judging others? All they do is spread their fear and hate. They remind me of communists in the way that they expect everyone else to be just like them. They cannot accept or tolerate anyone that has different views than them. You can't be happy if you go around worrying about what everyone else is doing and telling them it's wrong. There is no one way to live.

The threatening of that Florida pastor to burn the Koran upset me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I've grown such a great respect for all religions, appreciating all the paths we as humans choose to take on our journey to God and the mere mention of someone feeling so entitled as to burn or cause harm to another religion's text went against everything I had built Faith in over this past year. It was the first time I felt that I really had to stand up and defend my newly discovered beliefs and Faith.

All the horrible crimes committed against children. The Caylee Anthony case, the woman who killed her children then drove them into a lake, the doctor's wife and children who were raped and murdered. . . all these things have made me so scared for my child. I don't see myself allowing her the freedoms I had growing up, just in the interest of protecting her. I'm confused by the changes we have to make in raising our children these days. They seem like a contradiction - protect them too much and they still get hurt. Don't protect them enough and they get hurt.

To me it was the riots in front of El Capitolio. To see such a level of violence towards citizens that were just sitting down expressing themselves by employees that are supposed to "serve and protect" is so discouraging and frightening. I was embarrased of my country when I heard so many people applaud what the cops did.I can't think of my country the same way anymore.

It's the economy, stupid. I work for a company directly tied to manufacturing. This has been a rough year (or two) with lots of uncertainty and ups and downs. Everyone is expected to do more for less, and that's pushing everyone toward burnout. it makes me wonder whether to try and move into another field.

The incremental advances and step-backs in the gay rights fight impact me. It makes me angry and then I want to fight harder for the civil rights of all.

I live in New Orleans and the BP oil spill is like another kick in the teeth for this area. I'm almost starting to take this personally. Has someone in some level of some government got a problem with people being carefree and happy?

Can really think of anything other than the contiuned econimic crisis that make it hard for me to get at student job

All of the gains and losses for the LGBTQ community...it has been a roller coaster year...the overturning of Prop 8 in California coupled with the continued discrimination of gay and trans people all over our country. It is hard to be optimistic, but I have to believe next year will bring more good things for our community.

The BP Oil spill certainly made me sad, made me appreciate nature more, and made me think how we really need to do a better job of taking care of this planet.

The sentencing of Amanda Knox in Italy has really impacted me. I feel so awful for her family I wish there was a way for me to contact them to let them know that someone is still thinking about their daughter. I am around the same age as her and I just can't imagine being told that I was to spend the rest of my life in another country in jail. Her life was cut short in the sense of truly living. Her chance to have a family and fall in love and do all the things that we are supposed to be doing at this age has been stolen from her. It really bothers me and my heart goes out the her and her family.

I think I have been fairly moved by the disasters around the world: Haiti, Chile the Gulf, Pakistan. In the coming year, I want to make it a priority to do something actively to fight for the world that I want to exist: a world with passionate, caring, COMPASSIONATE people. And I want to start with myself, by doing something every day to work toward that goal.

President Abdoulaye Wade erected this huge statue (bascially to himself) in Dakar, Senegal. Maybe not a huge event on the global scale, but I felt connected to it, because I knew that intersection on the outskirts of Dakar, had passed it many times and was really glad to see Senegal in the news. Made me feel connected to something far away and generally overlooked by major media.

The rise of the Tea Party and other forms of orchestrated reaction to the election of a liberal President of color. It pains me that we are not coming from the best of our values: generosity of spirit, hospitality in our communities and country, a balance of passion for justice and humility that helps us act with good intentions and kindness. That there is not same-sex marriage throughout the country, that so-called reparative therapies are twisting the souls of gay men and lesbians, that immigrants (with and without papers) are being targeted. When will the kind of heart, the generous of spirit lead?

Hearing Jacob Appelbaum speak at The Next Hope profoundly affected me. I understood what it means to take a serious risk to expose the truth, and I decided to join the cause.

There are many world events that should have impacted me more: The Haiti earthquake, the floods in Pakistan, the oil leak in the Gulf. I’m sometimes ashamed of the way I fail to respond. My lack of attention to major world events has increased since I left school and is all too easy to foster when I no longer receive a hardcopy of the paper. I’d like to work on being more aware of global events over the coming year and to more actively participate as a global citizen.

I hated that all that BP oil spilled into the gulf. All those poor animals whose habitats have been destroyed. It made me want to cry, and I felt so helpless to do anything about it.

The "ground zero mosque" and the Florida preacher's threat to burn Korans got a lot of press, but I was even more disturbed by an incident in Manhattan where a 24 year old entered a taxicab, and once he verified that the cab driver was Muslim, he then cut the man's throat with a knife! Fortunately, the cabdriver survived, and the 24 year old is not in jail facing attempted murder and hate crime charges. I was so horrified that such violence happened even in Manhattan just because a person has faith in Islam. I am sure that Muslims throughout our country are understandably scared by this incident. Of course, the intolerance and lack of religious freedom goes against everything our country should stand for. I would hope that we could show more compassion, tolerance, and understanding to one another.

The BP Deep Horizon oil disaster. The lack of caring by corporations was right out there for everyone to see. I hope some good will come of it.

The death of the Polish president impacted me since it happened while I was in Poland. It made me realize how things affect other people even if they don't impact me sometimes. I realized this because if I hadn't been in Poland, I don't think I would have heard about it for at least a few days after it happened and I would have thought that it was sad and gone on with my life unaffected. Being in Poland, though, showed me first-hand that other people's lives go on differently than mine does.

The failing of the American economy- I barely knew about it when it happened. I was still finishing college and full of hope for post- graduate life, but once I had left school, all of its impact weighed heavily on me.

The "Flotilla Incident" made me become very active for a short time on Twitter and expanded my involvement into different communities. I feel a gut need to defend the existence of the State of Israel, even when I believe it has made errors.

The only one I can think of and that's because it's recent is the Pope's visit to the United Kingdom. For a while I've feared life after death, I guess everyone else does but I've worried greatly for my own reasons. The pope's visit has made me realise that not only is the Catholic Church a joke but religion on a whole is laughable. I do not believe that one 'man' is lord over all human beings but I do believe that the Church is run by the fear of death. 'If you don't follow the rules and behave you are damned to hell'. Know one knows what awaits for us after death but I find it hard to believe that we live our lives just to be damned in a pit of fire for eternity when we die. As human beings we know already right from wrong and what is 'Evil' (which apparently I am). Religion has not taught us this as its already knowledge. Anyway I'm rambling...

The economy still sucks. I still can't get a job. I'm still more unqualified than anybody else who's stuck in this job market.

The Flotilla incident crystalized the need for clear Hazbara. We absolutely should never negociate with any nation or peoples who have in their charter to destroy the lands of our Jewish ancestors. Per the Hamas Charter: "Israel will exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" How do you negociate with this?!!!! Please don't! Until Hamas and Fatah and Hezbolah change there charters... there can be NO Negociations!

Pope Benedict XVI visited/will be visiting England. I hadn't heard much about him before now, and didn't really give him a second thought. Then I heard about his views on birth control, homosexuality, and the Catholic church. I can't believe it. I thought Christians were supposed to be kind to everyone.

Many tradgic events have happened this year,they've all touched me. I'm not sure they have impacted me a great deal, they've made me aware that life can be a great challenge and i'm extremely blessed that nothing so devestating has happened to me or anyone i know

I seem to be one of the few people still happy that Barack Obama is in the White House. I truly think we avoided a potentially bigger economic collapse and I think he's doing a pretty good job leading our country in these difficult times.

The big oil spill in the Gulf has more than affected me. it really made me conscious of my decisions that affect the environment. It's made me more eco-friendly and more aware of the world around me. Seeing that our country so heavily depends on oil and will do anything to get it, it has made me a more conscious and active citizen.

The 2010 election in the UK was both exciting and perplexing. I'm a member of the Liberal Democrats, and to see my party in government made me excited that the party might finally be able to affect change in the UK such as restoring civil liberties the previous government took away. However, the way the government's running things is making me uneasy, and I'm wondering if any good work will be undone by the prospect of a double-dip recession.

Economic problems in Spain. My son is living there.

This just goes to show how out of the loop I've been with world news. I haven't hardly watched any of the news for quite some time now and I don't even read the newspaper. I admit that the major internet sights that I've really spent any significant amount of time on have really been Facebook, MySpace, work e-mail, and that's about it. I used to listen to NPR in my car, and I'll get the occasional glance at the news when at the gym running on a treadmill. This question is a reminder to me that maybe I should start paying attention to world news more, even if it means skimming the headlines to at least be somewhat in the know about current information.

The clear and ultimate betrayal of Israel by the president of the US, calling on Israel to practice overt and blatant apartheid against Jews!

Judge Walker issued his decision in the Prop 8 trial. Marriage equality has been important to me for a long time. Just on the principle that fair is fair. But now that I am married I appreciate the importance of it on a deeper level. The Prop 8 decision made me feel so hopeful for everyone in this country who loves another person, and made me feel even more grateful to have someone in my life who I love.

the frickin volcano going off in iceland had an impact on my life!! i couldnt fly to uni and whole pile of times!! luckily for me i was able to use *there was a volcano* as an excuse for late work. best. excuse. ever.

The earthquake in Haiti. I thought it was great how people rallied to help. But I think it's pretty messed up that people are doing so little to help others in our own country. I think America should take care of itself first, and then we'll be in a better situation to help the rest of the world.

I promised my friend I wouldn't let him down and hurt him, that in itself had changed my whole mind-set, it helped me realise that I am important, maybe not to a lot of people, but still to some and that means something.

The earthquake in Haiti really impacted me this year because I realized how the whole world can come together to rebulid a country. It really proved to me that we can all change the world. As ridiculous as that sounds. I wish for *world peace*

Three things come to mind: A) Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill B) Target's $150,000 Donation to MN Forward C) Florida Pastor Planning to Burn Qur'an All three events caused my heart to fill with sadness. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused me to ask a series of questions about the environment, God, and where corporate responsibility ends and government protection begins. Target's $150K donation to conservative MN Forward which endorses Minnesota Republican candidate Tom Emmer was shocking. Target's CEO, Gregg Steinhafel, said that the donation was due to the group's stance on cutting taxes for businesses. Sure, but the candidate the group supports doesn't support gay (human) rights. That's just dumb. Human rights, friends. Because we're all human and we should all have a right to be with the ones we love. Before 9/11/10, a pastor in Florida decided to exercise a right given to him under the First Amendment by burning a book (the Qur'an) that the First Amendment gives all United States citizens the right to follow, worship, and believe in... When news broke about this pastor in Florida and his plans, I couldn't believe it. Who was this guy? What did he hope to accomplish by spreading his message of religious intolerance? The pastor didn't burn the Qur'an, which I am thankful for, but it saddened me that a person of faith could be so blind about their own hatred. (There have been many more things that have happened in the world this year, these are the first three things that came to mind.)

It feels like the rate and and scope of disasters, natural and caused, are increasing. Many emotions come out of these events, in the end I meditate

The tortila incident has made me realize that anything my people do and any criticism that the nation receives, won't affect my opinion of Israel. I will always be there for them no matter what decision the government decides to do.

The coninuing natural disasters that have occurred in the past year all over the world have made me feel sad and fortunate at the same time. Sad for the millions of people who live in poverty and have no resilience when they are hit by drought, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis on top of an already difficult struggle for survival. Fortunate that I have been born into a life where I am able to support myself and can assist others in need.

This is actually pretty tough... I suppose the controversy surrounding the mosque/community center near ground zero and the threats of Quran burning and subsequent protests really made an impact on me. It irritates me to see such hatred and bigotry in the world...but I believe I'm disappointed above all. Unfortunately, I feel that my faith in humankind has been shaken... I feel like my heart has been crushed and I'm struggling to put the pieces back together... I know it is possible but the task just seems so overwhelming.

The earthquake in haiti. Many israeli doctors went there to help immediately and im very pro-israel. The earthquake also showed me how easily everything could just slip away, in the blink of an eye.

For some reason it took me a while to come up with an answer to this one. I think the Lakewood Police shootings are a discrete event "in the world" that impacted me. More so than I realized. Just about a month ago I walked into a local Starbucks and saw four Washington State Patrol officers sitting around a table. My first thought was worry for their safety, and then I almost burst into tears. It surprised me since it felt like it came out of the blue.

I think the most impactful thing has been how the speaking around President Obama has shifted. His election brought a level of inspiration and hope and purpose. And in the face of all the economic difficulties, people are blaming him for not just magically turning the whole thing around. He has accomplished so much in 2 years; yet all people see is what's missing. And it was missing when he was elected! Plus the success of the Tea Parties is freaking me out. Any interviews I've heard of participants just seem like they are totally brainwashed and have no concept of the challenges and complexity of our government.

The earthquake in Haiti affected me in two ways: professionally and as a parent. Professionally I was called upon to put together educational resources at very short notice. It was empowering to be developing something that I knew wouldn't just help people grow and develop as leaders and change agents, but something that was going to help people cope. Help people move from greif to action. As a parent, Haiti affected me because it was the first time my son (then just over 3) really understood a major current event. And his response was just what I would have hoped: he kept asking why they dint have houses anymore? And what were WE going to do about it?

The death of Ted Kennedy reminded me that "baby brother" Ted had changed from the irresponsible boy, he seemed at first, to the influential man he became after years in the senate. He was a symbol of how time can smooth many rough spots.

The economic crisis has impacted me financially. Finding employment that will meet all of my needs regarding financial responsibilities, maintaining a balanced family and work life, and providing health insurance for me and my son has become nearly impossible. Facebook! Need I say more?

Its funny because I work in news and can't really think of a major world event off the bat. But I will go with world cup, it brings the globe together. Vuvuzelas came into my life and unlike most, I wasn't annoyed by them so on some level my tolerance has grown. The US team was actually good so that was nice to see more people turn into sports fans for a bit. We got another reason to make fun of the french. And athletic eye candy is always good.

The Gulf Oil Spill. Even more than the earthquake in Haiti. We are closer to it and did a Summer Solstice ritual bringing some focused healing and intention to it. We asked source energy for forgiveness for 'our people' being so negligent. It was powerful. Not finger pointing at BP but rather that it was a tragic error of human kind.

I feel detached from the world. I think because of my job and because of my nature I become embroiled in local events and local issues and forget that there are six billion other people out there with their own events and issues. I also rarely feel touched by world events, unless they come close to me. It makes me think that even though my job is to be a journalist and to read the news, I need to make more of an effort to pay attention and stay engaged.

We are becoming more divisive as a human race. Politics, religion, fear and hatred are impeding our progress as a people. We are intolerant of our neighbors and I pray we start to move beyond this. I am noticing more and more destruction in the world. Good people are dying, natural disasters are abundant and bizarre occurrences keep happening. Is there a parallel? I don't know, but I wish that people who make statements like: X happened because Y was too liberal, gay, were heathens, did not believe in the true god... would chime into the way their hate is hurting the world.

The economic issue has really affected us all. My dad is layed off all the time, mom works off tips (that no longer exist) all of that sort of thing. It's amazing how drastically life changes without cash.

The killing by Israel of the Turkish activists who tried to break the Gaza blockage was a source of anxiety. It put Israel in a no-win situation and led to an increase in anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic sentiment around the world. It all put destroyed Israel's relationship with Turkey, a friend who is now moving closer to Iran. I really wished that the Israelis had handled the situation differently and less violently.

Not a single event, but collectively events have led to a slow erosion of hope. I had such hopes for the Obama administration, but the wars, pollution, corporate greed, intolerance & scapegoating of minorities just continues, the rich get richer & there are more & more poor.

The earthquake in Haiti for the outpouring of support, and the floods in Pakistan for the lack of outpouring of support. I was also influenced by the earthquake, as a colleague in the agency where I work died in it. It was 3 weeks after I came back from an overseas assignment in the Pacific Ring of fire, and it was very startling to realize that it easily could have been me who wasn't coming back.

The oil spill has impacted me in a way that it has me worried about the future of life on this planet in several ways. First, if we can let something like this happen what does it say about us, human beings? Second, what about the sea life down there that is now either dead or dying, and how will we ever replenish and restore the beauty and nature of this planet to a level where all living things can thrive?

The passage of anti-immigrant legislation and the demonstrations against the Islamic center near ground zero has depressed me. I am afraid for (NOT OF) Muslims and Hispanic people in our country. I have less faith in human beings lately, especially so-called Christians.

The massive earthquake in Haiti. I was really amazed at the way the world pulled together to help out. People from all walks of life made a point to donate money, time, and energy to helping them rebuild. It was incredible to see, and helped to restore my faith in humanity.

It's unfortunate but true that one of the biggest events for me has been the arrival of the Pope in the UK. As an ex-Catholic, it had forced me to recollect the reasons why I have such problems with the Church, and particularly the vatican and Pope. I don't see it as a positive influence in the world at all, and in fact, I see it all organised religion as being relics that drag people back from evolving into a better future.

Probably the general election in May 2010. It has impacted on me because it's the first time I've had the opportunity to vote for what goes on in my country. I've decided very firmly where my politics lie, and have become more informed about the world I live in, because I didn't want to be someone who voted because they thought they should. However, I also learned to understand and accept that my friends aren't necessarily the same as me ideologically, which was a bit hard to swallow at first. But I dealt with it, and I understand.

The problems in the economy and the bursting of the housing market bubble caused my ex-husband to declare bankruptcy. I don't foresee him getting back on his feet, and this means that I'll bear the financial costs for our son alone.

Well, the oil spill has affected everyone this year. It's horrible that even in 2010 we can't get away from something like an oil spill. Technology has advanced to unbelieveable levels, why in the hell are oil spills still happening? I feel so bad for all the animals that had to get moved out of their home because BP are a bunch of assholes.

I am just more and more agrivated by politics and politicians. I am agrivated by businessmen that can make crazy amounts of money by bilking us out of our hard earned money. One event "not in the news" that has impacted me was a recent trip to the Hamptons. I now see how the Mega rich live. They live in compounds with large gates and with stratigically positioned walls that keep intruders out. Now I see where the money is spent on the gun deals, the oil negotiations, the road builders, the worthless real estate loans, and the drug companies. No airplanes here, just JETS. In my micro world. My tomatoes are coming up like crazy, and I am enjoying something that money can't buy. I love them.......

The Gulf oil spill has most impacted me this year. I have been to that area and was devistated when Katrina ripped through that area and now to be dealt a second blow with the billions of gallons of oil that were spilled into that area - just when the recovery efforts were underway from the last disaster speaks volumes on how unprepaired we are a a nation to handle such events.

I feel most impacted by the gigantic oil spill in the gulf. Although this year I have been a bit foggy and not stayed in touch with news so much, I am aware of the many beautiful sea creatures and animals who have been destroyed by our negligence. In fact as I write this I believe that our ability to destroy mother nature will have an even greater impact when we revisit what we have done next year.

The BP oil spill - it reminds me how fragile and how resilient the world is -- and how doing every bit we can is important.

The financial meltdown, and the likelihood that our society will never return to that level of prosperity. Oh how I wish we had done better when we could have....

The battle over Prop 8. The intolerance that both sides accused each other of while living in their own muck. We have become a Utilitarian society. This is not a great thing. We have lost our foundation of truth. Truth is concrete, not subjective, yet society lives in the "What is true for you isn't true for me world". We all need to find truth, and then when people don't live in our world of truth love them anyway and treat them with respect.

The flotilla incident between Israel and Turkey. Though it was a minor event, it made me realize how something so small can have such large effects. It also made me realize the fragility of israel's relationship with some of its neighbors, and how though israel might not be ready, and agreement of a sorts has to be reached asap as the world has no more patience for israel.

The earthquake in Haiti this year caused me to reflect a lot on the status of the world. It made me think about ways that I could help or contribute to that situation in a positive way, but it also made me think that maybe I should figure out a way to contribute to the world in a greater way on a more frequent basis.

The odd thing really is, world events seem to have less of an impact on me now. The gulf oil spill was tragic, the recession was sad to read about, but I have been insulated here in this part of the country where things are going so well. I have also purposely pulled back from emotional involvement in political goings-on, probably to lessen any impact I might feel.

The oil spill in the gulf, the devastation from the earth quakes in Hati, Peru, the flooding in Afganistan, all of these disasters happening all at once brought to light just how insulated we seem to be as Americans, and how much excess we have. I always knew we were a rich country, but I think these things have really opened my eyes as to just how rich we are, and how much more we should all be helping those with less get the basic things they need. It's renewed my already strong belief that we need to give as much as we can as often as we can.

Oil spill in the Gulf. Showed how fragile our world really is.

I honestly feel very disconnected from the impact of world events in my life, nothing particularly comes to mind when I reflect on this.

I would say the flotilla to Gaza affected me the most. Not in terms of how it impacted my daily life-- it certainly didn't. But first of all, the way I found out about it-- I was working on a paper at 3:30 am, and looked at Facebook to see a friend's Twitter feed reporting about it. I started crawling through Twitter to get more info, seeing some postings from people who were actually on the flotilla itself. I checked CNN, Haaretz, NYTimes... nothing. Twitter was really on the cutting edge of this major news story. That was fascinating. Secondly, for the conversations that it provoked. The nature/importance of Israel's image in the media, the complexities of the embargo, my conflicted feelings about both loving Israel and being angry at some of the decisions the army makes, the understanding of what happens when you take 18 year old kids and drop them in a war... It gave me a lot to think about. I hope that Israel can recover from the PR damage that happened... It seems to be mostly okay now.

our crappy economy!

There are so many. It still feels like 2009 in some ways because all NPR says is the economy isn't getting better, and people's outlooks are similar to then. This makes me jittery trying to find a job in a competitive area. Deja vu.

The continued closings of public libraries. Why can't people see how important they are to their communities? And will I be able to get a job?

I am fearful of the polarized political climate in the U.S. I think that the Tea Party has an underlying religious agenda hidden beneath their so-called libertarian movement. I am fearful that we are sliding backwards toward the days when the "moral" majority ran the government.

The elections in Iraq and Afghanistan -- people had so much courage in the face of death threats and bombings -- they voted! We sit back and decide to vote on the basis of the weather.

The spill in the Gulf Coast has made me more pessimistic and cynical about our future. There were so many lies told initially, and no one really wanted to take accountability to solve the problem. The lies have continued even after the leak has been capped, as the folks in charge now said the oil is gone, not considering the bigger impacts of the spill. It's hard to stay motivated and want to keep working hard for social and environmental change in this crazy, screwed up world, but what else can we do?

Warning signs, they're all warning signs. The oil spill in the gulf, the weird weather, the gas line explosion in San Bruno. Earthquakes. We are so much less important than we believe!

The flood that affected Pakistan broke my heart! I have visited Pakistan many times and have even lived there. I appreciate the people and their hospitality and their sweet nature. It devastated me that hardly any aid in comparison to that sent to Haiti and New Orleans etc was sent to these people.

The most significant events for me were the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 and the BP gulf oil spill in April 2010. The human and environmental suffering caused by these two events are too great for me to fully comprehend. Though I'm not proud of my response, the suffering was so deeply painful to me that I avoided looking at images of the devastation. I wish I'd been able to do more - actually go to help and do something real.

The most significant events for me were the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 and the BP gulf oil spill in April 2010. The human and environmental suffering caused by these two events are too great for me to fully comprehend. Though I'm not proud of my response, the suffering was so deeply painful to me that I avoided looking at images of the devastation. I wish I'd been able to do more - actually go to help and do something real.

Natural disasters of course, clear reminders of how incredibly fortunate I am in a way that is not fair or earned, just pure luck.

The sight of a meteor and its flame didn't really scare me but made me think. It was a lot bigger than the stars we are used to see. Sept/2010, Northeast Brazil.

I am really upset about all this anger over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, and anti-Muslim sentiment and xenophobia in general in the United States. I am so sick of this culture of fear. I know that there are few people in the liberal bubble that I live in who have these feelings, and I don't know how prevalent they are in the country at large. I do know that the media have given a voice to those who espouse hate and ignorance. The worst part is feeling powerless to fight back. I can only hope that people will realize the iron of saying, "We can have a mosque at Ground Zero when there are churches in Saudi Arabia." This is not Saudi Arabia! People need to remember what makes this country great, and I hope that we can work to live up to our ideals more and more.

Health and social services and education cuts. Affects me personally and our country. I am very disappointed in Obama. States like CA s/b bailed out B4 banks, insurance co.s, etc. My faith in organized gov't less than ever.

The economic crisis. Less loan money, harder to get a job, and not the best time to move to NYC in that respect.

Honestly, this past year, I feel like I've been very self-absorbed. I don't mean that I've been selfish, I've just been so wrapped up in things going on in my life that I haven't looked at what else has been going on. So, I guess, nothing has really impacted me. At least, not so directly that I noticed it. Hopefully I'll have a better answer to this question next year.

Both of my parents lost their jobs to the downturn in the economy. My father went back to school for a new career and my mother took additional training classes. It has brought us closer together as a family and made me realize that my parents sometimes need me now as much as I needed them when I was growing up.

Perhaps it's not a single event, but it's war and more war, and all the ramifications for anyone and everyone involved at any level. I do not understand how or why billions of dollars are directed toward systems which support death and destruction. Whether those who fight are American or Afghani or Iraqi or anywhere on the planet -- we have lost sight of our humanity. This has to stop.

The downfall in the economy.

The economic meltdown has made times hard financially, and it certainly makes me and everyone I know alot more depressing to talk to.

Lousiana oil spill was very disturbing. It is just one more thing on the constant disaster list. Also the yea party people really make me nuts! People expected too much too soon for Obama and because of the obstacles in Govt. he seems ineffectual. He has become the Fall Guy and I find that sad. Almost sorry he won as the next regime will be a real disaster.

An event in the world? Well for once I was aware of them. I have changed my home page to be the NY times, and I read it religiously. Just like Jfab, who told me she reads it cover to cover every Sunday.

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was horrifying to me. It made me fearful of the future of our country and our planet. What kind of world are my kids inheriting? How could we let something so horrible happen? How could we let it take so long to correct? How long will we be paying for this disaster? I want there to be beauty in the world for my kids and their kids and their kids' kids... will there be if we continue like this?

The oil spills. First BP and now another company has a well leaking. What is wrong with the people running these oil companies. We are losing our planet.

Became much more skeptical about how justifiable Israel's occupation of the West Bank is. Hoping the peace process will lead to peace this time around.

Although it is not a specific event, I am most impacted by the fact that Obama has not lived up to his campaign promises. I am not surprised, but it is still a disappointment. He is following the war-mongering route, ignoring the LGBT issues he purportedly supported, and did not fight hard enough for a public option in health care. He is bowing to public pressure and ignoring his community organizing background. I have very little faith in him.

The pedophilia crisis in Europe, and in particular, the Pope's response to it as an invitation for all of the Church to conversion. I was moved both by his humility, his pain, and his certainty that this terrible thing was allowed to us, by Christ, so that we might know him.

BP oil-spill, i think. it seems to have helped me shake away my illusion, or atleast loosen its grip... that man is 'devil in control'. surprisingly, this villainish human event helped me see man as a victim, and not a villain - that we are like children, acting out of fear and trying to live life in a world that seems hostile, unaware how our own actions are creating and reinforcing our perception. i think this has had an effect of lessening the anger towards human greed and stupidity, bringing a little sadness, understanding, sympathy and compassion...

The continued recession has not only hurt my family immensly, causing stress and strain for all, but made it impossible for me to go home. I have a job abroad and although I had planned to find one back in the US I have been unable to do so. I remain far away. And I miss it.

The Gulf oil spill made me truly appreciate my precious hometown beaches, the Gulf Coast lifestyle and the fresh gulf seafood that I've spent a lifetime taking for granted.

The disaster in Pakistan.. I can't imagine me living there with nothing! It makes me feel sad. So many people without a house, without clean water, clothes, without family..

Learning that my young friend had Leukemia impacted me more than any big world events. I remembered that none of us is guaranteed the lifetime we think we have, and we should make the most of every moment.

BP Oil Rig disaster. Why? Didn't think I could more disgusted by the people of the world; their stupidity and refusal to see the most simple of solutions and answers. It all comes down to greed.

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. I usually try to stay off of heavy news, and largely avoid the serious newspapers because there are just too many articles about people who get raped, killed, etc etc. But the oil spill became a project for a subject in school, and even though I don’t live anywhere near Louisiana or know anyone who lives there, the pictures and the idea of so much marine life being affected drove me to tears.

I'm sure a lot of people will say the earthquake in Haiti affected them, but a smaller one affected me. The earthquake in Mexicali literally hit closer to home and I was able to make a small impact. I am connected with a nun who travels down there, so I was able to collect things that went directly to the tent cities she visited. Sheets, blankets, school supplies and more. I so wanted to travel down there with her, but was afraid as the violence in Mexico heated up. I speak Spanish, I long to help those who live in poverty, but I fear the random violence in Mexico. Maybe someday .... maybe by the time I read this next year, I will have taken that leap.

The Icelandic Volcano eruption that caused the airlines to come to standstill made me think again, how proud man is and thinks he is God, but God, showed us that He is still in control of the world - we can do nothing when nature takes its vengence

The health care reform package has greatly affected. I feel that, when I reach my 80s, that healthcare will NOT be there for me, as some government employee will tell me that, in government-speak, I am not worth saving. I believe we will see the government making healthcare decisions for me

Michael Jackson's death. Like most, i didnt appreciate him until he was gone, but to see the whole world mourn such a magnifisent entertainer brought me to tears.

Enh, the world. Bleargh. Politics and Politicians: same shit, different asshole.

I am really worried about the media coverage that both Sarah Palin and the tea party are getting. It makes me realise how dangerous the media can be and also how fast things can spread to multimillions of people. It makes me feel that things are out of control and that it will even more be about money in the future. Whoever has most money to promote themselves will win regardless of competency or ability. It seems that lies are quite acceptable too. John McCain said that he has never been a maverick . Doesnt matter that he brought out a book in which he said he was a maverick. Whatever is the new truth can be spread without any concern about opposite prior statements.

The economy has continued to stumble. It feels like it is getting better, though I was largely affected in a positive way (drove more business and security my way). I feel generally that the economy was inflated and our habits that created the past positive-future hope standard were wrong and misguided, I feel confused now. Like we are floundering. Not dealing with reality but struggling for change... but a change that is just a return to yesterday. Odd. I worry about what it means for our future.

the oil spill in the gulf of mexico... the massive sadness over loss of lives of people and animals, the potential future damage to our ecology and wildlife... it is crushingly sad for the oil based planet...

The economy down turn has reduced my retirement portfolio. Due to the economy and local conditions, my employer was able to cut my wages and eliminate all benefits reduce my hours while still demanding work out put that would require 40+ hours a week. They are now looking for casula overtime.

The political activity of the Far Right in complicity with Fox News. I am afraid for America. I think these are our brown shirts and their propaganda machine. It has saddened, depressed, and frightened me.

The floods in Pakistan. I have for a number of years supported the Central Asia Institute that builds schools in that area with a focus on education for girls. I wonder how these brave people who risked so many things to improve the futures for their children are making it.

It's not really a worldwide event, but it caused international ruckus. The Maguindanao massacre, where 50 plus people, most of them media people, were gunned down because of rivalry in politics in a place with political dynasty in our country. Then, there was also the Manila hostage, where tourists were taken as hostages. I realize just that our country is in a great ruin. I don't hate my country, but I want to see it improve. What on earth is going to happen to us if this continues? It made me read more about the current events, and explanations of political analysts. I want to know why this is happening.

It is weird. When we think about the World, it becomes very limited to our exposures through the media. I would say that Haiti was one of the biggest events of the year. Second, would be the BP spill. I wonder how many catastrophic events happen that we cover up? Or go completely unknown. With that said, the economy still plays a large role in our every day conversations. That still lingers.

High unemployment - it has left us all less secure.

Downturn in the world economy has affected everyone no matter where they are, even if they don't feel it somehow somewhere, now or at any time in the future that ball is bouncing and waiting to land...............

The revelations about scandals in the church and the corruptness in our politician. It really makes me question why these things are allowed to happen, why the people of this country won't stand up and do anything about it when we employ them and not the other way around. We're paying for their mistakes, it's unfair on every level. It made me want to do something about it, what though, is another question entirely I really don't know what to do.

Muslim bashing ("Ground Zero Mosque", International Burn a Koran Day) in the U.S. has become a national sport thanks to the likes of Fox News and Sarah Palin. The Republican "leaders" turned a blind eye and are bedding down with this lunatic fringe hoping to regain political control of Congress in November. As a peaceful atheist, the continued power of religion extremism deeply troubles me.

The economic crash has impacted every aspect of our lives. My job is made tougher by the economy. My partner's career change was put on hold because we couldn't get the credit we needed to finance her education. My father has put off retiring because the economy affected his investments. It has been terrible.

I really don't think that any world event have impacted me specifically. Am I a bad person for that? Hmm maybe, I am not sure.

Nothing really. I mean I am super aware of the ebbs and flows of world politics and all, but nothing is coming to mind that really changed me. I guess the emergence of the "Tea Party," primarily due to the media coverage of them. Seeing the movement from the "inside" has made me hyper aware that popular opinion is grossly flawed. Media services such as NPR and beyond, and by extension then, self-proclaimed "liberals" or "open minded individuals," take any scrap of a philosophy that does not coincide with their own, and skewer it with slurs of "racist" "ignorant" or "white." This has made my view of American politics a little more subtle and a little more sophisticated than it was before.

The event in the world that impacted me, was watching Barrack Hussein Obama be inaugurated as President of the United States of America. Being a Black Woman it impacted my life with pride. Pride that it is possible for a black man to be President of the United States.

Hearing about all the child abuse in the church, sportsclubs, schools and families is even more shocking to me now that I have a child myself. It changes how open I am to allow him to go to certain things and the way how I can raise him.

There's no one single event in the world that has impacted me in a material way. Except for the economy, but that's more general. Really, the things that have impacted me this year have been more family and personal.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill and explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. We ate, slept, and breathed nothing but oil spills, engineering on rigs and environmental impacts for two months in my environmental science class. It really taught us something...

Because the cost of public schools went up astronomically and ridiculously in California, I wasn't able to stay in my home state for college. Instead, I had to leave everyone and everything I love and move to Utah for college. I'm just waiting for winter to hit for me to reach full blown pessimism.

It's more of a continuous event from previous years, but I think the economy is something that presses me quite a bit. The root of all of our economic troubles is based in greed. We have a small number of people who hoard the wealth and are incapable of seeing the larger effect in our societies. This is not to suggest that we need to support communism or even move closer into socialism. What I strongly feel is that if those at the top of our financial food chain could let go of their hold on those at the middle and especially bottom, they would see benefits to themselves as much as to the rest of society. Money is a "renewable source" in our markets and we have to be willing to part with it in order for it to come back to us. If we move our money through the system faster, it comes back faster, and allows us as a whole to make better and more finely tuned market decisions.

The floods in India .. how they lost everything in one go and how blessed it makes me that I know where my family are and that they are safe. When you lose everything, so long as you have your family you can build everything else back.

We marked the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this year. I am saddened and disgusted at the lack of progress that has been made towards repairing the damage this storm has caused. It continues to shock me that in American we allow such poverty and neglect to exist.

Does it mean that I'm detached from the world that I don't feel personally impacted by any one event? Or does it mean that I'm on solid ground and not easily shaken? I prefer to believe the latter.

Besides having had the coldest winter on record in Florida? The recession, of course, has had an effect on us all, but not as bad for me personally. Business has been pretty steady, and we are moving forward. I have actually had a rather insulated year. I haven't read a paper or watched the news in months.

The election. I got quite into it - wanted Labor to win, and am not too happy with the minority government thing. I think Liberals will be in at the next election, which sucks. Got to chat to Trent a bit on facebook about politics which was cool.

The bombing at times square. It made me realize that life is precious and we don't need to waste time fighting over silly things with our loved ones.

The constant debate over prop 8 affects me deeply in that so many of my friends’ marriages are constantly on the chopping block. It’s horrifying to me and also so strange to not be sharing the same experience as my closest friends.

So many. Haiti, Pakistan, tea-baggers (although that's not the "world" per se). I was able to assist with the emergency response in these areas and it was a great feeling knowing that I was helping other people.

The Gulf Oil Spill had a big impact on my industry and was something that I heard about constantly. However, I started to completely ignore all aspects of it because I could not handle listening to the wrong information being reported and the way people were damning local BP stations unfairly, and taking about things they had no knowledge of.

All of the natural disasters have had an impact on me... it is so frightening to imagine that we have brought much on this on ourselves and still much of the world is not ready to accept that fact. How much more will it take?

The end of the war in Iraq, because it was the end of a fallacy. However, I know we'll be there in "non-combat" mode for years, thanks to the previous Rebublican regime. This is just as we still to this day have soldiers stationed in Korea. And the current political climate and the increased exposure of The Tea Party is absolutely frightening. Their agenda is aboslutely frightening to me. The believe that the government shouldn't be involved in anything, claiming it's a violation of the consitution. A country without government is anarchy and will destroy democrazy.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has made me try to have more respect for the ocean. I'm a surfer and I am in the water a lot now that I live in Southwest Portugal by the ocean and either swim or surf nearly every day. I have tried to cut down on my use of plastic because I know so much of it ends up in the ocean. Seeing the Gulf of Mexico so decimated by the tragedy really made me think more about my impact on the environment.

Watching the political winds shift as quickly as they have has made me understand how precious the moment we created for ourselves in 2008 was. It has made me feel guilty for not commiting myself to contributing, with my efforts, my attention, and the resources available to me, to the momentum we built in those transcendent months all of us believed that things could and would change for the better. I will not be disappointed when change does not happen overnight. I will listen and I will learn and I will participate. I will give more.

Gotta be the BP Oil Spill. Too close to home and on the heals of a community still rebuilding from Katrina. How much can one place take? It showed me how strong and resilient we really are. But why does it take such catastrophe for us to find out strength?

I'm not sure if these things have really personally affected me, but I'm thinking of the repeal of Prop 8 in California and the DC Healthy Schools Act, which both set really important precedents for policy to come. Oh, and Lady Gaga's "Telephone."

Can't forget the oil spill in the Gulf. Beyond dreadful. Beyond words.

the gaza flotilla incident made me re-evaluate my relationship with israel, the way i respond to events in the middle east and made me think a lot more about whether the critique i instantly reach for is well placed

I don't know really, which is sad. It was my first time voting in an election, I don't think I've ever felt so small or stupid. The ways of the world aren't taught well enough in school.

I already talked about the Inauguration - that was the biggest by far. Also the rise of the Tea Party and our involvement in Afghanistan. In contrast to the Inauguration - they are a reminder that really really bad things can happen and will continue to happen. It all makes me feel like we are living history - sounds obvious, but that is a bit of a revelation to me: that the major events of history did not happen in the past, but that they keep on happening all the time. So I am prepared to be surprised by what comes next.

For the first time, I was really interested in the election and although I was too young to vote, I had an opinion and and I realised I'm actually quite political but England needs somebody who can truly make a difference and I do not believe David Cameron is the right person fot the job.

The economy not recovering from the recession (which technically ended June 2009) has lead to increased competition for jobs and now I've spent almost two years searching.

N/A

Caring is painful. I try and succeed at not caring about things that do not directly impact me or people I care about; it makes life easier. This is the one aspect in which I prefer easy.

The financial crisis, and the greed of the rich and powerful, that really disgusts me. Instead of taking care of this lovely planet, we spend more and more on things we don't need. And the poor become poorer, and the gap widens. I wish we could all become more loving and kind, and less greedy, so that we together can save this planet.

Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake. It was so hard to imagine a country so poor and destitute to begin with suddenly being dealt a blow like that. I could only imagine that the haitian people were screaming "why us when we already suffer so much.". We are so lucky in this country and it kills me that so many people take it for granted.

The death of Britney Murphy. I'm not exactly sure why completely. But she was so young and had so much talent. I think it just reaffirmed for me that none of us at any age, no matter what we've done or haven't done can escape our mortality. We're all going to die, and none of us know when, but we will, at some point, at some age. That doesn't freak me out, but it does make me stop and think about making everyday count, whether it's something big and noticeable to others, or simply just something different for me.

The downfall of economy - it affected me as all my customers had difficulties to pay my service and I lost many customers. I still suffer from this ...

the idea that some day when Dalay Lama will no be here no more... this great culture and phylosophy will desapear...

I am still a huge fan of President Obama, but the fact that there are so many lies being spread about him is extremely upsetting. I'm equally upset about these Tea Party lunatics and I'm fearful of the future if they come into power.

9/11 passed this year without much fanfare... and I realized that as a species, we can forget ANYTHING (or at least tuck it away in the back as our mind as 'history'). This both terrifies me and gives me hope.

I think the earthquake in Haiti impacted me quite a bit -- and became a glass through which other world events and situations are viewed -- there was such trauma and need there so suddenly. It was like watching something that was right on the edge, but balancing okay, suddenly plunge over a cliff. It made me want to be able to respond to people's needs. On whatever level.

The 500 women raped in the Congo has been an event that topped everything else. Out of all the natural disasters, political mishaps--just everything, this stuck out, and this hurts the most. This made feel so horrible, small, and immensely depressed as a human. What sickens me even more is how this act went completely unnoticed and even now, nothing major has been done about it. The UN for a long time has been a figure of hero in my eyes, but when something like this happened, it made me lose all faith in them and hope for the world.

The recession. My daily rates are much lower now and there is less work available. As expected, the NHS was hit later, but the impact on the use of consultants has been significant.

The economy going down the tubes has caused both of my parents to become unemployed.

Scott Brown winning the runoff election in January 2010 for the US senate seat vacant due to Ted Kennedy's death. I was very pumped up by his win due to his positioning himself as a candidate for change and moderation in the stale political debate occurring in DC. While he has kept his pledge to vote on the issues, not just along strict party lines, the divide between liberals and conservatives has only widened. The extremism (right and left) has only gotten worse and there is no sane discussion anymore of the nuances of political, social, economic, etc. issues anymore. I hate that no one sees the grey anymore; everything is either black or white. In fact, I am so frustrated by this extremism that I am thinking of starting a blog called something along the lines of "Infinite Shades of Grey."

Hm. I can't really think of anything major. I guess that's a good thing.

The FIFA World Cup impacted me more than anything else. It got me back in touch with soccer, which I thoroughly enjoy. More importantly, it helped rekindle a friendship that I truly cherish, and one that's hard to maintain due to distance.

Chile´s and Haiti´s earhquake was quite surprising, the fact that it can happen anytime here in Bogota really worries me. Also, I´ve seen many hints that the end of the world is coming closer and closer (a.k.a, US economy downfall, china´s rise, natural disasters) it worries me to think that we might have less time than we think we have...

Reading the newspaper and learning about events around the world always makes me deeply sad about those suffering and as a result I make an effort to be kinder to everyone, reducing suffering in the small ways I can from where I live.

Those stupid teenagers in England stamping a deer to death. It's made me see just how cruel people can be. It's really fueling my fire and wanting me to help animals as much as I can. That and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It saddens me, but it's making me see some people for who they really are, and a change has got to be made, or this world is doomed.

The economic downturn has caused a lot of stress on myself and my friends. Thankfully I've continued my job, but my bosses had to give us all partial layoffs and reduce our salary by 8%. Luckily, they've recently decided to reinstate that 8%, but the entire year has been quite stressful for our company and morale.

The earthquake in Haiti. My grandma was ding at the time, so I didn't even know until the following week. It really put everything in perspective

It has been a long year and I can't quite remember one thing, but in general, as an American anything having to do with the war in Iraq bring me to tears. In my opinion it is a senseless war and one that has come at too high a cost. In particular I am proud that this year President Obama was able to finally start pulling our troops out of there and bring them home. I will never forget September 11th and the horror I witnessed unfolding on my television screen. How could I when we have lost more men and women than I care to count as an extension of that tragedy? It was the first time I was able to understand what terrorism was and how hate is able to assert itself on such grand scales.

Honestly I can't say anything in the world has impacted me very much in the past year. I've been kind of lost in my own little world, but I'm hoping to change that, tonight was my first Amnesty International meeting, and I've been trying to work on being more empathetic in general. I'm really hoping group counseling on Fridays works out, Brianna wasn't there on what was supposed to be our first meeting, so hopefully this Friday it will be official and everyone stays in it, because I realized after we talked Friday afternoon, even though it wasn't about anything serious, just what happened last year at the Academy and stuff, it made me realize that I do not want to be the only one talking about problems, I want to listen to other people and be there for them, I've never really had that experience even with close friends.

Realized how numb I am to the suffering in the world. No event has really touched me. Maybe Haiti's Earthqake because I donated $10.00. Even then, seeing pictures of the dead didn't move me.

i went down to mississippi with my agent's sister's church to rebuild a house post katrina...seeing the devastation still there, five years later, was unbelievable to me...experiencing the beauty of the team-work, of working with this group whose average age was 65 was just astounding...praying with their feet at its best... we rose at 6am, prayed before breakfast and then built and painted all day long... it was an uplifting and fully realized soulful experience. particularly for a jewish girl from london. Hard work. Exhausting. but one of the highlights of my year.

The oil spill. Everyone's freaking out about it. and since I live on the coast, it's even worse. The beaches are hideous, and the economy is failing. Seeing as Baldwin and Mobile county have 30% of Alabama's taxes, things are not looking up.

i have my head in the sand and am oblivious to world events. maybe that's something that i'll work on in the future, but definitely not an immediate focal point for me.

The scuffle over Proposition 8 reminded me that we still have a lot of problems with discrimination in our world. Even if we don't have so many white supremacists in power, our society doesn't fully accept everybody like they always told me in school.

The ineptness of President Obama and his failure to lead the Democratic Party in meeting the terrible financial, military and moral burdens left America by the G.W. Bush Administration, plus 30 years of "Supply Side Economics" has been a grave disappointment to me. We have been taken to the cleaners, and our Middle Class has all but been destroyed. I fall within that Middle Class, barely, and so have been sorely affected. I am about to become one of "los de abajo," save for some unforeseen miracle.

flotilla

Today my sister was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. I will not take her for granted anymore. I want to be kinder to her. And not be her mother.

Financial mess - lost clients, lost money. Hard to find work.

Health care reform. Once it's fully implemented (2014?), it will probably help me maintain insured status (not sure it will be possible before then, esp. if I leave my position and my benefits after maternity leave). Wish it were much stronger, and I wish it took effect sooner.

The economic downturn. It has actually empowered me to be conscious of the economic situation in the country and to be mindful of how I live my life.