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

I'm deeply concerned about global warming and the increasingly intense weather in New York City.

I think the theater shooting in Denver impacted me. My own kids have gone to those type of movies and now something as innocent as a movie could be dangerous. It is such a shame

It's the economy, stupid. Or the stupid economy. Nuff said. I have learned to live with total economic insecurity, all is unknown, and I can handle this. That's HUGE.

the upcoming election has made me aware of just how differently people of faith can live their lives and justify their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in way that contradict my moral principles.

I was deeply saddened by the shooting spree that took place in the movie theatre where Batman was playing. I still cannot comprehend how someone can take another persons life in such a senseless killing.

The olympics really impacted me this year. I didn't get to go and see any of it live - but the general sense of pride and euphoria that permeated the whole nation as Team GB did so phenomenally was really wonderful. It made me feel hopeful for my daughters future, and aspirational on her behalf. In times of recession and often bad news, it was nice to be joyful, proud and optimistic.

The farcical nature of the political process--which values a cosmetic "dog-and-pony show" over substantial discussion of the important issues facing our nation has driven me to distraction. The sense that America's participation in world events are beyond the input of its people is an egregious violation of the idea of this country. OWS was a Godsend to America; a first glimmering of the sense that participatory Democracy within our boarders was still possible. I was not bothered by the supposed lack of long-term plans, or an all-encompassing agenda of the movement. It will emerge at the right time.

Olympics happened while I was in Mexico so it was an impact I prepared for, but didn't experience - I wish I had, as when I returned to UK, people were more positive and even exhuberant. My daughter made me watch the (long) opening and closing ceremonies on catch-up tv.

The Great North Run, I did the run just a few days ago and wasn't really bothered about doing it but once there and I saw all the other people, reasons they were doing it etc it made me think about how lucky I am and how much life can change from one day to the next. Its not really in our control at all. Great to see so many people doing something difficult for loads of good causes.

Not so much and event as a worldwide trend of right wing governments being in power because of voters who are guided by a fear of crisis and terror. As a result the massive cuts in funding for the arts and education in The Netherlands have had a huge impact on my life. The upheaval is enormous. Great organisations of international renown disappear or merge, succesful arts programmes stop running, friends are losing their jobs and I'm worried about mine. I'm lucky to still have a job in the arts but the future doesn't look good. I'm not in it for the money but it would be nice to feel at least appreciated instead of bullied by the government.

The Olympics and Paralympics in London. Living here, it was fantastic to see such big enterprises being achieved. Particularly the opening and closing ceremonies, using the volunteers as inspiration as well as the celebrities, touched me. Moreover the Paralympics have completely changed my perception of disability.

The anniversary of the murder of the Fogel family in Itamar. A year of a girl living without her slaughtered family, and a year of knowing that the Israelis will one day release her parents and siblings' murderers.

Olympics and Paralympics, they both occurred really close to my home. There was so much negative press beforehand, but it went brillantly. I went to quite a few events and my husband worked there too. It was a really exciting and emotional time, it made a country come together and there was a really good feeling around london. I think it made me realise I want to do more with my life.

I think, for me it were the Olympics and what happened in Greece. The Olympics because I came to know someone who should've been there, to run. But he wasn't because of sickness. That made it a bit more personal. And it was my only true distraction during my exhausting examns. The other one is the financial crisis in Greece. I think it's the forbode of a lot more problems. And I think they didn't solve it properly. Greece still refuses to let his inhabitant pay taxes. They are part of what destroys Europe. It makes me a bit mad, actually.

The Olympics in London were a positive influence on my life for their duration - it made the city a happy, exciting place to live, changing its atmosphere, casting it in a new light, bringing Londoners seemingly-closer together. I was inspired and excited by the sport, and woke up every day with a sense of holiday and celebration.

The rise of the Republican right wing with Romney and Cantor potentially in the White House is a truly frightening prospect. Their utter disregard for human need and willingness to lie shamelessly to get elected is beyond disturbing. How-I feel there wil be widespread hunger and homelessness in the near future if their policies are implemented. Why - I was raised to care about others as well as myself and my immediate circle - and this is not the Jewish way, to disregard the needs of others.

An event in the world. I feel so bombarded by all the negative news that I try to limit what filters in. There was good news, people helping others, lost people found, kids creating individual projects... With all the human condition stories around us the invented drama of the presidential election seems small and petty. I don't want to shrink back but the way the events of the world are presented, that's not the world I want to play in.

As I spoke about the Wisconsin showdown last year, this year, I would say the Occupy Movement. Although at first I was too busy (and too remotely located ) to do more than watch and follow it on the news, I did finally keep what amounted to a vow made on the Daily Kos that I would get involved, either in person or virtually, when I connected with my town's (admittedly smallish) movement. Although getting involved has even then had its own problems and limitations, it has been good for me to once again take on the kind of public activism that lifts me out of too much self-focus.

I have felt less impact by world events than I normally would, mainly because I have been so focused on moving to, and settling into, life in Israel. Of course, I pay even more attention to Middle Eastern politics than I did before, but now I don't do so with a sense of dread. Before we moved here, I didn't like paying attention to Middle Eastern politics because I thought it might derail our plans to make Aliyah. Now, though, I can relax. No matter what happens, we're staying as far as I'm concerned!

The dark knight movie massacre in the US. It shocked me how something like that could happen and the innocent lives lost for no reason.

The Olympics. As a Londoner, it was just so great to see everybody get so in to it. And what with the Queen's Golden Jubilee earlier this summer (that was great fun - we held a great street party with a hog roast and lots of merriment, and I somehow became resident facepainter and adorned dozens of little kids' faces with union jacks), everything is really feeling so patriotic and lovely. I'm super proud to be British, and I think that, at the moment, everybody is. It's just great!

Obamacare being passed. My son was able to quit his job and move to our state without worrying about being uninsured. This was a life-changing move for him, and if he hadn't been able to be covered by our insurance for a while longer he probably couldn't have done it.

After the protests in Syria I really thought (and this line of thinking began back in the days of Saddam) "what are we doing, going into these countries with our arrogance?! Why are we using violence to stop violence?!" I can see in my own life how using compassion and understanding can diffuse difficult situations. It is harder to act in this way, but the rewards are great. We should support and help those in need and stop those in power in non-violent ways as much as possible. If we think it's cheaper to use guns then we are putting a price on lives - and innocent people always die in these situations, so how can we say we are doing this to save innocent lives? It makes me really sad that we take this approach.

Ready for this? Nothing. If we're talking about world events and their effect on my everyday life, none of them--and I mean none--have had anything resembling a significant impact.

Why are all of these questions the same? For christssake, everything this year impacted me, not just the big events, but the little details. I learned how to make kickass friendship bracelets, which makes me pretty happy and spices up my wardrobe. Oh, and I started putting chicken in my burritos at Chipotle (YUM) so I guess I'm not a vegetarian anymore. Wow awkward, I just realized I read the question wrong... Eh, Mitt Romney being chosen at the Republican candidate for President impacted me because he's a tool and if he wins I'm moving to Australia.

The continuing events of the Arab Spring. Not much else has shaped my view of the world as strongly as this, including my own connections back to Israel. I try to see everything that's going on through a less American point of view.

This even year brought another Olympics! And, it was finally summer's turn again. I remember being so excited because I still have vivid memories of watching Michael Phelps win all of his races in '08, dancing around the room with becca and woobish watching the gymnasts flip around on the beam. What excited me most though, and what always excites me about the Olympics, is their ability to unite the people. That for two weeks the whole world can stand still and feel united by the sheer nature of the human race and his capabilities. That we can sort of pause what's going on and get together and marvel at the amazingness of each other. I personally was reminded of this on the night of my birthday when all my friends came over and stuffed up the couch to watch Gabby Douglas during her bar final. We were watching, and the rest of the world was too. And that is an amazing feeling.

There wasn't an event that impacted me in any significant way. I felt neutral to the world.

Well, first and foremost, the Chicago's teacher's strike has made quite a difference. Both of my kids were starting in new schools and only went four days before the strike was called. I wonder how that will effect them. At first, I wasn't that opinionated about the strike but as it wore on, I became more annoyed about how the media was reporting it in such a skewed way. I was also surprised by a few things: 1. How in a largely minority city, the voices that were reported were largely white and affluent - and they had a much different opinion than the majority. 2. How much distain people had for teachers - but not for the system that doesn't support them. 3. How ugly and tiring the whole thing was. I'm glad it's over now and both sides are scrambling to call it their own victory.

Arab Spring at first seemed such a positive and empowering change for the Middle East. The violence around and after September 11th greatly saddened me. The video that apparently was at least partially responsible for the outrage and subsequent murders saddens me even more. Such intolerance, fear and hate! The actions these feeling have manifested I would hope would be a lesson for the world, but I fear they will breed only more fear, hate and intolerance and finally violence.

The recent murder of the U.S. ambassador in Libya has strengthened my opinion that education is the key to peace and evolution on our planet. I don't believe a group of people who have had a decent well-rounded education will form a mob and resort to violence, over a ridiculous film made in poor taste, or follow those with alterior motives who incite them to such action. In addition to sending a fresh batch of soldiers over seas, we must continue to steadfastly work on improving the lot of everyone on earth so that our collective thinking may become clearer and move on to the next level.

The presidential campaigns, primarily because I've always been attracted to smart journalism, and though there is a lot of horrible journalism during a campaign season, there is also some really great stuff.

So many events have happened this year that probably should have impacted me, but they really have not. I have been so wrapped up in my little world, and so frustrated with my ability to do anything in the larger one, that I've just sort of ignored it all. Probably not the best mindset for the community as a whole, but it was a necessary thing for my health and the health of my family. We are in a better place now, and I hope to have more influence/concern in the rest of the world's going-ons than I have this year.

Whilst this isn't a massive event in the history of the world that is completely life changing - i think it's still important. After 244 years since its first publication, Encyclopædia Britannica has stopped its print. This says masses about the technological revolution we appear to be going through, and have been for some time. I'm only 19 - but i remember growing up reading books and running outdoors. If you wanted answers you went to your Encyclopædia Britannica or a dictionary. Mobile phones were for the upper class, touch screen meant putting your hand on glass. The internet was more of a loud screech from a modem than it was anything else. I think we're losing touch with books and learning from asking - now we google everything (and i myself have fallen pray to this). Instead of asking why things happen, we assume what we are told (normally wikipedia) is correct. We can still access Encyclopædia Britannica online - but if technology has advanced that quickly in 19 years - where will it be in another 19? I'm almost worried my future kids will miss out on being kids because technology is intergrating itself too much into development. Don't let the outdoors be a picture on an ipad or a book be some scanned pages on a Kindle!

In my neighborhood, a haven for young families in Washington, DC, a 29-year old father was coming home late one night and was robbed and beaten to the point of unconsciousness. He experienced major head and respiratory trauma, and it's still unclear whether he will ever regain cognitive abilities or be able to breathe on his own. This event made me realize how we must enjoy each day and that health and safety should not be taken for granted.

The economic crash throughout Europe and other places in the world, along with the revolutionary movements in the arabian world, they brough me a hope for a deep chance of economic and politic paradigm and, at least, the begining of a new era for human kind. Sadly, it looks like things are not going to change that much.

No single event has impacted me, but I've become aware of the deep divide between my own political beliefs and those of other people around me and in the country at large. I had believed, to some degree, that people all had good intentions and different opinions on how to make their good intentions manifest in the world. Now, I think that some people's intentions are truly different from mine. I actually find this quite painful, especially on the subject of whether or not to raise children out of poverty even if they're not yours, on how to empower women and minorities, and on how to develop a quality educational system for a country.

One event happening in the world that impacted me was the violence that erupted in South Africa around mining and workers rights. Because I am considering heavily a move to South Africa sooner rather than later, I was struck by the violent underpinnings of the conflict, and by how easy it was for things to erupt. I think it drove me to want to learn as much as I can about the past of South Africa to not only understand the context, but to appreciate the dichotomy of a country and what it means to build a nation out of such oppression.

Almost a year ago now, but taking my radioactive-handling tool to Japan to help with the Fukushima disaster relief reopened my eyes to the significance of helping others in need, and their response of eternal gratefulness.

Much of the rhetoric that appears from the upcoming presidential election has impacted me to get more involved. I fear that, as a country, the USA is losing its concern for those that are not able to do for themselves. I fear that we are forgetting how we were all immigrants at one time and that we all need a helping hand at times in our lives. We have great opportunities here in our country, but the inequality of opportunity stills falls short for many.

Gay marriage was legalized in Delaware this year. That means my son can get married if and when he meets the right person, and it makes me happy for him.

the tsunami in japan. i can't even imagine what people went through. nothing else matters except family and those you love. nothing.

Occupy! OWS made me reconsider where I stand on issues of poverty, wealth, and "success." As a participant and onlooker, I felt the best and worst of people, and felt equally renewed and dispirited. It was the best application of "if you see something, say something," and it inspired me. I don't know if I can pick out a concrete way it impacted me, but I like to think that it did. I felt like I was living in history. As a historian-in-training, this was a great feeling.

Shooting in Colorado movie theater at Batman premiere. The first movie I went to after that, I felt this weird sense of what it may have been like for those people. Sitting their watching some shoot-em-up and imagining someone coming in shooting. I can see how they might have thought it was a promotional stunt. We've had several shootings this year, bomb threats. All the violence surrounding the movie about Mohammad that came out. We all think the other person is crazy and we are sane. We need more tolerance.

The London 2012 Olympics were inspirational and part of a summer I'll never forget. Mo Farah winning the 5k and 10k blew my mind.

The revolution in Libya and the recent death of Chris Stevens were brought close to the heart by my great affection for my Libyan students, some of the most wonderful, caring, and committed individuals I have ever met. I feared for them, hoped with them, cheered for them, ached for them through perilous times and momentous events.

The NHL lockout will greatly affect our family's fall routine.

The terrible state of the economy has had a profound impact on me.... It is the reason I dropped out of University and went to colleg... I needed a clear end game and college gives me that

The Aurora theater shooting. It just left me extremely saddened. So close to home, so many people lost their lives and others had their lives permanently changed.

The murder of Trayvon Martin, and the backlash to the arrest of his shooter, reminded me, more than the anti-Obama sentiment of the last for years, that being black is being inherently politicized. A 17 year old kid gets shot, and the first issue is that he's black. A president says it's a tragedy, and he's only saying it because he's black. In this society, to be black, is to be a threat. Without any action or statement needed to justify that label. It kills me, because if, in a gated community, a white 17 year old named Chad Martin, was shot and killed by an overzealous neighbourhood watch member, it would have been a very, very different story. The right wing wouldn't have jumped to the defence of the shooting with a pile of donations, and media coverage attempting to slander the victim. It's a reminder of something my mother used to tell me. That at the end of the day, I will need to work twice as hard, and be twice as good, to get half the things a white person with the same experiences will get naturally. That's not a knock on white people. It's just the reality of being an 'other' in society. It's unavoidable. And seeing a kid who looked a lot like one of my little cousins on the evening news as a shooting victim, reminded me of that.

The recession is still impacting me. I pursued an international job opportunity because of the poor job prospects at home, but now that I'm back, things still haven't recovered. I'm having trouble finding a stable job in my field. My health insurance barely pays for anything, so I'm having to foot the bill. And I haven't even started saving up for retirement. When people say the recession has hit the younger generation the hardest, that would be true.

An event that happened this year...that's really hard. Becoming managing editor of my college paper drew out a leader in me. Now I'm one of the people really in charge and it feels good. I would say I'm quite successful at it.

Hurricane Isaac - Because I was working in St Bernard Parish, I actually got to stay home for a couple of weeks, a real blessing, it gave me time to take stock and take care of myself and begin to reconnect with family and friends. It also was a very strong reminder that being far removed does not remove us from a disaster. I know people there now, I know how the land lays, I know how the streets can have high water in a normal afternoon thunderstorm. I should not wait until I know people to try to put myself in their shoes.

Headlines from today's New York Times: > Race Is On As Ice Melt Reveals Arctic Treasures > A Faded Piece Of Papyrus Refers To Jesus Wife

In this last year, the presidential election has been going on. In a few months, the country will choose whether they want to have Obama continue as President, or put the idiot in office (Romney). I'm a lot more opinionated this election, and I can't believe that I'll be voting in the next election.

This year I was transfixed by the Olympics, particularly the swimming portions. I've always loved the pagaentry of the Olympics and am moved by the heartwarming stories of the athletes who struggle for years to chase their dreams. Since I took up swimming 2 years ago and become a swim official, I have a better understanding of the races and all that goes into them. I think the Olympics often highlights the good that is going on (and not just the US) and it was a nice respite from the negativity of the economy, world strife and natural disasters. It may be a bit shallow, but the Olympics did more to impact my mood than any of the other events.

Usain Bolt's repeat performance at the London 2012 Olympics really showed me that if a poor country boy from Jamaica can become a global athletic superstar, anyone from anywhere can fulfill their dreams. What if Usain had studied finance and gone into the corporate world instead of giving the world his talent? We would have lost out tremendously. I need to shed the corporate safety and live my dream of being a writer.

American politics this year have really grabbed my attention. After seeing the Obama film, 2016, I am more worried than ever.

Syria. Still can't quite get over it or understand it. How do we decide to let one country kill itself and intervene in another? It is incredible that it is STILL going on and that it has little to NO impact in the world around me. Even the media is covering it less and less. The event makes me question the UN...makes me question our motives as a country too.

The barrage of attacks on women and women's rights during the political season this year has been appalling, hurtful, and frankly, scary. Seeing old, white, male legislators downplay brutal violence such as rape, work to restrict women's rights through an array of bills in state legislatures -- it is horrifying. I worry as I have never worried before about raising my daughter in an American society that views her as less and that allows her to do less, just because of her gender.

Climate change happening around us despite the Party of No (GOP!) and most of the country/world being in total denial. I look at my child and feel like weeping on a daily basis about the horrors she may well see in her early to mid lifetime. What about my grandchildren? Will she even be able to think about having them given the state of the world. WAKE UP!

The US presidential election campaign has impacted me greatly. It has made me reassess/revisit my values, what I think is important for our country and our world, for the children, the elders, and all those in between, the environment, the animals, and where this planet and our moon sits in this universe.

the unrest, protests and violence due to religious fanatics being insulted by a video or cartoon has almost convinced me that there's no hope for humanity.

The American election is making grateful to be Canadian in a way I was previously not. The direction of Canadian politics is making me concerned about the future of my country.

The shootings in Aurora, Colorado nearly broke my heart. I was fortunate in the fact that no one I know was injured, but such events have always weighed so heavily on me ever since I was a child. It frightens me sometimes, the way of the world we live in. I cannot fathom how people can act certain ways. I remember I was sitting with a patient in a hospital in California thinking, "My God, could this happen here?" And the scary fact is it can, to any of us. All we can do is holds our loved ones a little tighter and hope that they aren't taken from us before we are ready.

The US Presidential election this year is the scariest of my lifetime. I thought the Johnson / Goldwater campaign was scary, but this one goes way beyond that. Romney has no compassion and no sense. His only goal seems to be to cut his own taxes. I like Obama, even though he does some horrible things, like sign a bill that allows for indefinite arrest of American People. Obama is a basically good person.

The fact that there have been presidental campaigns because ive been forced to determine what I believe in. Ill be voting for the first time so ita been veey important to me.

The 'demo casseroles' in Montreal. I used to live there and could picture myself on those street corners, surrounded by the sounds of pots and pans. This event prompted me to think about the value of a broad, liberal arts-based education, and the low standard of comparison we have in Canada (the US) for education, and social services in general.

For me it was probably the ParaOlympics, I didn't really watch but did see the opening ceremony. There was so much in there including all of the greats in history, Einstein, Stephen Hawkin, Sir Isaac Newton, those that are all mentioned in the Secret and other LOA type learning tools I've been using. sprained my ankle at the weekend and was told it was another broken bone and would need a cast for 6 weeks. Devo'd again until I thought how lucky I was and some of the injuries the olympians live with, how could I possibly moan. It left me feeling incredibly humbled, yet enlightened.

The budget cuts have affected my work tremendously - we had done so much good with the stimulus funds that had been awarded, but have been stopped short by efforts to eliminate them when the job is only halfway done. The biggest personal shock is that so many people in the country have an unrealistic and overly simplified view of what Keynsian spending is and does - I've had many people seeking assistance who had libertarian or conservative lawn signs or bumper stickers. The stimulus has provided private sector jobs and helped literally millions of individuals, do these people think that the funds were given to "welfare recipients" to buy groceries? They have gone to homeowners, construction workers, teachers, cops, and firefighters. The meme that casts them as welfare bums makes me both sad and angry.

I feel oddly disconnected from the wider world as my own personal sphere has been in such unique chaos. If I had to pick something, Id select the anticipation of 12/21/12 on the Mayan calendar. This is something that continues to appear in my life and impact the various people and evident changes I see. I am eager to see how our world changes as a result.

The Eurozone crisis has had a profound on me. I had been living abroad for 14 years and in the last 4 or so, I really began to notice a shift in the general mood around me. People began to talk about leaving; people began to leave. I finally picked up and left.The Bay Area felt safer. The dollar felt more secure. Europe felt like too much of a scary place to be. While there were certainly other factors at play, I let macro influence my own micro. Now that I've chosen to actually go back, I'm going to make a concerted effort to bring optimism and some creativity to my own life. Perhaps I'll need to read less news. Perhaps I need to let the general pessimism roll off me with more ease. But I'll need to find my own joy and sense of purpose even with the economy and the future of Europe still shaky and precarious.

The presidential election has made me fear for the future of our country. The complete lack of civil discourse in our public sector is shameful. I am trying to stay out of it because I just don't want to add to this conversation, no matter how strongly I feel about the need to re-elect President Obama. I am truly fearful for a country with Mitt Romney at the helm. Leaving aside his contempt for non-rich Americans, a big chunk of the Muslim world is already poised to attack us and our representatives over the least perceived slight, and I do not see how we could be safe with this thoughtless human being as our spokesperson.

I think the recent escalation of gun violence has really made me reconsider my position on gun control in this country. These acts have been so senseless and horrifying. I just find it hard to imagine that there are still people in this country who believe that our current gun laws are sufficient, and yet that is clearly the case. It is just astounding to me. Also the current war on women - in terms of policy in the government has really amplified for me the importance of voting for representative who make women's issue a priority in their platform.

The riots over the disrespectful film about Islam. It reinforces in my mind that extremists will use religion as the reason to create mayhem. It has happened thru the centuries and will most likely continue forever. It impacts us all.

I began to follow, much more closely, issues impacting women's lives. I feel outraged by the ridiculous measures some politicians go through to restrict women's rights to choose, and now even women's right to health care is on the line. It makes me realized how privileged I am to live in Massachusetts.

Watching the election from the Republican primary battles until the current run-up to the election has stricken me with deep shame. The amount of money squandered will have some benefits for the economy as pollsters, ad agencies, sign makers, news agencies, etc. recirculate their earnings. But what have we created with all that spending? A never-ending flood of vitriol, misinformation and fear-mongering. Had we been able to agree on some project of national importance we could have created so much more value with the same amount of cash. Much of the money was used to harp on how bad the economy is and how much at fault the president is for not having made things better. Yet, the money was available for political posturing, so why not for investing in the common good?

Occupy Wall Street. It made me realize how angry I am about the greed and entitlement of the richest among us. I was also stunned by the speed and violence of its suppression.

The killings in Colorado impacted me. I was reminded of how much violence is in our nation and how so many people are so tied to their need for personal weapons that they fail to see the impact this might have when someone with mental illness or intense rage has similar access. This sparked political debates that were sickening and I believe that the split between the two political parties is disgusting. As with every election year, I'm embarassed to be an American.

That damn movie. I hope it isn't an election-changer. Also makes it very clear that fundamentalism, all flavors, is not healthy and always leads to violence.

Today is the first day back in school for CPS students, whose teachers have been on strike for the past 7 school days. We had an incredibly successful first day of school this year here at Emanuel on September 9th. On the 10th, my students were locked out of their classrooms all over the city. It was surreal. It was also one of those situations where I truly found myself on both sides. There were some issues where my self-identified liberalness was very comfortable--for example, the teachers right to receive additional pay for additional teaching time. On other issues, I uncomfortably found myself on the side of the administration. For example, I don't think that teachers who've been laid off should have precedence for hiring into other positions. If you want to hold principals accountable, they have to be able to hire freely. This is the first time I can remember that I'm finding myself coming down on the "conservative" side of an issue rather than the liberal side.

I'm extremely interested in the upcoming election. This is in November, of course, but the events leading up to it have been quite interesting. Our country is so divided politically and its sad to see that we can't come to bipartisan decisions anymore.

This stupid movie which was produced to incite anger in the Muslim world. I am so disappointed in some of our society thinking that it's ok to say and do anything in the name of free speech. I was always told that if you poke a snake it will bite you. People died for his right to free speech. I wish that it didn't happen.

The upcoming elections, and the vitriolic stance both sides seem to have taken. Can't remember when cooperation between parties has been less, or when Congress has been less effective- taking pride in stopping the other side from passing anything instead of trying to make things better. Don't know if this sort of worry is symptomatic of simply getting older or not, but it's a very real concern of mine, especially as it concerns my kids and theirs.

The presidential election. It is really frightening how conservative the politics have become in this country. I feel sad that people want to destroy our safety net of entitlements. It seems that there is little empathy for the poor and downtrodden. As a society we should judge ourselves by how we treat our most vulnerable not the opportunities available at the very top.

Global warming issues continue to haunt me. The ice caps that have melted It makes me so very sad that we continue to go about our everyday lives while these massive global changes take place. The greater human race does nothing to change the way they behave or act to reverse or adapt to these changes. It makes me so depressed to recognize this ignorance and the ignorance of our government and how they instill nothing to get people to make changes. It makes me sad to see how our seasons and weather really have changed from the way they were when I was a kid. A really decent Fall season? Haven't had that in way too long.

My boyfriend of 4 years and my best friend of 6 years, who happens to be the same person, and I are not together anymore, nor do we have the same connection as we did before. This has impacted me because it has changed many of the dynamics in my life and allowed me to learn how strong I really am on my own, and we well I can bounce back and keep living.

Last Friday I saw on TV that there were worldwide anti-American protests. It was disturbing to see how people hated us over here. Also, US Embassies were being stormed, putting people in danger and possibly to death. I didn't know the cause of it, but a coworker suggested that possible people were just too hot (he said that most violence seems to happen in the summer)! I was talking with a friend yesterday who told me that it was sparked by a filmmaker who made an anti-Muslim film. I cannot believe that one such act could spark so much violence! He also made the off-hand remark that it's ironic that radical Muslims get angry when they are criticized for being violent, only to respond with threats of violence. Either way, I think Christians and Muslims can find reconciliation in Jesus, without losing any cultural identity or the fundamentals of each religion. The West seems scared of Muslims, including Christians, but we shouldn't be afraid. Isn't our God bigger than the problems of this world? Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

The continued recession and large-scale unemployment in the United States. Add to that, the inability of the current administration to accurately report that the situation is NOT getting any better. It is reported that unemployment numbers are going down. This may, technically, be true. The real reason, however, is that an incredible humber of people are giving up trying to find jobs. We are far from out of the woods. I am in the workforce industry. We are busier than ever in many ways. Things are not getting better. I am getting worn out. Someone needs to present an accurate picture. And a implement viable solution.

The presidential nominations and elections have been huge for me this year. I've really been trying to learn as much as I can about politics and economics and foreign policy. The more I learn, the more I realize that none of us know what we're talking about.

No one thing has impacted me any more than anything else, new wars start, disasters happen, young people die before their time and politicians make stupid decisions but you watch it and think 'oh that's sad' and get on with your day, not because you don't care but because life, mine at least is more internal than that. It might be a naive thing to say but as long as my family are ok, I'm ok and that's all I can worry about

I have been a lot more sensitive to events that result in a loss of life, and I have a hard time concentrating or sleeping when one occurs. Examples are the Colorado theater shootings, the family that was shot and murdered in the French alps and that poor little girl who hid under her dead mother's legs for 8 hours. That kind of stuff really gets to me now. God and all the fighting in Syria, specifically Aleppo. It's probably because I'm a mother now and also a bit older that I am really able to relate to those things and just realize how lucky I am to live where I do and have the life that I do and the wonderful family that I have. I am grateful every single day that I get to see my husband's face and my sweet daughter's face.

There really wasn't any world event that impacted me directly this year...it's pretty much the same ole thing. Our country is still fighting an unattainable end to wars in foreign countries that hate us. Peace is just a word, a meaningless word as long as we continue to force ourselves and our ideals on those who are still living in the dark ages and believe their highest achievement is to blow themselves up and take as many lives with them as they can. With every two steps forward, we're pushed back six and no one in this entire civilized world is brave enough, or strong enough, or has enough courage to tell the religious crazies ENOUGH! Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose!

The Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity was launched in November and safely landed on Mars in August. Though I had no idea at the time of its launch, I would spend my summer working on NASA earth science projects, visiting many NASA locations including JPL where the Mission Control room is located, and finally watching the reaction to the landing live on NASA TV with my peers in the 2012 Student Airborne Research Program. As a geologist, I love seeing updates about the discoveries that both Opportunity and Curiosity are making each day.

Locally, the uprising of the Occupy Movement and the Tea Party juxtaposed upon each other makes me really wonder what we are doing? Is there true purpose and a clear outcome? Worldwide, the continuation of war after war, makes me wonder what we are really doing?

While I was moved and impacted by the natural disasters that left many homeless or dead, the uncessary killing of the baby "white buffalo" brought me to my knees. It was innocent, vibrant and unique. One of a kind in many years and it was killed for its skin. I prayed fervently that we as people of love would somehow be better witnesses to those who cannot see the beauty in all of creation.

Occupy Wall Street. Sure the first time in a long time, I thought more deeply about politics. I also felt like out might be possible for the people to be in power again.

Romneys lack of compassion for even the 47% he sees as the problem. People are never the problem. It's at the needs level where our conflicts collide ... I want a president for ALL of the people. Not just for the few who has the means to make life miserable for the 47%. What I want is a healing of our country .. We the people can put an end to this yet we lack the skills, tolerance and compassion to do so. Nothing changes if nothing changes. I pray for a Gladwell tipping point...and hope I see it my lifetime.

I'm embarrassed to admit that, because of the divorce and pursuant naval-gazing that has been happening this year, I haven't spent much time paying attention to world events. Fun things happened, like the summer Olympics. Terrible things happened, like the Dark Knight movie theater shooting. But most of these events kind of breezed by, not making much of an impact. I feel bad about this. I never wanted to be the sort of person who didn't pay attention. It's rather irresponsible as a citizen of the world. This year, as things settle down in my personal life (haha!) I hope to reclaim my curiosity and compassion for events outside my own little neighborhood.

The state of the US economy and the role it is playing in the elections this year is really having an impact on me. I am doing fine and things will only get better for me but I am so sad for all the people this is affecting. I think it's just bad decisions catching up with this country. Decisions to not encourage innovation,not to invest in their schools, teachers being entitled, political manouevering on both ends of the table - they have all taken its toll. People here are also so entitled - just saying that America is great does nothing. Investing in and proving that it is is what needs to be done. All this has made me more interested in politics and I think that I will start volunteering soon. I can't take part yet and doubt I will but I am so much more open to marrying someone who is in politics who is in it to make a difference.

This past year, something that I had been hoping for, working for, and sometimes crying over, finally happened. Gilad Shalit was released from Hamas captivity over five years after he was initially captured. When I found out that Gilad was coming home, it restored my faith in Israel, because it brought home the point about how important every individual is and that we really are all a family, no matter how dysfunctional we may be sometimes.

Adrienne Rich died. I was sad about that because she was a great feminist poet, and I always loved her work. The shooting at the movie theater in Colorado impacted me because they think the shooter has Schizophrenia, and once again stigma was abundant when people talked about this tragedy and when they wrote articles about it online. Once again, I was left wondering when people are going to care about adequate funding of mental health services and about gun control. I believe that guns should be eliminated from this society, and that it would save tens of thousands of lives each year if they were. And once again, I was left explaining on my blog "People with Schizophrenia are much more likely to be victims of crime than they are to commit acts of violence" because nobody anywhere seems to know that.

Paralysis in Washington, and politics in general. The Republican presidential primaries (and the Republican convention) displayed the worst of that party and what it has to offer America. Most of the candidates were more than happy to proclaim their intolerance, small-mindedness, homophobia, and lack of caring for those who are not rich and powerful. Their stance on immigration, the poor, the infirm, women's rights, gay rights, and the struggling middle-class made it very clear to me that they are the party of and for the white, affluent male. I am appalled at what has happened to this party and to politics in general.

The Arab "Spring" uprisings have impacted the world and Israel and the Jewish people in ways we cannot yet foresee. We are in danger of entering a period of instability in the world with Iran emerging as a strong power. Israel is led by a dangerous due of Benjamin Natanyahu and Ehud Barak who want to attach Iran to stop its nuclear program. This will be an attack in vain that will lead to unimaginable reprisals against Israel from the skies and seas. It could also further destabilize the region, even lead to a third world war - has ve-hallila.

Curiosity landing on Mars is -hands down - the event that most impacted me. The Mars landing showed me that curiosity can lead us beyond boundaries and challenge us to explore the furthers reaches of our imaginations. There is so much for us to discover.

the penn state sex scandal was particularly tragic to me. being pregnant then, and now having a son, it made me realize how important it is to be as vigilant for our sons, as we are for our daughters. may our sons always be protected so that they can continue to walk the world with trusting hearts.

The "Arab spring" and opening up of possibilities and change in countries that I had just kind of written off in my mind as incapable of change and Human Rights. I know its no where near peaceful and will take on other transformation and unrest, like Syria, but I feel there is potential for real cultural and lifestyle change for people that have lived for so long under religious oppression.

The Occupy Movement has made me think about how I express my values politically, and how social change happens. Did I agree with all the tactics? No. But what am I doing to make a difference?

The presidential campaign. Though I have voted for more than 40 years, this year seems like a watershed for the country. The polarization of rich and poor, politically as well as economically, the fomentation of xenophobia, the undercurrent of racism, the brinksmanship, the acceptance and mainstreaming of draconian policies and fringe attitudes. I worry about our country's future as it is reflected in the issues of the day.

The presidential election has totally disenfranchised me in the world of politics . I fear for the fate of the United States.

While many are very interesting, none affected me really: If the event is "in the world," then it mostly doesn't impact me. One event recently that has impacted me is the unexpected death of an acquaintance/friend that I hadn't been in touch with for six months. I just found out that he died in a car accident in New York. This affected me. I know him, so it impacts me.

I'm actually kind of surprised to say that there's not one singular world event this year that has impacted me this year. I almost wrote "the killing of Osama Bin Laden," because that was such a fundamental source of relief for me, closing an open loop on a socio-historical and personal trauma. But that happened in May of 2011, so it doesn't really count. I'd say the *lack* of a global catastrophic event (so far) this year has impacted me. And honestly, the re-election of Barack Obama is probably going to be a major event for me.

The return of Gilad Shalit to his family. It underscored Israeli's determination to never leave behind our soldiers - and renewed my faith in the love of family.

Earthquakes all over the world have impacted me greatly. My fear notwithstanding, I wonder how the death and destruction will ever be resolved in areas around the Pacific Rim; as most nations do not have the funds for the infrastructure necessary to improve building practices. Closer to home, I hope my children understand the theory of the better prepared they are, the less scared they will be. Indeed, I talk a good show, but we are not as well prepared as we were when the kids were young. Now that they are adults, my husband and I have to worry about ourselves and hope that the kids have learned their lessons well.

The fall of the dictators along Northern Africa. The young people who risked their lives to change long standing dictators who forced their will on people. To watch that happen live and in some cases sweeping fashion was incredible. It made me take into account the freedoms we have in this country and how they are taken for granted; and at the same time how we complain about things and do nothing to change it.

Every two years, I love watching the Olypmics. I love them because we so rarely get to see someone actually fulfill their childhood dreams. The Olympics motivate me to pursue my goals. Moreover, they represent global unity--it truly is beautiful.

Mitt Romney running for president. He's totally out of touch with the world and people and is totally incompetent. He's running a ridiculous campaign completely based on attacking the other candidate instead of on issues and his stance on issues (which he seems to have none except "opposite of Obama"). He has completely shrunken from the good things he did as governor and has bought this ridiculous party line, which has brainwashed people into thinking the Republican party is interested in helping anyone that is not white and rich. american politics is a joke and mitt romney and paul ryan are the exemplification of that.

Right now, I can't stop thinking about the Arab Spring. It is both inspiring and terrifying. It is a victory for democracy, and a cautionary tale about the reality of letting people choose their own future.

The result of the elections in Egypt, when I realized that it is an impossible long road till real change will happen in the Middle East.

The current Presidential election is making a huge impact on me. As a Jew, as a woman, I am saddened by the lack of commitment on either side to do the right thing. I am truly disturbed that as a Jew, I have lost confidence in my leaders and as a community, my sense of security is in jeopardy. Watching the news to see that Americans and Jews are targets of great hatred and our leaders do nothing, terrifies me. As a woman, it is great concern that debates about our bodies and who should make the simplest decisions about them is still not only happening, but still a volatile debate.

I don't have a television, which luckily keeps a lot of news from impacting me too much. However, I am shocked and saddened by the attacks in Libya as a result of the "Innocence of Muslims" video that some fearful, hateful, closed minded Americans made and posted on YouTube. I don't understand that amount of hate and ignorance. I don't understand how directly nonviolent people can take no responsibility for the effects of their actions...and it really bothers me that their more moderate contemporaries don't loudly speak out against them. I'm also disheartened by the presidential election campaigns. I know intelligent Republicans (I myself am liberal), and I cannot understand why they don't speak out agains the hate and fear mongering. Democrats do it too, but it doesn't seem as dangerous. These events remind me that we spend too much time and energy concerned with our "rank" in this world, and not enough time caring and loving our neighbor.

The Olympics and Paralympics in London. What a wonderful event, the whole country was behind it. Wonderful Teams GB, great volunteers, great stadiums. Sam and I went to the Paralympic opening ceremony...I will never forget the experience. An amazing night.

The elections have shown me, in a very distressing way, just how deeply divided our country is, and that there are many, many people who would attempt to impose a theocracy. Annoying? Yes. But far more- frightening. As a American Jew I depend on my children being safe to practice our religion throughout their lives. As an American Jew IN THE SOUTH- I have feared for our safety as well as simply worried about them losing themselves and/or being ostracized every day. I don't think the xian right would be so quick to demand dominance and scream persecution if they realized what it is like to be fearful of putting a mezzuzah at one's door or of lighting a hannukiah, that your children might be harmed for simply following your own traditions.

The US presidential election, and in particular the posturing of the Republican presidential candidates, has made me by turns sad, angry and upset. The meanness, stupidity and lack of compassion were hard to take, and I fear for the country and the world if the GOP candidate wins.

One even that impacted me this year was the extreme weather. Our house was flooded with a foot of water under it (it is on stilts) but my car got enough water in it that it had to be replaced. Mostly, I was impacted by seeing other people who suffered due to tornadoes, and extreme flooding and lost everything.

The gay marriage controversy is a big ticket for me this year. As a friend and supporter of the community, I find it vile that their right to love and marry is up for debate. A dear friend was just diagnosed with ALS and is in rapid decline. He has been in a loving, partnered relationship for more than 15 years to the same, wonderful man. As a result of our collective, cultural ignorance, not only will our surviving partner not receive the government benefits he is entitled to, he will have no legal say in end of life decision making of his dearest loved on. This is cruel, unjust and wrong. I pray we pass the Vote No amendment in MN, so we can change the course of my friends' future, as well as those for other GLBTs.

Muammar Gaddafi was captured by rebel soldiers on October 20th 2011. They beat him, they stabbed him, they shot him in the head. They played cell phone videos of it on CNN and broadcast it around the world. Taylin and I were in McDonalds, we were in our corner booth watching the flat screen. We watched as eight men sat in a circle around Muammar in the back of a pickup truck driving through the desert. His arms were bound behind him, his head was bleeding badly. He was shouting at the men telling them they were fools and that they had no idea what they were doing. Taylin looked at me and asked what that was all about. I told her his name is Gaddafi and that they hurt him because he did bad things and hurt a lot of people. She turned to me and said, “He should just be happy, and then they wouldn't hurt him.” It was a grand moment of absolute pride that I will never forget. She amazes me in ways I can hardly describe. Her insight, her thought process, she is pure love that fills me with joy to the very top. She is my reason for being and I’m so grateful for the task. I can hardly wait for the next moment that I get to talk to her just so I can hear what she has to say. She can keep me in line, she calls me out on my bullshit and hardly anything gets past her. She is perfect in everyway.

It sounds lame, because I know that so much else happened, but the first stupid thing that popped into my stupid head was the stupid death of that stupid Amy Winehouse. I got on the Winehouse Train about 6 months after the rest of the world had heard of her, and the first time I heard her sing was on this YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6DxjmxBYxY I hadn't heard the big hits like 'Rehab' yet, I hadn't learned anything about her smoking or drug use, I just heard her voice. I started crying, I thought she could sing so beautifully. I loved her and hated her in the same moment. How could she sit there, picking her nails and scratching at her head, while this amazing voice just flowed out of her effortlessly? How dare she! I was so jealous, I was so in awe. She made it look...easy. The more I learned about her, the more conflicted I felt. I wanted her to keep existing but I hated how she was wasting her talent, a talent I would have given anything for. I never saw her in concert, I never followed her on Twitter. I wasn't a superfan, but when I heard she died I felt like something beautiful had been crushed up and wasted, and I was sad and angry. My heart broke. I realize bigger, more important things happened this year, but if I'm shooting from the hip and being honest, that is what popped into my head first.

can't think anything which must mean that i have no passion for helping or caring for others outside my network! :(((

The Olympics! It's so awesome to see the world coming together in peace. It made me realize what we are capable of achieving through cooperation, and we are capable of that cooperation.

the upcoming election. its interesting last elcetion year i was really passionate, and to be frank very angry at the state of politics in our country. peoples blind refusal to look at facts, and respect the founding fathers clear wishes for separation of church and state, not to mention the hatred of some humans towards others humans for silly things like skin color, or who you love, or where you live, or how much money you make. so this time around is interesting. i feel less angry at those people who are still doing things im not quite on board with, i have more peace about some individuals greed and lack of compassion. but i will say, this time around i feel more hopeful than less hopeful that change is happening. (hell my hairdresser in the middle of red state indiana said "girl its 2012, love who love. its really nothing important is it?"

This year's election. I worry about its economic impact. My family is struggling and I'm afraid it's going to get worse. Some days it feels like our government only cares about the very rich or the very poor, and to hell with the middle class. I wish everyone would pull their weight. I'm tired of carrying everyone financially while my finances are going down the drain.

Georgia Gould won the bronze medal for women's mountain biking at the 2012 summer Olympics. Georgia lives in my town! Even more, I'm just starting to cycle, and she spent 10 minutes talking to me in the Luna Bars tent after my first group ride, the Venus de Miles in Boulder County, Colorado. She was thoroughly engaging, encouraging and fun! She inspired me!!

The Republican attack ads against Obama and social services offered by the government have really bothered me. It's one thing to campaign on principles but another altogether to crucify another candidate and those that are relying on government assistance to keep their heads above water.

The Arab Spring. I think it impacted on everyone really.

All of the mudslinging with the upcoming election. It's awful to hear this all the time. I remind myself the remain positive and look at all the options.

Curiosity rover landed on Mars! The idea that we have sent something to another world boggles my mind. It's so weird to think that as I'm sitting here at my desk, there's something rolling around on a completely different planet - with pictures to prove it! It is definitely a reminder of just how small you are in the scheme of things.

I spent a part of September 11th watching several hours of the raw news feed from 9/11. When it happened, I had a young baby and we lived in Houston. It was all so immediate. I have watched "highlights" before, but never the whole feed. I was shocked at how little I remembered about what was known and unknown as events were unfolding. I also had many of the events "out of order" in my brain. It was also interesting and so saddening to hear the reporters speculating on what the causes were, and how innocent we were vis-a-vis the dangers in the rest of the world before 9/11. Then of course the next morning we awoke to the news about the rioting in the Muslim world, and the death of our diplomats. As a child who was raised overseas quite a bit as a government brat, the death of our diplomats hit even harder. The hate that went into making that film, the hate that went into saying that it was made by a Jewish Israeli and funded by 100 Jews to scapegoat them, and the hate and violence shown by the Muslim world at this insult are all different sides of the same coin. How will things ever get better if each side doesn't really want to?

All the talk about 2012 as the "end of the world as we know it" got me thinking a lot about global changes - climate, social and political etc. Can't think of anything very direct or dramatic.

The violence in Syria has opened my eyes to have good I have it here in America. G-d bless the loved ones of the 25,000 that have been killed since all the fighting started.

The daughter of a former friend died suddenly and, so far, w/o explanation. I have this from his wife who let everyone on her contact list know. Although I grieve for the couple, I have not contacted them as I do not want to give the former friend any reason to believe there is a possibility of a reconciliation between us as there is not. My wife sent a caring and appropriate note to them and that satisfies my wish to express condolences without in fact doing so.

The Arab Spring filled me with hope. I even ran into an Egyptian in Second Life who had been part of the Facebook Revolution that took down Mubarak. When I told him that what they'd done was brilliant, he said that it wasn't them, it was G-d. But now, well, meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Israel's peace treaty w/Egypt holds on by a thread, Libya is in chaos, Syria is a bloodbath, and the only country clearly benefiting from it is Iran, whose nuclear ambitions continue unchecked. In other words, I've gone from hopeful to depressed.

The increasingly dire situation with climate change and, related to that, food security, has me re-thinking not only my eating and consumer habits, but also that we need to be proactive in creating our own food sources and planning for the day that our industrialized agriculture system fails. Disaster scenarios are easy for me to imagine and I think we're in for a real wake-up call in the next few years.

The increasing weather extremes and the increasing liklihood that the planet is warming and we have no idea how to deal with the consequences lets alone fix the cause

The fact that a little film reflecting one person's judgements and fear (in this case of Islam) could have provoked such fearsome retaliation from individuals thousands of miles away who never even saw the film, really speaks to how important our thoughts and feelings are, and how they can affect the world. One person can make a huge difference...one person does matter. What if...we could spark passion, love and care 1/2 way across the world, by expressing these sentiments daily in the same way. Let's try!

There has been the Presidential campaign going on and I am interested in who is running and what they have to stand for. I am able to vote for them and I want to know who I will be electing will do a good job of running our country. So far, it has been a tight race and I think this is going to be an exciting year and a controversial year.

The US presidential election. It has both given me hope for the future when I hear people who I thought were far right actually understanding things, and despair when I think what may happen if money wins. Why do companies have more rights than people?!!

I continue not be very affected by world events, or perhaps improperly to ignore the effects. I was rather disturbed by the spectrum of appallingly anti-rational beliefs evident in the Republican presidential nomination race. All kinds of ideas (creationism, to pick a relatively harmless one; the nonexistence of human-caused climate change, for a more serious one) that don't merit inclusion in reasonable debate were widely or even universally held. There are lots of ways in which public opinion in this country (about race and even homosexuality, for instance) has gotten wonderfully more reasonable in the past forty years, to an extent I wouldn't have thought possible. But in many ways we're regressing, again to an extent that I wouldn't have thought possible.

Political unrest in several Middle Eastern countries has caused a feeling of the world coming apart in general.

I'm having a hard time with this question. My mind is muddled with other things right now and I am having a hard time even remembering what major events happened this year. The Occupy movement didn't really impact me. This election is frustrating--all the politicing is getting old. The middle East craziness is too terrifying for me to begin to think about right now. Maybe I am shutting off.

One world event that has impacted me has been the violence in the Middle East, specifically the murder of the American Embassador. I am truly afraid of muslim extremists. I feel as if many countries are afraid to speak against them because violence will erupt in their countries. However, if no one speaks against them and condemns them for their violent behavior things will get worse.

Elections always take up my intellectual energy and time, and this year is no exception.

The question over student loans, and the cost of education. It's more that quadrupled since I began college and it's just getting ridiculous, and making it seem impossible to go to school anymore.

The return of Gilad Shalit helped me realize how fragile everything that we have his and how much I just need to appreciate every day. It also helped me realize how much becoming a father has changed my view of so much of the world.

General events in the Mid East, as a result of spending 10 days in Jerusalem. I feel that I have a more nuanced understanding of the region. Got me to read Friedman's "From Beirut to Jerusalem." Also, the time at Hartman has me looking at being Jewish in a more complex way.

The current election has had a great impact on me. I'm realizing how important politics are to me. It also strengthens my resolve to obtain civil rights for minority groups such as women, PoC, poor people, etc. Fighting for these rights are so important to me, especially as politicians continue limiting these rights.

Mitt Romney running for President of USA. Seriously? You've got to be fucking kidding me.

Obama stating he was pro gay marriage. Showed the world it is okay to be gay. I want rights.

Most recently the protests in the Middle East against America have made me reconsider both our intrusive policies and the role of religion in people's lives.

The killing of Osama Bin Laden meant a great deal to me in that it closed the book on a horrible chapter in American History, and (fingers crossed) ensures that President Obama will win in 2012. After all, it was his willingness to take the risk (as it was the Navy Seals').

The shooting at the theater in Aurora, CO really affected me. I used to live a few miles down the street, and it really hit our community and the city of Denver pretty hard. To know that things as horrendous as that can happen right in your city is scary and makes me more aware of the world we live in.

The European financial crisis created turmoil on the world financial scene. This has negatively impacted my situation with regard to security and stability. The impact on the US Market has limited my ability to build my business and establish monetary success. Additionally my investments and net worth appear much lower than they did. This represents an opportunity to create and flow to continue my journey.

The olympics - it was good to see the nation come together for something postive

The events in the Middle East have me worried about world peace, Israel and U.S. security. I'm less confident than ever, even after 9/11. The world is fractured and I don't know how to fix it.

That stupid thing Akin said-- it has been a constant reminder of how rape lurks around every corner and how little protection there is for us both while it's happening and after it's happened.

Venezuelan presidential elections. They have not happen yet, but I have been implicated in the process and have learn something about how politics work. The LCWR has also been and important event that I have been following and I can't wait to see what conclusions the Vatican and the nuns will draw from it.

It certainly has to be the activism on the Internet for free speech, Occupy Wall Street - that whole movement. I became deeply interested and very slightly involved, signing petitions, sending a few e-mails, that sort of thing. I realized that the Internet is our last bastion of free speech in the world, as everywhere is regulated by the shaky biased balances of Political Correctness in this 'Enlightened Age'. There have been copyright and privacy wars, ACTA, SOPA, PIPA - all of them an affront to human rights. We're on the edge now and some kind of renaissance or revolution is coming with this, only time will tell. By this time next year, I hope it's all been sorted and government and big business realize just how powerful the Internet is.

The recent Mars landing. It renewed my faith in the power of teams working together and made me remember why real "space stuff" can be so exciting. Also, seeing the Olympics through the eyes of my kids for the first time was awesome. They just loved learning about all the sports and the athletes and the countries.

I think that all the issues surrounding the Harredi in Israel really made me question my own Judaism and to think about the Jewish people in a very different way. I feel both more isolated from other Jews and more connected to my American Jewish community - proud to live in the US and more distant from Israel.

All tbe deaths in Afghanistan of ISAF troops. Everytime I hear about it I have to turn the radio off and my stomach drops. Those poor soldiers who lost their lives, and how awful it must be for the loved ones left behind.

The uprising in the Middle East regarding the Arab Spring and how the Americans are hated so much around the globe. My husband and I watch t.v. and every night I say "let's see who hates us today, even though we send tons of money to them". I'm tired of being the punching bag for the world. It's time to take care of ourselves and quit sending money overseas.

The shooting in the Aurora, Colorado theater over the summer. This event has stuck with me. Immediately after hearing about the catastrophic event, I went into fear and extreme sadness. I felt an enormous sense of fear and actually built up anxiety imagining how the people must have felt by having such a terrible incident confront their lives. Soon after, I felt the sadness and depression for the innocent lives lost and the families, boyfriends, husbands and wives of those lost. I felt angry, fearful and sad and guilty that I could even feel any emotional barrier as there I was, alive, unscathed and these individuals spirits have already crossed over. I felt terrible for these individuals. It affected me. And then I thought of the assassin. The man who entered that theater knowing fair well what he wanted to do. I thought of his life, his mentality and the pain or need he felt for drastic change in his before he could possibly commit such a heinous, blasphemous act. And I started thinking about all the other incidents similar to this one, in which a killer has a premeditated condition that compelled him/her to commit a blasphemous crime. And I felt compelled to change or prevent these crimes from even occurring. Thinking about the new year and being the synagogue on Monday really made me question G-d's presence in our lives. I began to ponder all the terrible incidents that have happened in human history.. The Holocaust, school shootings/massacres, genocide and violence crime around our world and I thought these incidents did not happen because of g-d's absence. These incidents happened because something was missing in the perpetrator's mind/life that drove him/her take another life and let one's mind dangerously go to places that disturb the human experience. The Human Experience. What is it all about? Is the question I examine after I have read a terrible news story and think about while I am in prayer. What I have begun to believe more strongly than anything is that G-d's presence is reflected in our actions that have been provoked by our thoughts and perceptions of ourselves and others. I believe we are on this earth, and have been placed on this earth to be free and compassionate unto others. We are free because we love. We love because we are free. Living is about giving and receiving nourishment, emotional assistance and kindness with others (all beings). We shall only live freely this way when we believe our purpose and meaning on this earth is to live as such and consider the creation of this earth. I believe the earth was created by G-d. I believe human beings were created by G-d in order to give and receive from others. If we work together, we can work to overcome our issues. We need to connect the dots in order to fulfill our meaning on this earth. If we connected the dots about the perpetrator from the Aurora shooting, we would see he was already struggling when he was seeing his therapist yet the institution did not work together to help this poor man find help. Those critical moments where we see an individual needs a inter-web of assistance from others, we can overcome the obstacles that incite the individual to give up and abandon gained freedom on this earth.

Occupy Wall Street - It was a movement with it's heart in the right place. I feel really strongly about the ideals they stand for and think our country is failing it's citizens. I was saddened by the violence, on both sides, that pushed the movement to lose credibility and derailed the ideas that so need to be discussed. Our political system is broken, corporations and lobbyists control the issues that are brought to the forefront. I don't know how to fix this without a governmental coup. We need to refocus our values and I have started by living what I believe more intently and and teaching my children to do the same. We are all equal and deserve respect.

The killling of the US ambassador over the muslim movie posted on the internet. It is crazy how one person's thoughtless actions or fanatic ideas can spark more hatred and violence. The movie reflected one person's ideas and suddenly the Muslim world considers the movie's ideas reflective of all America. This makes us all so vulnerable and the line of thinking leading to this violence is so thready.

I've been interested in politics before, but never like this. I'm horrified at the worldview held by certain politicians and their efforts to demean women. I'm also struck by how little compassion there is--sometimes on both sides. I've been eligible to vote in many elections and have only voted in a few--I was simply too jaded about the entire process. This year, I'm watching the campaign very closely, and I intend to vote and encourage others I know to do the same.

I would have to say definitely the war in Syria. My last visit was in 2009 and I would have been there this summer had the conditions not been so atrocious. Most of my family is gone except for a few who seem determined to stay and who cause an excessive amount of stress for myself and my father. I hope that this situation is somewhat resolved by next year...

An event that impacted me this year is the election coming up.

Not necessarily was there one event, but several incident of the same context. The uprises in the middle east and africa have brought a sense of fear and worry into my heart. CNN and other new situations displayed videos and images of building completely deconstructed and covered in blood, I wonder how we can sit back in one peace and accept that. I don't think its just as easy as getting up and saying why don't we do something, but something needs to be done. I have really begun to see the world in a more senseless manner. Why is it that I am so content in living in a peace full world, but others are not. I know that at the end, everything will be okay, but we need to make the ending now.

Mitt Romney running for president. Has made me see how there is a growing rift in the mentality between rich and poor. It is more tangible than in year's past. While it is disturbing it does make me reflect on how much I have and how as an American I have such privileges that I have to be thankful for.

Oddly enough, the thing that stands out the most is a number of fundamentalist religious groups calling anti-bullying rules unfair when they restrict the right to bully based on religious convictions. This made me so angry. It reinforced for me we must see our religious lives in context of sharing the world with people different from us. A world of diversity is a sacred world, and appreciating that holiness is central to religions.

The election. I'm so disappointed in the lack of leadership that we have to choose from -- and it's not just this election, I'm thinking about the past several as well. Our nation needs a strong leader who understands economics and foreign policy and inter-party partnership. I just can't see how we're going to go forward, not just after this election but for at least the next one as well - I don't see a strong leader emerging from either party, and I don't know what we the people can do to alter that. Disappointment, frustration.

The overall uprising of people in the middle east and other places, saying enough, we want and deserve better. I hope we have a ground surge in the US and voice and do the same, claim our right to have better lives and tell the politicians enough!

The election, both the recall election of my state's governor, and the presidential election. The has been so much ugliness and disappointment, and I'm working on not letting my energy be turned negative or sapped by behavior that I don't like. Avoiding being outraged seems healthier, and leaves me more able to focus on what positives I personally can achieve.

The death of Osama Bin Laden was incredible. I hate that it had to be the death of someone to see how the President was able to assemble our highest trained men to invade and attack a secure area. I am proud of the men and women who serve this country to protect my freedom. It hurts me to think that people can't see what an amazing job he has done to protect this country and to bring us safer from terrorism. I think the death of OBL is something that people will look back on and realize was an amazing accomplishment that our president did with little to no recognition.

Perhaps not a real "world" event, but it was something that was beyond just me and affected many people in my state--the recall election for Scott Walker. While it may have made the state more politically divisive, it also brought a lot of people together for a common cause. It let people's voice be heard and it let them excute their rights under state law. Though Walker wasn't recalled, it was amazing to be a part of that.

The recent killing of Americans in Libya; state department people who were trying to help the Libyan people. I find it so disheartening that we as Americans cannot respect other religious faiths since many came to this country because of religious intolerance. Our country was formed on religious freedom. We often talk about terrorists as if they are foreigners but I believe we have many in this country that do terrible acts like terrorist aboard. Why would one make a video that would offend so many people? Social media has made everything so easy to see , I realize that this was a planned attack to coincide with 9/11 but the video allowed others to participate because of ugliness of the portrayal of Muslin faith. I pray that we can do better.

The politician who talked abour "genuine" rape. I have a freind wh did get pregant as a result of a rape. Actually I have 2 freinds wh were raped before I knew them. Differnt circumstances but I wuld never dare t say which was more genuine. This is all part of larger debate that as a child f the 60s nw in my 60s I thught we settled so that our daughters would not need to fight the fight.

Occupy Wall Street and Occupy LA where events that impacted me a lot after the experience with 15 M in Spain. It tough me the importance of organizing as society in mobilizing and asking pacifically for your rights, but at the same time it gave me a dimension of the difficulty to create real change. The egos, and difficult of implementation change in the small scale. It opened me the eyes of the role of police, as people that protect status quo and certain interest (the one of the people that has the power) but also it made me realize how brave or weak I can be in a massive situation. It gave me the chance to feel vulnerable, feel compassion, gave me a sense of belonging, reconnection with my social path priorities, but also it shows me my limits and a great opportunity to self reflection and analysis of new possibilities. The peoples power, empower me, and made me a better human person.

I was so in my own head, due too being sick, that I admittedly shut out a lot of the strife in the world this past year. For better or worse I have become a sort of "Watcher" (think Marvel Comics, 1960s-era Fantastic Four)—I am informed, but passive. I guess in the wake of this existential moment, I felt more inclined to focus on that which is close to me—family, friends, my wife—than abstract larger issues. I will say that the Boy Scouts coming out against homosexuality was very tough for me, since we're doing work for them (however well-meaning) and find that stance near-despicable. No amount of donating a portion of our fee will alleviate that feeling completely.

The European debt crisis had an intellectual impact on me this year. I started reading and following business news more closely because if any country defaults on its debt, the global chain effect could be devastating.

The Oct. storm...decimated the trees and took down the wires providing electricity. I was so sad to see the number of trees that were killed during this storm..the piles of debris changing the landscape and environment of the community. That's the down side. The up side was to see how the community came together to help those in need. How my children came to check on me and insist that I leave my home and come to stay with them where it was warm and safe.

I've been so caught up in my own world, that I can't think of one. I don't even know what's going on in the election this year. I have to do something about changing this.

The election seems even sillier than usual this year. How the candidates can completely ignore the war in Afghanistan in their campaigning is remarkable. How can it be that so few of us remember that we are still in war and feel it is important?

Even though the Olympics weren't something I followed, it was the first time I ever thought about the magnitude this event holds. People train their entire lives from all over the world to compete. They practice every move to a perfection all leading up to one single performance. One false start, one imperfect landing one millisecond to slow and they are done. They have missed their chance to be known as the greatest in the world. I've always been at camp for the Olympics and have never been a big sports fan anyway, but for some reason I really noticed this year how patriotic and important the Olympics are. People who disagree on so many things come together to support their country I matter how many people I meet from other countries or how easy it is to get on a plane and travel across the world, I guess I just appreciate knowing that something on such a huge scale shows a little glimpse at what a small role I play in this large world.

The national election campaigns. Emotionally I go up and down about it. I am happy that Obama is getting ahead in the polls, but wish he would deal with issues of equality more. Take more ideas from the Occupy Movement. I do not think our political system is doing well. Too much greed. I feel more powerless on the national level.

It isn't a major event, but the pregnant teenage girl in the Dominican Republic who was refused treatment for the cancer she had for fear of harming the baby, even though her own life was in danger. She died because of it, and that's a scary example of the route the US is headed in with regard to abortion and overall civil rights. We are taking huge leaps backward for many of the things we fought for in the past 50 years alone. It's a very disconcerting time to not be a privileged white male in this country.

The continued financial slump continues to put a strain on my household budgets as we are retired.

The prospective war with Iran Increasing intolerance round about and dents in my own "liberality"after several "cases" eg Guy and Naela, (my son and his Arab girlfriend), being "touched-up" by a waiter in Galil restaurant)

The Arab Spring uprisings showed me that no matter how elitist American politics can feel, common people really can and do have the power to change things.

The death of Jewish feminist writer Paula Hyman. I knew her and she was way too young. I wished I had known to reach out to her.

Arab winter. Not any spring by any imagination, and the rage among many Moslems over imagined slights overblown. I actually wonder if despotic rule aka Sadaam Hussain might be the only way to keep tribal mentality there in line. I can see country after country splintering into tribal and religious lines, donig unspeakable things to each other, from Egypt to Libya to Iraq.

I don't know, I really don't. The Olympics were kind of cool. I love watching the Olympics, it makes me so proud of the human race. What has concerned me most is the Arab Spring (or should I say springs). I don't think it'll bring them any good. I'm concerned about the Christians who live in the area and I'm afraid that all this is only going to add to religious intolerance and islamic fundamentalism, and, in turn, to a more unstable world.

The Spanish forest fires near Estepona, because i was on holiday when they happened and we got told to be on alert to suddenly evacuate if the fires got worse and it panicked me!

I think the current uprisings in the middle east will make more people from the US & Israel understand the implications of our wars in the middle east and the perception that we demonize Muslims. I hope this effects the election and yields some real work to a true 2 state solution in the coming year.

The continued economic downturn and increased polarization in American politics has continued to bother me. It is so hard to watch the common area where we can all come together to solve problems shrink.

The 2012 election - hopeful for the world and worried about it also. Also the upheaval in the mid-east, how do we work with people who won't talk to us.

The poor economy worldwide. Although I make really good money and am doing well I do feel prices being more expensive. It feels as if my dollar isn't getting me as far as it once did. This also makes job security much more important and makes me thankful to have a job with job security and good benefits. Like many Americans I have had to cut back and focus my spending. It makes me wonder how those that are less fortunate are getting by. Increasing student loan debt makes me afraid for the future oft generation but thankful that I am on such good footing.

Politics have always been a certain interest to me, however, of late I have started to think how, despite democracy, how powerless we really are. It's channeled my mind and plans for the future to a manner that will mean that I am less dependant on the State or the economy.

Global warming and climate change. It has been a nightmare to see Mother Nature's wrath unleashed upon our planet.

Watching the world economy go down the tubes (Greece, Italy, Spain...) made me see the global impact that is happening with the recession, not just in the U.S. I feel that this will all take some time to recover from and on a personal level, my husband and I have been restructuring our own lives financially so that we can forge ahead in the future with much hope.

The iffy financial situation in Greece threatens to cascade into the rest of Europe and then across the pond to North America. It shows how fragile our world economy has become...almost like one domino gets bumped and they all start to fall. Likewise it makes me angry that the greed from relatively few in the US has caused so many problems for so many others in the world over the past 3 or 4 years, teetering Greece and Italy on the edge are just a couple of examples.

I think the war in Afghanistan has affected me the most because my cousin got shot in actually while serving in the Army in Afghanistan. Thankfully, he's alive and came home safety for a visit to spend time with us.

Occupy Wall Street! It is so exciting to see people waking up and taking action. Occupy Marines is notable for their radical perspective, showing us that not everyone in the military agrees with the warmongering vision of the government. Occupy has spawned many sidekicks: Occupy the food system, Occupy the schools, Occupy the foreclosures, etc. I hope the whole movement continues to build and get stronger. I am a proud member of the 99%.

The 2012 Paralympics in London (held right after the Olympics) impacted my opinion once again of how inadequate American Media Coverage is when it come to uplifting positive events. I was ashamed at how little the US bothered with make sure we had as much coverage on the Paralympics as there had been on the Olympics. Other countries, particularly England, had incredible coverage and was broadcasting everywhere- not just on the Internet which is where one had to go instead of Network Television to watch. The Paralympics was sold out every day of the games and the positive energy experienced by one of our athletes there is inspirational to read about. Great article to share: http://www.thedowneypatriot.com/article.do?id=17714105

The murder of Trayvon Martin really got to me, it really pushed me to fight back against the intolerance and ignorance you can see in the world.

The recent embassy attacks have greatly affected me, leading to a sense of dread at what might occur next...

There's a few easy ones: the election, Syria, etc. I think the one that has been most impacting upon me has been the revelation of how conservative (i.e. opposite of progressive) Americans are in their ideology. As the campaigns have progressed and candidates have revealed how they would set-back civil rights and women's rights decades, I am astonished at the justification and support. I have become even more disappointed with my fellow Americans and their visions of a better tomorrow.

The presidential election and the stupid, inane discussions about the right of women that have dominated it. Especially Rep. Akin's "legitimate rape" comments.

I have so much going on in my life that I do not let world events impact me, as there is nothing one can do about it. While I have empathy, I concern myself with events closer to home and things I have some control over. I am grateful for what I have.

It's so hard to keep track; world wide violence, emerging/visible racism ... I feel emotionally distant. It's too much.

The move to the Right by so many American Jews. They have abandoned ties that our parents and grandparents had with New Deal and late 20th century liberalism. Many are middle class wealthy. Not part of the 1%. Yet they support the battle against the very wealthy paying its fair share of taxes. They observe a sense of social responsibility and tax deductible philanthropy from a distance and only as it requires no personal sacrifice. Many are racists. Their disrespect for our President humiliates me. They are unwilling to recognize that an uncritical devotion to an undemocratic Israeli regime threatens World Peace and the survival of Israel.

The protests in Egypt reminded me that all is not just everywhere in the world.

Well, I'm scratching my head with this one. It's 6pm and I've just opened my first can so I'm sober. I've usually had a few when I answer these questions. Hopefully when I read this answer next year I'll have put a reasonable cap on the drinking. Ok, there was the Olympics but that passed me by largely. I guess this year has been all about me again! Oh, Chris Moyles left the breakfast show which made me cry. Think that his show was a constant from before seperation to after divorce. A good comfort! As an aside, and a means of a reference point..... Not heard from Julie since I left her house 10 days ago. 'Seen' Hazel and remain in touch. Arranged to meet 'kinkycaz' next Tuesday. Will any of these names mean anything next year? Time will tell :)

The shooting at the movie theater in Aurora, CO during the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. I had been at an advance screening in NYC earlier that evening, and when I woke up early the next day and saw the news, I was stunned. It hit very close to home. It makes me incredibly sad that 1) Mental health professionals could have done more to stop the shooter and 2) It could have been me and my husband if the same had happened in NYC. We are lucky to live in a free country, but we aren't free from danger. It's not so much the guns, it's the people who own them. This makes me worried as my children grow up.

Ebola in Uganda - travelling there seemed a lot more dangerous!

My world has gotten small this year - poor health isn't a whole lot of fun... The fact that we have pictures coming back to us from Mars...it takes me back to when I was The American Kid among the cousins the year we landed on the moon. Occupy Everything. It started small...but it's beginning to have an impact. Here in Eugene, they're really looking toward helping the houseless. Religious and political unrest...everywhere...and the rapid response to things because of pressure online. Oh my heck, but we knew we'd accomplish much online, back when "we" were on GEnie...back in The Day...

The attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya and the murder of the U.S. Ambassador and his staff brought back memories of 9/11. We live in a world with Muslim extremists whose terror shakes our core. It is very hard for me to feel any empathy for the Muslim World when they engage in terrorism. They don't seem to respect human life.

I think the extended drought/heat throughout much of the US has already affected food prices, gasoline prices, and water availability. It's only going to get worse where I live in southern California. But then there are pockets of our country that have too much water -- flooding, hurricanes and power outages caused by storms. It reminds me of the U'netaneh Tokef prayer: who [shall perish] by fire, who by water...

This year's election, somewhat. As well as OWS, that gave me hope that, while its efficacy is nebulous, there are people out there not sleepwalking through life and willing to put themselves out there to demand change.

Occupy Wall Street. On a very basic level, I was arrested or "detained" illegally, pressed with spurious charges, and generally treated very poorly by all levels of our justice system I encountered. None of that was particularly surprising, but it did drive the issues home in a very personal way. It was also inspiring to see the possibility of change, to see the media forced to cover what they would normally suppress. But a year later, nearly nothing has changed. This impacts the way I think about advocacy -- changing the system isn't going to happen immediately. The best course is to elect people who will do the right thing, and hope that part of "the right thing" is reforming the system as well as the policy it creates.

As the BP oil spill went on and on, I became so very disgusted and reminded of the limited power of humans over nature. Those trying to stop the spill seemed as clueless as the average people involved. They were actually stuffing garbage down the well to stop it from continuing! And it didn't work!

The liberation movements in the Middle East inspired me--to know that there is a way to overthrow a dictatorship or any other too-powerful organization using techniques outlined in Gene Sharp's "From Dictatorship to Democracy", which was used by the youth in the Middle East to do just that. It gives me hope that the powerless are not so powerless after all.

It's sad to say....but I can't think of anything that has impacted me this year. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

The whole Chik-fil-A fiasco impacted me. Given all the other issues in the world, it is small; yet, I can't believe how many people stood in line to eat processed chicken to demonstrate their contempt of LGBT people. I pray for them.

Obama's view on same-sex marriage! Dude. Also, Avengers. Where the fuck would I be without that film? SO DAMN GOOD.

The events of the world have been so impactful on every person of awareness! During Arab Spring, I remember seeing a photo of nighttime in Tahrir Square, with a a lone man holding his country's flag high in the air, facing a phalanx of armored police and fire and smoke in the air behind them with the slogan "Walk like an Egytian" across the bottom. I felt so proud of the human spirit and the longing for freedom. Then came the devolution of the movement. The Afganis turning their guns on their US platoon mates. The Iranians insistence on building nuclear weapons. The intransigence of the Arab/Israeli conflict. How quickly thousands across the world "took the bait" of the hateful, ridiculous "movie"--how when it comes to religious fanaticism, logic and reason do not rule. I feel for the future...even in this country pulling so hard to the right....

The world... well, I don't keep much track of world events. I went to a presentation on human trafficking. In addition to addressing issues like young women being exploited, the presentation also addressed bla bal bal bla bla bla this is meaningless. everything i write here is so contrived. like i'm trying to find some meaning where really i see none. because i dont' see any meaning right now. because i'm depressed. but if there's no meaning, why do i keep backspacing and fixing my typos? i guess i will stop doing that, too. but anywhay, however, i will see you when this is all over and we alre are all light once again. bcacuese tdeath is not really death it is just the body that dies and i cannot be this body because that would be so inconsequential but maybe i am just so inconsequential and if so, who cares, then so what, and it doesnt really matter what happens at all, so why bother with anything? but then, the onely thing to do is be happy, or tyr rty try to be hapy, but what does that h=even mean? does anyone know? thiink i think that some people know because some people are happy. so i have to spend more time with them. i need to move in with some happy people. to learn by example. pelease, happy peple, show me the way. show be me the whey. curds and whey. i should not put the burden of my depression on my girlfriend, because that is unfair. but i want her sympathy, because in a little way, it makes me feel better. but i don't want anything, i just want everyone to be happy and then they can go about their business like ants and i can just sleep or rolll around in the sunshine, but really i would get bored, so someone give me something to do, but not too much pressure, because i'll explode, and i explode easily these days. so there.

Ooo boy. There have been a lot. I guess lately the attacks and violent protests at the American embassies in the middle east and the murders of the U. S. ambassador and security personnel in Libya have really bothered me. Voter ID laws and abortion restriction fights really upset me too. I guess I feel like I've seen all of this before and don't know why we are here again. I mean, do we ever get it right? Should everyone just stop trying and let it be. On the plus side gay people can now serve openly in the military and the U. S. Supreme court upheld the Health Care Initative so I guess that is some progress. And, TV on the Radio made a film, "Nine Types of Light" that made me really happy, but member Gerard Smith died. Maybe that's the thing about life: Keep your emotions stable. Not too happy. Not too sad. Less suffering. I really don't know.

Santorum running for Republican nominee really impacted me. Even though I'm not American I know what an impact they have on the world and Santorum scared me as a woman and as a human being. I've never been so relived to hear of a politician dropping out of the race.

The world has been kind, and did not interject itself directly into our affairs last year.

The economy, still. Spending less, doing less than I wanted to, expected to, assumed I would be doing. Both for myself - travel, classes, etc. and for others, via charity.

World events haven't had such an intense impact on me that I recall a specific occurrence right now.

Busy year...from June 17 through August 20th....I spent 15 days in Tanzania on a safari, bought a house, welcomed a new grandson Thomas Jon in to the world, got two new tenants for both George Street and Mundelein, accepted the condo tenant moving out in early September and moved to Wisconsin. All of these things impacted me - all in different ways. Becoming a grandmother to Tommy and watching Emily and NJ enter parenthood was probably the most special....then my safari - great trip...long and hard but a once in a lifetime experience.

I don't really let the outside world effect me too much but if I had to choose something I think it would be the 2012 London Olympics. It showed me that I am never too young to start a passion and win. It has inspired me to find something I am good at and practice til perfect.

The movie theater shooting in Colorado a few months ago definitely had an impact on me. I couldn't believe that in our world, these things still happen all the time. To think that everyday regular citizens have access to these murderous weapons makes me sick to my stomach. It could happen to anyone anywhere. Living in a city that is more heavily monitored then most, I do feel safer, however, something like this could happen in NYC as well. The fact that they beefed up police at movie theaters that week after, won't change anything. Gun control in this country needs to be more heavily monitored and I am hoping to g-d that our next president to be elected next term (which better still be Obama) better consider this issue of utmost importance. Too many innocent people are dying, and they shouldn't be. It affected me mostly because of the fact that I never think that these things could happen to me, or anyone I love. Simply put, they could. There was also a shooting a block from where I was waiting for the bus in NYC a few weeks ago, and I could have easily been an innocent victim myself. It has made me well more aware of my surroundings which is very important living in a busy and crowded city.

My participation in my local abortion fund means that I hear about all the very weird anti-women sentiment among conservative Republicans. Women know whats best for women. Women have been aborting for the past 4,000 years when they wanted to. I am enraged by these misogynists and their certainty that they know what a woman should do with her body. Don't believe in abortion? Don't have one! I am so glad that I grew up believing that abortions are no less or more than an option that women have in their lives, not good or bad, or a reflection of female misbehaviour. Just a right, like due process or law, or wearing pants or skirts.

Obama vs. Romney. I'm shocked how bigoted and arrogant the Republican party really is. I'm no longer affiliated with the republican party because of this.

Osama bin Laden was shot and killed this year. This represented a small victory in the war on terror and, hopefully, provided some peace for the families that suffered the loss of a loved one or ones on September 11th. This made me feel very proud to be an American and to be able to show pride in our armed forces. I believe our military is the best in the world and, while why the fight is not always right in my opinion, they do their job and they do it well. I am proud of the armed forces of my country.

The combination of the "occupy" movement with the hype and hooplah of an election year shows how far apart some sections of our population has distanced itself from the rest. It leaves me deeply concerned when needed benefits and reforms are deemed entitlements and the atiitude has become one of I've got mine, I'm holding on to it and I could care less about what happens to you -least of all if you are gay or a woman or an immigrant or a poor minority!

Every four years (or, I suppose, every few months), the country transforms from getting by and focusing on one's self, one's family, and one's community to focusing on what is wrong with others. The negativity spewed not only in political ads but all over the internet by citizens appalled by anyone believing differently than themselves cannot help but hurt us as a nation. While I see my own children spit out harsh words that are forgotten once the conflict is over, the sheer volume of vitriole and divisiveness established in our too-long election process, documented ad nauseum over the internet so that words cannot be forgotten, means that old enmities are never forgotten. And the country willfully forges ahead toward an ever-more volatile situation.

The recent attack on our embassy & officials in Libya, the upheavals in Egypt (Arab Spring) & elsewhere in the Middle East, the attacks on our troops from Afghani troops, says to me the world is in turmoil and in a very precarious state. Add to this our OWN political climate which is nothing less than vicious, & it leaves me feeling we are really not in a good place. Change may have to come not from leadership but from the people creating stability out of chaos. Makes it difficult to think of world travel. Makes me worried where my grandchildren could end up in the military.

Israel .how there is little support for my home .the USA should I say the president has little use of her .it is a shame ...

I guess Occupy Wall Street was in the last year, wasn't it? It's been very interesting talking with my husband over the last few years about society and the way things are structured. Occupy Wall Street sort of helped me realize that we are not alone in the observation that government and corporations are hopelessly entangled, in a way that is extremely detrimental to the entire country. I wonder how much longer it will be before something is actually done - I feel we must be moving past the "spread awareness" phase, mustn't we? How much longer is our culture going to put up with a system that blatantly shuffles all resources upward? I think we need to restructure in a way that removes scarcity and allows free sharing of the basic resources - food, shelter, healthcare. We have plenty of all of these things and yet we insist on withholding them from a startlingly large portion of our population. How do we do this and still pretend we have compassion for our fellow man?

The DNC endorsing marriage equality as part of the party's platform was pretty huge. It made me believe that equality might actually come sooner than I ever thought it would. Maybe I'll actually be a full and equal citizen in the next four years.

Romney has a house on the same lake in NH as I do - so in a funny way, that has made me much more aware of the everyday, local aspect of national politics.

The occupy movement made me proud of my "people." I didn't participate in it because of work and family obligations, but I followed it closely and worked to make sure my students were aware of the events. It was such a teachable moment. I believe the movement has had a much greater impact than people recognize. The media portrayed it as too many voices raised with disparate rallying cries that never successfull effected any change. But the way we speak about inequality in our country and individuals' experiences of direct action will not fade with time.

This year's US election has been interesting. I do not think highly of the American attempt at democracy. I'm sure in truth the Canadian format is only minimally better, but it doesn't matter. Choosing between 2 options who have a huge set of designated opinions on varied important topics is ridiculous. It is a sad state of affairs that prevents Americans from getting what they actually want and the situation is prime for them to be swayed by any eloquent speech. This all tends to sway me in the direction of my husband's inclinations - you should need a license to vote.

The election campaign has been rather frightening to me because the rhetoric from the right wing of the Republican party is so filled with hate, so firmly founded on religious intolerance, and so willing to ignore, distort or invent facts. In addition, when they state no actual goal other than to unseat a president they dislike, and prove it by spending two years in control of the house and doing essentially NOTHING (so they can say that Obama didn't get anything done), it is scary to me that any significant portion of the electorate can take them serioiusly, yet clearly that is the case and they have substantial support! There used to be leaders in each party whom I could respect, and even with the first Bush, while one understood that big business and the oil industry would get richer, there was not the same sense that his party's primary aim was to move us back a century in terms of moral behavior and civil rights. The events in Syria as Assad tries to contain a rebellion, and the enormous violence in demonstrations against the West over one (apparently Egyptian!) man's despicable anti-Muslim film, give me a sense of despair over whether the cultural and religious attitudes in the Middle East can ever moderate enough for truly peaceful, productive interaction with the West. I believe money is at the root of it all, but the acquisitive holders of power also seem to have at their disposal millions of poorly educated fundamentalist believers to fling at their enemies, and the rulers seem to feel they have the right of tribal clan chieftains to simply get rid of anyone who disagrees with them, no matter how much ruthless oppression of large segments of their populations might be required. The last thing is the loss of our polar ice. This makes it seem as though it is already too late to save our planet, even though so many people are working hard toward green.

i got nothing. sadly, lots of huge events happened this year but none of them impacted me in any sort of daily, meaningful way. i had to type in "2012" to wikipedia to even remember what the big events were. the arab spring is still going on, curiosity landed on mars. hmm. the arab world is going crazy over that utterly terrible yet offensive youtube video. romney and obama are going at it, and luckily romney is fumbling pretty heavily at the moment. just yesterday he said the whole "47% of americans" thing, at at least it was released on that video. man, crappy videos be changing everything.

Was the whole thing with Michael Vick this year? Because that pissed me off. As has all the talk of abortion and women's rights during this election year.

The utöya thing. I was in Norway, in the midst of it, at the time, and it was heartbreaking. At the same time I noticed my mind closes when it's too much emotion. It was too close to me to really FEEL it all, I mean some of my co workers lost their friends that day! But at the same time, the world and the nation came together and you could feel the atmosphere shift. Everybody appreciated each other more. Too bad there had to be a monster out there to make it happen.

The drought in the Midwest made me very much aware of how centralized our food production is and how much of our staples are supplied by agribusiness located in very focused areas of the country which makes us quite vulnerable to weather (and other) localized disasters. I felt afraid about climate change and rising food prices, particularly for my kids and people of their generation (young adults) who are already struggling in this economy.

Robin Lim being voted at CNN shero of the year. Empowering for women and insures access to maternity care for more of the underserved, at least in Indonesia...... Robin is a remarkable role model for other women embarking on a career of birthwork.

The Olympics made me feel proud in a way that I didn't think possible. I am a 40 year old cynic, and yet seeing people's enthusiasm and British reserve falling away was an incredible experience. Also - it feels that on disability the country moved forward in the way that we perceive those issues. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.

The Presidential election this year has really made me aware of how polarized our country is in terms of visions for what is best for us as individuals, a nation, and a world. I am frightened by the opposition's vision which I see as elitist, shortsighted, and lacking both compassion and realism. I am working to see the opposition as simply the opposition and not the enemy and know that there are people on that side who, in good conscience, find my views as frightening as I find theirs.

The Occupy movement has made previously radical ideas about the distribution of wealth and health care in America much more mainstream, and has activated many people to work for greater equality. I am an enthusiastic supporter. Occupy America! Occupy Judaism! Occupy Earth!

japanese nuclear reactor impacted by tsunami--brought me back into contact with my japanese friends and reminded me again how small the world is.

KONY 2012. I read about it (late, because I was a monk for a month), was inspired by it, wanted to carry it out and make it happen and change the world. Why was it not all over campus? Then I mentioned it to someone. They laughed. Told me to look into it. So I did. Why can't something good just truly BE GOOD? Radical Christian groups with underlying motives. Star athletes on steroids. A man preaching about Christ who hands me a card that says "CoExist" only to destroy my hope that he actually believes it. And yet I still hope.

I think it is naive of any of us to NOT name the Arab Spring as a significant event. Yet, I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't really understand what was happening until I went to my 16 year old's presentation about it. He did a really impressive presi that made me feel humbled and awed by what young people all over the world are doing.

I think this was the first year that I really tried to pay attention to the happenings at the Olympics. I did not get to watch a lot of the events, due to not having cable. But I did make an effort to watch the opening ceremonies and follow some of the new stories on the preparations and changes made in London to support the games. I think I was also more aware of the Special Olympics. It just made me think about how you can be able-bodied or disabled and still accomplish really amazing things.

Syria, Libya, and now the spreading protests around the world.

Our Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, who was killed by extremists. It was senseless and especially sad considering that Stevens was a force in helping the Libyan people.

The upcoming elections, really. As a mother, I feel more engaged and more invested in who our president may be than I ever have before. When Obama ran in 2008, it was the first time I'd ever contributed to a political campaign. And now, with a kid in the world, I'm committed to help this guy stay in office. I feel more "in the world" than I used to and much less fatalistic about who our leaders may be. I want progressive candidates in local office and -- as progressive as we can get -- in the White House. I want my kid to grow up in a world with resources, in a nation that's looking out for its most vulnerable citizens.

The violence in Syria has been very upsetting to me. I can't understand how people can be willing to destroy their own beautiful, historic cities. How sad to be so limited in our empathy for one another and how unfortunate to see people cling to power at the expense of others.

Everyone in my family is in the arts, which has been deeply affected by the economy. Very few books get published or publicized unless they are guaranteed blockbusters, the film studios only makes super super high budget action films, and scripts aren't sold on the basis of good writing or important stories. Even though you could say it's always been that way, the balance has been tipped in the last years so that it's so much more so. This leaves my ex-husband struggling to find work, and my two college graduate kids (with another one still coming up) having to struggle to make a living as neither of us, their parents, had to at that age. (Plus, I have no idea how I'll make a living writing.) The entire ethos of the country seems to have changed -- it's only worth doing if you will make a ton of money. While the Republicans bleat on about small businesses and cutting taxes, contributing to the world with art has gone the way of the five and dime store. As have so many other things from having a doctor who can prescribe what he thinks is best for the patient, to decisions about elementary education not based on cost. It makes me very sad and worried for my kids, especially, and the world we all live in.

There have been many events in the world that have affected me this year. But I think what makes me the most despairing is the way in which any event--whether it's a climate extremity or a political event or something social--it becomes fodder for the political campaigns. So the stupidity of an anti-Muslim film becomes a flame for anti-American violence, but then the real payback comes as the campaigns for president begin the "spin" of how we ought to see/interpret each event. When I think about politics, I begin to doubt that democracy and capitalism can survive in the same room.

It's funny. This question has me a little stumped. Although I am aware of world events, this year's family divorce trumped everything else. I just felt so shocked that a relationship I believed so stable was just being disolved. Sometimes what is happening in our own world makes the events happening outside our relm feel really far away.

I don't care much about the rest of the world right now. Hope that's not bad karma.

The natural disasters were frightening and worrisome, but the economic collapse has weighed much more heavily on my own sense of security and has cause me to have great concern for the well-being of my children.

I have always been a sucker for the Olympics. I love them. I love the sports, summer and winter alike, and more than anything I love seeing all the countries come together to a place where national pride is a good thing, competition is friendly and spirited, and we can see the good in everyone. My daughter was born the second day of the Beijing Olympics, and those Games permiated her first weeks. It was a real blessing to always have something to watch as we freaked out about this tiny human we were suddenly gifted with and responsible for. And now, every 4 years, we will have a reminder of those strange early days. She was fascinated by the Olympics (although unable to watch much in "live time" due to the weird packaging by NBC, but that's another issue) and has continued to have "playing Olympics" as part of her imagined play activities. I found myself much more connected to the atheletes' parents' reactions, and realizing how wonderful and difficult it will be when she's big enough to be doing things on her own and I'm left only a spectator.

When the Occupy Movement came to fruition, I was surprised by how opposed to it I was, and am. I forced me to reflect a bit more on how and why I call myself a liberal, and how I interact with social movements as a whole.

This may sound trite, but having my kids watch Edon perform on Americas Got Talent has shown my girls that you can live up to your full potential and still show your Jewish pride. One of my kids talks about being a rock star, and now she knows that if she decides to go down that route, she doesn't ever have to give up her observance.

The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. I felt impacted by the incredible buzz around London. It made me feel very proud to be a Londoner; I have never seen London in such a amazing light before. The city came alive and came together. Suddenly, London felt like a tiny community that was welcoming millions of guests and I loved that. But the real impact came for me from the people, the volunteers. They were full of life and spirit, were willing to help in anyway they could and all for nothing. I had a huge reminder of the genuine kindness of mankind. They reminded me to never stop giving up my time to help others and do something I love, in a city I love.

Perhaps the most "impactful" event that has happened in 5772 actually happened "off-world." The successful landing of Curiosity, NASA's latest Mars rover, buoyed my faith in humanity's two steps forward (for one step back) progress. My excitement and enthusiasm for the mission and joy in the result was not unlike that which I experienced following the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

The events known as the Arab Spring happened this year in the Middle East. On the one hand it makes me happy that people are getting their voices heard and represented. On the other hand, I am worried that Islamist extremists will take advantage and this will have negative consequences for the safety and security of Israel.

This year, I started truly caring about what happened in the Middle East. Caring about Israel, about the Arab Spring, hoping for the best and fearing that the worst flashpoint would hit. When the U.S. Ambassador in Libya was killed, along with three other personnel, I was very scared that this would be the start of a potential World War...that's what happened in the past. But instead, we saw an outpouring of support for the U.S. in the region from official channels and on the streets, we saw the perpertrators treated like criminals and arrested, and the decline in tensions was swift. I hope the world has turned a corner. And I hope that Israel will start acting in a way consistent with its principles in relation to the Palestinians, and stop giving so many around the region reasons to hate us.

The shooting at the colorado movie theater. It has impacted me because I am terrified of death. I also love the movies. I think that it is just scary to think how things can happen and completely change your life or take away your life. Now I feel really happy ;) thinking about this. Hopefully reading this in a year won't make me feel sad.

All the violence in the world - people hurting other people & war. It's scary to me, and I really wish I knew how to help, or how to help change things.

Ive delibrately chosen not to pay too much attention to events due to trauma, however occupy wall st is definately a positive event in my eyes

The repeated disrespecting of women by right wing bigots of all kinds (talk show hosts, presidential and vice-presidential candidates, congressmen and state senators)--everyone who states that women who are "legitimately" raped don't get pregnant, who object to the use of the word "vagina" in a government chamber when discussing a bill that would deny women the right to make decisions that includes their personal body part, the mostly men who pass laws denying women the right to birth control, or abortion, or help feeding their children. AND the threat of hydrofracking coming to my state (NYS) and my county which sits on top of numerous live earthquake faults and a fragile layer of porous channeled limestone, which personally puts me in danger of being directly impacted by the destructive greed of the corporate overlords At age 68 I am more worried for my children and grandchildren and see how important it is to live my beliefs actively and compassionately. I keep remembering the constant injunctions to care for, include and respect the rights and needs of the widow, the orphan and the stranger among us, and I always add the one mother-earth body/spirit/earth body we all share to the mix.

This is not so much an event as a string of event, or more like a general attitude. The treatment of women as second class citizens, with reproductive rights being stripped away and misinformation being common and widespread in policy makers (Akin's "legitimate rape" comments, the attempt to de-fund Planned Parenthood, the Arizona law that could classify pregnancy as beginning at the end of the last period before conception in order to make it more difficult to obtain an abortion, just to name a few) is frightening and offensive to me as an educated woman. I've been politically aware since the 2000 election, and really invested since 2004, but this election year is the first time I've felt that there were issues which could personally affect me in a real, day to day way.

Landing on Mars shows that we are capable of incredible accomplishments, and yet are so very tiny in relation to the universe. Even with all of the world's problems, we are united as being part of the human race with a shared experience of being here on earth. It helps me put everything in perspective and try to approach my life with more gratitude and humility.

There was a horrible accident in North Hollywood about 6 weeks ago. A guy had crashed his car into a light pole. There was water on the ground and live wires in the water. People stopped to help. A woman stepped into the water and was instantly electrocuted. Another woman went to help her and she died as well. In all, there were 8 people injured because of this guy's careless driving. It impressed the fact upon me, once again, how flitting life can be...one minute you're in the car with your husband and the next minute, you're dead...just trying to help someone....

The cruelty against animals, make me think of do something about it. I design a group of skateboards with animals designs to sell it and all the money I earn with it I'm going to give away to a asociation in my country that help animals.

World events? I feel so disconnected from world events. In the United States, I read the news everyday; but since moving abroad and losing most Internet access, I am much less in touch with what is happening in the world. I don't think this is a good thing...but the again, sometimes I think I have less to worry about.

It seems that here in the USA we are still fairly well protected from the winds of world political events in general. Even the USA cannot protect us from the weather however, and for me the event was actually a lack of event, which is to say, the lack of cold. We had a very mild winter followed by a short, cool spring and a record breakingly hot summer. These changes in the weather, how they affect the whole globe and all the ecosystems therein, have innumerable repercussions, most of which we have no inkling of yet. As one who is not quick to embrace most change, this is not welcome news. It makes me further convinced of my sustainability concerns.

The Presidential campaign. It has made me increasingly worried about the partisanship and the "us vs them" atmosphere in politics today, where it seems that the most important thing is that the other side loses, rather than that they do what is right for the country. All the lies and distortions are disturbing. For one party to say they won't let the agenda be run by fact-checkers is outrageous. We ought to apply truth in advertising laws to political ads.

September 11 - September ??? Forgive me if this is too controversial. The reaction to the movie Innocence of ____ in September and also to the misinformation tying it to Israel (producer and financing) is what has more impact than my mother's illness, the week long wildfire at the edge of my city, or other large scale events. So many possible lives and places in the world lie open to war through this manipulated conflict. How calculated some of it seems -- to capitalize on current conflicts in the Middle East, on global tensions: political, economic and religious. How precarious civility can be - and how opportunistic impassioned anger can be. I have colleagues, students and friends from all factions - I cannot afford to judge or to take a side within the controversy/altercations. However, this allows me an opportunity to look from multiple perspectives to see what machinations are at play, and what possible motives and goals might be at work. Finding respectful discourse is essential in making any progress towards lasting peace (my preference). "Life is sacred" is the best statement I've heard this last week. We must strive to not reflexively react to matters that may lie deep in our hearts. We must strive to act on our higher faith, on our beliefs in a merciful, just world of holy grace. We must aim to find a place for everyone - as truly difficult as it is to lay down the struggle to find a home of one's own towards this end. What does the next year hold for our planet's 7 billion humans?

Just in general, some of the very violent acts that have happened in the world this year, including the US ambassador to Libya getting shot and the shooting at the Dark Knight Rises premiere and the unrest in some of the northern African countries have made me realize how important tolerance is to me. I just want people to understand that other people are different from them. I just want people to understand that no one deserves to be killed for any reason. I just want people to treat other people LIKE PEOPLE. Is that too much to ask?

The election has me on edge.

The combination of the Arab Spring and what is happening now as the result of a YouTube video. We are such an intolerant world when it comes to religion. Religion seems to bring out the worst in us in some sense when we can't follow the axiom of "live and let live" . Frankly, it drives me more firmly toward secularism.

The presidential election is always a thrilling, terrifying, maddening experience. Four years ago I was beside myself in my desperation that Obama win. I harangued my mother and made myself quite crazy. This year, I've put myself on a political news diet and limit my sources of political news to Jon Stewart and CNN. MSNBC, while it reflected my political views, just became so strident it kind of whipped me into a frenzy. This year, I'm trying to leave my mother alone and keep my sanity. A related event was the Supreme Court's passage of Citizens Unite. I believe it threatens to destroy our democracy as foreign corporations discover (if they haven't already) that they can buy elections. I believe the people of this country will not allow that to happen and will overturn it, with a constitutional amendment if necessary.

The tsunami affected me on many levels. While sending prayers to the people of Japan I was watching NHK- the Asian news, and observing the phony politicians who were covering themselves in the mire of endless lies regarding the nuclear site. Inside were 50 brave heroes trying to save the Japanese people from the the terror attack of their own nuclear site that had been damaged by the tsunami. I am glad to see that KJapan is now phasing out nuclear energy .

The killing of Osama Bin Laden impacted me this year because it brings up many questions. The killing of Bin Laden does it help anyone heal? Is killing ever right? Does this provide any closure on 9/11? It is difficult to answer these questions unless you are directly linked to 9/11.

The latest attacks on the embassies in different parts of the world. I feel such sadness that people in the world hate the americans so much. This has made me realize how much the world needs a realization that we need to learn to coexist and stop berating each other for our beliefs.

The election will have a great impact on all of us, especially if the congress becomes truly conservative. Human rights will be lost, the ability of many to be protected by health insurance, schools and prayers, unions, lack of taxes to support programs that provide services and jobs, and so much more. Very scary to think that people are so willing to give up their civil rights for money. The eaurthquake on 9/5 in Costa Rica affected us as we have our condo right near where the EQ hit and had some damage. As aftershocks continue in the area, many friends are impacted. Because it is a politically calm country, it has not had the global impact as the EQ in Haiti has, or other disasters. Isn't it interesting how the political climate a ffects natural disaster response?

The anniversary of 9/11 this past September and the past few years, have worried me. There was definitely less of a big deal made of this anniversary than previous. That disturbs me because each year I think back to my home town and how it reacted, like many towns around the country after it first happened, with a somber parade and everyone standing on the sidewalks holding flags and almost every car had a flag attached to its window and everyone lit candles. My sons were young, but held flags even though they didn't quite understand. I think it would be good for children to grow up seeing this type of memorial happen each year and it will serve in keeping the pride of our young citizens strong. I believe that should be what we do every anniversary. In watching the footage of 9/11 on tv this past anniversary made me angry all over again and I felt disappointed that there was only a small memorial at the fire station in my town. Everyone should be asked to at least put a flag outside there homes. It reminds me of the Holocaust. There is danger in letting the memories dwindle and showing the world we aren't making a big deal of such a catastrophic event.

Occupy Oakland. It changed y view of my city, the police and activism in general. Also the helicopter kept me up!

1. Gunman kills 14 in Denver theater. It shows the true fragility of life, and how hard we have to work to keep each other safe, and that no matter how hard we work, there are evil circumstances that we sometimes can't avoid. You never know why G-d does what He does and why he wanted those 14 people in heaven so quickly. 2. Aly Raisman wins gold in the floor exercise at 2012 Olympics in London. Her performance song was "Hava Nagila," which raised the proverbial upturned middle finger at the IOC, which are all Israel-loathers. It made me REALLY proud to be a Jew, whether Raisman knew what she was doing or not.

I think the recession has impacted me greatly. I suppose that's not a singular event, but on a global scale I think it's why I have been struggling to find work in freelance land or in general. Also on a personal level my breakup with Josh has brought me closer to friends and family than I've been in a while. I think this is net a good thing. It's been good to talk openly with Ian about what's going on as well as with Max and Julia.

I've been following the presidential election closely this year, because the outcome will have a huge impact on middle/working class families like mine. The fact that the polls are so close right now is maddening. That so many people would want to vote against their best interests for a man who will essentially screw them over while the wealthy continue to thrive is unbelievable. I just hope that Obama is reelected into office because if Romney wins, we're all screwed.

The Trayvon Martin murder was a huge eye-opener for me. Before he was shot to death, I had no idea that 32 states have "stand your ground laws" that can be used to legalize vigilante killings. I had also never heard of ALEC, the DC-based organization that sponsored these laws across the country (http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/american-legislative-exchange). Trayvon's murder made me concerned for the safety of my nephew and other black kids who may unknowingly stumble into the crosshairs of an aggressive gun enthusiast.

The Olympic Games - an amazingly positive effect on London and the whole country. I was incredibly inspired by the opening ceremony and the Paralympic Games as well.

My friend running for mayor has solidified for me just how little interest I have in electoral politics.

The bombing of the bus full of israeli tourists in bulgaria. Not only does it cement the fight for freedom of the jewish people in me, but it opened my eyes just a little more to the world around me. It opened my eyes to hate, but even more so, was the impact of being around people FROM bulgaria. A few teens from the community spoke to us about their fears and beliefs and it really impacted me. It really made me think about helping others regain faith in human kind.

i just luf Obama so much. my cats be voting for him. #cats4obama

The earthquake in Japan. It reminds me of how even though our advances in technology and science are astonishing, we are still subjugated to the powerful forces of nature. Lives can be cut off in an instant; homes destroyed in one powerful shake.

So many events, so little time. I am quite concerned about the attack on our embassy in Libya and the murder of our ambassador. This takes me back to 1979 when the American Embassy in Iran was taken over and 56 people were held hostage for, what? 444 days or something like that? I already feel as if Western civilization is collapsing under its own consumer weight and we're going back to barbarism, religiosity, ignorance and really poor conditions for women. Can anyone say Savonarola? I don't know medieval history or the time surrounding the collapse of the Roman empire but I really don't want to be doomed to repeat it. What did the ordinary folk do when their world was collapsing around them?

This isn't quite a world event, but I've known a large number of people dying young from cancer. It's made me appreciate my health, and it's made me stop to think about how I spend my time and energy.

world events don't impact me very much. perhaps a better way to frame this question is to consider the way that the energy in the world is changing this year. things have just been ramping up - so many feelings, so many reactions, just so much of everything intangible. it seems as though everyone, myself included, is becoming more sensitive. this phenomenon, has, and continues to have a daily impact on me.

I am really nervous about the weather, the last few years have been crazy, nothing like I have everseen before. I am 69 and it really scares me of what will come this year. This was the first year I had pneomonia and low potassium and was overseas, now I am really scared to travel.

The perceived political discourse in this Country and State is disgusting. I truly believe that the animosity is not as bad as the media protrays it, and that most people in the US, and the World for that matter, would like to talk listen, and resolve our problems. The power of a few very wealthy groups and people are delaying this, but it will come to pass soon.

London 2012. It really jolted me into seeing the power of enthusiasm and dedication. It truly was inspirational, and it put a lot of things into perspective. Also made me realise how much is possible with the right attitude and mindset.

I'd say the earthquake in Japan. It was a wake up call to the Nuclear energy industry. It was heroic what those workers did to try to prevent hte meltdown. Also, it was interesting to see the impact across the globe.

The president stood up and said that he and the democratic party support gay marriage. Even though I'm not a lesbian, I support the LGBT community, and this was a major milestone for gay rights. We're getting that much closer to equality for all :)

The Iran Nuclear threats have impacted me because they have made me because they have made me wonder if it is still safe to go to Israel. It has also impacted me by making me read more about this issue and voice my opinions about it, which I normally don't do for most current issues.

The bombing of Israeli buses in Burgas, Bulgaria impacted me quite a bit this year. I was on a trip to Israel and Bulgaria this summer and I had been in the exact airport/town as the bombing just 2 and half weeks earlier, plus we became close with the Bulgarian teens on the trip, so it was extremely scary to know there was such intense Anti-Semitism so close to them. When I heard about it I was in Israel on a tour bus coming back to Hod HaSharon and I just burst into tears. My Israeli friend had told me she was going to Burgas on vacation and when she initially told me, the weeks sounded like it matched up perfectly to the bombing, so it was doubly frightening. Love is the way to go.

There are so many and happening so often. Maybe the Arab Spring or Hurrican Isaac, delaying the Republican National Converntion and wreaking havoc through the pig-eating pagan/Christian bastard homophobic pig regions of this country. Or the recent shooting of the movie theater in Aurora or the Sikh Temple shootings where the pig religion of the shooter is never mentioned by the cowardly pigs in the media. If it were a non-pig we'd hear all about their religion.

A colleague was in a bad car accident and was not injured. Seeing the photos of the accident that he posted online made me remember to count my blessings. My sister has been struggling with learning that she might not be able to have children, yet she is blessed with a wonderful husband, a good job and a family that loves her. These events remind me to stop and count my blessings occasionally.

Hurricane Irene and the warm winter because it reflected global climate change.And I worry how climate change is coming even faster than expected.

The shooting at the theatre. So many innocent lives ended w/out reason.

The "Occupy movement". It started in my home country and spread to my home town - apparently we had the fourth largest Occupy protests in the country, yet our town has less than 200,000 people. I was blown away by how politically engaged people here are! When I was growing up, everyone here seemed so indifferent. It made me so much more aware of what is happening in our country (and our world), and how people feel about it.

The sumer olympics allowed my perspective to grow outside of the borders of the US. My day to day thoughts are usually dominated by issues concerning the us, especially becuae this year is also a very pivitol election year and i can finally be involved. The olympics reminded me of the importance of a more global perspective and the significance of how similar and beautiful and wonderful everyone on this planet is. Humanity is a perfect thing and the olympics reminded me that despite out shortcomings, we're still wonderful.

It is not a world event but rather an national attitude that has made an impact on my life this year. The current American political mood and agenda to restrict and govern women in ways that are not equal to men is especially dismaying. I am not particularly a political person but I do believe that the government should not place laws that constrict women's rights. It's not even that. Well, yes it is. But what concerns me the most is the language and the moral reasoning that influential men are using to justify their assault against women's reproductive rights and sway the nation to their line of thought. I have a teenage girl and I find myself telling her specific warnings now such as, "never let a man tell you what you can or cannot do with your body" and "never settle for a salary that's lower than what your brother would earn for that job". I suppose you can say it woke me up.

I got to view a not-quite-annular solar eclipse and a transit of Venus across the Sun! I hadn't seen a solar eclipse of any kind since second grade, and there won't be another transit of Venus in my lifetime. It was neat to witness these events firsthand and to help others (safely!) enjoy the view.

the economy crisis has had an effect on my life directly, firstly shutting down my mental health fasility,making me think about getting back into mainstream life by way of apart time art course, then finding i had talent the medicals that canelled most perploes entitlment did the same to me, so in a strange way the crisis effected me enough to get off of benifits and persue skills that will give me a new and better career choice, and a new positive attitude to my mental health.

The continuation of the Arab Spring and the various uprisings, protests, and massacres throughout the Arab world have impacted my thinking greatly. In particular, these events cause me to question the ability of fundamentalist societies to truly change; the cost of democracy; the meaning of freedom in the arc of history; and the ever-present tension between struggling or newly autonomous Arab states and the security of Israel.

Occupy Wall Street and the elections this year have made me stop and consider what I went to school for and whether I should pursue trying to work in a non-profit organization or run for local office.

The rash of mass killings due to the ease with which guns can be obtained: Gabrielle Giffords, Aurora, CO, and the Sikh temple killings. More needs to be done to track possible mentally disturbed people who become violent and are able to harm innocent people because they can easily obtain guns. The intensity of the violence and the numbers of people killed and injured is horrific.

I felt so inspired by the Arab spring. That so many could band together for a better world. It gives me hope that we too in America can band together so that all people can be lifted up to a better place.

I would say that the shootings in Aurora, Colorado profoundly impacted the way I look at the fragility of life. Having already dealt with unexpected traumas and deaths of my family and friends at a very young age, I had, for a very long time, believed that I was prepared for any tragedy. Maybe not prepared to solve the problems that caused it but prepared to grieve properly in its aftermath. While I was not personally related to any of the Aurora victims, it reminded me, again, that grief seems to be the one severe emotion, for me, that continues to evolve and unfold in more catastrophic ways in the face of new tragedy. I continue to be in awe of the fact that seemingly arbitrary and flippant ideas like going to a midnight showing of a movie could turn out to be a life and death decision. It haunts me. And will continue to haunt me. The idea of the what if and why the stars align for some of us and not for others.

The cinema shooting in Colorado really hit home for me. It turned something so simple - like going out to see a movie - into such a horrific event. It seemed like nobody was safe anywhere.

Loosing Steve Jobs. It's a huge loss for the world of technology. One of the last really talented good guys that was about making this world a better planet. Now we are stuck with the evil Bill Gates and other cronies. Sad.

I thought the Paralympics in London were quite incredible, much more so than the mainstream games. I was quite humbled by watching how people have managed to overcome their disabilities and much more than that push their bodies to the limits. It just goes to show how far self belief can take a person.

Was the blowup of Japan's radioactive centers this year? Seeing the old people willing to sacrifice their lives because they "didn't have many years anyways" and wanted the younger generation who otherwise would go clean up and be exposed to radioactive materials to "live long and prosper." The moral wasn't so much that they had so few years left to give anyways, but that they counted them as blessings and saw the "most" they could give with what they had. Beautiful.

the toronto eaton centre shooting... I eat in that foodcourt everytime I go to work.

The presidential elections. Politics fucking suck.

I think the Paralympics have affected me the most. I was blown away by the way people's attitudes changed in the space of a few weeks and was stirred to tears watching these people who are usually ostracised by society being cheered on and applauded.

Thus far, I have really followed the election, and I have learned that I appreciate politics. The election has sparked my interested in political science.

The London 2012 Olympics has given us an amazing summer of sport and excitement. We went to see the Men's road cycling with our friends Lynne and Steve. Jasper didn't know what all the fuss was about, but Henry loved it and joined in shouting "go, go, go, team GB". We also went to see the basketball with my parents - great to be in the Olympic park and a great atmosphere all day.

I would have to say besides the Election, with that only being National, I think that the 2012 summer Olympics in London has impacted me. It shows me that people are so dedicated with what they love to do and it was London, the travel destination of my dreams! The Olympics is an event that inspires millions to go out and do what they love and even though they don't win, they bring home a lot of experiences and possibly gold medals!

The shooting in Colorado. My hearts went out to the victims of the incident of course, but I was left wondering, if someone had a concealed carry permit and had training (that is the important part), could this tragedy been avoided? As a founder of a women's only shooting group, I always tell the members, you have to go out and learn how to shoot your gun from a holstered position, in different scenarios, to learn how to aim and shoot from a protect position, to learn how to evaluate danger. This event made me add more events (as I described above) to our schedule.

the recesion

The US presidential election has impacted me in a way that I do not like. Thankfully not all, but far too many in the US are showing a surprising amount of mean-spiritedness as regards government programs to help the poor, the disabled and the elderly. Mr. Romney's unfortunate remark about the 47% of Americans was the most distressing of all. It is sad for me to think of the US being led by a man who professes to be a Christian yet doesn't know that we are here to help our fellow man.

The London Olympics were a huge event that occurred this year. I went to the US Men's Gymnastics Olympic Trials, and it was a bonding experience with my dad, but it was also extremely exciting to see and be connected to the athletes because I watched the end of their journey to London, so, when they got to London, I was connected to them.

The news that Spanish supermarkets were locking their dustbins to stop people taking out of date food from them. I found this shocking and felt a bit cynical about it!!!

Actually, the series of fires, floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters impacted my view of the world. To me, the series indicated the onrush of climate change, which will soon dominate the thinking of every informed, sane person on the planet. In late June, a fire at the apartment house where I had lived for seven years sent my son and I on an odyssey which continues to this day. It pointed up how a sudden, swift disaster can make contemplations of distant disasters VERY IMMEDIATE.

The violence in Chicago's communities--mostly black on black violence stemming from gangs. It's horrifying that kids have to grow up in neighborhoods where they don't know if they'll get shot sitting on their front porch, taking their dog out in the back yard, or walking to school. I fervently hope our politicians and every day people stand up to gun violence and start taking back the power given to the NRA. We need to invest in helping our impoverished communities to heal and grow and prosper.

The presidential election in this country has been particularly vitriolic. I hate that both parties have resorted to negative campaigning. I sincerely hope that Obama wins the election while dialing down the negative campaigning.

The 2012 election is impacting me. I feel powerless over the injustice of our systems and the way we marginalize people for what they believe in. The close-mindedness of so many intelligent people is scary. I get my news from Stewart & Colbert and feel like they are the most truthful, educated sources. Even they say that they are sorry about that! I get questionnaires from Democrats that are simplistic, biased and plain stupid in the way they stoop to underhanded methods of getting what they want out of their poll. And the Republicans baffle me with their inability to show any compassion for anyone that does not believe in exactly what they want they say is right. And.....How does a dipshit like Grover Norquist get to stop Congress from governing as they were elected to do? Now, the Middle East is getting weirder with the conflict in our ideals of free speech and the offensive nature of some of that speech. How do we settle an argument when both sides are "right"? Religion. I know it means a lot to a lot of good people, but it sure does cause a bunch of grief in the world. I myself profess to be open-minded, but not about people who are not open-minded. All this stuff definitely messes with my daily serenity. As, apparently, did this question! I got pretty fired up and sad and angry and now, a little embarrassed. Back to fundamentals: Love and Tolerance of others is our Code. Love each other. Help each other. When mouth about to open, ask these questions: Is it Kind? Is it True? Is it Necessary?

The economy tanking has probably meant that it is harder for me to get a job.

I think the current election is my hands down choice. I'm sure people think every Presdiential election is a high impact election. But I think this year the differences truly do impact the kind of country the US will be in the future. Many families futures are also directly impacted by this election.

The election process this year has weighed on my mind in a way that the last two I have been old enough to vote in really haven't. I think it's because I have a daughter of my own now. The idea that we could have a president who's administration could impact her life- for the rest of her life (repealing Roe v. Wade, Supreme court appointments, availibility of health care, social security, funding of arts programs, the threat of other countries/nuclear warfare etc). is so terrifying to me. It has helped me put in perspective how important my role as a citizen and voter is, and what a responsibility it is not just for me- but for my family.

Hmm not in the world. I can't remember now. Malvina introduced me to Amway business. This will change my life. The income will be so much greater and I will make my dreams come true due to financial help provided by this business opportunity.

The senseless shootings in the movie theater in Colorado followed by the senseless shooting in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin really effected me this year. Why - - because it should be safe to sit in a movie theater and enjoy the movie and popcorn without worrying you'll be killed. - because it should be safe to find peace in a house of worship instead of being slaughtered. - because the people who did the shooting had such garbled, messed up minds that there was no other way to cope with the world than to kill people they didn't even know.' - because guns should not be so easy to own. - because it makes me worried for the future for my child.

shooting at colorado movie theatre.

The Arab Spring that hasn't led to democracy. It started out so hopeful and left everyone a little disappointed. Maybe that reflects my mood this year.

Mitt Romney running for President of the U.S. has impacted me this year. I don't consider myself extremely educated when it comes to the election however; I have paid attention to certain issues that I care about. His stance on birth control is absolutely absurd. Not to mention the fact that he always talks about "God." I think our President should be atheist because there should be a separation of church and state. Religious people are bound by a moral code that may not be best to rule the country.

When Lance Armstrong ended his fight against doping charges, it was a shaking moment. Someone I had believed to be the best at what they do, having garnered every award possible, had chosen to give up the material proof of his achievement for the sake of his sanity and his family, keeping still the knowledge of what he knew he accomplished. This is a meaningful action in that it reminds that we must only satisfy ourselves, and not others. If the end of satisfying others eclipses our ability to satisfy ourselves, something must change.

The 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London. Truly inspiring and made me proud to be British. Go Mo Farah. Go Chris Hoy. Go #TeamGB #OurGreatestTeam

Occupy Wall Street. I didn't participate, but I saw a change happen in the world, across the world, from its beginning in NYC (I went to NYC last October, and nearly went on a March but got snowed out) to here in Portland where one weekend we had the largest gathering in the entire world. And that change has persisted. People are once again activated, alive, awake in the way we were in the late 60s and early 70s. I have hope for the future once again because people are once again awake to the fact that we do affect our world with our words and actions.

I was really impacted by that video of the school bus monitor, Karen, who was ridiculed and bullied by the students on the bus. Moreover, I was inspired by the generosity the world showed her after the video went viral. I just couldn't believe how cruel and viscous those kids were to her; I felt shame for the kids and their families. But I was just stunned by the outpouring of kindness from people. A campaign started to send her on a vacation, and now she can retire, and perhaps that money can help support her family. It's amazing how the very worst in people can bring out the very best in others.

I've always been very interested in current affairs, but this year have just felt so removed from it all. There, so far, hasn't been a terrible event that has hurt us: politics, well, it just seems there's no point. The highlight of the year has been the Olympics in London. It suddenly went from being something that was going to blight a generation of Londoners to something that was incredible and made all of us here in Britain proud to be British. I don't think that I'll ever experience quite that level of national pride, and surprise at our own achievements again.

Once again I'm reminded that I pay very little attention to the world at large. Hopefully one time I'll be able to answe rthis question with a real answer. The tent cities and the 99% campaign really affected me at work, but honestly, I'm not to worldy in terms of news.

The murder of Ambassor Christopher Stevens in Libya. My son is a Marine and Marines usually guard embassies. We need to make sure that our ambassadors and the people who protect them are safe!

Impacted? Maybe I'm selfish or maybe this little country makes me feel as if there's no way I can help people overseas, but either way I can't really say that a global event has impacted me. I'm desensitised or above it all or maybe deep down I just don't give a shit. I try but really what is the point in worrying about something that you have no control over and can't change at all?

The shooting in Colorado at the Batman premiere was pretty impacting. I wanted to go see Batman at midnight, but was working on H-Crew. I woke up to a text from my sister saying she loved me & hoped I was okay. I was confused until I saw all of the tweets and news articles about what had happened. It's amazing to me how many people still support anyone and everyone having guns when things like this happen. "Oh, guns don't kill people, People kill people." Well, having easy access to a gun sure made it easy for someone to go into a lovely movie event and kill/injure tons of innocent Batman lovers, didn't it? Tell those family members that gun control should be more lax, see what they say. Seeing how people reacted to that awful event tells a lot about them, I think. Terrible events like this are how you see people's true colors.

The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I'm happy about it because it is another step in the gay civil liberties rights movement that we are seeing happening. It allows my friend to proudly serve as a gay woman.

The Aurora shootings that took place this past summer impacted me greatly, as this was a tragic occurance that happened so close to me. I feel that something so normal became so scary and it took me awhile to go to a movie again. I think this has made me more weary in public, and suspicious of people. I am truly saddened that such evil took place in my home state, once again.

The GFC, and not in the way you would think! I have admired colleagues in Greece and Spain who are doing fantastic work to muster community energy for the common good. It shows me (and us) that negative change can have good outcomes, can bring out the best in people and that focusing on MY prosperity, MY wellbeing makes us fearful and focusing on OUR wellbeing brings us together and makes ALL of US stronger.

Sally Ride died, and her partner of 27 years is not able to receive benefits because they could not legally be married. Jamal Julani was beaten unconscious by Jewish Israeli teens, and very few Jewish people posted about it on Facebook - but when a Jewish kid was beaten unconscious in Michigan, many Jewish people posted about it. I still don't like the Olympics.

The Olympics. From the opening to the closing ceremonies, it captivated the entire country. I was playing them down before hand, having not really gotten into the Olympics previously, not seeing what the big fuss was about, but Britain hosted a truly great games.

The 2012 US presidential campaign has impacted me this year. I usually don't get too worked up about presidential campaigns, but the elitism and denigrating divisiveness of the Republican party, especially Mitt Romney's campaign, is very disturbing. I've never seen a campaign that is so class divisive. I expect disagreement on major issues, but the name-calling of people that fall into categories that fit me is sickening. I hope President Obama is reelected. It scares me to think of the policies that Romney would try to push through congress.

I was impacted by the events and follow-up of the Arab spring because although I was hopeful that the Middle East might start to change I also knew that change would be difficult in a part of the World that is not used to Democracy. I am concerned for the State of Israel and its relations with countries such as Egypt.

The Penn State scandal really affected me. I grew up in a football-loving area and know how important the teams and the games and the fans and their money are to a school and to a community. But are any of those things worth eve none child being harmed? no. I think that it also made me really consider the presence of evil in this world: Who was more evil? the perpetrator or the people who covered up his crimes? How can we help our young people be strong and brave and self-loving enough to say "no"? As a mother, this has really been weighing heavy on my mind.

Though it's not really on my radar anymore, when the Occupy Movement began I was incredibly happy and hopeful. It reminded me of how I felt after Obama was elected--that the world was full of possibilities. When people care, there's tremendous room for growth. Like Obama, the Occupy Movement didn't live up to my expectations, but when you have expectations (especially such lofty ones), it's to be expected. And this is not to say that the Occupy Movement (or Obama for that matter--Dear Future Rachael, I hope when you read this Obama will still be president) didn't have a positive impact. For any change to occur, first people have to care. Oftentimes this begins with anger or frustration. From there, they can start brainstorming and coming up with ideas to address the issues at hand. The Occupy Movement did very well in terms of getting people to care. It was a magnification of what many people had been feeling. And it was wonderful. The Occupy Movement inspired me to think of a society with different aspirations and mannerisms--a society that aligns with what I think it is right more often. Such a world might evolve into a sharing community that exists outside of taxes and heavy handed rules that get bogged down in bureaucracy (which is not to say that a sharing community wouldn't get bogged down in the same way; once an organization gets too big it's almost inevitable, so maybe the trick is having many small communities with the same basic principles). I had heard of sharing communities before the Occupy Movement but it was the movement that made me believe sharing communities, and other alternative possibilities, were on the horizon. This year has sparked a lot of new ideas, both from me and the world at large. And that makes me incredibly happy.

Poor weather conditions in many places have made me aware of much suffering. The drought takes me back to my farming childhood and the desperation lack of rain can create. Too much water in other places like New Orleans also reminds me of how much so many suffer. Sending money to organizations who provide aid seems insufficient. It also makes me think about how much human choices are responsible. Global warming is real and yet so many do not take it seriously. With political gridlock I know that only the power of God can make the changes needed. I want to live more completely in the arms of a nurturing God and pass that on.

Information on how the environment impact human health such as different chemicals that seep into skin, kinda freaks me out! Also the unfair tax system. Just thinking about both makes me feel helpless and depressed. What kind of a world will I be bringing children into?

The war in Afghanistan has impacted on the family as our son-in-law was deployed there in a combat zone during some of the past year. That's always a major concern. We, as well as others in the family and friends of the family, sent many care packages in a effort to make life there as pleasant as possible under the circumstances. Happily he has returned home safely and very likely will not be deployed again for his remaining service time.

The election has made me re-evaluate my position in the universe. Before this time, I lost my political voice. It was one that was sassy, passionate and true. This year, I was able to use it to reclaim my intellectual side and understand that I am in a country where I am fortunate enough to have the freedom to express my own opinion.

En mi país Argentina, hubo un gran accidente ferroviario que dejó 51 muertos y mas de 600 heridos, febrero 2012. Considero éste suceso inexplicable, o mejor dicho, debido a la corrupción que nuestro país se ve envuelto año tras año. Lo marco como acontecimiento porque no distingue clase ni personas, sólo trabajadores que todos los días se levantan para trabajar. D:s quiera que estas cosas dejen de pasar.

The severe fires in the US mountain and plains states are something I can actually relate to. I've fought wildfires, and I hated the experience. Now my daughter is subject to call-up if things get out of hand. It seems likely that drought/wind/fire sequences like this will increase (of course not only in the USA). I hope not, but I'm pessimistic.

The political conventions have been big, I've really been questioning where I stand. The Queen's Jubilee was another one, it was interesting to be in another country at a very patriotic time.

The gunman that killed the people in the theater in Colorado. Little by little we are feeling less and less safe in our own part of the world. Should we go to sporting events, shopping, the school?? Are we safe? Are our loved ones safe? So many people who are mentally ill or violent or whatever it is that causes them to do what they do...I am scared for my grandchildren's future...

I don't really remember anything impacting right now. Which says a lot. I'm sure I should be outraged or happy about something, but there's nothing. I guess I buckle under pressure.

Sovereign debt crises

I think the Olympics affected me more than I expected. Having got back into competitive sport I really connected with the struggles and hardships the athletes go through to get to the top of their game. In the past I would focus on the end result (gold... bronze... silver... a world record etc) but this time I was much more interested in the journey to success (however that's defined).

The Olympic Games really filled me with a sense of pride I'd never felt before.

The crisis in Syria has shocked me, especially since there is very little news coverage. It makes me realize how important freedom of the press is to a just society.

I'm extremely happy that President Obama's Affordable Care Act passed... was very discouraged reading (and defending!) the opposing side for my job. I think this passage, while not ideal, is a great step and will allow us to finally get coverage on our budget. This is a huge relief. I am grateful for his Recovery funds, too, because these funds directly benefited our Main Street business and kept it alive. Yes, a job and a business! I think this is a reflection of our economy changing fundamentally, not just a temporary shifting. This week Republicans blasted 47% of us as lazy, entitled people. Certainly, they have no idea how hard most of us work.

The presidential elections, because it's caused such arguments and hard feelings between my husband and me, and all around the country. And the recent attacks on US embassies in the middle east, because there is such religious intolerance on both sides.

The shooting in Aurora, Colorado impacted me greatly because it reminded me how violence can come out of nowhere - especially when we least expect it. It also made me realize that the gun control laws in the US need significant revisions in order to prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future.

Just recently, the events in Lybia, hatred of the USA there, and the Jews. Being Jewish, I can't help but be impacted, and worry and wonder about the future of an insane world.

The Olympics. I never really expected that they would, but the spirit of the games just sweeps you up - one of the best moments I had was going to the arena and when there were huge queues to get in, the wardens started singing "if you're happy and you know it" through megaphones. I'm so proud to be a Londoner.

The fact that we passed 350 PPM of CO2 scares the hell out of me. I fear the vicious cycle of warming, more carbon released, more warming, etc fedding off itself until we end up like Venus.

Definitely the presidential election. I am very into the topics for debate and am heavily impacte by decision 2012

It's the ongoing events in the Middle East, Afghanastan, Pakistan, Iran, Israel, Iraq, etc. that continues to impact me. I hate the fact that the world just cannot get along. I know it's basic stuff. But really, I don't believe these countries will ever see things as peaceful. It impacts me because, raising a daughter in a world full of greed, stupidity, extremism is not a great world to live in. Additionally, the world economy has impacted me. China feels they own the US, people still are pointing their fingers at each other, rather than look at themselves and should start at that point to change the way they purchase things, support their own economies, etc. Being a small business owner, I feel it everyday as I quote products and work both inside and outside the US to find the item or price something that will work for my clients.

I'm going to go with something a little off-beat. It actually seems like we are closing in on the end of the AIDS epidemic. There have been enormous strides in stopping the spread of it and the right drug cocktails have been keeping people in a sort of 'remission' for decades. But the biggest surprise this year are the few people that have actually been CURED of AIDS using stem cells. That's just amazing to me. It's something that hit it's height in the 80's when I was a young child so I've always known about it and had a fear of it in the back of my mind. To think we could one day be talking about when AIDS USED to kill people would be an amazing feat of mankind.

Occupy Worldwide protests, riots, debt crisis Curiosity on mars CERN Higgs Boson Terrifying and exciting year overall The worlds trouble make me believe my choice (and inability) to bring children into the world is a good thing At the same time there is cool science happening! Still, being a self absorbed person most of the time i just am worried about me, not the world

I am thinking, living, working locally. As much as the headlines scream out for succor, I no longer seem to have as much of an urge to go off and fix, help, be involved - of course that is still my first reaction - but now that I am working as a hospice chaplain I feel as though I am making a difference, which is all I have ever wanted - and I calm down about getting involved. And thanks be to G!d, none of these world events has touched my family or friends directly. Last year, Hurricane Irene destroyed our basement and it was very intense for awhile. But we're all fine now.

Greece and Spain. The continuing economic crisis makes me feel full of fear, desperation and anxiety. Are there any options? Do we just cling to the unsatisfactory, insufficiently paying gigs that we have?

The mass shootings in the US this summer made me more conscious of how uncertain and seemingly random life (and death) can be. While there is little that individuals can do to increase certainty, I can commit myself to placing a higher value on each moment I have with my family and friends.

The Occupy Movement and Arab spring both impacted me this year. I was very moved that we the people can express ourselves and affect change where it seems impossible.

That's difficult for me to say b/c everything has been overwhelmed by the death of my husband. Nothing else in the world matters as much as that single event. Just over a year ago we were very lucky not to have our 2 houses destroyed by a flood. The levee protecting our neighbourhood held - although it was a close call.

Iranian threat has made a significant impact on my sense of security. It made me conscious of the fact that there are nations, which leaders are absolutely immoral and unpredictable and pose real threat to not only our nation but US as well.

Elvis' 40th anniversary of his death. What an icon...

The Hurricane Isaac really affected me, because it was really important to me and my family. Also, I think I've become a lot more interested in politics thanks to this election

I think the "Occupy" movement has impacted me the most. It really gives me hope that we as a nation will no longer put up with the inequities. I see the collapse of the banking system and know that it is a good thing. Before we raise a new structure, we must destroy the old and clear away the rubble. When Maryanne Williamson compared this to the Civil Rights movement, the Suffrage movement and the Equal Rights movement, I saw clearly that this will not go away. Hooray for social change!

The events of the world have not impacted me as much as personal events. There have been economic hard times, and although that has impacted me, I roll with it. More of impact has been early this year learning my grand daughter has rheumatoid arthritis. I have been heart broken for her and carry on because she doesn't let anything stop her. She is an amazing girl.

Election year. Depressing, frustrating, shocking, and everything else bad. It hasn't happened yet, but just the thought that almost %50 of the country could support the Republican ticket is enough to make me wonder whether people will ever start to make informed decisions based on rational thought, instead of nationalism, hatred, misinformation, and ignorance. I've always thought it to be an incredibly sad irony that the vast majority of those who support the Republican party (anyone who's not a billionaire) are also the people who would be screwed over the most if they were to be given power. Poor, uneducated, ignorant people who only make their decision based on the propaganda they're fed, or off baseless, ridiculous religious convictions that have no place in the 21st century. Getting depressed just writing this...

I watched the Australian Athletes compete at the London games and carry on like it was their right to go to an Olympics (especially the swim team), not the honour that it should be. It made me realise even more that I have to teach my kids what honour is and how to respect it.

The huge wild fires in Colorado this year impacted me. The power of nature is intense and awesome and humbling. It's hard to see humans, our homes, as part of the overall ecosystem, but we are.

The declared end of the Iraq War and the continuing war in Afghanistan. Concern for soldiers and their loved ones. Coming home from war and starting life after war is never easy.

I'm pretty much out of touch. The world is full of suffering, and I think we need to find compassion without it having to be triggered by a specific set of events.

The transformation of Julia Gillard's Australian Prime Ministership. I'm not sure the change happened to her or me or us but it has prompted my re-consideration of my identity as a woman in this world.

Global warming's impact is growing... The October storm showed us how vulnerable we are, as did,the hot summer, the tornedos, and continuing loss of arctic ice. This will soon eclipse all the issues we discuss today.

The Arab Spring. I am an International Relations major and had the opportunity to disect the revolutions in an amazing Revolutions and Coupes class. Luckily my teacher was pro-Israel and we got to see the first hand accounts and effects this has had on Israel.

I think this election will have a huge impact on me. I have paid more attention to it than I have previous ones and I really am not sure who will win...or who I want to win.

I was captivated by the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebration. To see her traveling down the Thames on that barge in the midst of that flotilla of 1,000 boats was fantastic. To think of the history of England and Great Britain is amazing.

I've been inspired by the debates about working mothers (Anne-Marie Slaughter's essay that you can't have it all, and the new Yahoo president who vows to work through her maternity leave) and it's caused me to clarify my own position on the subject.

The Arab Spring was really inspirational. I know I won't always like the way some fundamentalists use this sort of event as an entrance to power, but it is exciting to see people speaking out for their beliefs.

Gilad Shalit was brought home! I cried and I laughed and I watched with the world as one of the greatest heroes was released by terrorists to come home to Israel. It made me feel proud that no matter what we stand together to never leave a Jew behind. Because of this I finally understood the meaning of Ahavat Yisroel.... Love of a fellow Jew

I think the crisis in Syria impacted me the most this year. It riled me up but at the same time made me feel as if I was at a loss. I can never understand violence for political gain or power. I can never understand how our governments sit idly buy, even supply them with weapons to kill their own people. It just goes to show how removed our leaders have become.

Steve Jobs Dying.... it effected me, because i felt that with all that is developing in technology, he contributed to almost every piece of technology in my life. He taught the world how to see things differently, and his death impacted me because he was such a profound individual and contributed so much to the 21st century. i watched the internet rally together and celebrate all the things he has given us.

The world is a big place, full of news. One thing, small in the grand scheme of things, is the decision made by the State of Arizona. The decided that conception begins on the first day of a womans period. That is, 1-2 weeks BEFORE she ovulates, and could actually concieve. They have changed the definition of conception in order to shorten the window in which she could have an abortion. I just think it's hillarious. For 2 weeks every month, I say I'm pregnant, and therfore can't clean the litter box.

Arab Spring - Thousands of people, mostly young, overthrowing dictators, being willing to put their lives on the line for freedom and democracy. It made me so proud for them, and so conscious of all the ways our own government controls our lives without our consent, how little freedom and democracy remain in the US.

The global economic crisis has had a huge impact on me and many that I know. It's terrible that as so many students are finishing school with extremely high debt loads that there are no jobs available. Of the job growth that's been reported, the new jobs usually do not pay a living wage or provide full benefits. I know so many recent law school graduates who struggle even to find unpaid internships.

The civil war in Syria has been awful and incredibly moving for me. I started watching a doco based on film taken by perpetrators of torture and had to stop watching, it was so sad. It really brought me to an empathy with people everywhere. We all feel pain the same way. But I don't understand how the torturers can justify or believe that their behaviour is correct, even to themselves. My other observation is that media has covered the events in a very blasé way - none of the hysteria or bias or fretting over human lives that is given to conflicts between Israel and Palestine. Like the Syrians are not as important or as real. Habitual bias is a terrible thing.

The Occupy movement got me thinking seriously about the haves and the have-nots. I was suprised at how many friends were vehemently opposed to those occupying the parks.

The Dharun Ravi case deeply impacted me. It was such an awful thing and I so deeply felt for Dharun Ravi and his family. I think he did an awful thing, but I don't think it came from a place of malice or hate; I think it came from a place of stupidity and a desire to be 'cool.' It reminded me how much work needs to be done in the South Asian diaspora community to counter homophobia. It reminded me how important it is for me to raise kids who are accepting and loving of all people from all backgrounds and of all lifestyles.

Well of course there was the Tsunami in Japan and the nuclear scares, also the anarchist riots in Seattle were fairly unsettling to me. Right now the worst thing right now is the rioting in Pakistan.

A lot of things, but all kind of peripherally. Most people i know are struggling financially because of the financial crisis, great recession, lack of governmental support etc. and it has created so much stress and feeling of lack and of desperation and unmet needs that it is very hard to have hope for the future, even though a good future depends on hopeful people being audacious and courageous.

I think the shooting at the movie theater in Colorado impacted me because I understood it more, after the January Eleventh shooting in Tucson the previous year. I went and donated blood the next day for the first time, knowing it couldn't help them but it could help SOMEone!

The killing of innocent women and children in Syria. Listening to the news reports made me cry. The world truly needs repair. The Occupy Wall Street protests. Part of me wanted to join, part of me knew I couldn't (not practical as a frantically busy working mom), and part of me thought it was all too unfocused. That movement need leaders, but real leaders are hard to come by, as this election shows.

Literally I cannot think of a single thing. I have been so wrapped up in myself that nothing from the outside has even touched me. I stopped caring about other people. I still don't care about other people, case and point- Kony 2012, my sister tried to get me into that when it was all the rage and I just didn't give a single fuck. I still don't care about you.

I can't think of an event this past year. A world event. Maybe by the time I review my answers I will have thought of one.

Still, a year and a half later, the tsunami and earthquake has not released its hold on my life. I am still working by the grace of God, but I was so uprooted by the experience. I still have my emergency bag by the door in case anything happens. I still drink water from overseas instead of domestic. I'm still checking the location and size and depth of all the earthquakes around Kanto. I still check where all the food and vegetables I purchase at the supermarket originally come from. I still wonder why I continued to stay after everything that happened. Lastly, I'm still afraid that when the "big one" finally hits Tokyo I won't be able to go home and see my family again. I also feel like the television media here is so afraid of scaring the populace that they've almost completely stopped covering anything regarding the power plant explosion on television unless there's some sort of "breaking news". That scares me most of all. The other issue I am concerned with are the rising tensions between China and Japan over land. I feel like China is overreacting and willing to start a war over some small islands and rocks. This is getting too serious and too close for comfort.

lance armstrong. starts racing triathlon again. brings the media along for the ride. for a few month triathlon goes to the mainstream. lance gives up the battle for his innocence. doping conviction upheld. tour de france titles gone. triathlon forgotten. cheaters. everywhere. put an * beside their names and move on. athletes should not shoulder all the blame. we need to reflect on what media, society and expectations have brought to professional sport.

The freeing of an Israeli hostage; he was held for 5 years and was finally released, and it showed me that there is hope in the world and there are good people out there. There are ways around every conflict, and I feel this brought the world one step closer to being in peace. It made me realize that anything is possible as long as you have hope, and I will believe that from here on out.

Going away to college really impacted me it made me relize that I'm in the real world now and made me more mature

This question seems to get me each time because I find it hard to follow what it happening in the world. It is too of a larger place to be concerned with matters that are so far away, right now. But knowing my spiritual world is completely connected, there must be something to learn, in having access to worldly information. The big scale is the reflection of what is going on internally with our selves. And we are all fighting for ?????? being right. Big scale of how relationships are not working or not in harmony within our planet. Now that I think about one event that I was told about was Zombie's. The idea of other humans eating other humans scared me because in ways I can see that happening with the mentally and ways autism or neurological brain issues could turn worse, since those who are normal are not fully insync with them own selfs and not seeing how we are connected and need to learn/change from each other, especially generation to generation. So it affected me because it made me feel so scared, vulnerable and helpless, which are feelings that I deny. That I felt the need for protection from Rob. And though it might not be a world affect, it made a world of a affect on me. The more I can get connected to my feelings and change my beliefs, the thoughts I can use as seeds will allow me to make the change I seek in me and the world around me. I am excited because I did not expect this from this answer. So I guess I do have a world view, but it just happens to be a intuitive world view. I am learning to accept my intuitive self as well as accepting others sensor selfs.

Well there are two; the Theatre shooting in Aurora, CO because it's tragic & so close to home. The Global melt down on debt because all this worry & concern is only keeping us in a state of fear & fear accomplishes nothing.

When Roger Federer made his incredible comeback and won Wimbeldon this last year, it was super inspirational. Novak Djokovic has been number one for so long, pushing Federer back to the third spot. When he overcame that barrier and defeated Djokovich, it inspired me to know that anyone can push the boundaries and succeed.

No matter what event I may select,be it the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, the presidential primaries, conventions and campaigns, or the various natural disasters that occurred, I believe the one event that impacted me the most was the birth of my grandson, my first grandchild. His birth reaffirms the simple truth that no matter how hopeless things can seem, the birth of a child restores hope, at least for me, that better times are on the way.

The various cases of cruelty involving animals. Dog fighting etc. And the refusal of the majority of the world to acknowledge the anniversary of the slaying of the Munich athletes all those years ago. It has re-confirmed my basic belief of man's sinful nature.

There wasn't really a whole lot in the world that really impacted me, but I think the Olympics was a very interesting time for me. I had just come home from the two hardest weeks of my life and that's all my family watched. Watching Aly Raisman be proud of our religion was extremely inspiring. Also, being around Jews when it started we all remembered the 40th anniversary of the Munichs, were innocent Jews were killed. Another thing that impacted me was the shooting in Bulgaria, where more innocent Jews died. It made me realize how lucky I am to be in a country with freedom of religion.

The Presidential race. It impacts me because I am such a fan.of President Obama. Four years ago, I never would have beleived we would be in a dead heat with a Republican. I felt young and hopeful. Even though he has done things I wished he hadn't and done more of other things, I still think he is a good man and we are lucky to have him. I become very involed with politics.. I don't want to engage with people who aren't for him.

The Olympics in London - I was lucky enough to be in London for some of the Olympics. The atmosphere in the city during that time was magical. I was also in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics and the atmosphere was the same. Somehow that event brings out the best in people. We talk to each other, share our experiences, cheer on our teams. It something that shows mankind's better side. Coupled with the event that is the humbling Paralympics, which my kids totally dug too - possibly more so than the Olympics, it makes for one giant group hug.

World event, the GLBT etc movement...I mean paternity for a woman, Brilliant! Giving rights to others. I am so proud of Wendy and her opening the door for so many other mothers/fathers who miss out on their child's life because of selfish adults. Maybe one day we will see true equality and what is right will prevail.

One event that comes to mind was the movie theater shooting in Aurora, CO. I never really knew what my opinion was about gun control laws but someone had a facebook status afterward that made me think. It said we don't need stricter laws about guns, we need better awareness about mental health issues. I can't agree with this more. There is still a stigma about mental illness in this country and too many people see others suffering from symptoms of mental illnesses but don't do anything. We not only need to educate people about the signs of illness but we also need to make people aware that it's OK to need help and it's OK to get help. Shootings don't happen because the gun laws were not strict enough, they happen because people who shoot up a place are mentally ill and didn't get the help they needed.

The shooting in Colorado impacted me more than I expected. Never in my life have I felt truly threatened by another human being. When someone has the ability to walk into a public place and take others' lives it really makes you think, are you safe? Maybe I was being blinded my whole life by the pain others can put on a complete stranger. The event opened my eyes, but for some reason I want to keep them closed when I think about what happened in that theater that night.

All the demonstrations around the world, in Spain and England because of the unemployment, for example, as well as the ones here in Chile, had made me feel there is going to be a change by the end of this year. It will mean not the end of the world and human existance but a change in the way in which the world works and how we live. Every change is for better and I hope this time is the same. It's like people have awaken and can see what the ones with power are doing with them and with the Earth. I want to build a better world, I hope this changes looks for the same.

The damned election. Our group of friends always gets along well, has a good time, very little drama--until now. Two of them are rabid Republicans, and I am *so* tired of trying to dodge the political barbs they fire. It's not that they have a different take on the economy or the Middle East than I do; it's that they are so belligerent about it, and so self-righteous and ready to perceive injury. I don't want to talk politics with these people, because I like them and we're going to argue if we do. I cannot wait for the election to be over.

I think the oil spill in the gulf coast impacted me most. it is so sad to see the ocean get so polluted from one accident. It definetly impacted fellow Americans who live off the gulf of Mexico just to survive. They need our help but the beautiful ocean will still always feels the impact.

I know this isn't an event in the world, but the Chick-Fil-A scandal really affected me. I was disheartened that social media and news outlets and people in general can be so quick to accuse, to make statements, and to quickly try to get their voices heard. I felt as though the whole time no one ever listened to anything that was said... it was all reaction reaction reaction.

The campaign leading up to the election this November has been eye-opening. Not so much about the candidates but about the country. I am so surprised that so many people are still bigots and intolerant of other people and their differences. It's kind of disgusting to be honest and reflects poorly on us as a nation. We were once the land of progression and now I feel people have forgotten what this country was truly founded on, which was inclusion, tolerance, and freedom of religion and speech. Now people are voting on the legal acceptance of 2 people's happiness. It's sad.

The Republican primaries and the election picking up as a whole has definitely made me even more committed (if such a thing was possible) to reelecting President Obama. And, as climate change and other environmental issues intensify, I become even more of an environmentalist. Same goes for women's rights issues, etc.

The attacks on the U.S. embassies in the Middle East and the death of Chris Stevens in Libya. He seemed like such a kind and gentle person who genuinely cared about helping the Libyan people. The story of his tragic and senseless death is very upsetting. Hearing my family use ignorant and provocative language over the past week that contributes to such events only adds to my sadness.

The Euro Crisis. It is impressive to compare my former opinion of education and opportunities there during my childhood and now. Things can change in the blink of an eye. Persevere! Don't fall into a socialist deserving attitude...work hard, always.

Reproductive rights for women became a huge political issue. I cannot believe that in 2012 that men are still arguing over the right for a woman to get birth control or what constitutes rape so that an abortion is justifiable. A woman's body and right to have or not have children is her own. If she gets federal help or healthcare, that choice should be covered. The choice to have children or not to have them has been very important to me. I wanted to wait until I was ready to have my son. I think all women deserve the right to decide when it's a good time to be a mother on their own without being forced into a choice for political or financial reasons.

A fairytale happened this year. Osama bin Laden, the villain, was finally caught and killed and a regular girl, Kate Middleton, married a prince, Prince William. Sounds like a happily ever after to me. Although this may sounds stupid that this is the world event that impacted me, it's not all that silly. It gives me hope for happy endings. A regular girl marrying a prince and living happily ever after just seems like something you'd read in your bedtime stories but this is real and it can happen. Just this story makes me happy about our world and it makes me believe that the good can win! Love exists and people will find it, and the bad guys of our world can be defeated even if it takes years! Good will conquer all.

The rise of the Tea Party on the "right" and the "activists" on the left that have some how decided that "no compromise" is the best way to reach political solutions. And, that so many people can support a causes and vote against their won interests amazes me. It is a start reminder that in hard times, people will follow leaders with a message, even if the message is not healthy. And, that we must always remain vigilant.

The Election has an huge impact on me today because this is my first time being able to vote and I feel like this year I can have a huge impact not only for the president election other elections such as city council etc. This doesnt only effect me but the world as a whole whoever we choose as an president.

The making of that Muslim movie that conveys Prophet Mohammed. I can't believe someone would insult an entire religious group by making something that is so offensive and rude.

This terrible presidential election has shown me just how torn our country really is, it's very depressing and it makes me fear for the future of this country, especially as pertains to the economy. Certainly when we were down-graded in our credit rating was a sobering and awful moment, and watching the politicians play the blame game was so frustrating.

The Occupy movement has challenged my place in the liberal left. I believe myself to be quite far to the left but the Occupy movement just never spoke to me. I haven't been able to truly understand it and all of my "like-minded" friends got really engaged. Luckily, my spouse shared my view - - although if she hadn't, maybe she could have taken the time to explain it to me!

I am trying to think of a positive event in the world from this year and am having a hard time, so I started trying to think of negative ones and many come to mind and so I don't think there's a single event that has impacted me, so much as we seem to be so bombarded by bad news, awful politics, more horrible mass shootings, news of trusted coaches turning out to be vile pedophiles and it gets increasingly difficult to keep a positive outlook, or one that isn't continuously anxious in the face of these events, but I keep trying.

The Aurora shooting greatly affected me. I have made a decision to never again attend a midnight showing. Nothing good happens after midnight, clearly. And I've also firmed up my previous decision to carefully screen the movies I choose to see and especially the movies my child sees. I can't imagine taking a 4 year old child to see such a dark movie at all, let alone at midnight.

An event that impacted me in the world this year was the Aurora, Colorado shooting at the midnight release of the Dark Knight Rises this summer. It was a tragic even that left me sick with the world. Unexpectedly at times, I would try and put myself into the victims shoes, and try and imagine what they were feeling and their reactions. But the assumption of my imagination will never suffice the true pain, and fear those people felt that night. Innocent people hurt and murdered for no reason. Though I haven't seen the film yet, I doubt I could ever watch it without thinking of that horrible time. This event impacted my a lot more than I would have realized, and so it has taught me to be grateful for the life i'm living, and to not waste a single day. R.I.P

Maybe it's Jakarta Governor Election 2012. I'm impressed in how Jokowi presented himself in the public. I see him as a humble person. I always admire top level people who project themselves as a humble and philantropic kind of person. Because when you're on top, it's easy to think high about yourself. Only people who has big heart knows that there's always someone who is better than them, therefore they become humble. How Jokowi presented himself convinces me that there's still somebody out there, eventhough not much, who makes sense.

Goodness.. I'm not sure.. I dont know if this is a world event, but my cousin murdered his wife and kids and then himself, and it was.. huge. it was HUGE. i just.. my whole world was shaken. it made me realize that.. suicide is never ever an option. It affects so many more people than you!

The priest abuse crisis in the catholic church called into question all i believed in spiritually and has ended my relationship with the catholic church and, more sadly, with my local faith community. I yearn for a spiritual home but am not sure where to turn. The faith I had for years has failed me.

I don't think there is one single event. I think it's a varied outlook on those less fortunate. I come ro realize all I have and happy to give back to those who don't.

It was not a world event but it should have been. My friend's sister was brutally murdered by a returning 3-Tour (Iraq) Army Veteran. He just woke up one day in Delaware and decided he wanted to kill someone. I think that these two people, and their families, from different places in their lives, should be included as victims of September 11th.

This might have been my least politically tuned in year in a long time... But the shooting on election night in Quebec rattled me. We are so accustomed to hearing of mass shootings in the U.S. and thinking that such things never happen here. Well, they do. There was a measure of innocence stripped from us all that night.

well, my answer may just be that no event impacted me...at least no world-wide event, only my personal ones. This year I decided to 'blow up the tv' and so have been really out of the loop w/news and such. I mean I don't live in a bubble or anything, I hear people talking, but I do not have that device shouting at me...telling me the gloom and doom of the day, or exhorting me to 'buy, buy, buy'...or worse yet, the constant yammering about who is the better candidate. yep, election year bull shit, I don't hear one bit of it. (the pathetic little signs I see while driving are exactly that, pathetic little stix) I am happy to be out of this loop. And I can honestly reflect and say that nothing that was outside the realm of my little piece of the world had an impact on me. No event. thanks

I am going to just go with a positive and choose the 2012 London Olympics because it was the first Olympics that I shared with my son. He is finally old enough to understand what the Olympics mean. It was pretty amazing to see the Olympics through the eyes of a child with such innocence, awe, and excitement.

The gay marriage debate has impacted me this year in ways that I surprised me. I realized that I didn't want to be a part of a group mentality anymore. It isn't that I was against rights for any individual, I am just about the right to not categorize or consciously interact with the ideas of group thought and an us vs them mentality. I know that this may sound a bit "up in the air" for most on the ground politicos, but at the same time as I respect what they are doing to forward causes....I would prefer to envision and create energy around de-causifying this world and enlivening individuals as separate, unified beautiful entities that express themselves in the most true and honest version of who they know themselves to be in that moment.

The election has made me think about how things are in this country, and how I want them to be. Other than vote, I'm not sure what I can do.....

The deadly attack(s) on Marines in Afghanistan by Afghanis who were in training to police their own communities. It has made me again question the expense of life and resources we invest in military intervention and assistance, but at the same time whether it is ever OK to pull inward when people are suffering terribly under the terror of extremists.

The very beginning of 5772 came at what was still the very harsh end to a brutal summer in Texas. I was very sad watching trees die during the summer, and hopes for early relief were squelched by a very hot September and October that continued our over 100' streaks late into the fall. I think we ended that summer with 78 days over 100 and almost no rain. This spring, however, it rained so much in February that in a normal year people would have been complaining. But not this spring. Everyone has been so actively grateful for any and all rain this year, and temperatures were so blissfully mild this summer. Though I still wonder if our mix of vegetation has been permanently changed in Central Texas, this year was mild enough to restore my faith that the natural world isn't going out of kilter. And it was wonderful seeing such generally positive attitudes about the weather (and it seems it spilled to other things) throughout the summer. To me, being positive about the weather (or at least not negative) is just a daily way to show gratitude for the world. Nice to have so many people being so positive.

Presidental campaign. Surprised by the slanted news media.

The presidential race has had a huge impact on me, made me see racism and "class-ism" in a new and frightening way. The rhetoric of hatred of people who are not white, the efforts to suppress voting by those who are not wealthy or privileged, and the attack on women paints a picture of a country I don't want to live in.

The economy has been terrible. Gas prices are up and my commute gets very expensive. I feel that both the United States and Israel have lost their power.

Not a particular event, but the campaign for US presidency, and the extreme differences in the platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties have been a real wake up call for me. I am truly frightened by the Republican platform and the consequences if Romney wins. I'm afraid for this country.

Occupy Cal/Occupy Oakland. Watching my friends be harmed, physically and psychologically, by police violence. Watching our beloved university be decimated by budget cuts. And the unforgettable nights when 10,000 people showed up and filled Sproul Plaza, replacing the tents, dancing to Michael Jackson late into the night, projecting disco lights onto the sides of administrative buildings. Speaking through the 'human mic' with and to 3,000 people in Oakland about the General Strike.

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami--to be awakened by our emergency radio about the possibility of the tsunami affecting us here in coastal Washington state was startling and sobering. In the end, it affected us hardly at all at the time, but we live in the same geologic environment as Japan, and next time it could be us. And it is affecting us now, as debris begins showing up on our shores after its trans-oceanic voyage. Watching the videos of the tsunami sweeping on-shore in Japan was numbing and terrifying.

Steve Jobs is dead. The end of an era and a glimmer of hope for the future. Apple must continue to struggle against simple business strategy, and continue to sell an "idea." Steve began the movement, I hope it can continue.

Hurricane Isaac! It was my first one here in New Orleans. I now have my hurricane survival merit badge, yes? Do I get to claim to be a real resident now?

The presidential campaign has been difficult for me. It brings up strong feelings. I hate the divisiveness. It bothers me that I feel disgust for Republicans. I just don't understand why they don't care about compassion and human decency. Frankly, I think they are mean and heartless. And I don't like to feel that way. It's an opportunity for growth, for me to seek to understand their heart's motivation, to have compassion for them as well.

My answer for this question took a lot of thought, a whole day's worth actually. Now I'm sure that the first and second of seven Uranus Square Pluto Transits that are occurring now until November 2015 are what have impacted me the most this year so far. I'm big into astrology and the effects that the planets have on our lives and planet as a whole. This particular transit isn't only a huge leap of change for me, but for every individual and the entire world itself. For me specifically, it jump started the change in my thought process and spirituality. On June 26 2012, the first Uranus square Pluto transit began. It was the beginning of my personal journey of renewal. The death of my old ways and the birth of my new ones. Now on this date, September 19 2012, the second of the seven Uranus square Pluto transits started. This particular transit signifies a promise that I made to myself today that I would continue on my constantly evolving path with a positive and optimistic outlook on life and where I am heading. I aim to manifest my positive thoughts into new experiences and opportunities to vastly increase the happiness and well being of my life. The first transit was the spark in this new way of thinking and the second is solidification of my plans to move forward positively at a constant rate. There's no turning back as I made a promise; a vow to myself that I would grow and succeed. I know that there are still five more transits to go with the most challenging ones yet to come, but as of right now the start and continuation of these transits will be completed by me with great confidence and peace. I cannot wait to see what these next transits have in store for me.

The passing of gay marriage in New York was truly a precedent for the future and it makes me so excited and hopeful that maybe one day there will be equal rights for all.

Thank God we didn't have another 9/11 but we continue to have terrorist attacks around the world. It is sad we have to be so scared of radical extremists when the average person just wants to live a peaceful life and enjoy family and friends. Nothing is ever gained from hate and destruction.

Hurricane Irene caused my brother, his wife, son and dog to evacuate from their home in New Orleans and caused us to move a planned family celebration from Florida to St. Louis. Everything worked out fine - all were safe and most importantly, we were all together. Other world events have weighed on my mind in a paralyzing sort of way - in particular the shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin over the summer and the wave of anti-American protests in the Muslim world. These headlines have made me feel detached and almost cynical about what a violent place the world can be at times.

Harrisburg tornadoes- I lived about 20 minutes from where they touched down. It was a big eye-opener for me. That could have happened to anyone.

Not one thing but many. The cruelty of others to one another, the senseless violence and destruction,seeing people who have worked all their lives lose everything and the loss of my dream to see everyone come together. I really thought that we could do it but now,I just cannot see it any more... And I am very lost without being able to hold on to my dream that I have had so long...

The election process--lies, accusations, denials of the truth are running rampart. I have begun to think the only thing you can be believe is what you see live with your own eyes. That policies and laws can change on a dime. That you must be involved in the political process. Even one vote can determine an election. You can not stay on the sidelines. Our country is divided 45-45 with 10% of the people deciding the fate of the nation. We will live with the results of November for generations. I only hope we will be able to function - I fear we are ripping the fabric of the nation apart and it might destroy us.

Tensions between ultra-Orthodox Jews and less observant Jews in Israel - it is distressing and upsetting to see such intolerance and bad behavior in our Jewish homeland. Also the presidential election. I am inspired by the better angels within us that Obama preaches to and believes in.

The Israeli treatment of illegal refugees made me so mad I made a statement on FB that resulted in people I thought were my BEST FRIENDS (Jews) turned their back on me and stopped being my friends. This betrayal has been so painful that I wonder if it is safe to have friends who have drank the Israeli Kool Aid. They seem to be more concerned about the abstraction of a country than an actual friendship. This has been a real exploration of accepting friends the way they are. I EXPECT that from them, I should be able to express political opinions without fear my friends will leave me. But do I need to accept THEM for rejecting me?

republican primary. I got really fired up and passionate about Barak Obama and decided to voluteer a bunch of time to his campaign. It has been a really wonderful experience volunteering and i'm glad that I got fired up by it.

Gabi Giffords return to public life, even if in a very limited way. She is one of us. I feel connected to her, and she is part of the Jewish community in Tucson. The continuing recession has made it possible for me to buy stocks at bargain-basement prices and hold them until I retire. My portfolio has increased in value by 12% this past year.

The Arab Spring brought new hope to Egypt, which is a country I deeply love. I have traveled, worked, and made friends there. At first I was thrilled because I knew how repressive Mubarak was and saw his overthrow as an opportunity for the wonderful people of Egypt to live under a new system. What I did not count on was that elements there would raise the specter of anti-Americanism that had dissipated somewhat when Obama was elected has come back in force recently and I have a sense that it may be a very long time before those feelings return ~ I fear that if Romney is elected it will be a very long time before I am able to return to Cairo or be able to organize work there.

The upcoming presidential election has impacted me a great deal. I'm sorry to admit that there are actually people in Congress who don't like the president simply because he is black. Very sand.

The politics of our impending presidential election is involving and engrossing and infuriating, and I am frustrated that I don't have more time or money to devote to making a difference somehow. I feel so strongly about so many of the issues, especially the principle that members of society are responsible for those less fortunate. What's the point of living in society if it's every wo/man for her/himself?

I was quite affected to see the violence in Libya as a result of the content of the film made by the Israeli American filmmaker. Mostly at the cost of the American Ambassador. We understand the right to free speech and can take content with a grain of salt, but they perceived it as an American message/position, rather than the individual. Our right to free speech comes with a big price beyond our coasts. Not an easy one to explain to our 5 year old who caught a glimpse of our flag on fire.

I can't think of one single event, at least, not off-hand, but I have been obsessed with the weird weather brought on by what must be global warming. Watching what is going on around me really destroys my faith in the future. I'm not sure there IS a future, at least not in the long-term. I don't see how life on our planet can continue in the direction it's been going, given the way we burn through resources even as we increase in number and find new ways to exploit natural resources. It is very, very unsettling, just to think about it that way. And then, to turn on the news and hear about hundred-year snowstorms and freak heat waves and tornado clusters... well, it is too disturbing for words.

It's been over a year since the tsunami/nuclear meltdown in Japan. And since the SWAT team busted the May Day Riot kids who live upstairs, at 4 o'clock in the morning, while I was crying on the floor, expecting a stray bullet to hit me or my cat, Occupy Wall Street has become a joke. I would say the revival of space travel as a vested interest and possibility. This has given me the most hope in humanity and the future. Boeing versus Idiocracy. Gamble your 401k wisely.

Rep. Akin saying that women didn't get pregnant from rape. This enraged me so much that I came out publicly as a rape survivor and denounced his insanity...along with VP candidate Ryan's craziness about rape being a form of conception. Disgusting and I couldn't be silent any more.

The attacks on US embassies -- apparently -- in response to the anti-Mohammed film are chilling. It makes me feel that any hope of peace is useless. As long as groups feel justified in killing because they are offended, and people who believe in freedom feel apologetic for that freedom, including freedom to be an idiot, we seem headed to let the bullies rule the world. It makes me wonder when a massive assault on Americans, whether in the US or abroad, may take place.

The Olympics I guess I'd say. I was in the middle of seeing this gorgeous country and was filled with national pride. And just so inspired again at how sports brings the whole world together, whether it's in the shared community watching it or the athletes that broke economic and social barriers to get there and be excellent. It just reminds me how beautiful this world can be if you want to see it that way.

The freaking recession. I couldn't get a job for 9 months in things I was OVERLY qualified for. And now I'm watching it affect my boyfriend. I moved to a new city to start school & work. I so badly would like us to live in the same city, but until he can find a job where I am, we need to stay as stable as possible. It is truly frustrating, and I know that what I have experienced with the recession is only a fraction of the effect it has had on most people.

I don't watch TV or listen to the radio. Strange? Well, that's me. I can not comment on an worldly event that has impacted met this year, nothing like that has happened. I am connected to the World via internet and have read " Live life quotes" of Robert Tew and Steve Jobs Where they both say the same thing, understanding your past will create a better future, and learn to connect the dots, all of what's happened in the past will make sense in the future. Also have I watched a clip recently by Howard Pittman having a near death experience, he spoke about heaven and God. That message did impact my life. The way people think, the way demons behave to get us to do what they want us to do....... I realised I will need to work harder to get to heaven than I originally thought: "Almost saved, is completely lost."

Continuing Muslim protests against freedom of speech, negatively impacting my views of the underlying religious views and religion in general.

I was pleasantly shocked that the London Olympics were such a big part of our life in the house. The girls seemed to grasp the enormity of the event and were drawn to big parts of it. I found myself really intrigued by the outcome of a lot of events. We would learn the results by mid morning, but I'd still watch just to see the displays of amazing athleticism. We travelled during the games too, so we experienced them in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. In a sense, it was the same experience of staring at a glimmering light. But in another way it made the experience more global, more communal.

The economic downturn. I just moved to a place with one of the worst job markets in the country. I'm terrified that I won't be able to find a job.

The eartquake and tsunami in Japan. It demonstrated the existence of events which are beyond human control. We must be appreciative of the things we have (including the most mundane and basic).

Nothing in particular. Generally, 'social profiteering' and asylum seekers that use the system came to disturb me more. But no true impact on me.

I must have been incredibly self-centered this past year. There is nothing absolutely beyond my world that has impacted me. I have had so much to do to transform into someone who no longer bears the weight of the world on my shoulder. I no longer look at the worlds issues of something that happens to anyone. It is all just the natural order and the effects of race consciousness. My world has order and delight, rhythm and flow, love, and peace, because I created it to be that way.

The people that are idiotic about a stupid video made that dishonored the prophet in the Islam community. People seem to make fun of God all the time and we don't go rioting. You ignore the video that way people don't see it! Sometimes I feel like the world has gone backwards 20 years instead of forward!

Wars basically. Maybe there is a need for them but the loss of life & the pain that the people left behind endure is heartbreaking. I don't like knowing people suffer but in this day & age this is the norm. Any upset for any reason saddens my heart. I wish we lived in a world where people love & respect each other unconditionally & we all lived in peace & harmony & one thing we cannot fight is disease or death, so maybe learning to 'Let Go' & acknowledging sometimes that you can only do so much and cannot change the world is one of my next challenges <3 x :)

The general political climate has me wanting to withdraw from the world at large. I have felt an overwhelming sense of despair when contemplating how arrogant and unfeeling our representatives have become. The strange extremes of weather have been probably the biggest events that have affected my sense that I better hunker down and take care of myself and my home/family. I have been strongly drawn to the rhythms of the harvest this year, very strongly atavistic in my urges to slow down, get out of the fast lane, and do what needs to be done according to the time of day, time of year.

Don't know if this counts as a world event, but on the local scene the politics at a state level has had an impact on me. I have been both angered and disturbed at the cuts the state Liberal government under Baillieu has made to education at both a school and TAFE level. This has impacted my workplace, where over 100 jobs are being lost, everyone is scrambling to work harder, and the Institute is struggling to keep worthwhile services such as the Library and student support for literacy and numeracy going. How short-sighted is this of a government that decries increasing crime rates and social disfunction, yet contributes to the increase in these by such actions.

The drought across the Midwest has affected crops and people negatively. Leads them to concerns about food for people and animals. Has led me to stand stronger on faith promises that there will be enough for our people and animals. But, we will have to be more mindful.

Watching the arctic ice caps & glaciers melting at record rates has been quite disturbing. Even more disturbing is how easily people can stick their heads in the sand with excuses like 'I don’t know if they’ve got the models right' or 'it’s not manmade it’s just a natural cycle'. Come on. Are you serious? It doesn’t matter if the models are correct or if it’s man made or not. The fact is, the planet is changing, the pictures don't lie, it doesn’t matter how or why but it is already having consequences for life on this planet. Hang on and enjoy the ride.

I think the cauldron that continues to bubble in the Middle East has impacted me, though not directly so to speak. I don't know that I live in fear, but often shock and the idea of 'what next?' Between the anti American protests going on now, and religious fervor/extremism and the Israel/Iran nuclear stand off I'm never quite sure what we will wake up to and it's a little frightening.

The shootings in Toronto's Eaton Centre, the Colorado movie theatre and in Scarborough where multitudes of innocent people were gunned down in plain sight really shook me. Especially the Eaton Centre event, because it's so close to home and I used to spend a ton of time there - it feels like this violence was right in my territory and it was a new and frightening feeling. I am afraid safe places are disappearing.

It's a political season, and when I think about events in the world you usually think about two things (where I live): the continuing violence and unrest in the Middle East or the United States Presidential Campaign. However, the world event that probably affected me the most this year was a tragedy-- 91 people were killed in Oslo, Norway in July of this year by a right-wing Norwegian that set off a bomb and then executed a violent shooting spring at a youth camp near by. But, though tragic, events like these happen every day in the world, with far more death toll. The fact that a western country experienced this is of course different. However, what impacted me the most was the aftermath. Norway won't put this killer (who I won't name) to death. They believe so much in their system of rehabilitation, that they are going to put this deranged person into (what Americans would call) a medium security prison, for a maximum of 30 years. After that, he'll be set free. He will have a cell phone in prison, and he might even get to have day trips out if he shows good behavior. While that alone is astounding to me, the response of Norwegians interviewed was what impressed me. They were determined, even in the face of tragedy, to maintain their beliefs and political system. To not let what this person did actually have the effect that he intended. Fear is powerful, resisting that fear for your principles is hard. Norway managed it this year.

I can't think of anything that's -really- impacted me this year. I guess I've been really ego-centric this year, just trying to get my life where I want it to be.

There was no unique event that I am aware of that impacted me particularly as such. But, issues concerning Corruption, Education and Mismanagement always have an impact over me. The rampant general corruption in the world, the inefficiency in education in even the best institute of India, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, the mismanagement in every process, the absence of art in general ideas and constructs make me very sad and eager to change things around. It actually led me to get into a competition called 'Vidhyaarth' meant to design an education framework. I feel a need to change things because I am uncomfortable with noise.

The suicide of an retired pharmacist in Greece because of the financial situation. I don't know if it was like a suicide because of depression he just said it was because he didnt want to beg for money because of the low pension he received from the government. It looked like this but also like a suicide for a major cause (like the extremist islamist do sometimes). It impacted me because it showed me somehow that no matter what your background is, you can end up very bad. And though you know that there is poverty in the world and suffering, for the first time you put a face and a story with it and it does make a change.

Curiosity landing on Mars. I can't really articulate it

The country had a major drought this past summer...I understood their suffering as we had one last summer. They say it will impact food prices. I have yet to see it. Another major hurricane hit New Orleans. I still believe God is speaking to our country through the weather. I am praying that more and more people will come back to Him. Yes it is an election year, but it is hard to vote for either candidate. I am very tired of politics.

I started this yesterday and stopped. I began writing about the political process but it felt forced. In truth, the events of the world don't really "affect" me in a meaningful, feeling way. I have opinions, and often, emotions about things but my day-to-day life is not touched by war, nor violence nor poverty nor intensity of weather. I do not live in a cacoon, nor am I sheltered by wealth. But as much as happens in the world, it has no real, tangible impact on my life and well-being on a practical, day to day level. That said, the Presidential campaign provides an important opportunity to reflect on how my real life might be changed w/ a change to a Conservative administration. But really, would MY life, the way I want to live my life, actually be affected? I wonder about the future: how will I fare as I age? will I be poor, will I have access to resources and services I'll need? These are the places that politics can have a direct impact on me.

I can't peg one event, but rather the cascade of laws made and politician's comments that target women. I used to think feminism didn't matter because women had achieved equality. Now I think I see that misogyny just worked its way into the system in more subtle ways. Ten years as an independent, working woman on my own and it's only now I can really see that. Now that laws and insurance affect me. Now that the climate became such that loudmouth politicians could say just about anything hoping it'd appeal to their conservative base. Like when Sen. Akin said that women's bodies have defenses against pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape". Like new state laws forcing women to get an medically unnecessary ultrasound before getting an abortion. Medical insurance being higher for women. Preventative care like pap smears not being included by insurance until Obamacare. Like when the Koman Institute pulled funding from Planned Parenthood. We have a long way to go. It's disheartening to have your idealism so solidly proven to be utterly wrong and unfounded. I hope the work my generation does can make it a little better.

I was struck by the death of Steve Jobs, which is odd because I was never someone who "idolized" him. I was struck by his commencement address to the students at Stanford, and his connect the dots comments. It helped me put my own journey into perspective. That I was o.k. and good for not going down a normal path.

The end of Don't Ask Don't Tell and how well the military handled it didn't affect me directly, but I think it was a big influencer on the way homosexuality and masculinity can mix, which has had far-reaching positive effects. The fact that an organization's members that show a sometimes overly masculine persona showing respect and not only tolerance but acceptance to his fellow lgbt members has created a new comfort zone with all straight men. As a simple example, I don't think as many big-name sports stars would have come out in favor of marriage equality if DADT hadn't been repealed (of course this is only based on my opinion, not on data). Another really important thing to me more personally was the passage of marriage equality in Maryland, my home state. I didn't grow up feeling that I lived in a particularly liberal place, so this has had a great effect on my perception of my home. In addition, Maryland is set up to become the first state in the US to legalize gay marriage via referendum in November (so therefore by popular vote), which could really help turn the tides on this movement.

Just this past week I read about the Israeli government jailing a 2 week old baby (and his family) before deporting them to the Ivory Coast, where the parents are from. This is not a particularly 'large' event in the scheme of things (I can think of others that had a much greater impact on the world - the tsunami in Japan, for example, or the bloodshed in Syria), but this hit home for me in a new way now that I have become a mother. Where previously I might have seen the injustice of this act only in an abstract way, I read this article and positively shook with rage. How can government officials be so inhumane?

The Occupy movement impacted me and millions in the way people can attempt to voice a problem with the current system. It also made me see how the movement still needs to evolve into a smarter way to get the message across.

I guess I am back to the Occupy. We saw people treat each other in differently, because they were sincerely trying to step out of their own self-involved story & really SEE others. Jewishly, people were seeing the face of haShem in the other, and it enabled us to come a little closer to the ideal of the Aleynu: to see the ALL in all, the One that makes us one.

The passing of Amendment One in NC was deeply impactful to me, especially in that it helped me feel like leaving the state was a good thing. I cannot live in a place where the majority of folks don't believe in marriage equality. It was a hard fight, and we did our best, but the numbers just weren't there.

I suppose it is the upcoming election, even though it has not happened yet. This is my first time living in a red state and I am so unused to the political rancor and not knowing how my neighbor feels about our government. It is the first election where I feel shy to speak my mind in the face of billboards and avid campaigning. It scares me and makes me wonder how I can make a difference.

I think the end of the US Shuttle program coupled with the death of Steve Jobs impacted me more than I ever expected. Both NASA's launches and Jobs's life were symbols of technological achievement, testaments to progress and wonder. I cried about both.

The election is a big thing... I've never been so involved or interested in politics as I am now. Though I went to the election night in Grant Park on November 4th, 2008 I am more aware and interested now than ever before. I'm finally realizing how the government plays a roll in every day life... also now that I'm getting older it's important to me to be living in a nation that will be great for my future kids and family, and eventually their families. The Todd Akin comment about legitimate rape was really disturbing, and watching how it affected so many women really hit hard on me. The GOP's views on abortion and not giving women the right to choose really unsettles me. Would I want to live and raise a family in a nation that didn't give women the choice on what happens to their bodies? The election just makes me curious as to how certain ideas are instilled in a person's mind.

Hurricane Irene devastated the areas around my city and impacted people I know. It reminded me how everything we "own" is really borrowed and there are forces well beyond our control. All we really have is who we are inside, how we treat others, who we love, and who we care for.

Scott Walker winning the recall election really affected me this year. I put a lot of time and energy into talking to people about the situation, how it personally affected myself and my parents, and why it isn't a good choice for the Wisconsin people. The Arab Spring also made me really appreciate my freedom and my choice to elect who I believe is capable of the job.

I am not really effected by world events because 1. I never watch the news, and 2. Its hard to feel impact if it doesn't really impact you personally. I would say the largest impact I feel in my life is the slow decay of our environment. I constantly think about what recycling, saving, reusing can do for the environment. I see that as something in my face all the time. So how can I be affected by news in other parts of the country when one of the largest issues on the globe is right in front of everyone's face and people hardly do anything to stop it. Way to go humanity.

I continue to think about Iran. Though nothing has yet "happened" the fact that the world is doing nothing to stop them from continuing to develop nuclear weapons scares me. It shows how indifferent the world can be - and how selfish countries are when they are focused on their own need only without the welfare of the entire world. More than ever we are one human family and need to think this way.

The death of the Ambassador, Chris Stephens. The anti-American (and anti-Semitic) violence is on the rise, and it seems that the world is not speaking out enough against it.

The election campaign because it emphasizes all the things that need improvement. This makes me feel inadequate because I don't know how to get involved in the solutions.

I think the Presidential election has made me really aware of the polarization in this country. Unfortunately there is no "healer," to bring the country back together. I am very afraid of the future if we don't find a way to strengthen the middle and marginalize the extremes.

The fall of several buildings in Rio and elsewhere in the world, without a "real" reason. That broke another security parameter in me.

The US presidential elections are impacting me, mostly because I'm finding the rhetoric from the Right to be so appalling and upsetting. A few weeks ago I was mentioned by a few rightwing blogs as being an "anti-Israel activist" -- not true in the least -- and I was incredibly shaken and upset by that, and by the vitriol I encountered when I foolishly read the comments. It's troubling to be reminded that so many people in this country hate Democrats, liberals, progressives, people like me. I've also been impacted by news of the tough things happening in Israel -- the violence against African immigrants, the refugees left to starve at the border fence. Stories like these shake me deeply. I know they're not what any of us dreamed Israel would be.

Unfortunately I can't think of an event in the world that has really impacted me that much this year. It has been a convoluted year for me internally and that has taken up most of my focus. This coming year I would like to be more aware.

The sexual abuse of children and women, worldwide, has made me ever more determined to be conscious of how I have been impacted by the systemic degradation of women. I have made the commitment to pay attention to and challenge any of the ingrained messages that I learned about being a woman, and to correct them in myself. The next step is to lovingly challenge them when I encounter them.

The so-called pastors and other religious leaders demonstrating their abuse of their congregations, and their bigotry against lgbt people and women; in particular the "pastor" "preaching" that gay folk should be put in concentration camps to die out.

trayvon martin... hasn't really impacted my life immediately except i read all i could about it. occupy wallstreet.. fizzled and drizzled

Craziness with extremists. I don't understand why the news doesn't cover even more, and why they are the only ones throwing a fit. And why it's so "anti-zionist" at no provocation. I'm very concerned that the aggression is going to continue until it erupts into a war that includes us. Where can we go?

The world event that has had the biggest impact for me is the continuing economic crisis in this country and the EU. Neither is new, but the failure of nerve of our leaders - the inability to take an effective course of action - has been the world event that's captured my attention. On the one hand, I strongly reject the "prosperity gospel" in which people believe that G-d will grant material rewards as a sign of blessedness; on the other, even as religious communities come together, it seems as though they speak and act out of fear, rather than love. I struggle to understand how these two elements - the religious and the economic - interact with one another.

The BP oil Spill how can we save our beautiful spaces for our Grands and their children? Also the recent news in Afghanistan how can we continue to fight for a country that can turn on us and shoot the forces That they have been fighting right along side??

All the wars. Will we ever learn? Must we see our differences as a valid reason to accept murder and mayhem. Will we ever learn to live in peace? I still don't understand how anyone can use religion as a justification for harming or hurting others.

My personal issue in this election is health care. The passing of Obamacare and the subsequent Supreme Court ruling was an important first step to national socialized medicine for all people. I won't be happy until the health care insurance companies in this country close their doors.

It seems the Republican races went on for a very long time this year. I found myself listening to some of the debate highlights every morning, frightened by the shortsighted ideas and rhetoric. Although Obama may have disappointed some, i fear a Republican president will drive our country to further ruin. I think a lot of people have high expectations for what a president an do I live in a liberal pocket. I pray that Obama wills the praidential election this year.

The extension of the USA Patriot Act, among other things, confirmed to me that the United States has ceased to be either a democracy or a republic and has, via legislation or fiat, become a twenty-first version of the National Socialist Party. The passage of "Obamacare" can only happen in an environment where the legislators are unaware of, or blissfully ignoring, the economic impact of trying to provide top level medical care by fiat. The sheer cost, compared to the Gross National Product, means that we will either bankrupt ourselves trying to provide care, or that we will need to ration care and reduce our population dramatically.

World events in general impact my every day life. I have a son who is Active Duty Air Force. I have a "nephew"/G-D son who is Active Duty USMC, I have a "niece"/G-D daughter who is Active Duty Air Force, and those are just the top 3. My son is currently on his 7th deployment in under 11 years. I give these children to G-D, and I pray, A LOT!

There are lots of things but top of mind is the 2012 US Presidential election. I think that the Republican Party has become so extreme that the USA as we know it is in danger of becoming a religious state similar to the ones in the Middle East, except with a 'Christian' basis. Not a good thing for the USA or the rest of the world.

Occupy Wall Street. It was a movement that I'm sure my child(ren) will read about one day and that I will talk to them about. I'm happy to say I'll be able to tell them that I was there (at Occupy LA).

The Supreme Court decision to uphold the health care law (AKA Obama-care). I have a chronic illness. Everytime I go to the doctor, I feel simply expensive. Knowing that I'm safe and that I won't be denied coverage is very reassuring. Now if only I could quit my job... :-)

The Arab revolts. As we careened between fear and hope for a real change for the good of the people in these countries, awed by the bravery of the uprising and dismayed by the resistance and cruelty of the entrenched rulers - to see, when finally the establishment is overturned, that a worse, fundamentalist oppression is the result. Not addressing the problems of inequity, poverty and the health of the populace; but a turning to repressive, totalitarian, sectarian rule, with swift cruel punishments, corruption and continued injustice.

The Colorado Dark Knight Rises shootings really shook me. Midnight movie premieres have always been one of my favorite activities to do with a friend or two. The folks who go to them are people who care about the film, about the story, etc. I love the feel of it. I went to the Dark Knight Rises at midnight with my best friend and we sat next to a group dressed as Batman, Robin, and Batgirl - they were some of the friendliest people I've met. I didn't hear about it until the next morning, that people had been brutally killed at random at an innocent film screening. It shook me. I've always thought of movie theaters as safe places, a place where you can escape into another world for a few hours. But this terrified me - made me think about how easy it would be for that to occur at ANY theater.


While it was just a small event and it just affect as few people, I would say that getting the Olson Family Dedication award for my Science Olympiad team really meant a lot to me, as it greatly allowed me to feel that my accomplishments were really worth it.

This election has interested me more than any before. I'm not sure if it's because I'm getting older or the possibility of gay marriage or the fact that Mitt Romney is so incredibly ignorant, but I finally feel like I need my input and that I need to vote.

They are just the background to my work life as a newspaper copy editor. They affect me on a practical level but do not touch me emotionally.

Two words: Mittens. Romneybot. His response to the US Embassy attacks in Libya and Benghazi and his "47%" speech are exceedingly worrisome.

I have been so overwhelmed by the events in my life that I have had trouble seeing the big picture, the events of the world. I think the melting of the ice sheets in Greenland over the course of a few days is a disturbing sign of impending changes.

The US election and what is happening around the world has had a deep impact on me. It is very scary to me to see how people are easily manipulated by the politicians and worst, by the media. I am really losing hope for the future of this world.

The Olympics! Right on my doorstep! It was magical seeing how united the world could be, even with tough economic times, and it enabled me to finally be outspoken about my patriotic self. It was great to see TeamGB succeed so well, and it was lovely to see the impact it had on my beautiful city. Hopefully the Olympic buzz lasts for a while - it's made London such a nice place to be.

This years elections... I realize how out of touch with the world and certainly this country, each of the candidates truly are. One because he is well, so out of touch with the majority of the people and the other because I believe he has become a product of influence and his hands are often tied. For the first time ever, I am not so interested in who wins the election and I've lost faith in our government. I have to take more control of my own life - make it better- and retire to an Italian Villa or Perhaps the French Riviera, but then I have to put up with the French people. Perhaps I'll move to Indonesia and take up surfing?

So many of the widely reported world events of late have been of an extremely negative nature, so much so that I am reticent to begin listing let alone describing any of them. The best I've been able to draw from this is that history shows our species to be strong and resilient despite such calamities. And I am hopeful that we have come to the far end of a pendulmn swing that will soon reverse toward a much more positive direction.

The killing of our Libyan ambassador as well as other diplomats was a tragedy. I am sickened by the lengths to which Islamic extremists will go, and the extent to which they have hijacked Islam. It is about time that moderate Muslims stop the madness before it is too late.

Probably the only thing that seems to matter to me in the world these days is whether or not we're gonna get another chance to fix the issues with American politics, or whether we're going to go back to outdated policies and damaging economic practice. We're all suffering from fatigue in waiting for the world to change, but we have to step up and take charge and make it change on our own. That means not allowing a vocal minority to steal the election, and once we win, not to sit back and expect someone else to take care of business for us.

The Arab Spring has occupied my mind during parts of this year. Will the internet help us to communicate better with the Arab and Muslim worlds? I worry for the impact on Israel; in the long run, democracies should be beneficial for the region but in the short run, the process of reaching a true democracy might be unstabilizing.

Gilad Shalit coming home. The exchange of prisoners for one person proved to me just how much Israel and Judaism value life. I remember being at his parents' tent in Jerusalem last summer, thinking to myself, where in the world is this soldier? The fact that this is the first Rosh Hashanah that he is with his family is truly a beautiful thought. I wonder if he ever gave up on the idea of seeing his family again. I am inspired by him, by his struggle and by the Israeli government to return a young soldier to his family.

The Aurora shooting in the movie theater. It was such a sad and senseless act that is difficult to reason aroung and difficult to get order from because it does not appear to have been caused by anything rational or be preventable in light of the underlying mental illness. However, it is a STRONG reminder of why easy access to weapons, unlimited, automatic, should be stopped. The crime may not have been prevented, but certainly the magnitude and impact of the crime could have. And that is depressing. It is also unclear whether there has been enough discussion about that.

the olympic and paralympic games gave me a much better outlook on sporting events - and the paraplegic games where an inspiration to all those none disabled people in that is showed what can be achieved by people less fortunate than ourselves in the sporting word

With all of the fighting and unrest in the world, watching the Olympics in London gave me a tad of hope. Seeing people of different races, religions, cultures come together to compete and celebrate each other's successes was an affirmation of sorts.

The increase, or seeming increase of natural disasters, earthquakes, tornados, tsunami, severe climate changes, many in areas that don't experience these events have made me realize how fragile life really is. We are alterating our planet and not in a good way solely for corporate greed. How much longer can we afford to be arrogant about our status on this planet before we realize it is too late to go back.

The election has impacted me in a huge way. I've never before been so political and involved in the world around me nor have I ever been able to have such a well informed opinion of both candidates.

Sure world events affect us all to some extent I suppose but what these world events make me realize is that the world doesn't stop...things keep going. When these things happen, most often terrible things we keep moving on and keep going. The world stops for no-one and if it does then it ismy belief that will be when the world is over.

The negative attacks against president Obama have really shocked me. In August there was an assassination attempt on the first family by a white supremacist veterans group. I thought we were past this.

The move toward war with Syria and Iran. The idea that other countries think they can dictate what a soverign nation can do is wrong. The idea of installing puppet regimes, as the US did in Libya, is too easily accepted. War is not the answer.

The presidential campaign has made me start worrying about the future of this country.

A struggling economy that has pretty well devastated our business.

The Arab Spring, so called, has been very moving for me. In our so called democracy there is much we take for granted: free speech, free assembly , the rights of women and minorities, and individual enfranchisement. The Arab Spring reminded me of the work that democracy and liberty can require and especially what can happen when ordinary people are willing to put everything on the line to make change happen. their aspirations drew a sharp line under the imperfections of our own democracy. the control of monied elites, for example, and how we have allowed ourselves to relinquish much of our power to those elites that supposedly work on our behalf - but don't! What could happen here with that energy and why are that commitment and energy so lacking? do we all have better things to do? what does that imply for me as a citizen? do i do enough to be part of the change i want to see?

Occupy Wall Street, in conjunction with the NASCO conference, really taught me a lot about the beauty of anarchy. I guess I thought of anarchists as violent and anti-community until I became more educated about anarchy through OWS. I learned that anarchy is in many ways a response to the capitalist society's devaluation of people, and is a way of standing up and affirming people's value by making the statement that the fact you can't get a job means there's something wrong with the system, not YOU. In fact, anarchists are very loving and community-oriented, I've found, since they value the opinions and skills of all people, not just the most privileged, most powerful, or most educated.

I have grown too apathetic over this past year to care about any world event. We're destroying our natural world and I think it's too late to fix it. We are killing different cultures over misunderstandings, hatred, and fear and there's no end in sight. Our government is a mess and our political system is a joke. Bussiness controls everything. I guess if any world event has affected me it's the presidental election and how little I'm affected by it. I doesn't matter who wins, everything will turn out the same. The government is above the law and constitution and big business controls everything.

I was living abroad in Russia for the past four years and I lived there 9 years ago and visited on and off since 1994. I am very close to the culture there, so much so that I don't have the vocabulary to really describe my experiences. However, I think the trial and imprisonment of Pussy Riot has given me a moment to describe the differences between life in Russia and life in the US. It really shows how conservative and reactionary the country is and also how this former authoritarian society has both evolved and stayed the same. It also proves to me that I am an American and the product of my culture, which I prefer to Russia.

Probably the Innocence of Muslims film and now the protests that are still going on. As with all things, the issue is so multi-faceted and complicated. It has so many sides and has called to question so many issues. One discussion I heard on the radio stated it perfectly. On freedom of speech... that it would be important if freedom was seen as the highest goal. He said he doesn't think so and that mutual respect should be our highest goal. I totally agree and I read somewhere else that the film was not freedom of speech, but propaganda. Conversely, violence is not an answer. I also heard on another radio commentary that this is partly due to a lack of outlets for people in these Arab countries to feel like they are being listened to. That has made me a lot less resentful of the ignorant venting of Americans... as I see the importance of people just needing a place to vent frustrations and feel like they are being listened to.

The passage of Obama's Affordable Care Act impacted my perceptions of the American political landscape. I no longer take for granted that a woman's right to health care (and access to it) is safe. I am emboldened to support Planned Parenthood, the Democratic Party, Clergy for Choice, National Council for Jewish Women, etc.. As a Jew, I cannot stand by.

The 2012 presidential election. I have been reading the new more regularly than I ever did in the past. It is a step in the right direction, but I still have a lot more to pay attention to and more to read on a daily basis to avoid an acceptable level of worldly ignorance.

Israel's seeing harsh views from the US and I always struggle to defend the Jewish State without growing angry.

The earthquakes & floods in the world. The loss of life & devastation just breaks my heart. No one should have to go through such horrors. It makes me realize how fortunate I am to live in a place that is fairly safe from natural disasters. I realize no one is safe all the time but I have made it to a ripe old age & pray I have years to go before I sleep.

It so happens that I feel impacted by the deaths of three celebrities in the world of entertainment: Davy Jones of The Monkees, Dick Clark and Marvin Hamlisch. I had the great good fortune to meet each of these gentlemen, at very different stages of my life--as a teeny bopper at her first real concert, as a young mom at a charity event, and as a passenger on the inaugural voyage of a cruise ship. All three contributed to making my world a better place, and each brings a smile to my face. How wonderful that what they created lives on after them!

I think the event that impacted me most was the legalization of gay marriage in New York State. Not because I'm gay (I'm not) or because I want to be married (in the middle of a divorce) or even because I live in NY (I grew up there, but live in LA) but because it seemed like such a triumph for the right thing, such a victory for humanity and love. Change is so often inexorable. I have had a long career in nonprofit and education, and it seems like I have been working on and worried about the same things my whole life. So to see something actually get fixed, to see all that joy brought into people's lives, and to see the good defeat the ugly and the bigoted, that really revived me.

The entire explosion in the Arab world, the vast number of weather events and the unending election coverage has impacted me. I worry about the stability of the middle east and the constantly declining acceptance of the legitimacy of Israel partnered with the sad situation of the Palestinians. I worry about the environment and this last election is in my mind endless and takes our minds and our money and our energy from the important issues of the day.

The Waldo Canyon fires in Colorado Springs, CO. Everyone was offering their places for rent to evacuees of the fires, and I was left without being able to find a home in time to move out of the place I was in. Homeless again, into the shelter I went.

The election campaign has been very stressful for me. I have a very real fear that Romney will win and I think that would be devastating for this country.

I am in a position now that is making me realize more and more how much local things impact the world. I have been touring juvenile halls and jails as well as learning more about local government. I am moved by how much some people struggle and how much mental health issues underlies so many of our problems as a society. I am energized and thinking of long term career choices as a result of all of this.

the 2012 london olympics and the debate over holding 1 minute silence in memory of those who had fallen at the 1972 munich olympics. the power of the people that are in-charge of the olympics not having the heart to recognise and commemorate those who had fallen, but rather brush it off with a minute silence for everyone who had ever fallen. although they still got their minute, i think that olympic officials should be completely unbiased to all races, religions and decisions

The upcoming election with Obama still in the running to renew his position as the President of the United States is a powerful reminder of resilience and ambition. Being the 1st black president, I remember the day he won just like yesterday. It was a monumental time in history and even though I don't live in the states, I feel blessed to have witnessed it nonetheless. If I was american, I would vote for Obama because somehow I trust him. Somehow, I believe for everything he stands for, everything he is an advocate of, and everything he tries twice as hard to achieve being a black president. I want the minorities to have someone to believe in, someone to look up to, someone who inspire them so they KNOW that they can do anything they put their minds to. Yes, we can.

The Colorado shooting. It struck me right when I was thinking about the idea of the sinfulness of man vs. the evil of man. It helped me realize that man IS evil, and that, therefore, I am evil.

The global downturn has created an unprecedented learning opportunity for me. To learn how to do business in tough economic circumstances, to see how businesses react, to understand how the worlds economy is so closely knitted together, is such an amazing learning experience. I just hope the economy slows down enough to force Australians and Chinese to stime their consumption.

The assassination of Traivon Martin. We were in Miami when the news broke. I was impacted because it reminded me how stereotypes can cause such fear and suspicion. The boy had gone to the store to buy skittles, and was walking back home wearing a hoodie when he was shot by a neighborhood watch man.

Everything that happens in Israel always impacts me. Not just because of my job - which depended on what was going on there - but because of my personal attachment to the country. It feels really personal - whether the news is good or bad. If I had to pick one specific event from that whole batch, though, it would be Gilad Shalit's release. In my opinion, it was truly a miracle. I remembered so vividly where I was in my life when he was kidnapped, and it's incredible to realize how much time had passed and yet there he was, alive, looking almost the same as he had five years before. His return put a small crack in my overall cynical view of the world and let a little bit of real hope and faith sneak in.

The gay marriage debate. It's so frustrating that the government won't recognise it! Seriously wtf? It doesn't affect them directly and the whole thing just sucks. I know it's not a world event but it's big in Aus and gets my blood boiling.

Mitt Romney running for President. A Mormon candidate has allowed me very natural openings to tell someone I am Mormon and answer any questions.

The annual eclipse in May was fascinating.

Steve Jobs' death. For some reason, it made me keenly aware that this is it. I am going to die; money and brilliance don't make any difference. So what does? What matters? Kindness? Love? Contribution? And I'm clear that I don't know anything, because I always said that when Jobs dies, Apple will go down the tubes. Apple's stock has doubled since his death!

A butterfly circled around my head. It's wings created a vibration that could be felt around the world.

This election season may have impacted me the most. It was the first one I can remember in which my home state, Michigan, drew national attention in a terribly negative light. Vagina-gate; my Congressman resigned in disgrace; we had a bunch of shady primary shenanigans -- it's been ugly. But weirdly invigorating too; at least, I find righteous indignation can be energizing. The national-level fight has had that effect too; what was expected to be a rather milquetoast affair has really exploded into quite a fracas that gets more ridiculous by the day. It's certainly kept me engaged and aware if only because it's such a gob-snackingly absurd spectacle.

The presidential election is actually affecting me more than I thought it would. I am still too young to vote (so close!), but I have a government class in school and I am really keeping track of the candidates this year.

I'm not sure if this is anything huge, but issues in Wisconsin with relation to collective bargaining (or restrictions thereof) as well as the teacher strike in Chicago. It has made me realize how articulate I need to be in order to argue my beliefs.

rhetoric around the election - just one lie after another when what we need to do is solve the problems we have - if romnay wins i am not sure what i will do

Aung San Suu Kyi wasable to finally accept her Nobel Peace Prize and give her acceptance speech. I studied her twelve thirteen years ago at the suggestion of my Law and Theology professor in law school which gave me some insight into her and the plight of Burma/Myanmar. She is an admirable advocate for peace and human rights (and human dignity). That she is now in Parliament gives hope for a better world.

I remember a transgender woman being badly beaten at a McDonald's simply for being trans. It filled me with a hatred for humanity that sticks to me like hot tar. Why should we suffer because we want to be ourselves? What's so wrong with us? It reminds me that I am not human not like most. I am an abomination, a freak and there is nothing wrong with that. Freak life for life.

This year I got to work at the Democratic National Convention. Even though I didn't get to attend it, it was still really cool to be a part of such an internationally recognized event. I saw some awesome speeches and felt like I really started to care more about politics. This especially affects me now as I become more financially independent while wanting to be financially stable.

One major event that happened this year was the London olympics. I was only mildly interested, but I sat down and ended up watching a few of the gymnastics events, and I realize how unbelievably talented and dedicated some people can be in their lives. I hope to find something in my life I can be that dedicated to.

I have been very concerned about the recent wave of anti-American violence around a poorly made video on youtube that is perceived to be disrespectful to Muslims. It seems a bogus thing, made in a sneaky way to incite. Freaky that our ambassador, one of the "good guys", to Libya could die along with others because of this. How can people think this has anything to do with our country as a whole. Religious extremism and lack of perspective is upsetting to me. The Occupy Movement was inspiring in the beginning. I'm not sure how it is currently playing out. On the California level I have become involved in working to pass Prop 37 to label GMO foods. I have been reading and learning about this issue. It is horrible stuff.

The presidential election between President Obama and Mitt Romney. This election is extremely important to me because Romney chose Paul Ryan as a running mate. Ryan and Romney pledge to uphold the federal definition of traditional marriage (aka block any marriage equality). They also are pro-life in the sense that they would likely turn back the hands of time and decrease the power of Roe v Wade. As a bisexual woman, of child bearing age, trying to marry her female partner, the possible consequences of Romney/Ryan could be devastating. I want nothing more than to be afforded the same privileges that heterosexual married couples have. I also want to be trusted to continue to care for my own body and make my own reproductive healthcare choices.

I am very concerned about the threat to Israel of a nuclear Iran and an extremist government in Egypt.

The death of Osama Bin Laden. It is still amazing that he was alive after 09/11/2001 and that a Democratic President took the risk to approve the operation was even more astounding. What a big moment for America to finally move past that insane day where the Twin Towers were toppled.

I have been glued to the story unfolding with wiki leaks, the blatant bullshit that is happening right before our eyes that the public is growing increasingly aware of is so interesting to me. The way this all ties into what is unfolding in the middle east and how it all just seams to be part of one big evil plan... How it effects me personally I am yet to see, but I watch the news daily and am rarely surprised to see these horrible things keep happening day after day... The way that the USA has failed to do anything in Syria when human rights are so clearly being violated... When it was so quick to go into Iraq to free the people from oppression... Is just a load of bullshit and frustrates me to no end.

The Olympics was integrated into many of my memories this year, especially since they were hosted in London, England. I know most other people list natural disasters or negative impacts, but I think the Olympics really put aside many hardships various countries were going through and let them take pride in their country and celebrate their independence, no matter how small the population. I also got to see the preparation London and even Paris were going through for them on my family vacation. On a more superficial note, the gymnasts and swimmers were amazing to watch and most of the male athletes were... very well built to put it lightly.

Perhaps because it happened relatively recently, but the attacks on the US embassies and the death of Chris Stevens had an effect on me. I think partially because the first exposure to the news was a picture of the ambassador either dead or almost dead being dragged out of the embassy. It was a very real photo. I'm not overly involved in politics, but it made me think about the presence of the US in other countries. Personally and idealogically, I prefer a more pre-World War isolationist stance, but I'm not sure if that's possible in the hyper-connected world of today. It was just shocking that there was such a phenomenal amount of hate generated by a youtube video. I refuse to believe it was simply a youtube video - there has to be many layers or tension at play here. It also hits close to home, if only geographically, as I'm currently in Italy. Anyways, it just made me consider my core beliefs (free speech, human rights etc) in a different light. Are these 'rights' at completely at odds with other cultures? How long can we afford violence in the absence of total war and the world getting smaller? These are not new thoughts, but they took on new life for me after this event.

The catalonian secesion. I don't know how will be my future...

I'd say the economy going down the drain and things getting even worse than last year. Italy is on the brink of economic collapse, there's no growth whatsoevere and everybody has troubles finding a job or planning for the future. I don't have much but I am still the luckiest of my friends, event without the prospect of EVER owning a house or even renting a place of my own. Let alone rising a family.

I struggle with this question because it reflects back to me how US-centric my knowledge is, and perhaps more frightening, how US-centric my CARE is. In addition, although I am relatively well-informed, care about what is happening, and listen to NPR every day, I find it interesting how little these things, these things that happen in the world, big and small, stay with me and play a part in my memory. Last year I talked about the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 as it related to the work I had done with military families for the last 6 years. Certainly the "end of the war" in Iraq -- in quotes because the permanent bases we built there ensure that we continue to have a military presence -- and the escalation and then draw down in Afghanistan affect me, because I know the toll those took on the folks I used to work with. The election of Aung San Suu Kyi to Parliament in Burma/Myanmar a remarkable and inspiring event. And the ongoing conflict in Israel/Palestine, and the ways this conflict is dealt with (or not) within my community continues to weigh heavily.

This is a tough one this year. Nothing comes immediately to mind. There was the Arab spring and occupy Wall St., the latter perhaps reminding me that I was no longer a young person who could contemplate spending the night in the Park as protest...The presidential campaign and the coming election seem important to me right now. The world does seem like a scarier place than it did, especially events lately in the Middle East, the murder of the ambassador to Libya...And of course we are coming up to 12/21/12 and could the Mayans have been right???

The earthquake in Japan was helpful to, again, reinterate Nature will do as it pleases, always. Every breath counts.

Koodankulam. Maybe it's because it's been so recent, but definitely Koodankulam. (Why is it never anything positive? :P) Nity has been giving regular updates, etc., and the general situation there is pretty damn horrible. Considering how the government has been treating people who say *anything* against it, anything at all... cartoons of Sonia Gandhi, cartoons of Mamata, Koodankulam, and a hundred other things... even writing about it makes me really angry. Cartoons are cartoons, you can't jail a person for sedition and then call yourself a 'thriving democracy'. You can't beat up, murder, starve, and drown a whole village for 'development' and then call yourself a democracy, vibrant, largest or otherwise. I really hope they stop soon, or we're heading for a situation that no one really wants to see. I don't want popular uprising and a revolution or any of those things... I want a government that is sensible, gives a crap, and actually listens to the people it's governing. Now with this FDI in retail thing coming up, I'm actively worrying about the 'smallness' of India, and I really hope someone reverses this, before we turn into a really crap clone of Singapore. I don't want to loose the freedom and the wonderfulness of the tiny shops, and the possibility of dissent, and the absolute independence living here kind of gives you. Then again, all this is only applicable to the relatively well off.

for the first time ever i deeply care about politics and how our ccountry is run and impacts other countries. our political environment no longer seems like this impenetrable force that will always create goodness. it to me is evidence that humanity must move from the love of power to the power of love, in order to survive. otherwise there will be so much suffering and grief, and the world will become the battlefield for survival it once was. i hope by this time next year we see a change in political attitudes and are marveling at how the world has reformed as a result.

The Occupy Movement gave me hope and inspiration this year: hope renewed in the left, inspiration that youth around the world can be mobilized for important issues, creative reinventions of democracy and expression, and positive debate and discussion nationally about inequality and corporate regulation issues that I care deeply about. I spent Thanksgiving with Occupy in Zuccotti Park. It felt important to me to be there in solidarity with them.

The upcoming presidential election has impacted me this year. It made me realize how strongly I feel about certain things and how much more invested I am in making the world a better place.

CJSN (special needs Shabbat) a reminder of our love for our son and community support

I guess it wasn't really "in the world" but B's aunt dying. It really shook me to my core. I had only met her once before but seeing her in the hospital in a medically induced coma, basically being kept alive by force by machines was horrifying. It really made me realize how fragile life is and how lucky I am everyday just to be alive and in good health. We really are just pieces of flesh. It was scary how dependent we are on such weak vessels to live our lives. I think if made me and B realize that life is precious and short. What are we waiting for? Get married, have kids, travel, laugh, enjoy life. Because someday, maybe soon, we may not be able to.

The ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Asia have made me realize how self-righteous we can all be (without consideration for periods beyond the here and now) and how close to the edge of anarchy most societies live at.

WE SENT ANOTHER ROBOT TO MARS!!! I watched the whole thing! It was sooooooo exciting! It still is! NASA has done an amazing job, as always, with the engineering, science and execution! This mission they have, also, done an outstanding job in public affairs. Curiosity is probably the most popular current mission. I'm soooo excited for the things to come from NASA and will hopefully be a part of one of them someday!

I am so concerned about he upcoming presidential election - and angry about the efforts by Republicans to suppress the vote - that I am volunteering more time than I might have otherwise.

The degradation of our earth--the continued blindness to what is happening to our planet and how profoundly it is already impacting people--and the unwillingness of politicians and corporations to make change has made me deeply angry, and i haven't yet figured out what i can do about it.

Arab Spring was very provocative. And I like seeing American young people coalesce against old selfish regimes. Many of my friends have joined OWS. I could do without the way goofy conspiracies spread among the ignorant, though. The point of critical thought is to distinguish between true 1% horrors and cartoonish fear-mongering.

The horrid abuse of immigrants and refugees from Africa in Israel shook me at my core. It seemed so fundamentally contradictory to my Judaism and my idea of what it means to be Jewish. It led me to reflect on how the politics of the occupation shape our community, our values, and our role in the world, and eventually to become committed to ending the occupation and repairing Judaism from the sins of nationalism and racism.

The financial crisis worsening has impacted me greatly this year. I am doing my best to scrape by and I am learning to be frugal. While this indeed sucks, I like that this sort of crisis is speeding along social Darwinism in a very interesting way. Before this crisis, it seemed to me that every American (myself included) was living excessively. Be it taking out loans for education or mortgages, living off a credit card and spending beyond their means on shopping or eating - everyone was kind of acting like they could never lose their job and always ride the crest of this awesome wave. Now that things are in the shitter, it seems like only the smart people are afloat. I'm proud to say that this crisis has made me smarter. In a time where most americans just pay everyone to do menial tasks for them, I am proud to learn how to do basic home maintenance as well as cook and clean and be as self-sufficient as possible. I think my grandpa would be proud of me and I think this crisis is exactly the kind of "reset" that our society needs. The lessons imparted by the Great Depression on the golden age of Americans definitely won't be lost on me.

It is ongoing. Israel is still not at peace. It leaves me feeling unsettled.

Tsunami and earthquake in Japan. i wanted to get a Suburu, but could not because japanese production was down. (Very much an Developed world problem) On a serious note if you connect the dots on what is happening in the world and around you, I am worried at the lack of ethics, moral and wide spread egotism. It scares me!!!!!!!!

The unrest in the Mideast really does impact my life here in the United States of America. It frightens me that we have such an inept administration, and I mean everyone in it, that we are in more and more danger each day. Lies and cover-ups abound and the America we have known and loved is disappearing. It could be that my grandchildren will never have the honor of knowing her as I have.

Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the Affordable Healthcare Act. Some sanity survives in our vitriol infused political system and Karl Rove losses power.

The Aurora Theater shootings. So senseless and sad. So close to home.

The occupy movement. The idea that I really can enact social change on a global level. And I was able to use it to teach my upperclass center city students about the world I come from, and being poor in the middle class - I don't look one step from food stamps or homeless, but I essentially am.

The election this year has definitely realized the passion that I have for current events. This coupled with the Arab Spring, The Arab Fall, and debates with friends. I decided that at some point in my life I would like to run for public office and pay it forward to the next generation. Our politicians are beyond incompetent and have a refusal to cooperate with each other.

I seem to be unaware of larger world issues honestly. I dont watch news, tv or even Steven C much!

So much happened. Occupy was huge, and revived some hope, as did the backlash against the GOP "War on Women." The NDAA changed the way I see the President (for the worse, although I still support him over Romney). Trayvon Martin's shooting affected me profoundly. It made me realize that citizens in the US cannot protect their children adequately (Sandusky is more evidence of this) and that we need to do much better at this, as a culture. The Kony propaganda scheme made me grateful that a growing group of people are becoming savvy to analyzing the media.

Everything gay happening in the world (as we strive toward equality) is affecting my work and personal life. I am so entrenched with work at the moment that it's hard to see beyond that. On a completely different note, the shooting in Aurora, CO has made me even less inclined to go to the movies.

Occupy was huge for me. I'm fairly certain that I'll look back and see my involvement as one of the apexes of my activism, and as the youth movement of my generation. It was something special, and I think I realized that this wasn't likely to happen again. The number and size of the rallies, the events was staggering, and the amount of people getting involved was huge. Peoples faces, their excitement, their vigor--it was wonderful. In the back of my mind (even the front), I had my doubts though--I had seen enough decision-making processes to worry about how things would fare over time, once the excitement wore off and the nitty gritty began. I was sad to see things unfold more or less as I had predicted, with diminishing interest, tightening control, and overall stagnation and loss of momentum. I saw people try to take a stand on principles and be held back by them. It gave me tremendous pause, and made me wonder about the values that I was holding and why. What can humanity sustain? What can we create that won't fizzle into the night? What is both stable and good? I don't know. Occupy confused me. Senior year confused me. All my convictions of president year have fallen by the wayside, and I don't know anything anymore. It's quite frustrating, having no clue about the world anymore. I'm no longer clear as to what is right and wrong. Alas.

The death of Steve Jobs really affected me. I read his biography and I came away realizing how important it is to live in the moment. Life a full life. That my life can really effect other people. I want to make my life count to myself and to others. I want to make the world a better place.

The economic woes being experienced by many people, including some of my clients, has been emotional for me. Particularly, because i personally experienced economic issues a few years ago (back when the generally economy was good) , and am now doing much better.

The tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and the man who killed the Toomer's Corner trees in Auburn, Alabama have impacted me so much this year. It shows that even though when one person (who doesn't support the rival team) does something stupid..people are still willing to help their neighbors through crisis.

The killing of our Libyan ambassador Christopher Stevens. I feel a deep sadness. He seemed to be the best of the best, with real heart.

Ambassador Chris Stevens was beaten, killed and dragged through the streets of Libya on Wednesday, September 12th. This was a reminder to me how much violence and hatred we have in this world. It's incredibly sad. There is so much disrespect all around us. I have no strong feelings about who is right about US policies and politics and am not saying it's not okay for people to be concerned, upset and to try and do something. But such violence is not going to accomplish anything. Violence begets violence. I'm embracing Peace. And I hold in my heart that others can do the same.

I am not the most political person, but i think the 2012 election has let out my political side. Seeing Mitt Romney's plans for America has made me realize how liberal I am. I realized how much I am for people's rights. I realized that I am so so so for the people's rights.

International turmoil doesn't affect me directly, but I feel for some European countries, and fear for most of the Arab Spring countries. Getting out of middle east wars will ultimately have a positive effect on US economy. Most of all, Obama's campaign - may not be a world event, but actually it is - a victory would fly in the face of conservative nationalists gaining power in the rest of the world.

The presidential election this year will impact our country and the world. I worry about our economy, our military, Israel, and the importance of education. Unfortunately neither candidate reassures me, and I believe both of them are more concerned about gaining power for themselves than helping our country.

I was affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Since I lived in Japan when I was in graduate school I have always felt very connected to the country and the people. I have two close Japanese friends that I was worried about even though they don't live in the affected area. One of them I had dropped out of touch with and this disaster prompted me to get back in touch and find out if she was okay. I think both my friends were glad to hear from me and appreciated that people in the outside world cared about them and their country.

The 1oth anniversry of Sept 11 last year had an impact on me. I remembered it like it was yesterday and it felt hard to believe that 10 years had passed. I watched 'New York Rising' about the rebuilding of the tower and the memorial. I felt very connected to New York and seeing the people involved in rebuilding and the families of those who died made it very personal. When the anniversary came, it felt much more personal and clocer to me. My husband and I decided that we want to take our kids and visit New York, mainly so we can see the memorial (a big trip from Australia).

This year Invisible Children launched a campaign called KONY 2012. Everyone began to hear about it and see the horrors that are happening in parts of Africa. However, as the campaign became more well-known, people began to criticize the organization on everything. It really upset me and I guess I realized how much this organization has changed me and how supportive I am of the cause, no matter what people say.

The Celtics lost the series to the Miami Heat. This was big for me. I thought Kevin Garnett was going to retire and that I'd never see him play again - and that, in turn, I wouldn't have anything to talk about with my dad anymore. It was a reminder that I need to work hard to make that relationship deep and stretch it beyond basketball - I want to have my dad in my life forever, and I want to be able to talk with him about anything. We've been using KG as a crutch, I think. Luckily though... he's back for 3 more years so I have time to work on it!

An election year is always something that affects me - but mostly because it seems like it's the only time when people really seem to care about the issues that are always on the table, but rarely focused on in between elections. It frustrates me that we've become so polarized in this country and that politics have come to encompass not only political views and economic policy, but religious beliefs, basic equal rights (which should be a given, not political) and most of all, a woman's body. I'm really disgusted by the hideously backward policies of some of the conservatives, like Todd Akin, who now famously flubbed that a woman's body has an innate ability to shut down conception during a "legitimate rape." What the fuck is that? It's this kind of thinking that women have fought so hard to correct and evolve and it just blows my mind that there are still people out there who think of a woman's body as something to regulate. Every woman should have the right to choose what becomes of her and her potential children. I may be pro-choice, but I'm also a firm believer in the magic of creating life. Now that I'm pregnant and expecting my first child in April, I firmly believe that the decisions I made to not to bear children with two men who would have made terrible fathers was not only the right thing for me, but for society. I would not have been supported by them. I would not have been able to offer my potential children the love that comes from two involved parents and I shudder to think of the repercussions that could have had for the opportunities and options available to me. Would I have depended on state assistance? Maybe. Would I have been able to afford healthcare? Probably not. Would I have been able to work a decent job and pay my fair share of the taxes that allow our lawmakers to have their own jobs? Who knows. The right to choose is about so much more than an unborn child. It's about how we value a woman's own wisdom, integrity and decision making capacity. I for one and not going to question that, but I will question all the men (and women) out there who do.

The tsunami in Japan and the breakdown of the nuclear power plants. An eye-opening tragedy. How prepared is any country to deal with power we only think we can control?

The worldwide financial crisis affects everyone. As the economy suffers, there is a trickle down effect on everyone. The very affluent may not feel it, but the rest of us can see that revenue shortages at the federal level carry down to the State level. The State cuts its support of local projects, and here in California usurped redevelopment agency funds. Projects are put on hold, Salaries of public servants get cut, and hours of public agencies are reduced. Roads have pot holes, schools lack supplies, lower middle class parents cannot afford to send kids to college.

The first thing that comes to mind is the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Even though I'm not American and was not in America at the time, watching the ceremony and seeing the extent of the impact 10 years later was both moving and so incredibly saddening. I'm not syre why it had such a profound effect on me but I think it personalized 9/11 and exposed me to the people that it impacted whereas I had understood it's impact on more cultural terms.

Oddly enough, I don't feel very impacted by the broader world. I have been making an effort to greet and smile to the homeless people in my neighborhood and that has been a remarkably gratifying experience. It feels so good to connect with them as people, rather than to deny their humanity by ignoring them or to be sad whenever I did respond by not giving them money. I still don't give money, but at least I can give them a real smile.

I think the recent focus on and uproars about women's reproductive health and rights has impacted me, helping me to realize that sexual equality has not yet been reached, and that politicians can be ridiculous and WILL try to legislate things about which they know nothing.

Occupy. Without a doubt, Occupy was the event this year that changed the course of my life. It has radicalized me, and that's a little scary- do I want to be radical? Sometimes it feels so right, and other times I'm not sure if I'm just loving the sense of community, of solidarity. But definitely, training as a street medic through Occupy Boston gave me a new outlook on health care, changed the way I aspire to interact with patients and other clinicians, and made me dream bigger in terms of what health care can be and do. In my first few months as a nurse I was building up a lot of frustration with the gaping holes in the American health care system and with the inefficiencies at my health center, and medicking gave me an outlet to not just express those frustrations, but to take action by being part of a radically different system of health care delivery. Also, I met some seriously kickass people!

I guess the obvious one is the impending US election and the ABSOLUTELY appalling amount of vitriol that is associated with it. The negative affects of this election campaign are startling.

the riots about the islamic documentry that "shows them in a bad light", well the riots really show them in a bad light. People have been killed and may injured. They turned a calm protest into a full on roit.

Obamacare moved me- knowing that real changes are possible, however small, is inspiring. It's also validating to know that the powers that be acknowledge our nation's need for better and more accessible health care.

I have tried to pay close attention to the election, even though no one seems to want to be straightforward. Thank you Jon Stewart for your humor.

The killing of our Ambassador to Libya on 9-11-12 has started a religious war with Islamic fundamentalists that scares me for the safety of all Americans!

I can't think of anything. America is changing and in my opinion not for the good.

Okay, so this is a bit older than a year, but here's one that made an impact on my outlook...The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown. I realized how devastating our energy policies can be on the environment and therefore our very homes and lives here on earth. Then I learned about Chernobyl. These Nuclear power plants are very dangerous if and when, something goes wrong. It's only a matter of time, for as a wise man once noted, time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all. When they do, will it really be worth the energy we used to wreak so much harmful radioactive havoc upon ourselves? It's like the Johnny Cash song, Ring of Fire, and it burns, burns, burns, this ring of fire, this ring of fire. Like Frodo wearing all the powers of Precious and it's dangers. It must of been such a relief when it was returned to the fires of Mordor. I hear talk on right wing radio pushing to build more of these plants to 'solve' (ack) our energy needs. Even Iran claims to want nuclear capabilities for peaceful energy purposes. Mankind can be so shortsighted. Please, for the love of sanity, can we all agree on NO new nuclear power plants? Not in your backyard or mine. No hypocrisy in my policy. I really am convinced it's not, let me repeat, NOT NOT NOT worth the risks involved. Not to mention the tension it creates because everyone gets paranoid about the weapons capabilities. We desperately need a smarter energy policy. Use less and do it more efficiently, cleaner. Or when the pendulum swings in the wrong direction, we may all find the Toxic Avenger on our doorsteps from our worst nightmares.

In the past year, the surge of terrorist attacks from a radical religious sect in my home country has increased a whole lot. Their effects have hit closer to home each time. The bomb blast that occurred close to my place of work, killed hundreds and shook the earth beneath me woke me up to the reality that I or any of my loved ones could die anytime. All for some group's political or religious agenda.

The economy! I finally understand what that means. Going to Australia and New Zealand showed me what the world could look like if the economy was moving normally. But it's terrible here, and I can feel that in the energy among my friends and new people I meet. Everyone is drained, underemployed, slightly unhappy, and unwilling to branch out with things like improv cause they can't afford the money or the time, which they spend job-hunting. Now I understand why I've been so drained. All my time has gone into apartment care and trying to pay for it.

The advances in science this year, particularly with the Large Hadron Collider and the Mars rover Curiosity, have sparked my imagination and faith in humanity's ability to keep on learning and achieving, both focusing inward and outward into the universe.

I wish I could honestly say a world event has greatly impacted me. I feel that I've been too focused on myself, my work, and my family to really have the time to be moved by world events. This is yet another part of me that I'd like to work on: I'd like to be more outwardly focused.

Occupy Wall Street impacted my level of hope and understanding of the world. It felt like a collective groan over the conditions of our society. Two years into this particular crisis, people were ready to say, "Enough." Enough with big banks, the poor losing out over the rich, a system rigged to make some people fail and others succeed, regardless of ability. Occupy Wall Street felt like it opened up this conversation that hadn't happened...that something about this system is not working. For weeks, I felt like maybe this was the end of capitalism, maybe this was it. Would the protestors on Wall Street and K Street storm financial offices and shut this thing down? Would half the city move to Zucotti Park and McPherson Square? It felt like so much was possible in that context. Of course, oppression within the movement destroyed it. On the other hand, the fact that it was participatory helped to deal with that, allowing for folks of color and queer folks to make their voices heard. But there were also people that Occupy was never meant to serve. I don't know what it's like to be on of those people, homeless, indigenous, poor, but I felt the energy really hard.

Obama presidente. Non che ci sia più speranza per la politica, non quella italiana, ma in generale c'è più speranza per i giusti

The events going on in the middle east. I want people to know that Israel is getting a bad rap from the media, online outlets and here is the US. I would like to change the perception that Israel is an apartheid state. It is the only truly democratic country in the region.

I was pretty affected by the War on Women, and the Rush Limbaugh attacks on Sandra Fluke. It scares me how women's rights are being chipped away, how much white men can get away with, and how little power it sometimes feels like I have to change it.

The world event is the Presidential election. It hasn't happened yet, but Obama seems to be gaining the upper hand. This year he stated his support for marriage equality, "Don't Ask Don't Tell" was repealed and Prop 8 seems to be on the brink of being finally overturned in California. This means a lot to me because I would like the right to be able to marry my partner so that our family's life could be more secure. Being a second class citizen is wrong.

The Penn State scandal is probably the thing with the biggest impact. Watching how the media created the story they wanted the nation/world to know while getting the true story from personal connections gave me a whole new perspective on mass media. Also, it has been hard to defend my hero, Joe Paterno, now that he is dead and everything the Trustees do is geared to blame him rather than taking responsibility themselves (with Spanier and Curley). It has ignited my sense of justice and has made me aware of the complexity of such issues - caring for the victims, dealing with all the misinformation, trying to sort out what information is true and what is concocted, and seeing how easy it is for someone else to destroy all the work/reputation that one has.

The election. Coming out to my family has opened my eyes to how the world feels about gay marriage- and this election is crucial to my future.

The whole Chick-Fil-A scandal. Our school system often orders from Chick-Fil-A and I have been somewhat criticised for refusing to eat it. I have been criticised for refusing to eat there in general because they say that as a private company, they have to right to use their money as they see fit. They are right, but as a consumer I have to right to not shop there if I don't like where their money is going. Just as I choose to not shop at stores that aren't eco-friendly or who support animal abuse. I believe in equality for everyone.

This year has been elections all over the world. It gets me thinking how many of them are useless yet we must get some to vote for? to rule over us? This year, after 12 years of better economic development, the political dinosaurs are back to screw up everything built in the last years. All this makes me want to do something that can change the world, that can have a real impact in politics, and then have a better world.

Funnily enough - I think it was the Olympics. I was so focused on personal growth this year that I didn't get overly involved with political issues. I sat this year out in a way. By the time the summer hit I was so full of positivity and belief in the future because of my personal life, that the spirit of the Olympics got inside of me. Even though I didn't watch a ton of it I felt proud of each of the athletes, cried from their stories, felt for their parents - it just had a deep emotional affect on me. A ridiculous feeling that the world was good for someone as cynical as me.

The passage of Amendment 1 in North Carolina, and similar laws in other states. I was shocked to see how little people knew about current events and how they would just regurgitate information said to them. I am now a lot more caught up in current events than I was last year.

Our presidential election. I am usually fairly a-political, but this time I feel so very strongly about the outcome I'd like to see. I believe our president inherited a huge mess; he needs more time and more support to be effective. I also believe that there is an ever-widening chasm between the haves and the have-nots in our country. There are other issues about which I feel strongly, most notably gay rights.

The presidential election is astounding to me. How an elitist bully has made it this far into the process is beyond me. I'm very scared for our country if there is a majority who can think that Romney is serving their best interests. He will undo the nation building that President Obama has started, he will undo the favorable ways our country is seen and turn it back to an embarrassing state that we were under Bush. It makes me realize that we don't teach HOW to think, how to reason in schools, that people are just willing to believe what they hear on Fox news without questioning its validity.

The drought has had an impact me. As I made my way across the country on my bicycle; we could see the devastation of the drought on the land and the people. It was also so hot and dry as we rode. We were also aware of the global impact this is going to have.

The "Arab Spring," Wisconsin Uprising & Occupy Wall Street impacted me greatly. I was losing hope and ready to give up on the possibility of a better world. The courageous activism of so many across the world showed me something better is possible. The human spirit does prevail, at least in striving for something better - whether we succeed or not, we can still hope for a better world.

I have been very struck by the U.S. Ambassador to Libya being killed by Muslims enraged by an independent US film depicting their god negatively/disrespectfully. I am bewildered that a film deserves to be punished through the death of several people who were so far removed as only representatives of the country.

This question really shines a light on the fact that I have been living a self-imposed bubble for most of this year. I have been shying away from world events and avoiding the news, mostly to relieve myself of being overwhelmed by the far that all goes on but feel that I can do little to help/change any of it. The presidential election has had a large impact on my thinking this year. I am what one would describe as a liberal Democrat, but this year in particular I find myself trying to understand the ethos of the American Conservative movement. I think this impetus has been spurred on by the fact that I had to participate on a Federal Jury this year. During the deliberation process I was struck by the fact that all 8 of us jurors had completely different views of the information that was presented during the trial. How is it that 8 people can have such differing views of the same thing? So it got me thinking that this must be the case for all people - even those of us who seem to "agree" on ideology and life style can have surprising variations in thought. People are amazing and complex and mysterious.

I think the Occupy Movement has had the biggest effect on me, in part because I work so close to Wall Street but also because it reminds me of the 60's. In some way Occupy Wall Street restored my faith and took away some of my cynicism. Perhaps we really can remake society in a just way.

I dont think there are many world events that have greatly impacted me this year. The things that impact me the most would be more personal definitely.

The events of the Arab Spring. My world view is very "Israel Centric". As the middle eastern countries begin to change their world view, it begins to alter their lens on Israel. We don't have any idea yet what that will be. I believe it will be for the better, but right now it feels like standing on a tight rope.

The London Olympics. With assorted trouble all around, it was heartwarming to watch so many people with so many backgrounds come together for one purpose. I'm also always fascinated to find coverage of a sport I know little to nothing about.

Honestly, I've been quite preoccupied with the personal turmoil in my life this past year. I seldom even scan the headlines or listen to the news. I hope that in the next year as my life settles, I have more room to take in and process, and be responsive to what is going on in the world.

It just happened, but I think the murder of the American ambassador is a significant sign of the times we live in. And I am afraid. I think the world is burning up and I live right in the middle of it, here in Israel. I think America is not willing to stand up for itself--why would we expect them to stand up for Israel against the Iranian monster. I think that we need to stand up for ourselves here and do what we have to do. As for me personally, I have to find the resolve and the courage for what I think is going to be difficult times ahead. Seriously difficult.

Strikes and the recall elections in Wisconsin. Made me realize that I need to investigate the qualifications of the candidates more closely and work harder to get universal voting plus mail in voting for everyone.

The "Innocence of Islam" film and its reactions has actually affected me very deeply. I think that it has made me think about religion and people's sometimes unhealthy obsession with it, and it concerns me that people can be so violent. Most of all, however, it gave me overwhelming compassion and desire to live my life with love, so that it can be proved that love can exist even with violence abound.

Kony. It has changed my perspective of charity. I understand wry one is sceptical about where the money goes- but who cares?! I have decided to be more charitable. I have grown up very privileged and would like to give something back in anyway I can. If, for every dollar I give only 10c makes it to Africa- great! Would I send the 10c anyway??

The launch and landing of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity was a big deal for me. I have been part of the Astrobiology community for several years and worked on (still do) issues dealing with life detection in rocks. I was there at the launch, and it was a very emotional experience.

All of the protests and strife and killing and violence all over the world. It has affected me because it causes me to wonder why there must BE so much violence in the world. I know it's a simple statement, but I'm reminded of Rodney King's question - Can't we all just get along?

The bombing of Libya’s American Embassy impacted me in a way that it just sad me sad to think that people have to resort to Murder and violence due to a Cartoon caption of Mohammad. It is very outrageous that the extremist think it is okay to kill innocent people over something as insignificant of that.

It hasn't happened yet but Iran is threatening Israel and that makes me very afraid for the country. Both if they pre-emptively attack and if they do nothing at all. Israel must continue to exist. It is the heart of Judaism, as Torah is its soul. The Olympics, it's not the sporting, it's the overcoming of obstacles to stand literally at the pinnacle of your potential and triumph. Witnessing as that moment happened over and over again, didn't dampen the magic for me. It showed me that it is possible for each and every one of us.

The changing landscape in the middle east is a frightening occurrence. I fear for the whole world with all the strife that is occurring and for the changes to everyone's life styles that are sure to follow.

Unfortunately with my mother in a nursing home, my father having had several hospitalizations and stress at work, I feel I have become a semi-hermit.

The shooting in Aurora, Colorado that left 14 people dead during the batman premier was awful. It was such a terrorizing incident that people didn't want to go to movie theaters anymore. The whole situation was horrific and the feeling of helplessness that came from it struck me to my core. To the future you: The election for president is this year. Did you vote? Did you encourage others to vote? Did gay marriage get passed? Did Obama win? I HOPE SO.

All of the legislation impacting women's health and reproductive rights. Women of my generation have always taken these rights for granted, assuming they CAN'T and WON'T be taken away. This year has proven to me that they CAN and WILL be if we don't fight for them. I always felt that it was stupid to be a one-issue voter, especially an issue that seemed to have been settled decades ago.... how wrong I was!!

The Islamic riots as a result of the deprecation of the Prophet Mohammed. It was not so much the event itself that had an impact on me, but rather the Australian community's reaction (Jewish and not) to the event. The prejudice has disgusted me with people unable to hear the words of the Islamic leaders, Jews have forgotten the failings of their extremists and there have been cases of Australians threatening Mosques and Islamic schools. The rhetoric on Facebook has also been disappointing. Thus, this event has strengthened my resolve against racism and as an active member of the Jewish community, as it is only as an active member of a community that you can change it.

There have been many political blunders in the past few months, particularly on the Republican end of the spectrum. Men saying women can only get pregnant from "legitimate rape," men controlling the rights of women in general. It's pretty sickening. I've realized that women's rights are a priority in who I'll vote for in the future... as they should be.

Definitely the upcoming election between Obama and Romney. I've realized that part of the reason I don't want Obama in office is being in the larger scope of things, he's drastically increasing government control and involvement. His promises--and the fact that they are being invested in by citizens through votes and support--sets a precedent for increased government responsibility in the economy and other areas I believe should be private. Additionally, the election coming up in Venezuela impacts me indirectly. Mercy is planning her career plans and where she will live based on that. In the United States, I can live and work wherever I want. Maybe I don't like Obama, but I certainly won't work in a different country just because of his power and presence.

The current politics are impacted me. We are finally starting to get back on the right financial track personally and a change in the party that runs this country could really hurt us as a family.

I'm not typically affected by world events, but the political race this year and 4 years ago have both made me quite fired-up. I actually have quite different political views than the majority of my friends and family, and it's been interesting to debate such topics. This year one of the key discussions has been the idea of having little to no government involvement in the nation, and I found through these discussions how important the governments involvement in our lives truly is.

The revolution in Egypt is pretty bad ass. People coming together to claim their power and move forward as a people and a nation is amazing. Seeing how technology can connect people and promote positive action is inspiring.

The event that impacted me the most this year was the mass shooting in Aurora. It was surreal to witness - once again, this is something that on a visceral level is comprehendible, but not on a carnal level. It was incredibly sad. Yet another tragedy. And as I always say - we're all connected. So I do believe that, yes, I am connected to this human being that went so dark and so destructive. He was crying out for help and such a dark and lonely place. And now all of those people in that theater that night, and their loved ones will be forever changed. I actually grew up in Aurora, and I always went places by myself. I had a single mother, and I was a very adventurous little girl. I often rode the public transportation bus system to the Aurora Mall and hung out with my friends there. Never did I feel threatened or unsafe. This theater is right behind the Aurora Mall, and I have also been to it several times. Such a shame that this happened.


enjoyed the endeavor like a little kid

Before the hurricane I was saving headline mementos for my daughter. After I was working extra hours offering housing resource ideas at the FEMA site on a hard hit resort town in the Catskills. I was impressed with the compassion and cooperation to help each other out by the FEMA workers from afar and the neighbors nearby. People who had lost much, shared survival stories and offered advice to each other in that temporary sanctuary in a ski lodge. I shared the story of people helping each other in the hard times with my little "Good Irene".

Somehow, I have been insulated from the world this year, and I don't think that's a good thing. World events are happening to others. Wars. Natural disasters. Economic meltdowns. I seem to be in the eye of the hurricane, waiting. Hoping.

The response to "Innocence of Muslims," which in some cases seems to have been by terrorists using the film's reaction as a cover.

The London Olympics taught me that ordinary people have the ability to do extraordinary things. It gave me hope for a united world one day soon, and reignited my faith in the human race.

So many bad things happened in the world that I can't really remember any good event. I was shocked about how greedy and reckless companies and governments are. This feeling of helplessness made me so angry and the insight that I can't do anything nearly made me cry.

The Egyptian elections certainly impacted us. Me. I am more concerned about the world. Also the US election campaign. I just feel like the battle of good and evil is real.

Occupy Wall Street. I think it re-iterated to me what I've been feeling the past few years about the costs of living for the average person. The current economic model of "wall street" and other business structures only benefits those at the top and it's not sustainable.

The return of Gilad Shalit made me hopeful/grateful (that he was alive and not just a broken shell), but also made me despair - that the terrorists who'd kidnapped him and held him for five and a half long years demanded the release of a thousand criminals in return. I don't understand the kind of mind that can apply this calculus.

The Elcction for President which increasingly seems to be a choice in whether or not we continue to be a unique country or fall by the wayside imitating others who are also falling. This is supposed to be a country by the people, for the people not by the corporations or for the PACS.

I think we are all affected by the Arab spring. The effects aren't all clear yet, but there is a recognition that people can't be held down indefinitely and that they will rise, even without clear leadership. That's huge. It's up to each of us to help write the next chapter following that realization.

To be honest, I can't think of one that has significantly affected me. The election has a lot of my attention and I'm hoping to see Obama come out on top again. Elections force you to choose between the lesser of two evils and I believe in what Obama stands for and I agree more with his ideals - not completely though.

The riots in many Muslim countries in response to the Innocence of the Muslims film. It shone a light onto a part of their culture and psyche which we, as 'tolerant' and 'open minded' people, often overlook. It shocked me and challenged how I view that world in relation to myself and my own values.

The increasing wildfires, floods, heat waves this summer has given me more immediate concerns about global climate change. The rolling stone article describing the relevant science made me want to get more involved in supporting and maybe working toward getting this information out there. I want to increase my teaching in this area in both AP and regents biology. I am getting more anxious about the future of the planet's wildlife and ultimately human life.

There have been many earthquakes. The is still at war. It all makes me very sad. I feel disconnected from it all despite having the knowledge that we are all connected.

So many: the "Arab Spring" and resultant issues arising; a hurricane again threatening near the dates of Katrina when that one has not been cleaned up yet; Haiti; the economy in Greece and Spain. The mideast is a concern to me overall because there is so much unrest and the fundamentalism in Islam is as discomforting to me as the fundamentalism here in Christianity. It scares me. Political discord always searches for a scapegoat. These religious at their most fundamental are political rather than spiritual. Greece and Spain, because they are places in the world which I love (been to Greece, which has gotten very expensive since the Euro but life is not easier) and want to go to Spain. I am affected by feeling sad for the people who live there, even as I would fantasize of living there someday. Their lives in some ways are my life, our lives. I don't fear for our economy like I do theirs but I do fear for their way of life. Political discord, again, like above, scares me.

Early in the year it was the Occupy movement. I even went to Occupy Oakland. I wanted to experience what Heschel called "praying with your feet." I later walked in a candlelight procession with a local community organizing group to support making the streets safer in a poorer part of town. I also was proud of the stride that our nation made in the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Spending a summer in North Carolina during a period of extreme heat, drought, and weird-assed weather couldn't help but seem like a grim foretaste of things to come. The question then is how to be an effective actor or agent in a world of global weirding and climate change.

I can't really think of a single event. But as always with an election year, US politics have definitely been a growing interest of mine. I've been pretty ambivalent about Obama, but seeing how absolutely nuts the Republicans are has definitely strengthened my support of the Democrats. I absolutely cannot believe how far the Republicans, as a whole, are willing to go on the issues of equal rights. I've always had strong opinions about legalizing gay marriage, but to see women attacked in the same way has been eye opening for sure.

The tornado that destroyed Joplin had a major impact on me this year. It's the city of my birth and my childhood. Now, when I return, it will never look the same again.

I've been pretty insulated from current events and politics. (I got rid of my TV five years ago, although I still watch things on YouTube and NetFlix.) Ok, I just checked my Facebook timeline. The last time I posted something related to a world event which got a lot of comments was more than a year ago, in July of 2011 when a child from Borough Park was kidnapped and later found to be killed. And I was working in Borough Park at the time, so this wasn't a "foreign" event. It sounds like the question for me should be "Why are you so insulated from the rest of the world?" I guess my answer would be: "I'm trying to figure out what I think. I'm trying to ascertain my own values, and I'm not going to learn that from looking at other people."

The London Olympics really moved me in many ways. For one thing, I had planned to go, and was unable to because of an injury, so there was regret, and longing, and the poignancy of watching phenomenal athletes while sidelined myself. Also, my son and I really enjoyed watching, and I found the stories and successes of various athletes very moving - Gabby Douglas, Usain Bolt, Andy Murray, just to name a few.

This year the POTUS came out in support of gay marriage. It felt really amazing to have the leader of our country say that equal rights are important - that I should get to marry who I love despite her gender. I donated right away to his reelection campaign and I had this overwhelming feeling of pride and happiness and hope that this could finally be something said, in public, by our president.

I thing gay rights. Obama taking a stand on supporting gay rights. I not really into the whole activist thing, but I find it pretty cool that I will be able to marry a guy that I love someday.

Wow. So many events. Mostly sad as that is the primary focus of the news media. Shootings almost daily it seems. Abuse of children. I seem to have developed a prejudice against radical and extreme people who feel entitled to spread their beliefs regardless of the damage and negative impact it may have on society as a whole and in conflict with my universal connectivity of all living beings theory.

Muslim riots. Made me think about a lot of sociological issues; wonder at the globalized world that's already here, and the shape of the one that's coming.

Syria. What a total nightmare and no way out. And the ghastliness of the Republican nomination process and final nominee, and that so many Americans think it's OK. The endless grimness of this ghastly coalition government we've got. Famine in Yemen and the Sahel. It's hard to think of one thing. Although perhaps the Arctic ice retreating to its smallest area ever is the most upsetting in the long term (which is not to diminish the horrors of the deaths in Syria and elsewhere).

The release of Gilad Shalit. Truthfully, I felt very removed from the whole situation, despite my love for Israel and my empathic nature. Additionally, I was not at all optimistic that his release would be successful (aka that he would be brought back alive). However, I was proved wrong and found myself crying when I watched the footage of him returning to Israel. There was something about the hope that people had for so long, the wishing and the praying and how it did not end in disappointment; It was quite shocking to be honest. I was not expecting Hamas to keep him a live and there was something to that. I am also a sucker for events that bring people together. The Jewish people and the Israeli people, regardless of where you stood on the whole stipulation of his release, were standing as one, watching the TV or Internet streams, together. We were all waiting to see his face and see him on Israeli soil. You cannot beat the feeling of solidarity, community and togetherness. I will have the opportunity to meet him in a few weeks when he visits the High School at which I work and I am sure

As usual, my head is in the sand in this realm, and I'll take a pass on this question.

I haven't been following news really well for the past year. It's bad especially since I'm living in a foreign country now. So I just don't know how to answer the question. I'll probably read this in a year be like "wow, I was such an ignorant self-absorbed person ." but shit happens and I guess I wound up focusing more on myself this year. Oh wait! Healthcare reform was passed. So hopefully I will have health insurance thru the government after I turn 26 if it's not repealed before then...

I think that the rising tension in the Middle East has impacted me a lot this year. Being Jewish, Israel a place that is very near and dear to my heart. I've never been there, but it's something I want to do in the near future; however that won't be possible if the places that want to wipe Israel off the map are gaining more power. I know it's a very complicated situation, and I know people will say that I'm not old enough to fully understand it all, but I really believe that now more than ever, America needs to support and stand up for Israel, and I wish we had done more of that this past year. It was really upsetting to see this tensions rise rapidly and feel like my country was not doing all it could to help defend the homeland of my people.

The presidential race. It has just made me realize how biased everything in the media is. It inspired me to do my own research and know who I am voting for and why. It's an important decision that I am glad that I know what I am going to do, and it made me want to encourage others to educate themselves properly.

I think the upcoming election has effected me. I used to be so gung-ho republican, but now I am seeing both sides as equally representative of American ideals.

The Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act was a huge moment for us. Most of the developed world has access to good health care for its citizens, and the US is shamefully behind on this. We keep moving forward and I'm proud of that.

Just recently I learned about the devastation that a series of earthquakes in New Zealand has had on the city of ChristChurch and specifically on friends there that I had long been out of touch with. Over 1000 building whave or will have to come down due to the earthquake and the city will be forever changed. I had hear about the first quake but don't think that I knew there had been three over 12 months and that they have leveled large parts of the city and caused huge devastation for people. I wondered, how could I not have known about this? How can this not be news in US papers? I am still not sure with what to do with the information but am very grateful that I am back in touch with friends and that they are okay.

The Arab Spring. It all at once renewed my hope for humanity and confirmed my worst expectations of it. A revolution that never was, covered incredibly superficially in Canada and the US. It was painted as a the Arab world freeing itself of its shackles, but the oppressing forces prevailed, whether by force (in Syria) or by ballot (in Egypt). I don't believe in revolutions, but I do believe in progress. The Arab Spring seemed to signal both, only to end in a "here goes more of the same, just a bit worse" sort of way.

Two major events in the world had a great impact on me this summer: The London Olympics and the Democratic Convention. Both affected me for the same reason and in the same way. The reason was the humility and intelligence and determination shown by the participants. The result was pride and hope for the coming future of the U.S. society. The athletes were outstanding in the focus and performance, but when they won they were not arrogant or self-serving. The speakers at the convention--Bill Clinton, Michelle and Barack--were equally focused on being honest, clear, and passionate. I am grateful to be part of such a great society. I hope LBJ would have been proud.

The events in Egypt and Libya because it made me realize how fragile government/society is. It frightened me and has forced me to take a look at how I participate in my own government. That I need to take a keener interest in politics in order to protect democracy. The release of Gilad Shalit had a huge impact on me because for ages I have seen his name in the Jewish Press asking for prayers and on facebook. Thank G-d he is home and I pray that he has a speedy recovery from his trials.

Oh my -- so much has happened in the world -- environmentally and every other way I'm having trouble with the presidential race -- I can hardly believe the hatred and bad mouthing that's going on! I thought we were further along in consciousness!!

GMOs in my food gone organic transition york

The unemployment crisis here in the US. I'm working a temp job right now, with no long term prospects in sight. Still, I am growing to love what I do, and hope there is a long term opportunity there.

The earthquake in Haiti touched me deeply - not just the awfulness of the wasted lives but also how the world came together to assist. It gives me hope in the power of "people" to truly make a difference.

The murder of Osama Bin Laden is truly the first time I have ever seen the country all come together. It didn't matter whether you were a Republican or Democrat, a Christian or Jew, a grown adult or teenager, everyone rejoiced. Feeling a truly UNITED States is a one of a kind feeling.

I have been so caught up in my own stuff that getting involved in world events, once again, hasn't been that important to me. I wish that I had something else to say about that, but I really don't.

Wow. What a question. This is the year I eschewed the news. Almost entirely. I may not have an answer to this question. I'm not sure how long my news embargo will continue, but I do know that I'm a lot happier not knowing what's going on in the world. Most of the reported news is bad, per good journalism SOP.

I want to say that the fighting in Syria has affected me in a positive way but its really only made me more cynical about the arab world, and also about America's moral leadership in the world. If we can't stop an insane leader from killing his people, then why have power? I very much respected Obama's decision to put his Presidency on the line to save the people of Libya. How did all this impact me? I think it just made me more cynical about world peace, and reinforced the idea that in order to get peace, sometimes you need war.

The campaign of Mitt Romney has challenged me to try to understand the other side but the accurate situation is that I understand little of the voters for him and am angered that the country does not see it has easy ways out of its present unemployment mess. I am becoming disillusioned by the reality of the ignorance and prejudices of America that have it hurting itself so much. And I am reminded of the temporariness of our visit here on earth but also on the fortuity that brought my grandparents from the old country and that might some day mean my offspring may want to leave here. It is a great country but it is sad to see how far it is from the true greatness it could be if its resources were used better. Freedom without taking care of the other is to my way of thinking not a great society.

Shooting in the movie theater in Colorado. No where in the world is safe. I hate this fact.

The Olympics affected me because of how little they affected me. It's odd being so far away from home! Here they were on tv but I didn't really have access to one, and no one was really talking about it. At home it would've been a huge deal.

I was deeply effected by Spike's sermon, especially his focus on the injustice of the IOC's refusal to acknowledge the deaths of Israeli athletes in Munich. I was so upset by it, that I spend the following week worrying about anti-semitisim and what it means for my children and the generations to come. I am afraid of war and I am desperately hopeful that Israel will avoid it.

Dealing with politics: treatment of women, internet policing, healthcare, religious intolerance, growing "police state" of the US. It's all been sort of surreal. Fighting these wrongs is an everyday battle and ones that greatly impact my life and the lives of others.

This year I was impacted by issues in the middle east surrounding issues in Libya and such. This is still very recent but because there was/is so much anti-American sentiment at the moment and it is by countries that are near Israel it made me more worried for the friends I have there as well as my friends that are traveling.

The fires in Colorado Springs were really scary. I was sad for my friends and friends' parents who suffered from smoke and fire damage. I still wonder if my childhood home was left standing.

The Occupy protests/movement. I didn't participate - but it's really made me think about what I should be doing, and what our relationship with government has become. The brutal response to the protests really showed that there's a divide between government and governed - and a divide between me and some of my friends, because I don't see how I can continue amicable relations with anyone who would find those acts acceptable.

I really don't think too much in the world has impacted me this year. I've lived my life to the best of my ability. I guess the Orioles being good is something; it gave me a passion and interest.

This has been a hard one to deal with. The shrinking of Greenland seems that we're closer and closer to annihilating ourselves. I live in constant fear of what we have facing us in the not too distant future.

There are so many it's hard to choose. But, they have all been reminders of the impermanence of things. Reminder to be true to myself at every turn because the next opportunity may be in the next life.

I stay pretty apolitical, and my status as an American citizen pretty much facilitates my isolation from the world as well as my ignorance and apathy. However, the birth, escalation, conflict and decline of the OWS movement struck a note of concern for me. I've never felt too disenfranchised, but at the same time, I've realized both that I am, and that I accept it. The ruthless disregard for free speech only solidifies the evidence that our country no longer is concerned with the individual...unless the individual is outrageously wealthy. Also, the presence of the protest in such a wide-spread fashion tells me that a lot of people are aware of the injustice, even if they can't put a finger on it. I feel like we live in a contradiction, and I am now concerned for what happens in the near future.

9/11 For some reason this year 9/11 has been impactful. I think from visiting NYC so often and having visited the WTC and gone up to the top during construction it hit me that thousands lost their lives in such a horrific way. Life can be horrific and unfair. That alone affects me.

The economic uncertainty that continues makes me feel uncomfortable. I feel more stressed about saving, and having enough of a cushion, even though I'm likely fine. I hope I don't feel this stressed forever.

Watching famine and war, I think of the children and am ever more inspired to continue my path to realize the human right to health for all.

The Arab Spring is turning the world upside down. I'm sure that O will be re-elected and that makes me so depressed. I don't understand how he is considered a hero with all of the damage he has done and continues to do.

The two big media events this year for me have been the Olympics and the presidential election. I was so excited for the summer Olympics this year! It was fun to watch the games and all the amazing achievements. I was proud that the world showcased so many impressive female athletes this year. And the US Women's Soccer team won gold in an amazing match. It was fun to be part of something with the whole rest of the world, something positive and inspiring. All the sexy muscles didn't hurt either, ha! This years presidential election is going full force already and it has been ugly. Mitt Romney and President Obama have been trading fighting words for months now. They both sound so out of touch, although Mittens is worse I think. I genuinely love politics, and I truly believe that government can do amazing things for people. But not like this. This year has been more partisan than I can remember, and no one wants to work together. Politicians are doing everything for themselves and not for the people of America. How can this be the most free country in the world but we don't employ free thinkers to run our government? They are all owned by big corporations and lobbyists. It's been hard to watch. This was also the year we seriously had to have a conversation about whether rape is "legitimate" and if it is, women can't get pregnant from it. I swear, scientific thought is completely absent from politicians sometimes. Anyway, I will go and vote, for the good it will do, and watch to see what happens.

2012 Election rhetoric - it has inspired me to get back off my butt and act! Make a stand for what I believe in. Motivated me to be more a part of the political process and engage in social action in general - both teaching about it and DOING it.

The Chicago teachers strike has impressed me enormously. The people there have acted with great courage and persistence. They are pointing to the very real changes we need to make in our educational framework, and I appreciate and value the guts of these people in going up against a popular government leader to make those truths known.

The rise in anti-Semitic violence around the world is frightening me and making me think hard about how I will explain this to my children. I've also struggled to cope with the violent protests against anti-Muslim cartoons when the Arab world accepts anti-Jewish and anti-Christian propaganda, not to mention human rights violations, every day of the year. It is hard for me to voice these opinions without sounding anti-Muslim, even though I do not believe most Muslims support these extremists.

The only thing I can think of is the recent Republican obsession with birth control, rape, and abortions. I was absolutely shocked and sickened that this is happening again. I thought we outgrew this crap 15+ years ago. Ok, I know they're obsessed with abortions but this year they've gone about 400 years backward. They wanted to force woment to have "transvaginal ultrasounds". They wanted to ban birth control and even to ban abortion for women who have been raped unless it's a "legitimate rape" whatever the hell that means. I really truly thought that even Republicans were past the woman-hating shit by now. I thought they were truly just obsessed with fetuses and that's a little weird but not too strange since you can kind of pretend they're actually babies-- but nope, I was wrong- we're still in the phase of fearing, hating and needing to control women. It's made my angry and frightened. I really truly thought this was crap from maybe the 1600's. Are we going to burning witches soon.

The United States Republican campaign to nominate a Presidential Candidate. The level of their extreme cynicism in the desire to win at any cost, with any lie has shown me the downside of democracy, even though democracy is for now the only way.

I've been encouraged and emboldened to see the occupy movement go beyond it's initial stage

The presidential election has pretty much summed up politics in the US. We are doomed.There is too much money, too much greed, not enough understanding or care, and to win, you have to play dirty. The presidency is now all social issues and that isn't the government's job. One's ability to wave their fist ends at my face, but who regulates the speed of the swing?

Working in International Development, this should probably affect me more than the typical person, but I think that since I came back to America after Ukraine and Russia, I've become cozy and largely impervious to seismic shifts in the giant Risk game of our lives. I tend to think that the status quo will be held longer than it actually will be. In the Middle East, in the FSU, through and beyond the Arab Spring. I hope I am right. But to be honest the American life I was born into, and came home to, is a warm cacoon. Not sure we'll come out of this like butterflies, though.

The National Conventions were pretty impactful for me this year. It was the first time I ever remember feeling like we actually have a chance to change things. Like our vote actually does matter. So excited to see what comes of the election in a few months. Either way it will be a huge turning point.

The 2012 Presidential election has really heated me up. Between my friends, the military, and my family, I'm pretty sure that this will be a decisive election in favor of the incumbent President Obama. The Republican Party seems to be so disjointed, so hopeless, and so directionless that watching many of my friends cling to the wreckage is a little heartbreaking. Compassionate conservatism really seems to be dead.

Just before the republican convention a hurricane was bearing down on new Orleans. The echoes of Katrina were tremendous and I realize that we have not come very far as a nation or a world when disaster strikes.

This long term recession really frightens me. I feel so sorry that this government has no idea how to manage things- milking the poor, cutting benefits but not changing the banking system, holding on to out-dated belief systems. They are borrowing more money than ever but cutting things like the Sure Start.

The attack on the Consulate in Lybia, and the murder of the ambassador and a few marines, has impacted me this year for a couple reasons. He was left unprotected on a day that he should have been the most so. And that it is being brushed off and blamed on a ridiculous scapegoat of a crappy film. No one is standing in this, and looking at facts, because they are too busy spinning all of this so they can cover their own butts. No one, especially the people who should be standing at the front of the American people and leading are. And they want to be re-elected, which to do more of this. It reminds me of how important who we choose to lead and represent us can be.

The Presidential election -- it has actually made me very disappointed in people who vote based on which political party can make them angrier at the other one.

I think Mother Nature in general this year has been a world event that has impacted me. The storms, earthquakes, tsunamis...it has been a bit overwhelming. It is horrible to be so far removed from a situation and yet feel so much pain for those affected. I love to see how everyone in a community can rally behind each other. It gives you faith in the human spirit.

The only thing I can think of is, what seemed like, a sharp increase in the politics around women's bodies. With new laws, often rediculous, being passed and the rhetoric turning back towards women being unable to be responsible for their own choices and bodies. This prompted me to renew my commitment to abortion rights, including standing up and speaking publically about my time as a pro-choice escort.

The Olympics. Showed me the true power of "positive media. It's always bad news on the tv and for once it was uplifting, positive, KIND and sharing. It showed in everyone in my life. Beautiful.

This presidential election process has been a real eye-opener. It's been shocking to see how differently people look at our country, its people, lands, and wildlife and their needs. I always thought our country was the greatest in the world and that our way of life would last forever. Now I worry about its survival.

Occupy Wall Street was a wake up call that there are deep structural problems with our economic, social and political structure in the USA. It threads together the issues of income inequality, political deadlock and the precariousness of our country's economic prosperity. It's easy to be insulated or to listen to the news but not feel effected by it. But seeing people out on the streets brought it all home. They didn't have any answers but at least they got me thinking.

The extreme weather in most parts of the world this year has shown very strongly that nature is still in control and humans should never be so arrogant as to think they are.

Nothing in particular around the world has really had an impact on me personally so far.

The presidential elections are critical in the U.S. this year because it is a choice between the Constitution of the United States and socialism. I pray the voters recognize evil and choose not to give up on democracy.

The 2012 elections in the States have affected me. I'm frustrated because I can't vote. I want to be able to have a voice in the country, and I can't because I'm too young. And thus ends my cyclical rant on this.

The Christchurch earthquake is still impacting me. I drive through the city every day and I can't see the place where I live, anymore, I feel completely lost.

This year.... has been one of the quietest years in the last few that I can recall. August's stock market volatility... didn't rear it's ugly head. The economic crisis in Spain is the closest to impacting me. I think about my friends Alberto and Rosi a lot, and it's disheartening to hear how he's still unemployed. Such is life in a country with 25% unemployment. He wants to move to the USA but cant, despite having two masters degrees. Such a shame, he has a lot of talents to offer and this country need immigrants like him.

The death of Chris Stevens saddens me profoundly, not just because it was an untimely death of a good person, but because it so underscores the depth of hatred we suffer in the world today. Liberals hate conservatives, one religious group hates another, Red Sox fans hate Yankee fans. Can't we all just get along?

The ongoing ethnic cleansing/genocide in Nuba has affected me. I am horrified that these things can still happen and I feel that we as Jews have an obligation even more than most other groups to bring this kind of thing to an end. So I'm starting a group to take some action.

Health care reform passed with great politics surrounding its decision. The American public continues to surprise me and I continue to try to understand opposing points of view... e.g., Republican and conservative views that support the me me society. It makes me wonder, will I ever learn to take more care of myself and be selfish in my pursuit of a better life?

Things happened in the world this year? I never noticed. My life was so filled with so much going on that nothing else was really going on around me. It's kinda like when I told my boss... There is nothing in the world that you can say or do with me that would be any worse than what I am already living through.

Obamacare got upheld! I was ecstatic, because the PPACA was the first piece of legislation that I really followed carefully and researched and advocated for. Because of less-than-promising oral arguments, I was expecting the individual mandate to be struck down up until the morning they released the decision to the public, but I turned out to be wrong. I remember being at the Religious Action Center conference room, where civil rights legislation was drafted, watching C-SPAN announce that the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, and smiling because we were watching history again. Up until now, I've focused a lot of efforts on health care because it's such a necessity in today's world, but now hopefully I can focus on other campaigns that need my attention.

This year, a man shot up a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. While I didn't originally think this had anything to do with me, it made me start thinking about gun violence and whether or not there is a way to fix our broken system and prevent more random acts of violence in the future.

So many major natural disasters all over our country and the world - hurricanes, droughts, floods, fires, earthquakes...One wonders what will be next and where. I feel so sad for all the people harmed, killed and displaced by these events and wish I could somehow make things better somewhere.

Las elecciones presidenciales de México. Solo le pido a Dios que no nos vaya a ir tan mal con el nuevo presidente electo por el cual no voté. También la violencia en el país, temo por mi familia, por mí misma y por todos los que amo.

The Lance Armstrong doping inquiry has made me think a lot about the truth, lies, and how it feels to keep a secret for a long time.

i dont really feel many effects of events in the world. i find the iran situation scary and events taking place in israel/palestinian areas can be quite troubling. i am surrounded by election stuff but i dont really feel affected by it. although i do believe the outcome of the election has a big potential to impact my life.

I had the busiest summer I've ever known. I'm exhausted and haven't caught up yet.

What strikes me the most are the growing unrest of people all around the world at the same time that Nature shows signs of unbalance, undoubtedly caused by us. I feel that people and our leaders are still playing and fooling around while our Earth and population have serious issues to face

The Lonmin Miner's strike at Marikana in South Africa that was deemed illegal as it was unsanctioned by the union and the mining company, which eventually led to the police shooting at the miners when they thought that the miners were about to attack them.This resulted in the death of 42 people. This for me was so reminiscent of the old apartheid South Africa of my childhood when I would look out my grandmother's window and see a group of young protestors marching and the subsequent shooting of rubber bullets and the throwing of tear gas canisters by the police.Somehow I had hoped that we had grown past all the violence and that my children would never have to see the brutality of so-called public protectors hurting the very public they are supposed to protect.

I would say that the 2012 Presidential Campaign has impacted me and is impacting me. It's gotten me to try to increase my involvement in politics and government. I believe that God wants us to ensure that all our brothers and sisters share in the benefits of a functional society. He doesn't want us to grab and grab for our own gain. He doesn't want us to isolate ourselves from those who don't live in our little circle. Yet the current congress seems to be more blind to that and I want to work to see that our society supports all who are in need.

The fragility of the world economics

Frank Ocean and Anderson Cooper each openly acknowledged their sexuality to the world. It shows me that we are progressing because 20 years ago this would be considered radical, for a celebrity to openly identify as LGBTQ. It makes me proud as Black Gay Woman. It is important that everyone embrace who they are; we all deserve to live in a society where we feel comfortable to be 100% authentic with everyone.

The world event that impacts me is the international debt crisis and the 2012 general election. Thankfully, I don't have TV or my anxiety level would skyrocket and it wouldn't be pretty.

The presidential election. I am so disappointed in both sides of this election in the way the truth is distorted and people are not respected. It is worrying how divided our country seems to be. Maybe it's just that everyone can express themselves on Facebook, etc., but I am shocked at some of the cruel, disrespectful, and wacko things that are appearing.

The Occupy Movement was an eye opener. Although it is difficult to say what exactly it accomplished, it has raised awareness. Even though I had no desire to directly participate in Occupy, it let me know that others have rage against the 1% who hold the power and money in this world. It helped me to see that although these people have so much more than they need, they still want more, even at the expense of those who have so much less. There is so much inequality in this country, and those who hold the power want so much more.

The election...it is so angry, so bitter, full of lies and deceit...plus I can't stand this man Romney. Impact is low grade anger and fear that Romney will win.

The killing of US ambassador Christopher Stevens. What a pathetic tragedy. When a huge swath of the world remains uneducated and subject to dictatorship and propaganda, hideous things happen. Shame on the social and political leaders of nations who keep their own people in mental slavery for personal gain.

Both the olympics and paralympics had an impact on me this year. It was something positive amongst three years of negative news. I love that the doubters were silenced and that everyone who thought it couldn't be done changed their story and were 100% behind it, over about two weeks! It put GB back on the world map and created a huge sense of pride in what we'd achieved, our athletes, our creativity and in London.

The election has had a very strange impact on me this year. I have never been very politically savvy, or even aware, and hadn't thought much about the upcoming election until my friends started sending me their promotional Obama or Romney videos and articles. It pushed me to the point where I had to decide who I was going to vote for, which has not yet happened (still one month until Election Day!). As much as I still do not know where candidates stand on a number of issues, I have decided that the most important aspect of the presidential candidates is their position on Israel; and with that, I have decided to vote for Mitt Romney. I feel somewhat like a cheater for this, because I live in America and I want their to be an end to poverty, hunger, homelessness, and poor education. However, my vote is for me and I am going to own my decision.

The moment that happened in this world that affected my most is the rise in gas prices. This affected me because i drive all over the place, and it is always a depressing feeling when i have to go get more gas.

I think the fires in Colorado really hit me, so close to home and it ripped through and threatened areas that hold great memories for us. And Waldo Canyon in particular showed us how dangerous they can be when it starts to enter the residential areas. Wish more had been done to deal with the Beetle kill dead trees that were a time bomb waiting to go off.

The political election year has left me apathetic. The drama of the previous Presidential election is missing from this cycle. I see no hope for anything to be accomplished when Obama is re-elected. The Republicans have become a party of obstruction and obstruction is there only vision.

You know, the combination of world events that have happened in the last year have come together to make me numb. I can't even think of one, because I've been so detached. I really loved the London Olympics, though, so I'll go with that. People were really down on the whole thing, but I thought it was fun and very British. :) I was slightly disappointed that the audience didn't disappear during the opening ceremonies, though. What??? DR WHO??? :)

The past year has seen a worsening of the economic crisis around the world. Particularly in Greece , parts of the EU, and in Muslim countries where many regimes have been overthrown and now are politically unstable. What's more concerning to me is the long term effects on the reduction in basic services for low income people who no longer have a safety net. It seems like there are people who no longer feel a responsibility to care for those less fortunate, and that the laws, tax structures, politics are skewed to benefit corporations and the elite.

The murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 other Americans working at the consulate in Benghazi really shook me, though I can't say that it surprised me. This horrific event put in stark reality things I have long known about the vast cultural divides we face in the world, the human capacity for violence and irrationality, and our essential helplessness to stop it. Makes me sad to my core.

An event in the world that has impacted me this year is the election that is coming up. Now that I am old enough to vote, I feel that it is my civic responsibility to be informed and engaged in the political process. I feel that I am much more aware of the world around me as a result.

The leak from the oil pipeline in the US has made an impact on my thinking with regard to the building of the pipeline from the oilsands in Alberta to the BC coast. I was all for the building of the pipeline before this happened especially if all environmental impacts were minimized. However, this has made me much more aware of the lax attitude of large companies towards keeping our environment as pristine as possible. I still think that building the pipeline would be in the best interests of the province and Canada but I do not trust that the companies and governments involved will live up to the promises they make to keep our beautiful province unsullied.

As a usually avid reader of news, I've been struck by many events. I suppose the US presidential campaign and Scott Walker's victory in the recall effort have shown me in no uncertain terms that we live in a country that's half ignorant and foolish, easily manipulated by powerful and selfish forces.

For the first time I find myself actually interested in the election and the stances that either candidate has. I have realized I am actually a lot more liberal than I once thought I was.

It actually wasn't a world event this past year, but it was the information I'd never seen in years past to do with 9/11--there were a number of shows on, and I couldn't seem to stop watching them, on various related topics. I did not have anyone I knew directly impacted by that event. I was just mortified at the time, and in some ways even moreso now, for the victims. I really wish people wouldn't take others with them into their dark places. I am sad for the families. Even now--it was a horrible reminder that we, as a race, have a LONG way to go!

The transit of Venus reminded me that we are but one tiny part of a vast Universe. The photographs of this rare event are beautiful, and I am glad I had the chance to see them and that this happened during my lifetime and my children's lifetime. Phenomenons in space give me perspective and help me get out of my tangled web and see the greater web of all that is.

The senseless shooting in Aurora, CO during the midnight viewing of "The Dark Knight Rises" really shook me to the core. A simple, enjoyable activity that I, and all my friends, acquaintances, and family, have enjoyed since I can remember--going to the movies--was suddenly hijacked by terror, blood, and death.

US republican primary fights -- it all seems so stupid to me. Makes me want to leave Texas. Feel like I'd rather be surrounded by people who think more like me.....

I think the rise of the Arab Spring. It is really starting to frighten me. I am worried about the safety and the future of Israel in a hostile and unstable middle east. I think we need to be vigilant and stand behind Israel and our Jewish people!

The real estate market tanking helped me out by driving down interest rates & the prices of houses making it possible for this single mom to buy her first house without a man! I hope my investment in my house pays off through the years, it's a risk that I took to give my daughter a stable home.

Once again, the conflicts in the Arab world come to mind (which I also said last year). However, this year, my blind love for Israel is a little bit more realistic and I see that these issues are far from black and white. I also will no longer be a one-issue (Israel) voter. I see now how short-sighted that was and I am back in the Democratic camp, firmly.

The elections. They have caused me great concern over the effect on my life and that of the nation if the wrong party gains power.

The attack on the Jewish school in France was a reminder that there are people out there that hate me, my family and many of my friends for no real reason and will stop at nothing to kill us, anywhere in the world.

The rise in tuition fees got me involved in the world of protest. I was just starting to learn about politics and that was the first thing i felt strongly about

The Ron Paul movement and the hypocrisy it entails. I have strong opinions about our economic system and the systemic issues it has. For once a movement successfully broke from the Democrat-Republican political hegemony, but ends up going off the deep end asking for more of the same policies that get us into economic recession. I have become more vocal about my opinions. I feel like I see the world for what it is - under a mess of vitriol, superfluous rhetoric and seemingly bipartisan politics, the Real needs of the people are not even in the purview of the people, much less the authorities.

The wholesale war on women's reproductive rights. From personhood laws and defunding Planned Parenthood to redefining rape. And Mitt Romney winning the Republican nomination only makes it all worse - elitist, one percenter, religious freak and hater of immigrants, women's rights and the environment. At least we now know Jesus had a wife...smart dude.

Haha well I have to say Stephen Colbert announcing that he was transferring his SuperPAC political fundraising organization to John Stewart so that the organization would not appear to be illegally "coordinating" with Stephen's campaign to run for the fake office of "President of the United States of South Carolina". A great joke mocking the blatant corruption of the US democratic system. There is a solution, we will find it.

The shooting in Aurora, Colorado at the movie theater impacted me quite a bit. There's something really scary about a mass murder in a movie theater. A safe, nostalgic place to escape reality turning into the scariest possible reality. As someone who can be a little paranoid about safety at times (on planes, etc.), it really made me feel shaken and scared about all the ways evil can just pop up and change everything. The families in Aurora will continue to be in my thoughts.

The economical crisis in Europe. It has lead to enormous crowd rages and showed what the people is capable of to protect its rigths from the ones who own the world.

This summer London hosted the Olympics and Paralympics. I cannot tell you how proud I was of each and every person that competed for Team GB and Paralympic GB. The country all came together and the feeling of happiness and excitement was incredible. I am getting emotional just sitting here thinking about it all again. I felt like we all came together to celebrate amazing people suceeding with or without disabilities. So inspiring and moving. Really taught us all that nothing is impossible. It also helped us to forget what an awful state the country is in at the moment and just have fun and celebrate how amazing our country is, which I think we all forget and needed reminding of.

The release of Gilad Shalit. I'm not sure I agree with the bargaining costs, but it gave me very personal insight into the lives and values of Israeli society.

The elections are probably the biggest current event affecting me. Although they have not occurred, the campaigns continue to scare me, especially as I am about to move from a blue state to a red state. I am concerned for the future of our country, and resolving to be more politically active to try to counter, at least for my children, the idiocy of so many.

I am a teacher. The Ontario government legislated away our rights to collective bargaining. This has caused a huge backlash among teachers. I detest being in this environment of stress and conflict.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has really affected me, even though I haven't even taken part in any of the protests. I have several friends who are heavily involved, and when I see their updates about actions they've taken, it keeps me cognizant of everything that needs to be fixed, even though my kneejerk reaction is to just keep my head in the sand. It's also helped me to realize that although I agree with this movement and with many activist movements, I don't have the strengths necessary to effect change in that way. On the flip side, though, by realizing those aren't my strengths, the areas where I can make changes in the world and energize myself rather than draining myself have become clearer as well.

Definitely the Israel-Iran conflict. As both nations verge on a path towards nuclear warfare, I realize my love and passion for my homeland.

People killing people over some stupid movie. I don't like religious fanatics. I want to stay away from them

i saw a movie about trapping young women and trafficking the into being sex slaves. i feel like i should do something to help but i haven't yet other than talk about it with people.

The Penn State Scandal created a very chaotic, emotional, and confusing senior year of college. As a communications major, there was no escaping the media coverage and never ending reports and allegations. I stand behind Graham Spanier and feel we should let Paterno rest in peace. While no idol, he was a good man.

Steve Jobs' death. I don't know why it affected me so profoundly. I was sad for weeks. It was hard to imagine G-d could let that beautiful brain die so young when it might have held the answers to countless innovations to cure disease, global warming, food shortages, etc.

There have been many events that had an impact on me. In example the elections in the Netherlands. never before i read so much about politics but this was an important event because of many important subject as schooling, healthcare and taxes. Other wise it has been quite interesting to keep on following wiki leaks and anonymous. Because i think there is too much wrong in this world. And the riots all over the world. Especially the arabic spring. I think it's the breach for many more riots to come.

The upcoming elections have had some effect on me. I don't ever pay attention to politics because it is confusing and annoying. But this year some of the issues being brought up have made me think more about myself and what I want out of my life in terms of rights. It makes me feel powerless that I don't understand it.

I'm not sure there has been one single event. The whole ongoing political nightmare this country is going through has had an effect on everybody. I've finally reached a point where I'm very 'us against them'. There is an older generation, mainly in government but also in life, who will keep the nation in the past, impose their outdated morals on all of us and generally destroy our lives for the comfort of theirs. I don't really know how anybody can vote Conservative and still call themselves a rational human being but I guess we're all flawed in someway. I can't wait till 2015.

I am quite certain that there is something - I am not so callous that I ignore the rest of the world. However, I honestly cannot think of anything right off the top of my head that comes out as #1. I am incredibly annoyed by the political campaigns if that counts.

The persecution of a mentally handicapped girl in Pakistan serves as a constant reminder that I am not like the rest of my peers. I go against the social norm of my people and I have little to no regret for feeling the way I feel.

Nothing that happened in the world impacted me this year. How self absorbed is that?

The nuclear tension with Iran has set me ill at ease. My father was always obsessed with the history of Nazism and the Shoah, and at a very young age I internalised - like many of us - the mantras "never again" and "not on my watch". Watching the current diplomatic "games" touches a nerve, and I wish I was able to help defuse the situation.

Current events are not my speciality. I stay in my own world, don't get bothered by the big things. Someone in the sample answers said the BP oil spill. It happened, but I didn't DO anything about it. I can't think of the last major event that I ever DID anything about. I'm a little embarrassed about it. I hope in the next year I will be more involved. It's not that I don't care. I think I'm afraid of caring too much. I know that's not true.

Gilad Shalit coming home. It made me feel very connected to the land of Israel, and I realized that I want to make aliyah in the future. The sense of community was incredible, it was as if everyone's sun was coming home.

The evolving tension in the middle east has worried me on a low level on an almost weekly basis. The presidential campaign and its rancor has been another constant irritation. Both ongoing events continually remind me of how intolerant people can be. I find it quite depressing.

The iphone 5 just came out last weekend. This has not been my world impact this year, hehe...geez, it's no telling what kind of technology will be available next year. Seriously, my heart aches for Christians right now. I have seen the world wholly in a different light since I have opened my heart to all people- no matter who or what they are. Equal Rights for all people has been a huge issue this year, and it has affected me because this once, very conservative gal, has become pretty liberal in her Love. I do not believe the Christian church is following Jesus' life's teachings very well. This has disappointed me in my own church and their beliefs. This struggle is going to have to continue and Christians need to overcome their judgmental and close-minded behavior. Chick-Fil-A's extremist views this year has impacted me tremendously. All of the thoughts and harsh opinions from so called "Christians" about gay marriage makes me sad. In the forthcoming year, I hope I can voice my own thoughts in a loving way, and show the world that not all Christians live in naivety of their true selves. I also want to back up my thoughts with my love of Jesus and love of all people. It is sad to me that so many Christians live in a box of shallow travels and confused hearts. I am one of those people who have had to learn to come out of my box and be real. Facing this world with faith along with KNOWLEDGE. Otherwise, I would cease to be happy.

It's election season! No, the election hasn't happened yet, but the whole process - and getting to share it with both boys this time - has been hysterically ridiculous. Seriously, Mitt - there are reasons we can't open the windows on airplanes. And disparaging 47% of the country shows what a horrible person you are in your soul.

Though the election has not yet happened this year, the campaigning has had a larger affect on my life through the public opinions of my hometown friends. It's not easy being the tree hugging, agnostic, equal rights activist from the conservative Midwest. In the eyes of my old friends, I'm a pansy liberal! So, I carefully choose my words, my social media posts. I WORK to achieve understanding and compassion for those whose opinions are vastly different from my own. I refuse to give up and write off my roots. But damn, some days my heart is heavy. Some days, I dont understand their bitterness.

i cannot think of just one this year. it is the compilation of everything going on in the world now that is of great concern to me. as women, we have a lot at stake. we need to keep our eyes and ears open, and fight for what we believe in. our government is not our gentle caretaker.

I don't have a particular world event that has impacted me, the upcoming election is awkward though.

The hurricanes and very hot weather that has hurt many. Living in Arizona and thinking about possibly having no air conditioning in the summer when it is 100 degreres is hard to fathom. Many did have to deal with that in other parts of the country and some perished. So sad and not in our control. We need to enjoy and embrace each day...it's a gift. But easier said then done.

The elections. I am so frustrated by all the strife, the grandstanding, the hatred, the rhetoric. I feel as though everyone is so invested in being the winner they don't care about helping everyone else.

It's been a bit more than a year, but I still think frequently about the shootings in Norway. Scandinavia has always been such an important part of my life and a place I hold in such high regard. I still do, and the Norwegian response to the tragedy confirmed for me that my values are so aligned with that region---all the more reason, then, that the events saddened me deeply. I feel as if everyone is less safe now.

Occupy Wall Street; Although it didn't directly effect me, and although I don't necessarily feel really strongly about the issue, it was interesting enough for me to want to research it, which made me realize how important it is to understand the events going on in the world around us. It made me realize that I care a lot about the issues of the modern day, and that I really do care about the country I live in and the people that control it.

The war on women and all these horrible attacks on women's reproductive rights have made me even more passionate about public health and my role as an advocate for women's rights.

I've been so totally wrapped up in my own personal crisis of identity that I can't even remember what happened in the wider world this year. I've been embarrassingly self-centered.

The occupy movement & the current presidential election. It is absolutely frightening how uneducated & ignorant our country is, how powers hold them in fear with their own selfishness, fear and ignorance. People forget the world as a whole, its people and the environment, for the sake of their own pocketbook. It's staggering.

I really don't remember anything, this year has been a blank.

Occupy Wall Street had an effect on me. I sincerely hope that it continues, evolves, grows, and will eventually have a positive effect on people's mentalities -- by having people understand and wake up to the fact on how much a grip that corporate power has on our lives.

There has been so much pain and anger in the world - between the Trayvon Martin shooting and the movie theatre shooting in Colorado I am sometimes torn between feeling compassion for everyone as I believe I should and feeling angry that we live in a world filled with such fear and violence. I want to keep pushing myself to feel love for everyone, no matter who they are or what they have done, because fear and anger don't seem to be helping anyone.

The shooting in Aurora, CO, at the Dark Knight Rises premiere really shook me up. Because I heard about it hours, maybe even minutes, after I myself had been at the midnight premiere of the same film, it was so easy to put myself, my friends, in the place of those affected. So many of the stories from that night made me break down in tears, literally big, messy crying, from mothers whose daughters got shot, to boyfriends who died protecting their girlfriends' bodies with their own, even to people who were just SO thankful to have made it out alive, this situation just really got to me. It was a real life saga of the depth of human emotion, and the things humans are capable of, both the horrific and the selflessly Good. It makes me want to be a part of that Good, in any degree possible, even if it's just caring about the day of a stranger in a shop, or buying a friend her favorite candy bar for no reason.

The US election season has really upset me. The divide in this country is just so profound and deeply disturbing, and I have lost a lot of faith in the people who have considerable power in this country. On both sides, the pettiness and lies of the leadership have combined with fear and sometimes raw hatred of the populace, and it's just sad how far we have fallen into divisive strife.

For the first time, I am totally interested in the election. Staying informed about the issues, facts, and polls is so important to me and I am striving to be a strong advocate for Obama as he surges toward the finish line! In the grander scheme, social issues like women's reproductive rights, health care, same-sex marriage, and funding for social services have become increasingly interesting and important to me. It feels wonderful to be informed and, for the first time, to be able to vote in a presidential election I deeply care about.

It's not one event but a series of events: Congress. Argh! I am frustrated by the unwillingness of this group of individuals to cooperate and find common ground. I've always believed our country could find places to meet but something about Obama's presidency has rendered this impossible. It seems reflective of a general mindset among people that it's more important to be right than to compromise. When did we become that? Personally and communally. I've gotten more interested in politics because of it and more frustrated by politics at the same time.

The senseless killings in Sweden - driven by a crazy man who dislikes immigrants. The killings in the movie theatre in Colorado. The hostility that breaks out between people for reasons that seem trivial. I feel scared for the personal safety of myself and family and friends. Though I believe in the innate goodness of man/woman, these insane individuals can destroy the lives of others through their impulsive, hostile acts.

Not too many events that happen around the world affect me too much to be honest. I dunno, I just feel like if it doesn't happen to me or to my immediate family and friends then I don't really give a shit about it at all. I mean yeah to see some images of a natural disaster or something on tv can be pretty shocking but does it affect me at all emotionally as a person? Fuck no it doesn't. I have way better shit to do with my life than to watch the news and focus on how shitty someone else's life is going. I'm already depressed anyway, why should I focus on something that would depress me even more you know? And as far as this new election goes I really could give two shits about it to be honest. Politics are just straight bullshit....always have been always will be. Honestly the only thing I can truely think of that has impacted me is the NFL referee lockout and that's the honest to god truth.

The Occupy movement - it gave me hope, connections I wouldn't have had otherwise, stress, and then guilt for not being involved really anymore. But above all, what I still feel about it is hope.

The freeing of Gilad Shalit had a tremendous impact on me as it gave me a renewed sense of hope. It reminded me of why I fell in love with Israel to begin with. The enormous weight that the country had to bear in making that decision, fighting for his release and ultimately making the prisioner swaps is more than any country should have to bear. But they did it with dignity, with strength and humility. To act in a way that truly exemlifies the value of a single human life is inspiring. To see the community and the world come together in celebrating that monumentous moment was profound. It made me proud to be a part of the Jewish people and to be a Zionist because saving one life is like saving the world - giving hope to us.

The space shuttle landing in LA. Not because of the actual flight over LA, but because of the way the entire city came together as one to mark the occasion.

Plastic pollution in the water... all pollution... what can we do?

I am now working at a different city agency. I knew I was ut did being bullied and harrassed but did not realize how unhappy it made me. Now I am treated with respect and appreciated. I am happy to go to work. Small World.

I would like to say something like the Olympics was a positive world event that brought the work together and made me feel connected, but it didn't. There were a fair few world events that made life harder for people. I didn't catch it. At least I didn't notice if they affected me. So how? No. Why? Because I'm an American.

Правоверные всего мира меня заебали со своим тотальным обострением нетерпимости при сохранении претензией на блага, завоеванные техногенной цивилизацией, стремящихся к знаниям, а не тупой вере, землян. А именно: муслимы всего мира взбеленились из-за тупого безвкусного фильма о Мухаммеде и поубивали уже кучу вполне себе живых ни в чем не повинных людей; в Германии ебнутые евреи выпендрились, что "обрезали, обрезают и будут обрезать" не взирая на медицинские показания, а израильтяне вообще охуели, откровенно заявив, что будут навязывать свои нравы другим государствам; в России просто полный пиздец - история с Пусси Райотс, и идеями введения уголовного преследования за оскорбления чувств верующих через пренебрежительное отношение к церковным обрядам - и всё это на фоне пьяных попов за рулем дорогущих спорткаров, золотых роллексов и пр.

I am embarrassed to say that despite being a regular listener to "Democracy Now," I have not been paying close enough attention to "world news." A few days ago, I spoke with a friend whose daughter is working in Libya, and it took that direct personal connection for me to empathize and realize that the killing of a US Ambassador and evacuation of Americans at the embassy are not "just another news story" but evidence of terror and danger in real people's lives. Reality check: We are fortunate here and take so many basics for granted. I am grateful for the relative safety and freedom most of us expect and experience day to day.

My church, Arlington Street Church, turned 150 last December. The building is that old; the congregation started in 1729. It's a gorgeous church with Tiffany stained glass windows, and it has become more and more of a spiritual home over the last year for me. I was drawn to Unitarian Universalism because of its progressive faith, but I was also comforted by the traditional "churchiness" of the building. Churches that feel like spaceships or malls don't speak to me in the same way.

Can I say the Jubilee Year and the Olympics? I know you were probably aiming more for the environmental catastrophes and malicious acts of violence, but these two events touched me more. Brits are not prone to optimism or overt patriotism, but having these two monumental events take place in London this year left me -- even as a foreigner -- feeling immense amounts of both! I remember hearing all the bells ringing from around the country at 8:12am the morning of the opening ceremonies (which were to start at 20:12, exactly twelve hours later that evening) on BBC Radio 4. I started to tear up!

The mass shootings have caused me to question whether trauma is closer than I like to think.

The Coldplay gig impacted me this year. I was so happy. Intensly happy! It was a great feeling being there and feeling so so happy!

All events affect me, even if not as directly as others, because the world is an interconnected whole. If there's a civil war in Syria, it's probably going to encourage some politician to use it as way the rachet up the military industrial complex.

The race for the election. I am so upset by the polarization of our country. I think that the lack of compassion for each other is one of the biggest issues facing our country.

I am ashamed to say I insulate myself from the world a lot. When I read or listen to the news so much of it I try not to dwell on so I wont be depressed. Yes, there were things that were a bit harder for me to process: the shooting at the Batman movie release and the huge outcry among Muslim communities against a racist UTube video that was created in America that resorted to violence. I do not understand these things. I don't understand how because a point of view is expressed this is responded to by killing others. How did words get so strong that other words could not alone be a response? People can explain situations like this away by blaming the people committing the violence, "they're crazy, imbalanced perhaps something happened to them as a child", but there has to be more to it. Did we not hear the words that were said before the violent outbreak? Are we so polite in the world now that our views cannot be expressed so we only resort to action after suppressing so many thoughts and feelings. Do we make others feel like we care about them so little that only the negative words are what make it across the world? I am not sure why these things happen. I feel like if I know why I could help. The only thing I can do is try to be a more welcoming person of strangers, say what I feel even if it is benign because maybe someone next to me is repressing the same point of view and we both were too shy to speak up. I suppose that's what I can learn from this.

The protests and recall forever changed me, Joan and Nick and Max (and perhaps Brittany). WI took a dramatic turn away from supporting its citizens in the name of fiscal responsibility, and turned its back on a hundred years of progressive tradition.

The death of a young child with cancer. I did not know this child, but I ended up on a Facebook feed in which I read about a families anguish about there daughter having a fast moving and relatively unresponsive childhood cancer called Neroblastoma. I became part of the wirlwind of activity around finding any possible cure for a very sick child who ultimately was too sick to survive. Then later, if found out about two separate children with the same type of Cancer that were somehow connected to me through work acquaintances and friends. I again heard about the separate families and their struggles with chemotherapy and looking for other treatments. One family had numerous resources and received/sought out support. The other had no resources and therefore was unable to gather the resources to begin any support snowball. Both children are still living with the child from the highly connected support system currently in remission and the other still very sick. It made me wonder about how much our society asks those persons who are without to go beyond being super human try to help their families/children. And , how unfair it is to know that, in this case, the child from the home with limited income, supports, education and connections will most likely die simply because she and her mom can not be superhuman.

I think the whole Kony 2012 thing definitely affected me. It really made me think. So many things have happened this year, all of the rebellions in the Middle East and Africa, the Occupy Wall Street movement, not to mention the riots that have been happening here lately, to do with an anti muslim film that came out on the internet. But the things that's impacted me the most is the Australian political scene, the blatant sexism and horridness of Tony Abbott is despicable.

The presidential elections have greatly affected me and everyone I know here in the US. The biggest impact is the divisive nature of current politics and it's a rather stressful scene. It's also given me the opportunity to reconsider my political standing and allowed me to exercise tolerance and mediation between polarized voters.

It kind of threw me for a loop when I realized that I had SEEN Syria from the Golan Heights when we were in Israel. I don't have the best grasp of geography, so when that occurred to me it really added a lot of gravity to the situation in that country. International events mean so much more when you have a more personal grasp on the context, which is something even the best news article can't give you.

This year, I've been so busy balancing work, family, my stepson's school, and a million obligations, that I haven't spent much time focused on world events. I keep somewhat aware, but it's not my priority. Although, I was immensely interested in the release of the West Memphis 3 from prison. I'd followed that story since the first HBO documentary, and I was glad to see them released.

The riots in Spain, Greece, Chile, and Canada have inspired me. The world is in crisis, and how will we respond?

The fact that our President publicly declared that he is on the side of marriage equality is a big deal! (I look forward to the day when we look back and wonder why it was a big deal.) I have been deeply dismayed by the number of states that have succeeded in passing laws that deny civil rights to adult American citizens who wish to marry. On the flip side, I have been thrilled by the states who have passed laws that guarantee those rights. I am angry that even though my state allows for marriage equality, not all my friends who are married have the same tax benefits on a federal level. That is just not right! So much more needs to be done to make the US a place that truly upholds the notion that Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are rights that are due all of its citizens.

I am not sure if this would count as a world event but our state has boomed with the "oil" industry. Even though I am not directly affected with the oil workers and plants where I live, we are seeing an unforeseen amount of people move into all our communities. This has brought in so many students that our city passed with 85% approval a bond of $86.5 million to build 2 new elementary schools, a high school and make equitable improvements on the other 25 schools in our district! As an employee of the school district this will be huge over the next 5 years!

It's of the moment but the challenges in the Middle East right now seem to be mounting. The killing of the US Ambassador to Libya - who seemed like a very open and respectful man suggests a deterioration of civility and boundaries from which no good can from.

Withdrawing the troops from Iraq. I'm never a fan of war but I was particularly angry that we were engaging in this senseless battle. What a tremendous loss of life, time, money, and efforts! Even though there is much more work to be done to recover on both our side and Iraq's, the fact that we finally took efforts to cut our losses and get out is a step in the right direction. It seemed like the media brushed this major event under the rug but to me, it was one of the most significant events of the last 12 months.

I dont think i have a specific thing that comes to mind this year. Quite possibly next year. However just yesterday i started thiking what if Israel does go to war with Iran. My eyes seriously swelled up with tears. Up till now i didnt believe that it would happen, but somehow the way a co-worker talked about it, i started imagining what if it really happened. Those are my friends that would get hurt, my friends who would have to fight. Chills ran down my spine....

Probably the controversy regarding Dan Cathy (CEO of Chick-Fil-A) and his comments about traditional marriage as defined by the bible. This has been an interesting turn of events and I have only now become involved in the battle. As such, I've had to really educate myself on the issues to make sure I don't sound ignorant and misrepresent the sexual minority I am fighting for.

The worldwide trend for sport! Thanks to the Olympics so many people have started to get healthy and I think it's fantastic. Women especially are becoming more active and more competetive which in turn fuels our fight for equality - I wonder if I'll be more of a feminist by the time I read this back?

What hasn't impacted on me this year? Because of my mental state everything seems to hit me harder than it used to. The Olympics, the France shooting, the 92 year old war veteran who accidentally withdrew his life savings and lost it. I tear up at the silliest things, and because of this there are certain things that I won't allow myself to watch, read or think or talk about. It just hurts too much. Even happy events don't warm me up inside as much as they used to. I find them sweet and I know they're happy occurrences but I find myself feeling very detached, numb and muted.

The bombing in Bulgaria had a major impact on me. Like every morning, we went to Shacharit but I knew the tone of the services were different. When one of the staff told us about the bombing of an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria, I felt really affected. I knew something terrible had happened, but at the same time it hadn’t really hit me. All of the sudden, in between prayers, I turn to one of my closest friends at Kallah and I say “ That could have been Misho or Toni.” (The two kids who came on ILTC from Bulgaria). Then it really hit me, we talk so much about Jews not being safe in other countries but we don’t really see much of it or hear about it, but it is real, and it a constant fear for some international communities. After this service, the teens from the Balkan communities where gathered outside mourning the loss of these people, and I was overwhelmed with emotion. I went up Besos, the only Jewish teen in Albania, who I had exchanged only a few words with in the previous days, and without even saying anything, he took me into his arms and cried together about the atrocity that had happened. This was the moment where I felt peoplehood, globalization and my Jewish identity at it’s strongest. This was the moment where i realized that no matter where, no matter what happens, I have a Jewish army behind me. I was able to make a connection with someone I barely knew and was able to share something so deep and special without words. That moment, I was shown the power of globalization and I was impacted on a global scale by BBYO.

The world is getting radical again. It feels great to have some optimism about this groundswell after years without too much. If I shout (or dance or sing) about feminism or socialism there will be a loud chorus of voices that will join me.

The ongoing arabian spring does much to impact the debate and education up here in the north. I don't know much it will touch me, but it is renewing my contempt for politicians. their inactions towards Syria are frustrating.

The assassination of the US ambassador to Libya shocked me. It makes me worry about any assumed social contract on a global level. Can diplomatic relationships be honored? If not, then what international agreement can be certain. How tolerant are muslims of other religions. It raises the question of tolerance...of those who are intolerant (?)... Do they always undermine the system/any system?

I have felt very disconnected to the world at large this year. To be honest, the largest thing that I have felt impacted by is the current political struggle between Obama and Romney. While that will be decided in a few short weeks, the fact that issues like gay rights and women's healthcare still are in dispute has really pushed me to become more involved with how I think of my own rights and how I interact with people.

The one event that has impacted me the most this year, hasn't even happened yet, and it may not. It's the end of the world predicted to happen in December. I've researched it, and in spite of the lack of evidence that it will happen, I still feel that I should be ready to go if it does come. There is so much going on in the world now with weather, economy, war, terrorism, etc... that signs seem to indicate a possible cataclysm of some kind could happen at any time. It's made me look at my life and ask myself what's important. My conclusion? Family.

The natural disaster's, tsumani's, earthquakes, tornoado's, etc, have been kinda of scary this year for me. Because I constantly ask when is it our turn??

I can't think of a single event that overshadows others, but the Arab Spring (and the violence associated there with) the European Debt Crisis, the Occupy Movement -- we live in restive times. I worry that the global problems become more local as our political process becomes more inane and inept, even if I generally support our President.

college tuition went up, wait just saw a thing about the BP oil spill but idk how long ago that was o or the earthquake in Haiti, both were rough. just read an article about marine life making coral reefs around the supports of old oil drilling stations, way to rebuild and adjust buds!

The general worldwide recession, and increase in the power of the super-rich, has affected me. I cannot believe the level of naked greed and self-centeredness that is permissible in our political discussions and policies. As I watch legislators cut budgets for education, libraries, and social services, I am shocked, but my commitment to contributing and being of service grows even stronger. I hope that this year I can find daily ways to give, to make our society a supportive place, and stick up for the value of community.

It's not recent, but I started reading "What is the What," a memoir that chronicles the life of Valentino Deng as he has to flee his home in Southern Sudan as a young boy and travel from refugee camp to refugee camp with a group known as the lost boys. It made me realize how fleeting safety really is, but it also made me appreciate the US government more for keeping me safe from the evils that plagued this innocent boy. It's not fair.

I think something might be wrong with me! I can't think of anything that happened this year! Geez, what DID happen this year???

Following the story is about the Arab spring, which is now turned into more of an Arab winter has been really disturbing. Wars in Syria, Libya, and that "peace" that is supposed to be in Egypt, i fear the fundamentalist Islamic regime more than ever. I fear the Christian right fundamentalists also. And I see everything coming to a head,without any really positive results. I am frightened for our future. I am frightened for the Jews in the world. And I am frightened for everyone when I think about terrorism. Talking about terrorism is the perfect excuse for the religious right in the conservative Republicans to take dangerous steps towards additional war mongering and Xenaphobic hatred towards the Middle East. This can only make the rest of the world hate us more. And what does that do for my sons future?

The "occupy" movement this year, has really made me a bit more cynical of what "big business" has really done in our past. I'm very leery on what will happen in our future with technology, I for one, what to remove myself from the banking system all together!

Very little in the outside world has impacted me personally this year - I believe the constant struggles in the middle east are a reminder of how not everywhere appreciates the luxury of freedom like we do here.

As I did four years ago, I'm back in the political swing of things, supporting the Obama campaign by calling, hosting, giving, doing -- everything I can. I've grown disgusted with the negative rhetoric and nastiness of the opposition; it seems impossible for them to disagree without making racist, ad hominem attacks. It still astonishes me that they are so blatant in their smug disregard for all except those on the very top. There is no ethical heart. So I continue to do everything I can to ensure that such people aren't in charge (at least where we can see them) -- and hope.

Well, the violence in Syria, the killing of the Ambassador in Libya, and the general death and destruction of people people people makes me so sad. And it is hard as a Zionist Jew to hold my head up high when my fellow "Israel-supporters" also condone and encourage hate speech against Muslims and encourage war. We've had enough. Oh how we've had enough. It'll never end. But one has to keep standing.

The Occupy movement, and specifically Occupy's Kol Nidre and Sukkot services, were really important places for me to demonstrate my commitment to justice in the world. I don't really think the Occupy movement accomplished any of its goals, writ large, but I do think it was really important to see that there is still a yearning in this country for something more than what the two parties offer us. I think that we can reawaken that in order to bring change to the world throughout this year.

Although it hasn't happened yet, the presidential election. Combined with moving to a more republican state, this election has been making me more aware of my own political beliefs and making me want to be more active in the political community. Government is a huge part of our world and I don't want to get stuck with a president that I don't want!

Human trafficking has really been brought to the forefront. I know that it is an evil that has been around for a long time, but I'm glad to see people are taking a stand against it. That there is a hope for those still trapped. That those of us who have come through it can find peace.

The execution of Troy Davis was extremely sad. We sat vigil at the City Hall and listened to them grant a stay and then end up executing him. It was horribly sad and disappointing. Then there was they unbelievable murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida, for just being a black boy in a hoodie! These events, like many, are so disheartening at the rascism in our country that it seems we can do nothing about!

The Occupy Wall Street Movement and the Arab Spring: it feels like the world is ready to be torn apart by the rage coursing through our collective veins. I am scared much worse things than protests are on the verge of occuring. I hope beyond all hope that no matter what occurs, the resultant change will be what is right for the course of humanity, and that we can all be inspired and want to do what is right for all of mankind.

Hurricane Katrina and it's aftermath basically shows that you can't count on the US government for real assistance in re-building a city that was destroyed in a natural disaster. The real re-building happens because the people there in New Orleans decided that they didn't want to see their culture and way of life become extinct, so they came back and re-built their homes, traditions and business. The HBO series "Treme" really did a good job of showing the day to day struggle of people trying to rebuild their lives and the government programs which sometimes get in the way.

All the news makes me think differently when i hear it. but i just dont know of anything in particular that has really affected me on the global scale. guess i am a pretty sheltered person.

Curiosity landed on MARS!

Most everything that happens in the world makes me feel helpless. The BP Oil Spill, for example, happened but it didn't directly impact me. And I feel so tiny and insignificant when it comes to these larger very distant things/people/countries/episodes, I simply don't feel connected to the world in a way that maybe most people do. In my small world, my mother got sick with some mysterious illness and it reminded me of the sudden and mysterious onset of cancer in one of her cousins. It scared me in that my mother is such a huge part of our life and our children's lives that it made me fear what would happen with her gone.

I most appreciated the landing of the Mars rover, Curiosity. It was such a departure from the doom and gloom and angry, intolerant, bellicose, atonal, discordant discussions and events vying for attention locally and globally. For me, it was impactful because it gave me a sense of wonder and hope and discovery. It honored knowledge and cooperation and the power of not knowing. It was about taking time to figure things out and make a plan and build something and use theory and faith in a way that helps me remember I am a part of something so much bigger than myself and that not knowing is usually more important than knowing because not knowing keeps me open to learning and growing and changing and I get “curiouser and curiouser” and I like living an open-minded and open-hearted life.

The economic crash continues to impact me. I am working on new ways to make a living, and am finding ways to live on less and with less carbon footprint.

There was no special event in the world but in my world: The fact that Luc failed his A-levels. That means that he will not move to Geisenheim and study this year. It was a very hard time for Luc and me but we get through it like always. The worst thing this year was the death and the funeral of Anke. The only thing that impacted me this year that happened in the world was the thing with Wulff because there was a wuestion about it in my intake interview.

Something that really impacted me this year was the president ans vice president saying gay marriage should be legal. It is my dream to meet the perfect person for me and to legally spend my life with them. Its not enough the just have domestice parnerships and civil unions, and president Obama recognizes that. I am very happy to say he is my president.

The shooting in Aurora and fire devastation in Colorado Springs. I had just moved away when everything happened and I definitely felt relieved to not be there. The shooting was especially sad, but it got some of my old military friends to come together, though briefly, again.

I worry about terrorism. The kind of international terrorism that makes me take my shoes off at the airport, but also domestic terrorism like the shooting in the theater in Colorado this summer. Because of social media, every event like that hits close to home. As soon as news broke of the shooting, news outlets were featuring tweets made by one of the fatal victims that night. She was 23 and so excited to see Batman, and then just a few hours later, she was gone. It’s frightening to think about how each day could be your last, even if you’re young and pretty and love Batman and tweeting. She was just like me, and it was terrifying.

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Health Care Bill affected my this year. I took Health Policy when the decision was announced. It was a great opportunity for me for refresh my middle school lessons of how bills are passed. It was also reward to understand MOST of what the bill means. I am glad I was able to learn so much of the bill now so that when 2014 rolls around, I will know what to expect to happen (if a certain person gets elected).

The Mortgage Crisis. For reasons specified before. It has become so stressful and so uncertain, that i am constantly focused on it.

The 2012 Presidential campaign has had a big impact on me. It encouraged me to educate myself about various issues, and I am beginning to feel as if I can hold my own in debates and discussions.

A lot of the issues that have been going on with women in Israel have made me really upset; I care about what is going on there and I do not like what I am seeing. However, since I am not in Israel, what is my role in evaluating these policies? I care, but how can I express myself and advocate for those issues without being condescending?

The election year. I am thoroughly disgusted with Congress. They just don't do what they need to do. We will end up like Greece.

I am sad to say that there was not an event this year that affected me. I think that is because I have been so inner focused on getting my life back on track and spending time with those I love the most so I dont' recall anything that touched me as it has in years past

Well of course this must be the Arab Spring. It was a "heady time" in so many ways - filled with hope and with inspiration. To think of so many people who have lived in autocratic, nondemocratic countries - from Libya to Egypt. So much promise. Yet the sad and frustrating part is that radical change is quick, but sustained and meaningful change takes time - particularly when there is a need to build new institutions and change behaviors and attitudes. I still hope that, in the long run, it will work out for the Arab world - women and men alike, Muslims and others.

Arab Spring has really had me thinking and trying to imagine the emotionality of going through such tyranny and what it takes to create an uprising; and the challenge of the aftermath. Especially at Rosh Hashana, thinking about new beginnings and new opportunities for change - the uprisings throughout the world give a renewed meaning to "renewal".

The Thailand Flooding showed me how events overseas can impact my company and job in the United States. How interconnected and globalized this world is.

Sandra Fluke- that's a person, not an event, but I have been so impressed with her. I don't know how anyone paying attention could miss the roiling nastiness underneath the pro-patriarchy arguments on the right, but the whole mess of sewage just exploded in her face, and she kept being both right and graceful. I watched my younger sisters watching her, and saw them becoming feminists right in front of me.

I have to honestly say that I have had such a troubled year, that my head has been buried in the sand outside my own immediate world. I have rarely watched the news or had the attention span to read. The only issue that I have paid attention to in a small way is the election, and my hope that Obama is not re-elected.

The London Olympics. Just a year previously the streets of London were marred by riots and discontentment. The Olympics brought a jovial, welcoming, and pleasant atmosphere to the streets of a not necessrily friendly city. There was a magical sense of openness and unity. I would have loved my homecity to stay magical.

The presidential election and local elections. I am worried that our country is being taken over by mindless religious zealots.

As a young parent, I live in a bubble of family and friends. I try to follow what is happening in the world, but the source of influence in my life comes from my family and my friends.

Dengue Fever in Cambodia. Tsunami in Japan. Inspires me to DO SOMETHING!! I went to the FWAB event, but need to do more consistantly.

The revelation of sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky and the subsequent trial and conviction for those horrific events has stirred a distinctly emotional response in me because I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It has brought about flashbacks which has been a negative, but it has also invigorated a courage that prompts me to tell my story in the hopes that others will not suffer a similar abuse.

U.S. Presidential Election. It's every political nerd's wet dream. I've had a blast following it, and I'm sure that'll continue.

The Derecho that blew through Washington, DC in late June was quite a lesson for me. Our electricity went out Friday night. Because we had no control over when power would be restored, we had to make due without it. Interestingly, since it was Saturday, I "pretended" to be Orthodox -- doing without power on Shabbat by choice. After taking a nice, relaxing walk with my husband, rather than rushing about as I often do on Saturdays, I sat quietly, peacefully reading my book and drinking tap water (so as not to let cold air out of the fridge by opening it). It was wonderful to just "tune out" and "turn off" for several hours. When I thought about food, I realized that we had plenty of items we could eat that didn't require opening the fridge. And if we needed to use things so they wouldn't spoil, my husband reminded me that we have a gas grill that we could cook on. It was amazing how "set" we were, even without electricity. So we didn't have television and Internet. So what? Our power was restored shortly before noon Saturday, after being out for just under 12 hours. It made me very grateful for what we had through the storm -- our health and each other. When I got back online, I learned little by little that several of my local pals were without power and I invited all of them to "crash" with us. None of them took us up on the invite, but all were very appreciative. The storm taught me patience, gratitude and generosity of spirit. If it had to happen again, I'd want it to happen in exactly the same way for what I ultimately got out of it.

I would have to say the revolutions going on globally. It's a beautiful thing to watch people stand up in their beliefs, against the injustice done in their community and countries and becoming a unified voice.

I think the anniversary of the Norway Attacks still us hit hard. So many innocents murdered by a fascist. We're thankful for the peaceful response of the Norwegian people and reminded that hatred is lurking in the corners of our societies.

The NATO summit came to Chicago this year. I think it was really great exposure for the city and for the restaurant I work at. We host two events for that summit. One was an intimate ladies only dinner with Michelle Obama and the wives of some of the summit members. I didn't get to work that event but I made some of the prep for it. I did work a large hundred plus event the next day for the rest of the summit members. It was pretty cool being a part of that. I got to work side by side with Tony, the owner of the restaurant.

The 11th anniversary of September 11th made me start thinking about my perspective and the way my memory has shaped that day. After hearing a broadcast on NPR commemorating the event, I realized that I don't remember what I was doing September 10, 2001. At all. It made me think we have to really consider our actions every day. We don't know which days are going to be "important," or not; or which days we'll want to remember. Because of this, I wish to start keeping a journal again.

The Arab Spring. It was incredible to see the connections made across the Arab world, to see the desires for democracy, to see a new generation expressing itself so powerfully.

The Arab Spring uprisings and Occupy Wall Street all inspired me. Although I didn't always agree with them I was excited to see people protesting economic injustices in creative ways. Why? Because its so easy to become apathetic or cynical - and much harder to say that another world is possible and this is what it might look like.

Gilad Shalit was released from imprisonment in Gaza after being held captive for over 5 years. It was something that a whole nation had prayed for. He was everyone's brother, everyone's son. His homecoming was a special day that I will never forget - staring at the news, connected to Twitter and reading what the world thought, and watching with one of my best friends and crying out of joy. Then when we walked outside, it happened that there was a parade that day; thousands of people from around the world came to show their support for Israel and Jerusalem. After such an emotional month and morning, it was wonderful to be able to be joyful and just let go. I also met my friend's sister that day Lee Ann (Lior) - she is an amazing person and we had a great bonding moment that day at the parade and throughout the time she was visiting in Israel. I still think it is amazing how you can meet someone for a short time, and just click. I have not seen her in a year, but I still feel very connected to her and like we have something special.

The Olympics was pretty big. See my answer to Day 1. I felt like I was at the centre of the world during the Opening Ceremony. On show, but also totally anonymous amongst the 1,000 drummers and thousands of other volunteers. I remember just feeling so serene during the actual performance. The big moments had come during rehearsals and the dress rehearsals. On the big night, I knew everything would go well. We were so well rehearsed. I wasn't nervous, wasn't even that excited. But the after-show euphoria lasted for three or four days afterwards. I don't think I've ever been as euphoric for that long a period of time before. Wonderful!

9/11 of course was not this year but this year it had a huge impact on my life while I was abroad. Hearing people talk about it and describe how important it was to them really opened my eyes to a few things. It showed how important America is to the entire word and how much of a symbol it is and how an act of hate towards the United States breaks hope even for people who do not support us. It also made me feel a bit selfish because I could not name tragic events that had happened in the countries of people I was talking to while they knew about world events in countries all over the world.

Coming to know that so many people are being chased and killed and harmed because of their faith. I didn't know that!

not really - i guess i try and stay away from the news. it sensationalist and most of the time i cant help all the pain either way.

The 2012 London Olympics had a greatly positive impact on me. With all the hate, pain and suffering in the world, sometimes it's hard to feel like there's any chance we could all "speak the same language." Sometimes I feel like we're just going to hell in a handbasket and I have to accept that peace is impossible. The Olympics is a time for the entire world to come together and appreciate excellence, competition and a fair shot. The Opening ceremonies give me renewed hope that we're all equal... we're all just trying to do what we love, as best we can. "If you look at the word "kindness," its root is "kind," like "humankind." "Kind," as a noun, refers to a group of people or things that share similar characteristics - our humanity. To be "kind" as a verb, is to recognize our shared characteristics, our shared humanity, and to remember to respect one another, because beneath the veneer of our aesthetic differences is the inherent worth and dignity of every living person." - My Two Moms

I am ashamed to say that I don't feel much affected by world events this year. It's not that I don't notice them as they happen, but rather that I am so caught up in my individual experiences that I don't see how, say, the Arab Spring relates to my world. I should do better at that.

Two things: The shooting at the midnight showing of The Dark Knigh Rises. When I sat in my own theatre and watch the preview for this movie, the whole event became too real. It was horrifying. The uproar over the Mohammed video. The followers of Islam have every right to be angry and offended by it. It was very disrespectful to create and broadcast it but what does burning and bombing in retaliation accomplish? Grow up and become bigger than the people responsible for the video.

Burning Man (Fertility 2.0): Completely life-affirming... Previewing a taste of neo-tribal community. Connecting deeply with strangers that became family. Ecstatic dance with my beloved. Growing closer and evolving in our relationship. Manifestation magic. Unparalleled growth opportunities TAKEN! (30ish workshops in a week) Inspiration. Reflection/introspection. The complete package. Life-long friendships made. Life celebrated. Transformations endured. It is always incredible to see what can be done... what humans are capable of... the vastness and infinite variety of the imagination.

The Iranian-Israeli conflicts that have continuted throughout the year have a big impact on me. My best friend is Persian and was born in Iran, and though I am not Israeli, I am a proud Jew. We don't argue about anything, but it always scares me what it would be like if one country attacks another and either of us gets targeted for our culture.

Not really sure :/

Governor Perry running for presidency. Lets hope this never happens again or there will be millions of people worse off than they already are. Watching the Olympics was extremely inspiring, however.

This election cycle -- even though it isn't over yet -- has just saddened me. The utter nastiness of it is staggering. Small wonder nothing gets done after the elections; how can you work collaboratively with someone you've essentially painted as a traitor/liar/criminal? Things aren't so black-and-white. We should demand more.

presidential election: made me interested in politics, and I realized how much ignorance there is in the world.

The presidential election has been quite the road. I am having a hard time formulating opinions. Its hard because I don't agree with the republican social aspects and feel very strongly that women should have the choice of what they want to do with their bodies and also that gay and lesbian marriages should be legal. But I also agree with their $$ opinions. And it is in my best interest to agree with the republican side for my future. So what do you do when you don't agree with someone on what they think about you, but it is still in your best interest to vote for them??

I come from a country were we experienced terrorism and I felt relieved when Osama bin laden was caught. He was the artifice of the largest terrorism plots all over the world and because of him and his doing traveling will never be the same anywhere in the world and people's lives have been affected.

The Japanese earthquake and subsequent nuclear accident reinfoced how urgently we need to develop solar and wind energy solutions.

Well~ unplugging form mainstream media and news has allowed me to create my own true reality ~ however hearing about the Catholic Church's attack on American nuns was pretty shocking ~ To see how men in leadership are scared of strong, powerful spiritual women is interesting to see ~ and it only reinforces my knowledge of indeed, how powerful I am ~ as an awakened, strong, wise , spiritual woman ~ and the calling to awaken other sisters to this same realization.

Iran continues to develop uranium for what they claim is only for nuclear power capabilities. It is clear that they are developing for nuclear bomb capabilities. The lack of the Obama administration taking action against this madman is very frightening. We are to complacent with the Islamist extremist! No one believed that Hitler would do what he did, and look what happened! Look beyond the 10,000,000 people he murdered; the World was very close to being ruled by Hitler! The Islamist extremist have the same goal - they are evil! Muslims are good people, but they must stand up and speak against the Islamist radicals that tarnish the Muslim people.

This year marriage equality became very important to me. I've always cared about it, but with marriage becoming legal in NY and then being asked to perform the marriage ceremony for my friends Patrick and Christoffer, I find myself being much more politically active on that front. It has become a significant moral issue for me, one that I am prepared to raise money to support and one that I do not shy away from in the potential dilemmas it brings up in my personal relationships. Yes, I am prepared to sever (or loosen) ties with friends or family who don't see this the same way. I would prefer to change hearts and minds, but at the end of the day it's more important to me to support the cause of right than it is to know bigots.

Obama's support of Gay rights, and women's rights has made a huge impact on my life because talking about it with the people around me have open their eyes to injustices. I am a good example to my peers that stereotypes are nothing but rumors. People who've known me for years realize that they know me for who I am not for the definition that society gives me. I think I've actually been able to open my fathers eyes a little bit each time by debunking those hurtful Obama bashing myth emails. I'm sure he's not the best president ever, but the alternative is worse for the American people.

This election season with Obama and Romney has been so full of ugliness and incivility. I have learned, finally, not to discuss politics with people who hold views that are so contrary to my own. Nothing comes from it but more polarity and anger. People generally do not change their views. The best way to express political fever is to vote, to write our reps, and to get involved on a local level in the issues we care about.

The economy's down turn. My husband had a wonderful job he truly love and enjoyed his co-workers. With the bad economy his job became stagnant and we were not sure if he should hold on or look for a new one before being forced to look for one. We prayed and asked God for direction and after a couple of months he just happened to walk into a bank where he knew someone and they had an opening. They told him the job was his. It has been such a relief to have a reliable job again! It definately goes to show you GOD IS IN CONTROL OF ALL THINGS and ANSWERS PRAYERS!

I watched the ongoing Occupy movement with great interest (and occasional annoyance), especially as the winter months tested its participants' resilience. I'm a serious lefty, but I have doubts about the effectiveness of public protest in the U.S. today. As such, I was frustrated by reports from people I know that little signs of authorities acknowledging the movement's existence -- a city government giving up its order to evacuate a public space, or a police crackdown on a crowd -- meant it was "working" somehow. I really worked, mentally, to see the situation from their perspective. They didn't exactly convince me. But, in thinking about the force police units exerted on the protesters, and then extrapolating to the way police patrol my own neighborhood, the hidden-in-plain-view surveillance network in major U.S. cities, the lingering stop-and-frisk issues here in New York and the experiences I and friends and acquaintances have had with law enforcement, I've come to realize we're living in a police state in which we're at the mercy of law enforcement. Any of us civilians can have our lives wrecked in 30 seconds, and we would be powerless -- considered criminals, even -- to resist. It happens. This year was extremely illuminating in revealing how often it happens. I used to empathize with the work police do, but now I'm apprehensive. What can a few good apples in the force do to mitigate a corrupt system? I feel less free than I did last year, and I feel less than safe.

Gilad Shalit came home. Terrorist attacks against Jews and Israelis, in France and Bulgaria.

I've found the Syrian civil war so disturbing and horrifying. I don't know the best way of assisting from an international-relations standpoint, but as a human being, it's grotesque to see these horrors happening while we stand by.

The October 31st "snowpocalypse" was rather devastating here at home and has taken most of the year to clean up and repair. That being said, this was hardly a Katrina hurricane disaster nor the continuing struggle to rebuild from something like that long after the news crews and caring donors have gone home. Nor was it the BP oil spill with the other sorts of long-lasting effects to human lives as well as the environment, most of which are unknown. Et cetera. All world events impact all of us in some way shape or form - mostly we have no way of knowing what the impact is. For this reason, I believe it is important to simply live your life the best way you know how, knowing that you will influence others even in the smallest ways. And I believe it is important to not become jaded and immune to news of suffering anywhere, whether it is here in the US or elsewhere in the world. It is, however, important to have some balance. Regardless of how I might feel about world events, my family comes first and foremost above all such things.

The passage of CAab12, a bill extending foster care services to youth beyond their 18th birthdays impacted me quite a bit. It was affirming and encouraging, giving me the sense that there are people in the world that care about making a difference in the lives of our young people.

Whenever rockets are launched into Israel it affects me. I love Israel and I want to see peace in my lifetime.

The violence in Mexico has made me particularly sad. People have been saying for years how dangerous it is there. And I have always defended the country. I am sad that I can't anymore.

Fukushima - poisoned the globe and changed my relationship to the dangers of nuclear power. It is still contaminating the world's food supply...

Five children in my community died this year either through suicide or over dose (suicide?). I hug my children tighter. I cherish every moment with them. And I find time to engage them in meaningful talks. I try to be present for them. Even when I don't want to be.

Abortion. It has made me supersensitive to the topic and very sad for all the children.

The Olympics in Lyndon. It was amazing to see the atheletes compete. I especially remember the woman's vault event. A young lady approached the vault, did her flip and landed badly(oooh) head, face first. I saw fear and doubt creep into the other gymnists' after seeing their competitors landing. I saw the girls courage after witnessing the fall. I kept thinking this is true courage.

An event that has impacted me? I don't think it's quite happened yet... I think the election could possibly change a lot of what is going on in our country. I hope Obama wins, but if that happens, I hope he can actually make more happen these next 4 years.

I am really coming up blank. I think I have been so focused on home and hearth, the only events that permeate me fully are those that impact my family and family security. I say this not out of smugness or a lack of compassion, but because it is reflective of where I am personally right now, in good ways and in ways that are, at times, clearly myopic.

I think that all the political agendas that have come out during this election year has affected me- even though I am not planning on voting for President Obama, I find that I defend the ridiculous rumors I hear about him. The real issue is that I now question things much more and am not so ready to believe what everyone else does. Also, the tragedy of Trayvon Martin really affected me because I went through it with my students and saw how it affected their view of police, government, and people based on different aspects of the situation. In the last few years it seems that the power of social media is growing so much. Significant events happen or change because of the cry of a people who are heard through outlets like Facebook and Twitter. It's inspiring that technology can let us be involved in things that were previously out of our reach.

The disaster in Fukushima Japan. I wasn't there, but I have close ties to Japan and do have friends who live their. Fortunately they were uninjured, but it was still devastating and brought to light some interesting politics.

Mitt Romney's bullshit. Feeling grateful for Obama and really f*ing hope he wins again. He has to!

In the world? Not sure. Really, everything. I had never really thought too much about becoming a news reporter, but now I feel like I have an obligation to do what I can with the journalism skills I'm learning to be a voice to help the people. It's a bit ideological to say or think, but I want to be a journalist with a lot of integrity, and just thinking about the things that happen in the world and the chance that I could be the one to let people know about. I mean, that's a lot of power.

phew...what hasn't impacted me in some way that I know about.... I am both inspired and depressed by the magnitude of world events. as well as the magnitude of what I hear in the therapy room. One event...this year...I guess I'd say the legalizing of gay marriage and the gradual acceptance of gender queer people.

I can't think of any. I can't even really think of any world events. I really need to follow the news more closely and be more aware of things outside of my own sphere.

The Occupy Movement, especially occurring at the same time as I was working on Hair, definitely made me come up against difficult questions about why I think what I do, and (re)define some of my beliefs. It really made me question how much I embrace the rosy-history-tinted '60s, while having such uncertainty about the modern day equivalent. And made me realize how passive I'd gotten in relation to social justice. Also, the upholding of the ruling that Prop8 was unconstitutional. From there, I saw the play "8", which sort of reminded me, oh, wait, I care a lot about this. And made me want to get re-involved. And made me feel like there are ways the arts really can make a difference.

The many flare-ups in the Mideast have a new immediacy after my first trip to Israel this past April. I saw young Jews parading along Ben Yehuda Street, demonstrating for social justice for the Palestinians. But generally Israel and the Arabs seem so stuck in hardcore politics that it's hard not to give up hope for peace.

The Summer Olympics reinvigorated my passion for sports, and to find a job in sports. I watch sports or coverage of sports nearly every day, and I am motivated by these athletes and their commitment and sacrifice. This two-week event also reminded me of the importance of sports and its lessons in my life. If I am ever to find a lifelong parter, he will need to have a similar appreciation and understanding of sports, and its impact on my life.

When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Healthcare, I chose to follow it on Facebook rather than news sources. When I clicked "like" on "individual mandate upheld as a tax," a libertarian friend unfriended me. In the end, we friended each other back, but it made me realize that if I'm getting my news from a source were the vast majority of people I'm facebook friends with share my opinion, it's very important to me that I maintain contact with those who have different opinions.

I cannot pinpoint one specific event that has impacted me this year. I remain attuned to the election, and I find myself more interested in voting for President Obama than I thought. The journey through motherhood has taught me much about compassion and willingness to help out our fellow man than anything else. I am surprised that my social convictions have as much sway as they o.

OMG. The theater shooting in Aurora, CO, where 12 people died and dozens more were injured. Absolutely heartbreaking were the stories of loss, coupled with touching stories of heroes who did what they could to protect their loved ones. It made me realize that time can be short and that it is SO not a good idea to sweat the small stuff. We need to let our loved ones know they are loved every single day. Another thing: because a lunatic came to "Dark Knight Rises" in a costume (which turned out not to BE a costume), is that, too, going to forever change how we do things? Will people no longer be able to camp out in front of a theater to see a movie and then attend it in costume? I know I sound reeeally old when I write this but the safety I took for granted during my youth exists no more. Sometimes it feels as though everything comes with warning these days and is considered dangerous.

Olympics obvious thing in the way that it brought people together. First time in a long time that the major story hasn't been a major disaster, war etc. Demonstrated pride in this country. Somehow I was still scarred by the experience of trying and not achieving the chance to get a contract with them (was it a failure, I have told myself no and believe no - I did my best and did what I believed was right by the organisation) but seeing it on television was important. I was part of the generation inspired. If others can train and succeed ... hearing how Adrian Moorhouse went from an alright county swimmer to gold medal winner.

We kept on sending troops to Afghanistan. Which meant that one of my best friends got shipped over there. He is about two months away from returning. But now, whenever I see that soldiers were hurt or killed in Afghanistan my mind immediately goes to him. I check his facebook page, or try to find him on gchat. So far, so good. Thu-thu-thu.

The election this year is really impacting me because I'm finally 18 and now that I have the opportunity to vote, I really feel like I have a voice and the fate of our future is partly in my hands.

Passing of Adrienne Rich -- end of an era, of a fabulous person, and regret of not being more plugged into her community. Also the xenophobic anti-Arab and anti-Immigrant incitement and violence in Israel -- as a Jew, it hurts me to see other Jews hurting people in the (perverted) name of our tradition and our people.

Political craziness and division in the country and the world. Makes me feel a little hopeless about our ability as humans to come together for good. I worried about this last year (and wrote about it) and it seems worse this year...how can this be?!

The rash of gun violence in US workplaces and elsewhere makes me wish we would finally take gun control seriously in this country.

Can't think of any other than the dollar has risen against the rupee and finally seems to be coming back down.

I am realizing that THIS election is impacting me more than years past. Knowing that health care & my BODY is on the line is so scary. I want to make a difference. Even though I am only one person, I can still use my voice to vote in the upcoming election.

Paul Ryan's financial plan. to take money from social services to fix the deficit, leaving the rich under-taxed. like health insurance companies, i thought Ryan was a joke. Take money from the poor and leave the overly rich overly? --- Health insurance companies, who I'd viewed as Helper Guys --- they can deny coverage to someone if they're ill?! how is that even a logical sentence? it's not. critical brain bleed: that men get to decide, and continue to decide if women have the right to choose? the right to birth control? ...that women who're raped don't get pregnant? that womens wombs are smart enough to eject rapist sperm, but we womb-landlords are denied our right to choose what happens to all of our girly parts? ...the difference between the US stance and other foreign countries with oppressive laws against women, including genital mutilation and death is only a matter of degree.

I can't say that there were any specific events that "impacted" me this year. I think about the middle east struggles; they'll have to work it out (of course, with a little of our government sticking their nose in it). I think about the Sikh killing and it baffles me that we have such ignorant and intolerant people in this country; at some point, I hope they will peacefully exit this world. The election between Obama and Romney is coming up. Anything can happen there. If Obama wins and we still have a split congress, gridlock will remain. If Romney wins and there is a split congress, gridlock will remain. If Romney wins and there is a Republican House and Senate, well, then this nation will have the opportunity to see how far down the rabbit hole they are willing to go for their own gain. If Obama wins and we end up with a Democratic House and Senate, hopefully he learned his lesson that Republicans (in their current state with the Tea Party and Right-wing Christians, the reasonable Republicans have scarcely a voice in the party) just don't want to play well if they lose. We'll see.

Brutal war in Syria continues to sadden me. May all beings be happy.

The explosion of "Occupy" Groups. People are taking back their power.

The riots against the "Innocence of Muslims" vodep. It made me very ashamed of the Muslim community and that I might be associated with it. I have always had very strong personal faith but have never connected well with Muslim communities, these responses further cemented my belief that I've done the right thing, but also made me sort of sad because I realize that I definitely don't identify with the Muslim world, it's pretty lonely.

My favorite soccer team, Corinthians, won the Copa Libertadores da América for the first time. It sounds silly, but I think it impacted me so much because my uncle also loved this team and he didn't live to see them winning.

Mostly upset about Monsanto and Internet freedom issues. Nothing new but we have to keep fighting.

THe Stupid Movie that was made about Mohammed. I can't believe how crazy the radicle Muslims are. They sent global shock waves of fear throughout the world! They are violent people.

I think I have been really out of touch with the world this past year. With family and business travel, I just have not been paying as much attention as I used to. And you know, I am not sure that it is a bad thing...

Once again, haven't really been paying attention to the world. And this time, can't even bullshit anything.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster is still heavy on my mind even if it didn't happen this past year. It is a scary reality of this century.

The bomb threats at Pitt and the Colorado movie theater shootings. These two events may not have "affected" the world - but they affected mine - and certainly the region they were in. In a small but powerful way - the continuous and almost predictable bomb threats at Pitt united the students and challenged us to remain living our lives, instead of fearing them. After the Colorado shooting, many people I know were afraid to go see movies, fearing another shooting could occur at any time - any place - at any theater. However, that's no way to live life - that's not living at all. That's hiding. And I refuse to hide from all the good in this world, simply because there's bad in it. I want the world to know and embrace these words from Ghandi: "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." We must not forget all the good people in this world - who are doing good for it.

With the election coming up, I've found myself getting drawn into politics. I never cared about it much before, but I've discovered I have some very strong opinions on many of the issues being discussed.

It's relatively recent--the death of Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens. I don't know that I'd ever heard of him prior to reports of his death but it just struck me as so senseless and an alarming view into the fragility and hostility of the region, not to mention the danger that remains surrounding religious extremism--that goes for our country as well. Of course there are all kinds of conspiracy theories abounding, and Republicans are trying to make this a case against Obama's foreign policy, but the heart of the matter remains to me, how can we move forward when there is so much that continues to hold us back. And will there ever be push back from those folks in the world for whom religion is not an excuse for violence and hatred?

Uranium mining at the Grand Canyon. It took me to Havasupai, where I started to realize what type of person I really want to become.

The civil unrest in syria, the ongoing war and genocide around the world. It all has an impact on me because I feel powerless to stop it and feel guilty about complaining about my first world problems when millions around the world do not have access to basic human rights.

More than ever I am impacted by friends & family who are so righteous about their political views. They seem to believe that it is immoral and wrong to vote Republican. They post things on Facebook that are hateful (towards Republicans) that they wouldn't declare on a street corner.

The political campaign has really caught my attention. I've always followed the presidential elections, but never have I felt so strongly about the direction the country is headed. I bought a practice LSAT test earlier this week, because I think I want to go to law school. Seeing Miss Representation was another straw on the camel's back leading me to want to actually DO SOMETHING.

That moronic Senator (Todd Akin) and his comment about "legitimate rape." Fuck him, man. Seriously. It was another thing that helped contribute to my growing feminism, my growing sense that something is really fucking wrong with the way women are treated. (Keep it up, self!)

This year's elections have really turned me off to the way politics is done here. I'm tired of the meanness, the sniping, the attacking, the demonizing, the just plain crap going on. I'm sad that the concept of a "loyal opposition" has been tossed out the window and that disagreement is more often than not equated with disloyalty - and that religious fervor has permeated politics so negatively that compromise is becoming nearly impossible.

Recognizing the worlds affairs I am grateful that I am healthy and make enough money to take care of myself Radar and Gamine and some friends now and then. Not one world event has moved me, specifically that I can think of now. The wars in the Middle East, the drought and famine and the lack of discernment of what is important to many people have made me wake up and find what is important to me.

I would have to say watching the happenings in Syria. I fundamentally don't understand how we are standing by and not taking action when it's clear women and children are being affected. The outright brutality demonstrated has been appalling. While I agree we need to look after our own, there is something to be said for the greater good. I think by standing by and soft balling this we are damaging the ethics and morals that make up this great nation.

The Arab Spring. The populations of the despotic Arabic countries uniting to overthrow repressive regimes; and they utilized social media to do it. It affirms my belief in the innate goodness of Human Nature.

There have been a couple events this year that had a huge impact on me: the fires in Colorado this summer and the Aurora shooting. Both were so terrifying but the response was also inspiring. I've never been more proud to be a Coloradan than I was after this summer. They also proved to be a catalyst for a big personal change: Exploring conversion to Judaism. It had been an offhand interest for a while, but during the fires, I prayed every day for other people and for rain, which was the first time I'd ever prayed for something that didn't directly benefit me. Then when the shooting happened, I knew that I needed the comfort of God, but I also knew that I didn't believe Christianity anymore, so I began to seek out a Jewish community.

North Carolina passed an anti-same-sex marriage (and anti-civil union) amendment to the state constitution. So terribly disheartening! The silver lining, if you can call it that, was seeing how my city stood in strong support of love for all. I know it's just a matter of time until this issue becomes moot and everyone has the right to marry whomever s/he loves, but it sure was upsetting to see how far we are from that, here and now.

The wildfires in Colorado Springs were so emotional for me. I kept feeling disproportionately overwhelmed and grief-stricken by it. It's as if the last shred of that life, which I had been clinging to, went up in flames. In a way, it was cleansing for me, though. It seems that I more fully embraced life here after that.

This year's elections have made me really think about what leadership means to me and what kind of leader I want to have running the country. In the past, I had a tendency to hold people in positions of authority to impossibly high standards of honesty, accuracy, skill, consistency - in short expecting them to be flawless. Or at the very least, better and faster than me in everything. My own experience in leadership over this past year has helped me to see that being a leader is being an ordinary (very fallible) person with an extraordinary commitment to a purpose. That's what I'm looking for in a president - extraordinary commitment. I see that in Obama. I don't see it in Romney. I hope that enough of my fellow citizens are committed enough to have their voices heard so we have a leader for the next four years who will give his all.

I've been more emotionally affected by people being killed around the world this year. It feels different to hear a story about someone in a conflict or someone who has been murdered. Not that I ever understood these people, but I find myself asking why more and not understanding. It's harder to hear and ignore. But, the bigger issue is what am I going to do about it?

so many, but the first that comes to mind is the civil war in syria. all needless death and killing saddens me. my heart yearns for the middle east to become relatively nonviolent and free, like europe for example. there' s just no good reason for it to be this way and i anger at assad's regime, the terrorist organizations, the repressive governments (including my own israel), and the ignorant, unfeeling masses who can't seem to internalize the simple golden rule - treat others as you would want to be treated.