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

I broke up with my boyfriend of 8 months, less than two weeks ago. I am so thankful for the ritual of teshuvah, which gave me the route to forgive him and to tell him that I forgive him. I think I genuinely want to have him in my life--this is the first time that I haven't felt resentment and scorn for someone who has broken up with me. I just feel sad, while knowing that it wasn't right. I'm not taking it personally, somehow. I think that's a big step for me. Going on promising dates makes it easier to forgive.

All the craziness going on with Brownback has turned this state into a laughingstock. I really hope he gets booted out next year.

The shootings in Newtown; it made me realize how vulnerable even the youngest members of our society are.

To be honest, I live a protected life in Denmark ergo none of the past years major events have had any relay impact on my life, unfortunately.

The earthquakes around the world - the level of devastation is horrifying. The fact that people picked up their lives and moved on - inspiring.

Diane Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida on her 4th try which shows how important it is to keep pursuing goals regardless of world opinion. What an inspiration.

Syria, but at my age, this is nothing new. Just the name of the country changes. And as usual, Israel is in the center.

The Queen's Jubilee has triggered my love of my home country. Oh how I wish I lived there again. The beauty and the history is unparalled.

The Boston Marathon bombing was a frightening event. I had loved ones that were attending the marathon. I've never lost anyone very close to me. I still remember feeling my heart drop when i heard the news.

The continuing turmoil everywhere -- the Middle East, racism in American, Syria slaughters... I feel hopeless.

The Boston Marathon bombing shocked me to the core. It reminded me of 9/11, I guess the shock and the loss , maybe cause of the TV coverage. I guess because life is so precious and every day activities i have participated in and places I have been just can't be safe anymore. At the same time I see that we have so much good that comes out at times like these There is some hope for humanity

The war in Iraq, and the (upcoming) fight in Syria made me thing a LOT this year... Exactly how long are Americans supposed to bleed, to defend other nations, who have the means to defend themselves?? I cannot understand how we get involved in these conflicts... There is nothing in Afghanistan worth the price of a fresh turd; and definitely nothing worth one American life... I think that if the Government simply came out and said "Hey, there's something in Afghanistan that we need, and we're going to take it", I'd accept it a bit better... But what we have now is "These poor people need help; we're going to save them"... Something very wrong with this..

The discovery of the three girls that had been kidnapped for ten years. Two of the girls were teenagers and one was in her twenties when they were taken. I'm already so paranoid about someone taking my babies and it scares me to know that the older they get the more freedom they will have the less likely I will be around to protect them.

The shooting at Newtown. I have a child, and I have always loved children and worked with them, and the thought of these beautiful creatures being gunned down in fear was too much for me to bear. I couldn't sleep for weeks, and I couldn't stop obsessing about it. I have a friend whose daughter was at that school, and she had to calm her classmates down while they listened to their friends being murdered. I sent her an age-appropriate book to help her cope. She loved it so much that her Mom asked me to send a bunch more. I felt blessed to be able to help some children who were affected. I can no longer engage in discussions of "gun rights". I have learned that I would not hesitate to stand between a child and a gun, and I would be proud to die protecting one.

Healthcare news always impacts me no matter what it is about for the reason being that as someone with a chronic Illness I am so knee to know the word on the street about new medications, treatments, or diagnoses for anything related to my illness. I jump at the bit when information about healthcare is released in hopes that my premiums will someday go down.

The reshuffling of the Australian Labor Party. Sounds weird, but it got me interested in Aussie politics, and helped me realise no one party is infallible. Tonight is the election and while I really hope Rudd stays in power, I'm also preparing to be disappointed in his party in the years to come.

It may seem small in relation to other events, but recently I saw something broadcast during a Giants baseball game that touched my heart. One of the sideline "ball dudes" tossed a foul ball up into the stands for a young boy, however it was intercepted by a teenage boy and his friends two rows in front. The younger boy was totally devastated and sat down, head bowed, crying. Just as the sportscasters started to comment about this, another teenage boy tapped the younger on his shoulder, handed him a brand new baseball and then returned to his own seat several rows away. This gesture was so self-less and immediate, totally turning around a sad experience into something wonderful! It was great realizing that in our society of so much "me/mine" that there are young people who think more of others than they do themselves.

I am 70 years old and I do not think I have ever seen such weather as what we had this year. I hope this coming winter will be better. I really do not like not knowing what will happen.

The uprising in Turkey in May 2013. My mother lived in Turkey in the late 1960s, and so my whole life I've heard about the friendliness and openness of Turkish people, of how she loved the language and the culture. In 2004 (and then again in 2009) I moved to Berlin, Germany, where there is a substantial Turkish population. In addition, I have a friend from my graduate school days who lives in Istanbul and who is Turkish. It is fair to say I'm biased toward Turkish people and culture. So when I heard about their bravery, creativity and that they seized the opportunity to express themselves politically this year, I was moved. And frightened for them. And I wish so much that my mother's dementia didn't keep us from discussing all these things at length...

The marathon bombing in Boston was horrific. So much hatred in this world and so much justifiable fear now permeates our actions. We have become governed by caution and fear. Spontaneity is no longer an option yet I resist.

de nieuwe koning in België. Ik geloof dat dit een nieuw begin kan zijn in de solidariteit tussen Vlaanderen en onze Waalse kameraden. Die solidariteit als basis voor het behoud van de eenmaking en als tegenwicht tussen afscheiding. Zeker in het kader van de beslissende, nakende verkiezingen.

I have been impacted by a video I saw of a father in Syria who thought his little boy had been killed by sniper fire but was reunited with his little son when the boy was found alive. It made me cry and showed me a very personal instance of the appalling awfulness of the war in Syria. It made me feel that more bombing cannot possibly be the best answer. Somehow, someone has got to have the courage to share peacefully.

The intensity of the weather events of the year affected me and my local friends as well as many friends spread across the country. Flood, fire, mega-storms, crazy temperatures: everyone is dealing with extremes. I wonder what the coming years will bring.

I've been too insular and self absorbed for anything to have impacted on me personally. Yes, I've kept a close eye on the news and events. Yes, Ive been interested, but there's nothing that has made a direct difference to me. Yet.

Hurricaine sandy , devastation , I got a new basement out of it , Homeowners and updated the bathrooms while I was at it. Impacted me but not negatively

The Newtown school shootings. The portraits of the kids who died and the teachers who died trying to protect them are indelibly engraved in my mind. This event also highlighted the need for stronger gun controls and mental health assessments.

The bombing in Boston was a frightening time. My daughter lives there-far from home and me. It reinforced for me how cut-off I am from her, from being able to just stop in, check on her, drop off a surprise...How much I miss her.

The bombings at the Boston Marathon affected me on many levels. First the shock and fear to realize that celebrations of striving and camaraderie can instantly change to horror. Then the empathy and sadness for all who were directly or peripherally harmed. Then the overwhelming gratitude to understand that so many people are GOOD, willing to help and open their hearts. Lastly the understanding that although lives are forever changed, their new directions can converge to help heal the world.

The striking down of DOMA in the Supreme Court this past summer. I knew that I would finally receive equal federal rights when I got married. I went to the Supreme Court on my lunch break to check out the scene and almost started crying tears of joy. This event helped me to become more open about my own sexuality and was an incredible milestone in the LGBT equality movement.

I was in New York during Hurricane Sandy and was stuck there from returning to Philadelphia for a few days. In the end I got back but was worried about everyone else who had placed to go.

Hurricane Sandy here in the New York New Jersey area impacted many friends and family although i was only without power for a few hours. I felt both grateful and terrified all at the same time. I felt some embarrassment for feeling fortunate I wasn't hurt by this catastrophe while others were devastated. I have marveled at the resiliency of others. I am humbled by the power of nature. I see from this event in our lives that anything can happen anytime and it isn't personal. It's life

The way in which countries hesitate to stop the war in Syria. Mostly because my daughter was shaken by the fact that so many children (and adults) have left their home/ country and the life like they knew it.

The Boston Marathon bombings that happened in April this year seriously impacted me. I couldn't believe that such a horrific event could happen so close to me. I am fortunate that no one I know was seriously injured or hurt by the blast, but the fact that it was a very real possibility is absolutely terrifying. Had I not celebrated the Marathon every year since living in Boston, and had I not been living just a few short blocks away, I don't know if I would feel the same way, but Boston has been my home for 10 years! Boston Strong. April 15, 2013.

It seems to me that nature is getting back at us for the way that we,as human beings, have abused the earth. It also seems to me that we are not learning from these events and continue to rape the natural resources and continue to hurt each other. The cruelty just seems to go on and escalate.

La Jornada Mundial de la juventud en Rio. El hecho de que MILLONES de jovenes Catolicos se reunieron a celebrar y alabar a Dios e slo mas maravilloso que hay. <3

The ongoing problems in the financial world hit close to home this year when my husband's employer ran into difficulties - they're selling the part of the company where he works to try and recoup their losses. He's highly specialist and if he lost his job as a result of this, we'd have to move a long way away. This turned my world upside down - I suddenly was faced with the uncertainty of possibly having to sell our house, move away from family and find a new job for me. It's made me grow up.

Hurricane Sandy hit long Island hard. We were fine, lost power for a week, schools closed which made the rest of the year hectic (no midterms). Overall, I felt it really helped more people to be concerned about global warming. Why do we always have to experience disaster before political will emerges? I know, I know... we are all victims of our own immediate needs. I pray for leadership. The trial of George Zimmerman made me disgusted with a system that can't see the forest for the trees. A boy like Liam is DEAD!! Yet 6 women could not find him justice. I hate, hate the gun culture, I dont' get these people.

I've always supported the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community since I was a young girl, and now that the world is slowly not only giving them equal rights, but allowing them the right to get married, it makes me very happy.

There certainly is a lot going on in the world today. I must say I am impacted by the war in Syria and how brutal this bastard is. I realize how alone we are as individuals. It is a stark reality that the common person has little standing in this system we have developed. I have to believe in G_d because G_d is the common persons only hope. He/She is the only answer to a system that is so callous that it would allow innocent children to be gassed. There has to be something bigger than this.

Given my line of work, the death of Margaret Thatcher was very significant this last year. A number of my colleagues were her compatriots and visibly seeing the impact and sorrow her passing had on them made me think about how much she inspired people. I don't feel quite the same inspiration in our current leader and it made me feel a bit jealous in a way - as I have a job in politics as I believe in the cause. I hope that my enthusiasm can in national politics can be revived a bit. My move to more local politics is proving to be very enjoyable on the other hand and really provides me with that feeling that I am part of a process that really does guide society and change things. You can't put a price on that in terms of job satisfaction.

The shooting in Sandy Hook definitely impacted me this past year. I was horrified by the fact that a single person could kill 26 people - 20 of the them children. As I looked at the faces and names of these little kids on the news and internet, I was just so heartbroken...5 and 6 year olds that never even had a chance to start their lives. They could have had families and jobs and children of their own one day, but they never had the chance. Innocent lives were stripped away far too soon, and it saddened me. I still believe those families and loved ones are mourning the loss of their children and their friends. I hope that when I see this in a year from now, they will have found some sort of peace. And in a year from now, I will still pray for them.

The chemical killings of Syrian children and adults. The Middle East keeps getting worse -- and I worry that Israel is in the middle of it all.

Hurricane Sandy. Personally, it completely ruined my families business and we thought it was the end, it was devastating (the water engulfed our space, taking with it, all electronics and products). We were not sure how we would survive. Luckily, with all the help both physically and financially from friends, strangers and arts organizations, we are on our feet and doing fine.

The shooting in New Town, Conn. last December brought up a whole world of feelings for me. On one hand, I was horrified--how terrible that such a thing could happen--specially to children. It started me thinking how fragile life is, how we never know what might happen, and how I wish I could be certain my (adult) children and grandsons are safe. On the other hand, I was appalled at the nonstop media coverage that struck me more as being promotional and self-serving, than useful. In the end, I'm not sure we learned anything valuable.

War in syria, uprising in Egypt, financial disaster in Greece...I feel like there will be a world war 3!

Marriage equality on a national and a global level is finally becoming a reality. Being Canadian I had, not so wisely, assumed that equality existed everywhere, when I moved to the States I was quite surprised that wasn't the case. Slowly this is becoming a reality, and it's about bloody time, such a basic notion, and so much fuss, seems ridiculous.

My meditating during Elul made me realize that I needed to become more active in social change, after going to the 1963 commemorative march - I'm ready to demonstrate & write letters if we bomb Syria

Obama reelected. Why on Earth he was put back in office, ug! His policies and work arounds definitely impact me and my family and not in the best way.

Hurricane Sandy, October 2012. I recognized through it that I was very, very lucky to live somewhere that felt actually relaxing--all I did was sit in my apartment in Park Slope and watch storm coverage on the local news and I didn't fear at all that I would be interrupted from doing that--because so many people experienced the exact opposite of my experience. I feel guilty even writing that because the difference between my experience of Sandy and other people's is stark and obnoxious. I am obnoxious. But also when we took in Seth who did experience that devastation in Long Beach, and also when we made friends with our neighbors' parents who had to evacuate their home in Staten Island, I felt further indebted to Sandy for allowing those connections to happen. Even though it was a terrible tragedy I felt a lot of gratitude as a result of Hurricane Sandy and so I feel thankful for it, or at least for the impact it had on me this year. I hope it, or something like it, does not happen again this year.

The 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, jr.'s speech "I Have a Dream." I remember when it was given and the climate of racial relations of the time. Part of me says, "We made such a move forward." and another part says, "We could have done better." To have this and the Zimmerman trial in the same year just shows how much more work we have to do.

This year was the Boston marathon bombing . Hurricane sandy, lots if Egypt drama. Obama was reelected!

One week in June, the political for very personal. Gay marriage, adoption, voting rights, and police harassment, all things about which I care deeply, were all in the news at once. I was heartbroken at some of the news and thrilled by other parts. The roller coaster of emotions that I went through had the surprising effect of reconnecting me to my creative side, and I wrote about it at length. I posted what I wrote on Facebook and on an email list, and was really gratified by the ways it seemed to resonate with people; it made me feel like maybe I do have something useful or interesting to say about the world, after all.

The big event that could affect me is the recognition of LGBT marriage in the U.S. I grew up thinking I could never get married, and probably made a lot of choices based on that. Now I'm having to rethink those assumptions, and if I want to make any changes to adjust to that.

La muerte de Chavez. Me puso muy triste, me deja la sensación de que solo los buenos mueren

Detroit filing for bankruptcy made me question deeply for the first time the whether capitalism was continuing to be effective.

The Boston Bombing definitely impacted me the most this year. It just came out of nowhere and I was really scared. I was thankful to be surrounded by good friends and receive phone calls from people back home, but it was a very scary event that took place. It reminded me a lot of 9/11 which some may say was something that I was too young to understand at the time, but I understood perfectly. With the bombings, I was merely too close for comfort. It happened down by Copley Square and I was on Boylston.

Syria, Egypt, Mali, Tunisia.......

The possibility of war with Syria and tensions with Egypt have me worried. I leave for Israel in a little over a month, and I don't know what to expect. It is scary.

The death of my friend from pancreatic cancer, Who survived 5 years and died at 53 My Mom died at age 81 from pancreatic cancer two Months after diagnosis. Confusing and inspiring At the same time. The advances made, and Someone starting so much earlier. Life just isn't that simple. So many of us around are fighting, surviving With gaining time. Individual yet globally An epidemic that we don't understand. Genetics, environmental toxins

The Syrian civil war, chemical weapons attacks. Now perhaps the US Air Force may make some surgical strikes against the Syrian dictator. This has caused even more anti-Obama fury. I am passionately anti-Obama, but not this stridently.

The George Zimmerman trial is what comes to mind. I understand why he was acquitted, but it was hard to take nonetheless. In general, I don't believe that more punitive measures are better, but the stark reality of the racial injustices in our criminal justice system were so evident in the decision. In some ways, I was glad for how obvious it was, though, because it means that there were more open conversations about race in America than there have been for some time. And when you put this together with the work I've been doing this year with my teaching about race group, it makes me feel more hopeful that I might be able to teach my seminar in such a way that my students might be able to at least begin the process of unpacking their privileges and understanding race in America. I believe the only way anything is going to change is through open and honest dialogue, and I want to do my part.

The new pope who was elected. I was impressed by how he lives his faith and cares about the poor. Made me realize my own judgment towards the poor in my work. I am impressed also about how he lives simply and does not put himself in a box above people. I would like to put more of my own spiritual ideals to practice. I would like to be less concerned about impressing people and being known. I would like to be a person who focuses on listening, supporting, and bringing out the best in other people.

I am very scared about America going into Syria. I feel we have made this mistake before.

The Boston Marathon Bombings affected me deeply. It was a senseless act of violence against innocent people. I wanted to sign up for a million runs just to shove it to them, to show them that we will not be affected or scared. The senseless murder of innocents is unforgivable.

Diana Nyad's famous swim from Cuba to FL taught me that age is truly just a number...never give up on your dreams! I am so glad she didn't quit after her four previous attempts...We all have to pick ourselves up & keep going even when it seems impossible.

The prospect of our country doing missile strikes in Syria definitely upsets me. Mostly, I am tired of us being the policemen for the world. I'm not sure how limited it would be and would hate to see any more of our young people sacrificed, and, less importantly, we cannot afford another war, limited or not, when there's so much need right here. Why are we so concerned about human rights and life in other countries when some of our own citizens are suffering? Why is it so important that our country is number 1 in the world?

The advent of Obamacare is really going to make a difference for me as an independent professional. I've been paying attention and looking forward to being able to pay for health insurance on my own.

Climate change. Bloody hot summer kept us cooped up inside—almost like a weird type of cabin fever.

Benghazi is easily my most important event of the year, perhaps the most important event since the first 9/11. It seems that few realize Benghazi happened on that date too, and the odds against that being a coincidence, no matter what the Administration says, are 365 to 1. The resulting coverup is arguably responsible for Obama's re-election, as I doubt it would have happened were the truth known to the public at large. The return of this man to office is having what I regard as devestating, and perhaps fatal, results on the nation I love and I am angry.

The Boston Marathon bombings weighed heavily on me for awhile. I felt like it signalled a failure for all of us as human beings and how we see each other as separate but really are all connected.

The chemical attack in Syria. Hugely impacting as I was living in Israel and studying the Israel-Arab conflict.

The sandy hook shootings made me want to help people with mental illness and make the lonely feel more wanted. It was a horrible and heart wrenching time.

Russia's new law on "gay propaganda" which basically makes it illegal to be gay in Russia. There are several countries in the world with similar and even more strict laws but this one really struck home because of the upcoming winter Olympics in Sochi. The IOC has still yet to act on this matter the safety of hundreds of Olympic athletes from all over the world is in danger. It is still my opinion that the IOC needs to come to a swift agreement on safety for LGBT athletes and spectators or they need to move the Olympics some place safer immediately. As a lesbian, and a huge fan of the Olympics I am deeply concerned about this matter.

The Holocaust. That may sound odd, but I have my reasons. I went on The March of the Living, a trip to Poland and Israel, and it changed my life. I learned about the Holocaust from survivors and visited the camps that they were tortured in. It was horrible and incredible at the same time. I learned the true importance of treating other people with dignity and respect just as humans should be treated. I will never forget. Never.

Right now Obama is speaking with congress about putting troops in Syria, because they used chemical weapons in their civil war. He made the threat (if they use chemical weapons, we will intervene) and because he made it publicly, now he has to follow through to save face. But I just don't understand it. We don't need another war. We don't need innocent people risking their lives. It's not even for our country. I know how vain that sounds, but it's true --we're not protecting ourselves in this war, it's just people giving up their lives to act as the world policemen. And, while noble, I can't support that. I fear that before I graduate, our country may be at war again. I hope that isn't the case. This has impacted me because for the first time, I think I can actually understand the implications this will have. I was too young when we went to war under Bush. But now I truly get it, and it horrifies me. Please don't let it happen.

The NSA spying revelations of Edward Snowden triggered a strong emotional response in me and made me truly passionate about politics in a way I had not been for a long time. This made me realize how much fatherhood has changed me. I no longer just consider how things will affect me, but how they will affect my son. My social conscience is greater than its ever been since my late teens and early twenties. When I think of the Snowden affair, I think of my father and his political activities as a young man in the 1950s and 1960s. What if Hoover's FBI had had access to NSA powers? Would my father have been blacklisted? Unemployable? In jail? Marginalized in a way that begat radicalism that would beget further scrutiny and risk of government reprisal? My son very well may follow in his grandpa's footsteps. I need to make the world safe for him to do so if he so chooses.

This was a national, not global event, but I think the school shooting in Connecticut had a huge impact on me this year. It happened right around my birthday, so I'm sure it will always be something I remember at that time, but it had a larger impact on me as a mother, a teacher, a person, and how we as a society deal when events like this happen. I have been astounded in the months since by people who think more guns in peoples' hands could be a possible solution to this problem, or that arming teachers and having guards roaming the halls of schools constantly would in any way keep us safer. I realized that I had a strong opinion regarding schools and safety and that I don't think tighter security will in any way make me, my children or anyone else's children any safer. Rather, common sense precaution. And more importantly, better mental health care for those with problems and stricter laws regarding guns and assault weapons.

The conflict in Syria, the new Pope, the anti-gay laws in Russia, the continuing attacks on the poor by the Republicans here in the states have all had an impact. It pains me that as human beings we divide the world into us v them. Them always being bad / evil / lazy, etc. We are all members of the same family and need to help each other so that each person can reach his / her potential.

The rape and death of a young woman in India was so disturbing. Crimes against women continue to happen in India and other 3rd world countries. It seems as though a bit of change is upon us with more laws being passed to punish. No woman deserves that...what a cowardly action by men...pure and evil violence.

the Zimmerman Trial in Florida - it was a travesty - it had the appearance of justice but it wasn't justice - the jury were 6 white women, probably all afraid of their husbands and friends if they had convicted Zimmerman and an incompetent prosecutor which the justice system probably connived to have take the case - SO we are not going to Florida this winter or ever until we see some significant changes there

Trayvon Martin shooting. There is no such thing as a post-racial society. It only makes the jobs of social justice advocates that much more pressing, and throws the realities of so many people's lives to a dangerous conclusion.

The DOMA being struck down was terribly exciting- it felt like a nation taking a big ol step in the right direction. However the Voter Rights Act was also struck down which was terrible. Wendy Davis being a badass to prevent archaic anti-women abortion laws was inspiring, but a frustrating display of government and male privilege. And that law passed also. I feel like we're taking a step back as a nation in regards to racisim and women's rights. Its very scary and disheartening. In the 90's, we had black folks on TV, and abortion wasn't up for debate. Now television would rather tell the Ice Trucker story on reality TV (another story about middle aged white dudes, also- boring) than invest in a show that shows not-white-dudes. I'm dissatisfied with our lack of progress.

The Boston bombing, along with the other similar awful things that have happened this last year. I've always felt like the eye of a storm in things like this - most of the people around me, their reaction is usually so full of anger and negativity. I've seen all of that again, and the internet can look like it's full of the same so much of the time, but I stumbled onto something else because of these things. People whose reaction was love, compassion, attempts to understand - towards everyone, both victims and perpetrators. Things that came before vengeance, revenge, hate, calls for death and mutilation. The pain that is part of these things can be channelled two ways, and I saw goodness across such a wide range of people. Awful things happened, but I saw people using that awfulness as a catalyst for a way to try and make things better.

Oh my goodness it sounds insular to say that I did not remember the world as the events in my life were so overwhelming. And yet I really have to think to come up with something. I think the yarning of the Warhol bridge effected me cause I really got involved and felt like I made a difference but was not in charge and that was nice. I also think the syrian mess has made me feel like I do not have the ability to change alot of the pain the world

The election of a female president in South Korea gave me new hope about political progress around the world.

So many to choose from! After moving to Michigan, I drove back to OH to vote for President Obama. Ohio ended up being the deciding state! Now, there is major political unrest in Syria. They used devastating chemical weapons against 1300+ of their own people. Yet the world does not want to respond. Obama is out there convincing other countries that it is the right thing to do. He is right. As much as I don't like war, it seems like an issue of integrity to do what he said he would do.

The civil war in Syria, because I feel horrible that any gov't is gassing people, like was done to Jews in WWII. On the flip side, they are Arabs killing other Arabs, which lessens their numbers- a good thing for Jews. How should the U.S. respond? I don't want the U.S. to lose more young people in another war, but want the U.S. to help protect Israel and the environment against Sarin gas getting out, but don't want the U.S. to send arms to Syria's rebels because they are connected to groups who hate Israel and will use those arms against Israel once their civil war is over. This is so complicated.

The Opening Ceremony of the Olympics in London. I felt the world unite in one evening. The cheer for all the athletes from all the countries. I was moved to tears. I felt connection and oneness. I wanted to hug everyone in that stadium. I felt love that night, surrounded by strangers from all over the world.

Barack Obama got re-elected. That was a good thing. While he's doing some questionable things in regards to Syria at the moment, oh my god, he's so much better than Romney and I really appreciate his efforts in regards to health care, student loans, marriage equality, women's issues, etc.

The SCOTUS decision on gay marriage was significant in that it was a piece of news that really made me happy. So much of what I consume, news-wise, is about someone hating someone else and doing violence. This one was all about love - letting people love who they want - and dignity - reinforcing that equality still matters in the United States.

I think the kidnappings or all these beautiful, amazing women (and children of both genders), having been held captive for years, being so severely abused .. oh, it really effects me on a deep level. How can anyone ANYONE feel they have the right to hold and hurt anyone else in the name of their 'disease' let alone their desire?!?! It blows my heart, mind, body AND soul! I pray constantly that this vibration be elevated by the collective CONSCIOUS of our world .. in the Middle East, in the Far East, and right here in the supposedly high-functioning respectable West, which is becoming increasingly transparent in its out-of-control states of dysfunction and corruption. It seems like so much is falling apart .. there has never been a more opportune and necessary time to hold a vision of Truth, Justice, Compassion, Fairness and Love in All People, Relationships, Systems and Things. I'm in .. are you?

This event is actually a series of events. Pres. Obama has turned on us. The people who elected him are no longer represented by him. He seems to be unconcerned by our agenda, because he does not have to think about reelection. How does this affect me? I feel betrayed every day. And I think it effects all of us Americans, because no one feels like our best interests are on anyone's radar.

we refinanced our mortgage. my husband talks about it all the time. the low interest rates have helped us feel more stable. So much more money goes toward principal that it makes us feel much more secure.

Once again I say...there were things happening outside my life this year?

The SCOTUS striking down DOMA - it has given me so hope for the direction this country is headed - the possibilities for equality that lie before us.

The re-election of Barack Obama has opened my eyes to the blatant racism in our congress. It was pretty awful the first four years, but the flip flops that the elected officials are doing are outrageous. We wonder how much racism has been in our lives all along and how much has affected us over our lifetimes. The people who scream for fairness are the ones who are most intolerant of others. Experiencing a bit of that by living in a foreign country has really made me aware of how people treat each other.

There have been many events that involve our natural environment. The oil spill, the earthquake in Japan and all the strange weather. Global warming is so real to me and so scares me and makes me so angry that I find myself just wanting to hug trees and ride my bike everywhere. I just wish more people felt this way.

I wish I could be a bit more global, but honestly what has impacted me the most this past year on a larger level is the huge push against women's rights that is going on in the American government right now. As a woman, and as a woman who has had to make use of the system for condoms, birth control pills, and, unfortunately, a medically-induced abortion, I have a vested interest in protecting ALL women's right to choose. It saddens me to think that I live in a time in this country's history when we have our first African-American president and we are finally making progress towards equal marriage rights for ALL citizens, yet there is this sudden push back against the rights of women. We've come so far as a country and as a people, and here are these schmucks trying to push us back into the Dark Ages.

Prop 8 died a justly deserved death. My friends are now, legally, equal to me, which is how it should have ben all along. The consequence? I see similar injustice everywhere now, racial, gender, economic, but I don't know how to help. I'm wrestling with notions of Doing Something, but I've no idea what Something is, and no idea were to even begin looking. In the meantime, I hope to continue opening m eyes, and my heart to the world and trying to put the ideals I've found a stronger connection to while standing with the marriage equality fight into practice on a daily, personal, basis by interacting more with my community, both in the neighborhood, and for my sons school. Where it'll lead me, I don't really know, maybe nowhere, maybe I'll become different. Either way, it's better than doing nothing and just waiting for an answer to be handed to me.

The increasing instability, unrest, and violence throughout the Middle East have impacted me and impacted every one. I am afraid we may now be on the brink of global conflict. I pray that my fears are unwarranted and I pray for reason, compassion, and peace to prevail.

Syria. Just awful to allow ourselves to be spectators on such human suffering.

The older I get the more I try to view all our actions through a larger lens of impact. It's not only about me -- it's about the interconnectedness of the world and how our actions have consequences and unintended consequences all over the world. One particular day I had a shocking reminder of the impact our stuff -- trash, unused objects, food remnants, have on our world. Lucy Walker came to speak to my organization. She described her work filming Waste Land and I remember the moment a lightbulb went off - we all have a role to play with the items we throw away. We are all in this together. It is a micro-issue really that those of us in the 'developed' world have access to so many items that we create so much waste. Beyond that it was a great reminder of how each of our actions - buying a new shirt, or throwing away an apple core instead of composting it, impact the world around us.

It's hard for me to think beyond the current events in Syria. I am so outraged that our president thinks that bombing a country to "...kill people to show that killing people is wrong" is the right thing to do. I voted for Obama and I'm sick about his macho posturing on this. I find myself walking around angry all the time and that is not a good place to be. I have to stop myself numerous times a day, take some deep breaths and try to pay attention to that over which I have some control.

The shootings at Sandyhook profoundly impacted me. My heart was sad for all of those who lost a loved one and all those who suffered. It also made me sad for our profession. Schools are really very safe places, but tragedies like this make people afraid to send their children to school and make school leaders turn their buildings into prisons to provide people with a sense of security. Our school's beautiful campus will eventually have a fence all the way around it to keep others out. It also means our school with over 2000 students will have only one door open to it. We become so reactionary that it changed the way we live.

Hearing about the gang rapes in India and the forced marriages in mnay palces has made my heart align with my sisters around the world. ALso Malala who was shot for going to school adn spoke at th UN really inspires me. It is hard but good to rememenr that sdo much inequlaity exists towards women, including in the us in terms of gender sterotyping, and setting women up as sexual objects who compete with each other, adn also to ahve hope that recognizing these situations, speaking out anc caring about how we thinka dn act are powreful things.

This year, I read 'Life and Death of the Great American School System'. It updated me on the important education policy of our time. Then, the Common Core Standards test results came out and showed how poorly our students performed on the tests. It impacted me because I began to learn more about how the Common Core was implemented. I started to realize that to implement policy, make important educational decisions, or otherwise impact kids, you should have NO education experience. The people making these decisions were consultants, lawyers and businesspeople. Very few educators seemed to be involved, and even the US Secretary of Education is not a teacher by training. It mobilized me to take action against the corporate takeover of education.

Boston marathon bombings. It showed how evil people can be. It makes no sense at all. It is scary to realize there are people out there like that.

The continued unrest in the Middle East over the past year has impacted the world in a most negative manner. From the killing of our embassy employees to the use of chemical weapons in Syria to continuing bombing in Iran and Iraq, to the ineffective dialogue between the US, Russia, and China, all have had a negative impact in how the world's people get along. Mistrust spreads between the nations as our own government appears not to trust one another to be able to do the right thing for the good of all. The American people are so sick of war, terrorism, secrets that we know nothing about, and the overall loss of trust and dignity in the human condition, that I believe a certain apathy is widespread throughout the US... I continue to be hopeful that we will begin dialogue to improve the overall condition of all peoples, that we avoid further killing of innocent people, and that we step up in this world to provide care to all in the most economically just way possible.

The crisis in Syria. I have started to wonder if we're not different to all those others who turned a blind-eye as the Jews were massacred by Hitler. It's a far more complicated situation with such complexities but it has hurt me to see how we, including myself, sit by and watch such atrocities without always acting.

The women being held captive in a home in Ohio for over ten years, and no one in the vicinity being aware of it. Are we afraid to get involved because of the danger to us, or we are oblivious of our surroundings, or we just do not care about our neighbors? I wonder if something was happening like this in my neighborhood, if I would notice?

Minnesota voted to accept same-sex marriage and the US Supreme Court threw out part of DOMA, so now all of my married GLBTQ friends finally have equality!

The shooting at the elementary school in Connecticut really saddened me. These were such young children and such a senseless crime. It makes me angry that we can't get tougher gun control laws enacted.

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that killed so many children. The event prompted me to speak out publically about gun control and mental health services. Having done that, I experienced apathy and indifference from the people in my community.

The Boston Marathon Bombings. I couldn't take my eyes off the TV screen and I was obsessed with the whole search. I wanted to understand how this could happen and I wanted answers to all the questions. I think I felt particularly close to this event because I have run a marathon, my mom is from Boston and I know people that are living there. I wish I could have been on the front lines helping out and not just idly watching.

The murder of Trayvon Martin and subsquent acquitally of George Zimmerman, as well as people's responses. It is discouraging to really understand how dangerous it is for young black and brown men in our country.

I think that the gassing of children in Syria has been impactful for me, because I was (am) so against war in general and Iraq in particular. The standard I set for intervention in Iraq (the people being willing to fight for themselves before we fight for them) has been met in Syria, and yet, I find myself reluctant to intervene...yet feeling guilty about standing by and allowing it to continue. I truly don't know what the best course of action is here. It meets the mental standard I set for war, but when faced with the choice to go to war again or not....I'm not sure.

The repeal of Prop 8 and section 3 of the DOMA had a huge impact on some of my family and friends. It even prompted me to write an opinion piece on this issue.

My eldest son hitting bottom and having to move in with us. It's hard on us and especially difficult for him. It is painful to watch him struggle to make a living.

I don't know if there is any one world event that has impacted me; however, there are some ongoing events that have caught my attention. 1) Ongoing national debt is making me angry at our Congress and Presidents (past and present) for not being responsible with my tax dollars. It has also caused me to become very picky about how I spend my own dollars. 2) The ongoing revolutions around the globe of people (esp. in Islamic nations), seeking freedom from governments that continually deny them freedom. 3) The Supreme Court cases regarding same-sex marriages. A legal marriage on paper should be treated as equal to any other marriage, whether you agree with it or not. All of these has impacted my thinking regarding either religion, budgeting and spending in my own home and the freedoms (or lack of) that we have in my home country.

An event in the world--there isn't one that really shook me this year. I've been so caught up with teaching and with Hillary that I feel like the RAM of my brain is almost at capacity and doesn't have processing left for global affairs. I think the Syrian civil war is a powerful moral dilemma for the international community and it impacts me over that because I want to incorporate into my debate class. But I don't feel their struggle or pain. I'm too far removed.

There are many both nationally and internationally. The civil unrest around the world. One that was most amazing that shows the power of one person was the young 14 year old teenager who was shot in the brain while riding on a school bus in Pakistan. She was specifically targeted by the Muslim group because she was outspoken about girls receiving an education in her country. She survived the many bullets shot into her young body. A miracle that she was able to heal the brain injuries and to lift her voice once again. She returned to her country from the London hospital. A true hero.

The school shooting at Sandy Hook broke my heart into a million pieces. I kicked my back door so hard and so repeatedly that it needs to be replaced. I wept. I screamed. Needless to say I could not keep my composure at all in the face of such unfair brutality. I have preschool aged children. Now when I look at that door I remember those precious children. And how life is unfair. And how I want to wrap my children in the protection of the Jewish community and a Jewish life.

The Syrian crisis ,which has escalated to the point where the approval to go to war is before the U.S. Congress. There seem to be no good guys in this one, including us. I can't tell you yet how it will impact me because it is still ongoing. But I have a feeling it will affect us all in a big way.

I'm paying a lot of attention to Syria right now. Although I don't know that that has affected me directly. What else happened this year? Obama's second term. Disillusionment with his promise of change. A lot of big brother type stuff coming to the surface this year. OH. DOMA BEING REPEALED. That was a big deal. It doesn't affect me directly of course, but affects so many people in my life that I love. I am constantly being reminded that history moves forward not backward and it is only a matter of time before the desires of the forward thinking are fulfilled. Those who can't see that are on the wrong side of history. I find a lot of comfort in that.

Hurricane sandy last year was such a huge event - not I t bec of the devastation in my region...it truly made everything just stop.no school for kids, no work, nothing getting crossed off the giant to-do lists. It was just about getting g through each day with everyone finding a warm place to be, hot food to eat, and solace with lights for the nighttime. These sense of community was palpable.

The events going on in Syria have caused me to look into my feelings about the United States' involvement in foreign affairs. While I certainly believe in humanitarian efforts, in this case I feel we will have little impact on what's going on... and I feel strongly that we need to use our resources (money and people) to build up our own county's infrastructure and health care and education systems.

right now! the typical american push to dominate, to threaten rather than engage in diplomacy. i am angry and scared for all of us. also the awareness of climate change that has finally become a topic for review in the world. this is somewhat hopeful that this may be an issue that can bring our world into better cooperation.

The world event that impacted me this year is hard to pin point. The economic conditions in the state have changed student numbers in my class, unemployment of people in my age range is still affecting family, and the cost of college are all factors of concern. I see family members worrying about what the future holds and this is a grave concern for me.

I think the unsettling in the Middle East is really affecting me this year. My younger son was in Israel when all the embassy's were put on high alert and told to evacuate. Now this issue with Syria, killing their own people. I really feel that we need to get involved, but on the other hand, I do not want the United States to be responsible for starting another war.

Reading about food insecurity in my community and in America. It's hard to fathom as the availability of food in my life is something I take for granted. As I write this, sitting at El Campesino on McKnight Rd and the server brings me my lunch it hits me that saying a blessing before I eat is only something I do at major holiday dinners. From now on I will thanks Ha-Shem each and every time I eat!

I've given up on the idea that Obama-brand hope and change can actually lead this country to anything much good. Because of his spineless defense of the NSA's warrantless spy program and his hawkishness leading up to the war on Syria, I no longer harbor any illusions. Not to mention his repeated failures to act on climate change.

The shootings in Newtown impacted me this year because it made me think about what I would do if that situation had happened at my school. It made me realize how important teachers are, and how we care so much for our students beyond what we teach them in the classroom. If only the public could see teachers more as heroes and less as the enemy who they place all the blame on.

As I write this, the U.S. is trying to figure out whether to conduct military strikes against Assad in Syria because of probable chemical weapons use against its own citizens. Is violence by the only remaining superpower really the only deterrent against a crazy regime? When violent responses like military strikes against despots are successful, then we all conclude, "Yes, it's the only thing that has even a chance of stopping a truly tyrannical leader." But before every military decision like this one, we have to ask ourselves the same question. You never know, in this situation the answer might be different.

Snowden's release of classified information about the NSA and the "security state". I've felt better about the U.S. since Obama was elected and the neo-cons were discredited for Iraq. Not quite a Pollyannic state of mind, but thinking that higher principles (other than that of the profit interests of multi-national corporations) would be influencing (if not directing) our behavior around the world. The spying on civilians seems to be about more than just "the war on terror". I fear it could be come a "war on dissent" and usher in a totalitarian government. If Bush was doing what Obama has allowed, I'd be freaked out. But, it's also made me a little more skeptical of Obama. But just a little.

I don't know. The legalization of gay marriage in the US has been a very happy and surprising event. Not that it effects me personally but the equality that it has granted so many people is beautiful

Two words....Sandy Hook. I remember hearing about the shootings in this elementary school and going numb. As the news poured in, I plodded through my day at school. It was only after school dismissed that I let myself weep. I remember waving the buses on to leave school and tearing up. How could such a senseless act happen? How could it happen to such young and innocent children? Would I have been as courageous as the principal at Sandy Hook who lost her life protecting her students? Things changed in our school after Sandy Hook for a short while, but how quickly we forget and slide back into our world of comfort. Maybe that's how we survive as a people by not living in fear.

Sandy Hook. My role where I work could put me in the same situation as the employees who died. Our school protocols have tightened, but the reality is that all of the stop gaps in the world cannot prevent a person who wants to do harm to others.

The Presidential Election dominated my thoughts. I entered political debates with all sort of people, and I loved to have my opinions challenged. It helped me to crystallize in my own mind what I believe our problems are in the U.S. and who I wanted representing me. Sadly, I also learned that many of my friends are not very knowledgable and really don't want to be. "Don't confuse me with facts." That's a bit frightening for our country.

The murder of Treyvon Martin - impacted me tremendously. Gun violence prevention is a cause of mine - and should be with all people. I was controlled by weapons....and an abusive ex husband. I was stalked and followed when I left a situation of domestic violence. What do you do when you are scared, and someone is following you - you run. Even when you are innocent. Zimmerman, with a history of dv and other anger issues - should never have had access to a gun. How different life could have been - for Treyvon Martin.

Hard to pick 1. I'd have to say two: First the shooting of Trayvon Martin and subsequently the finding of George Zimmerman as not guilty. Second, the Supreme Court's gutting of the voting rights act. Both of these actions, while occurring here in the United States, really impacted my view of humanity and how much work we have left to do in the world of civil rights.

The 22 children that died in India from poisoned lunch. Children are the stepping stones to a better world, so to me it just seems implausible to take so recklessly the care and health of the children. I knew the water quality was incredibly poor in India, but when you have a centralized location making food for hundreds of kids, where in the heck are the rational and humane overseers of this process?

The concern for war with Syria impacts my peace of mind over the ability of our country to keep inserting itself into other countries' business. Where did we get the right to be the world's Big Brother, especially when our humanitarian efforts go unappreciated? We are not a perfect country; however, we have done more for other countries than any other major power has. I wonder what will be left of us; what will be left for us of our own resources; what conditions will we leave for the next generations in terms of their lives, safety, and economic well-being.

This isn't a world event, but the US election was very important to me. Not just because of the candidates, but for the ballot issues. I was passionate about some of the issues at stake and it helped me realize what is most important to me and what I want to pass on to my children.

It's not as much as an event, but an ongoing process: the deterioration of democracy in Hungary and the overbearing, life-ruining actions of the Hungarian government, with its supermajority in the house. It probably doesn't affect me personally as I don't live there any more. But I am still a Hungarian citizen too so I cannot be sure what will the government change that could adversely affect me directly. More importantly I am concerned for my mother, family members and friends. Their physical safety, for the most part is still just as good or bad as it was in the past, but the rising militant far-right, the rampant homophobia, the unending sexism, the growing disregard of human rights of less fortunate worries me. What really impacts my beloveds' lives is the day-to-day changes in education, telecommunication (TV/radio) finance, commerce and almost every aspect of lives that the government took control of and overregulated. I am extremely sad for the ruined lives, stolen opportunities and monies, and the lack of options and ideas on how to change the system for the better. Generations are lost due to cronyism. It makes me lethargic to watch as my homeland is going down and the feeling that I can't help it.

The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting affected me. It was not surprising to see injustice win in court, but it still filled me with anger and frustration. I was pleased to see President Obama address the plight of black men in this country and hold onto the hope that our country will more seriously embark on the conversations we need to have about how we, as a country and as individuals, think of and treat black people.

I voted in my first presidential election last November. My faith in the American people was restored when Obama was re-elected.

The legalization of gay marriage has made me super happy. civil rights, people!

I remember walking in Paris one evening (yes, it was a little over a year ago), and I saw what looked like an outdoor slumber party for all ages. They has constructed a huge screen and placed giant body-sized bean bag chairs in a clear space. Groups gathered and cheered together for France. It felt very inclusive and sweet. It entered me into a mindset that I am part of the world, one piece of its diverse creation. I also remember the conflictast November. I remember thr Israeli troops. We listen for news of their movmement along the border of Gaza. I remembe hoping so much Hillary Clinton would make some change with her visit to Jerusalem. I remember Obama's re-election as if it were 5 years ago.

The aftermath of Arab Spring. Every decision we make about the Middle East seems to be a lose-lose situation for us and the world. I wish there was something we could do about Islamic fundamentalists. Every religion seems to have their fundamentalists, and they need to be restrained, including Christian fundamentalists and Jewish fundamentalists (Torah thumpers). I am very angry about this situation and want to throw up my hands. Now we are debating about invading Syria! Really?

In Washington state, voters approved Referendum 74 which allows same-sex marriage. Our LGBT and Jewish communities (reform and conservative) banded together along with other allies throughout the state to push for marriage equality. I felt renewed by the sense of progress and hopeful for new possibilities for my life and in the life of my gay community. With every wave rolling along the ocean of life there is an undertow, however. It has been difficult to feel so triumphant locally and (with the defeat of DOMA) nationally while bearing witness to the horrors that many LGBT persons endure in many parts of the United States and around the world in countries like Russia.

The US budget "sequester" has reduced so many benefits to my clients, family members, and myself. The knuckleheads in Washington & Columbus, Ohio are truly messing up a great Country.

The Boston marathon bombing. I always knew my brother was the kind of person that is inspired to be his best at moments of tragedy. When I found out that he volunteered to go into work to help the victims, and even the men that put those victims in the hospital, I knew he was the sort of person I would always aspire to be.

This year, DOMA and Prop 8 were shot down. This didn't impact me personally in any way other than inspiring a sense that our society is in fact gradually progressive and that there are moral codes at our foundations.

I think the American election really impacted me. While it was technically last year I'm counting the year as since last time I did this. I had to work the night of the election, but I spent months leading up to it debating and worrying about the possible outcome. I may not be American, but what happens there changes a lot.

There have been so many and so many disasters. However part of the impact on me is, I don't care. Too many people care only about their image and trying to tell me how to think or view things. I think of signs I saw in L.A. during this past year trying to tell me to not view people with AIDS or HIV negatively. Why so they can then f*ck me in the a**, call it love and infect me. This is a microcosm along with the fake compassion these a**holes receive such as the upcoming (many signs hanging around town) AIDS Walk. These people seek some magic cure. Anything but look in the mirror at their actions which may have led to a disease or any other problem. Just blame someone, usually someone who is not to blame. Hence I'm happy and glad to see these people destroy THEMSELVES or to see God destroy them and all that they've built on their house of cards foundation. I also pray they are sent to HELL.

I think the Boston Bombings have definitely made an impact on me this year, living in America and especially New York has given me a whole new insight into terrorism and dealing with it in your country. In New Zealand there are no such threats, it's such a peaceful small little place. Whereas over here it's something you have to be weary of which is frightning. Also the earthquakes New Zealand keeps getting - I know we're sitting on one large fault line so earthquakes are inevitable however it makes me nervous not knowing when another potential Christchurch earthquake could happen anywhere throughout the country. We're still rebuilding from that horrendous disaster.

I am worn out with the conditions many people live in still in this world. I continue to believe that once all women are empowered in their own lives through education and personal choice we will truly see a changed world.

Superstorm Sandy showed me how little material things mean, and how much we need to take care of each other. So much suffering and loss for people I know. I wish that there was more that I could have done.

Syria So undecided about what we should do

It was just recently but watching Diana Nyad complete her swim from Cuba to Florida was quite impactful. Her bravery, perseverance and chutzpa were inspiring and a reminder of what we can accomplish when you set your mind to something.

That would be the lesser known but ought to be known event of the EPA becoming more lenient with its rules when it repealed two rules concerning BPA limits and industry disclosure of contaminants used. On the one hand, we can worry about the safety of our water and plastic now as much as before--- but is pur worrying justified ? Just how harmful are the contaminants ? My ancestors never seemed to be phased so much by these things...

This might not be your "typical" world event, but on Christmas Day, 2012, the WORLD was finally able to see the EPIC Les Miserables in full screen (AMEX here in L.A.) Victor Hugo's timeless story which has been seen by over 20 MILLION in live performances, can see, hear and FEEL this emotional masterpiece anywhere, anytime and as many times as one can imagine! On DVD, On-iTunes, iPads, in many languages all OVER the world... Best Christmas Present EVER!!! (Even for a Jew who doesn't celebrate Christmas!!)

I think that what is happening in Syria right now is about to effect us. I am not really sure how I feel about the situation. Obviously, I do not want to go to war, but I feel that innocent women and children shouldn't be killed. Then again, I am sick of our country being in skirmishes throughout the world, and if we counter-attack, when does it end?

The passing of the equal marriage rights law here in Minnesota made a huge impact on me. I have several friends who are gay or lesbian, and they, like everyone else, were born with their orientation--so this was a wonderful show of support for them as human beings. It wasn't so much that we even allowed them to marry, but that they feel more accepted. And that is what we as a human race need to do--accept each other as we are. It gives me great hope and makes me think that social media is the "noosphere" that Teilhard was talking about. It is drawing us closer together, and dispelling ignorance.

I keep myself pretty well insulated from the world. I don't know why. I've never been a 'loner,' one of those cool cats who likes to drift along the margins of society with a cigarette and a bottle of something. (They might not be cool cats for long.) I think it's just a form of psychological self-protection, maybe something to outgrow. Hurricane Sandy was pretty scary, and reading about the conditions people were living in very nearby. It felt very nearby. Staten Island. Jeez. All these secret documents, the Snowden business, has touched me in some ways but I can't say exactly why or how. I don't even know that much about it. Maybe I'm cheap and experience it as a grand never-ending film in which I am an extra (and all Americans.)

The Supreme Court began to limit the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act and, in response to that, legislatures in varying states have put forward voter id and redistricting laws meant to disenfranchise voters (largely poor and of color). The activism of the Court is apparent, dangerous, and irreversible (at this point). And it has encouraged and supported a climate in the country that is rooted in fear and exclusion. This impacts me in multiple ways, principle among them: I belong to a group of people whose rights to fully engage in the democratic project are being diminished. And I am a citizen of a country in which some of its members so disbelieve in the fundamental project upon which it was based--Democracy--that they enact laws and policies to ensure the Democracy doesn't work because they don't like what the results may be. That impacts me because beyond the pragmatic ways my rights are threatened, I am frightened for not only myself and people like me, but for the country and even for those who strive to limit the rights of others. If we become what they seem to want us to be, who will we be? Certainly, we will not be America as we've know it. Scary times, these. Very scary.

There was no one impact that directly impacted my life, but the accumulation of how many shootings and the noticeable rise of violence in the world that did. It made me worry for the future and our children. My son is only 3 and it just has made me more aware of all the risks and how many evil people there are running around out there.

There have been many... 3 girls rescued in Cleveland after having been kidnapped and missing for 10 years! The shooting of Trayvon Martin And now the violence in Syria. Too much violence...it all seems to affect me. I am worried about the world as we know it.

Syria is in a civil war. But I just started paying attention. Recently, their government, this dude named Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people, and he has killed a number of innocent civilians. Seeing the kids dying on the news has slayed me. Bodies lined up. I feel like an asshole for not paying better attention. I am here, in my warm home, with electricity, and water, and clean air, and my biggest worry is Will I Have Enough Time To Get A Starbucks. I am an asshole.

The Boston bombings on Marathon Day. I had never been close to a terrorist attack and I was just a few blocks away from the location of this event. I was safe and with friends, and it made me be grateful to be alive, and that the police and other authorities took such good care of the city of Boston and surroundings.

the fires in California, Montana, Colorado, and Arizona have shown me that few geographic places are safe from the scourge of mother nature. for someone who has put their sense of safety in their home, this is disturbing and makes one realize that your sense of safety should be in your abilities and flexibility, not bricks and mortar.

Almost a year ago, Malala was shot. Humanity confounds me. We are magnificent and horrible all at once.

Although this was at the end of last year, the shooting at Sandy Hook. I work in an elementary school and I was about 10 weeks pregnant when it happened, so it really shook me up. I remember feeling scared walking into my school the day after it happened, wondering how I would have reacted if I was in that situation and how my students were going to respond that day (and how I would respond to them and their questions and fears in turn). It was a sad, scary time.

I am particularly impacted by what is happening right now with Syria, as I have been with the coup in Egypt. I am struggling to understand it all, especially our government's choices. I am not at all sure I feel clarity on what I believe should be done in either case. Should we bomb Syria? I'm very torn. Should we call the army's takeover in Egypt a coup? Well, yes. I must admit that while I have great respect for the President on domestic policy, I question his foreign policy choices.

I worry I'm becoming de-senstitized and feeling a bit hopeless regarding world atrocities. Somewhat closer to home, the Boston Marathon bombing definitely hit home. I had some friends of the family there who fortunately were unscathed but the story of them re-uniting showed their uniqueness and how much they act as a unit.

The shooting at Newtown school in December impacted me more than any other event this year, with the Boston Marathon bombings running a close second. I truly mourned for those families and those children and it took quite awhile to let it go. The teachers who shielded their kids amazed me. I'm so sad and confused by the gun control issue. I don't understand why we continue to foster a culture of violence but I do understand that it is based in fear. Clearly, a fear that is well-earned. What can I do in my life to turn this tide? I can choose in every situation to act out of love instead of fear. If every individual, or at least the majority, choose this path, we will change this world.

The Trayvon Martin case was really a big thing that happened and impacted me. It was such an unfortunate situation that could've been prevented, and should have had consequences. No life is more valuable than another, and the color of ones skin shouldn't define whether he gets to live or die. It was an injustice on all accounts, and people shouldn't be immune to punishment for taking another mans life.

I am fortunate to say I was not negatively affected by any major catastrophic events. I had friend who was affected by the Boston Marathon bombing, the 12 fire fighters dying in the line of duty from my near neighbors, the war and fighting in the world have not touched me directly. So I count my blessings and do the best I can to act with loving kindness and do what I can to help.

Syria . It's such a hard one. DO I want war- no. Will one strike do anything- no and doing so will probably lead to more violence. Many say- it's a tribal war- Syrians are killing SYrians. But Germans killed German Jews. The Poles killed Polish Jews. The Russians killed Russian Jews. And nobody cared. In part a result of deep-seated prejudice in the USA and elsewhere. It's the same for Muslims. - the prejudice. There is no right answer. But a shanda if we do nothing.

Syria - it confuses, confounds, upsets and infuriates me. I just want a clear view, and the clarity to know which side is "right" but life isn't clear like that. There are no good guys.

The Supreme Court striking down DOMA was such a happy event. Pretty much every world event that occurs fills me with desperation, anxiety, questioning of whether I want to bring new humans into the world... but THAT, that filled me with hope and happiness. Like MLK Jr. said, the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. I just hope it's not so long that we destroy ourselves before we get there.

I was in Boston for the marathon bombing. My little brother was running, but fortunately we were stationed in Brookline, two miles away from the finish line, and he finished well before the bomb went off. But it was terrifying. We were glued to the news. I was supposed to fly back to Philly that night but instead my mom rushed me to Amtrak to catch a train. I didn't even get to say goodbye to my brother - instead I had to sit on a train for 7 hours next to strangers after this incredibly traumatic incident. It was sad that I had to leave to go back to work and I couldn't be with my family. On the other hand, it was nice that I could get home to celebrate my brother and also get back to Philly without flying. Sure, it took 5 hours on the train and $150 (or more...), but I could do it. So on the one hand it was hard to not be closer to them... but on the other it's actually not that bad. With a little money and time I can get home pretty easily.

I know that the way this is worded, I'm supposed to answer with the "big," shared events, like the shootings at Sandy Hook or the bombing at the Boston Marathon, or even the horrible wildfires in Colorado, and those did all have an impact. But so did Alyssa Doane's death at only 14 from cystic fibrosis, or Henry the lionhearted dog's death from cancer, or the biggest small loss of all, my Dexter from cancer. They all touched my raw heart, reminding me that life is beautiful and brutal, tender and terrible.

The unrest and civil wars that are taking place in the Middle East have made me realize how precarious our lives are and wonder how and when it will affect me in my cozy and safe environment here in Canada. I thank God for the peace my country affords me and I am thankful that He is still in control of His world.

I actually feel less connected to things on a global level and am more affected by the local at this point.The whole "Arab Spring" has made me more pessimistic about the rise of radical Islam and the fact that it is always a choice of two evils in that region of the world, not a choice between dictators and democracy. Locally, I pay more attention to what is happening in the city and county and am starting to think whether I want to be part of that process.

I don't really know if any world events have impacted me this year. I suppose I felt the most emotional impact with the sanctions on gay rights in Russia and approval of gay marriage in more states, because I feel like that makes our country seem like it's going in the right direction towards human rights, which I would love. Also, I have a lot of gay friends, and think its amazing that they will finally be able to get married and have happy, fulfilling married lives if they so choose.

The gridlock in congress, as it showed me a dark side of human nature, the willingness of congresspeople to ignore the most helpless and disadvantaged among us to promote their own agenda.

The war in Syria and the election of Pope Francis. The first one because of the biased media coverage and the American warmongering, which reminds me of the famous /non-existent) weapons of mass destruction, and the second one because of the amazing simplicity and hunamity of the new hope. The first event made me think nothing has changed, and the second that the change might be possible after all. Anyway, go Francis!

I try my best not to let the noise in the world impact my personal well being. While I wasn't impacted as much as many other black people living in America I would say the Trayvon Martin case impacted me. It showed me how far we haven't come in this country. Thankfully I don't have my head in the sand and didn't expect anything but the outcome. This verdict strengthened my resolve to not give into to lie that is white supremacy and live my life as a person deserving of respect, dignity, peace, joy, and love.

I spent the summer watching my beloved home state basically get destroyed by a handful of ultra-conservative, homophobic, racist, misogynistic politicians. They tried to establish a "State Religion", took away access to health care, decimated educational support and systematically limited voting rights for minorities, young adults, the elderly and the poor. I have always loved living here, but I suddenly feel as if we are living in a pre-Jim Crow world and I no longer fit in.

I mentioned the Arab Spring last year. It is still reverberating. Egypt is a mess having overthrown the successive government. Now Syria is hip deep in a Civil War. However, the abrogation of Gay rights in Russia championed by Vladimir Putin is most disheartening. Remaining positive and hopeful in the face of what the worst Humanity has to offer is difficult.

I think Hurricane Sandy last fall really brought home for me the real urgency of climate change. Though I was already thinking along those lines, it simpact was so close to home and its designation as Superstorm really felt crazy. Because of that, tomorrow I am convening the Steering Committee meeting for 350 Philly. It's a big step and a big commitment, but the future depends on people getting involved. And I'm people, right?

Blair Singer`s seminars Sales and leadership Mastery and master Facilitator. It has opened my eyes, and started to implement what I have learned.It was also estonished to rememeber to dream and dream BIG.Also it has thought me to accept I am enough as I am.Since then I make conitnously presonal development and I feel myself really good

The current situation in Syria scares me. Part of me wished Obama would strike to show them that we will not stand idly by while Syria uses Sarin gas against its people. On the other hand, al quaeda is fighting with the rebels and we don't want to arm them. The entire situation is bad there is no good solution and I am afraid that 1) if we strike Israel might be attacked and 2) that it will be the beginning of WWIII

Seeing the amazing recovery of the dancer injured in the boston marathon bombing. Step by step she is going on. A profile in courage.

Hurrican Sandy. Devistation so close to home. It was very scary when it was going on. We are still fixing the house and trying to feel safe again in what was supposed to be our safe haven.

Newtown..just so very very tragic and heartbreaking

The school shooting in Newtown affected me tremendously. I hugged my children a little longer and realized how fragile life is and can be regardless of how hard you can work to protect it. It also made me realize that I needed to work harder to develop my own political views, not always just accept those of my husband. He is extremely well read and intelligent and I tend to agree with him on many things, but I realized I needed to work harder to understand the different view points and stick to my own beliefs. Also to see things from a more analytical perspective rather than emotional when examining policy and politics.

The Fukushima nuclear accident. I advocate for renewable energy but I had accepted nuclear power as part of the transition. Now I'm opposing any new nuke plants.

Impacted in the sense that I was not surprised - the Arab activity in the ME; that the western world continues to overlay its own cultural mores and beliefs onto an area that knows little and cares less about freedom, civil rights and equality. When the "Arab Spring" sprung I was absolutely certain it was not what it appeared. It wasn't but the west was quick to view it as a sign of freedom ringing. The bell tolls in the Middle East - but it is not the liberty bell.

Without a doubt there were two things that affected me greatly this year: The death of Aaron Schwartz, and the revelations about the scope of NSA data collection. Aaron Schwartz's death made me incredibly angry, because I seriously think the government is responsible for it by threatening him with so much time. As to the NSA surveillance program: It's making me consider stronger security measures, and I'm trying to convince my less technical friends to switch to more secure forms of communication.

Wow so many so hard to pick. Maybe yet more instances of sexual misbehavior by politicians. The mayor of San Diego basically saying he can't help it because of his age. He is about my age and while I did not have to deal with behavior quite that bad I was sexually harassed as law student in the 70s while doing an internship. Years later when as a supervisor in a government agency I had to teach the sexual harassment policy. a lot of older employees were joking about "the good old days" The news brought back these memories.

The bombing in Boston was so completely tragic and reminded me that nothing is safe. However it also showed the ability of people to come together, support one another in difficult times, and come out the other side stronger. I think that's an important lesson to learn and made me proud to be a part of this country.

I still don't pay attention to the news. My small world is already more than I can handle.

AN event? So many events impacted me, hard to pick one. The devastating natural disasters, the devastating human conflicts, especially religious wars, and our own endless involvement in military actions that waste lives. On a positive note, the gay marriage success finally.

The overturn of Prop 8 and the ruling allowing federal benefits for gay spouses. Both were monumentally affirming and a tremendously hopeful sign that things continue to move forward. For my family and me, it's huge, as it reflects a major shift in societal norma ans comventions. In laege part its a tribute to this younger generation in the way that theyve unflappably helped open the eyes of their parents and grandparents. It's a post homophobic beginning. Alternatively, I was stricken by the Court's dismissal of voting rights act requiremts in the south. Their majority opinion was completely baffling: it's simply not true that we're beyond worrying abt those sorts of things, that we've moved beyond racism and dont need these laws anymore. Incredible denial. What on earth were they thinking in the wake of Trayvon Martin?

I don't think anything has impacted me that massively. The murder of Lee Rigby and the poor girl on Kilburn high road really scared me and kind of woke me up to all the violence around me and lots just on my own doorstep. I think these kinds of events teach me to value life more as it can be taken from you so quickly.

Syria. I have never felt so much ambivalence toward military action. It defies me as a pacifist, but something very basic in me hurts at that there are children who cannot play because of this conflict, people who cannot argue and movies that aren't being watched for want of security. Grocery store decisions not being mulled. Mornings not being slept over. I hate the interruption. Why is there not a basic consensus that first okay life is important above politics or disagreement and so on? Didn't we already figure this one out? I guess the apparent redundancy is just stupid to me. Like, what the fuck man? Leave these people alone. These good people, these confused people, these reading, cooking, sometimes bored, sometimes failing people. What can be more important than making sure they are okay?

This past year has been a lot about the feminist movement for me. Women's rights are obviously a topic I care about, because I am a woman, but it's been really thought provoking to watch events around the issues of reproductive rights, specifically, unfold this year. Sometimes amazing, sometimes horrifying, sometimes inspiring and sometimes stomach-turning. The most salient moment for me was watching Wendy Davis try to filibuster the Texas State legislature. It wasn't on major media outlets, but I was glued to the screen of my computer, along with many of my friends. It was at once, inspiring to see someone so committed and terrifying to see so many people desperate to see her fail. It can be disheartening to see how far we have left to go. But I am continually inspired by how many intelligent, amazing people are willing to make sure we keep moving the right direction.

I suppose the war in Syria affects me the most. Due to a job I did in Turkey, a while ago, I actually know a fair number of Syrian teenagers who are caught up in all of this. I talk to them now and then and some of them even talk of joining the Syrian Free Army. Of course, this is deeply upsetting, but I think the thing that's really hit me about the whole thing is that, where I used to have some faith that governments in the West try to act, sometimes at least, in good conscience, I think that the events there and the ignorance of the situation, up until the point of the chemical weapon drop, has finally allowed me to believe 100% that we are concerned, as nations, only about money, oil, etc etc. It's a pretty sad situation, but I guess it makes me more determined, on a personal level to not be such an almighty asshole.

I think there are a few that have promoted considerable debate among me and my peers and family, including the Boston Bombing, the Zimmerman Trail, the reversal of Prop 8, the debate over Syria, and so on. I do not feel emotionally impacted by these things, however, since they are not as close to home mentally of physically.

The unfortunate swearing-in of Obama for a second term negatively impacted me this past year. It made me realize how much our country has changed, and not for the better, in the past several years. I am very concerned for our country's future and feel that this current President is taking this country away from its founding principles.

The 50th anniversary of The March On Washington. I remember The March very vividly, having grown up in a home that was very supportive of the civil rights and workers' rights movenments. I am enraged that some states are trying to disenfranchise minorities and poor people. I am enraged that there is still injustice in the U.S. I am enraged that workers' rights are being taken away. The anniversary of The March reminds us all how far we have come and how far we still have to go!

World events do not "impact" me- they are not asteroids, I am not Earth. I watch, I observe. Peace tides flow, and alternately war tides flow. Without either is stagnation. In between the Great Wars was this stagnation called the Weimar Republic. Bodies pile high in the strife-torn areas. Weather ravaged areas rebuild. Like a tree, I sway with the wind- the air tides, the war tides, the peace tides. Life and death are two curves on the same circle. Life will be better or worse, year in year out. Fortune's Wheel raises and crushes all in the same movement.

The inaction on Syria and Iran. Looks like the lessons of Munich 1938 will be repeated. And the world will pay a heavy price.

Hard to differentiate between this year and last year. Between domestic and international. There were the large environmental catastrophes exacerbated by people---the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster, Hurricane Sandy which shut down NYC and prevented me from attending daughter's bridal shower, the terrible fighting in the middle east and the Boston Marathon bombing. The not surprising revelations of continuing encroachment of Big Brother in the name of national security. The continued dysfunction of our national government as major healthcare/infrastructure/environmental/educational/restorative justice problems go un-dealt with. The fact that the world still revolves and I am still breathing continues to amaze me, and I feel so sad for all the suffering on the front pages of the newspaper.

Sadly I can not think of a world event that has greatly impacted me. Not to say that nothing impactful has happened in the world, but that I am insulated and sheltered here in America....sad to admit that....

The rape of the young student in India. It makes me sad because as a woman, I feel like we are still of lesser value in this world even though the world has only been going because of the strength, character, integrity and virtue of women. I get angry when I think of how backwards the US is going as well. Overall, it makes me think of how vulnerable my nieces are and how much I worry about them and want to make sure that they are safe and that no one ever hurts them. It strengthens my resolve to do something positive with my time here on earth and I hope that I can make a difference in some way whether it is for the education of girls and young women or influence the writing of policy that is designed to make the country a safer and better place for girls and women.

The new Russian laws against homosexuality. Shows me how precarious the gains we have made really are, and how ignorant and divided the world is on this issue.

The Arab Spring impacted me on so many levels. I felt scared for Israel because I don't really know all of the politics behind these uprisings. It gave me hope for Israel because change in the Arab nations takes away from the total focus of hatred being on Israel. It made me feel sad for the innocent people that were killed. I felt encouraged that people in the Arab's countries want to create change in their cultures that coud benefit women.

I'm a mathematician. Quite a large number of mathematicians in the US work for the NSA. When Edward Snowden drew attention to some of the details of what the NSA does, quite a number of people began to think much less of mathematics. I've had several long discussions with (non-NSA) mathematicians about whether it's OK to talk to cooperate at all with the NSA: for example, letting students know about job opportunities there. This is a reasonably awful question. Jobs are hard to find, and the NSA has lots of them; not to tell students about the jobs is to make the students pay some financial price for my principles. I think my wife believes that my work of training mathematicians looks a lot less respectable than it did in the past, since many of them are going to go to work at the NSA. I haven't gotten to the point of thinking less of mathematics because of the NSA. But I can see that it's a complicated question, and one I'd prefer not to think about.

The ongoing economic downturn, which has resulted in prolonged massive unemployment rates particularly for the young in southern Europe. This has really made me think about what it will take for the global economy to recover, the sustainability of our current economic model deemed 'successful' in the 'west', but also how lucky I am to have graduated during boom times and to continue to be employed in my first choice job/career

Very concerned about the use of chemical weapons in Syria. What is my responsibility, what should I do regarding the role of the U.S. Should we use weapons to deter this kind of behavior - if so, why didn't we do something about the hideous things that occurred in Rwanda and are occurring in Aftrica? So many unclear answers to these dilemmas. Right now, I don't believe the U.S. should get involved militarily. We have so many needs in America - starvation, education, infrastructure, etc., add to this the cost of helping Americans rebuild after devastating natural disasters. I am beginning to feel that we need to take care of our internal challenges, before we try to "police" the world.

The chemical attack in Sierra. It is frightening that this kind of lethal weapon can be used against innocent people. Especially those who only want to live a decent quality of life. Especially children. I know this kind of thing can not go without consequences. Imagine if this came to America, with no way to prevent it's devastating affects. I don't understand how these people can be so barbaric and unconcerned with the sanctify, of human life, on such a broad scale. Is this part of the human condition, because it appears over and over again in different forms. I pray that we can affectively squash this before it goes any farther. I pray that we find ways to prevent terror in all its forms. I pray for a better world.

I think the abuse/misuse of the main stream news media to cover up the truth was an eye opener for me. Growing up I was taught to be believe in Government, police and the law. Now all of this is not true - they are lying and hiding the truth. The news media will not report the truth. It is so saddening. (and scary!)

The Women of the Wall Rosh Hodesh Sivan when the ultra orthodox kids protested against WOW And when i was in Betlehem and got into a demonstration against Israel and i felt safe because of the presence if the Israeli soldiers.

The economy shows signs of improvement. This made room for me to make a living from real estate. It's been an OK year.

While there has been quite a bit going on in the world - I honestly can't think of anything that has actually impacted *me* personally. There have been events that have made me sad or frustrated with the world, but I'm not sure that counts as an actual "impact".

I would say the shooting of the school children in Connecticut in December of 2012. These types of events remind me of the importance of love and connection. A friend reminded me that when we live from love and understand we are all connected there is no place for this kind of violence in our world. In the midst of, or out of such tragedy, deep compassion and care is raised up. It is unfortunate that it takes an event like this to bring us into closer community with each other, and to raise our energetic vibration, but it is all part of our learning and evolution.

The Boston marathon bombing stands out this year. Another event that would be hard to even imagine as a possible thing that could happen. These events bring out the courage and resiliency of people, and many kind acts were done. It is heart breaking to see kind healthy athletes as well as bystanders and children that were badly hurt in this event. I am an athlete and I know the spirit of athletes to keep fighting..which makes it all the more sad. I wish that somehow as a world we could overcome and stop these senseless acts.

I find the destruction of the environment in all parts of the globe overly distressing. My mind simply can not comprehend how how governments and corporations can sacrifice the future of their descendants (and theirs) for immediate profits. For what? Plasma screen TVs, Hummers? Houses 4 times the size their families need?

I don't know as I'd describe it as an "event", but the most beautiful "global" thing I've been touched by this year is www.playingforchange.com. I fell in love when I saw the first video, "Stand By Me". The world has become such an isolated place, everyone with earbuds permanently implanted, iPhones, iPads. While I live a fairly isolated life, I thrive on small exchanges that prove to me that people are fundamentally good. Playing For Change brings together people from opposite ends of the planet, people who will never cross paths in the "real" world, and yet they are able to create something beautiful together...

Syria's use of chemical weapons was just terrifyingly memorable. The images on the news were horrific. How anybody could use such unimaginable things against anyone, let alone innocent civillians and children of their own country, is beyond my comprehension. Sometimes, humanity terrifies me.

Beyond the obvious shock stories of chemical warfare in Syria or the implosion of Egypt is any natural disaster such as flood or famine. These always tug at my heart strings and make me grateful for the life I have.

I'm not an American - but I was so encouraged when Obama was elected. This is the year when I gave up on American leadership in the world for change, hope, idealism, and peace.

The 50th anniversary of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech made me think about my childhood and the dream of equality. We've come so far, yet there's still so much more to do.

Gay marriage, finally. I am grateful that the world is changing and moving forward in the name of love.

Two events impacted me and both were violent: the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and at the Boston Marathon. Sandy Hook had multiple layers of sadness: parents losing their young children, teachers putting their lives on the line, and a mother also losing her life. Plus, there's the questions of mental health issues and whether gun control is necessary. The Boston event was also sad. People participating in something they've work hard to qualify for, others watching their loved ones in the race. A time for celebration turns to horror. I hope that one day we can find a way to resolve issues without turning to violence.

Gay marriage is becoming more acceptable, and the Supreme Court decisions made me feel like we are making progress as a People.

The Supreme Court decision on Gay Marriage and the passing of positive laws in other states was so encouraging. I delight for all my friends now able to marry, I decry the negative steps taken in my former home state of North Carolina. When will people learn to not be affraid of difference!

I think the issues in Syria are foremost in my mind. I am afraid that our government will get us involved in another unnecessary war. While what the Syrian government did to their people is wrong it is not our job to police the world.

The Fukushima disaster that has irradiated the entire Pacific Ocean is pretty tragic. The repercussions are going to be far-reaching and incredibly harmful. That's an absolute irrefutable fact. It also depresses me that mainstream media and our government are avoiding the harsh realities of it, and only liberal journalism is covering it. At the very least you can kiss your local sushi restaurant goodbye. In other news: Miley Cyrus twerked on the VMAs.

The Newtown shootings really shook me up - I had to preach the Tuesday after, and I really just had a lament. I can't fathom why our country can't take effective action, and I feel paralyzed. The assault weapons ban really isn't the answer, because it needs to be more comprehensive than that - but as a Quaker, it's the kind of action I'm already focused on.

Overall, the level of cruelty--the number of "events," which is the technical term for humans showing just how despicable they can be-- shows that murder and torture are not anomalies, that the term "inhumane behavior" is a lie. My faith in the goodness of individuals has not lagged. However, the concept that humans are essentially good is a fairy tale.

I don't really know how to answer this question, as I'm not very up-to-date on social affairs. I did follow Colonel Chris Hadfield's adventures on the ISS with great interest though. I gained a freshened fascination with outer space, and I looked at the earth with a different perspective. It's hard to think we're all so close together, even though it feels like we're all so far apart.

this one is hard. I chose last year to disconnect from cable and all sources of news...yes, I still check stuff on line, but I am choosing to NOT get involved in issues that have no direct bearing on my own little circle. (the only place I can really realistically have an impact). and having made this choice, nothing in my own little area/circle has been a world event. A whole bunch of words to say that I cannot answer this. I might add, that I have been a lot happier and stress free, even though my sister feels I am a sheeple, haha.

The evidence of a war on women - between states moving to pass legislation that redefines when life begins and creating barriers to access for women and families living in rural (lower income) areas AND rapes of women in India AND the GOP & corporate battle to block female employees from contraception AND things like a tailgate decal made to look like a bound woman is being held in the bed of a truck AND calling a female legislator a "retarded Barbie"... . It continues to amaze me that we haven't moved the needle further than this. That in fact, in some ways it feels like we are moving backward.

The shrinking of the glaciers. The gradual disappearance of butterflies, bats, honeybees. Drought. Wild fires. Intense storms. Hurricane Sandy. Murdering elephants for ivory. More pollution of all kinds. More fracking - as if chemicals next to water supplies makes and sense beyond greed. I am despairing of the human race. I am in search of a tribe of like-minded people who can grown their own food, do more with less, do not need a new car every year, are happy to pare down a garage full of stuff, and feel privileged in this life, not entitled.

The defeat of DOMA means that we can get married. And so we will-and I'm surprised at how happy and excited this has made me, and also how complicated the faith issues have become.

The level of violence and the role politics play in the criminal justice system saddens me greatly. People of color and people with little money often are not treated fairly. I am appalled and infuriated by Ariel Castro having held 3 young women for 10 years. It makes me angry and frightens me for all adolescent young ladies. I wonder how many others are being held against their will somewhere, even as I write this. I wonder what, if anything I can do to make life safer and better for others less fortunate than I am. All the negative things in this world also remind me to be ever more grateful for all the blessings I enjoy.

The Boston Marathon on April 15th...that was the week my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer!

I guess this was more of a state event than a world event, but the huge battle in Texas over abortion rights really impacted me. It was really kind of an eye opener for how women still are not viewed as equals 40 years after the the first-wave feminist movement. It has been a really eye-opening and lovely experience for me as a woman, but also an extremely frustrating one. We have come far, but still, the control we have over our bodies is in the hands of male politicians, which is bullshit.

This stupid war and the World economy. Both have impacted my business, and I'm tired of both as well. Clients are having me bid on more opportunities - against other distributors. Some I've won, some I've lost. I love loyalty, but I hate the bidding process. I want us to stop being greedy, stop the fighting, get along, make a decent but not obscene living, and treat each other with love and respect.

The Boston Marathon bombing had a bit of an impact on me for a few reasons. It showed me how disconnected from the world I was during work hours because my cell phone was put away and we didn't watch tv or listen to the radio. I had no idea anything had happened until nearly 7 that when I got home from work. I had family who attended and friends who live in Boston, including a 19 year old at MIT. It was scary not knowing what was going to happen and reminded me a lot of the uncertainty of September 11 and then the D.C. sniper.

I think the crows came to roast for American when the international community turned up their nose at our assessment of Syria using gas on its people. They were able to site the Iraq debacle and that is a real blemish on us as a nation. I think we should be very aware of how the international community now views us. We are no longer the liberators and fighters of freedom from our revolutionary war or WWII. We need to own this new label and know how it affects us, at home and abroad. Also the BP oil spill in the Golf, and the Nuclear power plant spill in the Pacific ocean. We will all learn a hard lesson about nuclear contamination and water dwelling animals from this, as we did with Chernobyl and weather patterns over Russia. But as soon as the virus known as man is shaken off Earth's back, she will recover and move on. I do not fear for the EARTH, I fear for mankind.

Hurricane Sandy on the east coast of the US. This is where I grew up. This is my home. To see your childhood landmarks erased by a storm is a bit devastating.

The slaughtering of one's own people in Egypt, Syria, Africa, and even here in the US. I am so saddened by the capacity to hate and to justify taking another's life. We are all G-d's children. Will we ever learn to accept what is simply different without making it wrong?

This whole war thing is really having an effect on me and realizing that war is just used as a tool to control and scare people into making choices in order to distract deflect and get people to take their eye off the ball. I'm just losing faith in people at times when I see so much political tactics being used on all of us.

As a runner, I felt the impact of the Boston Marathon bombings more than I expected. After all, I wasn't at the race that day and only knew one other peron who was there. I felt indignant that someone would take something as apolitical as a marathon & turn into a spotlight for their cause. I participated in several commemorative races & fundraisers. People should know better than to mess with runners! We are unstoppable.

The IRS decision to treat gay and lesbian marriage the same federally no matter where we live. My partner and I (30 years together) live in a state where marriage is not recognized. For over half of the years we have been together I have had to pay fed tax on the "partner benefits" I receive on her behalf (health insurance, which is equal to $15,000 per year). This is a major shift in policy and one that may influence us in heading down the aisle. We have been civil unioned, registered, married, un-married by state law, married by rabbi etc. Who knows? After 30 years of our family's births, deaths, bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings we may have cause to celebrate a wedding of our own. After 30 years of being together, I am still sure I want to spend the rest of my life with her!

The killing of his own people. By Assad in Syria, reminds me of ultimate human potential for brutality

Korea and the threat of nuclear war. No one knows what to expect and there is no way to predict. So I live in the moment and enjoy every moment I can.

I spent a week in a psych ward. it was a very trying experience. putting up with the other patients, doctors, not sleeping in my own bed, being completely cut off from society other than a daily call and visit from a family member. it changed me for the better and that's all that matters.

The Boston Marathon Bombings. I was born and raised in Boston and the Marathon for me has always been a time to celebrate everything that is wonderful about our city, athletics and the coming spring. Turning that celebratory day into a bloody tragedy has again reinforced for me how vulnerable we all are even in places we once thought were safe.

More several events. Trayvon Martin. The Supreme Court decisions to revoke part of the Voting Rights Act and legalizing gay marriage in California and overturning DOMA. It is as if we took one step forward with GLBTQ rights, but took two giant steps back for the rights of minorities. It has made me question a lot in my community. And I have found a lot of people hiding their racism in plain sight.

The Supreme Court overturning DOMA. It gives me such hope. So many people have had their hearts and minds opened.

There has been so much this year...I think all the school violence has impacted me the most, especially the Sandy Hook shootings. I did not adopt my daughter until she was a teenager. Yet, when I heard about those young students dying, my heart broke for the parents. School is one place you inherently trust for your children. Also, to hear the hero stories of the teachers doing whatever they could to keep their students safe, even at their own peril gave me a moment of renewed faith in humanity during a time of such loss, confusion, and violence.

I worry about climate change and wonder what I should be doing about it. I am appalled by our country's actions/involvement in the middle east and find myself becoming more suspect of out government's ability to truly be a democracy. Is it beyond us? Edward Snowdon, Chelsea/brad Manning, the dismantling of CPS and my own deployment to provide Safe Passage all underscore my questions.

The Boston Marathon bombings. It happened here, at home, during the best day of the year. The marathon is all about overcoming huge physical challenges and good will and the atmosphere is electric for both runners and spectators. The fact that our day, and the subsequent 5 days, were shattered with fear and anger and anxiety literally brought me to my knees. I had met Krystle a few times and many victims were friends of friends. That sense of security that things happen, but if you are smart you can stay safe, flew out the window. The fact that such blind hatred exists that someone could place a bomb at the feet of an 8 year old boy is incomprehensible to me. But the way the city rallied and picked each other up, at the scene with the victims, people helping the runners with clothes and food and a place to stay, our city showed how strong and resilient we are. It has only been a couple of months and there are moments that still hit you and your heart breaks, but time heals and love crushes hate. The lesson above all is love crushes hate.

The Supreme Court's decision on Proposition 8 didn't impact me directly, but it's an issue that I've felt strongly about for a very long time. I'm very relieved that the state I live in is finally one of those that recognizes marriage between two consenting adults as legal and valid. I'm only sorry that we weren't the first one to do it through a voter referendum.

The U.S. government's descent into sequestration, because it will likely gravely affect my future job prospects.

The shooting of Trayvon Martin really shook me up. I feel for Black families/parents who have to live with the reality that it is legal to shoot their sons on the street for looking "thug-ish." I feel both sad and outraged for the Martin family and for all who see their own sons in jeopardy of being victimized by racism in this supposedly progressive modern era.

Learning that the work I've invested in my writing and singing were appreciated by many people.

So many tragedies in the news. Praying for peace.

The Boston Marathon bombing. Sad in so many ways The horribly injured and dead A truly best of what it means to be human forum used for mindless violence A young man who lost his way once he graduated from a HS that offered a supportive and positive environment The way we humans can be too easily influenced by ignorance and ill thinking Showing us how we are capable of great and wondrous beauty and horrible, ignorant violence Newton still FEELS like last year Syria and living with my powerlessness

Some years I know how to answer this question, and some years I don't. I am almost sad to say that events in my own life (good and bad) have really made me solely focused on my own life right now. It's been a very eventful year personally and I have so many priorities now that it's hard to reach outside my own world for it. I hope that I can start to get involved in other world events through teaching and my students so that I feel like I'm giving back again. Until then, charity starts at home.

The Arab Spring and its complicated aftermath reminds me how difficult it can be to claim your voice, how much courage it takes, how the support of your peers can make all the difference...and how nothing is for sure. It also reminds me not to underestimate the moral generosity and ethical fortitude of the Arab world, which I often dismiss as too thoroughly anti-Semitic.

The Sandyhook Elementary shooting. It breaks my heart to hear of people dying at such a young age because of something completely out of their control. Life is so valuable and we should really cherish each and every person in our lives because we really just don't know what will happen tomorrow. This poor children will never get to grow up and see the world they live in, and their parents will never get to experience their children growing up and experiencing life. Its just so devastating.

I am stunned that we are even considering attacking Syria! Have we learned nothing? I so want to go to Israel and have extreme concern for the country's well being. There is so much violence in the world and so much unrest. I fear for everyone's safety.

We were watching a bunch of videos about the Anthony Weiner scandal last night, and I made some observations about the nature of ego. How defensiveness and anger just create more of the same kind of problem. Honesty and standing up for important principles such as privacy with respect to the relationship between people would have been a higher path and could have been a teaching moment for how to carry oneself.

The ongoing civil war in Syria - I have met and very closely befriended a Syrian Jew from my synagogue. She has quickly become one of the closest people to me in the world, and her heritage and connection to her country and her people, watching her beloved and ancient Aleppo completely destroyed, has made me feel the devastation of these events in a way that they otherwise may not have moved me.

The Zimmerman verdict reminded me that in order for people to understand where I am coming from, I must learn to speak their language. Without learning to speak other's language, and without teaching others to understand my language, there is a gap in communication that will never be bridged. It brings to mind one of my favorite hymns, "Help Us Accept Each Other". I cannot accept another if I do not at least try to understand them.

honestly watching grey's has helped me decide what i want to be in life, a pediatric surgeon. THANK YOU MCDREAMY

There hasn't been one thing this year, but instead a sense of steadily increasing hopelessness about the people who are supposed to be leading my country and the people who vote for some of them. Though I tell myself that the 99% must be uninformed (or snowed by the media) when they vote for the people who want to keep them that way, I still wonder what happened to the folks who sincerely want the world to be a better place for everyone. I'm more and more disappointed with Obama, and especially furious at the smug white Republicans (and confused as all get out about the women and non-whites) who continually laud wealth and self-interest as the solution to our problems. I'd like to say that as a consequence, I'm going to get involved in political action, but I'm full on into despair. I can't think of a single involvement (other than my commitment to voting in every election) that would satisfy my inborn (and bred) idealism. If our country can't even figure out that we need to do something about gun violence, money for education and literacy, or health care (points to Obama for doing something, incredulousness at the Republican nastiness in trying to stop it) then wtf, I'm done. I know it's neither healthy nor useful, but I've come to terms with it for myself. This is one where I hope I feel very different next year and can find a cause that I not only believe in, but think has a prayer of success in our crazy country.

Hmm can't really think of anything that would impact me directly. But I think I became way more feminist and aware of living in patriarchy and how it affects me on daily basis.

Ha! They want to take away the right to bear arms! Are you kidding me>? If they take away the legal guns from decent people the only thing left will be criminals that are armed.... doesn't sound good to me! Sounds like they want to take away the defenses of the people!

Gay marriage is starting to be legalized in more and more places, which I think is awesome. I think we're up to 13 states + D.C. Something close to that anyway, as of Sept. 7, 2013. Hot damn, I was right: " As of August 2013, thirteen states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington), the District of Columbia, several counties in New Mexico, and five Native American tribes have legalized the issuing of same-sex marriage licenses." (Wikipedia) It just... it feels great to know it's being recognized and it's amazing to see pictures of gay couples all over the place and sometimes in states where I wouldn't even think gay people would choose to live. I guess my brain thinks all the homos live in New York and San Francisco and, IDK, get lost on the trek in between. I think it means so much to me because, of course, I want to get married someday (sooner rather than later, God, please and thank you) but the visibility is so important. There are celebrities starting to come out more and it's just so great to not feel so damn alone. I don't know if Indiana will ever jump on the bandwagon or if I'll end up in a couplefew years in a state where gay marriage is legal. Maybe eventually it'll just be marriage, you know? I'm not getting gay married. I'm just getting married. And I don't think it's some desire to be like straight people and copy their norms and societal conventions. I want to wear a pretty dress, carry some flowers, smooch a cute girl, and eat cake, all while people give me presents and tell me how great I look. Who wouldn't want that??

The massive flooding in Calgary and surrounding areas hit very close to home. Being from Edmonton, I always felt that the province was completely safe from any natural disasters. The flood, which was the size of New York, completely devastated the region and reminded me that the natural disasters are getting much worse at an increasing rate and, can occur anywhere in the world at any time.

Obama's growing detachment and lack of vision has bothered me more than I can really describe. I wanted him to be a leader, to demand a sense of moral and political rectitude. I think he's very bright and capable, and that we're floundering.

The potential that we bomb Syria has really, suddenly made me feel so very powerless in this world. How have we come to this? How was the path traveled so seemingly quickly? Why don't I/can't I have a voice in this? I don't want us (or anyone) to start WWIII or completely and utterly destabilize the Middle East.

Gay marriage being legalized impacted me...not because of gay marriage but because behind every sensational news story...a greater political agenda was passed. While the American people looked away in the direction of being divided over race or sexuality, our government controlled those substances that affect us all such as food crops.

The ongoing civil unrest in Syria and in Egypt. It has made me think that now is the time for me to get involved in humanitarian work...I've decided to do Doctors Without Borders.

Last year I wrote about Iran and how I was fearful that what was happening there would affect me. Thankfully, not much happened during the year, although it's still a concern. I think in terms of American politics, a woman's right to choose will definitely impact me. Although at this point in my life, I would choose to keep a pregnancy, I think that this shouldn't even be an issue, reproductive rights should be between a woman and her doctor.

Syria. I'm done with the United States being the world's police force. I'll never support another war unless we are directly attacked first.

The simple announcement that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million: it was expected, and it's just a round number, but it's so unsustainably high, I feel like it's a summons to tshuvah demanding that we all do more to stop climate change.

I worry about wildfires.

The Syrian civil war has made me think a lot about social contract, legitimate foreign intervention, and what our responsibilities are to people on the other side of the world.

The Boston Marathon bombings shook me deeply. Life is so short, and we need to be thankful of everyday, every friend, every loved one we have in our life. That's the most important thing.

Superstorm Sandy. It quite literally impacted me as it plunged lower Manhattan, where I live, into a blackout that lasted a week. I live in a high rise so I had to escape my apartment and stay in my friend's studio in midtown with two other Lower Manhattan refugees. I wasn't home for a week and then didn't have heat or hot water for an additional week. The experience was interesting because I thought "I live in Manhattan, nothing will happen." Now I know better. There is also nothing scarier than being in a major city in total darkness - it was a very "Cloverfield" or "I am Legend" feeling. Not fun.

Continued flooding in our area - it used to seem like environmental destruction was something that happened to other people in other places. Now it seems like a regular thing that happens here.

The woman who died in a Galway Hospital because of our backward Abortion laws. The reason it impacted on me was long before these laws came in I was in hospital with twice with miscarriages and I would have hated to be treated like that woman was.

As a former political science major, watching states legalize same sex marriage and the Supreme court strike down DOMA was very exciting. This is the progression of civil rights in action and I'll be able to say I remember when this changed.

This is technically not an event, and it hasn't quite impacted me yet, but there is a decision by the British government to make all visitors/immigrants to the UK who are citizens of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Ghana pay ₤3000 in bonds. This decision applies to citizens of those countries who haven't visited the UK before, because those countries are classified as 'high risk'. I haven't visited the UK before, but I plan to in a couple of months, and I really don't have ₤3000 to give anyone, as I'm just a student. I think every government is free to run their country as they see fit, and I know that some citizens from these countries have migrated to and lived in the UK illegally, and this entire thing might even just be politically motivated. However, I hope I can get a visa before November, which is when this new 'rule' would become effective. In other news, I'm not American, but I was happy when I recently read in the news about the teacher/clerk who averted what would have been yet another school tragedy by calming a disturbed young man down, thus preventing him from shooting anyone. It didn't impact me directly, but it made me happy.

GMO labeling

Travelling to Palestine last October, seeing the inhumanity of the Israelis towards the Palestinians. A life changing trip. Since then, there are troubles in Syria and Egypt that are affecting the whole region. Having been there it makes it all so real.

Syria for sure. This definitely impacted me because usually you hear of Arabs killing each other and we don't care because that's that they do. However, this time it's just going for too long. The gassing of innocents and children is just unthinkable. Syria is obviously incapable of controlling their own country so I really feel that the world needs to intervene here.

The fire and collapse of the garment factory building in Bangladesh and the numerous people killed as a result of inhumane working conditions was a wake up call. It made me wonder how many things I have in my possession that take advantage of the desperate poverty of others.

The developments in the fight for marriage equality have been profound. The striking down of DOMA and Prop 8, new states legalizing gay marriage, and the changes in the percentage of acceptance in the US are all great signs.

Syria troubles. I am worrying about it because it will somehow greatly affect all of us in the future.

The Civil War in Syria . Right now the USA is considering jumping into the fray which I hope to God we don't ,it is a civil war , we have no business there for any reason .Neither side is the kind of government we wish to support . Another concern is the location . It is very close to Megiddo aka Armageddon . If we jump in there now , it will be the end of life as we know it .there may not be a 10 Q next year . This would be sad.

Obviously, the presidential election was important, and the outcome made us happy. Obama continued to use the internet organization that supported him so well the last time, and though our glasses aren't so rosy now we appreciate him and are relieved that we didn't elect Romney. Now, if the Republicans would stop blocking Obama's policies at every turn, the country might make some progress. Personally, the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage was a huge celebration. We went to the victory rally in West Hollywood with our daughter and her somewhat jaded kids (yawn, we were attendants in the grandmas' wedding five years ago, what's the big deal) and felt much moved. When I consider the huge pain and personal damage I suffered when I first "came out" (was dragged out) in high school, I am stunned by the progress that the GLBT community has made. Amazing. I think about young gay folks now and wonder if they even know, much less appreciate, what life before Stonewall was like. I'm happy for them--and also know that, for many, it's still a hugely difficult journey. The arc of the moral universe is long but it does bend toward justice.

Not sure if it can be seen as an event, but the whole NSA drama "impacted" me somehow. Somehow I knew that there may be observasion from higher persons, but showing that our country, being so far away from the US and somehow unrelated (at least I felt like) to terror and that stuff. Showing, how much power the US really has all over the planet somehow made me realize, that it's more the UN ruled by the US than, the UN without any real ruler. Also the way people treated Snowden made me really sad. Our country said we wouldn't want to give him asylum right form the start, only because we didn't want to mess with the US. Only because "we" lost WWII? That was like 60 years ago and I don't think there is still a right because of that. Maybe only because everyone is scared of the US, secretly ruling the world. Made me pretty sad, because I thought we were all equal. Seems like some people are more equal.

The horse meat scandal proved to me how utterly useless the human race can be. Although the meat being labelled as beef was wrong, the whole "outrage" which stemmed from it was pathetic. Horses were being raised along side beef in a French factory, where the French eat horse = logical explanation as it being found in our UK shops. It was only found in cheap, frozen ready meals so if people cared that much about the meat inside then why weren't they buying local produce and supporting local tradespeople. It was only harmful to humans if consumed in massive quantities from the horse tranquilliser, and if you're eating that many frozen ready meals then maybe you need to re-evaluate your life and diet. It made me realize how pathetic life is.

I honestly can't think of anything in particular that affected me in such a way that my life was irreparable changed. There was Hurricane Sandy, but my area of NYC was relatively unaffected. And there are various places in the world in various states of unrest, which unnerves me, but they don't personally impact me (or at least not as of yet). I suppose I should be grateful. :)

The daily slaughter of Syrians, by their government and the rebels!

The slaying of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman deeply affected me. It may have been naive, but I was shocked at the conduct of the police during the investigation and at the outcome of the trail. Living in my own liberal bubble, I thought that as a society we were past this type of overt racism and discrimination. These events opened my eyes and also made me reexamine other types of racism that still persist.

Drought. Never-ending drought. Everything is brown and crisp, seemingly for the foreseeable future. Some people still don't believe in global warming. Also, we went to France and it reminded me that there is still is a rest of the world. I loved France. It was beautiful in every way.

The erosion of respect for America in the world dovetails with a personal belief that there has been great moral slippage in the nation. Things once considered to violate biblically-mandated values re personal behavior have become not only acceptable in the village square but there is a pervasive attitude that those who do not agree with them are "evil" (i.e., intolerant).

Events of the world don't really impact me. I feel to be the sole creator of whatever happens to me and in my life. From this point of view I don't really care about what is created by others.

The election really impacted me. I did a lot of volunteer work and felt like I really made an impact.

Gay marriage continues to become more an more legal. This makes my heart feel good and makes me smile extra big at all the gay and lesbian friends/family in my life. Equality. We're almost there.

I wish I wasn't worried that one day people or police will treat my son poorly just because of the colour of his skin.

global debt forgiveness we have no more debt the courts n creditors r trying like crazy to get ur $$$ as fast as they can btw.....where is my baby.....he wont let me contact her..............war crimes ..........those in power can now b held accountable for war crimes n crimes against humanity

I don't think it's been that a year that has been that momentous in global affairs.... more of the same: oppression by terrible regimes in some parts of the world, the continued inequality of race, gender and sexuality and a global political framework ill-equipped to deal with the major challenges we face in relation to poverty, famine, health and climate change. I've been more affected by the world's reaction to events in my own backyard, particularly the reaction to the ousting of Julia Gillard as Australia's first female PM. I think the global reaction to that was very interesting and highlights some challenges as we push toward gender equality. The oversimplification of the issue, the linking of unrelated issues and the conclusion that she lost her office in any way due to her gender doesn't help push the cause forward as it is highly inaccurate. She lost the top job the same way she gained it; through political assassination by collaborators in a dysfunctional government, against the will of the voting public. Live by the sword, die by the sword. I'm embarrassed for how the misconstrued reporting of this made Australia look on the global stage and I'm angry that the whole circus cost us one of the most progressive and positive governments of my living memory, one that was elected with a huge swing toward it (the first term Rudd government) and delivered some incredible policy outcomes as well as steering us through the global financial crisis better than most economies. So, how did this affect me? I consider myself a huge supporter of women and equality, yet I am really struggling as I find the pendulum swinging away from equality and toward active discrimination against men to further the cause of women (beyond a necessary level of affirmative action in some areas), as well as a culture where any criticism of feminist policies is branded mysoginist (a term that in some instances is absolutely genuine to describe some men's attitudes, but not often than not is sensationalist rubbish) and, most worryingly, a backlash against women and a neanderthallic rise of horrendous anti-female behaviour by some segments of the male population. What we need is balance; a steadying push toward genuine equity for all, that doesn't create an unsustainable incrimination and marginalisation of men in the process.

The economic situation in the US. Others may think this is negligible, but my husband is a government employee and we are now into our third year without him getting a raise. He also will not receive a monetary service award and our health savings benefits ceiling has been cut in half. The Republicans cannot continue to hold civil servants as hostages for their disagreements with Democrats over the budget. Let them have these monetary restrictions placed on them and see how they feel, if they feel, the pinch. At this point, I think both parties are out of touch with what is happening to "everyday" America.

Sometimes I get so frustrated by negative world events because people are so quick to take reckless action for a cause or stir up events by sharing their toxic opinions or disregard the value of human life for crazy reasons. I just want to shut it all out because it becomes overwhelming. The bombing in Boston was needless. The struggles in Libya and the devastation in Syria and the genocide that occurs simply boggles my mind as if they were events from a novel or a film instead of real life. I am distant from all of it. I should get mad but I just shut it all out anymore so that I do not harbor toxicity myself.

The chemical warfare attack in Syria absolutely horrified me with its cruelty, especially to the innocent children.

As an example, Malala, the young Afghan girl who was shot for trying to go to school and this year spoke at the United Nations -- ordinary people who stand up for what they believe in. The dignity of Coralla Utopia in Seville, a bunch of families made homeless by the GFC and archaic tenancy law who banded together to look after each other. These are just two examples of thousands. So it's not one event, it's people's response to events - the refusal to sit down and be told.

The event that impacted me was Pope Benedict XVI resigning and Pope Francis taking over. It's a big event for catholics and for the world. With a new pope came big changes. The new perspective in looking at ourselves and others is helping us to be better. Also the resigning of a previous pope has brought some attention to what he did, and said, that was not highlighted earlier, as he was a more "silent", but brilliant and intelligent pope.

I feel slightly disconnected from the events in the world. The us is gearing up to strike Syria and I am sad about it and have slight feelings if resignation. This is a moment where we should all be standing up and shouting as loudly as possible: no no no no no!!!. It is huge.

There are so many, some close to home and some further off. But most issues close to my heart this year relate to feminism/gender equality, and to LGBTQ rights. So I'd have to say the controversy over Russia's antigay laws, spurring issues with the upcoming Olympics. It was really interesting seeing the explanation for how LGBTQ discrimination is different there, culturally speaking. I think it is wrong, but I do think that enlightening people to the idea that just because something is wrong doesn't mean we can change it is important, though not a pleasant lesson.

the forest fires in californa - too close to where some of my friends live and i felt for them

To be really honest. Nothing comes to me when thinking on this subject. A lot happens in the world - and on a daily basis - so it's not that there is a lack of subject matter here. More so a personal choice to just kind of tune out the "world noise," in order to determine my own personal meaning, and what it is I am doing in my day-to-day to be a better person and help out where needed in this world. We are all impacted by the "ways/events" of this world; and it's how we deal with it that determines our journey. I will say that I am very awake and very aware. That is all.

The civil war in Syria and possible US action to retaliate for their use of chemical weapons. I don't know if I want the US to take military action or not. I hate the idea of standing by and doing nothing, and I don't think killing people solves the problem, either. I don't like that military action feels like the only choice. Brett Dillahunt voiced this stance on FaceBook and it really resonated with me. It makes me sympathize with the president. There's no clear right answer here. It's really hard to know what to do.

Our country is about to go to war with Syria for GOD ONLY KNOWS what... because of our tyrant of a president. Doesn't even feel like the USA anymore.

The mountain fire near our home allowed us an opportunity to decide what, of all the material things in our life, is important should we have had to evacuate. Family pictures was number one. Not the art, not the jewelry (except for a few "heirloom" pieces), not the knick knacks. Quite simply, most of the material things in my life can be replaced except for those precious memories ..... Quite sobering. I asked maybe people what they would grab, aside living creatures, and we all seem to agree. Even though I love the possessions which make our home unique, none of it is as important as the simple things we cherish most - our family and friends and memories of good times together.

The chemical gas attack in Syria because it is still amazing how the world cannot just function peacefully and solve problems through talking, not killing/ bombing/ gas attacks, etc. With violence, comes more violence, along with more deaths for the U.S as soldiers are deployed in war. Towards the future, of course everyone would like to pass the idea of going to war, but at this point, i cant see how thats possible if everyone keeps fighting.

You know, this is pretty pathetic, but not much has affected me this year. I have been focused on my family and my life rather than the world around me. Honestly, I think that is for the best. It reminds me of the quote "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I may not be able to change the world, but I can change myself and I can raise my son to be a good person who might change the world himself someday.

The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting completely upended me. I was filled with such sadness and disbelief. Is this all the further we have come, that we uphold violence to settle disputes and hide our racism behind the law? I see how my son - a mixed race/black young man - is treated by some people, and I want to scream. Can they not see the same beautiful, smart and funny man that I see? This case has made me come out of my shell more and be willing to speak out. It also reminds me that I have to be more expressive in my relationships with others, and affirm our worth together.

There is a major civil war in Syria and the western countries are sabre rattling again. It makes me sad to feel like the world is poised for perpetual conflict and that people must suffer to satisfy the greed of a relative few. It seems like we only get involved when the problem becomes so large that we cannot ignore it anymore, and of course by that time the problem has often grown beyond a peaceful resolution.

The Supreme Court decision allowing LGBT people to marry means I can marry my beshert legally and have the same protections as other people.

The situation where the young women were held hostage as sex slaves for over a decade impacted me because it made me realize that although things have gotten better in some regards, human nature can be atrociously cruel. And the fact that the perpetrator committed suicide reinforced for me that many of the people who do some horrific acts don't stand up and take responsibility.

The school shootings have really taken a toll on my psyche. The loss of 26 people in Newtown, CT enraged me enough that I wrote and published an article in an upstate NY newspaper...ultimately leading me to create a piece of artwork entitled "Post-Devestation." In response to the DeKalb, GA school attack where no one was shot - even though a firearm was discharged, I am planning another piece entitled "Post-Salvation." I'd love to bring these pieces - in full scale - to our legislators in Washington, DC and promote a table discussion that will become part of an ongoing art piece.

A lot happens every day - something within the last year that's a world event? The Middle East is all rising up against each other and trying to fight each other. Syria right now is what we're about to go in and bomb because of their use of chemical weapons for mass genocide basically. It's sad - but at the same time - it is prophecy coming to pass. Moore, OK, suffered a big tornado similar to the one we had in Joplin and that kind of hit home, too, because as a city, we knew what they were going through.

I've reconsidered the role of China in the world. So many little events all connected to each other. The spark has been the ikea food products that have been seized and destroyed. This has triggered a profound reflection on democracy and the evolution of our civilization which I'm still working on with further studies

The drought in the Midwest has really kept my little town depressed, with few new opportunities coming to our area.

Syria is really impacting me right now. I always think that the perspective from history will be a shameful one if we dont intervene after use of the Sarin gas. However, we don't know if it was rebels or if it was Assad....but it is disturbing to sit on our hands. On the other hand I am dating someone who has lived in Syria and has a mom there still....and he is so against the intervention even though he knows first hand how bad it is there. Sometimes Im so at a loss for the right thing to say, but I do feel like my heart is more in it because I'm starting to care so much for someone who is deeply affected by whats happening there!

Just the other day I heard on the radio that radioactive water continues to leak from the Fukushima plant remains at an alarming rate into the ocean. None of us are exempt from nuclear radioactivity.It's in the atmosphere, our oceans and the rain. I'm terribly sad that the human race hasn't been able to care for our beautiful planet better. It feels like a bad nightmare!

It is becoming clearer to me what I bubble we live in (and by "we" I mean most of the people in the US), in that matters of crucial world-wide importance don't effect us much at all -- at least not directly. Most of our violence, pollution, economic inequality are exported, and we don't see it first-hand. Even "American" disasters like Sandy Hook and Katrina, plus the AWAG (a*****e with a gun) seem strangely isolated and far away -- unless you happen to be there.

The sequester forced my husband to take a job for less money, farther away from home, but Baruch HaShem at least he is still working !

The economic situation has been hard on so many of my friends. I feel so lucky by comparison, so grateful for my own situation... And a certain level of associated guilt has made me do what I can to help others.

New Prime Minister..... Hopi g this will effect me positively financially.

Sandy Hook Elementary shooting - We are all so vulnerable to violence at any time. Children at school shouldn't have to be afraid. As a parent, I don't want this to be one of the many things I worry about. It's so unthinkable, but it happened.

Sandy Hook school shooting impressed the carelessness and futility with which we approach our gun laws, gun culture and care for the mentally ill.

I don't feel particularly impacted by the world and it's events. I suppose I only feel what I experience, but that seems to cheap. Maybe I don't really care?Maybe I've become apathetic to the world and it's thousands of atrocities everyday. What ever the answer, it's no longer the time. in my life where I get to be selfish, I want to make a difference. I want to change the world, how ever I can. I suppose I can't do more then what I experience, tho. I don't know if I'll feel much different next year,v but I do know I want to try.

The lack of action in Syria. "Never again" they claim, yet the world stands by and does NOTHING when civilians are being killed by chemical weapons by their government.

I was very distraught about the nuclear reactor accident in Fukushima. We are seeing more and more negative results to the world from this terrible event. It continues to depress me because the world just does NOT learn anything from these events. We continue build nuclear reactors that put our entire world at risk and I am just as indifferent on a day-to-day basis as any of those who are even more affected due to their sheer proximity to the accident. It is very depressing in a personal and global way.

The threats from North Korea. With my mom living in South Korea I felt really afraid that something bad might happen to her. Tied to that, just the amount of violence, human suffering from Syria especially, but really so many place.

The Boston Marathon bombing had the most personal impact, because I grew up going down and watching the Marathon and I still have family and friends in the area - I could more easily imagine myself among the wounded than any similar attack. If anything, it inspired me to work harder to keep public events open and accessible - the Marathon is such a celebration of Boston that shutting it down, or preventing people from watching as they always have, would be a defeat. It would be a fundamental surrender to the forces of fear and irrationality, and I don't want to see that happen.

The new Pope! It makes me feel extremenly proud of being Argentinian, and I'm glad that someone like him has been given the chance to change things. I think it's what the world needed, an authority that fights for those who need it the most, for those who are usually ignored and diminished. It's simply moving and beautiful to have Francis as a spiritual leader.

The Boston Marathon Bombing happened nearby, and I know someone who ran but did not finish. She was not hurt, but it was a very significant tragedy for many.

Wendy Davis' filibuster. The sheer guts and determination Ms. Davis had in the face of the complete awfulness facing her. Wendy Davis' compassion and seeking for justice are things I strive to emulate whenever possible.

I was so busy trying to cope with problems in my life that nothing had an impact on me other than a temporary effect on my emotions.

Tony Abbot and The Liberal National Party being elected. I blame Labor for this. I blame disunity, sure. However that's not the real issue. The real issue is the lack of solidarity from the left and the ALP, the party of we, of the little bloke, of the workers and human solidarity, trying to out right the right, especially in areas of education and immigration. I look forward to the next year of the Labor party going back to looking after their base not the white privileged.

My shock at hearing Ryan agree that he (and other GOP candidates) were lying about incidents they say were linked to Obamacarew & other issues in 2012 election. Ryan stated, openly, that his (and other's) disenchantment with Obama policies was worthy of lies or whatever it took to unseat Obama. He actually believed this, and people did not fill the streets screaming in horror.

There has been some significant progress on gay rights this year with the Supreme Court overturning the Defense of Marriage Act. This is the civil rights issue of my era and am so glad to see progress. I feel like in the future people will look back on this time and the way gay people are treated in the same way I look back to the time when there were "colored water fountains" and black people couldn't vote. That is: it will look crazy and backwards!

Fat people

All the legislation involving equal rights for same-sex couples and gay marriage. I have had LBGTQ people in my life since a young age so it was always normal to me and I couldn't understand why people opposed such relationships. One of my dear friends from elementary school was able to legally marry his husband and I couldn't be happier for him.

The brave escape and freedom granted to the three women held in captivity by that monster Ariel Castro. I was inspired by the women's resilience and seeing them having not give up on trying to better their situation- they believed a better future could be found for themselves and found a way to free themselves from their horrific situation.

The things going on in Syria and Egypt. This is a complicated issue for me as an Israeli, a Jew, and someone who opposed violence of any kind. First, it makes question some of the basic tenants of democracy I hold so dear. They idea that freedom can be twisted into oppression so easily is really scary. Second, the idea that one faction can systematically slaughter another faction (no matter if with "regular" weapons or with Chemical weapons), scares me in that in a short time of 60 years we have, as a human race, failed to learn very basic truths. Finally, I am more and more scared by extremism, which ironically makes me more of an extremist myself... I find that troubling.

The reelection of President Obama gave me hope. Living in this stronghold of conservatism, which presents as hateful, restrictive, selfish and even lunatic at times, I have been seriously worried about our nation, especially our poor and displaced. Personally I felt afraid and outcast in my own community. I thought it unlikely that Obama would win a second term, but when he did, and by a large margin, it signified that I was not alone and indeed the majority of Americans felt as I did.

I don't know that it's an actual event. It's more of a realization that we keep sending our military to other countries when there are problems here at home to be addressed. I continue to see people I know in the military sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, and many of them come home injured in body and mind. Now we are considering a military response in Syria. It makes no sense to me. Perhaps my perspective is skewed, but too many bright and ambitious men and women are being lost for purposes I simply don't understand.

the continuing killings and kidnappings in Mexico by the cartels and how they have literally taking over the country and its peoples in ways never imagined. it bothers me because I used to go to Mexico all the time and now my husband will not travel there with our teens for fear of violence to us. I wanted so much for them to see their roots.

The marathon bombing brought up a lot of feelings I didn't know I had about living in Israel during the second intifada. I'd forgotten a lot. It was an odd combination of feeling unmoved by the bombing, compared to the people around me, and feeling overwhelmed by memories of Jerusalem.

Well this is nothing "new" but I keep hearing the politicians talking about 'freeing' us from foreign oil, by raping the oil sands. I just think that instead of charging us 5-6 dollars/gal of gas, that the fracking will distroy our water supply, spoil our land and then we will be paying 5 dollars per gallon for fresh water. I think it is crazy and needs to stop. I guess it makes me more aware of what a hyp/hippiecrite I am we all are. We all want organic fruits/veggies all year round, no matter whose land it destroys, and to take showers every day and drive to work, have bbq's, and drink bottled beer....but at what price?

The Rim Fire in Tuolumne County and Yosemite because I've never had any major disaster happen so close to home. Seeing my hometown engulfed in smoke so thick it looks like fog, watching ash rain down from the sky and knowing that just a few miles down the road thousands of acres of my home are burning is something I've never dealt with before. I never watch the news, I honestly never really know what is going on in the world because a part of me just never cared. Now that I'm living and experiencing the destruction of my home I have a greater understanding and empathy towards other communities/cities/countries who have been impacted by a disaster. For me, hearing about a disaster somewhere else, while terrible, it would quickly leave my mind as I would go about my life. I would toss money into disaster relief containers without really thinking about how those people's lives were being effected. I would glance at articles briefly without ever actually reading them. I never realized how little I truly cared about what was going on until it was happening in my own backyard. I feel more for those areas now than I did before and I want to help more than simply dropping my spare change or a few dollars into an empty water jug. Seeing how my community rallied together to help each other, to support each other and to express our eternal gratitude towards the people who are fighting the fire and keeping it from completely destroying our home I want to do that for others more than I have in the past. Watching strangers offer to take in pets and livestock, help transport people out of the area, have so many volunteers and donations to the evacuees at the Red Cross evacuation relief that was put up that they had to say, "stop. We have enough." Is the most beautiful thing and it's really opened my eyes and heart to places beyond my tiny hometown.

All of the debate in the Texas house about shutting down abortion facilities has really clarified my views on the matter. Unfortunately, I now think differently about a few of my colleagues because of their views on the issues.

Honestly, I am struggling too much with this question. I feel like I try to be globally, nationally, and locally aware but am coming up short. Maybe I'm not in the most reflective moment (I'm pre-gaming and listening to Katt Williams.....) but nothing immediately comes to mind. I think what impacts me the most is seeing the death in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I know that sounds so shallow but hearing about deaths and hurt is what resonates most with me. I think it is reflective of my personality and how I feed off of people around me. The terrible rapes in India....for those women to be living in constant fear. Trayvon Martin...no matter what a person's personal opinion is, a teenage boy was stalked and gunned down for no reason. These are the things that impact me. These are the things that make me sad.

In mid-August there was a hashtag that caught fire on Twitter - #solidarityisforwhitewomen - that started the process for me of examining my white privilege. I realized that I've never made the effort to listen to women of color, and I began listening. I'm changed by this, irrevocably. I can't unsee - and don't want to unsee - how deeply our culture is rigged in favor of people who share my skin color. I'm at the beginning of a crucial educational process for myself, and I don't ever want to disengage.

There's not a single world event that has impacted me. Perhaps the biggest impact would be from the climate change. The weather is more severe, more unpredictable. I worry about the changes to the world, the melting of glaciers and loss of habitat. Our water use is restricted, not because of a shortage, but because the reservoirs are infested with non-native mussels that clog the treatment plants and water lines. I'm afraid this is only the beginning.

Worry about Syrians

Newtown school shooting. Too close to home and shows how vulnerable we all are. I was so touched by the bravery of those teachers. I don't think I could have been as courageous. They are close to my heart.

The day after the Australian election and all I can think about is the disaster that is Australian politics. I can't believe the depths that both parties have lunged to and I truly fear what will come. Australia has elected in a arrogant, bullying, lying, sexist, right-wing prick and I think a lot of socially progressive reforms that have been implemented are now under threat.

Standing on a mountain in northern Israel overlooking Syria. I could hear the bombs. I could see the smoke plumes. The noise was so loud. I remember thinking how loud it was to me and I didn't even live in those towns. I imagined mothers holding their children with the horrible sounds of bombs shaking the foundation of their lives. It was horrifying. No amount of screaming could stop the raging bombs.

The Boston Marathon bombing - it inspired one of the only current events sermons I've ever written. I think it hit so hard because of how many positive things I associate with Boston and with large sporting events. Anyone who has ever crossed the finish line of a marathon was shaken. The way the media covered the bombing also hit me pretty hard; I have never hated media coverage quite so much. They dug into these guys lives for people to interview and then asked them the most leading, inappropriate questions about their religious background...it made me a really sad American for a couple of days.

I work for a company that is heavily involve in the endurance sports world. The Boston Marathon bombings rocked our world--we had several co-workers there, thankfully all uninjured. However, it's been interesting to see how the community rallied within as within the sport, aside from how the country came together.

The Supreme Court granted federal recognition of gay marriage. It felt like all of the struggle I've been through my whole life with the case and the homophobia has been worth it to get to this point.

The awful news that Ariel Castro had imprisoned three young women for so many years -- sexually assaulting them, tormenting them... This news -- sharing it, too, with my teenage daughter -- frightened me. What a world we live in -- where women's lives are treated so casually. We are losing our soul -- violating the feminine part of our world -- so much is out of balance.

The 2 major shootings, (the shooting in a theater during the Batman premier in Colorado, and the Sandy Hook elementary school shooing) we're so shocking and sad. I heard on the radio about the school shooting and I remember sobbing in my car on my way home from work. When I put myself in others' shoes I can really feel their pain and its too much for me to bare. Sad emotions, especially tragic ones and hard for me to handle sometimes. I just don't know what to do with that feeling.

I honestly have no idea. Of course, as an active duty military service member, I am impacted by the war in Afghanistan, military action in South America, and the potential war with Syria. However, I do feel particularly impacted by specific world events this year. In fact, I make efforts to insulate myself from the impact of most world events so that my energies and attentions can be focused on my family. It's not that I don't care. I do. I just try to balance caring with minimizing actual impact.


Repeal of the DOMA act! I have many gay friends who have struggled with issues of equal rights for couples, and I'm so relieved and happy that this country is making progress in the name of love.

My son fought in the War in Afghanistan. We had not been a military family before he became a Marine. He brought so many new experiences, friendships, and knowledge to us through his choice to serve. This war and all wars now have a human face, driving me to look past glib classifications and stereotypes of the players on all sides of conflict. I can see and continue to be challenged by the extreme complexities of the notion of peace and the reality of war.

George Zimmerman was found not guilty. The worst part on a personal level was seeing the depths of racism in some close family & family friends, like Uncle Mike or Perry or Cortney. That such otherwise good men could be so invested in this case (and Zimmerman's "victory") was a sad reminder of how deeply entrenched racism is in our society.

It was this year that SCOTUS ruled, finally, that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. It is hard to believe how quickly what was such a struggle to achieve now, just a few months later, feels normal.

Obamas election Yeah! he stands for Unity much more than anyone else. :) Walker stayed as Gov :( GMO laws got bought off :( there is still work to do to stand as best and vulnerably as I can for the higher story

I have been staring at this question on and off all day. I did not have an answer. All day I ruminated and had nothing to say, nothing that addressed the question as written. I have been so focused on my own personal and family trouble for so much of the past year that no major news event immediately came to mind. I've been doing so much navel gazing, I have simply not paid attention to the major events in the world, other than a passing curiosity. And just now, late in the evening, as if out of nowhere both Ellie and I at the same exact moment realized what my answer was, what the news event was that had a significant impact on me. As I now reflect back, I find it's hard for me even to think about it, no less write about it. I'm sitting here now at the edge of tears as I remember this news event. You see, in April, two men set off homemade bombs at the finish line of the Boston marathon. One year before, with my wife by my side and before things in our relationship really started to descend, I ran the Boston marathon as a bandit. Just a couple weeks later I had moved in with my mistress. And the rest of the year was spent in a tumultuous journey. I did not go to this year's Boston Marathon, but I have numerous friends who were there. I was watching their times on the computer, and when most of them had finished I stopped paying much attention. And yet a short time later, news began to come in about the bombs. The news for whatever reason did not initially strike me. But as I learned more and as I realized that I still had friends on the course and as nobody was able to hear from them the gravity of this news event sank in. Within just a couple hours, I was a complete mess. I was a mess because I could so easily identify with where the bombs were set off, because I felt all the fear that my friends who were both there and were watching from afar must have felt. I was also highly destabilized thinking about my mistress, who worked in a federal building, that she could also be a target on that day. My head and my heart were there, which then added turmoil to the day's relationship with my wife. My mistress minimized my concerns and my wife stood by me as much as it must have devastated her to see what was hurting me. With time, the raw emotion passed, and my wife and I worked through that event. A couple days later, one of the bombers was dead and the other was caught, news I learned early in the morning as I drove to perform a bris. I remember standing there around sunrise in these people's living room watching the news returns before we got going, feeling the anger at this man, this bomber, who destroyed something so beautiful and he drove me into that tumultuous space. Even here tonight thinking about it, I have tears in my eyes. Thinking about it, I find myself so grateful for what I have. And I find myself ever grateful for my wife who stood by me through the worst.

The bombing at the boston marathon made me realize that awful things can happen close to home.

The continuing leak of radiation from Fukushima has me very concerned. The overall challenges to the health of the planet by human activity makes me fear for what kind of home we will leave for future generations. I wish that the population of the planet placed a higher priority on protecting our precious resources, and acted accordingly.

The ignorance of some countries about what is happening in the Middle East, especially where Israel is concerned. Israel is the only democratic country in that area. Israel has truly made the desert bloom. The Palestinians and their cohorts do nothing except destroy and kill. Israel must stop giving in to their demands. Israel is a holy land and should be able to live in peace.

The teacher strike in Chicago had a big impact on me--it was the first time I and many people I know were so closely involved in a labor dispute. It also stands out because I really found myself identifying with and against arguments on both sides of the issue. I understand the teacher's demands to be compensated for additional teaching time but disagree with the level of job security they ask for, since you can't hold principals accountable if they don't have control over who they hire. I remember feeling very uncomfortable starting my school year with a bang while my students were locked out of their secular schools across the city. The whole situation was a big lesson in the gray-ness of the real world, where clear right and clear wrong are often non-existent.

Newtown. I couldn't stop watching the coverage, and yet it was terrifying me. For a while I really didn't feel safe anywhere. Our world has changed so much...there's no understanding it, and yet you can't look at it and just walk away. You want to understand it. You want to say that some good had to come out of it. But really, how can that be?

This most recent issue with the chemical warfare is bothering me because I am generally a pacifist but I do not think it is okay to do nothing when the use of chemicals is not really a war weapon. All year, children have died unnecessarily...New Town, the tornado in the town that should have better tornado basement safe zones and now hearing about over 200 children killed by the chemicals in Syria. I am not sure how this will unfold or what the US will do though I admit that I prefer the dialogue rather than the president deciding and then everyone second guessing. Guns, in general, are to me, the cause of the death of too many children.

Hurricane Sandy. I live on the Jersey coast, and though we were fortunate to have had minimal damage to property, we have friends who were directly affected. It has really changed the landscape of the place where I grew up forever, and though those changes were likely to have come over time, this caused them to occur in devastating fashion, overnight. It's been difficult to enjoy this past summer ...things are different...I almost feel guilty going to enjoy the beach when there has been so much destruction.

I must live under a rock. There are very few world events that directly or even indirectly impact me. I really can't think of anything

The use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. It hjas made me really think about the role the US seems to want to play as the policeman of the world and how other countries are more than happy to relegate that role to us to keep their hands clean.

Miley's twerking. Just kidding. I realize I have a hard time holding on to things chronologically, even though they may be impactful. I can only hope this doesn't mean I am not paying enough attention to the world outside my small life. Having said that, I was really impacted by the shooting at Sandy Hook. It seemed that no evil was too evil--the murder of so many small children, in a place where they should have been safe, at school. Such a horror. I realized I have really got to work for peace, for everyone. No evil is out of the question; I can let no good go undone.

The Boston Marathon bombing has impacted me beyond what I ever could have imagined.

The economy has kept me from being able to easily find a full-time job. My car died, so I had the experience of buying one "new". Oddly, Cory Monteith's accidental overdose death has caused me to think a lot about drugs, happiness, and other people's suffering.

New Town Massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. The night before the massacre, my 1 year old woke up in the middle of the night and we came downstairs and cuddled on the couch for about an hour. During the course of just sitting with her, I became highly in tune with my fears as a mom, as I had just listened to an interview with Brene Brown on vulnerability that day. I whispered in my baby's ear, "Don't die before me." I had just come from touring my local elementary school, (where my 5 year old is now in kindergarten), when I heard the news of the assault on those innocent children and teachers. My husband went to school in New Town and we were all so in shock, so sad. I felt so connected to those scared babies calling out "mommy" and "daddy" and so vulnerable. My heart aches for the families of the children who were killed & the children who witnessed this horrible horrible thing. And for the parents who have to experience their child dying before they, themselves die.

Scientists successfully clone human stem cells. As my organs fail early due to diabetes, 3-D printers may soon make me a new retina, kidney, etc. Or a new pancreas!

The shooting of the Pakistani schoolgirl really upset me - the injustice and ignorance that seem to be far too common. Also the story has a remarkably happy ending for her, which seems to buck the trend of others in her situation.

The Hurrican Sandy. I was shocked to learn how unprepared we are for disasters. I have begun to prepare my family on how to respond, and more importantly, to take government warnings of imminent disaster very seriously. Better to be alive and inconvenienced.

The killing of innocent people in Syria. Such a senseless act of violence and control. All those poor people, and all the children murdered. How sad!

The conflict in Syria has been in the news recently concerning the use of chemical weapons. I was listening to a debate on NPR. When I began listening, I was sure that I knew how I felt about chemical weapons. That they were worse than regular weapons. But a debater said something that changed my perspective. The chemical weapons killed 400-500 people. That's terrible. But what about the 40,000 killed with regular weapons? Are they any less dead? Less important? Why is it that we want to enter the war on the grounds of the use of chemical weapons and not simply on the grounds that so many are dying? Or should we simply stay out if it?

The Boston Marathon bombing. I still think it amazing that people ran toward the blast. I don't know if I could have done that. I am grateful, however, to have had the opportunity to minister to my covenant group.

Recently with the possibility of bombing Syria in response to their supposed use of chemical weapons. I feel torn, not wanting to retaliate and use violence against another country. Who knows if this will lead to "boots on the ground" and more human lives lost. But, I also fell that the US have some obligation to be a moral leader and we shouldn't allow chemical weapons to be used against Syria's people and it is against international agreements. Should the US be the role model? Can we make an impact non-violently? Something more locally (NC) has impacted me-Governor Pat McCrory has done an about face compared to when he was mayor of Charlotte. He and the legislature basically stand (and are voting for) for most things I am against. They have disrespected teachers by not paying them fairly, tried to reduce the democratic voters by new voter ID laws, reduced opportunities for abortions so there will be more unwanted babies in this state. They are not being transparent and have used excuses to explain their actions, which really have little to do with their underlying motives. It is apparent that they are supporting the rich at the expense of hurting the poor; it is so transparent and there seems to be no stopping this immoral train. I am glad that people protested and these protests had an appropriate name: Moral Mondays.

The Boston Marathon bombings hit way too close to home this year. I am a marathon runner. I had crossed the finish line of the Paris Marathon, which is one of the world Majors just the week before. I knew exactly how many people would be in that vicinity and I knew exactly what kind of people wait at the finish line of a marathon. It was heart shattering. Am I terrorized? No. Am I pissed. Yes.

When George Zimmerman was found not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin, I felt horrible. It was like: is this the world we live in? He was just a kid. He was murdered and our justice system did not bring him any justice because he's black. There are so many injustices in the system, but this was on the front page. It validates a racist system and racist society. He was just a kid.

I was really interested in the election this year, more so than I expected to be, since I missed being able to vote by a few weeks. I was on the way home (a six-hour trip) when the results were coming it, but at every rest stop, I followed the results and I listened to the radio when I could. It made me feel more a part of the country, and when Obama won, I was thrilled to celebrate with everyone else.

I remember very little about much outside of my small world.

I'm not sure. Despite the surge in globalization and the prominence of its effects, I have a hard time coming up with an answer. The best I can think of are the premier of the Island President documentary and the legalization of gay marriage by the British parliament. The Maldives are being completely flooded and may soon cease to exist due to rising CO2 ppm in the atmosphere, and it has failed to stir world leaders and even world citizens into true action. That saddens me deeply. But a hopeful event was the legalization of gay marriage by parliament. That gives me hope that equality for US citizens, and citizens worldwide, is on the horizon.

The Fukushima plant problem worries me as you think things the government tell you they are safe they aren't and u only find out once they occurred and its too late.

Federal Election, Rudd vs Abbott. Campaigned like mad on Facebook over the last week, but to no avail. Rudd conceded last night. Dark day for Australia.

The US Supreme Court ruling on DOMA impacted me hugely. Not only does this leave room for many to finally be able to celebrate and cement their relationships ... it's another step for me towards being able to eventually legally marry my wife.

Many small things, but mostly womens' issues: rapes in India, VAW legislation being shot down, health care clinics being shuttered in the name of religion beliefs, abortion restrictions being passed in the US left and right, college rapes of women, gender based hate speech on social media outlets against women, Men's "Rights" Activists, personally experienced misogyny, the 2012 presidential election unearthing all the wackos who think that womens' bodies can "shut down" rape sperm. Just to name a few things which accumulate into a huge huge huge impactful event for me personally. It has made me angry, enraged, hateful and hopeless. And then it has given me resolve, made me curious, active, and participant. Those two sides seem to oscillate back and forth each on their own. I am very grateful to see the issue in front of me now. I am more educated about womens' struggles, why they are important to learn about, and I feel much more capable of navigating this very misogynistic world.

Radiation from Fukishima causing great deveststion on marine life, wildlife, water. I am affected by the food I eat, the water I breath (living on the pacific). It's deveststing and I wonder how much damage is being done to ME, even as I write this. In another way, I am more conscious of the environment and food than I ever have before.

The recent news with Syria has really put me on edge and I'm not quite sure why. I'm just very tired of the US riding to the rescue when no other nations agree that it needs to be done. I'm also very skeptical of the reasons we are given. Not sure why this has impacted me more than the nonsense with north korea, but I'm very worried that it'll turn into a major war.

Living abroad puts America in a different place mentally in addition to physically. I see it with different eyes. The civil unrest in Syria and the chemical mass murder of thousands of people is hot on everyone's minds worldwide. I think the something needs to be done, but I don't know how I feel about the US going in. Is it our place? Maybe not. BUT how long do you wait? We can't save the world. But standing by while people are murdered is wrong.

I was probably more affected by the Newtown, CT school shooting than by any other event. How? The resulting national grief followed by the inability of Congress to pass background check requirements made me realize that public emotion is sometimes just cheap sentiment, and that the real emotion of grief requires hard work and hard thinking to work so that events like that don't happen. How can people who publicly place stuffed animals and candles think that there is any meaning whatsoever in those futile gestures? The real work could have been done, and most people were ready, but Congress sold us out.

well the rape in Dehli something about the brutality of it still haunts me. I have gone for plenty of protests and candle light vigils but nothing has helped, I still feel that the responsibility of getting her justice is on my shoulders

The randomness of the shooting in Sandy Hook shocked everyone. Guns are scary. Who would make random children a target?!

I have been ridiculously disconnected with world affairs in the past year. That being said, the anniversary of Dr. MLK Jr.'s speech was poignant for me. So much progress has been made, and at the same time, we have so far to go.

mushrooms growing in 107 degree weather, how does that happen, which leads me to be open to the grace and miraculous nature of existence and to be conscious of how very little is known and to continue to listen

The uprising in Syria. It started as a local protest and turned into an issue that needs to be addressed on an international level. As a Jew, an Israeli, It makes me think about how to react to something that seems so much like genocide in an enemy country. On a human level it is so frustrating the I can't do anything and all I have is the option to listen to the news and pray.

The supreme court ruling to strike down prop 8. My sister in law is gay, and every person should have the right to love and marry the person they love. It was pretty cool to see, and even cooler to be in SF when it happened.

The murder of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of of his murderer was a harsh reminder of how biased and unjust the country's justice system is. People of high morals need to resist this bias, continuously.

There are two events that impacted me the most in the last year. The first is the bombing at the Boston Marathon. While I did not know anyone who was directly affected by the bombing, I was deeply moved by the compassion and heart that people showed that day. The second is that gay marriage was passed in Washington and Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional. I was absolutely OVERJOYED when it passed in WA. There was a giant party on Capitol Hill and people started getting married almost immediately. The LGBTQIA community still has so far to go (in regards to their civil rights), but it was a beautiful step in the right direction. To the future you: Did you pay more attention to the conflict in Syria? I hope you became more educated about what exactly is happening to the people of that region.

Ohhhh dear lord in heaven!! This question reminds me I need to get out of my own head sometimes! Ahhhhh Boston marathon bombing pulled the rug out from under me. It reminded me I'm not safe in my own city or sport

The Sandy Hook shooting. Just rethinking about it now makes me ache for those families who lost either their young children with their whole lives ahead of them, or courageous teachers who died trying to save their students. The extreme hate from one man showed the amazing love that people in the school had for each other. It still astonishes me that people think it's okay for anyone and everyone to have a gun. I think about a lot of things differently now after this terrible shooting.

The wild fires in Colorado impacted me. Not directly, but I did meet a family who was living right across the street from where the fire currently was. And as they were checking out at my register they were simultaneously hoping their house would still be standing the next day.

A world event that has really made me feel has been the Arab Spring. It shows that the world really can still change, and it isn't easy - how many revolutions did France have before it even kind of got its shit figured out? And it's still imperfect, but people are trying. Young people can change things, and to me that means a lot.

Hurricane Sandy had a profound impact on me, as it directly hit my community in Brooklyn. I have not lived there for a long time, but my family is there, including an elderly grandmother. My grandmother lives in a multi-story building that did not have a working elevator for over a month because of the power outages. That meant that she, and other elderly people with mobility issues, could not leave her apartment for over a month. ome elderly people who could not leave their apartments froze to death without heat and power. The local hospital was closed down for months after the hurricane. A myriad of businesses were destroyed. It was devastating. I worry that this hurricane was not an isolated incident, but a new reality of global warming and extreme weather conditions.

The big world recession and collapse of the European economies have been averted for now and this has enabled the Canadian economy to continue to progress. This has been a great for my personal investments and ability to live on my retirement income. Hopefully the US and Canada will not be drawn into another protracted useless war in the Mid-East that will create more havoc with the world economic recovery.

The election of 2012 really impacted me. Not just that Obama was re-elected...although I was pretty happy about it. But more how the whole election really has shifted my view of politics and elected officials, especially those in Congress. I want so badly to be proud of our democratic experiment...but that election - the classism, the divisive rhetoric, the racism - it made it hard to feel good about government. As has all the behavior since then!

Syria because using nerve gas is unnerving! It is scary that a madman can have so much control over the world. Hope the US will wipe them out so Israel can have some peace in the coming year.

The Japanese tsunami debris washing up on the coast of California is a terrifying reminder of just how small a world we all share and that ecological disasters know no borders.

The civil war in Syria, and the debate as to whether or not western countries should intervene. Instinctively, I feel that intervention without a long-term plan is unwise, but I can see the argument of those who believe this appears to be giving Assad a free rein. I'm seeing friends who I'd have thought would have had the same view as me coming to different conclusions, which is making me question my own reasoning.

I feel pretty isolated and protected from world events. I do think all of the wars and planetary destruction that's happening impacts me on a soul level.

The civil war in Syria. Although far from me and not directly impacted like the Syrian people, I do feel the inaction of the international society and the power politics at play in global positioning around this conflict. All great powers in the world condemn the suffering but not willing to compromise and move to a position where they can act to save lives and make the world a better place.

Elections and politics, and, more importantly, the uncivil conversations around these topics, have had an impact on me. I want to think that I can be friends with people who have different values than I do, but I can't if they don't treat me and the people I care about with dignity and respect. Too often, I feel like people I know treat political parties and beliefs as a caricature of reality and forget that when they use the words "Democrat," "Republican" that there are real people, with real beliefs and real humanity.

I don't watch the news. It's too depressing. In fact I suggested a friend travel to Egypt this year. Foul ball! Apparently it's super unsafe....

I don't remember anything happening in the world. If there was anything, it will probably not have impacted me that much.

I was energized by the image of Wendy Brown and others filibustering against a bill that makes it difficult for poor Texan women to get access to health care and curtails basic rights women should have over their own bodies. The shoddy, illegal behavior of the Texas legislature was an appalling embarrassment. I felt sad and betrayed a few days later when the bill was secretly passed. How can they do that in this country? It shows that we no longer live in a democracy. Our basic human rights are being eroded. I need to become more involved in politics.

I was overwhelmed by the flood of local, state, and national progress to recognize all marriages as valid, regardless of sex or gender. Ten, even five, years ago I would have never thought that we would be this far. I was also struck by how much it affected me personally...while I never felt that I needed the blessing of the state to love whom I loved, these milestones each make me feel more accepted as a valued member of society. My sense of citizenship and patriotism has grown substantially now that I feel my country loves me back.

This past election really impacted my spirit. I was frustrated and scared by the inability of our lawmakers to find solutions for the serious problems affecting our country. I was overwhelmed by the feeling of being powerless. I want to take a more active role, but feel that the system is so broken and the passion of politics has diminished greatly. Politicians are only seeking re-election and magazine covers rather than partners and solutions.

I'm frightening by the continuing war in Syria and pray our President makes a swift but right decision to act.

The teachers' strike and ongoing issues with the Chicago Public Schools has affected me greatly. I see the effects of failed education policy in both my students and my son. I am so proud of the CPS teachers who have stood up to Rahm Emmanuel, Barack Obama, and all of the others who want to privatize and quantify education. In a city where children are killing each other in the poorest parts and even in the middle class, critical thinking is actively being replaced by rote memorization, we need our best teachers more than ever.

As I write, The world contemplates responding to the conflict in Syria and its use of chemical weapons. As I read and listen to this news, I realize once again how little I know about the complexities of that country, of the Middle East and how all those countries impact each other and the world, and how and why the international community chooses to respond. I am hopeful that those making foreign policy will employ more critical thinking- the kind that reflects and contemplates consequences- in creating a response. Closer to home, there was a day this summer when three things happened that ripped my heart out. Trayvon Martin's killer was acquitted, a woman of color accused of killing her ex boyfriend when he violently violated a restraining order was sentenced to 20 years, and Texas passed a bill imposing strict restrictions on abortions. All three were done amid outrage; all three pulled our nation back fifty years in the struggle for minority rights. The fear that fueled these actions was visceral: it sent a clear message that anyone not white and male needed to conform. Compassion asks us to understand not only those hurt but those doing the hurting.I ached to have an open enough heart to respond, both to those directly impacted- to listen to people of color, and imagine this were my son, my daughter, myself needing women's health care and considering abortion- AND to be able to listen to those whose fear was suffocating the rest of us. Doing so made my world feel very small- there was no room left to consider all the other suffering in our planet- and I thought I understood a little more how we get stuck in situations where we make decisions that affect the entire world and don't/can't see that.

It's odd, but nothing that has happened in the world seems to have had any effect on me. Maybe it's because I've spent so much time on my inner self. It seems like nothing short of a bonk on the head would have any impact on me. It's not that I don't care, just that there is so little I can do. I have limited my caring to those closer to home whom I can actually help. I used to be consumed with politics and world events. All my worrying and talking accomplished absolutely nothing. I don't even watch the news anymore.

Siria. Civil War. How the human life value can be so low. I'm very sad. And all of this respond to an analitycal ang cold geostrategical calculus... it is so sad....

I think the situation in Syria - mostly because finally the world is able to see the situation as it is as and has been. The middle east isn't so cut and dry and there is bad stuff happening all over there that we continue to ignore. Its tough to think with the evidence (I guess speculation) mounting against them, the world hasn't taken action. But this war has been going on for years - so why does it take a chemical attack for them to want to start acting now? It bothers me that we wait so long to take action, that by the time we do, it's too late. I find it hard to believe we live in a world that after so many years of civic wars, world wars, inhumane massacres of populations, we are still allowing this stuff to go on. Why in the 21st century are we still fighting the same battles we were 50 years ago?

I feel quite detatched from the world in general becaus ei don't follow current events. Lately I've been quite concerned about what's happening in Syria and do worry about that, but am trying to protect myself from the stress of knowing too much. It's probably naive but it's what I need to do to keep sane at the moment.

I am embarrased that I can't think of one off hand. I followed the election closely but the re-election of President Obama didn't impact me because I was already a big supported. If Romney had won, this would have had a big impact since it would have meant that the country was going backward in financial and social progress.

The girls that were abducted by that guy really upset me. The dr kermit abortion issue really upset me. Many people or at least what is publicized have no regard for life, respect for boundaries, respect for one another. Im really grieved today and wonder where the sons of God are. This world, its beliefs, Godlessness, wars, hatred, greed, and selfishness really breaks my spirit sometimes.

This year was the year of Trayvon Martin. He was a young teenager, whose only crime was wearing his hood up as he walked at night with a bag of candy in his pocket. He was shot dead by George Zimmerman who thought he looked suspicious. Zimmerman, a few weeks ago, was found "not-guilty" for Trayvon's wrongful murder. I think race issues came to the forefront this year in America. This all happened just in time for me to begin my work in a predominantly African American school. Movies like Fruitvale Station juxtaposed with The Butler constantly have me searching for the answer to race issues in this country. I think of my students and the challenges that I may be able to help them overcome in the classroom, but are of no use as soon as they walk out of my red door. Trayvon was a wake up call to this country that we are not done fighting for the equal treatment of African Americans in the United States. His death touched me and I'm proud to say I try to honor his memory in my work.

President Obama getting reelected was a great relief, but it's also been demoralizing to watch the president I believed in so much become so authoritarian and martial (wiretapping, drones, Syria, etc.). So that's demoralizing. And, of course, the Boston Marathon bombings. Nothing quite like that visceral sense of "not MY town!" Or the surreal experience of a lockdown manhunt in my neighborhood and old stomping grounds. But I was so proud of Boston - everyone was so brave and altruistic, the hospitals worked perfectly, and the indomitable spirit really is there. I was proud to have grown up in a place like that.

i'm not sure where to start, from the horrible rapes in India to the severe weather causing massive destruction... but i think what's bothered me most or impacted me the strongest is the constant unrest in the egypt and syria etc... democracy is a concept that just can't seem to fly there. maybe we should look outside the box?

The crisis in Syria, the murder of civilians with chemical warfare. Made me urgently strive for justice, to pray and advocate that the perpetrators be held accountable. I'm affected by human indifference to genocide and war. It makes me angry that action is rarely taken, that no one speaks for the poor. It makes me ask God what he wants of me in this regard. I sense it is something, but I'm not sure what yet.

The cruelty and hurtfulness that seems prevelant in the world and the recognition that I am perpetuating it towards myself in thoughts and deeds.

While Hurricane Sandy caused horrific damage and anguish to people living in affected areas, it also brought out tremendous altruism and kindness in countless others. While I am certain that evil exists in people, and that terrible events in nature are truly random, seeing such a massive outpouring of generosity, empathy, and kindness restores my faith in the fundamental decency of humankind.

The whole Ariel Castro // Ohio Kidnappings discovery affected me deeply. It was such a disturbing event that made me realize just how lucky I really am and how much suffering there is all over the world--not just in Syria or in Haiti or wherever. Constantly there are people in need of help, and it is our responsibility to live with open ears and open hearts so we may best find and help these people.

The Trayvon Martin verdict was extremely shocking and disturbing to me, as was the Sandy Hook shooting. Both of these events, and our national response to these events, were really upsetting to me. In both of these events, there was an opportunity for us to come together and take action demonstrating that we will not tolerate hatred, killing, racial profiling, or gun violence in our society. Instead, the actions that were taken as a response to these incidents were completely flimsy and inadequate. On the positive side, I think these incidents prompted very valuable dialogue about these issues. Hopefully there will be further action, e.g., gun control, better laws on racial profiling, in the future.

The Boston Marathon bombings. The event intersected with the lives of two people who are very important to me, and it left me with a greater feeling of vulnerability -- which in the right framework can be a good thing.

The mass murder of children in Newtown is something I will never forget. I watched the story unfold on the news as I nursed my newborn and the horror I felt is still palpable. There I was, doing everything I could to keep this baby safe and healthy and loved, while families in Connecticut, who had done the same, suddenly and cruelly lost their babies. My heart is still broken, and I am eternally changed. I drop my son off at preschool, and I am more aware of the strangers I see walking in, the locks on the doors, and the possibility of the unthinkable.

Newtown/Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings on December 14, 2012. I know this happens all over the world over and over, but I hit my tolerance level for gun violence in the United States. I feel we, as Americans, are better than this, but I know we really aren't. Anyway, I'm almost completely anti-gun now because I can't get the image of a parent dropping their kid off at school, with the Christmas holidays coming up and the child's excitement about Santa, and then learning your child was slaughterered. I see the wrapped gifts under the tree never to be opened, the toys unplayed with, the clothes unworn. And, for the life if me, I cannot grasp "gun rights" anymore. So to all the 2nd Amendment assholes out there "Fuck you." Though, I sincerely hope you never have to feel the pain if losing a child. I wish no one ever did.

We arrived in Bamako 4 days before the war there began. Not only did it drastically change the beginning of our year of travel, it was extremely worrying for our Malian friends. So many Malians were negatively effected by radical fundamentalists, and seeing how it impacted Mali broke my heart. I hope the country can rebuild as much as possible to be the safe and joyous place it was.

Sandy Hook ~ Connecticut School shooting. I still don't understand why we don't have gun control. I am disheartened by the overwhelming stupidity.

The war with Gaza affected me the most. Most of the time I feel totally safe living in Tel Aviv, but when there were bombs in Tel Aviv, the first time since the gulf war, it really scared me. I was going out with Dan at the time and stayed with him a lot but other than that, I barely went out. What would I do if I were in a cafe and there was a bomb? What a horrible feeling to walk around with. It changed my life completely and made me really realise for the first time, I am living in a country at war. I knew that of course, but I'd never felt it. It made me question what I would do if I had to leave; what would I do in London now?

DOMA was overthrown. It meant that my sister can finally have the same rights as me.

Superstorm Sandy impacted me greatly this year in so many ways. I had never realized until the night of the hurricane that I had never been truly scared in the face of Mother Nature. Nervous, yes, but never truly scared. Afterwards, it was a little surreal to live without heat, hot water, gas or electricity for over 2 weeks. All os a sudden this great big world became reduced to how far I could walk. No news, no internet, no radio, no Television... On the positive side, it was amazing to see how people friends and strangers alike came to together to share resources, and to help each other.

This isn't "the world," but it's important in my life. A friend, Joe, died. Since then, I feel an urgent pressure to change the world, to do the things he was never able to do. I'm sad that he's gone, and I am inspired every day to live authentically. It's still a struggle, but knowing that some people unjustly don't get the chance to live makes me more appreciative of what I have.

I could go on and on about events. About Syria. About our tension with Russia. About the Royal Baby. About the election and the ineptitude of Congress. The event or rather the attitude that impacted me this year is toward guns and gun violence. You have Trayvon Martin, a 17 year-old kid that was gunned down by a vigilante who hid behind "Stand Your Ground", saying he felt threatened when Trayvon "attacked" him, though he followed this CHILD relentlessly. Did anyone consider the "Stand Your Ground" law when Trayvon felt intimidated and threatened? It broke my heart when this SOB was found not guilty. It sickens me to my core that he is now capitalizing on his notoriety, a sick need to maintain and sustain 15 minutes of fame. He learned NOTHING from this experience. You have the shooting in Aroura where people were just enjoying a movie and a young man in tactical gear, decides to shoot up the theater. People died on that day, whether it was physically or emotionally. He had documented to be emotionally unstable, but was able to bypass a background check by buying his weapons and armor on line. He slipped through the cracks because these items were accessible. You have Sandy Hook. This one pierced my soul. I work in a school. I work with primarily the age of the children attacked. I could not stop crying that entire weekend. Those sweet babies, who's lives had yet to begin were executed without a thought. I think of the adults that lost their lives protecting their students. I think of the teachers who put their students first and kept calm and order, not sure if they were going to live through this massacre. The shooter had access to the guns due to the fact that his mother was a gun collector. We revisit gun control again and again after these events. Push back happens every time, claiming the 2nd Amendment. It's not about that, it is about valuing life. We need as a society need to start valuing life, for that is the only way to sustain (as designated by our Forefathers) our "inalienable rights of, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

syria. on our minds and in our hearts. on the one hand we see what the atrocity has bee. we know that this madman must be stopped but at what price. to what end. the bombing would seem to let loose a torrent of evil retribution. we sit at the edge of our seats. the edge of humanity's nervous seats and hold our hears in our hands and wait.

I don't think any specific event has impacted me but I have been keeping up on news more often and I really do value knowing what is going on not only around the country but around the world. I think it has helped me become a more compassionate person and helps me to see more than one side of the store.

The November conflict escalations in Israel and Gaza had a major impact on me in the fall and through the rest of the year. They come at a time when I've been working hard to understand my Jewish identity and how I feel about Israel-related issues, which are seemingly always on my mind now-a-days. The conflict escalations forced me to think about Israel in ways I never have before, and especially to formulate and understand opinions like never before. That, coupled with my trip to Israel this summer, has made me feel more secure and strengthened in my Jewish identity than ever before.

Watching the march towards war in Syria confirms that when it comes to the federal budget there is always more money for war and never enough to rebuild our country. It makes me feel disgusted.

Of course I am happy that more states are passing laws to accept Gay Marriage. It was fantastic to be able to go to Dale and Mike's wedding, and to see that Albie and John got married too! I expect to see more of my friends get married now that it is legal in California. But, we are on the brink of bombing Syria, and while I hate what is going on there, I'm not sure our involvement is the answer. We are not all right here, we have students who are being pushed along to answer to a test without actually learning, we have people going hungry, we need jobs, etc. We should focus on getting our country together.

The impending attack on Syria is very disturbing, as are the radiation leaks in Japan, and the wildfires in the western U.S. None have really affected me, but the Marathon bombing did, especially on the "shelter in place" day on the Friday following Monday's Marathon. It felt frightening, though I did finally go out in the evening to M & R's for shabbos dinner.

It seems like every year the world gets a little bit scarier. I try to convince myself that it's just having more access to report, instantaneous broadcasting and the like, but I'm really not sure. The world just seems so screwed up. Japan's fukushima disaster really sticks out for me, the growing potential that it will likely impact the worlds oceans. Then I think, WTF, why aren't people freaking out? But look at the news, Syria is gassing people, Egypt's government is overturned, the bees are dying, greenhouse gases will kill the planet... It's endless what one could worry about, and it just sort of make you shut down and feel helpless.

Fall Out Boy came back. It has impacted every single part of me and of my life. I've done less significant things--like, y'know, travel and spend money--but I also had to come to terms with the person I have become over the four years of hiatus. I don't like that person, but it's not liked the person I was. Fall Out Boy coming back is telling me to come back too.

The ongoing crisis in the middle east. Both Egypt and Syria has been very hard for me. I am horrified and devastated by the loss of human life and the abuse of power. By the way in which Syrians are hurting each other. By the Egyptians who want a life not unlike my own and are instead seem to be pawns in the hands of warring factions. And in the midst of all this realizing that as a Jew with deep roots in Israel I also need to be concerned with Israel's future and my humanitarian concerns don't always coincide with my Zionist ones.

The rapes that are being video taped and posted to social media, rather than being either stopped in progress, or reported, tells me the depth of the influence of pornography in our society. Mothers and Fathers are failing their daughters in this regard.

The war that Republicans have been waging on abortion have really affected me this year. I just can't help feeling like reproductive rights in red states are a hopeless cause, and it frustrates me so much that it's controlled by this old boy's club that seemingly has NO reason to wage this war on women. Like actually... why don't they focus their time and effort on something else. I was also so affected by Wendy Davis's heroism -- talk about using power and privilege to help people. Amazing stuff. I know that eventually things will work out (right??) but it's so frustrating and I want to do something. Also the Voting Rights Act being struck down - WTF.

The on going Syrian Crisis is, of course, horrific. I hope that is resolved soon with a minimum of death. However, I think the global economy, the continued NSA Scandals and the ever growing acknowledgement that the war in drugs failed are alo worth noting

The turmoil in Egypt and Pakistan impacts my view of the world and sense of whether we are an evolving society of not. What is the correct way to incorporate parts of society that want to be repressive to other parts of society. Surely there must be a way. But it seems that the correct path has to be fashioned for each situation. From the ultra-orthodox of all religions to the narrow-minded technologists, each tends to see the world only through their small set of beliefs.

The declaration that DOMA is unconstitutional was a big deal for me. My partner and I have been together for 4 years and got engaged 2 years ago. We still live in a very conservative state, but the US government's stance has now opened up some doors for us and others in our position. Other nations in the world have adopted a similar stance, while others are going the way of Texas and Mississippi with their extremely backwards and closed minded attitudes. It seems in general at least there has been a dialogue about the subject of gay marriage/rights opened, which I think is a good first step in equality for all in the world.

The Egypt conflict has made me feel closer to my family, and yet further away. I can't reach them and it scares me.

On August 1st, marriage equality became legal in Minnesota. I have thought about marriage more than any other time in my life. As an adolescent, I decided I wouldn't marry. Watching the marriages around me, I knew that marriage does not make a relationship stable and the lack of marriage does not make a relationship at risk. The relationship is either stable or rocky and as far as I could tell, it gained nothing from the mark of marriage. Then in college my feelings became more political. If my friends couldn't marry whomever they wanted to regardless of sex or gender, then I would also not avail myself of the privilege. It was a little like boycotting tuna when I was in high school. I'd been a vegetarian already for years, so boycotting tuna to protect dolphins . . .well, it didn't actually change what I ate. But now, all of my friends can marry the one they love in Minnesota. I believe soon that'll be true nationally. And the person I have chosen to spend my life with is a woman - not a man - which is not what I'd anticipated when I was in college. And that feels entirely different. Whatever marriage we had would rewrite all the rules about gender dynamics and property anyway. And I love Judaism. And I love the idea of being in a covenental relationship. I still believe marriage would not change the stability of our relationship. We don't need to change that, that wouldn't be a reason for us to get married. We've been together through leukemia, bone marrow transplant, and stay together through this recovery period which is just as hard if not harder. Marriage for me wouldn't change how committed I am to her. I am completely committed. It wouldn't change how much I love her. I love her so much. It wouldn't change how much I respect her, need her, want her, care about her, think of her. So what would marriage get me? Marriage being legal, it would get us legal rights - shared health insurance, other legal benefits. In some ways, that might be enough. There are worse reasons to get married. Religiously, it would get us a celebration of us as a family in the community. Even though I think most people see us as a couple, I'm not sure most people really see us as a family. We see us as a family. If we got married, I think we'd become a family for everyone else, too. For us I don't know. We don't know. But I do know this: When I walked into the agricultural building at the MN State Fair this year and saw the rainbow bunting, I felt more committed to Minnesota than I ever had before. When we drove back and forth . . . and back and forth . . . across the bridge with the rainbow flags when Governor Dayton signed the bill into law we were almost giddy. Our state, we thought. When I think about my students who get to continue to grow up knowing who they are - at least in this way - is supported by the laws of our state I still tear up. And even though I'm a cynic about marriage, I know I am a 100% romantic about equality. I also know when we were at a clinic so my partner could get a tetanus shot and a nurse referred to me as her wife - I liked it. A lot. I am so curious to see where we are next year.

The 2012 Presidential election. The first time as an expat I've felt disenfranchised and considered citizenship.

Monsanto. Bees. Russia being homophobic. Canada being awful. Zimmerman being found not guilty, and the manner in which this happened. (Ugh, ugh, ugh.) Ugh. Seriously, ugh.

The brief Gazan conflict that took place while I was living in Jerusalem was pretty impactful. I had just finished "Arab and Jew" and was deeply curious about the Israeli-Palestine conflict. I had studied it academically, and known many friends invested academically and politically, and had visited the West Bank and seen the Israeli military presence myself--but this was another perspective entirely. Watching the entire country, and the world, react to the conflict, talk about the conflict, process the conflict was enlightening. Being at the center of a hurricane of perspectives enabled me to weight and value perspective against the baseline of my immediate perceptions, helping me to understand everybody's biases a little better (I hope).

Of all the events that occurred this year, from the historic repeal of DOMA in the U.S. to the Olympics in London to Hurricane Sandy and the 50th Anniversary of the "I Have A Dream" speech by MLK, the event that really impacted me was the bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It was really shocking that these men would take such an American icon like the Boston Marathon and turn it into such a horror. What was much more meaningful was how so many came together at every stage of this event to help one another. It really restored my faith in humanity, instead of what the men intended to do and destory it. I was so grateful when I found out my cousin's husband was okay and about 10 minutes from the finish line. I was deeply grateful that he and my cousin Meredith were able to make it home to NYC unscathed. For someone who doesn't watch TV, and especially the news, I was gripped by this event -- following it for hours on the television coverage online, talking to my Mom by phone, calling my Dad to make sure we didn't know anyone there, and following it until the last suspect was apprehended. It was even more beautiful how the authorities turned to the general public when their leads ran out to crowdsource for a solution. I was so moved, I wrote an article about this on my blog. This single act of turning to the community to make it a "global' effort to catch these men was a poignant move by the authorities -- and a good one I thought. Now for some, Patriots Day in Boston will be tied to sadder memories; but for many of us, it will be a day when we as a human community came together to help and support one another as Americans and as a society.

Sandy Hook. In Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown Connecticut an evil man entered the building. He shot and killed 26 people, including all but one of a whole class of first graders. It shook me up like crazy. I started student teaching and I looked around. I was in a first grade classroom with precious students and a big closet. It is SO hard to imagine sending your kids off to school not knowing that it was their last day. I am a teacher now and I LOVE my students. It just really hit hard. Especially because it was so real to me then.

I have become more and more fearful of the violence in the Middle East and the effect it is having on my country. I see friends losing friends because of fear and hatred of "different from us" and I despair as to how to teach the children so that they will see the world in a different way,

When the Supreme Court upheld gay marriage it made me feel like the tide has turned and won't go back. It feels like the age of the dinosaurs may be coming to an end. I keep waiting for the smart kids to take over and sweep away these old right wing idiots.

What's going on in Syria right now. I have mixed emotions about what we should do. I think it's a humanitarian issue that cannot be ignored. However, I don't know if a military strike is the right decision.

The bombing at the Boston Marathon hit very close to home. We are a family of runners with many friends who run. This could've happened at any race we were running. I always feel safe at races, like I can take my sweatshirt off, throw it on the ground, & it will still be there when I come back for it. The bombing totally changed that for me.

The three girls from Cleveland who were free after being held captive for ten years. The horror, the strength, the magnificent power of humanity that can out shadow the evil after all, and then the attempts by politicians to Oppress women in public, socially acceptable ways, has repulsed me.

The shootings in CT and the bombing of the marathon. Its confirmed that the world is less stable, that humanity is still struggling to find its heart. That our most innocent can be vulnerable to such violence is disturbing. It confirms to me that karma works until it doesn't. Sometimes stuff happens and there is no good or bad reason for it.

I think that there were a variety of US news events that affected me. The verdict of the Stubenville rape case, the Trayvon Martin verdict...the list continues. They have all helped to form and mold my worldview and understanding of privilege and oppression.

It wasn't this past year, but two world events in the past decade that have deeply affected me were Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti. One of our countries' and world's most notoriously corrupt, unattended to, racially separated neighborhoods and islands were never built - or selectively built - to save some. The rest were left to be rescued by a system that's been designed to hold them back, historically and deliberately. I've always wanted to help those who were in need, part of it is the fact that so many helped me as a young person when I needed it most. Seeing the scale and depth of this tragedy gave me a visceral reaction to go...but I didn't. I didn't get to New Orleans until three years after the storm, but the first moment I did and every time since I've been drawn. I feel the same about Haiti.

Strangely enough, I had to google "historical events 2012" and "historical events 2013" before I could put my finger on any impactful moments. Nothing has really affected me, apparently. Probably the biggest deal for me was the Sandy Hook shooting. Twenty-seven kids died, while at school. Because a mentally ill young man wasn't given the care he needed. Because gun control is too loose. The reports came in on a day that Sagan had Gym Tots at the Y, and they slowly evolved into the reports of mass murder. As any parent experiences when confronted with news of death, the "what if?"s flowed all day. I was fortunate enough that my toddler wasn't in school yet, so I didn't have that immediate fear about his safety. The event started a "conversation" about gun control, a debate which hasn't resolved today. I support gun rights, but I also support education, restriction, wait periods, etc., and am sickened by the actions of the NRA after this happened.

Hurricane Sandy shook me up. Even though I missed it I felt like I was in it. It was an emotional thing to feel like I skin of my teeth missed being evac-ed from NYU hospital on a gurney. If my surgery had been a week up I would have been there. Sometimes you watch events unfold and wonder if there is any intelligent design or pure entropy as the dominant force on the universe. Was I meant to be there or just wonder about it?

The shooting in Newtown was awful. All I could think of was my kids, one of whom was the same age as many of the children killed, being in that situation and how horrendous it would be. I cried for a week.

I cannot understand how so many are led to violence in the name of their God ! Or worse yet, to prevent someone else from worshipping their God. The Boston Marathon bombing was just one example of the hate that rises up in human hearts. Nevertheless, I was so moved by the spirits of the victims and their families; their resolve to not be defined by their injuries and losses and their ability to actually forgive their attackers! God bless them all!!

The town where my parents live was destroyed in a tornado. That's not huge world news, but it's certainly an outside force that has impacted me. However, that massive destruction has brought a lot of good in their lives and in the life of the community there. People once again have shown their positive true colors and goodwill toward each other as they've helped rebuild. Particularly my parents' church is getting a spiritual reboot after the physical building was destroyed.

The World Championships 2013. My "it" event for the year. It was fun and I learnt a lot like I always do. I remain attracted my career in that field.

The protesting in Brazil over their governments greed and ill-treatment of the lower socioeconomic classes. It was really interesting to be in a foreign country while something unprecedented like this was happening. I could hear it from my hostel and it affected what I could and couldn't do/where I could and could not go. It was also interesting contrasting the actual experience of being in Brazil while this is happening and hearing from US family and friends about what they thought it would be like. There was a disconnect, definitely, between what was being reported and what was happening. Either way I felt like I was apart of history by being there.

I've felt a need this year to help with catastrophes. The problem is, I don't know how! I'm hoping to figure it out in the next year. I've also become interested in the happenings in Syria and overseas. Though I'm trying to learn more and how it will affect me and how I might be able to help.

HurricaneSandy. I gave money,

The Paralympics really challenged how I thought about people with disabilities and how positive British people can be in front of the whole world, despite our reputation - I've been a much more positive person since that Olympic summer too!

The fact that American Jews are so blind to their own fate and the fate of their brothers/sisters all over the world is sometimes mind-boggling. The fact that the majority of American Jews give to non-Jewish causes (according to the latest studies), while far outnumbering non-Jewish philanthropy givers is just sad. Presidential elections proved that we do not learn from our own mistakes. That makes me incredibly sad.

Reproductive rights have really caught my attention this past year. I try to steer away from the polarizing news networks, but I can't believe that there are still politicians in our country that are trying to exert control over women's bodies. It makes me inspired to get involved with advocacy, especially as a future nurse.

I think Edward Snowden exposing the NSA's collection of phone records pretty much put the nail in the coffin of any actual belief that we still live in a democracy. I fear for my daughters future where the world may very well become like some science fiction dystopia where Big Brother watches over all.

The ongoing civil war in Syria is devastating. I just do not understand how people can do that to each other. Fellow countrymen. As to the US attacking, I am torn. It really seems like a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation.

The Newtown school shooting happened when my son was 2 months old, and of course I saw the tragedy through the lens of a first-time parent. The calls for gun control resonated with me much more after the tragedy.

Watching the abortion debate unfold in Texas made me much more aware of how privileged I am to have access to safe and legal abortion, and women's health services. Watching Wendy Davis filibuster and the debate that happened after made me think about where I want my charitable donations to go and how I can help other women gain access to what many of us take for granted.

The Supreme Court striking down DOMA and affirming same-sex marriage in California. It started a series of conversations between me and my honey about getting married here in Maryland. We've been together 15+years, don't live together, and are old-fashioned feminists who aren't too enamored of traditional marriage. Not that ours would be traditional. But the commitments to each other would be expanded to include families, and that's scary. Or they wouldn't, and we'd need to process that. We have agreed to postpone additional conversations until after Yom Tov, since both of us are leading services at our beloved GLBT shul.

I am still in shock that we're still amidst the 'arab spring' and all it entails. Last year, I spoke about the middle east cauldron and perhaps it will always simmer. Here we are again, now debating attacking Syria. It makes me uneasy that for one the Syrian government feels that attacking their own people with chemical weapons is ok. How do they feel about attacking other countries. But, I'm further frustrated by the fact that between the executive and legislative branches of our own government that we can't make a decision about a plan of action. It's appalling to me.

I think the run-up to (possible) war with Syria is serving as a confirmation that our government serves the interests of the military-industrial complex more than those of the people. I think that being in another war is the last thing we need, or can afford, to do. It amazes me that as a society, we 'can't' find the money for schools & teachers, but we always seem to be able to find the money for massively expensive, bloated, protracted wars of dubious motivation. So, I'm giving up on national politics for now. I'll sign petitions, and support individual candiates, but no more money for the general political machine. Anyway, I feel calmer about the whole thing, less attached to the media spectacle of politics.

Without question, this year it was the hard right shift of the North Carolina legislature. Though the full impact of the actual legislation is obviously still unfolding, all of this has really awakened a silent majority, and that is to the good.

Cultural appropriation is a really big issue that a lot of people are ignorant of. I mean, it's an ongoing thing, I've just started to understand this past year. A blog I follow says "cultural appropriation, at its most extreme, is a violent form of colonization because it removes the original group behind the culture and reinforces stereotypes about that group." Colonization is also an issue of bloody history and lies that doesn't respect civil rights, and I've been really ignorant for thinking things were all right and every/ most things are equal for a long time. That same blog also said the following about cultural appropriation through a consumer culture lenses: "it replaces the original with a copy created by the dominant culture. It dilutes the original, removes all symbolic value from it and replaces it with a ready to consume product devoid of context and meaning." Another blog said "some people wondered 'what’s so wrong with being inspired by another culture?' Nothing, really. But 'inspiration' drawn from a historically oppressed culture comes with a tangle of baggage born of generations of marginalization and bias." I still don't know the change I wish to make in the world or how I can make this issue relevant without being a dumbass, but I'm confident that with patience, love and knowledge I can go forward and (at the least help a few people be a little less ignorant) I will eat fruit from the garden of enlightenment. (I second-guess myself a lot on what I say and think about things and cultures and religions and lifestyles I don't know very much about. Yeah.)

I think that this last election has really let me see the real and sometimes uneducated side of people I care about.

The escalation last November in the Gaza Strip, resulting in Operation Pillar of Defense in Israel, really solidified a lot of things for me. It pushed me to take on a serious role with my Israel advocacy and showed me that I am really capable of this job. It showed me just how necessary what I do is. And most of all it was the first time I felt a taste of the fear that Israelis experience. I found myself calling my friends, making sure they were ok, praying none of them would be called up for reserves, that rockets wouldn't hit their homes and that they wouldn't be sent in anywhere. Loss of life became a much more real thing, even though I was all the way in America.

They get forgotten so fast. Right now I am affected by the war in Syria, and I follow the drama with refugees from Africa drowning between Africa and Italy on small boats. I don't know what to do about it, but I wish I could help.

A photo comes to mind -- Syrian rebels about to execute a number of men who were kneeling on the ground. Every person in the photo -- the eight on the ground the three standing with guns -- would have their lives shattered with the impending violence.

People using "impact" as a verb, as in this question. I find it deeply painful, because I know you are smart, literate people who can do better.

Not a single event but the ongoing decision by some members of the US Congress to prevent any positive legislation from happening and the loss of collegiality among members. It makes me feel very sad and I believe has weakened us diminished the ideals on which this country was built.

DOMA. So happy for so many of my friends that they can be married. And that many got married. But more so the marathon bombing and the aftermath. The realization of what Trinity is and how I would have been much more freaked out about the whole thing had it not been for my faith community. Begin physically close the bombing when it happened and knowing that people I care about were even closer - it's just a scary thing. I am grateful that so much good came out of it - grateful for the lives of my friends - grateful for my faith community - grateful for the other spaces that opened their doors to Trinitarians so that we could be together (I'm looking at you, Church of the Covenant and Temple Israel).

The number senseless incidents of deadly gun violence. Starting with Sandy Hook elementary school to the Trayvon Martin shooting to the random shooting of Hadlya Pendelton in Chicago. All different scenarios, but each one reflecting the dark side of our culture. When and how can we stop it? It makes me feel so helpless. How can we change the culture of gangs - what if they were gangs of LOVE? How can we reach those with mental illness and help the caretakers of those individuals that are so disturbed? How can we get the message out that a GUN is NEVER the right answer to solve an issue.

The shootings in Newtown, CT were so horrifying, and the coverage so pervasive. I tried not to watch any of it, but still found it haunting. Now that I have children myself, I could imagine the terror and sorrow they were feeling, but that made me want to give them more privacy. I didn't want to become part of the rubberneckers at the sorrow of these parents and their community.

Edward Snowden's revelations affected me because they confirmed what I'd suspected but hoped was just one of my nutty theories that I keep to myself or bust out with to get laughs at a dinner party. This, along with watching shows like SCANDAL and HOMELAND, have shown me enough drama and intrigue that mirrors real life, that my attitude about real-world events is more cynical. For example, I think that Obama is publicly "trying" to get congressional approval from Congress for military action on Syria, and privately, he's confident that he won't get it and he will be able to refrain from hopeless military intervention without losing (too much) face, because I can't believe he really wants that. (Is that cynical, or hopeful?)

The situation in Syria has been large in my mind. Most recently, the death of nearly 1,500 people because of the use of sarin gas comes to mind. I don't have a strong position on whether America should use a military attack as punishment or deterrence. On the one hand, over 100,000 civilians have been killed in two years, and 1,500 have died in this chemical weapon attack. Do we, as a nation, have a responsibility to intervene in an internal war? Does the use of chemical weapons constitute a red line? Why now, and not earlier? Does how innocents are killed matter? Does the number of the dead matter? On the other hand, should we step into a conflict where both sides are aggressors and where the wicked dictator is as bad as the AlQuaeda troops trying to overthrow him? Can we distinguish between good rebels and bad rebels? And on a third hand, the rhetoric of Assad threatens WWIII if there is an attack on Syria. Will Syria attack Israel? Will Russia become more involved? Will Iran? Does doing nothing empower them to further horrific attacks? Does attacking set the Middle East into a wide-ranging war? The ethics of this situation are huge. Two million refugees, so many dead, where is the ethical solution? I don't know.

Living in NYC, which doesn't always feel like a coastal city, Hurricane Sandy made me feel the effects of global warming acutely and directly. Not theoretical or subtle to say the least.

The combination of the Queen's Jubilee, Olympics and Royal Wedding this last year has made me swell with more national pride than I think I ever have. Also the tough stance of our government against the horrendous crimes being committed by the tyrannous Syrian makes me have faith in the leaders in our country to do the right thing. Am I going crazy!?

The Boston Marathon bombs really touched me this year. The casual violence carried out by two young men, brothers, against other human beings. I blogged about the senseless acts of violence and not being able to protect my children from these random events. I was moved by the stories of resilience, from survivors. I loved hearing about wounded warriors stepping up to help these new crop of amputees. The human spirit trumps all. It was also a reminder that our presence on earth, and that of our loved ones is transient and all can change, fast.

An event that impacted me this year was the case of the boy with the hoody. I was really disappointed in both how this case played out and then the response of the American people. Although the decision was wrong, I was very disappointed in the response from some of my acquaintances. I believe people give the enemy too much support without even knowing. Instead of responding to this decision made by a couple of people with hate and furthering the racial divide, I believe more people should have tried to keep the peace. I saw people on Facebook saying they were going to teach their children that this world is still against black people. I would have rather seen people admit that we live in a fallen world and that there will always be bad people but still live in the hope that is given to us in Jesus Christ, which is love. We can either spread love or hate. The bible says BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS!!!

Trayvon Martin getting killed was a big one. It just makes me so sad that all these young black kids get told over and over again that their lives are worthless. Fuck that.

About a month before my husband and I were scheduled to go to Africa for our first trip out of the country together, there was a big fire at the Nairobi airport, and the immigration building burned down. We're supposed to leave in a little over a week. We've heard they're doing immigration in a big tent now. We'll see how that works soon, I guess!

The aftermath of the Arab Spring has totally changed the world stage. Between that and the US economy, I no longer have any idea what the world will look like as I age. Not necessarily on a moment-by-moment basis, but it affects everything and every decision.

Hurricane Sandy. I have family in NY, and I think that was big for me - to see global climate change hit us hard.

The BC Elections. So much time and effort into a great platform and STILL lost, horribly.

Nothing worldly impacted me. I have been too self absorbed and trying to find my way in other way. I have read over and over about horrible people doing horrible things to children and how child services and so forth was aware of these horrible situations and it is hard to fathom how people can be such monsters.

Syria using chemical weapons on thier own people. The president stated he wants to strike them to punish them but chose to wait for congress to take a vote. Britian decided against supporting us. Syria said that if the US strikes against them, they will attack Israel. I feel so much closer to Israel since have visited.

Ariel Castro holding three young women captive in his home for a decade. It is just so appalling and they were right there in the city where they were taken. They were so near to their families the whole time. It was again shocking this week when he hung himself after about a month in prison. He couldn't have a microcosm of what he had put them through. I felt so upset for all they had lost and that they had to go through all of that and no one knew.

I was profoundly grateful that President Obama was re-elected. I was hearing the Republican nonsense noise and was very worried that the forces of darkness and hostility, of intolerance and meanness, would triumph. They are still too powerful, but at least there was this one, big victory, to say that the American people are not entirely their caricature.

Gosh...there were just so many - the horrible position President Obama has put this country in, his unwanted reelection, the killings in BenGazi, the war in Syria, freaking Castro keeping those poor girls hostage for 10+ yrs (may he rot in hell), the shootings in malls, and schools and at the movies, the flood in Japan, and the debris floating up locally. It all had an impact on my life. I think what impacted me the most was the unwanted reelection of Obama. What that man is doing to the United States scares me, and it threw me into a frenzy of wanting to get out of the country and back to Canada where its safe, or at least safer.

The overturn of Prop 8 and repeal of DOMA was huge, but not for the reasons you'd expect. I'm very much anti-assimilation, and have had to become better able to articulate my views to well-meaning but uninformed straight folks about why marriage is not the biggest issue for queer people.

Syria's use of chemical weapons. The footage of the innocents murdered made me question how humans can firstly do this and secondly let it happen. There's been no action taken by the rest of the world. It makes me understand the saying that the greatest evil is doing nothing.

The floods in Australia, almost staggered. It seemed so unfair, and the willingness of people to help moved me to tears. They travelled far and wide, and gave those suffering hope.

Arab Spring, Tahrir Square, the Occupy of the Middle East. Seeing how people being able to connect & discover how different another people's lives are enables change at so many levels

It never ceases to amaze me that every year there is something dramatic going on in the middle east. there is nothing new under the sun. just a different year and a different madman. sometimes it feels hopeless. so much bloodshed. so much terror, so much ranting. whether its a rock, a club, a bow and arrow, a canon, a gun, rockets, gas or bombs, it just doesn't seem to end. I get depressed just thinking about it. I am certainly not in the dovish camp and not on the far right, but somewhere down the middle. Is God really out there?

Well there are several- the murder of Trevon Martin, Super Storm Sandy, the shooting at Newtown, the complete disregard for the environment...I continue to have hope, but it is difficult in the face of so many tragedies.

Right now, we are facing another possible war, this time in Syria. I am worried for the people there, but mostly, I'm thinking that the U.S. doesn't need to be the World Police. Although, I also am disturbed about governments turning on their own people and killing them, so I am on the fence a little bit.

I am always impacted by the LGBTQ community. And the moment that legalization of marriage went through in California was important to me. The day the government agreed to recognize those marriages if the states did. Those moments were huge to me this year. I continue to be involved with GLSEN, and I look forward to when I don't have to hope for these changes anymore.

Nothing in the world has impacted me really. I've been watching the news religiously since I was a kid. Death and war as part of television aren't anything new and no longer shock me. I've become much more analytical and intellectual about these events. I rarely invest emotions in them. I think this may be the disconnect I've been trying to identify between myself and my peers who are always advocating for social justice. Their responses to the injustices of war and famine and poverty are so much more visceral than mine. To be honest, the only time I've had such a visceral response to those kinds of issues in the past ten years has been here in New Orleans. Seeing the devastation that still sits in this city 8-9 years after Katrina is mind-boggling and heartbreaking at the same time. I almost cried in front of my roommate. But that wasn't something that happened this year.

SCOTUS overturning Prop 8 was one of the happiest moments in a June that was so tough for me. I cried. Yeah love!

Well, I touched on this in Day 1, so I will paraphrase again here. December 14, 2012. 27 families torn apart. A friend of mine from college was one of the teachers who gave her life at Sandy Hook School that day. Besides grieving for her and her family, I tried to wrap my mind around the pain and the sadness and the anger each of the other families felt. I still cannot to this day even begin to understand the pain they live with each day that passes. It made me really realize that life is short. Don't treat people in an unkind way. Be thankful. Be appreciative. Tell those who you love that you love them. More importantly, show them. You never know when they won't come back home.

Sandy hook - horrific. Living in CT and with young children it made me so angry that anyone would do something so horrible. It still impacts me today as I think about my son's safety since he started school this year. I cried for days thinking about those parents and the brave kids and teachers who hid and saved lives and for the souls that didn't make it out of the school that day.

I think the unrest in Egypt has made it a country that I won't be able to visit again for many years to come. I think it makes me value the trip I took there with my dad when I was younger that much more special.

The chemical attack in Syria struck me--both in that it happened, and the slowness of other countries to retaliate. How can someone use that kind of force on their own? And how can the world be so slow to step in?

The failures in leadership in society. It has a profound impact on me, as everywhere I turn I see how it impacts our lives, in ways both big and small. It's this pervasive selfishness and the desire to obtain power, while losing track of the responsibilities and statesperson role that leaders should take on. It has all kinds of visible effects on us. From stupid policies, to derailing institutions, to discriminating against others, to waste/fraud/abuse.

All the violence I've seen in our country. What is happening to us? The possibility of another war in the Middle East. I so want us to offer help in a humanitarian way, not with bombs. How can one create peace with weapons!

The Newtown CT shootings really shook me. The horror and sadness, the lives forever changed and yet still so little has been done. So little movement by our leaders to curb gun violence through better gun control laws. The ignorance by health insurers and others that mental illness ruins lives every day and yet the support for the sufferers and their families is minuscule. My sadness is compounded by the many other shooting incidents this past year. We're really not safe anywhere.

What's happening in Syria at the moment. Partially because it's a big deal in general but also because of the possible repercussions on Israel which would be closer to home now, more so than before because I know people in the army there.

Hurricane Sandy with all its devastation everywhere and yet none to my home (when several houses around me were crushed by trees) filled me with such a feeling of gratitude for G-d's Grace and Kindness and Protection. I actually prayed Psalm 93 over my home a visualized angels guarding my home. His Provision was amazing. Then when the agency for which I work gave all employees free gas when none was to be had anywhere...humbled me even more. G-d is so good

Marriage equality has been an especially impactful, and especially emotional, issue for me to follow. There is so much about it that resonates with me personally, despite not being directly impacted by the law myself. I feel that in the past year we have seen true progress not just in terms of policy but in society's attitude in general towards marriage equality, and I feel like I am witnessing history that I am proud to be a part of.

There was a shooting in December. I was suppose to attend a business related party the next day and it was canceled. It was set for another day. I believe sometimes tragic events are used to manipulate the population to a general dialogue that, in the microcosm of every day, is not applicable. I do recognize that my feelings are selfish, but at the same time, I believe it delayed certain successes in my career.

We are still in Iraq and Afghanistan and now want to bomb Syria the Russians get the Olympics but are trying to jail and take gay peoples children Manning was not protected as a whileblower but is going to prison Snowden is seeking asylum and proving hackers aren't crazy the government really is tapping adn recording and storing everything Some rapists get 30 days in prison when the two above would be in jail for years it is more publicly known that women are being raped, burned alove and abused daily in places like india, yet not a huge fuss is made about daily rape and abuse in the US So much of the world is in recession and protesting everything is such a mess (egypt, north korea, etc) yet we keep letting the government "protect us" (no real positive side) with the TSA and wiretapping etc - it didn't stop boston, it didn't find boston bomber... new pope has been interesting, more liberal than others also interesting the other pope stepped down and didn't die his way out of office connect gunman in a school again, fuck gun free zones why is Guantanamo still open? obama reelected doma shot down a mix of good, status quo, bad, and depressing

The continuing slaughter of African elephants and rhinos. At the ripe old age of 47 I'm becoming an activist. I'm also learning that so much of what I believed is incorrect. For example, I really believed the Chinese were uncaring and ivory hungry people. WildAid recently did an on-the-ground poll in China and over 90% of people didn't know that an elephant has to DIE for someone to take the ivory. Oftentimes I feel hopeless but then one small thing will happen that gives me a glimmer of hope. The fact that this year Japanese activists are in Taiji, protesting, is incredible. I think there are a lot of good people in this world who want to make a different, but don't know how or aren't educated about issues. If we can reach them things really can and will change.

Rather than one isolated event, I have become more aware of the world in general in the past year or two. I have made a conscious effort to step out of my familiarity and into the unknown world around it. By better understanding other people, places, and cultures, I can try to be a better person by helping those less fortunate than I am. Part of this was inspired by watching the documentary I Am, which is still my favorite documentary film. It touched me deeply and made me want to be more aware of international situations. I even considered joining the Peace Corps, and might still consider it at some point. So, collective events have impacted me in ways that I never thought possible, but tugging at my compassion and driving me to be a better person.

The verdict in the trayvon Martin case. made me realize again the need for white people to take action for racial justice.

I guess the shooting at Sandy Hook. I have many children in my family and outside of my family that are around the ages of the victims of Sandy Hook and it really made me appreciate the value of human life. Also Hurricane Sandy because I know many people that live on the coast and it also made me want to keep in touch with them better. The election as well. Even though I am too young to vote, this is the first year I've actually been old enough to form an opinion regarding issues like taxes, gay marriage and the like. I look forward to the future where I can make my voice heard.

The Boston Marathon Bombing was the first terrible U.S. violence news event that occurred after I started working at the Post. Requests from the newsroom dried up. Traffic to the site increased so much. I walked through the graphics department at the end of the work day and saw them comparing gruesome pictures for the front page. At dance rehearsal, a "did you hear?" quick note about the bombing weaved its way into the rehearsal process. Even though I was very detached, and the news was terrible, so much creativity and storytelling came out of it.

Since last rosh hashanah obama was re-elected, boston had a "bombing", gay marriage passed... the world effects me. for the most party however, my life is privileged and thus these events don't have major effect on my life, just my psyche. well, the lasting effects of the obama re-election and the passing of gay marriage will hopefully change our work for the better, but in the immediate much impact has not occurred. i remain hopful for the future.

The Trayvon Martin case and George Zimmerman trial. Talking with "V" about her experience as a person of color and her response to the case reminded me of how much I take for granted, being white.

There are so many things that are still swirling around here that have impacted me. Syria, healthcare reform, immigration reform, etc. However, I think that the Trayvon Martin case & then verdict was what stuck with me really heavily. Justice was not done, and a child is dead. The world will never have Trayvon again.

Shootings. Shootings. Everywhere. In schools. In movie theaters. A few blocks from where I live. I believe in a certain degree of gun control. I also believe that it is people that kill, not the guns. By focusing on gun laws we are failing to treat the heart of the problem: the factors that turn people into criminals.

Syria. carnage confusion.

The current situation with Syria is disturbing to me. There is always something happening the Middle East and I usually ignore it. But Syria is capturing my attention. We are witnessing the USA being forced to make a decision to use force, or not, and the whole world is watching. I personally think we need to stay out. I saw an image of capture soldiers all on their knees forced to the ground with guns pointing at their heads. One of them had his head slightly raised and seemed to be looking at the camera. This photo was taken moments before they were all shot dead. This image greatly disturbs me. And at the same time I have to forgive it and realize this is an illusion that our ego wants us to believe. I am using my A Course In Miracles training to help forgive the situation and to see peace instead.

Last October, Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. She didn't hit us very hard here in Vermont, so we were lucky. But we had been hit the year before by Hurricane Irene so we knew what the devastation was like. Our synagogue in Woodstock, VT rallied the troops and successfully organized and sent at least one truckload of supplies of necessities donated by area residents to those affected in New Jersey. I was proud to play even a small part in that.

I can feel the weather changing. I can feel it in my sixth sense. It's because we're destroying her; Mother Earth. The fukuskima nuclear reactor melt down, and it's dumping radioactive material into the ocean. We continue to suck the earth's blood (oil), burn it, and pump the exhaust into the atmosphere. We've passed the mar in which we can continue to sustain our current way of life. We're destroying her, and we're starting to notice her reacting. The weather is taking deeper, stranger swings into the cold and warm spans. And the seasons seem to be shifting a bit. Maybe I'm wrong....

This year held the Newtown Tragedy as well as the Boston Marathon bombing. The Newtown tragedy specifically frightened me down to my core because so many innocents were taken from this world. How is this part of the plan? Is this fate or free will at work? i hope to believe it's free will and that soon the free will of all of us with clearer minds and hearts will prevail over evil. The Boston Marathon bombing attacked the place I was born. And came too close to home. Friends lived down the street from where it occurred. I watched the events unfold live on my computer at work and just sat stunned. This year I've been stunned. And not in a good way.

The turmoil throughout the Middle-east has been particularly troubling. Everyone from my father-in-law's family is Israeli, with his brothers, sister, nieces and nephews living through out the Northern half of Israel. Threats to Israel's security are direct threats to my in-laws' extended family - my extended Israeli family. The risk of violence once more coming to our Israeli doorstep causes me great concern. The U.S. leadership is in a state of moral and functional paralysis. The state of our political leadership combined with the world's general tendency to hold Israel accountable in a way that is both unprecedented and unparalleled apropos of any other nation keeps me awake at night.

Pope Benedict XVI resigned due to his health and Pope Francis took his place. I'm hoping that he can modernize the religion and make me want to go back to church.

The shootings in Sandy Hook really hit home for me since my sisters are both still in school and I was away at college for the first time. It made me so nervous and reminded me that I never know what could happen. I always talk to my family at least once a week at school and cherish those moments

Absolutely the Supreme Court's decision on DOMA and Prop 8 was the biggest good news for me - as a life-long ally to the LGBTQ community, being part of the historic moment (even though I was only following the live feed from home) brought me great joy for my friends, family, and neighbors who have been denied human rights in this country for so long. What made me even happier was how unimpressed Veronica was about it - in her eyes, people are people and love is love, no questions. So what she perceived was a simple acknowledgement of truth, not an earth-shaking revelation. Kids aren't born with hatred and bigotry in their hearts; those are seeds that must be planted and cultivated. I'm sure I'm making plenty of parenting mistakes, I am doing everything I can to ensure she will always judge a person's character by their behavior and their words, not their appearance.

The shooting of that innocent Australian man (I think he was there as a baseball player) in the US really shocked me. The fact that these young boys got access to a gun and decided not that they wanted to go and shoot some cans for fun, but that they wanted to shoot SOMEBODY with it. It really appalled me. There was nothing this man had done wrong and nothing he could do to change the situation. These boys were bored and an innocent life was taken as a result. It made me realise that there seriously needs to be gun control in America. It recently happened in Australia and it works. There have been no massacres since the massacre in Port Arthur (just prior to the gun control laws). I think if people open up their minds enough they'll see that it can work. People are becoming too desensitised to death, and having very few gun laws doesn't help.

Hurricane Sandy, it rendered my father homeless and unable to rebuild. It showed me that my loyalty to my family is not as strong as I thought it was, that my anger runs deeper than I ever knew and that I cannot just forgive and forget. The events surrounding the Hurricane showed me that I only respect people who try and help themselves, not wallow in self pity and enjoy destruction, chaos and drama. I am not as evolved as I thought I was.

Although I'm not nearly as informed about it as I'd like to be, the Turks' stand at Gezi Park was really quite inspiring to watch. The outcome, from what I understand, was not in their favor at all & the resistance was pretty much squashed, which makes me think that they'll come back with something more violent next time anyone attempts a protest of this magnitude again there. It's really disheartening as a pretty privileged person to see that kind of thing take place. I'm now a lot more grateful that we are allowed to protest peacefully in this country & grateful that we don't have really shitty leadership like this (I mean, our current & past leadership hasn't been the greatest ever, but no one ever said "we're not gonna use violence on the protestors" & then "jk lol here's hella violence for u guys").

I think the shooting at Newtown Elementary in December 2012 had more of an impact that I thought it would at first. As I followed the news coverage for the first couple of days after the shooting, I found myself deeply mourning the loss of precious life in another senseless act that seemingly could have been prevented. This event solidified my position that there needs to be changes in gun laws.

the world ended! 12/21/12 didn't feel like anything too crazy but I have since learned that a number of ancient prophecies have come true and there was a shift into a new world. I spent a few months thinking everything would eventually go up in flames or something else apocalyptic, but I have changed my mind. I think that heart-centered activities will now be supported and if we take the energy to build them, they will slowly replace the old ways. I look forward to helping to create this new world.

Super storm Sandy. I grew up in NJ and so much of what I remember of the shore is completely different. My husband and his parents had 2 stores on the Pt. Pleasant boardwalk that are surely gone. So many people effected along the whole shoreline lost everything. We live in Florida so we are under threat of hurricanes and storms but Sandy touched my heart.

I don't know a particular world event that has impacted my life this year, but I have become more knowledgeable on what is going on in the news by getting an email from theSkimm every weekday that summarizes world events. I guess I have just realized how much messed up stuff goes on in the world and how different everyone's moral compass is.

Obama was reelected. He's shown me that there really is no measurable difference between the Ds and the Rs. Like the shepherd and the sheepdog, they are in it together. We are the sheep. What a mess we've made of this world.

Ack, the possible was with Syria. One of my worst nightmares. And the tsunami and meltdown in Fukushima. Poisoning and gas and nuclear threat. I often feel we are on the brink of the apocalypse.

OBAMA wins re-election!! Newton elementary school killing. GAY MARRIAGE LEGALIZED! Boston bombing. George Zimmerman not guilty in Trayvon Martin murder. I have been most impacted and rejuvenated by the strike down of DOMA and Gay marriage being legalized in California. Almost all world and US news is depressing and this was finally something to celebrate. Now LGBT folks can have some of the same rights as everyone else and protect their families and loved ones with rights such as health care and inheritance.

The Boston marathon bombing, though not such a huge world event, was a big deal in my life. One reaction was that of appreciation of people--those who jumped to the rescue on the scene, who donated to the families of victims and survivors, and even just the way it made people hug each other more and appreciate what they have. On the flip side, the racism it spurred and the sensationalism around the two arab suspects was horendous. It was the only thing on the radio for days. Literally. And they locked down Boston one day and told everyone to stay put in their houses which instilled so much fear and then they didn't even find the suspect, who happned to be a pretty harmless college student (it was his brother died already in the shoot-out who was the killing mastermind). The day the city was on lock down I was alone in the house all day glued to the radio. surreal.

The shooting in Newton and any other school shooting that has taken place. It's always incredibly sad when places such as school and churches are no longer safe places for people who can't protect themselves. There was a national conversation about mental illness and gun laws, but it seems like nothing ever changes or gets resolved. It's going to keep happening and people are going to keep saying that it's terrible, and blaming all sorts of different people and things, but until we make real changes, innocent lives are going to be lost. Superstorm Sandy was also terrible--we had a presentation at work about how one of our hospitals was affected by the storm. It made it more real and scary. There was such a outpouring of help and assistance over there, but it was still scary. Lastly, the bombing at the Boston marathon was frightening. Not only were Katy and Jake out there, I can't understand why someone would bomb the Boston Marathon--what did these people ever do? It's just a questions of how many people you can kill. Since I can't even fathom running a marathon, so the idea of these people training and working so hard, getting to the end, almost getting there, and then getting hit by a bomb--heart breaking. I'm starting the lose faith in the world.

climate change; it's getting more humid, moist. super storms. but what can we do but keep adjusting, adapting, and carrying on having as good a time as we can, given how short life is.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan impacts my life every day, as I have multiple students and family members who are over there or have been over there. I know the wars have been going on for a while, but as they continue, I know more and more people who deploy, and I worry more and more for each of them.

events in the world that has impacted me this year is the violence that young children face. Future leaders are dying and\or are becoming mentally and physical sick because of wrong doings. Please people love one another

Hurricane Sandy was devastating. Watching whole towns be destroyed - including Rockaway and Atlantic Beach - made me feel helpless and hopeless. Oh and that devastating Boston shooting. What a depressing, hopeless year for humanity. Except for...Obama's reelection and all of the progress in the LGBT community, which both give me hope and joy.

I honestly don't know if i can say this has impacted me in my day to day life, however when i first heard about it, i knew my life would be changed forever. Even though i did not have a personal connection with the Newtown elementary school shooting, i was sincerely touched by everything i saw and read about it. It impacted me significantly enough to consider how much of an insane world we live in.

The 2012 presidential election. This is the first time I have voted in any sort of election and I wanted it to matter. I watched each presidential debate (including the vice presidential debate). I listed the pros and cons for both candidates. I changed my mind on who I would vote for nearly every three to four days or so. But my final vote was my confident decision.

I remember walking vividly listening to the news about the Sandy Hook shooting and feeling an intense sadness for the families involved. Not being able to comprehend combined with thoughts of the futures that were cut short made for a somber day. I remember talking to my mom about what happened and trying to be there for her - she was really unsettled as well. I find that as I grow older I am noticing myself sympathizing with strangers more easily and news like this has a much bigger impact on me than it would have when I was younger. There is a connectedness that we all share and it hurts to know that families and children are encountering such tragedy.

I think I'm more aware of what is happening in the global arena. The abysmal working conditions in the factories of third-world countries has made me reconsider where I spend my money. It definitely taints the shopping experience when you worry that the pants you're buying were made in a factory that later collapsed from lack of inspection and killed hundreds of people. Is that really the kind of business I would want to support? No, absolutely not.

I would have to say that the conversations about the war in Syria are somewhat affecting me. I am so tired of hearing about war. I am just praying for peace and wondering what I could possibly do to bring about some kind of change.

The selection of the new pope - Pope Francis - a Jesuit! has given me fresh eyes and a new hope for change in the church and in our world. Eric and Nestor are engaged - they are some of the most important people in our lives - and we want to be part of a faith community that supports and loves that. We are still a long way from there, but Pope Francis has focused on living the gospel and the call to love moreso than any official church leader I have followed.

The tornado that ripped through Oklahoma impacted me greatly. I was about to go to Israel to lead Birthright, and this really rocked me. Leading alternative breaks has given me a look into how disasters unfold, and the suffering in that moment in Oklahoma really shook me. I just hope I will have the opportunity to do some sort of volunteering there in the coming years.

The world is such a large place. Although, I feel the major "world" event took place near home in Boston. I'm talking about the Boston Marathon Bombings. I had so many friends that were near there and In Boston. I remember feeling so removed from what was going on since I'm not in the city. However, I felt so close since I live not far from Boston. This was a major world event that hit close to home. A week later with the lockdown, that was insane. I didn't go to school cause Brandeis was closed. It was quite the nerve wracking day. These two events made me and those around me realize how fragile life is. It also made me think about how we are not all safe from evil and we must work to bring good into the world and do more Tikkun Olam. After these events, there was so much love going around and community building that it temporarily cloaked the anxiety that we all were feeling. I just wish it didn't take a tragedy to bring us together and we all could build community all the time.

Hm... The presidential elections? It was the first time I really followed the debates, and it was kind of shocking to see how much the debates were based on talking points and not on real data, and how uneducated the candidates were on many issues.

The discussion over bombing Syria has really made me increasingly disenchanted with my country.

I feel quite disengaged from world events. What does that mean for who I am and where my priorities are?

Barack Obama got re-elected. I realized how much the world has changed. It was not about the big speeches, but about the networks of people and the ability of those in power to utilize networks to manifest the world as they saw fit.

The death of Trayvon Martin impacted me. It reminded me of a shooting I saw and a young man I held as he lay dying. I was furious and in deep grief that these kind of deaths occur to young Black men in this country.

Chemical weapon armageddon in Syria provokes horror of a vast holocaust to life on Earth. This opened pandora's box is chilling, horrifying, unforgivable. Is it a relief I have no children? Forget the personal. There is precious life to mourn in abundance, past, present, future. As a species, we are miserable, dangerous failures.

I've learned a lot more about California prison realignment. It has helped me to realize that there are many voices that are simply not heard. I am glad that I'll be teaching a math course where we can help to bring the problems with the prison system to the public eye.

Immigration Reform really got me thinking about my next step in terms of career. It passed so quickly through the senate that it seemed like my company could have been dissolved in a matter of months. So it got me thinking long term. And I started thinking about how I can make a sustainable career in the Bay Area, so I started looking into tech, and have been job shopping since. This past week was discouraging but that's a logical next step. But now I am questioning that AGAIN. I think it would be good for me regardless to have tech on my resume, but: what do I really want to do and what would really make me happy and sustained?? For the moment I am reminded of my interest in anthropology and sociology, during school and post grad... In other news, gay marriage became legal in california, and federally recognized during pride. This means that I could ostensibly gay marry a friend into a green card. There is obviously a specific friend I have in mind. Would I actually go through with it? I have more than friend feelings for her, and less than gay feelings in general. This complicates the situation.

The Russian meteor... that really impacted my year... sorry.

There is a lot of talk about going to war with Syria happening right now and I am finding myself more and more connected to the area after my trip to Israel. My heart feels torn between places and people.

Well, there have been a lot of events which have attracted my attention. There's the girl who was shot for attending school in Afghanistan, and other atrocities against women and girls in various countries; obviously this sort of thing inspires righteous wrath and, simultaneously, despair. Famous people die; famous people have babies; politics in this country gets weirder by the day. I was very positively impressed by the collapse of DOMA and the ongoing spread of states which allow gay marriage. So many people I know personally are having a tremendously positive thing happen in their lives. And it looks as if "Obamacare" will be starting soon, if the Republicans don't manage to derail it. Now, if marijuana would just become totally legal, so that the growing conditions will be regulated and the product will be taxed, and people will stop going to jail for smoking it . . . Oh, yes, and if we could please not get involved in yet another totally pointless war.

From a "local" perspective, it would have to be the Black Forest fire. Incredible damage and familiar ground. From a more global perspective, i guess it would be Equal Marriage becoming law in more and more places, including here in the UK. The striking down of DOMA and the irrelevance of Prop 8 in the US. these are all things that i did NOT think i would see in my lifetime, and their occurrence has opened new doors in my life and given me a sense of validation and worthiness that i had never really realised i didn't have, but wanted.

Global warming -- it's affecting each and every one of us.

The violence and destruction in Syria literally sickens me. How much war can humanity endure? Will the greed and hatred ever come to an end?

Legalizing gay marriage across different states throughout the country is really inspiring. I believe in love, no matter what form it comes in. I should be treasured, shared, and never caged. Love is infinite.

Pillar of Defense was one of the most uncertain events (is event even the right word?) I've ever experienced. Being in Jerusalem, hearing the sirens, was a powerful and uncomfortable circumstance - not one that one chooses, but one that one lives with, deals with, and with which one continues to move forwards. It was a testament to the adaptability of human nature, the irrepressibility of the human spirit, and the power of community.

The Boston Marathon. Though I live on another continent it affected me. I was glued to the laptop for news and a friend of mine lives there, she wrote about her anxiety and personal experience. A week later there was a marathon in Hamburg and the support and love was enormous. I loved standing on the side lines and watching the runners' happy faces, seeing them run despite everything, knowing every single one of them has their personal story and seeing so many people coming together to cheer and run and support each other was a beautiful thing to be a part of.

While I do pay attention and follow world news, the world event that has impacted me the most has been the progression of gay rights in the U.S. this past year. It has made me feel hopeful for the future of equality and liberality in my home country.

I cant remember any. There's some earthquake, floods and wars here and there but i was too distraught with my own problems. Prince William and Duchess Kate had a baby boy. Prince George. Envy this happy couple.

The Boston Marathon bombing. I was on the marathon course, though 2 miles down the road. My office was within the blast zone. I felt, for the first time in my life, completely unsafe, and was shaken to the core. At its heart, the Boston Marathon is an event that unites the city, as thousands of people volunteer and cheer on many thousands of runners. I always feel a sense of pride and togetherness and community - and the fact that it was so completely disrupted hurt that spirit. I am grateful for how the city came together, and although I am moving soon, I am so proud to have called this my home.

President Obama's re-election in late 2012. No question. Last year, I was so worried that Romney would be President. President Obama hasn't been as effective as I'd hoped but then the Republicans, probably, have been at fault for hamstringing him and failing to cooperate. Still, President Obama is a far sight better than Romney/Paul would have been as our leaders. I'm so relieved.

The verdict in the Trayvon Martin case really shook me. The racism in the public response wasn't surprising (sadly), but I couldn't believe Zimmerman got away with murder. It just reminded me that justice can't be done when unjust laws are on the books.

The Surpreme Court's decision to overturn DOMA was huge! My friends can now get married in many states. The decision is impacting other equality issues, too.

The older I get, the less time I am spending thinking about world issues. I know that sounds narrow, but I did my share of worrying about the rest of the world when I was younger. I can't change the things that are affecting me now (the still tenuous economy), so I'm trying to focus in on the things I can do something about--my relationships with my family and friends, my work, how I treat and interact with those around me.

One event in the world that has impact me has been the devastating ongoing civil war in Syria. Not only has it been difficult to watch and forced people to consider another military operation in the Middle East, but it also brings about the question of "How bad is too bad before people begin to care?" This affects me because of the work I do daily with refugees, but also because of the region of the world I am moving to and how many allegiances we sometimes have to different causes and how difficult that can be.

Gay marriage was legalized, meaning that my son can now get married if he chooses.

The referendum in the Falkland Islands was a both a personal and world event. I was a bit annoyed that I did not have a say, even though I was born there and have property there, and I was angry with the stupidity, ignorance and arroagance of some Islanders in advocating a 'no' vote to indicate we want independence as it's no way possible, at least in the short term and unlikely we could support ourselves in the long term, but pleased that the result was virtually unanimous for remaining under British rule, as it sends the right measure globally that we don't want to be messed with by Argentina - I remember checking my ipad at stupid o'clock in the morning in that Paris bronx hotel (when we went over for The Killers gig that never was), waiting for the results.

I don't think events in the world affect me that much. The civil war in Syria is increasing a demand for Syria-related keywords in Islamic Relief UK's Google Grants account. I don't feel 100% comfortable about exploiting that. That's the side of marketing I'm less keen about.

I hate to admit this, but the only one I can really think of is Superstorm Sandy, because we were personally affected (although not nearly as much as many others!). Since then & in large part as a result of Sandy, I have taken part-time work for a nonprofit whose mission is to protect the environment & make people aware of climate change. I didn't expect that to be the focus of my energy as much as it has become.

The Boston Marathon bombing. I have always felt an empathy towards people who fuck up...and I really think that the bombing was just that- a fuck up. In more ways than one. Thankful that they acted in haste. Thankful that it didn't go down on the 4th of July as intended. Thankful that they were sad boys and not an actual military attack. Where did they go wrong? When do we get answers? That was an exhausting week. I am Boston proud. I am SO PROUD of how this city and state responded. Who cares how much money was spent, less lives were lost. Shutting the city down while all manpower looked for two people? WORTH IT. I hope I always remember that, and if I am ever in a place of power, I will do the same.

Hurricane Sandy last October, mostly because it hit so close to home. The feeling of helplessness of having no power, no hot water, gas shortage, etc --it was all very scary. It was depressing, but also wonderful the way the community banned together and helped each other out best we could. The idea that our NJ shore lines could just gone one morning and so many lost our homes was unimaginable. It hit home how we cannot control natural disaster or other horrors and have to just face them head on and prepare the best we know how.

Nothing I see occurring around the world had an impact on me. We, as a world community, are still in the same place we've been in for years. We somehow keep choosing to be ruled by the same kinds of people today that we have in the past. There's turmoil in Syria, in fact most of the middle east, the world economy is starting to turn around, but it's still hampered by the greed which has infested our business leaders, and yet we don't find the answer for these troubles. I would be impacted if somehow our population woke up and said, "enough is enough. It's time to stop living the way that we are and start doing this together." I know, it's pie in the sky optimism, but for me, the troubles that we face domestically and internationally are not all that difficult to solve. We just have to get past ourselves.

Syria's use of chemical weapons and the US deliberation about how or if to respond. I am so torn - wanting to support non-military intervention because we can't keep jumping into wars but not wanting to condone by inaction the slaughter of civilians.

There are lots of things that had already been happening that I was made aware of this year that have impacted me. I learnt about the Israeli-Palestine conflict, which sounds devastating. More celebrities are being publicly outed as paedophiles, so that's another awful thing (although, I can't help but think it's pretty awful for the people in question, too). And gay marriage WAS passed here, so that's AWESOME.

I'm feeling the events in Syria pretty deeply. Civil war is horrible, and people fighting are not much older than my sons.

The continued crazy weather all across the world that is wreaking havoc with people's lives. We've been lucky but so many people and so many nations haven't. I wish there were something I could do to help - not just send money. The other events are the constant religious and territorial wars that rage around the world. So sad 7 depressing. I just don't understand why it continues.

Miley Cyrus twerking ? Um i dont know i cant think of one off the top of my head and i dont really watch the news..... The Syrian chemical bombing was horrible, i was really angered and upset that they are hurting children with chemical weapons.. The Rudd/Gillard coup was pretty shocking, even thoigh she deserved it after doing the same thing. Seems really childish just to get revenge, and it cost Labor the leadership...

I write this as Congress debates military action in Syria. These kinds of debates impact me more than in the past because I have family in the military now. That aside, as an American I was proud to see recent military action in Libya meet its objective without troops on the ground. Not that I was proud that we took action - I do not know the details of the situation and have not followed the outcome. Rather, after years of wars and the challenges of troop withdrawal, we were able as a nation to meet an objective and get out. I am hopeful that any action in Syria will be swift, effective and helpful toward ensuring lasting peace for the people who suffer there without committing to many years of US troops on the ground without an exit strategy.

I know its a little redundant, but the Trayvon Martin verdict. It showed how hateful and generally pathetic aspects of our government and people in this country are. It also showed me how the black community picks and chooses who they will galvanize for. There seems to be a host of people who will speak on behalf of black men, but I hear a crazy silence in regards to the trials that black women and those who are in our LGBTQ communities face, even when they die as a result of them. This fucking pecking order pisses me off.

Middle East mess. Always on my mind. What are the answers. Is there any true solution. Will this always be a hornets nest? More questions than answers unfortunately :(

Well... I'm not sure, I'm not truly in tune with the events in the world. In some ways, the election truly affected me as it made me get into politics a little more, but it really didn't. It also impacted me because my sister won. But that's not truly what this question is getting at... I would guess the NSA situation impacted me, as in to say, I got into a lot of debates about it. The NSA situation showed that everyone is basically getting tracked. In some ways, this is awful, we have no privacy. But in others, its great, the world is a safer place. I guess, I believe (mostly since I have done no wrong) that I would want to be a world a better place, as long as my data is in the right hands. You prove that to me, and I say go with it. What is the harm? However other people believe that freedom is most important. To them I say, what are you so worried about? Is this just in principle? There is no way of proving either side is right or wrong. Are they really using the data for the right reasons? Are they really stopping enough terrorist attacks? If they don't stop that many attacks... than fuck no, its not worth it... But who knows? How did this affect me? First of all, am I using the right affect? Second of all... I guess it affected me... Wait, did it affect me? Another issue was the Boston Marathon bombings... Why do people do such awful awful things. I guess...they have more "impact" on the world than most people do. But why not use that drive for something else. It's amazing how mad some people are.

The current financial climate is stressing me out. I feel pinched and then resentful when I see others living high off the hog on my tax money. I wish these was a level playing field but I fear that will never happen.

Trayvon Martin being killed made me angry. Zimmerman getting away with it made it worse. I was just enthralled and appalled, it was just such utter bullshit. I couldn't believe the way it played out

I think the fire at the Bangladeshi factory was pretty impactful. I work in development and realize people are struggling day to day but the disregard for poor people and the lack of value for their lives really got to me. I take so much shit for granted!

I am confused about wikileaks and how governments can prosecute people for sharing information. I'm scared that we are giving away our freedom without question.

The craziness in Syria has been really depressing to follow. I'm curious to see what stance our country takes (when there's no right answer) to deal with such opression and disgusting warfare.

I have been under a rock all year. I imagine this new Syria issue is problematic. I know from a peer counseling group I was in, in high school, that it is not advisable to try to help others when you can't even help yourself. I agree with this, in large part, while at the same time, struggle with stronger entities taking advantage of weaker ones. This applies to big kids picking on little kids, terrorists killing innocents, large nations occupying smaller ones... I just don't know.

The scientifcally grown beef buger. It sounds ridiculous but I don't like the idea of it, meat grown specifically for human consumption can't be right. This has affected me as I now understand we cannot sustain our meat intake. I am not becoming a vegetarian but making a conscious effort to drastically cut down.

The Boston bombing impacted me this year because to me it was just another negative thing in the news and it impacted me because that's not a normal response to have. It got me thinking that we are bombarded with so much negative news and we have unlimited access to it all the time, phones, T.V.'s computers, etc. It's no wonder diseases like heart attacks are going up, it's not healthy to be surrounded by all of this negativity. I am sad for the people that died or who were injured, but it is exhausting to see all of these tragedies and to have to go through some form of the grieving process on a daily basis and then try and deal with daily stress on top of that. People are more depressed now then they have been in the past, kids are diagnosed with ADD and ADHD all the time, maybe the problem is just simply we have access too much, too much of the time. This is why I have slowly begun to unplug for technology a little bit, let some things be unheard and focus on the positive. Being happy takes work, I don't want to surround myself with all this negativity and have to work even harder to be happy.

Newtown. And I don't want to think about it so I won't write anything more.

The Newtown shooting. That was one event that I simply couldn't wrap my head around. Those little kids who were killed and the amazing teachers and administrators who protected their students. I still tear up thinking about it. The aftermath was even more confusing to me. How could the time after the shooting not be the right time to talk about gun control?

More than a single event, I'll say the worry that I have is over how we're being governed in the US. I don't know whether it's a function of my getting older, but I don't think so. There seems to be no way to change the way that Congress, lobbyists, the Supreme Court and the Presidency work these days, as the ones that need to change it are the ones benefiting most from the broken system. The people are the ones suffering, and when Congress - our supposed representatives - votes with no regard for what their constituents want or believe, and cannot be held responsible for such disregard, that's a problem.

Marriage equality. What a wonderful day for everyone and a sad reminder of how far so much of mankind still has to go.

The overturning of DOMA. My two best friends are gay and they want to be married. In Illinois you can still only have a civil union, but at least with this step, the possibility of gay marriage passing in Illinois is high. It is really stupid that people can't marry who they want to. What difference does is make if a man marries a woman or another man.

The train crash in Santiago de Compostela on the 24th of July. It was close to home and made me realize how much this place is and isn't home at the same time. Galicia is such a small place and the hurt reached everyone. Even if you didn't know someone in the crash, you knew someone who knew someone. The solidarity after such a tragic event is always a bittersweet kind of beautiful. Also, the Sandy Hook shooting. When I first got to Spain I was saddened to find that one of the most frequently recurring stereotypes held about the States is that everyone has guns and it's dangerous and there are tons of school shootings. I was getting tired of explaining that that isn't the case, and then BAM, it happened again. That one hurt. A lot.

The several whistle-blowers and how they were fleeing arrest. It just adds to a general mistrust of our political system and sadness when I think of our inability to bring about actual change.

We were out of the country when the Texas legislature attempted (and then, subsequently succeeded) in passing Texas' latest anti-abortion legislation. I was relieved to be away from it all because it was breaking my heart from a distance, to be here when it was happening might have sent me nuts. It made me realize that without a doubt, I cannot live in this state nor, realistically, this country. It's just too scary.

The 50th anniversary of ML KIng's march on Washington; I remember this event and was reminded that this event helped propel me to another level of consciousness.

The goings-on of the local government, the NC legislature, has really disheartened me. I used to wonder how so much crazy could happen right under people's noses, and nothing be done about it. But now I see. Protests, phone calls, complaints-- the crazy still happens despite the will of the people. The minority complain, the and the majority fall to propaganda and misinformation. Reading What is the What, where the Sudanese narrator sometimes views his environment in disbelief, saying "...this can't happen. The government will stop it. The UN will stop it. The Americans will stop it. This is wrong, somebody will DO something..." ; these passages kill me. It's made my usual anti-involvement attitude towards the middle east, towards Syria currently, fall into a tailspin. People are suffering, and SOMEBODY needs to stop it. Perhaps nations do need their own consciences.

The floods in Bundaberg, Queensland. I have many friends and family that live there. My family were safe, but many of my friends have suffered a great deal. One lady lost her house and all her possessions and then her husband decided that he couldn't cope and left after 20++ years of marriage. I realise how fragile one's hold on what you thought was your 'life'.

Sandy Hook shook me to my core and made me really feel vulnerable. While I don't have children, Sandy Hook solidified within me the desire to have children, protect them and to do anything to make sure that they live healthy lives. I'm worried for our country and deeply wish that there were stronger gun laws to protect me, my family and my future family.

Boston Marathon bombing. So close to home. So senseless and stupid. This event affected so many people and I had a friend at the finish line. Although she did not lose a limb, she is forever changed by what she witnessed.

Newtown - GUN CONTROL GUN CONTROL GUN CONTROL. Take the agenda back from the wing nuts. and always simmering... the lack of action on climate change is always lurking lurking lurking and fills me with sadness of a kind I can barely verbalize. i don't understand it - how can you have a kid or grand kid (or just know a small person in the world and think about their lifespan) and not want to JUMP at issue. Not an "event" per se but it's unraveling EVERY DAY.

The stagnation of the economy but the stock market bouncing back fully has really given me a sense that the stock market is meaningless. All the wealth that we have "regained" in the last 4 years has gone to the already-wealthy. It is making me bitter and frustrated and definitely more conservative with my money. I can't see myself investing in the stock market when it seems to have no relation to the actual success of companies.

There was a lot to 2012/2013 but the "world" event that impacted me personally, as opposed to just an emotional or ethical level, was the Boston Bombing in May. My aunt and uncle are Boston Marathon participants of long standing, and I knew they were probably on-scene. My aunt wasn't, but my uncle was as a reporter. He was safe and sound, despite being fairly close to one of the explosions. It hit home for me how much random events could affect the people I know and love -- the very small number of people I would call "family". It was sobering, and helped me renew my connection with my aunt, which needed some nurturing. And also reminded me at how bad I am at maintaining personal relationships. Just terrible, really. :/

Iran & Syria. There was a very good reason for the crusades. I wish they could have finished.

The school shootings in Connecticut were about the most heinous thing I could imagine. I hate guns. I am OK with guns for personal protection and hunting and law enforcement, but automatic assault style weapons have no place in a civilized society. The "debate" over gun control that took place following the massacre in Connecticut disgusted me. It made me realize how fucked up things are in this country that we cannot even have a discussion about the most basic common sense reforms without the NRA going apeshit. I hate the NRA leadership, particularly Wayne LaPierre. Douchebag extraordinaire.

The crisis in Syria. I'm afraid we'll go to war as I don't think we should put our depleted forces in danger. Those amazing men and women risk their lives for us and I don't think we should be using them like pawns, there's not enough of them for a start.

An event(s) that has impacted me this is has been the violence- specifically against children; for example the CT elementary shootings and the horrific rape/murder committed on a child and her mother by Renz. It has made me more concerned for my own children's safety and helped me to learn with and teach to them situational self defense.

The school shooting in Newtown impacted me in ways I never thought it would. Previously, I had been removed- both geographically and emotionally. Now, knowing families who lost members and friends and then going to work later that day with children who were actually scared just to leave their houses afterwards has shown me just exactly what happened last December to our whole community.

The Trayvon Martin trial and backlash has effected everyone in our country. Both highlighting the need for racial acceptance, and the need to strike down idiotic laws.

The use of gas in Syria is the topic of the moment. I hope that the US doesn't go it alone, because if it does I see 4 countries that would hurl bombs at Israel. The use of gas against innocent people needs to be stopped, but we need help. This is what the UN is for. I do hope that Russia steps in.

Choosing the new Pope. I'm only nominally Catholic, but I like this new guy. I think he gets reeled back more than is necessary or true, but I feel like his heart is so much deeper and richer than the last Pope, and that really gives me hope and comfort. Plus, he was elected the day after my dog died and took the name of St. Francis of Assisi, which I took as a sign of Shadow's ongoing love and presence.

This is hard as sometimes it is the most recent or the most horrific. I am deeply troubled by the increase in violence - whether it is the insanity of the Syrian or North Korean regimes, or the constant shooting in the US or the beating up of people in Russia because they are gay. But what was ultimately so sickening was the factory collapse in Bangladesh and feeling complicit as a member of Western society. Our drive toward consumerism is responsible for this atrocity. We cannot turn a blind eye to this and the fact people were forced to go back to work when they the workers knew it was unsafe was maddening. Capitalism can be a form of genocide unto itself

The Newtown school shootings affected me deeply, in part because I had my own first-grader. I remember sitting at my dining room table, reading the headlines, and understanding, as a former newspaper reporter, that no news was bad news. If all the children were safe, that would have been reported immediately. I cannot imagine the fear of those parents as boys and girls arrived at the fire station but their children, and their children's classmates, weren't among them. I cried. I drove to my children's schools in the middle of the day and picked them up and told them a story about surprising Daddy at the airport. I still think about those families and the evil and horror they had to face and I fear for our own community; it can happen anywhere.

Although I'm not American, I think these continuing stories about women's rights - both as related to birth control and career opportunities - in the US are some of the most tragic narratives about our society in this day and age. These don't feel like conversations we should even have to have anymore, and I can only hope people start ignoring these divisive opinions and focus instead on making a better society, no matter what gender is leading it.

The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school probably had the biggest impact me in the past 12 months. That a person could get into a school and murder children the same age as my kids is so very scary. My daughters now have "Code Red" drills at school where they basically go into lock down. They have had doors with locks installed on each of the rooms for safety reasons. The brutality is what scares me.

I like using this space to just record the biggest events of the last year. In the moment it seems as if these events happened and then leave our purview- when you look back and see all the things that happened in the world within the last year, it can be mind blowing! The GOP race for President Hurricane Sandy Obama re-elected the Sandy Hook Shooting New Pope who seems really nice Egypt thrown back into turmoil Protests in Brazil Iran's Nuclear Program Trevon Martin Bombing between Israel and Gaza Snowden and Prism leak Fast Food workers strike War in Syria- chemical weapons (current- will the US strike??)

The "gender" wars. So many "attacks" on women both as individuals and as a group. It is shocking there is still such ignorance and hatred against us. Remembering the hopes we had in the 60's and 70's and then watching the advances be dismantled step by step is really disheartening. At last gay marriage has made some good forward progress and have been happy to witness some friends who are long time couples finally get to tie the knot.

None, because most of them I can do nothing about and focusing on them adds negativity into my life that I don't need or want.

Gay right to marry....makes me really reevaluate weather I really want that. Marijuana legalization.....I KNOW that I want that!

The difference in the gay rights movement throughout the world is something that inspires and horrifies me at the same time. Having gay marriage now legalized in my home state is awe-inspiring but then to watch what is happening to those in the LGBT community (or even suspected to be) in Russia terrifies me, especially leading up to the Winter Olympics.

While I have made the conscious decision to limit my news watching, several world events have, of course, captured my attention. At the moment, we are in the big showdown with the government forces of Syria and their use of chemical weapons own their own citizens. Intolerlable! And yet, as Obama tries to muster support for missle attacks as punishment I am very conflicted. Yes, we must do something. We cannot stand by and allow this atrocity. And yet, does more violence teach peace? I believe violence always creates more violence. When I read this answer next year I wonder how this will have resolved. Will we still be embroiled in conflict? Who are the bad guys here? Other world events which have impacted me emotionally are the severe weather disasters. Hurricane Sandy caused such incredible damage to so many who have still not recovered. Again, the immediate response and generosity was heart warming, but recovery efforts have dropped from the news. The people affected demonstrated strong spirit and resiliance, but how are they doing now? Is anyone helping now? What I've learned or, maybe I'm still trying to learn, is that I simply cannot invest so much emotional attachment to things outside my immediate experience. I can do what I can to help. I can sympathize and bless. I cannot live it because, as an old friend put it, "It's not mine"

The Sandy Hook Massacre impacted me very strongly. It made me realize how fucked up the world we live in is, and at the same time, how wonderful people are to. THe contrast between the shooter and the father of the Emily, and the parents of Grace, and the father of the other boy, all the families, it just shows you that, in the words of the immortal Led Zeppelin, there are two paths you can go down but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on. We all are in control of our own lives. We are in charge of making our own decisions. We can choose the darkest path, and cause nothing but pain and destruction for ourselves, our families, others, the world, or we can choose the path of light, and love. Sandy Hook also really made me think about gun control in this country, and the obsession with guns, which I abhor. There again is a choice. I would like to choose to see the good in people. ANd I firmly believe that guns are the cause of the majority of violent crime in this country. Without guns, the weak would not be enabled to compensate by killing others. The strong don't need guns to defend themselves. Guns feed into fear, hysteria, distrust, hatred, violence. I abhor violence. I choose to go against guns. I hate guns. I think they are far too accessible, and enable disturbed individuals to cause mass destruction and destroy precious lives. As such, I am firmly opposed to gun ownership and the spread of guns. If Sandy Hook wasn't a wake up call about the problem with guns in this country, what on earth would be?

Will we bomb Syria? Why? What will happen then? Do we care about the Syrian people? Obama's military rhetoric makes me wonder whether my country will ever stop contributing to global war.

Women of the Wall is an organization that has impacted me this year. All their events move me to do more to help spread the word of bringing gender equality to Israel. The division between the Orthodox and the Progressive movement impacts me because I want to see equality in all areas. Everyone can learn to live and tolerate each other. No one denomination should run the country. I love Israel, my daughte wants to make aliyah and I want the country to be a true democracy.

The passing of the gay marriage. Even thought I do not plan to get married...knowing that I could if I wanted to is nice.

Truthfully, I've worked hard to keep uninformed this year. I tend to take in world events and internalize them in a way that's not helpful to me and my health. Sounds completely lame, but it's true, and I'm not going to lie about it.

When bombs were sent back and forth between Israel and the Gaza. All the Israeli's went into survival mode and it was panic and chaos, it was calm and beautiful, what I mean by this is that people without hesitation help all those around them. They open their homes and their businesses to those who need it. People from the South came to the North for safety during this time. Car rental places gave cars to these people that fled and had to leave everything behind, hotels opened to house families, and hold activities for children. We volunteered to staff and lead activities with a group that was working with an orphanage from the South, they had all the days planned out and filled with things to do for all ages, meals and snacks were also provided and center opened up to let the kids/teens have activities there for the day. I've never seen anything like it and while this was a scary time it was so wonderful to see with my own eyes the way everyone comes together and helps take care of each other and we were happy to be a part of that.

Nothing in particular beyond the US government becoming more and more of a tyranny-run dictatorship.

I think Global Warming has been an event that has impacted me this year. It seems to me, as a person who checks the weather of all my family members spread out around the world, that the weather has been scary. Stormy, hot, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes. I know these things have always existed, but there seems to be an exceleration to it all lately. It has made me get my "go bag" ready. To make sure I have emergency plans with my family and that we discuss them.

hurricane sandy for sure. seeing the amount of time it took people to recover and how many are still struggling. the losses my parents in law endured. and the complete strangers we met when we volunteered the next day. feeling powerless in the face of nature. and feeling that one of the greatest cities in the world was also powerless. and also impressed at the things nyc did right.

shoting at newton CT elementary school tremendous grief and rage and sadness and worry as a parent, aunt, activist and peacemaker

The battle for gay rights and against sexism are obviously the things that hits me the most personally. People are straining to break out of the previously accepted norm and thank Log for that! This means that whilst major boundaries are being moved and changed, whilst the position of the 'other' has become one inhabited by bigots rather than those who are different it has also sparked violence and antipathy. It is a very exciting time, gay marriage is being legalised in many places, misogyny is becoming increasingly unacceptable but yet it is still one of the most commonly seen things in the media and in everyday life and homophobia is still rife. Those opposed to women's rights and to LGBT rights are becoming more desperate and more aggressive. What is happening in Russia right now almost seems unreal and yet it is echoed in the homophobic attacks in France after the gay marriage bill passed. Things will probably worsen and become more fraught before they improve but I am so pleased that if I ever have children there will (likely) have been a major change in the way we perceive gender and sexuality by the time they grow older, there was definitely a lag for awhile there. I know that despite being faced with very little in the way of actual prejudice I have struggled with my own sexuality growing up and I think I still do really. You cannot be protected by those you love from the wide world around you, only made to feel that you do have a place with them and that is not to belittle that side of things only to acknowledge that even with acceptance surrounding me I have felt the sting of being 'other'. Things WILL get better. Fingers crossed, eh?

The country of Burma/Myanmar becoming a democracy. I read Aung San Suu Kyi's book, Letters from Burma, and I remembered to pray for democracy to come to her country. Now it has. I am sure others were praying too.

Honestly, I don't pay too much attention to what is going on in the world. I think it is in part due to the negative tone of the news and also being busy in my own life with small children.

Only one answer to this question - the Supreme Court DOMA decision. I can apply for a green card for my spouse. We will be able to make decisions about our future based on where we can each find work and what is best for our family, not on the tenuous nature of all of the US's non-immigration visas. It is a huge, huge relief and cause for joy.

I am stunned by the thought that the Quebec government is pondering the institution of a Charter of Values that limits personal expression using relgious symbols. There have been other times in recent history when governmental limitations have been put on people because of religion, with devastating results. I've always wondered how society let it happen, and now we're facing the same type of thing in Canada, and many people are supporting the Charter. Unbelievable...

I'm not sure of something that happened this year. I know in 2010, it was the earthquake in Haiti that gave me the impetuous and real push to change my career. I knew if needed to change but had no idea where to go. Suddenly nursing was the obvious answer. It was my first love and what I always wanted to do, and seeing the relief effort going on in Haiti made me realize I have to be doing something that impacts lives every day. Sitting behind a desk doesn't cut it. I need to make a difference. As for this past year, I'm not sure. possibly the election as I was a ball of nerves, and really beginning to sense the generational gap in my family/family friends as to where we wanted the country to go and what we felt was needed. While I will always remain of the entrepreneurial mindset of encouraging small and privately owned business and the ability of an individual to earn as much money as they can, there are parts of our way of life that are completely fucked. Like healthcare. It shouldn't be a for-profit industry run my insurance companies. There has to be some other world model that is working (France? Canada? Japan?) that we can implement. Seeking help when sick (or well) shouldn't be a luxury; it should be a given. I would happily have my tax dollars go towards that rather than bombs and missiles and invasions.

The situation in Egypt because it is so complex

Hurricane Sandy changed the way this city looks at climate change, and reinvigorated my interest in climate change. Now my ideal job would deal with resiliency.

It's been ongoing obviously, but I'm really aware of the immediate effects of global warming. Weather, big storms, heat waves, it's here and its time for us to collectively make major changes in how we live, where our resources come from, where our waste goes. It's hard not to feel frustrated at the 'powers that be.' Of course, we Are the powers that be. I look forward to our owning that.

The election last September, though local to the United States, was only the second in which I voted. My vote felt meaningful with the election of President Obama to his second term in office, and I now feel a deeper connection to the role of the United States in national and world events.

I've been thinking a lot about Superman Sam. I am grateful for my own family's health, and I keep this little boy, whom I don't know, in my thoughts daily.

I have been very concerned about the irradiated water leaking at the nuclear plant in Fukushima. I can't stop thinking of it, and have been reading and researching about it frequently. I listened to the lectures of Dr. Helen Caldicott, and since then I have become obsessed with formulating exit strategies to various less-polluted countries, as if there's any reasonable plan. I do recognize that that will be in vain, since a contaminated Pacific Ocean can't exactly be contained, but I am obsessed with poisoning, and it is so hard for me to ease my mind on this issue. I am trying to lay off a little at home, because now my husband is convinced we need to move to Australia.

The attack on Malala, the young girl in Pakistan, and the rape(s) in India. How can it be that some men think that such violence against women is acceptable? How can a society make it absolutely clear, with no ambiguity whatsoever, that girls and women are human beings to treat with dignity and respect. And as a result, I am always grateful, in my community in the U.S., that I am able to travel independently, to move and act without constant fear of attack. This is how it should be for all girls and boys, men and women, in every city and town in the U.S. and around the world.

The Boston Marathon bombing really freaked me out. I'm no stranger to the idea of living in a place where bombings and terrorism are relatively common, but that place was never America. It really hit home that I had people I needed to call and text to make sure they were okay. It was a very unsettling day.

The war in Syria - how can we still stand by in the face of genocide?

Not one specific event, but all the horrible tragedies make me fear death more. Fear it happening to me, to my kids, to my husband...fearing for me kids growing up without me, or me moving on without somebody I love.

In October 2012, the world watched Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban. Yousufzai was shot for advocating education for girls. She has sparked a dialogue about children's education throughout the world through her ability to be fearless and inspiring beyond measure. Yousufzai has shown me that there is no age limit to stand up against injustice.

The Boston Marathon bombings were horrific and a complete shock. Living in Israel I have been close to acts of terror before, but I never thought that something could happen near me in Boston.

It's got to be the Australian election. I'm counting it as a worldly event because I'm living in the US at the moment. It's made me feel miserable and disappointed that my home is a country that is happy to chuck refugee rights under the bus - where people put compassion and generosity last, even though they have one of the healthiest economies and best standards of living in the world. It's also made me think about the power of the media. Rupert Murdoch owns 65% of the Australian press, read by 70% of Australians, and campaigned heavily for Tony Abbott on the pages of his newspaper. When people think they're getting news and are actually getting heavily modified opinion, can it really be called a democratic system?

The Republican takeover of the NC legislature makes me realize how important it is to pay close attention, stand up for your values no matter the price, and reaffirms my belief in the importance of a balanced government. I hate what has happened to my state in these past 6 months and I want to work hard in the year/s ahead to put these people out of office.

It is sad to say that I'm not sure what world event to list. With the move into the house and both of us starting new jobs, we've been a bit insulated. The events in Syria are really distressing. I keep going back and forth between the desire not to have another quagmire like Iraq and concerns about preventing more genocide in the world.

I would say the Boston bombings is the event that impacted me this year. I never truly believed in what I was doing in the military until this tragic event happened while I was overseas in the military. It made me truly believe in the fight against terrorism and protecting our nation.

Russian homophobia - appreciate what you have, while you have it - there is NO UTOPIA...

I think what impacted me the most was the war in Israel in November. I was alone when the siren went off in Jerusalem and it was shockingly frightening. It was a friday night and I had just lit the shabbat candles when this piercing sound shattered the silence of shabbat. I ran into the hallway because I didn't actually know what to do in the event of an emergency and I didnt have a bomb shelter in my apartment. Luckily the stairwell was exactly where I was supposed to be and I was taken in by my neighbors who put on the radio and made sure that I was ok. I was really shaken up. Being alone was really hard. Frightening mostly. I pray for peace.

Id say the horrific abuse of non-heterosexuals in Russia affected me the most. Especially the luring and violence perpetrated against queer youth, which was filmed and uploaded online by heterofascist groups. My heart really broke, and most of the queer world is outraged. Of course little is being done, the situation remains fascistic over there. I just want those poor people to be safe. We have to be able to love freely, wherever we live. Let this be the final sputtering out of homophobia, the dark before the dawn...

I think just everything that happened impacted me in a way. For the first time I was really interested in things going on outside of my life. It made me learn that learning what's going on in the world is my passion and what I want my career to be, I think.

I am deeply saddened by the fires in California. I had a chance see Yosemite this summer and did not get there. Now, it may be years before it recovers. Additionally, there are other fires out there. One is threatening the town my parents grew up in and has probably already destroyed the house my grandparent had when I was young. I wanted to see these places again. I hope they are as unscathed as possible.

Not sure if the passing of a friend counts, but it has affirmed that the path that I am on now is the right path for me to be the happiest. My friend lived her life to the max with no regard for what others thought. She was loving and gave her life to make others happy. I can only hope that I too can someday be like her.

I think the Presidential election was awful. That man has absolutely no business being the President. He doesn't have a clue what he's doing. The World event was him getting reelected and the economy continuing to tank for 4 more years.

The crisis in Syria and the resulting refugee crises in Jordan and Lebanon. As a teacher of the Holocaust, I feel I should do more and yet I feel powerless to stop what is happening. How ironic to be teaching about crimes against humanity while we watch them unfold on cable and TV. I am a good person and yet here I am going about my life as if nothing is happening and everything is happening to people in Syria and in the refugee camps. Is this what the world saw and felt in 1939-1945? Of course, communications were much different then, but, still, I wonder...

The shootings at Sandy Hook. It touched me, but I was confused. I felt I could not form an educated opinion on gun control while surrounded only by friends of the same political party as myself (liberal). So I sought out my dad—a member of the NRA and avid hunter. Though terrified of guns, he took me shooting. I shot everything from a pellet gun up to an AR-15. I learned so much from him, and my view on the subject has done a complete 180. This year, I will be taking my first hunter's safety course, getting my license, and my dad is taking me hunting for the first time. I feel we've bonded and I've been humbled by his wisdom.

President Obama got reelected!! I was really, really happy about that, though with recent revelations about the NSA, as well as his vacillating on climate change (specifically Keystone, although that will all be forgiven if it turns out he was really just keeping the oilers happy until he could turn it down) and support of fracking, etc. have made me less-than-overjoyed with his performance of late. Still, overall he's done a pretty good job (we'll see how Syria turns out), and I'm still happy he got elected. Also, the Trayvon Martin killing showed me that I need to do a better job as a white ally at fighting racism.

The present crisis in Syria threatens to throw us into heightened turmoil. Whose side are we on? Either way, we lose. I feel personally sad for President Obama and the obvious fact that he hovers between several impossible alternatives. Poor man. His poor wife and girls...knowing he bears such burdens. Our own country of Canada will not have a mind of its own in this instance, I fear...although we can ill afford troops and material for a war. Another war. If such things continue, my own grandsons may find themselves as warriors. The thought is inconceivable...and yet many, many grandmothers watch this very thing, and suffer the lose of those they love.

I feel like the school shooting in Newtown affected me more I had expected. I remember hearing about it at work and sitting at my computer all day. I was overcome with sadness. It was such a senseless and horrific act.

More school shootings. I'm so tired of people feeling that gun violence is the solution to a problem. Living in SF, I feel somewhat insulated because most people don't generally carry guns (although I'm not positive about owning them, especially in my neighborhood) but there have been so many people killed because of perceived threats.

Senator Wendy Davis and her colleagues in Texas fighting for women's health rights. I watched and read every morsel of that story, donated to Wendy (I'm not a tx resident) and shared the story with friends. I was so angry and saddened that the ignorant elitist behavior of that state's Governor is happening in 2013. I continue to follow Wendy & Leticia on Facebook and pray for their strength and resolve.

This year I was fortunate enough to qualify for, run, and finish the Boston Marathon. This was also the year of the tragic Boston bombing. I have never experienced anything like this before. To be in the center of a national tragedy, to feel the scare and residual fear, to feel a very real shock. What was probably my biggest accomplishment in life so far was diminished by this terrible event.

The Aussie election impacted me quite a bit. I'm too young to vote but discussing it with my friends and family was interesting and enjoyable. It made me realize what type of person I am and what my political views are.

President obama won. He was the first president I voted for, and that's awesome. Doma got revoked, doesn't affect me personally, but knowing that I live in a country that is actively trying to improve themeselves makes me grateful.

I'd say the whole Palestine/Israel conflict impacted me quite a bit - after our recent South Africa trip I realize how far-right we are compare to others who doesn't feel so close to either US or Israel.

The market crash, inflation, terrible rise in prices of everything including fuel. Most of these are hitting home and affecting our day to day lives. Traveling is something both my husband and I enjoy doing. But now, traveling seems like a luxury considering the price of fuel. Everything around seems to be on a hyper inflated level!

the whole Syria fiasco, not only do I have family on their doorstep but also it seems that this is an event that has effected many people and made them question what is actually going on.

Current unrest in Syria - It's really challenging my previous opinion on foreign interventions. I really don't know what I think is best as much as I keep reading and reading about it.

Since we began considering a move to Israel, I have been more aware of Israeli politics and events. Mostly I here about things through the grapevine or on talk shows like the Colbert report. The main outcome is that I have become quite invested in defending Israel...in a sense. I don't promote any specific action but I'm trying to make people realize that Israel is not the bully in this conflict but is made up of a disparate group of people who have been long abused and have fought and sacrificed to build a nation for themselves.

The Boston Marathon Bombing. In all of the hate in the world, in all of the senseless killing and violence, I am struck by how rarely any of it has touched my own circle. the bombing almost did, with Brian's friends Steve and Deb. It was enough to make me take count of the things and people I value, and pray for an end to violence, and an acceptance of peace

Australian Politics. There has been so much idiocy in the Australian political scene for the last year. I'm so sick of it and their inhumane way of dealing vulnerable people, like the refugees that come seeking asylum. Both the Coalition and Labor have been one upping each other with the cruelty. I just can't take it anymore. The only party that wants to treat refugees with any kind of compassion and respect is the Greens. which is why I voted for them last Saturday at the federal election. Tony Abbott has been named Prime Minister and I'm pretty upset about that too. He is a little shit of a man and I pretty much hate him. I just hope he doesn't absolutely ruin this country and make us a backwater place for racists, homophobes and bigots of all kinds.

Not in a personal level, but recently seeing the chemical attacks against the people of Syria has made me think about how we're still living through genocide in the 21st century. Now there's the possibility of a military conflict over this. Which will affect us all.

So many things have happened in the world this year. However, Syria is presently at the forefront of my mind because it's all over the news. The president is going to address the nation tonight. I feel torn because on one hand I wish the US would learn to take care of itself before trying to save others. On the other hand, I want the US to help because it's the right thing to do. Turning a blind eye to those in need is shameful; but at the same time, you have to safe yourself before you can help someone else. In situations such as these, I don't think there is ever an answer. It's depressing because so many things in life are this way.

The Sandy Hook Massacre. Though that too place many miles from me, I could feel it in my heart as both a parent and as a teacher. I watched in horror as the reports unfolded. I thought about all those moms who had kissed their precious children goodbye that morning and sent them off to school for a "regular day" -- only to have their lives shattered by noon. I think the fragility of life became more vivid to me, and is causing me to appreciate the moments I have more and more.

Boston bombings Disaster after disaster, it's horrible. Yet in all the calamities, I read articles which restored my faith in humanity; I read articles which inspired me to be a good doctor, the importance of thinking on my feet, and undeniably that life IS precious no matter how overrated that phrase may seem. As a health care professional, I place my life at the front line to save the lives of others. But I must always bear in mind: to cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always.

I have been effected for the first time by the struggle in Isreal this year. For the first time in my life it pertains to me and I care about it more than I ever have. It's amazing how one bombing can really bring one thing into focus. It's truly a different experience that has shaped how I think about Isreal in relation to myself.

This was the year that 3 women and a child were found being held captive in the home of a man in Ohio. They had been there for more than a decade, locked in his basement, forced to do whatever sick things he wanted. The child was the result of rape of one of the women while she was in captivity. The women were found because the one with a child took advantage of a time when he was out of the house to break out and call 911. The story was so sad because 10 years is a long time to be captive. But when the women were ready to give interviews, they talked about forgiveness, and the love of their families, and their faith that had helped them throughout the ordeal. I hope that they can find the support they need to have the lives they want now that they have a second chance.

Seeing chemical weapons used in Syria is heart-wrenching. More difficult is the hundred=thousand people killed before those weapons and the many, many more that will be killed. Yet there is not a single good option to stop the conflict. It's paralyzing and terrifying to imagine that the accident of birth can make one person's life so much better and safer than another's.

There were some shootings this year that really impacted me. I wrote a blog post about it: http://rickerstaff.blogspot.com/2013/08/keep-it-clear.html

The Trayvon Martin case was one that I couldn't stop thinking about this year. The whole situation was so horrible, for Traywon's family, for the community and for our nation. In some ways, events like this reinforce my decision to move to K-12 education reform. Whenever I see a situation that could have been potentially prevented with a stronger foundation in education (everything from graffiti on the freeway to unnecessary killings), I feel like my work is more meaningful.

I was greatly affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. It utterly, utterly broke my heart to think of those children being murdered. As the mother of a Kindergartener (now first grader), it was too much to see those photos or imagine what the parents went through. And it just makes me so frustrated and dispirited to see the gun control issue go nowhere. Fucking politics.

I think there were two: the Boston Marathon bombings and the latest, publicized chemical warfare attacks in Syria. I felt very disturbed that someone could mastermind any of those attacks on innocent people to either make a political point or bring people to heel. The very basic and simple disregard for the sanctity and value of human life is so foreign to me, and to this day, I cannot bring myself to comprehend it.

The shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School hit the country really hard. I remember my father breaking down over it, sobbing. I remember my sister stepping out onto the porch, taking the time to cry bitterly in private. And it shook me up as a teacher. During the lockdown drill we had in school in the following month, my eyes teared up as I sensed the vulnerability the students were feeling as they crouched in the corner of the room. Some students were nervously giggling, and some looked scared, but they all seemed so fragile. Teachers in Sandy Hook acted as heroes, putting their lives at stake for the safety of their students. How dedicated am I to my students?

Oh, man, I've spent so much time selfishly dwelling on my own problems and misfortunes this year that I can not even think of a world event that impacted me this year, and that's really sad. I'll have to work on my awareness this year.

Hurricane Sandy has greatly impacted my family and I. For the first time in a long time, I understood what the saying "it takes a village" really means. Before I was able to assist my father and get down to Long Beach, it was his neighbors who helped him out tremendously - gave him access to a water pump and a generator. I was most grateful for this. I also felt rather good that I was able to do my part, too. The next day Ido and I drove down to Long Beach to check on my father, the Komisarows, the Romanos and the Hawkinsons. While I wasn't able to offer them much beyond some cookies, it felt really good to offer my support. It was obvious to me they were most grateful that someone cared enough to visit them; and cared enough where no phone call, e-mails or texts were necessary to carefully plan the visit. I think this spontaneity lends a really heartfelt aspect to a visit and when the chips are down, that is what really matters, and not the formality of such a visit. I think it also gave me a deeper understanding of my father's mortality. The panic in his voice on the phone as the water rushed into the basement made me realize that despite his superhero efforts, he is just one man, like any other in the world. He did well for himself, but the idea of a 60 year old man alone in his home during a hurricane like this scared the living hell out of me.

Human trafficking haunts me as does the mistreatment of women in some Middle Eastern countries, like stoning. I feel the lioness in me rising and I wonder what God has for my life when it comes to these worldly issues.

Syria is a big concern. Obamacare is unaffordable. We really need politicians who will think, and are not bought by special interest groups. Line item veto would be unnecessary if there weren't unrelated issues attached to legislation. Term limits would be wonderful. I pray. A lot.

The Sandy Hook children's massacre.. was just around the time I got back my results that I had no cancer any where else in my body other than breast cancer and it was so impacting to think of those innocents dying at the hands of some freak, wiped out at such a young age.. and here I was, granted a reprieve on life..

Women's equality has somehow found itself onto my radar after the brutal rape of the women in India. Feminism was a dirty word to me for a long time - it frustrated me that women were expecting everything and were developing this unachievable sense of entitlement. But having people like Mum's friend Morgan to talk to and starting to see the world around me with these ideas has made me so much more aware. Women are sexualised with their breasts out in airport departure lounges, my supposively intelligent colleagues accuse their mates of 'being girls' as a put down, women in India live in fear of being brutally assulted because that's the way it's been forever. So my attitude is changing and my actions have followed. Small ones like sending Vodafone a note to ask why breasts were required to be on show to sell their products. It's a big fight but I feel like I can make little differences.


Thinking about this question has made me realize that I've mostly been in a bubble of my own problems this year. There hasn't been a big event that has had a significant effect on us as we're too caught up in dealing with house stuff, money issues, personal problems etc...

When Prop. 8 was overturned in California officially by the Supreme Court, it meant something to me after all these years. When I was a kid, I watched as my gay uncle and gay friends were second-class citizens and kids ridiculed each other by calling everyone the other f-word. After divorce, it helped me embrace the possibility of love and marriage once again.

The killings in Newtown really impacted me. After that event, which brought me to tears (and I am not someone who cries often), I have become actively involved in pushing for gun control in the US. It has been effective elsewhere in the world...there is no excuse anymore for us to not have it here. Even though I knew someone in the Colorado shootings the year before (in Aurora), it really took the senseless shooting of an elementary school for me to wake up and realize that if I don't take on the mantle of this cause, no one will.

The loss of my lover.

A female bicyclist passed in SF and it's brought into light that we need to make our streets safe for biking. The California wildfires threatened the Hetch Hetchy system- a reminder that we are humble to the forces of nature. I tend to be an "all or nothing person", even with news. I either obsessively read things or not at all. This year I haven't stayed that informed on world events. Perhaps I am ready to do so again.

There have been a few. First, I think that Hurricane Sandy was a close to home reality of climate change. For all the climate change naysayers, this was a true picture of what is in store for us immediately and the future. For those who say that we just need to restore and build up the Jersey Shore again and go on about as usual has their head in the sand (no pun intended). We are resilient and we can learn from this monumental event.

The war in Syria with the resulting death toll has been a constant theme. It is hard to understand how a leader can massacre the citizens of his country for his own aggrandizement. This has only increased my lack of respect for political leaders in today's world.

All the turmoil in the Middle East just seems never-ending. It causes me to consider the book of Revelation in the Bible and wonder if we are indeed in the end times. I remind myself it is unacceptable to just shrug my shoulders and say it is inevitable. Until Christ comes again, we should not give up on working toward peace and helping all the innocents in harm's way.

Syria used chemical weapons on its own people. Right now there is a threat of war - US vs Syria. For now it has only brought concern and worry for my nation, but no other impact and hopefully there won't be.

Being on the brink of war with Syria is terrifying. My whole family lives in Israel. That gas masks are coming out again and that Israel will be the first to be hit if America strikes worries me intensely.

Hurricane Sandy...we live directly on the Hudson River and we were told to evacuate but we stayed and the water came all the way up to our balcony. It was terrifying. However, it reminded me that I need a relationship with God. That was a valuable lesson.

This is a hard one. There have been a number of things, but I think the event closest to me has been the steps forward with gay marriage and gay rights in general. The fact that gay marriage was cleared in the House of Lords is a start. I think for me, in this generation, it feels like things are definitely changing and there is more recognition and acceptance of the LGBT community, as there rightfully should be. I know things are still tough, but it gives me hope that things can, and hopefully will change.

Not one event, but the overall violence that constantly plagues Chicago really has put a certain perspective on things. It's made me feel more radically about certain things like race and how this city treats some of its neighborhoods. I guess that also ties in with the Newton shooting and how many people looked at that and saw such tragedy (which it was) but looks at Chicago or Detroit and just shrug and think, well what did you expect from THAT sort of city. It's that sort of thinking that really infuriates me and I wish more people were open about talking about it all.

The Boston bombing rocked my world. I think so much about my safety and those around me any time I am in a busy public place now. I hate being so afraid of things and work really hard not to let this fear control me.

I feel sad to say... but I don't feel so connected to world events. I felt the impact of the shooting in Sandy Hook where all those young children died. Teachers too. I think I was like this before, but I often get teary eyed when my kids walk into school and I walk behind them. It is a precious moment to see your kids walk away where you won't be able to protect them.

I was pretty freaked out by Newtown. I actually still can't wrap my mind around it. I remember hearing the news and just watching it for hours. I couldn't believe that people were still walking around and smiling and laughing when one of the worst tragedies had just happened. Someone had walked into a school and slaughtered innocent children and teachers trying to protect them. How could anyone still keep being when something that horrible had happened? When little five year olds' lives were just taken for no reason. It was not only a testament to the fact that guns need to be regulated FAR more than they already are, but also mental health has to be more widely discussed and treated. The fact that there are so many shootings now terrifies me. We have grown so numb to these tragedies that seem to transpire weekly, and it's terrifying.

Frankly, I have been so overwhelmed w/ what's going on in my personal life that I can't even really recall any global issues other than Germany and their bullshit attitude toward gay people and then whether or not we should bomb Syria. What good is it to bomb them? What will it gain? Yes, they should be punished, but why does America always have to be the one in the white hat? With the current obstructionist Congress cock-blocking every single thing the President is trying to accomplish, America is going down the toilet. Under President Obama, we finally have a chance to really bring America back up, and fix so many of the things that are wrong here. But the Republicans are to stupid to understand. I hate Republicans even more than I did when the Shrub was appointed dictator.

Well, I have actually lost my interests for such events. So eventually those events do not impact me anymore. I find them a waste of energy. I rather invest my energy in those events around me.

The Trayvon Martin killing. I do not agree with the verdict. By the reading of the law Zimmerman may have been found not guilty but he is not innocent. The Prosecutors seemed to miss the boat. it makes me wonder about the sanctity of the law and what is justice. I am trying to voice my opinion to affect policy and who governs us,

The shooting of the children in Sandy Hook Elementary was pretty much the most devastating and hopeless thing I've ever seen. Follow that with the Boston bombing and the countless acts of mass violence that preceded it and I started to feel very jaded and sad about our future. It did inspire me to give a little more to our community though. Even some small donation helped soothe the wounds left by those horrible events. I don't know how to protect my child against this kind of thing. I guess the point is that I can't. That is a hard lesson to learn so early on but it kind of draws you in to the people you love which is positive.

An event in the world that impacted me this year is....whoa what does it say about me that I can not think of one world event that impacted me. Again, am I numbed??? Insolated??? I read the paper, keep up with the local happenings, and read USA Today. I love looking at the daily pictures because I see things from around the world. How people live, the surroundings, different religions, cultural practices, wars, riots, upheaval, creativeness of people, beauty of nature. I soak it in...but what am I doing with it? I do have a heart for all people and an interest in people around the world. How to funnel this energy from interest to action? G-d, please answer this question. I have no doubt that you gave me this heart from people. Help me move from sitting on the sidelines to doing meaningful in the world.

The death of Trayvon Martin (over a year ago) and verdict (from July) underscored how difficult change can be. It all sounds trite, but I don't know that kind of vulnerability or fear for my physical safety, due to my skin color. I am so fortunate. Sadly, I found this event deeply disturbing and discouraging. The lack of progress on gun control legislation shows an indifference towards gun violence perpetrated towards black individuals (even by black individuals). Stand your ground laws feel like the mutation of law to continually protect privilege. None of this brings our community closer together.

The defeat of Proposition 8 in the U.S. Supreme Court and the striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act are pretty significant. In addition to giving ME the right to marry, it also strikes a HUGE bell for equal rights. The fight for equality is close to my heart. I think all people should be treated equally, or, at least, to have the same rights as everyone else. I don't believe that actually happens in the world, but I do believe it is the way things SHOULD be. The Supreme Court's rulings make equality the law of the land ... and continue to move this country in a good direction.

I watched "The Butler" after the Treyvon Martin incident. I feel as if our country owes a debt of gratitude to all of those courageous souls who spoke out and protested about equality. I also feel honored to be part of this diverse community.

There have been several world events that have impacted me this year. The Japanese Tsunami made me aware of how small and powerless we humans really are. The Singapore Smog event made me realize how powerful we are. And Syria just makes me sad.

The bombing at the Boston Marathon this year really shook me up and made me think more about my connection to my friends and my town and my sense of security and safety. I always thought that that kind of thing would never happen in my town. I never thought that my friends would have their house intruded upon by a swat team. I got to think about what and who was most important to me and what I would do and think in times of crisis.

I cant think of something..which in itself is kinda sadening to me..cause that means that i was to busy with my own life.. hope that next year i will read more about the world..

The newtown school shooting had a dramatic impact on me. There is something more at play than just gun control. The government can't solve the problem because of all the special interest groups. I believe it is up to the moms of this country to force a common sense change. I started a group in my town called MAST - Mothers Advocating for Safety and Trust. We are looking for common sense solutions to guns and mental health. Our children deserve to be safe at school, the mall, a movie theatre, etc.

The events and national manifestations in Brazil requesting changes, partly by uncurbed violence and recklessness, partly because the lack of objectivity and competence of the majority of the government in changing the situation

There is not a single event but more people are rising up against GMO foods, raising their own food, and protecting their water. I have hope that some day soon the tipping point will be reached and we can start moving toward a healthier food supply. This has affected me because I want to grow my own food, or at the very least eat locally-grown food. I am doing that some but not enough.

The Boston Marathon bombing. My brother is a runner, he was planning to run in the race but got injured. Watching that event unfold on TV and the Internet was horrifying. I have friends and family who live there and were near the bomb. It emphasized how quickly something great like an international race can turn scary due to terrorism. We all need to be more alert and more in community with one another. Our world has gotten smaller and we need to adjust and treat one another like we are all on the same team: respect, camaraderie and assistance.

After many years of being very concerned abou social justice issues around the world, over the last five years, I tend to ignore most of the global bad news as I feel there is currently little I can do and I feel angry and upset about it. However I am upset and outraged about what's been going on in Syria, so atrocious and western response likely to add fuel to the fire, as it has in Afghanistan, Iraq and so many other places. 20 years ago I spent three weeks in Syria...the people were so friendly and hospitable and visited amazing historic sites, Palmyra, Craq de Chevalier, Bosra. Thinking about it now I feel so useless, I have compassion and I guess what I can do is appreciate what I have and try to make the world a better place even in small actions like opening doors for people, letting cars in front of me, generally being considerate

Hurricane Sandy. It hit hard on the east coast, and schools, roads, jobs, everything came to a standstill. The fears I felt as I heard the wind and rain pounding. How precious life is and how much we take for granted. Helping one another and checking on neighbors and family just because. Coming home late and unable to make dinner for family as I had to wait in gas lines. Buying supplies to care for housebound parent. Watching others charge their devices in supermarkets; having people here to charge theirs & shower where no power existed for days. No school for a week; no work for 3 days. Yet we all pitched in, & helped each other. Sadly, the recovery has been hard, bumpy and the devastation in many areas remains.

This year was hard on me, news-wise. Both Hurricane Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombings really shook me. It feels odd; when 9/11 happened, I was shaken, it was hard, and yet it wasn't. I remember being mystified by the fearful reaction of the country, the anger and the vengeance that everyone searched for. I was here; I wasn't angry, I just wanted to hold the hand of a neighbor. I didn't want vengeance; I just wanted to move on. I wanted to live. To rebuild. To never forget and make sure the city was a better place after that. But this year, I was not only on the opposite side of the 24 hour cable news cycle, but I was on the receiving end of the internet. For Sandy, it was nearly impossible to get to work. It took me less time to walk the 6 miles over the Bridge to Manhattan than it did to try any other method. So, like everyone else, I stayed home. I worked from there, reading, checking email when I could, editing. Email was funny-- no one was emailing. I don't know why we even pretended it was a thing. Anyway, with no email and no urgent reads or edits that needed to be done, I was on the internet. Reading. And what was awful about Sandy was that I was unaffected. No flooding. No damage. My neighborhood was nearly pristine. But then there were the kids on Staten Island who died near the finish line of the marathon. There were the elderly immigrants in the high rises at Coney Island who were starving. There were businesses flooded. Thousands powerless. Breezy point, washed away. And I was ok. And I felt so odd, being ok, when so much of the city-- MY city-- was in pain. I couldn't look away from the news, but neither could I get anywhere to do any volunteering, I just looked. And suddenly, I got why so much of America was so angry after 9/11. It's the powerlessness-- you feel vulnerable at the tragedy, but without being connected to it, having a course of action, your mind can't process it properly. A similar thing happened at the Marathon. God, I love Boston. I really do. It's a horrible wonderful place and I love it so, flawed as it is. And I knew the corner where the bombing happened. I have so much family there. Rather than clicking refresh on nytimes.com, though, I was refreshing reddit. There were feeds there, live updates as locals listened in to the police scanner. It was horrible. Useless. Addictive. The event in the world that impacted me? It was the internet news cycle. You can't turn away. It does nothing for a person. But it does everything for them. It's terrible. I need to turn away.

I am still horrified that the civil war in Syria is still happening. I have strong feelings on the matter, but they are also conflicted as I have connections to that country that might want Assad to stay in power for their own safety concerns. This event has shown how complicated and interrelated everything is. The world is not black and white, but even if it seems that way to you, it isn't to someone you respect, love, and have respect for.

Hmm. Nothing until last night. I watched some graphic videos of what's going on in Syria and it was disturbing. If stuff like that was happening here, or in my continent, it would be apocalyptic on the news. I watched for a while, and felt a little shift within me. I've been very selfish and self centred (in a good way) this year. I really needed to be. Looking forward, these atrocities kind of shocked me into realizing life and living is about human connection and adding some kind of value to the world or other people, instead of solely to oneself. The self betterment and freedom I've had has been very important. and it will continue to be. But I'd like to focus more on having a real impact on others as well, even if it's just a genuine conversation, or giving a helping hand, or volunteering for a good cause.

The Syrian civil war (if I can call it that) continues. A few weeks ago there was a chemical weapons attack that killed over 1000 innocent men, women and children. Assad takes no responsibility and Russia is his ally. The world waivers over what to do. It seems to me that if innocent people are being murdered (est over 100,000 since 2011), the world must act together to stop the bloodshed. However, many people put their own countries' economic interests ahead of human rights. More importantly however is even if there were military intervention in Syria, what would it accomplish? It seems that removing Assad and his army might just lead to another despot taking over. There seems to be no shortage of corrupt, violent, unscrupulous would-be leaders in the Arab world. If the opposition overthrew Assad, would they be any better. Is it better the devil you know? The situation conjures up gut wrenching feelings about the Holocaust and the world's failure to act for so many years as my people perished in Europe. I'm not sure what the solution is here, but what will our children and grandchildren think of us if we do nothing?

The two events that spring to mind are the passing of the anti-abortion legislation in Texas, and the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. I am reminded in both cases that while much progress has been made toward justice and equality, our country still has a loooong way to go towards dismantling systems of oppression. The most subtle forms of oppression are the most insidious and damaging, and I'm more convinced than ever that we need to focus on putting POWER back in the hands of the people. Srsly.

My first war happened since I made aliyah. It was scary and surreal to be getting dressed for a wedding when the siren went off, and go into our hallway with my makeup and dress on but my hair in a towel. I hope it doens't happen again, but I also know I will find a way to be ok.

Hurricane Sandy caused my basement to flood with water and my parents and I spent six hours overnight hauling water out of our basement with buckets and sitting on top of the basement toilet with a plunger in an attempt to stop the water from overflowing. We spent a week mopping, drying, cleaning, and immersed in dirt and water for six hours a day. I imagine the mental health effects of this kind of toil and environment faced by people every day in other parts of the world, especially in war torn areas, are why so many people turn to substances.

Syria. And I only put this because of an article I read entitled "10 Questions You Are Afraid to Ask About Syria". The article covered where Syria was, why everyone was fighting, and unfortunately why this problem will continue to escalate and deteriorate for the next few years. I think Syria, and that article, were impactful because A LOT of Americans just aren't informed about anything happening in the world. Our news doesn't cover it, so we just don't care - but we need to in order to be citizens of the world. Syria's problem is everyone's problem.

I live in Israel, so-- Operation Pillar of Defense, with rockets raining down on me and my boyfriend on the front line; the war in Syrian with my boyfriend and his military brigade on the border ready to interfere at any moment; the Israeli election which served as the reelection of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett's, for whom I would have voted if I had been of age, coming out party. Surprisingly, American politics and President Obama's reelection did not interest me at all. I've grown to resent American interference in Israeli politics. Perhaps I will read this next year and shake my head at my own ignorance.

The hot shots that died in the yarnell fire in June impacted me in a way I didn't expect. I was devastated and grateful that our friends were okay but devasted for the families and the community. Being so far away from home when such a tragedy occurs was really tough as the folks here didn't understand or follow it.

I honestly can't think of a single one.

The bombing at the Boston Marathon really shook me up. I think it's because I also live in a city and enjoy going to big events with lots of people. But, the bombing just made me very aware that I -- we all -- are in danger all the time. Just by being, you are at the mercy of very dangerous people with some very dangerous ideas. Now whenever I'm in a crowded place, I keep an extra eye out for the exits and anything that could keep me safe in an unexpected dangerous situation. It's made me feel a lot more on edge, which is not a good thing, but I'm also very aware of my safety.

There are several things that are happening in the United States. The desire of conservative Republicans to limit women's health choices, refusal to change gun laws, and restricting voter rights. I am also moved by the fact that one in five children in the United States faces hunger on a daily basis. I've been signing petitions, calling Congressman, posting on Facebook, and donating money when I can to help with these issues.

The Sandy Hook school shooting hit me very hard. The killing of elementary school children was especially brutal, while also showing me that I've, sadly, become accustomed to high schoolers being murdered. I've never been pro-guns rights, but this tragedy made me really consider my stance on the issue.

I am unfortunately unable to answer this one. That must be an indication of how insular I actually am.

I think the oil spill in Mayflower was really important. I had followed the story of the Keystone Pipeline for some time, but it was very abstract. Literally driving past a pipeline leak very near to a wonderful, fresh, public water source made me realize that this is an important issue that will affect me. I think that I need to be more politically active and informed. I need to stop looking at politics as the lesser of two evils and vote with my conscience. I need to be proactive.

This is somewhat parochial, but I have been caught up in the dramatic whirlwind around Women of the Wall, the inspiring pluralistic-traditional-Ortho-Reform-Feminist Rosh Hodesh prayer group that gathers monthly at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. I have prayed with them, although not in the last year, and it helps me contextualize their dramatic wins this year and also the shameful harassment and protest they have suffered. I know that the right to pray as a Jew in Judaism's holiest place is not food or drink, it is not promoting education or preventing genocide. But freedom of religion and of expression is still something. And Women of the Wall is a pressure point issue in Israeli society: against the erasure of women from the public sphere in Jerusalem, for cooperation between Orthodox and liberal Jewish feminists, for a better understanding of what diaspora Jewish culture and spirituality can offer, against self-conscious secular Israeli apathy on these issues. In the next year, I pray: that Women of the Wall's minhag becomes blissfully unremarkable, with women in the group praying in peace and women opposed to the group praying in peace. That the dialogue between secularish Israelis and ReformConservEgalitarian diaspora Jews continues, that we deepen our mutual understanding and learn from one another. That resisting the imposition of Haredi norms on the public sphere becomes a galvanizing issue that helps secular Israelis unite around a vision of who they are, more than just who they are not. Weirdly enough, Women of the Wall helps me see visions of renewed vitality in all corners of Israeli cultural life.

Dr Oz joining forces with Monsanto. I am disgusted by his greed! He has so many people that follow him and look up to him and now it seems he cannot be trusted. Shame on him!

The Boston Marathon Bombing. Since September 11th, I haven’t had quite the proximity to something so tragic with such a big footprint. As a new Bostonian, I didn’t know what to make of the bombing and I was surprised that information was flowing to friends and family further away than the immediate area, and was then being filtered back to me. The impact that it has had on the city is eerie, and I know that it won’t wear off anytime soon. I acknowledge that the experience made me feel frightened, vulnerable and impossibly alone. I feel thankful and lucky and blessed that no one I know or love was impacted. My heart continues to go out to those who were impacted.

The gang rape of the woman in Delhi really affected me and also the rape of the girl in an American city (which I can't remember). It really made me seethe with rage. I just can't understand how people can do such evil and hurtful things and I hope that they will get what they deserve one day. I'm sincerely hoping that one day, legislation will be passed to punish rapists by crushing their testicles with two large stones like back in Ancient Greece. Some may say that this is cruel, but think about those girls' lives and how they were so affected by it. These rapists are animals and they deserve to be treated like animals. One of Dicey's postulates; No punishment unless there is a breach of the law. And also, i can't believe that people argue and say that the boys who raped the girl in the American case have such a 'bright future ahead of them' just because they were team players for some sport. I honestly don't care. They ruined that girl's future, they should get the same. Have a criminal record for all their lives compared to being emotionally scarred and traumatised forever.

The collapse of the Rana Plaza clothing factory in Bangladesh was horrifying on so many levels. So many lives were lost. They will never be known to us; we'll never know their names, or their ages, or their favorite songs or the one thing they enjoyed doing if they ever had a minute to themselves. They are anonymous workers, who died in horrid conditions. Horrid conditions that the factory owner knew about, the Bangladeshi government probably knew about, and the labels that they sewed for probably knew about. All to make a quick buck, and pay their employees the least possible. This, in my mind, is what happens when there is no government regulation, and businesses decide what what the working conditions are - the employees are nothing more than disposable commodities. And it makes me think about everything I wear: who made it? Under what conditions? Yes, I guess I'll have to keep buying cheap clothes made in in questionable factories by people who are barely being paid, because I can't afford "Made in America", even if I could find it.

Obviously the election last November was disappointing. Keeping Republicans in charge of the House is a disaster. This impacts me by delaying the implementation of ACA/healthcare, obstructing the improvement of the economy, and continuing pointless arguments over things voters have already spoken on (Obama could not have been re-elected if American's shared the GOP obsession over "obamacare", guns and Christianist dogma)

The work of HH Dalai Lama has deeply impacted me this year. I find his outreach, wisdom, way of looking at truth to be profoundly inspirational.

The shootings of the schoolchildren last fall has really shredded my heart, and the pro-guns responses after the event brought out a great feeling of anger and hopelessness. I had to remember that there are more good, non-harming people than not, but it is hard to have this information about horrific events and be able to do nothing.

The rising inequality and economic injustice in the world has impacted on me, not - thankfully - because my own employment or standard of living is threatened but because I realise that I'm not comfortable being inactive just because I, personally, am alright. I've got involved in activism to an extent which I had not for some years (a positive) and felt more angry about politics than I had since I was much younger. I know that I do not want to live in a society, or a world, whose systems allow this and allow people like me, the fortunate ones, to sit at the top while other people get crushed.

The Boston Marathon Bombings deeply affected me. I didn't realize how much affection I had for Boston, where I grew up but never loved, until they happened, and when I saw the map of where the blasts occurred, I was overtaken with emotion and sadness. The same streets I walked were now tainted, and the marathon--my sport of choice, and one of my life's purposes--had suddenly become a target of brutality. Crossing the finish line of a marathon is the happiest I have ever been, and I can't believe how tainted it was.

Ariel Castro holding 3 women captive for 10 years in Ohio City. The fury I felt when he killed himself really pissed me off. I understand forgiveness but it definitely should include amends and he robbed those 3 young women and his daughter of their justice.

I honestly cannot think of a major world event that has really stuck with me. Hurricane Sandy was extremely traumatic for those involved, and I followed the coverage intently. The Boston Marathon bombing elicited a similar reaction. As did the factory collapse in Bangladesh. There have, however, been many small things that have happened, especially surrounding women's reproductive rights and access to health care. I am even more certain because of the events this past year that I belong in women's reproductive health and ensuring women have access to the health care they require.

The Boston Bombing and school shooting. I felt scared, for myself and my friends, and the future of this country. Although I'd been a supporter of the "personal freedom" and NRA in the past, these types of events caused me to re-examine my beliefs about government control in these areas.

The recession has had a big impact on my business this year - the eventual knock-on effect of Government changes has meant lower daily rates. Not less work, but less income which is tricky given our outgoings.

Treyvon Martin's murder and the trial of George Zimmerman was pretty big for me. We're all Treyvon Martin.

The shootings in Newtown and the Boston Marathon bombings remind of how dangerous and violent this world can be. Each time tragedies like these happens I see it as opportunity for us as a culture to change our ways. Over the years, however, I've seen little progress.

Syria. It breaks my heart. Dictators who rape / mutilate / murder and toss their own citizens, men women and children alike, into ditches on the sides of the road like trash. Rebels who are equally filled with rage and hate and violence. Horrible. And us, wanting to bomb them to show them to play nice. It is stupid, frightening. Terrifying. The best thing to come from these horrors are the conversations that have opened, hopefully leading us to a better future. Hopefully leading us to peace.

Because I am a mother, or older, or more tired, war and international conflict feels closer to home. Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq... I cry, but have not yet figured out how to act.

Obama's reelection impacted me. It was the first time I could vote and I was really excited. I think the right to vote is something we take for granted. I feel like it has also made me pay closer attention to the subsequent results of having Barack Obama as president for a second term.

Sandy Hook elementary shooting, it should me how desperate people can become when they are lacking love in their life. I want the world to learn to love more & hate less to understand that we are all connected & what one person does to another effects all of us.

There are two events that happened at the same time that I won't soon forget. First are the protests that happened in Istanbul, Turkey. The people in that country feel they are being marginalized and the people stood up to the government selling out the last public park they had in the city. Police used excessive force killing several Turks. One of my friends was teaching English in Istanbul at the time and she was very concerned for the people there. Tear gas was even being fired into schools and universities near the park. The most interesting thing is how it is the young and educated in the country that led the movement with social media to gather the world's attention to their plight. Second is what was happening in Brazil at the same time during the Confederations Cup. Brazilians were and are fed up with an incompetent government that is unable to provide an adequate infrastructure, employment, healthcare, and overall standard of living in a country with a strong economy and chance of being a real future world power. The reason they chose the soccer tournament as a time to rebel is the fact that government funds went into building the stadiums and clearing out the surrounding slums. A popular chant was One Teacher is worth a thousand Neymars, Neymar is the expensive soccer player sold to FC Barcelona for over 60million euros. Once again it was the educated youth who led the movement "Sem Violenca" Without Violence, against the state police who were running riot against the protestors.

Trayvon Martin. I'm a mother. I hate injustice. His mother's broken heart hurts mine.

The Federal election was probably the biggest. I got really into it and it was my first year off voting. It didn't feel like a big deal at all though. I am kind of worried about our new PM though...

The Boston Marathon attack. Never has terror struck so close to home. I was terrified for the safety of close friends, both those who were often spectators at the finish line and those who lived in the areas where the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers occurred. My old neighborhoods were on lockdown. A favorite part of Boston, my former home, was blown to pieces. And that's how it affected ME, personally, on a selfish level. The devastation it wrought on those innocent bystanders was nothing short of horrifying. The agony they and their friends/family endured and continue to endure today is immense and beyond my comprehension. It shook me to the core.

The first thing that comes to mind is the sequester. Funding for everything vaguely government-related was cut across the board, which means NSF and NASA, which has really hurt scientists. My advisor is waiting indefinitely on grants he may never get, which means I basically didn't get paid during the summer, and I had to pay out-of-pocket to attend an important conference. This kind of crap makes me REALLY not want to carry on in a "traditional" research career, because landing a job in my field was already damn near impossible before all the budget cuts. Not to mention I know where in the country I'd like to live, and I don't want to move every year or two.

Sadly I don't think many world events affect me in a serious way. I see devastation, natural and man-made, I understand the loss, I accept the unfairness, but I don't relate and I fear this is all too common in the world.

I felt upset and affected by the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. The injustice, the blatant racism. My heart breaks for his family and for so many other families who have experienced gun violence. Senseless violence. The powerlessness of many people to stop it. Sometimes the news makes me so anxious. I have not listened to the news as much in the last year as I once did. I hear things about Syria and I just block it out. I almost feel immune. It's scary.

My school district was defunded. I don't think I thought it was real until school started without paper, secretaries, counselors, and even toilet paper. So far it has been okay, because many programs have stayed the same for at least the beginning of the year but the future is daunting. I think before this year is over, I will be facing more challenges and it will impact me more.

I actually had to google "world events 2013" to find out what happened last year. I remembered some of the things that came up, but none of them personally impacted me. Is that because this was such a rough year for me that I was in my own bubble-of-just-getting-through? Maybe my stance on not having TV and never watching the news isn't so great after all?

In the world... I am feeling impact by this "almost" war with Syria. I feel disgusted at the fact that we are still looking at using arms and are being so fucking arrogant that we think we should do it single-handedly. I also feel very, very grateful that a whole lot of people called bullshit very loud about this. People are dying in Syria, I get that we cannot turn our back on that... and I do not believe that bombing a country will ever be a solution. I want to have compassion for our leaders. I do believe that they are more human than they are evil. They stepped into the culture of a defunct system and adapted... unfortunately, there is enough money out there to keep the system broken and to keep breaking it more for the sake of a few to prosper. I am realizing that really this is true for many of our most fucked up things in life... far fewer people are intentionally evil and far more are scared, hurting and trying to hide all their shame. At least in this country. I won't push our stories onto other cultures.

I think the protests in Turkey and the civil war in Syria have really impacted me. I realized I've become cemented in a set of beliefs that I may not share with others but is more forward-thinking due to my eagerness to accept other cultures, to learn about others and mostly due to the fact that I am not a big fan of the United States' foreign policies.

There have been several things that have happened in the world this last year the have affected me deeply. I think the two that really made me think about things were the rape and murder in India and Malalah's shooting in Pakistan. I have always been very interested in the fate of women and girls around the world, and these events have got me thinking about what I need to do with my feelings of concern and outrage.

Newtown. Shootings happen, but in a school? That day will always haunt me. I remember just staring at the television crying, unable to stop. My heart had never felt so broken as it did that day. That was the worst thing to ever happen.

Hurricane Sandy. I feel so furious, sad, and impotent about global warming. For years I've been mourning the loss of winter and snow. This year, climate change also claimed my favorite place at the beach, where I and my family had been going for over 20 years. It was destroyed by the storm.

The Israeli siege on Gaza. I realized I am always waiting for the next instance or escalation of Israeli state-violence against Palestinians. And I am tired of waiting for the inevitable, and need to take on some accountability for working for Palestinian liberation.

The killing of Trayvon Martin was very upsetting. I feel that we are still living with the legacy of slavery but don't want to recognize it. It reminds me of how Europeans don't want to talk about the holocaust. Part of my childhood was in Maryland and Virginia where there was segregation and it just seemed natural to me. I could say that I was not responsible, that was the only world I knew. But I still hold some responsibility. My great great grandparents had slaves. I was never told that, because my family was ashamed of it. I feel some responsibility for the deeds of my family. And what have I done about the fact that racism still exists in this country; that Trayvon Martin was considered dangerous by his murderer because he was walking too slow and other young black men are killed because they are running. Very little. I don't know what I should do. I am thinking about it. I would like to do something.

There are so many things that have impacted on me. I hate wars there are no reasons for them except for selfishness. Natural disasters are enough and so many innocent people lose their lifes in both these scenes. Also Tony Abbott won the election here in Australia, people who are rich are lucky because he is a prime minister for them but for us who are poor (I'm certainly not poverty but I am living on the borderline). Things will only get worse. I AM SO SICK OF MONEY BEING THE EVIL OF ALL NECESSITIES!!!!!

It's happening right now, but what's really affecting me is the possible interjection of the US into the civil war in Syria. I've become so much more aware of how the US tries to use military might to achieve peace (or at least they say that's the goal) and it makes me sick. There is no way we can bomb our way to peace and I'm so tired of hearing leaders say that's the goal, when it's so clearly something else like oil or power or money.

Watching George Zimmerman get acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin was hard for a long time. Not just because it was a clear indicator that the system is so stacked against us that we're under constant threat, but also the sad truth that there was never any other outcome. The law was essentially created to make it okay to kill anyone you find threatening, in any circumstance. And given the whole world still gets trained to see young black men as a threat... It was hard to feel like it was worth fighting for a better future for all of us, after that.

The Syria crisis has really affected me. Not because I think it's any worse than any other world crisis in the last twelve months, but because I've been hit by what feels like the sheer helplessness of it all. Like the same thing just seems to happen over and over again. When will it end?

There have been so many events in the world this year. The ones that shook me to my core, made me want to pull over to the side of the road or stop everything I was doing were Newtown and the Boston bombings. Boston felt so close. The election happened also, but that feels SO far away now. In a different way, I'd say the national work for immigration reform has affected me, simply by participating in it.

Interestingly, I have been very inward-turned this year (though this may be a continuing trend from last year). I haven't been hooked into the news and the world's events as much as I sometimes am. I find the news often depressing and it knocks me off kilter, especially because it makes me fear that our country (and the world) is becoming increasingly divided amongst those who generally believe in the primacy of human dignity, happiness and freedom, and those who wish to restrict it because of fear, selfishness or greed. That being said, the event that leaps to mind is actually a constellation of events: the growing tide of legislation that protects the right of anyone to marry whomever they please. It seems to me that the gay marriage/LGBT/QUILTBAG civil rights issues are the next big important sea-change that our whole world will be dealing with. I'm thrilled to see that our American society and other places throughout the world are finally beginning to take a more open-hearted and open-minded approach to appreciating diversity and letting all people be who they are without fear of repercussion.

The legislation and debates about gay marriage here in America became a much bigger deal than they would have been to me since my sister came out last year. Instead of it being an issue I was interested in and supportive of in a vague manner it became something that cause a lot of pain when hateful or ignorant things were said.

The Boston marathon bombing deeply affected my sense of trust, safety, & security. While I tried, like so many encouraged, to focus on the good - the people who ran INTO the blast, the man who held another man's femoral artery so he wouldn't bleed out, the dozens of stories of kindness - I find myself paralyzed with fear by the bad. I took a personal day the day of the marathon & was the first to break news of the bombing to my coworkers, news they initially ignored. I ran home to watch as much news as I could. I stayed up all night the night of the chase, reading Twitter & listening to the police scanner, to see if the terrorists would be caught. I looked up photos on Reddit of the people who died - saw them lying there, twisted & lifeless, amidst blood & other people's gore. I fell down the rabbit hole of all the bad that went along with that tragic event. About a week after the bombing, Nathan & I went to a food & wine event in downtown Red Bank, held in a roped-off parking lot. As I recorded a performance of bagpipers, I wondered: What else could I be capturing on film? What else could be going on here? If this place exploded right now, my video would catch it. We never know what's coming - not in the next year or month or week or day or even second. There's no way to know. Sometimes, these joyous moments explode, quite literally, into chaos & terror, into the worst moments of our lives - but there's just no way to know, no way to plan. That makes it all the more important to live in the moment, to be happy NOW, but it also makes the world a much, much scarier place. I wish I didn't think about that moment so often, but I do, & i suspect I will continue to.

The Syria situation. Watching videos of small children dead and dying as a result of being sprayed with nerve gas was traumatic. As an Israeli Jew (raised in America), I have become embittered with Islam, radical Muslims and, at times, all those who practice Islam. I've said horrible things, like "let them kill each other." But seeing those videos was horrible and made me feel guilty, made me rethink my stance and attitude. The innocent suffer and blaming them for their circumstances is not fair. Yes, they should stand up and rally and fight their dictators, and yes, it's our duty as a human race to help them. But only if they are willing to be helped, to be peaceful, to be humans back. We have to eliminate the fundamentalists, the radicals, who have given all a bad name, who have made us lose faith in each other, who have shown only evil. War won't accomplish that, only love and empathy will.

I cried the day the Supreme Court struck down DOMA because it's time that American society took real strides to move away from institutionalized homophobia--and because so many of the people I love happen to be gay, and it makes no sense that they shouldn't be able to marry the people they love.

I want to say that all of the drama in Middle East has impacted me, especially since now I know people from many of those countries. But to be honest, they haven't impacted me as much as I would have liked. This is something that I would like to work on. To become more aware of the events going on in the whole world and just in my own.

I am ahead of the curve by already being on Obamacare. I couldn't get insurance without it. It so makes sense to have a unified health insurance. Obamacare is not the single payer system I would like to see but it is certainly a move in the right direction. I am totally disgusted with Congress. The sequester shouldn't have happened. I think any sequester should include no pay for Congress and no benefits. That might get them to talk to each other.

Prop 8 and DOMA were overturned. This was a huge blessing for me because it means I can get married in California to my husband, and he can secure his citizenship through being married to a US Citizen. We no longer have to live in fear that he will be captured and deported, and when we finish the paperwork, he'll be able to get a job closer to home and work towards building a family.

World events in general seem to be a much more important issue in my understanding of my own life. Middle east, climate change, refugees everywhere, political talk among different countries, etc. I don't find it frightening, it's simply part of history, and I'm a part of it. Learning about the past and seeing how it affects the present days of human kind is something rather new to me. I think it's a good thing.

The child murders in Syria. As much as I try to avoid the news because of the emotional effect it often has on me, the sadness I felt for those children and the anger I felt towards the world for focusing more on Miley Cyrus' twerking on the award show than on these children was intense.

The death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his murderer George Zimmerman. It brought to light how racist we still are as a society, how the legal system is skewed racially, and how completely apathetic the white majority is. This was a disgrace on our legal system, and no one even talks about it anymore.

Hmm, I think this year I spent so much time in my own head, thinking about personal worries that not much in the world had gotten through. The Boston bombing really touched me, I cried at work, it was horrible. The school shooting at the elementary school- especially being pregnant, that one was so awful. It's scary, the world is scary, I think the older I get the more afraid I get of something big happening. I am so full of love for my husband and new baby girl that I am terrified of any harm coming to them and to our new little family.

Gay marriage was legalized in Minnesota! I spent so much time debating, discussing, and watching the coverage of the marriage laws. It was thrilling, it was overwhelming, and it was wonderful. Love is the law!

I know this is broad, but all the news about countries with terrorism or civil wars or severe border disputes have made feel so blessed to live in an area where I'm free to be proud of who I am without fear of losing my life because of it. I may not be very patriotic, but I'm thankful for at least that much.

The Boston bombs and the discovery of the identity of those two brothers was a horrible confirmation for me regarding the lack of understanding about how terrorists are made. I've known people like those brothers. It's a horrible feeling, not knowing how to change that result.

In November 2012, Barak Obama was re-elected as president of the United States. I don't think about this every day, or about the positive consequences it has had on me, because it is difficult to know what we would face if the election had gone he other way. I think that Obama's re-election has saved me stress in some areas -- such as worrying about the immediate repeal of Obamacare. It also made me more optimistic about the future of America, though in a somewhat understated way.

Russia becoming more and more horribly homophobic. It's very sad, and quite shocking that a country I had always thought of as modern, can be proliferating such antiquated views.

I stopped following what's happening in the world. I can't affect it in any way so way spend time on it at all.

I just read the news that a little yemeni girl died on the night of her wedding... In other words, some sick f-ck "married" her and wasted no time raping her to death. She was eight years old. This kind of news fills me with unspeakable anger. I imagine her distress, her despair, the pain she must have endured, the cries and pleas that no one heard or paid attention to. And for the life of me, I cannot understand how this can happen. I don't care what anyone can tell me about ancient traditions and other condescending bullsh-it. This is (state sanctioned) exploitation and torture of the worst kind. It is mind blowing to me that children, girls especially, are considered expandable commodities in so many parts of the world. So many children, defenseless, suffering unimaginable pain at the hands of those they love and trust, the adults who are supposed to care for them and protect them. Don't get me wrong, I know there is plenty of child abuse going on in Canada, but at least our laws say it's a crime, at least we try to protect our kids, as a nation and a people. I am not a violent person. I do not even believe in the death penalty. But this is the kind of situation where given the chance, I think I could shoot the bastard. She is dead. He is probably planning his next wedding, probably to a teenager, you know, to improve the odds that she doesn't bleed to death after being raped. This "fait divers" has impacted me because I can't get her cries out of my head. I can't subdue the anger and the sadness. I feel so powerless. I just don't know what to do but hope that the world is very slowly becoming a better place. In the meantime I support Plan Canada's Because I am a girl program. I already sponsor a little girl from India. I will look to sponsor a little girl from Yemen. A drop in the ocean; I just don't know what else to do...

Fires. Fires. Fires. Particularly in Yosemite. This is a place I love to go & so much has been lost. So sad. And the firefighters who died in Arizona... what can we do in the face of national disasters??

the growing discontent with President Obama re: Syria and the NSA scandal. I vowed earlier this year that I wouldn't let discontent with the current administration seduce me again into voting Republican (like I did when I voted for George W Bush in 2000)- and I plan to stick to it. President Obama has lost his appeal to a lot of people - but I think a lot of people aren't ready for the Tea Party enthusiasts and conservative Republicans to run things in this country. Maybe this will help ease the current bout of gridlock in this country - and the blatant obstructionism from the conservative elements in politics. We need dialogue, not discord. I hope this year serves as a turning point in this regard.

There have been several events that have really, truly affected me this year. Firstly, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown. That was such a tragedy, I could not believe what I was seeing. Really made me cry. A second event was the Boston Terrorist Attack. Although (and most unfortunately),I am accustomed to terror attacks plaguing the civilian population, this one was intense because it was a marathon and people kept asking me about the perpetrators since they were of Chechen origin. A third event, a positive event, is the ruling of Proposition 8, as unconstitutional in CA. YES! Equality under the law!

the marathon bombing - brought 9/11 and everything with it back to the present.

Egypt has made me diligent in trying to protect the worlds history. I hope the situation is better by the time I see these answers.

The war in Syria is ongoing. I observe that some of my peers are saddened by the prospect that the sum of money spent on war could fix worldwide problems with hunger and lack of shelter. I recently had a conversation with the gentleman from Chicago who is often found preaching on State street with a microphone. He asked me what I though of war, and I told him that I prefer peace. I also said that the wars of humans appear to be beyond the control of any one human. He asked me what I am doing to end war. I thought and then answered that I would spread the message of peace. He smiled as said "that's what it's all about."

The events in Jerusalem with Women of the Wall. Praying in egalitarian communities, I forget how threatening that is to some people. I am frustrated that we still have to explain that these are women who want to pray. To pray as Jews at a Jewish site. And then the personal becomes political. How we pray, the garb we wear, the God we pray to (or the name we choose for the God we pray to,) the prayers we recite or sing or chant or cry are all very personal and, at the same time, very communal decisions. The anger, the frustration, the conflicts remind me that we can be our worst enemies; we can be most intolerant of differences in our own families. And if you can't make peace in your family, how can you make peace in the world?

The Syrian civil war had an impact on me. My daughter works in humanitarian aid, and ended up living and working on the border between Syria and Turkey for a while. Every time there's a conflict or humanitarian crisis, I don't know where she'll be.

Audrie Pott. I wanted her to feel love for herself just as I have been struggling to find love for myself. I just wanted to talk to her.

The Prism / CIA spying release I think is beginning of a turning point in the information battle between government and citizens. While the government can now see pretty much anything that happens in the country (illegally), at the same time, it's much easier to expose them for doing so. I hope the transparency backers win, for the good of the world. Not sure if there's a more important battle in modern history.

During the past year it was discovered that Ariel Castro held 3 women captive in his house for 10 years, keeping them as sex slaves and doing terrible things. The news is always filled with depressing stories about bad things happening, but this one really shocked me. How could someone appear to live a normal life FOR 10 YEARS and no one know the atrocities he was committing in his home/prison for such a long time? I understand that he took many precautions and was very careful, but still. You would think that over the course of a few thousand days, something would happen that would reveal the situation. Thankfully after 10 years it did, but that's far too long. This story really reminded me of how some things in this world just don't make any sense, and that there's no point in trying to understand how someone could have the audacity to do such deeds. Sometimes it is simply better to try and pick up, move on, and try and make the best of things. I know that's what those 3 women are doing, and I think it best that I do the same.

The Israeli elections have produced an interesting government. Watching the outcomes. The Aussie elections were a mite depressing - especially the upper house, where the balance of power is now held by some minor parties with little in the way of sensible policy who got in on a fluke. It has started me thinking about computational anthropology projects that one could use to simulate democratic processes. With enough time, something interesting could be learned through this. ('With enough time' has become a phrase that makes me feel sorrowful: enough time seems a rarer commodity than rare-earth elements...)

The verdict on Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, came down this summer, and it hit me really, really hard. I've always been progressive and generally skeptical of blacks' chances of justice in the legal system, but this really hit home for me. Perhaps it's the fact that I like to wear hoodies and walk alone at night, but the trial reinforced to me that male black lives don't mean shit in parts of America. I'd never felt as strongly about this before. To me, it made me even more determined to become a lawyer and work to fix some of the injustice in the system.

Of course, I'm not alone in feeling impacted by the terrible unfolding tragedy in Syria as well as the unrest and instability that has led Egypt to fall back under military rule. Both situations have brought me to a greater insight into the sadness and complexities of the world, and a realization that simple principles alone cannot safeguard my own conscience from having to experience the weight and moral urgency of suffering elsewhere... that to be a responsible, useful member of not just a single democratic nation (America), but as a citizen of an interconnected world, easy answers and simple maxims are not enough...but thoughtfulness, patience, and a deep situational empathy are the sometimes-uncomfortable, yet usually necessary requirements of participating in whatever small way to global Tikkun Olam, as opposed to adding to a chorus of well-meaning anger and argumentation.

My car has been stolen. It's an event from my world that impacted me a lot. I was so scared because before I felt safety, now I'm not. I was a victim of crime. I loved my Acura as a friend and I have been taking very good care of it. I didn't lose only a car, I lost a friend...

Wow this shows me how little my world is! How Australian of me! I cant think of a world example. Only that the carbon tax might be abolished by the new government. This lack of care for the environment and narrow minded pursuits really hurt my heart because the fly in the face of values that are SO essential to my nature. Along those lines the RRA - how can anyone be so callous to the suffering of others. On a positive note - though I did have to look up events I was really happy and hopeful that Obama was reelected. He seems like the only rational pollie out there. Also, for some reason the production of The Great Gatsby came to mind. I cant believe that someone would spend all their life savings on something as banal as entertainment!! Im learning how different my values are from the rest of the world!

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December 2012 hit me hard since many of the victims were the same age as my daughter. I couldn't stop crying as I drove to pick her up from school that day. She told me about the emergency drills that she participated in at school and I was relieved that they were doing them, but sad that she had to be aware of such violence possibly entering her world. As always, I thought about the shooter and wondered why and how we as a society had failed him, that shooting innocent people was his chosen recourse. I hope that as I interact with young people I can be someone they can trust to turn to for support.

The Boston marathon bombing had an impact on our family. Monica was there, at the race with friends. We were worried for her and about her. We were consumed with watching and reading the news until the bomber was caught. In hindsight, I realized how mature and capable Monica has become.

Hurricane Sandy brought extreme weather and destruction to the Northeast. They always seemed so insulated from the hurricanes and crazy weather that we dealt with in the coastal Southeast. It was strange to see communities get handled a difficult blow but also uplifting to see the rebuilding and recovery possible when people are well-resourced, unlike other parts of the world and even this country.

Politics, politics, politics. I'm so angry at politics. I'm angry at greed and I'm angry that humans are so good at selectively ignoring what they don't want to see. I'm angry at gerrymandering and at Citizens United. And I'm getting angry enough to actually be motivated to do something about it. Fracking, water pollution, gun activism and Obama-structionism. I'm mad as hell, and I'm gonna learn up on my positions about it and start talking about it.

I have paid more attention to world and especially national events this year than perhaps ever before. The Zimmerman verdict, the Voter Rights Act changes, the freeing of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. I want to do something. I have been hiding from horrible things for a long time and it doesn't make anything better. These events are reminders that messed up things happen all the time in the world and as much as I want to just keep hiding in my safe world and am terrified, I also feel complicit if I don't try to do something.

I was in Europe when the Boston bombing happened. My roommates and I were in Florence for my birthday and I remember opting to sit at home, listening to the police radio, than go out and celebrate my 21st. Another one was the election in 2012. It's not so much that the actual event impacted me (I mean, being an American and a woman of reproductive age, yes, it impacted me in that I held onto my right to abortion) but it was my first time voting. My grandma was always such a staunch democrat. I wanted to vote with her, it was important to me. So my grandma, my mom, and I dressed up in American flag garb and went to Hunter College to stand on line. People talked to us, told us it was "cute" that three generations were together and voting, and I guess it was cute. But it meant more than that to me. It was my first election, my grandma's last, and it's a memory I'll look back every time I vote.

Well as I write this it has rained for the last four days and it isn't to stop today. Yesterday alone where I use to live in Aurora got 12 inches of rain. Boulder area got nearly as much but I believe the evacuations are greater in that area. They stated if this was snow we would have had 120 inches just yesterday. My heart goes out to all the people who are affected. I often wonder why G-d would have this occur. We had major fires in Colorado just months ago due to droughts and now torrential rain. I pray for all who are displaced from their homes. I feel grateful for being safe.

I can't immediately think of anything, which makes me feel horribly out of touch and self-centered. I guess I'm gonna have to go with the Steubenville rape case. It reminded me how passionate I can be about sex and gender issues, and how much injustice there still is left to fight.

I think one event that comes to mind was the demise of role models, namely Jimmy Savile and Lance Armstrong scandals. Whilst incomparable, it has cast to light the fragility involved in being a role model, and the horrors that can exist behind closed doors. Can we really truly know anyone? What trust do we put in our role models? What happens when that trust is so cruely dimissed

The chemical weapons use in Syria has impacted me in that it has shown me the difference between myself as a child and myself as an adult. As a child, I was very personally involved in the 1989 Tianamen Square issues and all they represented. Now, I 'm not sure whether the world has become more nuanced or I have developed a greater appreciation of its gray areas, but things no longer seem as black and white to me.

The riots across the world, including brazil and turkey, have given me a broader range of empathy for those in strife.

Boston Marathon bombings- reminded me of how much i love America. I sometimes take it for granted as I go about my life.

Both the Sandy Hook shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing impacted me far more deeply than I could have anticipated. I cried on both days. I think the trauma and fear I felt on 9/11 returned to me during both those national tragedies and I was unprepared to address it.

Hurricane Sandy. Saw much devastation and hardship. Many people are still suffering to this day. Still have friends displaced from their homes. Very grateful the personal impact was minimal but the psychological impact wasn't.

Syrian war within itself. I was in Israel at the Golan heights when I saw an expulsion in Syria. It scared me because I was so close and at any time it could happen to Israel.

I think the school shooting at Sandy Hook affected me the most. To think of all those precious kids being murdered by a lunatic, and then to see the gun lobby shut down any efforts to restrict guns was appalling. I can't imagine the grief those parents felt, and then the anger to feel crippled by the all powerful NRA. Shame on them.

The Obama re-election wasn't as electrifying as in 2008, nor was I as utterly obsessed and involved. But it was still consuming, and while I did less directly than before because of my illness, etc., I was in no doubt as to how important it was again. Maybe even more so the second time around. The ugliness of the campaign against him reminded me of how precarious our freedoms are, how despicably people can act -- I guess when they feel threatened. I really have no other explanation for the depths to which his opponents sank (and unfortunately continue to do so). So what has this do with me? I feel lost in this political climate, I guess that's it. And I don't like it one bit. But I'm also not getting involved sufficiently. So that's the impact: realizing the need to do more.

Hurricane Sandy tore apart my community and forced all of us to address immediate concerns of rebuilding, and also address the older concerns that our neighborhood of Rockaway Beach has been facing for decades.

The shooting in Connecticut...it's incredible to think that such evil exists.

I think Hurricane Sandy impacted me the most because my daughter had gone to NYC the Thursday before the storm for an interview. She was determined to move there and was supposed to stay for a 2nd interview on Monday. She called to see what to do and decided to come home. If she had stayed she would have been stuck in NY, but she also might have been living there now.

The shootings in Newton were devastating an weighed so heavily on my heart. I was in a funk for days after that. Between Syria, North Korea, Newton, the Colorado Flood... The world is so fragile.

Repeated news coverage of mass shootings. It just adds fuel to the fire and glorifies what was done, it might even be the reason some deranged assholes may commit these heinous crimes. Unrest in the middle east. Very concerned about the impact on Israel.

I think it's more world events as a whole have led me to have much more faith in the individual and small private groups than any public institution.

The Sandy Hook school shooting really impacted the way I think, specifically about guns. I was in elementary school when the Columbine School shooting happened. I remember it was a Friday. Every Friday, my mom would order pizza and I would go in my bedroom to watch TGIF. That night after school, I took my pizza into my bedroom and turned on the TV. Instead of the TV show Clueless on the screen, I saw the images of Columbine. I saw students running out with their hands above their heads while others were being pulled out of windows. I was scared and shocked at what I was seeing. Although it was horrible to see, it didn't impact me as much because my elementary school brain processed it as these high school students are adults. As I've grown up, I realized how tragic Columbine was- no matter the age of those impacted. I feel that America has become numb to shootings, including those that take place in schools. When Sandy Hook occurred, it was heartbreaking. Children are being killed for no reason. I couldn't process how someone could commit such an act to children. After Sandy Hook, shooters have continued to enter elementary schools, but the media does not cover it as much. Shootings are so common in today’s society that it isn't reported. This has completely changed my view on gun control. I stand by the fact that no one should be allowed to own a gun. Maybe a small handgun in their home is acceptable. That is they cannot remove it from their home. But no military type weapons should be sold. Therefore, the events at Sandy Hook really opened my eyes because parents should not be fearful of sending their children to school.

The turnaround of the economy has made it easier to find jobs. The housing market opening up allowed my son to put his house on the market and my wife and I did some cosmetic fixes on his house for them.

Is it pathetic to say that no world events have intruded into my little bubble? There are people rebelling, and dying, and acting like porn stars at the VMAs, and all I do is wonder "How DO you make a homemade bomb?" Maybe I'm being too hard on myself. People in the scrolling ideas to the right are just proud of being interested in politics. I'm interested in homemade bombs. What's the difference?

I have to say, that while I do follow news, politics, and such, I didn't really feel affected by world events, or impassioned enough to act in response to them. It's the local level that means more to me. Sure, I was glad Barack Obama was reelected (though he seems to have made many questionable decisions since). I gave my $250 to his campaign. Yes, the Syria conflict is horrible and overall Middle East unrest is nerve racking. Climate change is wreaking havoc all over the world and it makes me sad that so many still think it's some sort of hoax But at the expense of sounding selfish and myopic, I'm overwhelmed with what's happening in my own life and right outside my door. I try to be good in my everyday routine and encounters, and I think that's enough for now.

The trial and subsequent acquittal of George Zimmerman left me with a lot of mental anguish and confusion-heightened and deepened by the fabulous writings that followed. It is easy to get caught up in the idea that we are moving towards racial equality and acceptance-especially living in Los Angeles, and at the time, working in an environment that promoted and valued diversity. Engaging with my students about what it means to be black in New Orleans or in Pennsylvania, reminds me of my own privilege and power and how important it is that people sitting in my position are conscious and conscientious of the way that other people are treated. It is our responsibility to continue to be reflective.

I can't really think of anything. My life isn't affected by global happenings these days. I feel like a guest. I just continue to shake my head at the senseless violence around the world. I feel less compassion for humanity, if anything.

The question of Syria looms big in my mind right now- the juxtaposition of my beliefs that bombing people is never a good choice is at conflict with my strong belief that leaders who will gas their own people (like Assad, Hitler and more) should be stopped. The proximity of Israel to Syria and the fact that any retaliation will most likely be aimed that direction since the US is out of range, scares me as well. Not really sure if there is a good answer to this one. So many people have died and probably many more will before it is over.

The Newtown tragedy. So horrifying to imagine what it was like for those little children. And that even in the light of that tragedy the Congress was unable to pass anything close to an effective gun control bill due to the power of fear of the NRA. Who knows that if you stall long enough on anything the news fades until the next tragedy. I am ashamed for the juvenile mindset of our country. Somebody really needs military assault weapons? Do they need grenades, tanks, and fighter jets too? Because those are illegal to own....for obvious reasons.

The murders at Sandy Hook Elementary school. It just made me realize how fleeting life can be and to embrace life with all of its chaos and beauty because we never know when it will be our last day on earth or with a loved one.

Israel's war with Gaza earlier this year and near war this month with Syria. Actual war- I was in the UK and I couldn't stand not being here. I was terrified for Israel and for my friends. I couldn't bare the way people interacted with it in the UK and more than anything, it overwhelmingly underlined my decision to make Aiyah. Near war- suddenly didn't give a * about the moral obligation and was scared for my own security. Plans went out the window, desperately searching for a gas mask, felt scared and didn't know quite who to turn to. Then the next day went to the beach and everyone had forgotten all about it. Welcome to Israel.

The war in Syria. As a Jew, I do not believe we can just stand by against injustice. What would have happened if Roosevelt had not intervened in WWII? Yet, I cannot support the US once again stepping in to aid the rebels, when we don't even know who we are supporting and how that affects our own national security and that of Israel. Remember Afghanistan?

DOMA finally being shot down by the Supreme Court. I'm often astounded at how ridiculously puritanical this country still is and it's embarrassing, really. But this decision gave me a little much needed faith that maybe we're making progress. To deny the right to love whomever we wish to love is nothing short of a very fundamental denial of human rights. I'm happy for my gay friends and family who can now finally have a basic right like the rest of us.

President Obama, as a sitting president, said that he felt gays should be allowed to marry. That was pretty cool, and I wasn't really expecting it to happen. I don't keep in touch with the news very often.

Everything in the world makes me shake my head. Seeing the Syrians who were gassed. Hearing about kids being killed. Hearing about disappearances and wars. Hearing about justice not being served, hearing about all the things in the world makes me shake my head. I feel so helpless in the things that go on around me. I feel so helpless in the things that go on in the world. I just feel sadness because of the helplessness and the realization that all these things will happen whether I do something or not. It's a defeatist attitude. But I feel defeated right now and I'm not sure how to get up and dust myself off.

The inequality of women (both cis and trans) in the world is so distressing. Women being gang raped and killed in India and Indiana. Dismissed, bullied into suicide, murdered. I don't know what I can do except keep talking about it. Keep noting out loud that rape jokes aren't funny. Rape culture harms boys, girls, men and women. It's not a joke.

The re-election of President Obama was tremendously important to me. It would have been possible to see his first election as a novelty. A second term represented much more progress toward equality and the healing of the so many things that divide us.

One of my best friends, who had always hidden behind homophobia before, came out to me. With the Supreme Court's ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional, I know that my friends and family can live freely as they are, rather than trying to pretend to be something they're not.

Wow, today it's all about the civil war going on in Syria. Two years ago began the Arab spring: a series of ousting dictators through social media and public protests. But the Syrian president refuses to go. He just gassed many civilians three weeks ago and the American government is trying to decide whether to intervene or not. Of course Israel and all of the Arab world are up in arms...literally! Iran sides with Syrian govt. Russia too of course. We waffle with Israel, and Great Britain won't do anything. 2774 will be a year to see how this pans out. Also prophetically, this will be a year to watch Persia (Iran) so said Dr. Heidler at GOZ.

The Queen announced her abdicaticon. So we got a new King and a new Queen. It was the most interesting thing I ever saw

I watch world events unfold and enjoy hearing various "experts" drool on but none of the world events have impacted my life on a personal level.... Ok, Hurricane Sandy caused the NYC marathon to be cancelled so I am training for it a second time, but let's be honest, I wasn't ready to run it last year AT ALL!!

War and big problems of the world. It makes me realize who is behind power. Makes me think of what I would like for peace. Also the government change in my country. The dumbass government trying to convince everyone they are legitimate but still are illegal and do illegal processes just to steal from the working class

NSA. I don't think I was personally affected by anything the NSA did; but the leak was incredible to read about and I was very invested in learning a lot about the topic. It opened up a door to passion I didn't realize I had.

The re-election of Obama. Great. Felt safe. The primary where Quinn lost - don't know what will happen in Election but Bloomberg era is over. The repeal of DOMA. Really think its time for equality of all.

Sandy Hook being so close was really hard. I remember that day so vividly. I remember the whole area feeling surreal, like we were driving on the roads but no one was really behind the wheel. It scared me away from going back to work at the college, where we'd already had several threats and at least two "incidents" of people with guns. I know I shouldn't have let it terrify me that much, but I can still see the faces of the children -- Catherine, Emilee, Dylan, on and on. You can't see something like that and not be shaken to your core. And yet it also increased my resolve to enroll my future children in public schools, after seeing the bravery and love of the educators. I am not brave enough now to be around schools much, but I know I will be again, and I look forward to it. They are beautiful places with even more beautiful people.

I feel quite impacted by the economic shift and realizing that I can't afford to live in a sustainable way without serious changes. I worry about being homeless more now and grateful for what I have, but also scared.

Although I grieve for all the hatred, war, and abuse around the world, I've been more focused on our state this year, as the legislature has been systematically dismantling education and social programs, health care, and environmental protections. I fear for those in my community who need help, and wonder how we will take care of them.

I can't believe the conflict in Syria, Boston Marathon Bombing, and Hurricane Sandy have all happened in the last year. These incidents make me concerned about the involvement of the American people (and people everywhere) and our general self-involvement.

I have been moved and saddened by the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. I remember when it occurred, although I was so stupid, I failed to realize its significance. Today, although the landmark civil rights legislation is in place, it is constantly being undermined. There is so much hatred in the world. I fear our country is coming apart at the seams.

wow. i can't really think of anything. i guess i was so caught up in my new job, new city, engagement and wedding, plus my husband's health issues that i didn't think much about world events. it doesn't help that i don't listen to the news like i used to since i can't hear well on the bus. i did pay more attention to local LA news since i'm trying to learn this new city of mine

Newtown shooting- being a teacher and living near where it happened- I was shocked and scared. I listened to a lot of it unfold as I was driving through Connecticut that afternoon. Boston Marathon- I knew several people who were there so it also hit close to home. The coverage of it all was horribly fascinating. Super storm Sandy.

No event quickly comes to mind. I guess the presidential election of 2012. Obama won big, and the far right seemed to lose. I had a brief period of hope that the rejection of fanatsicm would lead to a move to the middle. That didn't come true. So how has it impacted my life. I have essentially disengaged from politics, and have redirected that energy to improving my own life and the lives of the people I touch. My thought is that real progress occurs outside of Washington and the political arena, and that is the best area to pursue change.

DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) fell. This allows me to be married in a number of states, and I believe it opens the door to the remaining states to make this happen. What it really tells me though, more than anything else, is that my country embraces me, my President embraces me. Not tolerates, but embraces. No one wants to be tolerated. We all seek embracement. I feel this has given us all the opportunity to feel embraced.

The mass gasing in Syria, it bring back a lot of words spoken about the Holocaust and how it will never happen again, but it has already started

John Kerry's renewed push for peace talks. I'm more hopeful than I've been since 2000 that a negotiated two-state solution might actually happen. Also, the Japanese tsunami & nuclear leakage into the Pacific has been really scary. I wonder if we'll still be eating Pacific seafood at this time next year?

I landed in Boston the morning of the marathon manhunt and spent Friday April 19 on lockdown at Tufts. A first-person perspective as we followed the happenings on Twitter and local news. Just hanging with Majors kids having a lazy lockdown Friday. It was pretty fantastic and an easy highlight of the year.

I was interested to watch the Olympics in London from afar. Because I lived in London for a decade I feel hugely connected and I could sense the overwhelming positivity that London was radiating. It seemed a big turn around from the earlier riots. I left London five years ago and settled in Melbourne when I met my husband. But of course I have my doubts and I miss people terribly. So it was interesting to see such golden times in London; the Jubilee, the Olympics, the Royal Baby - and a sterling summer - and to know that I am missing it all.

There was a shooting in a small town in Connecticut. Something like thirteen kindergarteners were shot point blank. This event shocked me into complacency until I met a girl from school from that town. She whispered then names to me, all thirteen. I have never felt so torn with anger and grief.

The death of Ambassador Stevens in Libya impacted me far more than I ever would have anticipated. I did not know him personally, but as a Foreign Service Officer, it brought into stark contrast the risks my husband and I faced when we served in Iraq, and the risks we will continue to face throughout our careers.

Hurricane Sandy was utterly devastating for so many people. For me it was an inconvenience, but at the time it felt like the worst thing ever. It's very clear in the aftermath that it was not the worst thing ever for me, it was a blip in the radar.

The new of the world just depresses me. Honestly, what happened to human decency? I don't like to swell on these things because it will just make me feel worse.

I think the attack in Syria. All those photos of children who had died in their sleep. It haunted me. Left me wondering at the world. How a country could do that to its own people. Made me wonder who we are as humans and where this planet is going.

Marathon bombing at our church. I will never forget blood spilled on my own sidewalk and how I realized that blood is shed elsewhere. Daily.

Newtown, Connecticut impacted me profoundly. As a teacher I view my students as my children, my family. I believe, I hope I would have the guts to protect my students' lives with my own. It makes me want to cry every time I think about it. What those children and teachers and school staff and families were feeling. I can't fathom it. Now those perfect children are damaged. They will heal but be left with a scar. That's not fair. And the person that did it was abandoned by the world. If only someone had taken the time to listen and help that poor soul. He had to have been very troubled to attack children like that.

all the devastation from the tornadoes and hurricans, also when the 26 children and teachers where killed at the school shooting at sandy hook. just makes me appreciate my life and my family

I am no longer really interested in watching the news. All the bad and scary news I feel take me away from my energy and balance. I like to focus on here and now and on my immediate surroundings, making things better with my gift of god and myself.

The election of Pope Francis has given me some hope that the Church might be headed in the right direction. The Church moves slowly, but at least there is some movement. Perhaps the Church will be more open to all her members.

The Boston Bombings and particularly its aftermath immediately comes to mind. As a city, we were scared and traumatized and there was a very real sense of powerlessness and vulnerability. Having moved to Boston a few months prior and not fully understanding the cultural significance of the Boston marathon, I walked this insider/outsider tension. I knew the location, I knew people who were spectators, I was put on lockdown, but I was also conscious of feeling like I was watching this all unfold one step removed.

Super storm Sandy. I got to help out some close friends and get closer to them. I got helped out and made new friends and I just felt super grateful that my place was ok. And it was nice to not be working in news so I got to be a civilian again.

No event this year has shaken me more than Newtown. It was the first time I really felt the desire to become politically active on a particular subject, and in many ways I'm disappointed that I haven't tried to do more to ensure gun control in our country. Then again, what can I do?

20 percent women serving in US Senate exciting. Almost cried tears of happiness Election Nite when recvd Emily's List texts that Baldwin, Warren, McCaskill won! Plus Obama being re-elected.

In America, it's hard to be personally affected by events in the world, because we live such an insular existence. The violence in Syria comes closest, because my sons were in Israel as it was escalating, and I worried about their safety. I think it all became much more real for them, because they were right there, and it was palpable. I feel like I'm about to be personally impacted by the radiation spill in Japan, because there's evidence that the entire pacific is contaminated, and in a few months, the California beaches will be irradiated. Worse still, pacific fish will have dangerous levels of radiation. It's so huge, I don't know how to deal with it. I'm worried that it's so huge it will just be ignored, and how can we feel safe if it's being ignored?

The continuing refugee "boat people" saga in Australia. The lack of compassion shown towards these new arrivals by both our government(s) and the majority of the Australian people is very disappointing. I had thought that we were a kinder and more mature nation. My mother was a refugee from World War II and I imagine that I wouldn't even exist if she had met with the hostility and indifference that the current refugees are facing.

Although it is longer ago I think Fukushima had a huge impact on me, also the war between rebels and the govenment in Syria is kind of an impact. Both are event which make you think about life and living on this planet. They made me feel small and humble towards mother earth and my own living conditions.

The boat people - but for the luck of birth I am not in their shoes- I am grateful and humbled and saddened at the plight if these people. They leave filled with hope and expectation and it is all thwarted when they hit Aust shores (if they do)..... What is the answer in these times?

Leaving secondary school, and just recently going to college. I've become... more conscience of the silence without friendship. So many people have friends, and there's me, just trying to find somewhere I'm most comfortable... I miss my little trio back in secondary... :(

The crisis in Syria has deeply affected me in the way I go about my daily life. To have such a thing happening and no one reacting reminds me of the ignorance/blind eye people gave the holocaust in WWII. It breaks my heart that people can let power, greed and stubbornness take over their intentions to the point where it ruins other people's lives. I am quite stubborn by nature and this reminds me that flexibility is so important for well-being and growth. About the blind eye to the crisis - I feel there is nothing I can do to help on the large scale that is needed, except to remind myself every day of the blessing of national peace. We are blessed to live somewhere one can prosper. I remind myself that the problems I face are teeny compared to the impact the civil war has had on the lives of Syrians.

This year it was ruled that Trayvon Martin's killer was innocent do to the "Stand Your Ground Law" in Florida. It felt like he was killed all over again. I felt such outrage and sadness. I went to a vigil/protest and Jon came with me, which meant a lot. I felt like I wanted to do something and it was hard to know what to do concretely. Our racist world makes me so cynical. The fact that I am a part of the oppressive system is crushing and I always think that I don't do enough to counteract it.

The protests that broke out in Brazil surprised me. However it made me realize how blaze I've become. While before I would have taken the streets and been inspired, I've become incredulous, and thus just watched from the outside.

It's more a non-event: I feel like I lose more and more faith in the people leading this country every year. Congress wastes its time with the nth attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and refuses to act on the things that really matter. We've lost the ability for civil disagreement in this country. I keep hoping we'll change things from the bottom up; but now I think we need to start at the top, with leadership from both parties learning how to disagree constructively. But I was overcome with joy to the point of tears when the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and overturned Prop 8. May this be the first of many steps forward for equal rights!

Events.The world feels closer and yet somehow further away. Trivial things are obsessed over. Everyone knows who north west is but, nobody knows why boots are on the ground in Syria. Nazis are experiencing a global resurgence and I worry that history will repeat itself like "take on me". These events make me wonder what my place in all of this should be. They say no man is an island and you know how I like to prove people wrong...

Well. I wish I had something more profound come to mind, but really, I was most impacted by the sudden and premature death of actor Cory Monteith near the end of my pregnancy. I had a connection to him through his character Finn Hudson on Glee. He made me feel hopeful and at times foolishly romantic. The youth and freshness and sincerity he brought to that role really touched and inspired me. I was devastated by his passing and sad that it was heroin that took his life. I tried to imagine how his friends and castmates must feel, especially his girlfriend, Lea Michelle. Such an unimaginable loss. It is surprising to me how much it hurt me to lose him. Makes me wonder what he represents in my life...

I felt very happy about same-sex marriage being legalised in the UK. Proud to live in a country where the majority believe in equality, and to see the joy of my gay friends. I'm proud to have supported the Bill. The event led me to consider the spectrum of sexuality - where I am on this - and the many life choices available to us all.

Many events throughout the world: increasing acts of violence by the military and police and wondering where the fear comes from that makes them react this way.

The protests in Turkey have reminded me how delicate the balance is between the secular and religious, and how those who are certain they are morally right may be standing on the edge of certain wrong. More directly, I traveled to Istanbul shortly after the protests. There was an edge to the air, and it made the mood pensive all around me.

The children who died in Syria. Why? They are only children!!! It saddens me people thought of them as less than animals ...

The Boston Marathon tragedy/bombings that happened on April 15, 2013 has really had a big an impact on me. Hospitals reported at least 144 people were treated, with at least 17 of them in critical condition and 25 in serious condition. At least eight of the patients are children and one of the dead was an 8-year-old boy. Hospital reports changed alot as more and more injured people came in. Boston was put on Lock Down. This was very big to me because never in my 40 years of life have I seen Boston put on lock down like this. It literally stopped every thing. Boston Pubic Schools was closed, The MBTA Pubic Transportation was shut down, Logan Air Port was shut down, Taxis Services and AmTrack was shut down as well. Even ALL Stores were told to close. Evey One was supposed to stay in the house and not come out. We were let go early from work. Driving back home in the middle of the day was a scary and strange feeling to say the least. The street was empty and all the local stores were closed. I had so many thoughts running thru my mind. I thought things like, is this how the people that live in civil war countries feel like, is another bomb going to go off some where else, How long is this going to last. I get home and all the news was talking about was that. Over and over they repeated the same thing. Explaining to my young children what was happening and why school was cancelled was hard and cumbersome. I wanted them to understand the facts but at the same time I didn't want them to be afraid. Eventually the responsible people were found, every thing went back to normal and my fear ended. This was the first time I ever I was so afraid of some thing that I had no control over. it was not a good feeling.

War. The threat of more military action abroad makes me feel sick to my stomach. The chemical warfare acts that are said to have provoked this threat make me feel sick to my stomach. So did Stony Brook shootings, Boston marathon bombings . . . . . Violence simply destroys and causes problems; love and gentility build up and solve problems.

During my pregnancy I became hypersensitive to violent media. As such, I stopped watching the news. The biggest world event that impacted me was the one growing inside of me. I connected with Grace long before she was born. I nurtured connections for her in the family and community so that by the time she was born she was already well loved by many.

The killings of the children and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut. It was so horrible and so pointless. I am a teacher and I think about what I would do, how I would even know, would I know in time to do anything to save my students. My school has instituted much tighter procedures for visitors, which is a good thing, though a sad commentary on our world.

The Sandy Hook shooting. It made me not take everything and everyone for granted.

DOMA got canceled!! For a gay person who tends to date internationals, that is AWESOME! I guess the scale-up of the war in Syria "impacted' me this year. And Iran working towards the bomb/the frenzy around it. Mostly I watched my own disinterest in these things as the countries around me - Israel, America - had panic attacks. It just seems that the best thing to do is stay calm and evaluate the best answer if you can have an influence and, if not, do nothing. I no longer take the news/current events as seriously as I used to, especially if they're predicting the future. This seems callous to a lot of people, I think, but after watching the Middle East closely for so long (ha, a few years) I've learned that it is both unpredictable and impossible to control - so why work yourself up about it? The only way to have any influence is to try to affect public opinion - one can always try. And donate to help refugees.

The stagnant economy continues to cause me great personal hardship and stress.

It has been fascinating- and at times, frightening- to see the political landscape of North Carolina change. It has pushed me to explore my opinions on many subjects more carefully. It also forced me to confront my feelings of powerlessness when it comes to contributing to political change. Moral Mondays were at once inspiring and depressing. We have a long ways to go, and I hope for the best for my new home state.

I was devastated by the shootings in Newton, CONN. The event hit close to home because I spend all of my days working with children in an elementary school. It was surreal and disturbing to imagine our children hiding in closets, a gunman roaming our halls. An even though I don't like guns, I think that the true answer to the problem goes beyond gun control and more to how we address mental health issues in this country.

The Boston Marathon bombing rocked me to my core. Having grown up there and being a runner myself, it really hit home. I was in Boston the weekend before and decided to extend me trip to go to Opening Day at Fenway. Being so far away in Chicago and seeing the police and FBI presence in the neighborhoods where I lived and worked made me feel helpless. That was the worst week of my life. That Friday when they captured the suspect, I headed to my Boston bar in Lincoln Park so that I could be surrounded by my people; Massholes :)

The marathon bombings had an impact because we were in our first year living in boston. It was a strange feeling of being in the location of the horror but still feeling like an outsider because I am not from new england so i didnt necessarily feel like "my city" was attacked.

Believe it or not, the Paula Deen incident at Food Network. That has allowed me to open some doors in 2 production companies that have been able to pitch stuff to (whereas I may not have gotten the chance elsewise if they didnt need programming.) I hope I can parlay that into a success.

The Boston Marathon bombing brought back memories of how I felt when 9/11/01 happened. The bombing made me remember what my personal life was like in 2001--the contentment with my former relationship and also the fact that my grandmother was living then. That is a contrast to my life now--I am single and miss my grandmother's presence. Life goes on and so must I.

Hurricane Sandy changed my perspective on everything. I realized how vulnerable we all are. Apartments forty feet down the street flooded, and we had to evacuate our home. I had no idea if anything would be as we left it when we came back. The experience prepared me a little for death, because I knew from it that life can change or end in the blink of an eye.

Syria. It sucks. And there are no easy answers

The gassing of its citizens by the Syrian government was despicable, but even more was the silence of most of the countries of the world. The United Nations seems to have long ago outlived its usefulness - the veto given to members of the security council have handcuffed that organization. So there is no longer any body of reasonable men and women in the world to set a moral tone. As with anything, if people are allowed to do something morally wrong with no repercussions, it becomes something that others want to try too. I think that sanctions - economic and political - should be placed against the Syrian government immediately. Far less war-like and hopefully not as dangerous for her civilians.

Obama's election again - I really thought it was down to the wire - but it wasn't = realized how powerful our media can be.

The Boston Marathon Bombing really got to me. It showed me how dangerous this world can be and how we need to live every day to the fullest.

The Trayvon Martin shooting and acquittal of George Zimmerman elevated race consciousness in the US to a new level. I've worked with African American youth for almost a decade and have been aware of the impact of racism and classism on this population, but coupled with my seeing Fruitvale Station and paying increasing attention to news coverage about the homicide rate in Oakland, I've been really deeply moved by this consciousness (my own and others'). It is painful to face how deep and complex these issues are, how they affect individuals and society as a whole, yet I feel heartened by the increasing attention and intention being pointed toward trying to address them.

Syria's mass murder with chemical weapons. It rides my conflicting line of US relations in the rest of the world's affairs. I believe in what I believe, and I support my country's beliefs on freedom, human rights, and emancipation from antiquated religiosity. But, I also believe these are our Western, Euro-centric ideas. And I am confused about how many times and in how many places we should/must/will go to war to defend our idea of right and wrong at the expense of other countries, and our own armed forces. But unchecked chemical warfare in 2013 is worse than the T-4 program; we know. We must learn from history. I feel we must intervene. It just seems like a long, unending, non-negotiable un-resolution with reality. Even as it is a destined stronghold for fate.

The financial, real estate, and banking crises have finally led to our bancruptcy and forthcoming foreclosure. May the big banks and their executives burn in hell.

All the wars and military bloodshed affect me on a continuous basis. Why can't we remember Holly Near's song: "Why do we kill people who are killing people to show that killing people is wrong? What a foolish notion, that war is devotion, when the greatest warriors are the ones who stand for peace." Obama was reelected and I am completely disgusted with his war-mongering. Hurricane Sandy affected me because my mom was affected - she lost power and had to go to Reeni's house for several days. It was bizarre to see photos of the Lower East Side streets flooded!

The Boston Marathon bombing. And thinking of that little 8 year old boy who lost his life. The Sandy Hook elementary shootings. And thinking about all those kids who lost their lives. These things happened soon after I became a mom for the first time, and suddenly I heard the horrible news through the ears and eyes of someone who couldn't even fathom the unimaginable. The news would have saddened me in the past, but having moved into the realm of mother, I really couldn't bear it.

Syria. I was impacted by the images on you tube. Obama said, look at the images, so I did. A little boy, a little older than my own, gassed. I am sobered by this awful world and the awful things that happen to people when I think about Syria. I don't know the answer. I just feel distressed, dismayed, fearful, and saddened. I also feel grateful to be living in peace and comfort and feel like I should practice these feelings every day and also that I should reach out more to others in gratitude.

Looking at the complexity of the civil war in Syria, beyond the horrific suffering, choosing what I think is the best course of action, committing to it knowing the consequences, has been a really challenging debate intellectually, politically and morally.

Watching people struggle with Sandy.

The slaughter of elephants in Africa, and the torture of these sensitive and magnificent animals by circuses and other animal acts, has filled me with anguish. I am so fearful that the poachers will not stop until every elephant has been killed, every ounce of their ivory tusks will have been sold for vain and frivolous and superstitious purposes. I worry for the great apes and the sharks as well, but the plight of elephants has touched me deeply.

The first thing that comes to mind is the Healthcare Bill passing. I have Type 1 Insulin Dependent diabetes and I wonder how this will impact my healthcare and access to doctors. It worries me that care will become poor and doctors hard to reach. I hope this is not the case, but I do worry about it.

Australian politics sank to some new lows this year, particularly in their bipartisan demonisation of asylum seekers. It made me actually speak up about what I believe in, and caused me to change who I voted for in the Federal election to reflect my personal convictions, even though it was a minor party I would not have usually voted for. It made me realise how easy it is to say nothing, but how important it is to stand up for what is right, even if that feels difficult.

President Obama Getting re-elected. That was fantastic as he seems to be of the light and I appreciate that as a greater context!

The fukishima meltdown. It reminds me of the fragility of the oceans and dangers of nuclear power and strngthend my resolve to work for reducing greenhouse gas emissions whenever I can while still spending time with the ones I love.

The tornadoes that went through Moore on 5/20 & 5/31. I was scared for myself, my daughter, our pets and many friends. As it turned out, my home did not sustain any damage; we just lost a big limb out of our silver maple tree and had to clean up a lot of debris. I had no water for over 24 hours and no internet for 2 days. It was difficult to get anywhere in Moore because so many streets were closed. My doctor's office was hit & destroyed. I had to go to an urgent care clinic to get antibiotics for a bad sinus infection. But the biggest impact was the emotional stories that kept coming over and over from friends and customers at work.

the gay marriage decisions - they affect us all. the tide is turning and we are seeing it happen. realizing how fortunate i am. syria - more wars i don't understand. disappointment for the first time in my president.

Cory from Glee died! I know that's kind of pathetic to remember but to be fair it is more recent, and the revolutions going on in Syria, Egypt and Libya are so far away. I guess it's just how crazy this culture has become. It's so sad because Hollywood seems so cozy and fun and cheerful but it's really empty and lewd. And it's not a good life and it's not real life! It's easy to think it is. Even Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift--again, it's lame of me to care so much but I feel like I grew up with them and only now as I mature do I realize how empty it all is and promiscous.

THe current affairs in Syria. Its has challenged my beliefs on the governing world. I believed that in 2013 we can avoid conflicts that can lead to war and resolve world issues with peace and intelligence. Not the loss of lives. I hope I'm right.

A friend's baby died. Devastating. This has touched one of my worst fears, but also led me to appreciate more what is important, what really matters. And to hold my daughter a little tighter, a little longer, and sometimes just keep her there when she falls asleep in my arms.

George Zimmerman not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. It made me sick and feel unsafe for myself and my brothers. I continue to feel unwanted in America unless it's to entertain or shut up.

There have been so many disturbing events this year. Hurricane Sandy which affected a number of people in my family who live in NY and New Jersey and where I had hoped to be at that time but didn't go. I found all the gun violence disturbing from Sandyhook to Colorado, But I guess the decisions by the Supreme Court to count corporations which i just found wrong. And the erosion of voting rights around the country was just shocking that we could actually go backwards as a country to a time when people didn't have the civil rights they have been enjoying. I was glad that gay rights moved forward. I was glad that people made a real effort despite the discouragement to vote anyways.

The bombing at the marathon was disturbing. It is so easy for one disturbed individual to cause so much pain and destroy so many lives.

Pretty much the same as last year! But I think a "sharp turning point" was Israel retaliating for Gaza missiles - and getting blamed for breaking a cease fire. It is so insane.

The killing of Trayvon Martin. It has opened my awareness of racial tension and bigotry in this country.

The hurricane on the east coast, the war in syria. I sometimes take on too much of the pain of the world emotionally. I worry that we aren't going very far as a society when the pain and damage of the wars and disasters still disproportionately hurt those who have nothing left.

Obama's handling of the Syria situation has disillusioned me about all politicians. I'm done with change and hope. They are all the same.

Trayvon Martin's killing and George Zimmerman's subsequent acquittal have given me a sad, sick feeling that even though we can elect (and re-elect) a black president, we still have as a nation serious basic problems with seeing each other as b'tzelem elohim.

The lack of a major turn around when it comes to climate change will always concern me. The cutting down of incredible amounts of trees... there's just something instinctual in us that says "stop cutting off our air!" For some people it's repressed, but in me it's strong and embraced. It hurts. The death of species, the suicide of our own, so much missed beauty...

I think the bombing in Boston, along with the other horrible events that happened that week, and that have happened in the world and the U.S. specifically during that week in the past. It affected me even more because during that same week, a friend asked me to rescue his guitar from a parking lot where his wife had left it accidentally. The guitar had apparently been hit by a car and was broken, and it seemed symbolic of all the bad things that were happening that week.

Not the wider world, but an 18 year old schoolfriend of my sister's was murdered completely randomly this year. I didn't know him but I know his family. It made me remember that life is short and to really treasure the time we have with our loved ones.

The shooting at the Newtown Elementary School in Connecticut renewed by zeal for political action, especially against lobby groups like the NRA. Sadly, it also came to remind me how disappointing this congress is.

The Amud Anan (Pillar of Defense) operation in Gaza last November definitely impacted me. I was in grad school and living in Tel Aviv. That confrontation between Israel and Gaza definitely impacted me because it was the first time that I was actually in Israel during an event like this. For the first time in over two decades, rockets were flying toward Tel Aviv. For the first time, I learnt what it felt like when sirens went off and I needed to take shelter. Although it was nothing compared to what the people living in southern Israel were experiencing, it still affected me. I couldn't focus on my schoolwork because I was completely glued to the news checking updates. My sister was in Marva and arrived in Tel Aviv the same day/time that the bus bombing occurred. I've never felt so worried in my life.

The fires/floods in Colorado makes me miss being there to support my family. Also, the shootings around the country make me incredibly sad.

All the various shootings. Especially Sandy Hook. My puppy, Pozz, is actually named after one of the Sandy Hook Shooting Victims, Noah Pozner. So Sandy Hook impacts my life every single day.

Syria I don't know what to think. Is this another holocaust and if we don't act we are complicit? Is this another ill-advised military interference in the Middle East? I can argue it either way. I feel disappointed in President Obama's leadership in this second term. When it comes to foreign policy he doesn't seem able to stand up, say what we should do, make his case, and act with no apologies.

The shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school really shook me. Adam is such a deeply emotional person, and seeing that care, especially for children, makes me love him even more. At the same time, now looking at the world as someone hoping to be a parent, it's terrifying how little control we have and how easily victimized our most vulnerable citizens can be. Hurricane Sandy luckily did not affect us too greatly, while friends and family lost power we managed just find and were lucky enough to get to spend some quality time together. It caused us some panic about the wedding, but we only had to make a few adjustments and those affected have been quite resilient. I felt very fortunate that those closest to me weathered the storm well, as it certainly showed the vulnerabilities of the New York area.

That's a tricky one, as I often keep myself separated from world news. I think all the things around abortion rights have gotten me especially fired up, though—like the filibuster in Texas.

The popularity of alternative diets has really been a focus for me. I follow all the trends and it's led me to a lot of options for dealing with my illness, a lot of confusion and conflicting information too, But overall it's been fascinating to watch people's growing awareness about what they consume. My personal experience has been right in line with this, so it's hit very close to home.

Hurricane Sandy. I was stuck in Seattle for the storm since my flights back to Philly got cancelled. My uncle's house flooded and even though it was only a foot high, it streamed into his basement. Granted, his basement wasn't being really used, but it's been an impact. As I typed this, there was another commercial talking about Chris Christie's response to the storm.

The recent events in Syria, the suffering of ordinary people and the power plays of the global leaders. Who's to say whether intervention is right or wrong. The murder of innocent civilians should not be allowed to continue but is this the motive for military action? We are holding our breath for a peaceful resolution. We complain about our government here, the current economic situation and quite rightly, but we are still so lucky that we have free speech and the majority of us can sleep safe in our beds each night and go about our daily lives without fear.

The world of today feels to me so broken that I believe I must actively avoid the bad news that comes every day. I avert my eyes from news pieces that are going to lay me low...Two events in the last year that spring to mind now are the Boston Marathon bombing and also the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Such events render one speechless and hopeless; what appears rational, like better gun control laws, is met with the IRRational and the bottom line selfishness of people holding the purse strings, who are not willing to inconvenience themselves to make things safer for children who just might happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. These people with such myopic rationales have no shame. I don't have a lot of hope, in view of this reality.

The current situation in Syria leaves me torn. I am unable to stick to either side (bomb or ignore the gassing of citizens). It is interesting to see that others on either side of the political aisle are also vacillating. Life is really hard sometimes. Wish there were absolute answers with guaranteed outcomes.

The Newtown shootings led me to feel very sad, fearful, and discouraged in several ways: my younger child is the same age as many of the children who were murdered, my sister is a teacher, I work in mental health, I have previously experienced the shooting-murder of an important person in my life by a disturbed man. The event itself was so upsetting it was hard for me to absorb. The failure of gun legislation following the death of so many people, including children, in the Newtown shooting as well as many other recent and not-so-recent shootings discouraged me and felt like a part of a more pervasive problem in which corporate interests completely overwhelm people's efforts to create a safer, more sustainable, less corrupt world, as also seen in our difficulties addressing climate change and the corruption and inequity in our health care system. I struggle to maintain a sense of optimism and purpose when I feel this kind of grief and discouragement.

The sequester has affected the social benefits I receive from the government. The least among us have paid I high price...for a balanced budget...While the wealthy make huge amounts...our rents go up and our food stamps go down. Is that fair?

People died and citizens were marginalized as governments made moves to become more powerful and businessmen made moves to become more wealthy. The desperate poor committed terrible crimes against each other to secure what they call survival. The privileged moved on supposedly unaffected--oblivious to the suffering around them, unconcerned about their part in the cause--futilely trying to sate their materialism. Another bottle of whiskey; another struggle against depression; another almost-believed promise to one day learn how to make a change.

To be honest, I can not think of a world event that has impacted me. This might have to do with my news-fasting. Something I did experience, which might have impacted the world, is the power of compassion, present in every man and woman. Living a compassionate life is definitely a goal of mine since the past year.

the amount of fighting and strife among all peoples. The lack of politicians, corporate managers and doctors that are more concerned about their salaries than the job they have been chosen to do or chosed to do on their own.

Wendy Davis! Watching this one woman literally stand up for the rights of women not only in Texas, but across America, was inspirational. Though the results of her filibuster were unjust, and it was shocking to watch politicians break their own rules live, I was moved by the power of one person, especially one woman, to elicit passion from the many. I pray that next year, we will have worked even further for a woman's right to choose in all aspects of her life. In the mean time, Wendy Davis is a wonder woman!

Federal recognition of gay marriage in the US has brought both legal and emotional ramifications to my life. Seeing our country's legal system catch up to the realities of my and my friends' relationships far more quickly than any of us expected was surprising and wonderful. It's an odd feeling to have felt like a second-class citizen for so long and to suddenly have this inequity be a historical artifact, something that needs to just be swept away with some paperwork.

The Boston Marathon bombing. It was so sad, and so close to home. People I knew were in the marathon, and many friends had people they lost or were injured. It's sad that people can be so senseless, and cruel.

Is it possible that no event has impacted me? What has happened in the world since September 2012? Election of Obama-- meh. War in Syria, unrest in Egypt. Gay marriage passed in Maryland and DC. Really, none of these had much of an impact on me, though. Am I so small-minded?

The supreme court overturning DOMA. To see this, to feel the impact, is amazing. Even though I am 39 I still feel like I have seen an unbelievable turnaround in gay rights which affects me personally. Our 2003 wedding, our 2006 wedding, and now this. truly amazing.

Syria - shows me the ugly side of humanity !

This year, the Supreme Court struck down DOMA, moving the country one step closer to equality. For so many of my friends, and truly for every American, the recognition that equality needs to exist is a step forward. Hopefully it will be the first of many steps that this country so desperately needs to take.

The DOMA ruling being overturned had such a hug impact on my family. Now, my wife can put me on her insurance and benefits without any cost to our family. This is enabling us to make huge changes for our family's dynamic and quality of life. Not only that but it's had a huge impact on my own feelings about my marriage and its legitimacy - that's been a surprise.

Well, world is a little broad. Maybe I can say that California finally being allowed to marry the gays has impacted me this year. Most world events aren't really that personally interesting to me. This is an American event that personally excited me, since my two favorite people get to marry each other just like everyone else who loves one other. Getting to see how happy they are together, has really helped me launch into being a good enough person for someone else to love. As per usual, I'm in love with love. :)

The use of chemical weapons... That in 2013 there are still people that would use these types of weapons... It makes me sad for the world that there is still so much unconsciousness. The man in Ohio that enslaved three children for years... Confessing in court, he is not a monster, just sick... He eventually hung himself. He actually helped put up fliers and posters to look for the children... People came into his house and heard noises but never did anything... At 40, I am still struggling to identify what my lifetime goals are but education and charitable work seem to be the areas that I am most drawn to... These types of events reinforce this feeling. Prevention of these types of atrocities starts with our children- education, nurturing and love.

Antionette Tuff stopped a school shooting by talking to the gunman. This should have been a huge story, yet I only heard it mentioned once. After the last school shooting, we were all completely focused on either arming schools or gun control, yet this most powerful answer was never mentioned: listening to people! This event gives me hope that we really are heading in a new direction. I don't know what's going to happen in Syria and what our involvement is going to be, but the fact that everyone is demanding a diplomatic solution rather than a violent one is another thing that gives me hope. I think Obama has known what he is doing all along, first pushing for an attack, then accepting Russia's push for a diplomatic solution... things are Shifting.

Voting Barrack Obama back into office was exciting for me. I believe in his world vision and I'm curious to see how his term plays out.

The killings of a number of autistic individuals--mostly children--by their parents has been a heartbreaking trend over the past year. Especially considering that so many people seem to feel compassion and sympathy for the murdering parents, rather than for the autistic individuals themselves, as if being autistic makes you less human--as if being autistic makes it understandable for someone to want to murder you.

There have been no world events that impacted me very much, I guess I'm lucky

Many cases of sexual violence probably played a role, but we could maybe start with the Steubenville case. I think it was a demonstration to me of how deep victim-blaming and justification for rape goes, and along with many other factors in my life prompted me to learn more about rape. The targeting of a vulnerable victim, and then more and more I started learning about date rape, the way victims' behaviour is so different from what we might expect, and the toxicity of self-blame. There was a case where a university student (perhaps in Ohio?) was faced with stronger punishment for accusing her rapist of rape than the rapist himself was for rape. And all of these pieces of learning have enabled me to respond positively, empathically, and non-judgementally to people who have been subjected to date rape in particular. If domestic violence is acknowledged to be in some ways a more damaging, pervasive crime than stranger violence, why is known-partner rape not seen the same way?

Although I vowed to watch more news and stay connected to what was happening globally I still have not. I find a lot of the stuff on the news to be sensationalised and depressing. The biggest thing in Australia that I found good (not the right word) was that the woman who was raped and murdered in Melbourne killer was found thanks to CCTV footage and social media. I say good because, so many criminals are getting caught and missing people are being found thanks to social media.

Tokyo has just been chosen as the host city for the Olympics 2020 and that is where Resonance will now end. It has emboldened my belief in myself as I'd told some key people with a degree of confidence that this would be the case.

There are many so I will choose the one that really has had the most personal impact for me. Fracking and pipelines. I have never been a particularly political or activist sort of person. However, this year I attended at least 90% of the local town board meetings and spoke ay most of them. This was our fight to keep Fracking out of Schoharie County and the town of Fulton. All the while I signed every petition that came my way to stop the Keystone Pipeline and the Constitution Pipeline. As I am now living in this beautiful region with so many farms and natural aquifers and landscape it is abhorrent to me that anyone would want to destroy it. God help our planet if Big Oil wins!

The Boston Marathon bombing really threw me for a loop. I never expected for something like that to happen in my proximity. I certainly didn't expect to experience PTSD as a result of it.

The A-Level reform. I can no longer do any exams in January/February, and it's really unfortunate. I think that my grades will be severely affected come Results Day. All thanks to you, Michael Gove.

The Boston Marathon Bombings. When I think about how only a year before, that neighborhood on lockdown was mine, and I was the person standing in the crowd at the finish line, it freaks me out. I am so fortunate and relieved that all my friends are safe, and the dedication of the city and its runners inspires me to keep running. I am so proud and excited to run the BAA half next month.

Lots of breakups. All upsetting. My self esteem has taken a real blow.

Boston marathon bombing - brought me lots of empathy for the victims (athletes) who have lost their limbs (joy in life) and made me realize how much gratitude I have for my physical well being

Hurricane Sandy broke my heart and spirit. It was so hard seeing people with nothing and so broken. On the other hand, it was inspiring to see people come together for help, although I wish I saw that more.

i feel a strange numbness to all the things happening in the world. they seem to blend into one big hyper-reported mush. so much change in egypt (a damp feeling of inevitability over the scammy ascension of the muslim brotherhood, followed by the damp feeling of satisfaction that they were deposed), and syria, to which i have a continual numbness. the 2012 election was annoying and depressing, brought out the deep polarization of the country, of my own community, which was very dispiriting.

it's not a world event, but the continued gentrification of my home town has really made me feel old/not welcome at times. everything's expensive/fancy, and feeling 'grown up' is sometimes too much to handle.

The Big Latch On event raised my awareness of b'feeding and I'm proud to be a lactivist and nurse in public whenever my baby is hungry. Also a pretty big baby wearer, more so than with my first child.

The protests in Turkey had an impact on me because one of my best friends lives there and several others come from there. I know that he is anti-government in his views, in addition to being part of the Jewish minority, so when the protests broke out and the government responded with violence and repressive tactics I worried for his safety. He is ok, but his words to me were not promising for the state: "it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better."

Same sex marriage has had more of an impact on me than I would have suspected. We as humans need to be happy and for that reason I support marriage regardless of gender. I will not and don't have the right to tell someone they can't have their happiness as long as it is harming no one else. Gay marriage is not harming anyone - period. My family and the religious teachings from my upbringing have a hard time with this. They want people to be happy too, but they draw the line differently. I'm straight, but I want my neighbors, friends, and co-workers to be happy. They have just as much of a right to it as I do. Go forth and be happy, I want that for you and me.

The budget cuts, sequestration maneuvers, and some local political issues have made my job much less secure and facing the prospects of unemployment at my age are not encouraging.

Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. George Zimmerman went free. It has made me question whether this world is a place I'd like to bring little brown children. The world, America is not for them.

Any shooting that took place in the last year affected me. The Sandy Hook elementary shooting was by far the worst. I was driving and heard it on the radio. I just started crying in my car on the freeway. I got to my friend's house and we just hugged. It was devastating to see images of children and teachers terrified at the school. I can't even imagine the loss for the parents. We did a performance that weekend and all of our dancers were greatly affected by it. We dedicated our show to the families in Newtown. It wasn't much but it helped us feel like we were supporting the community. W need to rethink gun control in the US and it is frustrating to see more shootings happening daily. What will it take to stop the violence? How many more shootings before we do something about gun control?

I have seen a couple of powerful videos about the effects of Superstorm Sandy and the melting Arctic glaciers that have pulled into focus the disastrous climate changes our species is continuing to hasten, and at the same time a good friend and fellow member of our peace group began and completed an 80 day fast in support of the Guantanamo Bay Detainees, especially those fasting and being force-fed in response to more than 10 years incarceration without being charged, tried, or released. I have been fasting one day a week since mid-June in support of the Guantanamo Bay detainees and all prisoners in US prisons whose rights are being violated. I have been aware of these injustices and the suffering they cause for years, but my friend's courageous act has helped me commit myself more deeply to helping relieve the suffering and injustice all around me. President Obama's current efforts to persuade our Congress to begin to go to war against Syria is simply a continuation of what for me is an unacceptable rule of the many by a very few for the sake of their increasing profits and power. I struggle daily with the despair and fear at these political events and the climate change they are helping to cause which deepens the crisis we are in. And more and more I rely on my prayers and spiritual readings to keep me balanced and on the path of tikkun olam and loving kindness.

Gay marriage was legalized (indirectly) in California around the same time as my wedding. It was a great feeling knowing that the ridiculous legislation that —unconstitutionally I believe — denies my fellow citizens the same rights and lifelong happiness I enjoy was knocked down. I was very excited and proud of the Supreme Court, although I wish they would have taken a tougher stand against the legal discrimination that gay and lesbian citizens receive throughout the country. Sure, I feel lucky to live in liberal California, but we are one of only 13 states where gay citizens are treated as equal citizens under the law. I hope in the upcoming 10Q sessions I can say that I am proud of our country for the steps they have taken to show that all Americans are equal, but for now I can't.

The Sandy Hook shooting was absolutely horrifying. It brought to reality for an entire community, and specifically dozens of parents, the anxiety that is always in my heart when my kids are not under my watch. When I'm in a heightened state of anxiety it seems that my anxiety about their safety is also magnified, and it sometimes literally makes my heart ache when they are away from me. And yet I also hold in my heart the bittersweet truth that one day, no matter how much I want to keep them close, they will be venturing out on their own, and my importance in their lives will be diminished. I'm acutely aware of that truth each day, which is what should make me cherish every single moment. In some moments i can focus on that, while at others I just feel sad for my future self.

An event in the world. The chemical weapon attack in Syria has me thinking and rethinking my feelings about military action, diplomacy, and public opinion. I don't think we can just ignore the fact that a nation is using chemical weapons against its people--although from the interview I heard with a local doctor in that region, this is not the first time weapons like that have been used. It simply has not been to this scale before. Regardless, I don't think the world or us as a nation should allow this to continue. In my heart, I want diplomacy to be the answer (and maybe this time it will be). However, if diplomacy does not work, something else needs to be done to prevent genocide... It has me rethinking my pacifist inclinations, and I would like to explore this further in the coming year.

When George Zimmerman was acquitted for shooting Trayvon Martin, I was absolutely furious. I felt like it was a textbook example of racial profiling that George Zimmerman, a white man, walked away from Trayvon Martin's death scott-free. I also didn't like that they used the "Stand Your Ground" law as part of his defense. Marissa Alexander, a black woman, used "Stand Your Ground" as a defense for firing a warning shot, A WARNING SHOT, in the air when her abusive husband entered her home and refused to leave, and she was incarcerated. Show me the justice in that. The results of this case, if anything, have opened my eyes to the blatant racism and racial profiling that still exists in American society. I have not read Michelle Alexander's book, "The New Jim Crow," but I fully intend on doing so, now.

The bombing of the Boston Marathon - because I was in training for the Manchester Marathon which was happening a few weeks later it affected me deeply. I grew up in N. Ireland in the 1970s and I just realised how much of an impact men and women of terror - Govt backed as well as Terrorist have had on my life. My reaction was to say "Fuck You! I won't be scared any more and I refuse to hate."

I don't know that I can say there is an event in the world that has impacted me in this year. The shootings that are occurring, seemingly random but I can't believe that there isn't something in the world that is causing this. I don't know what it is or if we'll ever know the connection I just know that there are too many rampages going on in America and other areas of the world.

The Boston Marath0n Bombings happened less than a mile from my house. That afternoon Alex and I were walking over the finish line when the bombs went off. In retrospect Alex thought he heard one go off - I did not. We saw a few police cars heading that way. We were walking along Mass Ave and decided to get lunch at a place a block from Boylston. We did not know what was happening until my Mom called and a friend texted. Even after that, the news was just "some sort of explosion, possibly 6 injured". We had also had a transformer blow a year before which put large blocks of Boston in the dark. The reality of what happened took shape over the course of a few hours - it was not immediately apparent. As we walked backed home we could see a phalanx of ambulances down Huntington Street. We spent the rest of the day inside, watching updates, checking in with people. A few observations about impact: 1. There's a lot of "Boston Strong" sentiment that goes on - including a friend thinking of getting it as a tattoo. I'm more skeptical - of course for the almost 200 people injured it changed their lives. It also created a sense of danger at every day events. But this is what it's like to live in many other places around the world. This should create more empathy, but it seems like people want to hold on to it about a day that "changed their lives forever". 2. There's a lot of hatred out there for the "monsters that did this", Muslims, immigrants, and so forth. The SWAT team that responded - they wanted to bring in the younger brother alive. They are putting their lives on the line; these young adults created multiple homemade bombs; and they are trying to bring him in alive. Random friend across the country posts on facebook that they should have killed him. I'm sorry - but you've got no skin in the game, and I'm ashamed of your response. 3. I believe the only way we can move to a better world is to understand the humanity in those that do awful acts. 4. We held a vigil the night following the bombings, at my church. We were 5 blocks from the explosions. We had a number of people religious from across the city. The church was packed. This was the type of response I thought was right. 5. Susie at church started prayer ribbons the next Sunday. It has blossomed into a beautiful response for peace and healing. The whole outside fence is covered with them.

I would have to say the Trayvon Martin case. It really has impacted how I raise my son. I am nervous about his safety, yet I am adament about him not becoming a victim. This event affected so many lives directly and indirectly. It really showed our youth that, in case they forgot, racism is still very much alive even if we have a Black president. I put a picture of him on my vision board with the words "Don't Forget." I never want this to become just a memory. I want to remember it every day. I want it to be a reminder that I can and will do something to make change.

This year, I was impacted by the protests in Brazil. I was inspired by the fact that poor and middle class people were able to, through social networking, come together and protest for their rights to public transportation, health, and education. The tipping point was the increase in bus fare, and suddenly "O Gigante Acordou". Millions of people took to the streets to protest the billions of dollars that are being spent on the stadiums for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Millions were protesting for their rights for basic public needs. Brazilians spend about 40% of their income on taxes, yet corruption has kept the country from having adequate infrastructure. If 32 billion reais are being budgeted for these world sporting events, how this the country not have enough money to care for its citizens? Through social media, and no leader or even group organization in particular, the largest protests in Brazil since 1992 was created. Social media was used to inspire an argument, to organize protest location and times, to open up dialogue among the common people, to remind the masses to protest peacefully, and to share with the rest of the country and the world what it looks like to have millions of people spill out on the streets in peaceful, but passionate masses. Unfortunately, the police responded with a lot of violence, and people did get hurt and killed. Dilma did make a few changes, starting with canceling the fare price hike, and the protests have settled down. However, a fire is now lit, the world is paying more attention than before, and the politicians are warned that corruption and embezzlement will not be tolerated. I'm proud of these events, and I hope that we will continue to find ways to give regular people an easier way to have their voices heard.

Trayvon. It's open season, I guess. I was so angry I couldn't open Facebook for two weeks. I hope my sister manages to get her kids out of here, this country is really terrible.

There have been so many it is hard to pick just one. Natural disasters; man-made disaster (oil companies, gas companies) and wars. Except for the natural disasters, greed seems to be the driving force behind the others. When will politicians truly work for the good of all instead of the pockets of the few?

Several unrelated protests -- the public gatherings/protests following the Zimmerman trial verdict as well as the more violent protests in Egypt and Turkey -- caused serious consternation. Even when I generally agree with a protest's raison d'etre, I react against the gross simplification of complicated issues; there are no simple answers to complex questions, but the mob mind seems to reduce everything to a black/white dichotomy. As a result, not only did I steer clear of Zimmerman verdict gatherings (even the more peaceful ones), but I found my heart hardening against mass protest in general. I understand that this is problematic, but a typical protest's thoughtlessness is nothing I want to be a part of. Shouting, when you're not proposing a workable alternative or are unable to articulate what it is you're advocating, is ugly and unproductive. Yet, as I prepared to repent, I read a litany of "sins" we Jews must repent for on Yom Kippur. One of them stood out: "For the sin of being 'realistic' when our tradition calls upon us to transform reality." I like the formulation, even if the "realist" in me balks at what remains unaddressed. After all, while it's certainly true that realism too often begets apathy and the maintenance of the status quo, it's also true that idealism sometimes begets rigid ideology and violence. Perhaps, then, tempered idealism is the best proposition, a virtue that will allow us to continue to struggle toward the horizon (and beyond)?

I would say having President Obama state that he is supportive of gay marriage and gay rights. That is a huge step and is great to hear a public official that a huge majority of people know, declare such a statement. I love it!

Boston Marathon. That whole situation...it was almost a flashback to 9/11 and the chaos of no one knowing what was happening.

I was deeply affected by the school shooting that happened, although apparently not as much as I thought considering I don't even remember the name of the school. I am, in a way, really ashamed of that. I let myself get overwhelmed emotionally, but then mentally I detach from it as soon as possible. I saw this happen with the Boston Marathon bombings. I spoke to everyone about it as if I was there, but then I did not reach out to help my fellow Americans. Admittedly, this is much more difficult to do on another continent, but with technology being what it is, I'm sure I could have found a way. THis was also my first time voting for president, which was a very cool process for me, and I was able to celebrate with pride and a sense of responsibility for the outcome.

The economy improved.

I'm encouraged by the positive movement in marriage equality. My fury over the injustice of not considering same-sex partners to be "married" is intense, and it makes me feel better to raise my family within an accepting community -- but obviously, the country at large has a long way to go. The Supreme Court decision was really a great step.

At first nothing really sprung to mind. But then I had a think. And I remembered that New Zealand legalised gay marriage. And even though it's New Zealand and I live in New Zealand and therefore it's not really a world event, it kinda still is. So yea. That's something that makes me proud to be and proud to say that I'm a New Zealander. So many of my friends will be able to get married now. Though it might help if they have someone to marry, but you know. Equality for all. Love is love.

The school shooting in Connecticut really made me think about what it means to be a teacher, and what you're really signing on to do.

I know there were many a major thing going on in the world this year, but my big events were on a personal level. Moving past the failure of my marriage and accepting responsibility for my role, the decisions I made and forgiving myself.

This question is always a tough one for me…reassuring how grateful I need to be for the cards I've been dealt.

The economy is really affecting the community in which I teach. There are no jobs here, so families keep moving away. With no kids left to teach, my job is in jeopardy every year!

The Australian government's position on asylum seeks, particularly those who arrive by boat. It disgusts me how this issue gets blown up every year and passed around like a political football. Sending people fleeing atrocities in their home lands to places such as Indonesia, PNG or locking them up in detention centres is inhumane. The recent australian election and the way it played out has made me mad at the selfishness we in western world have, particularly the way we feel so hard done by and the way this is then used by the media and political parties in getting what they want. Being out of Australia while the Australian election was on and now having a right wing government for at least the next 3 years has rekindled my passion for politics and for doing something about the things I am not happy with at a grassroots level

There were several events, like the Newtown shooting and the Steubenville High School rape case, which caused me to consider the pain of the perpetrators. This was an opportunity for me to strengthen my ability for unconditional love. My grief was immense for the Newtown children and their families, and I was particularly outraged by the rape case, so it was a challenge not to feel complete hatred and repulsion for the young men responsible, and for those responsible for raising them. But in trying to fully grasp the situations, I was forced to consider what propelled the perpetrators toward such unthinkably disgusting action. Through this process, the flaws in our society and the need for fundamental change became quite obvious. We truly are all one, and must not only bear the grief of an event, but also the responsibility. Societal changes must be made not to exclude others, and to speak out when we see attitudes perpetrated which encourage outrageous and unacceptable behavior. We are not well until everyone is well. While the Newtown tragedy sparked a national debate about gun control, I think the bigger issue is our treatment of the 'lost souls' among our society. We cannot afford to simply look the other way. Each one of us is responsible, and we must reach out to include everyone, to help with the basics of physical and psychological health when we see the need, and to truly practice unconditional love, even when our instinct is repulsion. It's not easy, but it is vital. Sometimes that challenge can prove to be the most difficult among those we are closest to. But that is where it must take place. It's not acceptable to just turn away from those who disgust us. We have a responsibility to reach out, to include, and to speak up about attitudes which are harmful to others.

Sandyhook Elementary. The civil unrest in Syria. The release of the women held captive in that man's basement and then his subsequent suicide. The Trayvon Martin trial. The sick feeling I felt listening to the verdict.

The Newtown shooting and Boston Marathon bombings made me deeply aware of how precious life is and how quickly the world can turn upside down.

Hurricane Sandy. We had to live without electricity for a week, we were trapped downtown, sleeping in apartments with no water or heat. We showered at friends' apartments. The city became one giant slumber party. And we partied like hell when the lights came back on.

The Israeli-Palestinian situation hit me full force as I travelled through Israel and spent time in Palestine. The tragedy, the way history repeats itself, the injustice of government, the way money drives so many collective actions...

The market has gone up because of Europe bailing out Greece. Therefore my retirement money has done well. Someday, maybe, in 12 years, I may be able to retire. That will be nice.

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting really hit home for me. At the time, I had been student teaching in schools. I was completely shocked that anyone could think of coming into a school and harming children. High school and college shootings, all shootings, are horrific, but none more so than the shooting of innocent children. It is clear to me that shootings and terrorist acts are becoming more and more common. Only today, there was another shooting at the Washington DC Navy Yard. I am afraid of the world we live in, and I wish humanity could have a little more compassion.

I have been a selfish shut-in wallowing in self pity, I have heard but not noticed all the world events, any other time, something like the war in Syria would rile me to action, but not this year.

The election in November was the first presidential election I've been able to vote in since becoming a US citizen, and I got very swept up in the party politics. I even did some volunteering for the Obama campaign. It was exciting to finally have a voice in the country I've lived in for over a decade.

Syria. It has made me question my priorities, if I can be silent and go against popular opinion to stand for my moral values.

The Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 had a huge effect on my life. I am lucky to be living in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, but now I live in a COUNTRY where same-sex marriage is legal. To be denied that kind of recognition for my relationship would have been disheartening and demeaning. Now I can start my marriage out on equal footing with everyone else.

gay marriage, equality with the IRS for same sex couples and in general people seem to be letting go...I believe in God and the teachings of Christ that all are equal in the eyes of God. Jesus taught radical inclusion and perhaps some are beginning to open their eyes a bit more. I pray it keep it will happen so my great nieces and nephews will live in a world that is less prejudice against all peoples!

The Sandy Hook shooting gave me two reasons to despair for humanity. First, that such an atrocious act could take place. Second, that our society is incapable of doing anything meaningful in response in terms of gun control because of the NRA and their enablers. Even having the families on Capitol Hill had no effect. That is truly shameful and truly sad.

So much violence in the world, and the sense that it isn't getting better. I am not sure that human beings can be helped... Syria and the will to have power, not intervene for the sake of humanity. This has discouraged me.

The Newtown shooting. I still have no words. Tears swell in my eyes just typing this answer, so tonight I will hug my children tighter. oh God. why?

The fire that took place in New Jersey, on the Boardwalk, this week. It was the heels of the community finally getting the Boardwalk rebuilt after hurricane Sandy. I was saddened by the devastation that Sandy had caused, but then to have this happen right after getting it rebuilt and opened!?! Horrible. The cause is still under investigation. Here is a quote from one of the news stories and pix can be found there too. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57602986/jersey-boardwalk-fires-hot-spots-may-slow-search-for-cause/ "The boardwalk itself, battered by Sandy last October, was rebuilt five months ago. One of the big attractions in the stretch — the Funtown amusement pier — had not reopened after Sandy. It burned in the fire, with its landmark "Funtown Pier" sign collapsing in a cloud of flames and sparks, falling on the gray charred remains of a once colorful attraction."

The bombing at the Boston Marathon. I am really just searching for something that happened in the world that slightly impacted me. I'm just so lucky to live in a place where I feel safe all the time (unless I think about bad things that could happen but they are unlikely to happen). I suppose the Boston marathon bombing affected me because Annie and Ivan live there and it made me worry about them for like a second until I called her and they were fine. oooh! I know. September 11th. Elon did not send out an email or have a remembrance service or anything. I, most likely, would not have gone to a service. But the fact that there wasn't even a moment of silence. It felt weird. I feel like 9/11 is becoming a part of history, but it still feels so real. I don't understand when it went from being an anniversary that everyone talked about to something that no one mentioned. It's kind of scary how national tragedy became just a part of history.

THE ELECTION! We believe in Barack Obama and his multidimensional chess! I cannot even imagine having that smirking twit of a Mitt as president this past year - the world would be a horrible, twisted place and we'd be at war in BOTH Syria and Libya, but instead? No, it's not perfect - but I took my boys to the Inauguration and we sat at the bleachers at the White House and saw the President and Michelle, Joe and Doctor Jill, and got to be a part of the crowd on Capitol Hill and it was a perfect, brilliant day.

The Newton shootings. I was so upset, and very scared. But, now that I think about it, I really didn't do anything active in response. That sucks.

There are several. The shooting in Newtown, Connecticut forced me to reexamine the gun culture in this country. I don't think I'm the only one. I remember that for at least a month after the shooting occurred, there were headlines in all the major publications I read about guns, gun violence, and gun control. Since then, there has been slow, but continuous coverage of the gun debate and gun culture. Before the shooting, I knew that shootings were a problem, but I don't think I knew the full extent. There were also several events related to rape and violence against women. The Steubenville rape, the gang-rapes in India followed by the mass protest, the murder committed by Oscar Pistorious. These occurred later in the year, once I was already more aware of rape culture and inklings of sexism in our society. There's actually so much that happened in the past year that I was actively aware about. It was really cool to be able to participate in the 2012 presidential election. Jordan and I tuned into all of the debates. I became really passionate about people exercising their right to vote. And of course, there was the special session in the Texas Legislature. Watching Wendy Davis's filibuster on the final night of the first special session is hopefully something I will always remember. Her strength and commitment are incredible and I think she inspired so many young - and old - women. It was intense to watch as the crowds screamed so loud that they were unable to take a vote. It was very eye-opening to be aware of all the stuff related to women's health and reproductive rights. The debate over whether religious organizations should be required to cover birth control is ridiculous to me. I don't think we are approaching sexual education and pregnancy and STD prevention in a positive and effective way.

I am very saddened by all the shootings that just continue one after another & my Congress cannot manage to get their heads out of their butts and pass any sort of gun legislation. Just TODAY, another one at the Navy yard in Washington DC. 12 people dead + the shooter. What the heck? It was a glock & rapid fire rifle once again. And some state was just in the news for passing laws to allow blind people to buy a gun. Most of our shootings have been mentally ill people who I believe are not getting the care they need. We also had the Boston bombings, which was terrorist-related. Secondly, the Treyvon Martin shooting and subsequent release of Zimmerman with no charges saddened me as well.

The economics of today, been working very hard to get a job and finally with reports of things getting better, we have both found jobs that have promising growth.

Hurricane Sandy. Yes, it was local but there are still problems and almost a year later some people still don't have electricity. It also points to a larger trend in weather, like that terrible tornado in the middle that was something like a mile wide.

Terrorists explode bombs at the Boston Marathon. There are people in this country who wish us harm. It's not a time to relax our vigilance.

The possible, upcoming war in Syria. this is all still very new but it has really opened my eyes to what sort of politics I follow and believe in.

There are so many things happening all the time, and I don't remember a specific event this year--not like 9/11 or major crimes in the news or political events. What's on my mind at the moment is trivial but recent--the Miley Cyrus stupidity.

Same sex marriage is back in CA and more possible around the country thanks to Obama. Having worked on this for 5 + year very intently, it has been huge. Progress is possible. The work has paid off. Relief, joy, excitement for others who now will have access. And, maybe now it is time for me to focus on another area.

I'm not sure it was only one event but many things over the last year or so have devastated my trust in our government. I thought President Obama would be different, I really did. I thought he would get us out of Iraq and Afghanastan. He says he did but we still have soldiers there. I thought he would close Guantanamo but he didn't. I thought he would end our crazy war on drugs but he only escalated it. The feds even storm the homes of medical marijuana patients! I thought he would be good to immigrants but he's deported more people than the last three or four President's combined. I thought he would be an environmentalist but he's allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built right over the Oglala aquifer. I thought he would hold big financial institutions responsible for fucking over the whole world but not only did he not do so he lets them run the exact same way they did before. I thought he would institute universal health care but he just gave away everything to the big insurance companies. I thought he would institute some reasonable gun control but he didn't do a damned thing and there was another mass shooting just today. I never ever thought he would start a new war and just last week he was on television trying to talk us into a war in Syria. Now I think, if Obama can't do this- if Obama can't actually represent the people- if Obama can't actually represent what is best for us- no one can. No one will. If Obama isn't honorable then no one will be. We are well and truly fucked. Before I thought that there were good democrats, that all we had to do was convince the rednecks and religious freaks to quit voting republican and we could be ok. Before I thought we could be redeemed. Before I thought we could be saved. Before I thought there was hope. Now I know there is none. We are a corporate slave state. We exist only to make money for the richest. Our government is as morally bankrupt as the rest of the world thinks it is. There is no hope for us.

Something that was a pretty big deal was when there was the shooting at the Clackamas Town Center back around Christmas. I wasn't really a *big* event, maybe not even a world event, but I was in Oregon, a place I thought was relatively untouched by this sort of thing in comparison with Chicago, and yet, a news story about a crazy gunman was on the news back home where my parents were. For the first time with one of these events, I had people worrying about me around the country. It was strange. I realized that this big scary news stories actually *could* involve me. And I could be a nobody in them. Not dead, not a hero, just a nameless lucky survivor. At the same time, people here handled themselves so well, so differently from what I was used to in Chicago. Strange, considering that Chicagoans are used to that sort of thing. You would think they'd be more prepared! It taught me that not being willing to let someone take you down or hurt others - even if it means your life - can be strangely so much more worth it than saving yourself at any cost. So long as one isn't the thickheaded wannabe hero type, at least

Unfortunately I feel like I have been so disconnected from the rest of the world. I guess how tragedies occur but yet the world just keeps on moving. Its slightly eye opening to notice all the things that have occurred but yet life goes on. It placed an impact on me about how things need to leave a lasting impact on me but can't hold me back

Hurricane Sandy. It was surreal to live the hurricane experience again, but this time, there was something I could actually do to rebuild. It was empowering to raise money and bring friends along to help in the rebuilding efforts. I still feel terrible I only went once, it was similar to how I feel people were with Katrina-- doing something at first and then forgetting. It's hard to integrate service into your daily life with all your other distractions.

Nothing really prompted me to action this year, but the Boston Marathon bombings left me shell shocked. Closer to home, the floods here in Calgary really helped restore a lot of faith in people - just seeing how Calgarians and Canadians in general stepped up to help out others was really inspiring and heart-warming.

The outcome of the Zimmerman trial was so sad. No one was held accountable for the wrongful murder of a child. It was a painful reminder of how unequal the law is administered and how racism still pervades our legal system and belief system. It was also a reminder of how divided black America and white America is because black people in America were waiting to hear the verdict and took to the streets. White people weren't paying much attention and when we heard that people were in the streets we were told they were rioting and to stay away. I'm ashamed to say that I did stay away but soon found out that all the demonstrations were peaceful. I should have been running towards the demonstrations, not away, and I'm ashamed of that. Am working on getting a grant to continue the discussion of race and law enforcement.

All the death in Dorchester which i think isn't the "world" but showing how little of the world i have been involved in. Specifically the one lil girl who was beat up by her peers in the community and the one who was unintentionally beat up before her and lost her baby for having the same name.

Oh, the shooting at New Town, CT. I had to go to teach kindergarteners that day and it just felt so horribly close to home. It seemed like the darkest, most in humane, sickening crime. I felt for the parents and the lost lives of the children. I have never been so physically effected by something that did not happen to me. It was a tragedy beyond compare.

The Black Rhino officially listed as extinct. Way to go 7 billion people of Earth, way to go.

I'm not sure that there is any one event that impacted me. What I am becoming increasingly aware of is the disparity between the wealthy and powerful and the rest of us. The world's resources are being controlled by fewer and fewer powerful people/groups. I find this to be frightening and enraging. I am feeling impotent right now, but want to figure out something that I can do to make a difference.

Honestly, there isnt really an event in the world that has impacted me really. Thsi year I was very disconnected from politics or even the media. Its been years since I have had real TV, but this year was even more off the grid for me so to speak. As usual, environemtal issues are a great concern to me and are the reason I remain a vegetarian, but other than that, nada. this makes me both happy and ashamed. Happy because I have given myself the space and choice to intake the kind of media that I want, ie, I have taken care of myself, but I am ashamed because I have not been able to stay aware of what has been happening to the world and play my role as a global citizen.

There's no one event, it's just the realisation that no matter what is going on in life, the lens you're looking through determines how you see it and how it affects you. If you haven't got a happy lens to use to cloud your view, you realise the world is full of stunning beauty, but the moments of ugliness and evil far outweigh and overwhelm the beauty. If you don't see that, it's probably because things are going well for you right now.

So many choices! climate change and global warming are evident as I have lived in the same place for 30 years. The bee population reduction is notable. The logging in Oregon continues to be a battle to save trees. The introduction of GMO food into the food chain. Poverty, I see it every day at my job. The internet and instant communications has so changed how politics and human rights has moved. It all seems to move so fast!

There have been countless murders in Oakland this past year. The disproportionate majority of the victims were young men of color. The insidious institutionalized racism that results in few opportunities, high levels of violence and incarceration for so many of these young men is frequently on my mind. And is reminding me how important it is to do my part by checking my own biases, using my voice where I can and by looking young men of color in the eye and acknowledging them as equals whenever I can.

Newtown CT shootings. As a teacher in a community of teachers, the senslessness of this tradegdy hit close to the heart. I can't believe this wasn't enough to reform gun laws. I can't fathom someone thinking their gun was more important than our children.

The Boston Marathon bombing was horrific and I felt like it was happening in my back yard. I felt oddly connected to every update, constantly checking different news sources on my phone when the man hunt was taking place. It rattled me to the bone. Not only because my family is there but I was flailing around in my own (so very minor) suffering from my car accident and felt out of control from that. The bombing was an extension of that feeling of unpredictability and powerlessness.