Q04

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

We are so saddened by the refugee crisis. I'm not yet sure how we will take action. Losing Maddy in Santa Cruz was extremely devastating to us as a community. I have never been so close to a murder/kidnapping situation and it scared the shit out of me. I'm still so sad for her family so angry at her killer, and left wondering... WTF!!!

*has a bad memory and can't remember specifics* Well, the continued violence against the Black community has been frustrating and depressing as hell. I was hoping more would change after the Ferguson protests, but I guess not. We just have to keep fighting, right? Also this Kim Davis thing is BULLSHIT and it's super upsetting that she still gets so much support. Doesn't really make one feel too safe/supported by the states, you know? Then again, she did get put in jail for a bit, so that's good.

As is surely the case for many others, I've been riveted by the mass migration of people from Syria, Africa and Asia to Europe. It's caused me to reflect on my blessings as an American citizen, and also think more deeply about my responsibilities as a global citizen. As an African-American, the Black Lives Matter movement has also had an effect on me. The news coverage of this movement has opened my eyes to some of the gross injustices that remain all too common, many decades after the civil rights movement affirmed our right to life and liberty.

The new regulations in New York State that came in December 2014 that changed transgender health care coverage for both private and public plans were immensely important to me. They impacted me in that any insurance that I get through New York State is required to cover my transgender care. It impacted me because I worked with the folks who pushed to make bans illegal, and I collected evidence that was submitted to the Department of Financial Services. I am still working with these groups and I hope to be available when the next wave of changes occur that push for compliance with the policy (both commercial and medicaid plans). This is a local victory, however, I feel like other states nationally are taking notice and making similar changes (like Nevada? WTF?) I can only hope that the HHS regulations that may protect transgender and queer folks passes, because that would a tremendous victory for transgender care nationally. The same-sex marriage supreme court ruling and my friends reactions to it really defined how I thought about my radical queer politics and how my friends fit (or don't) within my experience and political ideology. I am so grateful that Karalyn feels similarly. In the world, I was greatly moved by the Nepali earthquake, as Sweta was suffering a great deal. I saw her vulnerabilities and it forced me to reflect on my experiences with potentially losing loved ones in a natural disaster. I recognize that it is a completely different scenario between Nepal and the US, where the US would receive tremendous amounts of AID and Nepal's aid would recede after the story became no longer news worthy. Global AIDS Policy class: I finally began to understand the narratives of those who struggled to get essential HIV medications and social services both domestically and abroad. I am so grateful to my experience with Richard Parker - I hope to aspire to his level of speciality and global presence. This course was truly eye opening.

The ongoing attack of women in this world continues to enrage and sadden me. I hope I will be able to combat these attacks with all my resources in a manner that helps us all.

The Black Lives Matter movement has made me want to get more involved in the community and put my values into action in more meaningful ways. I live in a bubble and don't interact regularly with people who aren't like me. I want to change that.

Violence in the world. We love our guns so much. The change in attitude toward police is troubling. Violence toward black men, assassinations of officers, feels like a feud heating up.

I can't think of anything really. The mets being awesome is great, lots of mets fans loving life right now

The 7 children being burnt in that family fire. My uncle dying of cancer. I realize that every time my husband walks out the door or my children go to school or that I walk on the street, we may not see each other ever again. I am conscious of death every single day, and it has made me calmer. I realize that every day is a treasure, that I should value the time while I have it, and that it really doesn't matter if I finish cleaning the house or not.

I am watching the presidential campaign with interest and trepidation. It is hard to imagine how it will all turn out. I hope that whoever is our next president will be up to the job and will share many of my values.

The wonderful outpouring of love for the refugees and migrants trying to improve their lives and those of their children has given me hope that the global community is coming closer together.

I'm not really sure--perhaps it is more a sense of clarity about my country's place in the regional geopolitics...?

I didn't like this question last year, and I don't like it now. Everything in the world impacts me, and nothing does. I am moved to hear about atrocities and great acts of benevolence that take place every day, but the things that impact me the most exist within my sphere. The smile of my daughter. A soulful kiss. Words of gratitude from a client. Any moment when I am no longer aware of my body, or time. Why? Because these are the events that make me aware of god's presence in my life.

The ongoing debates regarding women's rights is front and center in my life. Well, that and the crisis of water. Oh, and the radical religious right (which frightens me as much as radical Islam.) I grew up under the thumb of a power hungry misogynist (aka my father.) I cannot imagine going back to that - no voice, no choice, no life. We need access to birth control, and education and equal pay. I cannot believe these are STILL issues.

The Iran Deal has been something that has stressed to me the importance of staying politically aware and knowing what's happening internationally and domestically and figuring out how it affects Israel.

The success of Donald Trump's political campaign has horrified me. He is such a baffoon; he is so disrespectful to people in general and to women in particular and it seems that the political system has not squashed his behavior, but has instead supported it. The presidential election is becoming a "reality" TV show. I feel terribly discouraged and disenfranchised.

It feels like a stretch to say it directly impacted me, but it was incredible to see the Supreme Court uphold same-sex marriage in the United States. This truly felt like being a part of history and while the laws didn't affect me directly, I know people who have been affected by them and it felt like a move in the right direction for a country that so often gets it wrong. The joy that permeated the city in the wake of the decision was contagious, and feeling like those around me are more free is a liberating experience for me too. I can only hope that this country will continue to grow in its acceptance of those who have been deemed outside the "norm" and that it encourages more individuals to open their minds and show kindness where they haven't before.

Thinking about Black Lives Matter and my place in that dynamic.

Flight of Syrian refugees, I want to help by maybe hosting a refugee family for a short term, maybe 6 months. This would be great for me to get me out of my own small world, and maybe help others too.

The refugee crisis, and particularly the European nations' handling of it, makes me fucking furious. We have so much, we are so complacent, and yet we do everything in our power to ignore and alienate those who would be our friends. Injustice lives on, allright.

The deaths that lead up to the Black Lives Matter campaign. It is hard to accept that such racism still exists and we are all responsible to change this situation.

Poopy died.

The refugee crisis has profoundly impacted me this year. I guess we were refugees in our family and of course our ancestors. We say we wish people had done more during the Shoah, well, WE need to do more! I want to help. I am not sure how but I want to.

So many terrible things are happening in the world and sometimes it seems to me like the end of days. Things have never been this terrible and surely we are falling into crisis. And yet somehow everyone just keeps on going with their everyday lives, while these catastrophic things take place. The refugee crisis seems to be a symptom of this apocalyptic feeling that I have, and this sense that disaster is looming. Climate change is at the root of this,a and sometimes I feel such despair about our future. Sometimes I feel relieved that I don't have children who will suffer whatever terrible fate awaits humanity. Climate change is happening now, and the worst refugee crisis in history is just a drop in the ocean compared to what is coming. And still, this issue is ignored by the media and politicians. How can they be so blind and so stupid? I feel powerless and full of dread for the future.

The emergence of ISIS / ISIL / Islamic State / DEASH confirms everybody's darkest about the regressive cruelty latent in the Mideast region. Theologically and socially primitive fundamentalists who operate with technological nimbleness and nihilisitic abandon -- is this the default state of the modern Middle East? What has led to this appalling confrontation between modernity and the Islamic faith? Where can Israel go to avert further deterioration? What leaders or ideas can we turn to if we are to avoid the spread of this horrific phenomenon?

Deteriorating economy with consequences for the rand making travel to family in the forseeable future vey difficult

The SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage was awesome. Society truly is changing, and someday soon, there won't be a difference between same sex and opposite sex couples. I already feel completely comfortable in Durham publicly displaying affection for Desiree, and soon enough, I'll feel comfortable with that everywhere. Awesome. I'm excited for the potential opportunity to get married, and be able to reap the financial and end-of-life-care, etc benefits of that.

Seeing the way people are treated, particularly women, in other parts of the world has made me understand the need to be more supportive of women everywhere.

Probably the destruction in Syria and the refugees that have been displaced and forced to many of their deaths by sea. All because our world is so completely incapable to unite and live peacefully together. I pray that these individuals and family's find sanctuary. It impacts me personally reminding me how lucky I am personally I not have to be in that situation.

The police violence directed against black men, usually unarmed, has troubled me. I have colleagues in the Ferguson area and cannot imagine having to warn my children about interactions with police officers. The idea that the violence relates to our inexplicable American fascination with firearms deepens my sorrow, as does the boiling over of simmering racism in this deadly way. The only positive is the opportunity to talk openly about race at a time when our first acknowledged bi-racial President faces unprecedented opposition for everything he does, even for proposals first enacted successfully by that same opposition. The importance of ministry in this hurting country--and in a world where millions of refugees are attempting to escape devastation of war in Syria and elsewhere--continually makes itself known to me. We all have work to do.

Although an on-going drought is not a single day-long event or occurrence, it is an event when looking at a historic timeline. Our drought in California has affected me in the following ways: - I place a bucket in the shower to dump extra water on the backyard meadow - I take a “Navy shower” always (turn off water while applying soap and shampoo) - Running full dishwasher more and doing less wasteful hand-washing - More attention is being placed on recharging underground aquifers and planning for better water retention which are the correct moves for LA - Local landscape is changing to be more desert-like – also a good thing for LA.

Less 'an event' and more my awareness of world events was expanded - I subscribed to Humans of New York and Al Jazeera on Facebook. Seeing those posts every day has really illuminated the world for me.

The drought has further staled Dave on us moving to LA. I want to so desperately sometimes that I think I'll never be happy in NYC until I at least try. So the effect is big.

I haven't been outwardly focused this year, there's been so much to do trying to get F settled and into a school. The Syrian exodus has impacted me though. I get weary about how hard things are for us with F, but then I realize the unreal blessings we have just being safe and whole. Our kids are safe, our daughter is free, our son is going to be okay. I feel like I have to work hard for F, but in comparison, it's nothing.

Shell going to drill in the arctic (even though they gave up) strengthened my resolve to personally divest from fossil fuels and aim to live car free in the near future. I see this as a new adventure, a new chapter in my Life story. How will it end? Nobody knows.

The event that most shaped the world this year is the enormous refugee crisis in the Middle East and the forthcoming xenophobia in Europe. Also the Greek Corruption Crisis will have a lot of impact on us for the coming years.

The growing inequality that has trickled through all of American life is increasingly untenable. I am still trying to understand how we change. Truly change. We can't continue to economically oppress and claim we are the land of the free.

The two fronts of same-sex marriage and immigration reform continue to have an outsized pull on me and Misael. It was thrilling to have the supreme court affirm the validity of our marriage throughout the whole country, and yet there are multiple people running for the GOP nomination who talk about immigrants and Mexicans in particular as if they're a plague. Two steps forward, and one step back...

The day that LGBTQ marriage was legalized was thrilling, exhilarating, devastating for me. It was thrilling because I felt justice had triumphed; that equality - in that measure, at least - was achieved. I was devastated to feel so severed from the professional advocacy community that had developed: a community that I played some small role in fostering. It was sad, after years of helping the movement, to not be wholly a part of the movement anymore.

Marriage equality happened this June. It impacted me because it changes the conversation overnight about my future, my family, and my heart. It's amazing what a little bit of equal rights can do to your spirit and identity.

There are a few events that come to mind. This past year was full of situations where young black men were brutalized in a variety of ways by police - it really took me back to my history books in terms of racial impact and anger. Some of the stories just blew me away. Somehow, it all helps me really focus on having an impact education. If there are ways to empower communities and simultaneous help people understand one another better, education is the way to do it. I hope we can get there. The second area is at the top of the headlines right now - the mass refugee migration from Syria to Europe. People are in such desperate situations, they are risking their lives on a glimmer of hope. There was a terrifying picture of a 3-year-old washed up on a beach (his family was trying to escape the terror of home), and I nearly made myself sick looking at it. All I could see was Sohan...

The environmental crisis ~ fear for the future, the inability to feel as though I can do anything. The racial tension in the US. Somehow it feels staged in order to create divide, although of course the divide exists.

One of the bigger events for me this year was the Supreme Court decision to make marriage equality the law throughout the nation. That, in conjunction with my best friend getting married to his husband, just filled me with such joy. The thought of people being treated as second class citizens for any reason - orientation, gender, race, is really upsetting to me, so it's great to see such progress.

Chuy Garcia's campaign for mayor. It got me involved in local politics for the first time in my life. Very involved! Also the black lives matter movement. I'm excited that conversations about race are becoming more a part of my everyday life. And, I hope, something that will start to lead to some significant social changes!

Provincial and Federal elections in Alberta/Canada have made me aware of how politics actually operate in Canada, how candidates and governments can affect me, how I will still be able to make my life work despite who is in power, and exactly how many people blame all their damned problems on external sources. A government can make it more difficult for you to find a job in your chosen industry, yes, but they cannot take away your entire ability to get work. Get off the couch and swallow your pride, and find yourself something to do. Opportunities are out there waiting for people with the ambition and resourcefulness to take them, and I will always be one of those people. Always.

It's a toss up between the election of Pope Francis and the fires in California. Pope Francis has given me hope. The fires in California fill me with despair.

There are a lot of events that affected me in this past year. All of the other years I didn't know what to write for this question, because I am not very interested in politics or something like that. But there is a difference to now: I can't look away, I tried, but it did not worked. There are problems all over the world, everywhere is war or something like war; there is no trust in the world, no friendship nothing; everyone conspires. It's like Game of Thrones, but in real. In Germany there is a "problem" with refugees, but nobody get that the problem is the war in their home. I hope that anybody will fix it fastly, because I have a huge fear, that soon something will happen. Something like an atom world war or assassinations and I don't want to be here, when (not if) this happens... Hoping that it will be better - somehow.

The current crop of presidential candidates!! None of them appeal to me. I am politically homeless.

The Freddie Gray shooting was a big deal for me mainly because of living in Baltimore, having students who are impacted and involved, and again witnessing the unfair treatment of individuals. Seeing the way the city reacted was a big disappointment. However, seeing the way people banned together to clean up and help was amazing. You forget about the good people bc you only hear about the bad.

I don't really follow the news that much mainly because it's all negative and makes me feel sad. The Syrian crisis and all the asylum seekers coming to Finland has definitely given me mixed feelings. Also, the growing racism in Finland has made me quite sad. Can't we all just get along?

I was involved in a minor car accident, it was not my fault, I was driving and an old woman ran a red light and hit me. I also witnessed a co-worker's fatal car accident while driving to work. This and one other accident that occurred while I was driving home from a visit, have had a very strange impact on my thinking. I have become the host of unwanted thoughts while driving. I feel like I will suddenly turn the steering wheel and drive into oncoming traffic. This is very frightening for me. I have spoken with others about this and have researched online, and it is a fairly common obsessive thought, kind of a form of anxiety. I get that it is only a thought and has no real power, but it still scares me and I work hard at finding distractions while I drive now.

war in syria, israel etc. imigrants trying to find refuge in countries who turn them away. it's sad and i think the world should start taking responsibility for their actions and learn to respect their fellow men.

Nothing this year was significant, at least in the sense to affect me in any way... At least not emotionally, I guess... I think?

The pope Boehner Va failings Crime racism misogyny It can be hard to have hope teach my daughter. But there is some

The persecution and murders of Christians by ISIS has made me reflect on the heroics of many Christians who sheltered Jews during the Holocaust. It's so easy to ask, why didn't more people speak up and become active about saving Jews, but I wonder how brave I would actually in the face of such evil.

Environment toxicity in all its forms has been up front and center in my life the past year. My sister has taken more of an activist role with various causes and I am trying to support her. At the same time, I wonder how much of an impact any one person can have on problems and/or “conspiracies” that are so broad and pervasive. I have less optimism about the future for the younger generations and worry about the impact of these things on their quality of life; yet feel helpless to change the course of things.

I decided a few years ago to stop letting world events impact me, mainly because that impact is almost always negative and yet there's almost nothing I can usually do to help. With very few exceptions I believe small events have bigger impacts on my day-to-say than "world events" and I channel my energy and attention accordingly.

Climate change; Black-lives matter/racism; ever-widening economic injustice; eviscerated democracy; global, never ending wars. I am emotionally depleted and degraded by the very real crises we face, and our failure to address them with the urgency they demand.

Snowmagedden! The T shut down. Work shut down. I lost a lot of money this winter, but at least I got free health care out of it. Score MassHealth.

It seems like so much has happened -- droughts and wildfires in the normally soggy Northwest portion of the U.S.; Russia usurping parts of Ukraine; the flood of Republican presidential candidates for 2016; the hordes of refugees or migrants from the Middle East coming into Europe; Obama finally getting some cajones. I don't feel like any of these events has affected me directly, but just reminds me how lucky I am in so many ways.

Wow! How insulated am I? I watch the news, and follow world events, but can't really think of anything which has had a significant impact on me personally. To answer in a tongue in cheek way, the pope's recent visit to Philadelphia was the impetus for a trip to Sedona with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and my husband's cousin and his wife (the first 2 of these were trying to escape Philly while the pope was there). The trip was wonderful, beautiful, exciting, and warm with family bonding. I guess I have the pope's visit to thank for that.

Donald Trump running for president has kind of impacted me this year because people are actually supporting him and backing the things that he says. It's kind of scary and unsettling to find out that there are actually a lot of people out there that think the way he thinks. Makes me think that maybe we have a lot of work to do in terms of changing people's point of views.

Though I am not gay, I'm amazed and happy that the Supreme Court voted yes for gay marriage. Also, I fear the Christian Right like never before. They scare the bejesus (no pun) out of me. The mass of humanity that is the Syrian migration has also impacted me. They are lost souls without a country, but Hungary, for one, has brutalized them. I think Hungarians were the best Nazi kapos in the camps.

I've become much more aware of systemic racism in the last year. It's always been there, of course, but "events in the world" have helped important conversations among clueless well-intentioned white folks like me finally get off the ground. It's very silly that "straight white male" is our culture's default definition of "human," but there you have it. I need to find ways to take more concrete actions to fight racism, since all I've done so far are educate myself, share things online, and have a few conversations. I suppose that's not nothing.

I've always been pretty pessimistic when it comes to our government; I felt as though our system was so irreparably corrupt that no positive change could really happen unless we overturned the whole thing French Revolution style. While I still think that we are in dire need of a revolution, I have been very pleasantly surprised by the Bernie Sanders campaign. The fact that there is a presidential candidate who is so passionately committed to uprooting our whole infrastructure has given me a lot of hope for our country. What is even more exciting is the fact that SO many people are so enthusiastic about supporting him. It feels as though the revolution is already starting, and we do not have to use violence to achieve the things we want. I used to want to get the hell out of this country as soon as possible and move to Europe. I still want to end up there eventually, but now I feel a sense of duty to stay here and contribute to the changes that need to happen here. It is a very scary but exciting time.

There hasn't been a world event that has impacted me as in previous years...but I confess I can hardly watch the images of the thousands of desperate refugees trying to flee Syria. It humbles me, that by accident of birth I am so lucky to live in a free country absent civil war and other conflict.

The shootings. So many shootings in the states, it is frightening to think that anywhere I go, I could accidentally be shot due to the easy availability of guns. Everyone can carry, and what is ridiculous...why? Are we all out to shoot each other. Our city streets, neighborhoods, movie theaters, convenience stores, schools are not safe. How are we to bring up children in a safe zone, if guns are all over the place? America is in a war zone. The reporters, more precisely the reporter and her camera man that were shot down while interviewing a person "live". It's crazy here, we are not at war, and yet we saw innocent people doing their jobs shot and it televised that quickly. It is a shame that our government chooses not to intervene and stop the great hold the NRA has on this country. So many are brainwashed. Yes,it does say in our constitution that we have the right to bear arms against one who is trying to take over our land, our country. It was written during a time of a young nation grasping, fighting, yearning for freedom from an unfair government. It was necessary at the time to bear arms. Today we are a free nation, we should not be bearing arms against one another, for just the sport of it or because of the availability of these weapons.

As stupid as it sounds, Robin Williams death affected me deeply. For someone who brought so much joy and laughter to the world, the sorrow of the world and what was inside his own head was too much for him. I grew up with him. He felt like a part of my family. The 14th anniversary of 9/11 and having to see all the pictures and news reports all over again were awful. I didn't forget or was able to erase those images from my brain in 14 years and did not need to see them all over again.

I feel like I've lived in a haze this year. Unlike last year when the world started getting noisy again, this year just seems more business as usual. Syria is at war and Europe is dealing with a 'flood of migrants' whom nobody wants. I watched, ashamed, the anti-female politics within Australia. Thankfully the Australian PM was toppled and now there is a real Minster for Women. I continue to be more aware of feminism and the need to continue to challenge the status quo. I read more feminist writing, follow more feminist journalists, and try to be empowering with the women around me at work. I could and should do more.

I feel silly saying this because it hasn't really impacted me personally to any serious degree, but living in Istanbul and seeing all the Syrian refugees has called into question many of the conflicting conclusions I have drawn concerning this part of the world. I am tempted to look at the shit show that is the middle east and think you fuckers and your religion deserve the hell you create... but then I see a child on the street, a father, a mother and I realize that there are real human casualties of this crisis and some of them are right outside my door.

There were three events which really affected me - all related to target killing. The killing of children in APS students and I have never been that hopeless. The killing of Sabeen Mahmud who I thought was a very brave, smart and creative asset to our society. The attack on Ismaili bus which was very hurtful but I was astonished by people's patience, discipline, peaceful attitude and sheer faith. It brought the hope back. But then world over the Syrian refugee crisis has not been on optimistic side. I guess, we need to earn our respect back by respecting the human civilization of how powerful it can be in good ways but also ruthless ways. We need discipline, hope, love and respect.

There have been so many shootings--of young black men, of children, of churchgoers, of moviegoers. It feels terrifying to raise children in this world where you can do everything right and still lose them in an instant. How to explain such hate to them? How to keep that hate out of their hearts?

I felt, saw, and smelled the impact of the fires in the western United States and Canada from my home in the midwest. It was another opportunity to look through the lens of love and not the lens of fear. I began to act even more responsibly around using resources as a way of feeling like I could do something on behalf of the planet, Earth. It's time to honor Earth and all the life forms she supports and I know I can't do anything on a global scale, but I can be impeccable in thought, word, and deed.

The Mamasapano case, corruption issues in the PH government, and the election issues. Well, being a Filipino, these issues were something worth pondering on, especially that it will affect the future condition of the country. And nowadays, information is easily accessible so there's no excuse to be oblivious about the social, political and economic issues. We should always be involved.

Technically, all of them. Nothing happens in a vacuum. But very much on my mind is the data leak from the OPM. Fingerprints, phone numbers, past jobs, family members...that's all in there. And while I keep hearing that the leak is bigger than they thought, I do NOT hear anything from OPM directly -- and I should.

All of the killings of unarmed citizens (primarily black and brown people) by police forces has been spiritually devastating to me and most of my friends and family.

In 2014, gay marriage was recognized and legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court after decades of struggle. Although I am not gay, the victory was important as symbolic one affirming that people should have the right to choose who they love. I have several close friends for whom this will change their day to day lives, and I'm very happy for that. But more broadly, it's a victory for relationships across all lines of difference, a move away from prescriptions and towards being able to be themselves and be supported. No one should have to live in a closet, for their sexuality or otherwise.

I'll never forget where I was when marriage equality became the law of the land. I'd woken up late while housesitting for the Perrows. I was going to be late to a meeting, & I was rushing around, being cranky with Mike... & there it was, in my inbox & on TV. I wanted to cry, to SOB, but I didn't know Mike well enough yet to feel comfortable with it, so I kept a lot of that emotion to myself. When he fell asleep on the couch, though, & I watched coverage of the news - interspersed with news of the shooting in Charleston, S.C., including President Obama's painful address - I cried in silence, both in happiness & in sorrow.

I guess the up-coming election. It's a slight fear that an angry republican could take office and my life would be turned upside down more so.

Oh dear. Well, right now is insane. The Republican national debates are going on and it's an absolute shit show. The fact that Donald Trump could not only win the nomination, but then actually be our president is so horrifying. His treatment of women alone makes me believe that he shouldn't be able to get AT LEAST half the votes in America, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I'm not thrilled with our choices either, but it'll be interesting how this Hillary, Bernie, Biden thing plays out. On the other hand, the Supreme Court finally voted and it's official. Marriage is legal. For everyone. Hallelujah.

The Refugee Crisis. It makes me so sad and angry that we live in a world where some people have so much(some too much!) and others have nothing. I don't understand why inequality still exists and why people have no compassion for those in need and refuse to help them. We are all human and are all deserving of a good life on this earth.

All the random shootings in public places has really freaked me out! It's made me realize that it could happen at any time to any one and each day is a gift from God!!

I'm most struck by the fact that I couldn't think of a world event that has influenced me this year. The Syrian crisis has not moved me as much as I feel like it's "supposed" to, and if I have to brainstorm for several days, then it would be disingenuous to say that I've been influenced by any particular event this year.

Certainly, the rise of ISIS has been a significant concern. The level of brutality coupled with their crazed pursuit of their goals has made the USA and, all of us (me) look very weak in comparison. We as a nation are scared of this threat. It's effect on me, I think, is to look a little more closely at my life and how I am living it. It all goes back to authenticity: is my life "real", am I living it truthfully? This drives me back to practice, to spirituality, to deepening my practice.

On major event was traveling to India and having an amazing international collaboration there. It made me a better artist and helped me find my voice as an international collaborator. It also confirmed for me that I am gaining cultural competency. This makes me very happy.

Global anti-Semitism. I have come to the realization that I grew up among a strange set of circumstances that may have made my formative years the best time ever in the world to be Jewish. It was just long enough after the Holocaust that Jews had picked up many of the shattered pieces lost during that terrible event, and not so long that the Europeans had stopped feeling guilty about it. So for a while, being a Jew was not so terrible. Sure there were the occasional PLO terrorist acts, but they were not "excused away" by bs about how they were "justified." We have turned a corner. There is no longer any shame in the West about "anti-Israel"-ism as thinly masked anti-Semitism. There is no longer any backlash against those who excuse tunneling into kindergartens to kill children, or equate it with targeting the site of a non-targeted missile launch. In Europe, the left and the right have essentially joined forces with regard to their policies on Jews and Israel, and in America, for the first time ever, support of Israel has become a partisan issue. My children will not have the luxury that I did of being a proud and open Jew during my youth. On college campuses these days (even on the most highly selective Universities) one needs to be careful if one is a Jew, and even more careful if one would refute the lies told by the bigots. It is sad for me that I worry about whether there is a viable future for my grandchildren in the country that took in my father and his family as they fled persecution in Iraq. All I know is, our passports are current and there are 5 nonstops a day from JFK to TLV. For now.

The Ferguson shooting really jump-started my vigilance and awareness regarding police brutality and prejudices that exist within the system. Trayvon Martin had cocked the gun (pardon the metaphor) and Michael Brown discharged it. The Iran deal and the resulting tumult in the American Jewish community, Charlie Hebdo, and the crisis in Syria also impacted me this year.

The refugee crisis in Europe has had an emotional impact on me that I wasn't expecting. Because I lived in Germany so recently, I've been paying close attention to all of the news stories about the conflicts nations are facing about keeping their borders open in the face of the huge stream of refugees from Syria. Recently, I received an e-mail from a listserv I'm still a member of, asking people to come help at an emergency refugee center in Potsdam, where I used to live. I feel a very personal connection to and horror at the intense journeys and risks these people must make, and I also feel empathy for the people in Europe who are struggling to balance compassion and concern in the face this sudden, intense stress on social service systems. I feel like a whole lot of people are affected by this issue, and are having to take stunning risks and ask themselves difficult questions. Even though I am far away from it geographically, I feel a constant thrumming worry and sense of support for all of them.

I have been struck by the increased level of violence in the world, from groups like ISIS and Boko Haram. It scares me, and I don't understand how a civilized society can allow organized evil to flourish. I also continue to be concerned about increased gun violence, especially in the U.S.

ISIS is insane... Radical people are insane....

The Syrian crisis has struck me in a way I didn't think possible. The images of small children and men and women washing ashore--wet, emaciated, and often times dead, for search of a better life has shown me that we are far from peace in this world. I sometimes find myself wishing I could help...that I could teach or mend or heal these people. And I find myself questioning what it means that I can't do that.

The california wildfires. Close to home geographically and from a standpoint of being in similar jeopardy. I feel saddened by their loss while at the same time wondering if I would be similarly affected by loss of "property"/ I would hope not but I suspect that is not the truth.

The slew of black men being murdered in the street, usually by police, has affected me deeply. The Black Lives Matter hits home for me. Not only because I myself am black but also because a fear for my friends, brothers, father that I was able to hold at bay growing up has now taken a front and center place in the way I see and navigate the world. I fear to have children and especially sons. How do I bring beautiful black babies into this world when this country’s actions will just tell them that they don’t matter, that they’re second-class? How do I teach them that they need to be constantly vigilant of situations that would be harmless if they were white but may cost them their lives simply because of the color they were born? How do I face that pain as a mother of a slain black son? I don’t know if I can do that. I don’t know if I can have kids.

I became more aware of human trafficking. It has motivated me, depressed me, made me miserable. I am taking some action.

The Pope's visit to the US. It was neat to see him in action, on TV at least, and the support he's receiving from such diverse populations, gives us hope for peace.

I'm not sure how impacted I was by events in the world this year, which is a sign of how priviledged I am - I feel like I read about "events" in the news. Events of this past year that come to mind are the republican primary, the European refugee crisis, the Greek euro debacle, all of the police violence and racial shootings. And I read about them over dinner. I'm not sure if I should be more impacted, or if I should continue to just do the work I have chosen to do, which is more or less constant regardless of world events.

As I write this, the race for the 2016 presidential election has recently kicked off. The presence of Donald Trump and a large field of candidates seemingly trying to “out-trump trump” has put politics front and center. The republican field is full of rightwing nutbags spouting nonsense! Since Todd told me early in the summer that some people find me abrasive and stand-offish, I have been increasingly aware of how I interact with other and, specifically, how I express my opinions. But I have recently on a couple of occasions found myself drawn into political arguments with people with whom I would rather not argue. This has strained my resolution to be more diplomatic and less argumentative at a time when I would really like to be both!

The fucking news! It isn't news it's at best somewhat well meaning propaganda. at worst it's salacious gossip. It annoys. The world eats it and it shapes people's perspective in a way that I feel is not conducive to positivity. My solution is to not watch the news and to also poke fun at it.

The pope's trip to the US was very interesting to me. I had a stronger spiritual reaction to the news stories and speeches, and I felt more affinity for his message than I have felt in the past. As I also became a catholic godfather earlier this year, it seems like I may be growing and becoming more aware of my own spirituality and developing a different outlook. I am also thinking more seriously about going back to church more often.

Last year, I wrote about a group of 'crazy' Islamic fighters calling themselves the Jihadis. In 2014, they were just a terrifying shadow on the horizon. I couldn't believe that these things could happen on the same planet as me, in the same time. Surely beheadings were restricted to Henry VIII's England? Now I feel shocked at the naivety that allowed me to think that was all it would ever be. A year on, IS has infringed the borders of so many more countries and there have been terrorist attacks in just about every western country except the UK... A hold up of a shop in Sydney, the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, a massacre of tourists on a beach in Tunisia. It is all terrifyingly close to home, and I feel like I am only just starting to understand how real the threat is. A week after the Tunisia attack, I flew to Tenerife, a similar beach resort with Arabic influence. I was too scared to point out the similarities to anyone, but had a horrible feeling that that could have been me. The victims of terrorism are no longer faceless 'victims', but real actual people. I have always taken it for granted that because I live in one of the strongest and safest countries in the world, I am safe. That's just not true anymore, and sometimes I think it's only a matter of time until they attack London. They've already foiled multiple attempts. But then what's the point in thinking like that? What can we do but live our lives an keep going? I really don't know how or if this evil force can ever be stopped. And that is terrifying.

The massacre at the AME Emmanuel Church in S. Carolina last June shocked me out of my complacency and showed the world that racism is unfortunately alive and well in the US. The Supreme Court's ruling that marriage is a right shared by all people, no matter whom they love, was inspiring and uplifting. The exodus of refugees fleeing civil war in Syria and dying (some literally) to get to Europe was another wake-up call shocking me out of my belief that the world would "never again" show such callousness to the innocent.

The legalization of gay marriage impacted me. Although I'm straight, it made me realize that the world is slowly shying away from the traditional, rigid, and male-dominated rules that were given from centuries back. My parents and I are on opposite sides, though, but no surprise there. But I'm glad that America made it at least possible for gays to love and to be one freely.

The price of houses in California skyrocketed. Which helps with the sale of my house but makes it ridiculous to rent. I ended up moving in with my dad which was fine but the traffic drives me insane.

This is a difficult question I have thought about it all day and can not think of an answer . My life is s very small circle which spins around my family, career, marriage and my next chapter. After talking to Pat The comments on the view. It reinforced my pride of being a nurse. It was great to hear so many nice things about nurses. It showed my I am the kind of nurse I want to be

I don't know. It was crazy reading last 10Q. Ferguson was a year ago... and I feel like since then, only more injustices have surfaced. So many lives have been lost at the hands of racist individuals. When will we reach the tipping point when the rest of the world/country can no longer deny or overlook what is happening? #BlackLivesMatter

#Blacklivesmatter All the footage of questionable behavior by police, especially against minorities. It is making me face my white privilege more. Further more, thanks to Facebook, I get to see the fragility of white people when anyone points out that they are playing life in easy-mode.

I think the crisis of refugees recently has impacted me to think more globally about our world. I don't have the personal resources to do something, but I believe participating in discussions on the crisis and keeping updated through various news sources is a way I can at least help through being informed. It is scary that we have another global crisis (similar and different to the Shoah) and how the world still hasn't changed when allowing refugees escaping awful situations and allowing them entry into various countries. I just learned the other day we still have emigration quotas here in the United States. It baffles my mind that in 2015 this is still a problem.

There is so much war, death, killing, crime, hostility. Is there hope? Will there ever be peace? If I think about it too much I think that I would lose hope. I just keep going and hope for change. I don't know how to be change.

In my small world- I have watched many great women running businesses and i have supported them- this has mad me feel hopeful and powerful and capable of helping make change happen

I can't think of a "world" event to answer this question. What I did feel profoundly, and I know I have and will mention it many times in these questions, is that the loss of Cantor Randy had a huge impact on me. I felt so close to him and Marilyn. But he was just the greatest guy, in so many ways. I so enjoyed listening to him sing, and listening to him talk. He was a personality bigger than life. To have him taken away so young, is just tragic. This experience does make me take life more seriously, and to make a greater effort to enjoy everyday.

obviously we lead extremely interconnected lives, but honestly I cannot think of a work event that has impacted me personally this year. Certainly I follow world events and am aware that these events can and will cause ripples throughout the world, but they are very small ripples in my world. In that respect, I guess I am blessed, although I suppose this also speaks to how parochial my world was this year.

OMG, just about everything has left me feeling helpless to create the new world I sought as a younger person and pushed me to ascribe to evil in mankind. How unkind we are to others that are not part of our communities; how biased we can be to those who don't look like, act like, live like we think is best. How do people of power feel free to use force and armies and arms to quell others that they have no love for? And then to watch our election cycle get underway only to underscore the potential in a group to groupthrink in a mean, immature and greedy way while lauding our great country has demoralized me further

I've become more aware of climate change, as well as the quantity of our waste. It's made me consider the energy I use, and the waste I make.

No event in the world, but here in the United States. We have retirement funds and make an accounting each year, in order to plan our future. The stock market did well for us in the last year and enabled us to make a visit to loved ones and a vacation to Alaska. So we were physically able and financially able to make the trip. Also, my Grandson graduating from college and not able to find work. We hear that the country needs engineers and mathematicians, so what's happening? He's both. Scary.

I am embarrassed to say that it I cannot find an answer to this. Important things have happened - gay marriage was legalized! But does that affect me? No, not really. It makes my heart happy, but it doesn't change my day to day. I'm bothered by this question because it makes me realize that I have spent this entire year being self absorbed. But honestly, I needed it. Maybe I'll be more affected by the outside world this next year, but this year I needed to be worried about the inside.

There was a New York Times article " In Unit Stalked by Suicide, Veterans Try to Save One Another" . This story exposed, more than any other story, how broken our Veterans Administration has become, showing how, as Americans, we have reached bottom. It is imperative that suicide is no longer ignored. As a human being, I, and everyone, MUST, begin helping veterans, and quit waiting on the Veterans Administration to get better. I am responsible for my part, and I must participate in a solution.

I cannot think of one event, it is just many events, and the shape the world is in. Things are continually going down hill. All the racial stuff and cops losing their rights and the Rebel flag being fought against really has ruffled my feathers personally. It just made me sick and tired of having to be "politically correct". Like someone said, white, straight, Christians have no rights anymore. I do know that certain things have to take place before the Bible is fulfilled and I believe the world getting in the shape it is in, is just part of that.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Yes, it started in 2014, but it's ongoing nature and unopposed state (everyone turning a blind eye) has me unsettled.

The spread of ISIS and the fact that young, intelligent people are joining their "cause" makes me ponder the state of humanity. How could anybody be drawn in to such an evil organization?!?! Isn't human life sacred? I just can't understand it and I fear that sometime in the not-so-distant future, we will see a negative and scary shift in our world. I see our president making excuses for evil and the passing of the Iran deal is just proof that he, along with many others in power, has lost all sense of what is right and just in the world. It's as if people have lost the ability to see evil and call it out.

I think that the fact that Donald Trump is the frontrunner in the Republican field is surreal. The setting up of scapegoats--Mexicans, Muslims, Planned Parenthood--is at once nauseating and scary. How can we possibly hope to see the real and necessary change that is so vital to our very survival if this is what motivates and moves people? I am scared and find this whole situation surreal.

Events in this world lately have made me sad . I hate war and strife , although it must be sometimes for some unfathomable reason . I hate that brave young soldiers are in such existential hopelessness that suicide seems the only option .I hate that babies are being ripped apart in the womb .I hate suicide bombers are blowing up innocent people that were just going shopping .I hate it that people can be so stupid and think only of themselves and how much money they can make , having no respect for young or old . At Pesach you say ,Next year in Jerusalem we will praise the Lord.Maybe next year will be better .Maybe we will find our Jerusalem of the soul.

The shooting in the Baptist church in Savannah, ISIS murders - the evil in the world when people do not have a relationship with God, the desperation and complete lack of hope is tragic and sad. While I don't want to stay in the pit of fear, worry about the future, I want to be realistic for our short term future here on earth especially as Christians to acknowledge that there will likely be suffering, abuse, torture, and I hope and pray that I live up to the will of God for me and face it all with His Grace, and also appreciate the time now where I still have freedom to worship Him, read His Bible, pray, enjoy life without persecution.

Turns out VW was lying about their diesel cars being low emission. I am asthmatic, so I take this personally. The Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, which means my sister can still buy health insurance and my mom won't be bankrupted by her medical bills, hurray! Also, while it does not impact me directly, I am super happy about SSM being legalized. Marriage is a great stabilizing force for society.

Governor Chris Christie veto'ing the bill to ban pig crates. It got me angry that politicians do things to win and the consequences are dire.

I wish the world impacted me more. Right now, the things that impacts me the most is the theft of stuff from my car last week. Yes, I miss my ipod. I'm frustrated over the loss of Ariella's wedding present (Jason's too!) That blanket from Tanzania was a perfect picnic blanket. But really? I'll bet when I read this in 2016, none of those things will have mattered. What irritates me is the intrusion--someone was under my house, in my car, my space, taking my stuff. It's just stuff. There are millions of refugees risking everything to find a better life, people of color who fear for their lives every time they cross paths with a cop, wildfires here in California reducing whole homes, full of cherished memories and mundane useful things, to dust. And I'm worried about my ipod. Really?

It's the 70th anniversary of bombing of Nagasaki- my grandfather was there a month after the bomb was dropped - I learned about that in letters written to his mom that surfaced this past year when we had his memorial service. Learning about my Grandpa in this way really helped- I didn't have any connection to him before this- and it's not like I have so much more of a connection now- but the memorial in fact brought together my mom and Aunt in a way that they hadn't been connected in a few decades. So an event that seemingly didn't have any personal meaning to me before reading (& knowing) about my grandpa being part of that period of time in history- has now brought a more personal meaning to something that I had no connection to before.

Syria refugee crisis... connecting in with what it is to be a refugee. All my ancestors were. And... a real longing for those who come here to be accepted... connecting with the words of my ancestors who were very afraid, as aliens in this country.

Planned Parenthood's exposure really shocked the world and my world as well. I see a world that doesn't want babies.......and with all the sacrifices and suffering involved, I don't blame them if I didn't see powers greater than myself in play: God, baby's rights, the good of the family, the love for my husband. It takes a lot to love a baby, love a child, even when it's the most inconvenient. It makes me more determined to give the best to my baby and to love him more.

The Syrian refugee crisis makes me so grateful for my life. Netanyahu's antics further revealed what a cancer Israel has grown into on the world and how I must support all BDS activities.

The events following Michael Brown and hatred across races and against police. It scares me and I hate to see it. All lives matter and it is time we adopt that instead of hatred for those in blue that defend our great nation. We need to grow up America, we need to stop playing victim, we need to stop blaming others for our mis-fortunes or circumstances, and most of all we need to stop taking everything so personally. Let people live and be who they are. If they are not directly hurting you, let them go with grace and love!

There have been so many senseless acts of terrorism and hatred this year. One that stands out is the German pilot who purposely crashed his plane into a mountain, killing everyone aboard. It is hard to understand how someone who was entrusted with the lives of passengers could commit an act like this in a pre-meditated way. Why was he compelled to take the lives of so many innocents to show that he had lost his way in the world? It was mainly an act intended to hurt the reputation of his employer, Lufthansa, which didn't give him the job he badly wanted. Such incredible selfishness and disregard for human life, reminds one that people are capable of sinking to tremendously low levels of inhumanity and that we must watch people closely who are entrusted with protecting the lives of others in their work.

The recent planned parenthood scandal coming in line with the republican debates has affected me by making me more aware of how against PP and women's choice so many candidates and people are. It is extremely scary to me and is very hard not to judge people that have this view

Rather than one event it is the increasing level of violence in the world. Wars, and individual violence at increasing levels, and all supported by the NRA, totally lacking in any common sense. It is utterly beyond my comprehension that assault weapons are so readily available even to those not legally permitted to own one. How can the NRA fight against reporting of stolen guns!!! We must register our vehicles, why not guns? It is SO outrageous. and SO many people die as a result. It has impacted me deeply with sadness and anger and a feeling of powerlessness against the NRA.

Gay marriage was legalized by the supreme court. I have so many friends and relatives who are gay, and I wish them all the happiness in the world. I am happy they are able to make a union as any one else is, and share their love with the world. I am proud that these are things my daughter will grow up with as givens, a bright future ahead of acceptance int he eyes of the law!

I'm affected by issues impacting women and children and others whose voices don't get enough attention. I was proud of US in legalizing gay marriage.

The biggest impact was deciding not to dwell on, or even read, the world's negative events. I feel much more positive.

The Syrian refugee crisis. Is world war three knocking on our doors? I'm conflicted on the entire thing. Refugees deserve to have a decent life. But I'm worried about infiltration. I'm worried about war.

To be honest, I haven't really been following world events that much, or as much as I feel I ought to be. But then again, the ongoing war between Israel and, well, really, everyone else (lol a little), especially with regard to the Palestinians. As well as the growing anti-Semitism worldwide. It's made it that much harder and more important for me to figure out my views and opinions, with regard to Israel but also to my own Judaism. I want to be more Jewish, I think. I want to connect more to my people, whatever that means, even though I really can't stand American Jewry, haha. Maybe I was brainwashed by the Israeli concept of the New Jew. And, if you're wondering what steps I've taken towards that goal...the answer is not much. But I did buy a whole bunch of books on the subject, and I do plan on reading through them...sometime.

The Pirates have been playing great this season, and a last-minute, rescheduled rainout game allowed me, Dad, and Mike to go to a game at PNC Park during our trip up to Maryland. It was awesome and we got to see a Pirates Win!

Malala Yousafzai winning the Nobel Peace Prize. She inspires me to strive for everything I believe in. Her picture is mounted on my studio wall at PCCA, so that my high school students can sing to her and put forth more beauty, intention and effort into the world.

The migrant crisis happening right now. There are hundreds of thousands of people attempting to flee the middle East and Africa, but Europe doesn't want to let them in. This is so, so scary. If a group of people can't overthrow their government and are forced to flee, where is the humanity that cares for these people instead of turning them away? How can a country be so selfish as to say no, turn around and go to your death. As if enough people aren't dying on the journey over, with boats capsizing and people drowning. It's like when other countries wouldn't let Jews in. You're so hateful and inhuman that you would turn away humans who have nowhere else to go? That's the problem with group mentality: every country thinks that someone else will take care of it. No, do it yourself. This just makes me so angry. It's like when we all walk past a homeless man and think that someone else will give him the dollar he needs for dinner. Absurd. I want to create an organization to help the homeless. We all just need a little more love for each other right now.

Haha nothing. Last year I wrote about ISIS and it was a stretch. I am out of touch with the world. Gay marriage was legalized throughout the US and thats a big thing. Malcolm Turnbull also became our PM. I wonder if that will last a year. Still better than Abbott :)

The republican primary race has once again made me think about the real differences between people of different basic mindsets. I'm fascinated and sometimes shocked at how many people live in fear and thus anger in the U.S. I'm worried that they will someday make policy based on these beliefs

Marriage recognition. I feel affirmed not only in our relationship and family but as a good and whole human being.

Syrian mass exodus. The Middle East conflict, other than in Israel and Palestine, has not before now become "real" in the sense of thinking of the struggles of the people of Syria. Seeing what is happening to them as they flee for Europe is both disturbing and inspiring. I would like to do something real about this - not "just give money", which is so easy and disconnected to do. We have talked about the possibility of sponsoring a couple from Syria here in the U.S. The similarities to my four grandparents' pilgrimage from Russia and Eastern Europe to the U.S. in the late 1800's are so compelling.

The Women's World Cup. I had no idea how much it would impact me, but it brought gender inequality to the spotlight in such a fresh way. Of course, I will also never forget waking up in Alexandria, VA with some of our best friends to find out that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. Getting to stand on the steps of the Supreme Court on that day was amazing.

2014-2015 here in Boston MA. we got a record amount of snow fall. We got whopping 110.6 inches. I think that was Waaaaay more than we could handle or even know what to do with. The city of Boston was at a stand still for about three days. Boston Public Schools was closed for 2-3 weeks and we went into state of emergency with a parking and driving ban. Even the MBTA Boston Public transportation was unable to move form some time as well. I remember feeling very frustrated because they only closed work for 2 days. It was very hard to go from place to place with no parking any where. If you walked any where it had to be on the street because the side walks had not been shoveled. - I thought it was the winter and would never end and that would make me stop liking winter... But no way I still really like winter. * * * * * *

I feel pretty disconnected and sheltered from world happenings. The Middle East has been scary. I often wonder when something apocalyptic will happen, whether it be a natural disaster or a terrorist attack or an economic collapse, that will leave us without the trappings of modern life to fend (fight!) for our food without electricity or running water, etc. The ramp up to global climate negotiations has been interesting too - I hope that something meaningful comes of it, though remain skeptical that even if it does, we'll actually follow through and do enough in time.

The refugee crisis has impacted me, shortly after I read a book about a family that fled Yemen to Canada. It has reminded me of how insignificant my "first world" problems are; to be grateful for what I have; and to remember that all that I have could be lost in a moment. Places that seem stable can become unstable, through political, economic, or environmental unrest. We need to work to protect our stability while also protecting those whose worlds are unstable and risk all to flee.

Sexism: body love, demand safety everywhere.

The migrant crisis in Europe has been all over the news, and on my mind, over the past month or so. Many have drawn comparisons between this mass exodus and the displacement (and worse) of Jews and others after World War II. It is interesting to observe the differing responses of European countries to this crisis, which seems to have brought out both the best and worst of humanity. I am glad our government is stepping up to take more refugees. I wish there was more I could do.

An event in the world & it's impact on me...I would say that seeing people of color in the news suffering as a result of brutality at the hands of individuals in the police force had a major impact on me. I look at the multiple situations and the cries from people of color. My response, I participated & helped organize vigils in my neighborhood and I shared info & books to help educate people in my community. I feel badly for people of color being discriminated against because of their race. It is the same as Jews being discriminated against due to their religion. People should be treated equally regardless of their religion or race.

Poignance in pain and inspiration. Ebola spread like wildfire, because of poverty; Sheryl Sandberg's loss; so many horrific shootings; the photo of the 2 year old Syrian boy who drowned while trying to get into Greece; the earthquake in Nepal kills Icarus, and a plane crash takes Molly's' Andy and, yesterday, Jake's life ends in an instant (the same week he got POTUS to tweet to Ahmed to bring his clock to the white house, warming millions of hearts) - it seems impossible that that was his time. Heartbreak for his pregnant wife and sweet daughter. And Obama singing Amazing Grace in Charleston, and the Germans welcoming the refugees with open arms...renew my faith that the cracks are where the light shines thru and even in a world where injustice and the lottery of birth still squander the enormity of human potential....the human spirit can still soar...

No event in the world has deeply impacted me as such. But Narendra Modi becoming the Indian Prime Minister was important.

I don't think I'm very worldly and also don't know what to believe when it comes to world news and the media. Imagery can be very powerful and seems to have the biggest impact, but it has also desensitized me. I'm barely awake in this big world.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis. Realizing that notions of a happy home are volatile. That at any moment, that which we know to be regular, and ordinary and counted on could disappear at the hands of mal-intentioned people. Chaos is always possible. We must do 2 things: 1. Be Grateful + Share 2. Be a Voice Against Injustice

It's embarrassing to admit, but I couldn't tell you about anything in the world that impacted me this year. I have had my head buried deep in the sand with regard to so so many things.

The recent backlash over Planned Parenthood has greatly affected me. It just makes me so mad to have people slandering an organization just because they disagree with part of their mission. If you have a problem you should accept the difference of opinion, not try to decide for everyone else.

I didn't really follow the news much this year. However, the USA supreme court declared that gay marriage cannot be impeded by state legislature or individual judges. I guess this had an effect on me because of what I'm starting to understand about my gender identity. Whether I like it or not, how I feel about myself and how I choose to express myself mean that I am part of the "queer" (as much as I don't really like the terminology) community, and have common cause with it beyond just allyship.

Donald Trump announcing his candidacy for President - and not being laughed out of town. I actually feel like I'm losing my mind. First Bruce Rauner is elected Governor of Illinois. How can I live in a state that would elect a jackass-hole like him? Now this? What if he actually wins. How fast can I actually move out of the country??? How can my fellow Americans be THAT stupid? That was kind of a bullshit answer. Though it didn't make the news, thank G-d, Colin's arrest was very impactful to me and to us as a family. I can't stop thinking about what my culpability is in his drug use. I knew so much, why did I allow it - even, maybe, letting him think I condoned it. I should have shut things down. Lorra would say, "no shoulds", but really, I didn't do anything to save him. I am so grateful for second chances, so grateful he's alive and thriving ad healthy. I will do better this year.

This question is so hard to answer. This was a year filled with shootings. The one that affected me most was when a young white man went into a church and sat in on a bible study, then killed the same people he sat there with while listening to the bible, while being prayed over. I want to believe that racism is a think of the past, but it is very much a thing of today, a thing of right now. I am very aware of myself when I'm around a black person-I notice changes in my posture, and I feel like they do too. I can never just act the same. I have this knee-jerk reaction when I'm out on the street, like someone is going to steal my purse. I'm embarrassed. And ashamed. But I also want to be smart when I'm walking around a major city. I feel uncomfortable when someone creepy gets close to me no matter what color they are. I don't want to be racist but I think that I am. All that has happened in the last year, from protests to shootings, it does make me very aware of my own prejudice.

the murder of 8 people in a black church in Charleston, SC. We have such a deep problem with racism and gun violence in this country. It's frightening that someone could not only commit such a violent act to people who were only trying to live peaceful lives and help others. It's even more frightening that the guy who did this thought he was justified. Even though I live in a much more left-leaning state, with lower incidences of gun violence, I still feel like this type of thing can happen anywhere at anytime.

i live in a nice bubble - i am grateful for all i have. the refugees from Syria

While it happened a long time ago, this year I went to places that are very much "WWII" historical sites, and therefore associated with the holocaust. It made me think more in depth about what it would have been like to live around this time and how even Jews who were so powerful, more so than currently in America, had everything stripped from them in an instant. This is something I continue to think about.

The Valley Fire, currently still burning away up north, has affected me in varying ways. My friends work at Harbin Hot Springs and live in Middletown, and were evacuated from their home very urgently. They stayed with me for a week, and I watched them go through many phone calls and emails, trying to figure out what was left of their home and their livelihood in the wreckage. [Turns out their house is fine, but since Harbin is gone, they no longer have a job or a connection / the means to stay up there.] House fires are one of the scariest possibilities for me, and seeing that reflected in their eyes was really heavy and intense. Additionally, Harbin is usually where I spend Yom Kippur, and has always been my place of refuge and self-care when I need it...and now it's gone.

Easily all of the needless death from gun violence. It has left me feeling the need for harsh gun-control laws.

The massacre of the nine churchgoers in Charleston really shook me to my core. Ferguson re-awoke my commitment to racial justice, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Tamir Rice and Freddy Gray's death, among others, reinforced the importance of staying woke, but Charleston revealed that hatred and violence does indeed run deep in this country and that I am a part of that story and that history unless I seek to change it. It was the first major event that I felt I had to watch the news coverage about in front of the kids and I had to explain to them from an emotional place (I'm crying because something really sad happened). It also underscored the sense of risk and grief that Black Americans are forced to live with.

Bernie Sanders running for president. A Jew running for president is both wonderful and terrifying, as the antisemitism has come out from under cover.

This year I haven't read the newspaper. I've been more ignorant but to be honest I'm happier. The only thing that really has impacted me on a personal level was the student protests last year. It took us longer to get to places in a taxi. That's it. Kinda bad right? Maybe I should count my blessings about this.

The #BlackLivesMatter movement - it has been frightening to see police brutality brought to light in such a major public way but I think it has shown some of the daily fears that myself and my family have to worry about when we leave the house.

Every year this question makes me realize that I need to get out of my own head and pay more attention to the world. I feel like I isolate myself, or my experiences do. So many intense things happen to me and I honestly let them consume me and use them as an excuse to hide from the rest of the world. Like when I was injured - I could have still found time to pay attention to what was going on outside my experience, but I was scared it would be too much, like I couldn't contain all that I was going through and still be aware of others. It's lame, but it's true - I've been sheltering myself. That's something I'l like to change.

The extreme drought in California. I feel the impact on my family's security, as fires rage in new places, and feel compassion for all of us who depend so heavily on California's agriculture for many of our food staples. I hope for rain.

So many images of refugees desperately seeking somewhere safe to rebuild their lives, and the hostility and xenophobia they are facing. I feel depressed that humans can be so cruel to each other - both in their home countries and in the places they seek refuge. I feel angry that my government is so actively brutal towards people seeking our assistance. I feel guilty that I am not doing more either directly or indirectly to assist. I feel overwhelmed by the scale of the problem.

I was really impacted by the multiple fatal police shootings as well as the shooting at the AME church in Charleston. I've heard some statistics that racial violence is down but I know that disparities are still prevalent in our society. I hope I'm able to find an outlet that will channel my "white guilt" into something positive.

The Syrian crisis has really touched my conscience. I don't feel as if I'm doing enough to help alleviate this terrible suffering - or more local suffering. I'm dissatisfied with just giving money to causes and volunteering for political campaigns - I'm starting to feel as if I need to give more time and effort to make the world a better place.

Marriage equality. Marriage was federally recognized for all, finally :)

I have been thinking a lot about the Black Lives Matter campaign. I think that racial tensions have rarely been this high. Racism is no longer overt, but it is quite possibly more insidious as subtext. I have had to think about my own racism, despite all of my best efforts to be welcoming and loving to all people. I am not a political person and don;t do marches and petitions, etc. I guess I believe that living my life in a way that honors my values is enough. But maybe not.

The republican debate - the lowliness of the debate made me proud to be Australian.

Something that is foremost in my mind these days is all the anti-immigrant and racist sentiment that our country is struggling with. Whether it's the "controversy" of the Black Lives Matter movement or the idiocy of the discourse in the Republican primary race, I have been reminded of how far we still have to go in terms of understanding each other and our struggles as human beings. We insist on believing that we are fundamentally different from each other because of our skin color, language, religion, etc. when these are all really superficial and insignificant differences that should not be driving us apart. It makes me sad and frustrated at how much work we still have to do.

This year I found that Islamic group ISIS was doing horrific things, more than I could imagine, in the middle east. Be-headings, justified rape, destroying national landmarks, erasing Christianity, the ability to marry a 12 year old girl, oppression to a new level, it has reminded me that freedom is and will always be a delicate balance. I cherish freedom, its who I am today. I could not exist under ISIS and don't want that element in America. I like to feel I am a role model for my family, friends, and in my professional life. That has looked like tolerance for everyone and all life styles. ISIS has tested this in a way I've not felt before. Maybe it is the way they use the media as a tool has just brought the awfulness of it to me. It must have been a little like how Hitler was perceived as evil under the veil of dogma.

The people in Middle East leaving and finding it impossible to find a country to accept them. Deep sadness at their treatment. Some anger with the Syrian leaders. My guidance reminds me that all is not as it appears and that there is a greater mind at work.

An event that has impacted me in the world this year was the Supreme Court verdict to legalize same sex marriage in the United States. This was such a momentous event in our nation's history. It is wonderful to see that the country recognizes that love is love and that there should be a distinct separation between church and state. Additionally, I am thrilled for my friends who can now have recognized marriages in this country. I am beyond grateful to see this pass in my lifetime and hope this paves a smoother path for the LGBT community's individuals that want to be married. While there are other events in history that have been quite discouraging this year, this ruling is a glimmer of hope that the United States can be a progressive leader in federal policy.

Syrian refugee crisis. Very distressing. Frustrated with the lack of compassion of those in power to do something to make the world better. The wealth exists to make like better for those suffering but there is too much fear and greed and ignorance. It makes me angry and sad. I hope to be able to not feel so angry about things I can not change....to be more accepting, but I'm not able to accept inhumanity toward other people as result of willful ignorance, greed, selfishness, etc.

I’ve learned about some of the practices of corporations that use undue influence to force people in Asia to use genetically modified seed and harmful fertilizers. It has prompted me to seek out information about how food provided in this country is grown and protected from pests. This information is important in helping me to make better food choices to promote better health.

Not necessarily a world event, but the town where I live a permit has been approved to build a mosque. It's a conservative town (technically a rural city) but it's disturbing the controversy it has caused. Some locals have expressed concern, but that's only a few people, who really are fairly quiet about it, originally they encouraged everyone to display black balloons in opposition, and there was some graffiti, but that was about it. Then there have been protests, but not by the people of the town, rent-a-crowd who come in stir up crap, who are too cowardly to show their faces. It's disturbing the narrow mindedness of people, the hatred designed by fear, and their inability accept others, it's an absolute shame.

10 year anniversary of Katrina, a time of reflection and wish some people that we tried to help would have stuck with it.

I became a combination grandpa/dad when my fiancee's son could no longer care for his 1yo son. My kids I had adopted when they were 10 and 11, so I missed the formative years. Tiring, but so wonderful.

The Syrian refugee crisis. It seems like every year around Rosh Hashana something really serious happens. What's strange about this is that the crisis has been happening for a while, but since the image of the boy on the beach was released people have begun to find their hearts. It's made me think about who we are -- that my grandparents were also refugees, like these, and if no one had let them in, then my family and I wouldn't have the lives we have today. It's really easy to dehumanise people, especially those on your doorstep. While I don't have much direct impact on how many we take in as a country, I want to try and have money available this year to buy food for homeless people, or at least have ready cash to give them. It's not much me, but if you can ensure that they're not hungry, that has an impact.

This past year I began listening to NPR regularly when Sara had to drive my car to work with me in the backseat this winter. Because of that, I believe I am more in touch with the world, but at the same time, this year there hasn't been a news story that really hit-home, except for Ai Wei Wei getting his Chinese passport back after 4 years. I think Ai is one of the most famous living artists at the moment (although that claim has been debated). The Warhol is doing a HUGE show with him next summer. It's going to be a blockbuster, and because Ai got his passport back, and is spending the school year in Berlin for a teaching position, he will be able to travel to Pittsburgh no problem. I am so excited about meeting him, even if it is just seeing him in person and not getting to talk with him personally. He is, in my mind, the apex of high-art, and I never thought I would not only get to hear such an artist, but also be a representative of a museum where he is also working and showing.

The earthquake in Nepal - the suffering of some of the poorest people in the world was distressing.

The wasted food that go to the garbage and around the world people are starving. One of so many injustice things that happens every day every where.

Gay marriage was legalized throughout the entire United States!!! I can officially get married anywhere in the country I want!

I have been so moved by the Syrian refugee crisis because it's coincided with some very strong rhetoric around immigrants. The Republicans running for president really scare me (other than Jeb Bush), and I think about my own family and the fact that my grandparents were immigrants when they came to the U.S. I think about all of the negative things that were said about taking in so many Jews, the restrictions on how many to take and the barriers to coming here, and my grandparents and their families have contributed so much to this country. I'm glad to have the chance to live here and I hope other immigrants can come here and be welcomed.

It is hard to pick an event in the world, as I feel that I live my life so close to home. I try not to concern myself too much with things I cannot control, although I do need to allow them to shape how I see the world, its people and how I live my own life.

Immigrants at our door. I have a strange feeling that the Europe I know and love is at the verge of a major change for the worse. We have reached the decadence point in the great wheel of development and now we're going down, European style - which means - thousands of newcomers from an entirely different cultural background are spreading all over the continent and things we'll never be the same again, our old civilization is about to become quite different. Europe...so many freaking invasions, one way or another. To be completely honest, I'd rather not be here to witness them. As a matter of fact, I'd rather not live on this planet at all. So many centuries of development and we haven't moved an inch. Is it too late to apply for the mission on Mars?

ISIS blew up Palmyra's ancient temple of Baalshamin. I cannot fully express how horrified I am that there are people so violently bent on destroying the past, so deeply in denial of other ways of being. It sickens me.

I moved to Baltimore this year, just in time for police brutality issues and racial tensions in the US to heat up. I was somewhat aware of these issues before, but was not prepared for the death of Freddie Gray and it's impacts on the city of Baltimore. His death and the aftermath got me tuned in to some of the deeper issues in Baltimore and other American cities. The reactions of my white coworkers and new friends in the city shocked me, because they showed no signs of empathy and a total lack of responsibility in moving the city forward. I felt extremely isolated in feeling empathetic towards the protestors. I eventually found others to connect with and a community through which I can help better the city.

The events on Ukraine and Syria has shown how life can change drastically for everyone, and in a short time anyone can loose everything. It has made me more aware of the fact that family and friends are important to support each other in the world.

I think the event I need to mention is that earlier this year, the US Supreme Court decided that EVERYONE can get married. As a gay lady, this decision is deeply personal. It means that when I'm ready to get married, I can legally marry the person I love and that the highest court of this land has stood behind this decision - for equality. It doesn't erase prejudices and a lot of people still believe that marriage isn't for same-sex couples, but it's a step forward - a new starting line for those of us who don't fit into the hetero-normative framework of marriage.

Rachel Reichner. Never stop trying to save the world. Until the very last breath.

Same sex marriage became the law of the land in the US. It doesn't really impact my life, except to feel (and this is so important) that I live in an increasingly just society. It also gives my typically cynical self hope that massive social change in possible, even within one lifetime.

Ferguson. Baltimore. Charleston. and the list goes on. Cities where black people (often young men) were killed (often by law enforcement). #blacklivesmatter These deaths are horrific. The drumbeat is numbing. As the mother of two bi-racial sons, I fear for my sons' lives. It's hard to imagine now, when all the world seems to find them incredibly charming and adorable. But when they become adolescents, things will change. I want to become more involved in anti-racist organizing.

The refugee and migrant crisis happening in the Middle East and Europe has brought up feelings in me I am not comfortable with. While of course refugees should have the ability to escape dangerous situations, there is also an influx of anti-Semitic acts occurring. Whether these are correlated at all has not really been established, but I cannot help but wonder. These refugees come from countries that are anti-American, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic. European countries are giving them asylum and the change at a new life (which is great!). However, I am so worried about European Jews and their ability to continue living peacefully. That I am making these broad assumptions really bothers me. I want to give these refugees the benefit of the doubt. The circumstances they must find themselves in are unimaginable and must be so dire that they believe their only option is to flee. I want them to find peace and new lives. I want them to respect the countries, communities, and cultures they are joining. And I don't want to assume these are the people committing the anti-Semitic actions.

The early Republican debates are making me question my own beliefs. This is shocking and scary to me. I'm worried for 2016.

Gay marriage being legalized in the states. I was more moved by this than I anticipated and am struggling with my very pro-gay insides and fear/conservative upbringing. The insides are winning out.

All of the attacks on police have been a big concern for me this year. It feels like civilization is uprooting in America... while our country was founded on principles like freedom of speech, there's no balance or tactfulness anymore--and the graffiti and violence and hatred toward police is terrifying. I also think the passing of gay marriage is a big turning point for our country. I have long vacillated on my own beliefs on the matter, but I am truly happy that people who love each other can (legally) love each other and share a marriage, and everything that comes with it. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina has hit home too. I recall my college days, enjoying a day off of classes as Waco anticipated the residual of the storm ushering on through central Texas (it never did). But the friends from Houston whose families flooded our town... and the images on the news... and the death tolls and the "X" marks on houses of the souls lost, and the political chaos and the scandal and the poor, poor animals that were left behind... it is heart-wrenching that something so catastrophic happened just a few hours from where I grew up. And it's devastating still to know some of those places haven't rebuilt.

Islamic State still...tho having read a whole book on them I am less deeply irrationally frightened than last year when I could only write "Da-esh...frightening" Reading Karen Armstrong's Fields of Blood - a History of Relgion and Violence to get a historical perspective

The effects of global warming have reached the point where even sceptics are becoming aware. Summer here in the Pacific Northwest was unusually hot and dry. Most of the west was on fire. Some fires still burn. I noticed large cracks in the hard dry earth in my yard. Its impact on me was that I began to truly conserve water. I tried to use water with mindfulness. I let the lawns go brown, but hand watered shrubs, trees flowers and the vegetable garden. I planted less, still two hrs. each day were spent watering to keep essential plants alive. I've been glad to see many others doing similar water saving measures. From the news, I learn that others, in drought areas, still keep golf courses green and wash cars in the driveway, and let sprinklers run long. Now I watch less news and I don't worry about what others do. I can only control what I do and try to keep my consciousness elevated, and pray for our lovely earth.

There isn't a major world event that has seriously affected me this year. One of the things I have worked on with being a news junky is allowing myself to feel upset or angry over certain stories, while separating myself so that I do not spend my life being angry.

I continue to be very concerned about the conflict in Syria especially, and all the refugees, but I'm not sure that's really impacted me otherwise. What's had the most direct impact is probably the financial issues in Greece and China, etc., that are impacting my retirement accounts via the financial markets. It's part of the impetus that I really need to put in for a promotion!

The refugee crisis in Europe has caught my attention. Mostly because of how the world-wide and the U.S. media have focused on it. I know that there have been refugee crisis situations before, but this one has generated interest from the world-wide media. Setting aside my sadness for the people caught in this horrible situation, I am once again fascinated by what captures attention and what doesn't. I have a feeling of dread and negativity when watching our elected officials speak up on this crisis. Like, this issue was polled for appeal and it scored well. I may have a case of being jaded at the moment.

While it's been going on for years, Syria is bringing up serious humanitarian questions as to how we treat immigrants and refugees. What's the difference between an immigrant and a refugee? In the US, hispanics migrating (illegally or legally) are shunned by a large portion of our populous - despite the fact that many of them are escaping unfathomable economic hardships. In Syria, the persecution of those that are coming over are tremendously troubling -- and we in the US have generally left it to Europe to solve this problem. In an increasingly globalized world, how can we leave these kinds of problems only to those who neighbor it. We must do better.

Isis and terrorism has changed the world. There is an element of fear. Suddenly "beheading" has become a common everyday work on the news.

The legalization of gay marriage by the Supreme Court. I predicted this last year, but my reaction is more mixed than I thought. It's a wonderful thing, truly; knowing that I don't have to worry about what state I'm living in to marry someone I love means a lot. On the other hand, there's still so much to be done. Trans people die at an unacceptable rate - be it kids or black women - and I hope the verdict doesn't mean people think everything is solved. Bisexuals, pansexuals, asexuals/aromantics, binary and non-binary trans folks, and everyone else under the LGBTQIAP+ umbrella deserve and need our help.

The crisis in Syria and the migration of refugees. It's very sad how many of them die while fleeing oppression, but it makes me realize just how far we've fallen as an immigrant nation with fears of the Syrian refugees flooding our country, but why? I just don't understand why they're all so afraid. Without migrants, we wouldn't have an America; it's what we're made of. Pure diversity... Or at least we're supposed to be; we used to be, but at the same time we never really were.

The Supreme Court ruling that gay marriage is constitional. Reflecting on my journey of being gay as a sin to my current belief that love is love and that love should be celebrated and cherish just like any other.

Ferguson. So many instances of violence against unarmed black individuals breaks my heart. Not sure how to teach my daughter about this ugly part of humanity.

No question, the event that had the most impact on me this year was the legalization of gay marriage. Of course, I am happy about it and it is an unqualified win and sign that the world is moving in the right direction. And when it was announced, I should have been overjoyed about it. But I wasn't. In the days after the announcement, the outpourings of emotions on Facebook were profound. The number of people (and the actual people) who changed their Facebook photos to include a rainbow filter was amazing. Seeing the White House change its lighting to be rainbow-colored was completely unfathomable in the best way possible. And then two days later was the gay pride parade which was even bigger than normal, right outside my door, and full of celebrations that 'love is love'. But I don't have love right now. And it is not currently in my sights. While I have wanted to find one person to settle down with and actually get legally married for as long as I can remember, I have not yet even come close to falling mutually in love and finding someone I would like to spend the rest of my life with. So being excited about the possibility of getting married one day just didn't resonate with me. And it made me feel more alone. Now the expectations are that gay people will get married too and marriage seems to be put up to be the pinnacle of human existence. It was difficult to stomach and I felt ugly that I could not be happy and that there was something profoundly wrong with me. In the days and weeks prior, I had many conversations with people or with people who had spoken with other people who felt the same way I did. Articles came out about it as well. I realized that my feelings are my feelings and that it made perfect logical sense for me to feel the way I did/do. Being single is truly not easy.

Oh man. The middle East and Africa every day. From ISIS and Syria to boko haram and ebola, the refugee crisis, I wish it was only "an event." I get really depressed, it's hard to know what to do to help. But there are moments when I feel like people do care and are helping, and that gives hope.

I think the biggest thing that has impacted me is the refugee situation. I'm not really impacted by it myself but I do fear. There are sooo many refugee's coming over and I'm not sure it's a good idea. Actually I'm kinda against it and I know that sounds horrible. But I'm just scared, god knows who is coming along with them.

I have lost hope for the world. I can't think back too far. ISIL, Africa, Syria, Donald Trump. The only bright spots are Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama. They are walking incarnations of Hashem. Who will assassinate them? That is what happens.

The refugees fleeing from Syria. It helps me to realize how f'in lucky I am to be living where I am living. People are just attempting to stay alive and I have all my little problems that I complain about. I need to appreciate what I have. I wish that I could do this with my husband. Maybe I need to start doing something for him every morning that he doesn't expect. So that I can help him and I to appreciate all that we have.

Usually I find it difficult to answer this question (partly because who can recall all the impacts of world events and partly because if I let myself get too impacted by world events I'd probably kill myself or become an unplugged hermit somewhere). But the attention now drawn to the refugees streaming out of Syria and other parts of the world now is making an impact. Generation after Generation, countries or factions go to war, implement geoncide, and regular people are trapped in the middle and flee. And generation after generation, the rest of the world is unable to prevent the violence and is utterly unprepared to address the problem. In the 30's it was my grandparents. In the 90's it was Maja's family from Bosnia. Earlier than both of those it was families from Russia or Poland....Inbetween there it was families from Guatemala. I find it useless and difficult to think more deeply because it feels too large and I can only handle so much in my brain. I prefer to focus the most attention on those issues which I feel I can impact. Of course I have signed petitions and may find a group to donate to who is supporting refugees...

I adopted a 6 year old rescue dog who was found living on the streets. I had planned to volunteer with her as a 'humane educator' teaching children how to care for animals but she is terrified of children. Since those plans weren't possible, through the Facebook posts of a long-time friend, I stumbled into helping an organization transport dogs rescued from kill-shelters and abusive homes to be fostered in loving homes until they could be adopted. I also help by interviewing prospective adopters so we can be certain it will be a healthy & loving family for very deserving dogs.

A group called the Center for Medical Progress, which is actually headed by a CMC'er, has been releasing a series of videos of Planned Parenthood officials and others discussing the sale of fetal tissue. They are at times gruesome, but more so callous and inhuman. I think it is tipping the debate - you can feel the pendulum swing as people actually consider the concrete reality of what an abortion truly involves. It gives me hope that we might finally make abortion an abhorrent feature of our past rather than a readily accessible "medical procedure". At the same time, there is a huge refugee crisis due to the ongoing conflict in Syria, which is no great surprise. Obama's foreign policy has shown itself to be an abject disaster, and it will get no better. We must replace him with someone who will truly lead in 2016.

The rising of individual acts of terrorism in our country. My husband is in the military and we have heard of increased threats against military members and their families. It hit really close to home when a terrorist nearly gained access to the military base we live on. I became more interested in world events and foreign policy. Also, the deaths of black people and cops in a mini civil war. I want to be a proactive citizen and protect the rights of innocent people and prevent unfair prejudice against groups of people

Donald Trump running for president, because it is hilarious and made me laugh lots. Why, you ask? Because Donald Trump is a Donald Grump.

There isn't one really!

Watching all these refugees flee their homes and walk for 1000's of miles to find new homes is unreal. how is it that we live a world today where we cant find a way to protect our citizens and or at least welcome them when they are trying to survive and leave war torn countries

Climate change is scary!! It's left me scared about the future, about scarcity of resources, about war and about not being able to have kids. I hope we figure our shit out.

All of the shootings in the states always have a deep impact on me. Mostly, they make me feel sad and helpless. Sad because of the lives lost, of course, but also sad for the perpetrator. What happened in his (her?) life that lead him there and how can we stop it from happening again? It seems like we can't, and that's where the helplessness comes from. Our culture just doesn't have the willpower to change it, and that makes me feel so insignificant. I just don't understand it. It seems like we're reeling more and more quickly towards some sort of post-apocalyptic society, and it scares me.

Same sex marriage being legalized. It directly impacted a number of my friends and makes me so incredibly happy for them. And honestly, it makes me feel better about my own recent marriage. If I can decide to marry the person I love, anyone else should be able to do the same. I am so glad that is finally the case.

#blacklivesmatter White folks need to educate ourselves, speak up, do better. We need to turn this country around. Racism is our problem.

The refugee crisis around the world. As I watch the news and read the papers, I am reminded of Jewish history, especially in the 20 th century. I see echoes of how our people were turned away and left to die. I ask myself if I am doing enough to make a difference. I know I am not. Monetary contributions and petitions signed are not enough. As we enter a new year, I want to commit myself to doing more - to speak out, to make this one issue that will shape my voting choices, to find more ways to get involved.

No one event - but the situation of war, suffering, refugees and migrants around the world all accumulating together, feeling like a constant ongoing event. Feel lucky to have been born where and when I was, depressed by the horror and the terrible side of human nature, guilty that I am doing nothing to help stop all of this and helpless because what can I do?

I had to google World Events of 2015 even to remember what happened. Nothing has been especially significant. Immigration all over the world has been a big story lately; ISIS is still active and vile. The economy in Europe has affected us Stateside somewhat. Probably the only events that have impacted me is the increased media coverage of racial tensions and police/community relations. I say media coverage because I'm sure none of it is new; people have simply started to notice. Getting ready to enter the police myself after a career in an unrelated private field means that I am definitely listening, and I am thankful that I will be working for a division that has such a positive relationship with its community and goes to incredible lengths to be fair and balanced in policing.

The terrorist bombing in Pakistan, killing 41 innocent Ismailis. It hasnt affected me greatly but it has made me think of how fragile life is and that anybody on their own accord can take it away from you. I was proud of how the pakistani people dealt with this situation. They really banded together. I was proud of how chief of Pakistani Military dealt with the Situation. I pray for that country from the bottom of my heart, that one day it will see prosperity, away from all the corruption.

The tales of slavery, genocide, and indentured servitude worldwide belie all that many of my baby boom generation believed were conquered and vanquished during WWII. This retrograde tide of cruelty presages deep fissures in our civilized world, returning us to a level of terror I do not know or understand how to mitigate. When power flourishes to destroy living creatures and human beings, air, ocean, and earth, how will we manage to save this small ball of home hurtling through the universe from utter devastation? I become afraid like my grandparents were. Perhaps my grandchildren will create new ways to manage this planet with others, strangers and kinfolk alike.

I've learned a lot about politics - and the idea that people will believe what they want regardless of what is actually happening. So nothing ever gets done because no one is willing to let go even a little to more forward.

Marriage equality!!! It's just such a great step towards full equality!

Labour lost the general election, and for the first time in my life I joined a political party. I promised myself that if I didn't like the direction the party was taking I would quit within a year. Then Jeremy Corbyn got elected a month ago, who I didn't even put on my list of preferences. But I'm still a member.

It's difficult to pick one specific event. Every major world event impacts me in one way or another. I guess you could say any event that has been linked to Muslim extremism has probably had the most shocking impact on me. Pick one: ISIS beheadings, Charlie Hebdo shooting, Boko Haram kidnapping and mass killings...they're all starting to blur as the world becomes numb to their horror. I just cannot understand how any human of this world can kill in the name of a religion. While I was raised in a non-denominational Christian family, I no long consider myself a follower of any religion. I also learned a lot about other faiths growing up as well. I can remember at a very early age realizing that all these different teachings, history and the supernatural just didn't seem to add up. After many years of unanswered prayers and seeing the harm that humans can do to one another, I came to the conclusion that I did not want to follow any deity that would allow this to happen. Who are we to tell someone who they can and can't marry or what a woman can and can't do with her own body and what lesson can be learned from innocent people being killed in a tsunami or a child that hasn't even got to experience life being diagnosed with leukemia or reporters getting their heads lopped off then posted on the internet for all their family and friends to see? If there is a god watching over us, he's either really bad at his job or he really dislikes us. I don't pretend to have all the answers and I would never try to take away the right of another person to be able to worship whatever they want. As a matter of fact, I would fight for that person's freedom of religion. Most religious people are good people and religion stripped down to the core provides a great framework for how you should live your life. This life ain't easy and some people need that, I get it. It's just that, for me, I've made the decision that there is absolutely nothing that this life can throw me that I can't handle on my own. I'm not suggesting that works for everyone, but for me it brings me peace to know that I am the only one accountable for this life and I don't have to fear death if I die knowing I've lived it to the fullest. Where I have a problem with religion is when someone or some group starts to try and tell other people how they should live there life. That's where extremism starts and it ends with what we have with groups like ISIS. For anyone to kill in the name of Allah or any other god is the most ignorant thing a human can do and is probably the greatest tragedy of the world. I don't know how to fix the problem. Education and positive culture seems like a good place to start. The sad part is bad people killing always leads to good people killing. Maybe it will always be this way. Historically, it always has been, why should it stop now? I don't know if my little rant answers the question, but I do feel better have written it even if it lead to a dark place. Sometimes we have to get through the dark to see the light. Maybe that's what the world is experiencing now? Hell, I hope so.

The crash of the markets. For the first time I am actively considering that I may be made redundant, where leaving a job is not of my free will. It is making me reconsider how I present myself, and how I market myself because it is forcing to the foreground that I may want to change industries and get back on track for running a business. Not just propping up managers who are in their positions due to nationality or other stupid reasons that ensure they are not the right person for the job.

The newspaper business has gone from bad to worse. I'm terrified constantly that I might not have a job one day. I wouldn't be heartbroken because I don't love my job as it is, but it would be really hard to support my family without employment, even for a week.

As a Jew, I am deeply, deeply disturbed by the Syrian refugee crisis. I'm deeply disturbed that the New YOrk Times calls the people who have left their homes and are fleeing for their lives "migrant," as if they're looking for seasonal work or just relocating for shits and giggles. I'm deeply disturbed by the Hungarian government, behaving little better than they did in WWII, when people took their neighbors to the woods and shot them dead, or locked them in buildings which were set on fire. And I'm deeply disturbed by Americans, who seem to think that our economy will collapse by taking in an amount of people that would get lost in a mid-size university gymnasium. Have we, as Americans, learned nothing from the St. Louis? Have we as Jews learned nothing from the holocaust? Have we as humans learned nothing from Rwanda? I'm truly sickened by the callousness of some people.

The Black Lives Matter movement especially stirred me as it feels like we're on the brink of a revolution with that; one way or another.... It's so pressingly important and crucial. How there is an entire movement on the completely other side of this completely boggles my mind and concerns me for the future of our society. I mentioned to my Dad that if I have children with my fiance, they won't have the same color skin as I do and that this is something our (white) family has never had to think about. It terrifies me to consider. I recognize the privilege in not ever having to have thought about this impacting me directly before.

I live too much in my bubble, I think. Sure, my heart is impacted by the horror of the repeated senseless shootings in this country and the remarkable inconsistencies of the way we regulate guns. When it was the Day for Action for Everytown Against Guns, I took none. I'm saddened by the refugee crisis in the Middle East, but if I'm honest with myself, I'm not going to invite a refugee to stay in our apartment. What will I do? I feel pretty hopeless about events far away. The one bright spot is that I'm raising kids who care, who do: I'm proud to have a daughter who bamboozled me into telling me how much I planned to spend on her birthday gift, and then implored me to spend it on a charity that cares for people experiencing homelessness in NYC.

There has really not been a world event that may have severly impacted me. Perhaps the current state of the Syrian Refugees will impact the way people in Germany see me as a foreigner, but besides from that... well... there's nothing I can think of.

A woman was pushed out of her job due to her cancer. This enforced my belief that we as cancer survivors need to be seen as a minority group that adds to the diversity of an organization.

Syrian refugee crisis. The impact of "white people" empires messing around with other countries is manifested in many ways, but this is the most visible, serious, and disheartening of late. With over half of a country's population having to flee, seeking refuge, marching for days without supplies, children washing up on shores... this devestation upon innocent civilians is the latest in the tiring saga of a system of empire that has eaten world humanity. When/how will it end? America has to get over itself and recognize our government's part in creating scenarios in which this happens. Empire must end. White supremacy must end. The remnants of Anglo-Protestant-Empire must end. Let's start now with a clear eyed vision of a world in which all humanity is equal, and we are all part of a fabric of a living earth and all her beings. The system of acquiring the resources (including "cheap labor") of other lands, by force, must end. All peoples must be free upon the land they live to make a living from it.

Marriage Equality! *raise the roof* #blacklivesmatter Defund Planned Parenthood? What the actual fuck?

Black Lives Matter, man. The racist opposition to BLM has helped me see a lot about myself, my family, and this country. It's really hard to see so much hate, and I hope legislation is enacted to help.

It's hard to pick just one...The FIFA Women's World Cup. Sure it sounds like just a soccer tournament but the USA women winning this event pulled back the curtain in how underpaid women professional athletes are paid and compensated for winning. I said I just couldn't pick one... The amount of refugees fleeing their homes in hope of better (and safer) life. The level of countries and lives impacted is so overwhelming. Although I'm concerned with everyone, I can't help but thinking of the children. The turmoil, fear, etc. Breaks my heart.

J.H.15 On edge..Watching my Government go down in Flames, Heartbreaking! Sure makes me Trust More and More on The LORD AND PRAY FOR ISRAEL as well.We stand with You ISRAEL!

The story about the chap who lost all his limbs and his lips. It would be frightening to find yourself in that position, not be able to look after your family, wonder if your wife would always stay with you. Then I think that even though I am lucky, that guy is still out there and having to live like that. I feel genuinely sad for him

My trip to Israel - a return after 46 years

The killing of "Baby Doe" in Boston. Thankfully this last week they were able to give her a name and arrest her murderer. Bella Bond was her name. She was 2-years-old. Her mother's boyfriend killed her believing that she was a "demon". Her mother helped cover it up. It took a couple of months for her to even be identified. May she rest in peace. It impacted me because I am a mother myself. I cannot imagine someone harming, let alone deliberately killing, a little baby. As a mother, I cannot imagine helping someone cover up the murder of my child. It's senseless and I cannot wrap my mind around it. I feel very sad about it.

I was horrified to hear about the attack at Hyper Cacher Jewish Supermarket in Paris in early 2015 and the escalating anti-Semitism plaguing Europe. The world cannot stand by idly 70 years after the end of WWII.

Well right now there's this whole debate about immigrants and how they are gonna make Europe muslim. I am a bit concerned because of all the articles about how different they are,, which supposedly causes violence towards europeans. I haven't experienced it yet, because they don't wanna come here, but I think they will and I wonder what'll happen then. Also a big event was a new president of Poland, which could mean a change in people and for the better. I am happy about that.

The refugee crisis had affected me. I'm ashamed of most of the world's response, and I dislike the general belief that refugees are only a drain/strain. Sure in the short term, but long term I imagine these people only want normal, productive lives just like the rest of us. I am so proud of Germany and Iceland, and I want to emulate the generosity of the people in these countries. I've donated 1% of my income, but now I want to donate my time. This event has prompted me to look outside myself and outside my community.

The Rough fire in Sequoia. Because of drought, heat and fire, we had a day that the air was so bad that when the sun finally poked through the brown smoke filled air, it was red and cast an eerie shadow everywhere. We had ash falling on everything for two days and the air quality index in the paper was the worst it has ever been in the history of Fresno. Susan and I were planning on walking down to the food trucks for dinner but I was short of breath on the short walk from my house to hers. The fire had exploded overnight and consumed another 10, ooo acres. It has been burning now for six weeks and it is only 50% contained. A positive note to a tragic scenario is that I have come thru the season with minimal respiratory problems. It is mid Sept. as I write this and usually I am on antibiotics and/or steroids because of the defoliants and air quality. So far, neither have been needed during the last nine months.

Syrian refugees pouring into other countries and the massive immigration that has happened with people trying to survive and find grounding of safety. Hurts the heart to not be there an help- I hope my non profit can directly help once it's moving forward. the comedy of Trump is somewhat entertaining and scary. Prejudice people coming out of the wood works supporting him. Scary man, scary ideology - hopefully the future does not hold him in any regard other than the monster like character he is.

More black men killed by white police officers. I'm learning that all the diversity and sensitivity training in the world, all the mentoring programs, Affirmative Action Plans, nothing will make a difference until children are raised without the belief that light skin is better than dark skin. Children's books (aside from PJ Library) are filled with white characters; movies and television shows, commercials, filled with white kids. Our children of all colors are growing up knowing what society values and we can't expect all people to "unlearn" this as they grow older. Some do, but many don't know that they need to.

Biometric scanning is developed for secure online banking. This just confirms to me the direction we are moving in, with advances in open global communities comes a increased distrust of our fellow man. How many times, 20 years ago, would we be asking, "are you really who you say you are". Nowdays, it's daily in this a brave new paranoid world.

An event in the world? Deaths in general, i think. The death of Leonard Nimoy and Terry Pratchet, also all those innocent lives, who are forced to fight for their rights in the States - the "Black lives matter" - and abroad, in the war-zones. That has affected me a great deal. I don't know how to put this in words, because I'm not that good with words lately and i dont grieve in general, but the deaths near and far, also for no reason - i know homocide happens all the time, but that's the sad part. It has made me think on my own mortality and the meaning of everything. Teen angst at its finest?

For some reason, the John Kitzhaber scandal bothered me greatly. He had been such a great servant to the state, but it seems like he was blinded by Cylvie, the young hip activist, and let things run wild. I am saddened that she has given the American Leadership Forum a black eye. I should talk to Joe G about it, but I have been too dismayed. It's too close to home in a place that I thought was above that kind of behavior.

So much violence it is painful to be alive and aware some days. Too many events to name. It's made me sad for humanity but created a lot of protest and action so maybe change is possible.

The earthquakes in Nepal really affected me, because I had spent a semester there in college, in the spring of 1977. I had loved the country, and started to learn the language and thought I would eventually go back and do work there.....but that never happened. It's tied up in lots of other things: leaving a graduate program in anthropology at Columbia, feeling inadequate, becoming disillusioned with the non-profit world of aid organizations because I couldn't find any way to do work there after getting a degree in public health, and the general path I took to get married so young. Seeing the way the country had changed so much, how densely populated and 'globalized' it had become made me feel sad and guilty at the same time. And the destruction of so many beautiful old temples and the death and hardship of the local people just broke my heart.

The world continues to be a terrible and a wonderful place. But very little of that directly impacted me: what a protective bubble people like me get to live in.

It's not really a single event, but the general increase in anti-semitism, particularly in Europe has impacted me. As a Jew, I think it should be pretty obvious as to how this is impacting me. It is impacting me particularly this year because I am currently doing my masters degree in England. I've been urged by my family members to have a little more discretion than I might usually have when it comets discussing my religion and honestly I feel like that is bullshit. Why should have to watch what I say just to please other people? I am a Jew and I am proud to be a Jew. Hiding it is simply stifling a part of my identity.

I'm having a really hard time answering this question and I don't know why. There were a lot of scary and upsetting things that happened this year, and also a lot of good things. It's easier to focus on the sad and upsetting things - the wars, Isis, Syria and the refugee crisis, the senseless mass shootings and other acts of violence. There's also the really good stuff - the random and not so random acts of kindness of strangers and friends and relatives, the babies that were born, the couples that got engaged, the kindness that we show to others. That impacts all of us on a very large, macro scale and is something that we can all be inspired by whenever it starts to feel like the events in the world are just so darn scary.

This year, on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all states and while it doesn't directly affect me, as I am heterosexual, I am overjoyed and filled with so much love for all of my friends and everyone out there who now has the choice to marry whomever they want and no one can tell them otherwise. I cannot imagine what it must've felt like to be told that you were not able to marry based on love alone. I have always believed that love shall conquer all and on June 26, 2015, it truly did...and I cannot wait to see what is next!

The nuclear Iran deal scares me. It hasn't directly impacted me yet - but I am afraid for our future.

The onslaught of police brutality has been on my mind a lot. It deeply saddens me that an evolved society such as this cannot regulate and safely protect our society without harming innocent people. I'm also deeply saddened by the rhetoric surrounding these events - if we can't even talk to each other respectfully about it, how can we fix it?

Legalization of Gay Marriage - It's one step closer to equality. The mass shootings in the United States - I hope to one day see stricter gun laws Legalization of Marijuana in a couple of states - Less petty arrest, less crime. An outlet to raise more money for schools, lower taxes. Police Brutality - I struggle with the balance of police corruption and police brutality on innocence people. Where's the justice both ways? Watching Baltimore burn - This senseless act of riots was so horrible to watch unfold on TV. I didn't know how I can help or where I fit in to support a city I love so much.

The rise of anti-semitism in Europe has been a difficult pill to swallow. Just days after I left Vienna there were protests in the streets where people yelled "kill all the Jews!" It feels like only the Jewish people are aware of and scared of this anti-semitism, and it harkens back to nazi Germany not so long ago. It has made me more impassioned and honestly, a little more hardened. I hope that - on a more personal note - I don't become so staunchly right in my political views.

The attacks in Paris has raised awareness that many Jews are moving to Israel. Which didn't impact me so much when I was in Paris except to discuss it with Yetta Tatik's in-laws at dinner. However, going to Israel on my own for the first time and experiencing life there was huge. The world is as batty as it ever was. As the woman I met on the bus toward the whole city said, "as the whole world falls apart, including Israel, you may as well be in Israel" I cannot imagine making such an intense life change as to live in Israel. it had never occurred to me that I would move there. If anything the place I would move to is Florida. While I was in Israel it felt like a possibility. It does not seem so anymore now that I'm back in the states. I also don't know if I would move there as a single unless cv I was older. However I cannot imagine the life there. It is too different. I would however adore living there for half a year after I got married iyh. Preferably from Tishria through Nissan.Such a spiritual place to start a marriage. The Syria discord, while not directly affecting me, is huge. This is modern times and this is what is happening. It reminds me that we are in exile.

The Syrian refugee crisis. It really makes it so clear how little we care about people who are hurting overseas, particularly when there are a lot of them. It was so much easier for me -- everyone -- to feel bad about that boy whose body was found on the beach, but nearly impossible to care about everyone all at once.

This isn't so much of an event. It's really more of a environmental condition. The garbage patch in the ocean. It's damaging the whole oceanic food chain. All because we manufacture throw-away items and don't much care what happen with Mother Earth. It's time for a change.

Since we're looking at buying a home, I think more and more about the economy than I ever have. Just thinking about things like where we might buy and will property values go up? I think I'm jaded from the recession that's defined my adult life so far (graduating college in 2008 was no picnic, let me tell you). When I see how home prices are going up and up and up around us, I wonder if we'll ever have enough to buy a home.

There are so many senseless murders that happen every day, every minute. In January, 12 were gunned down at a Paris newspaper office for mocking a religious figure. I am torn by the idea of free speech, because I don't think it is meant to offend or inflame already high tensions. We cannot decide that it is ok to hide behind the first amendment in order to spout bigotry or misrepresent facts. That being said, religion has been perverted into a cause worth killing for since the beginning of religion. Is it worth the human cost?

A lot has impacted me this year but to narrow it down to a single event I would have to say June 3rd the Victory Day holiday in China. I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about the second world war but, never realized that Japan actually started the war in 1937 when it invaded China. It made me realize how insulated my view of the world actually was. I have always felt I was a very unprejudiced and open minded person, however being in China I have actually learned so much more about myself and gained a greater understanding myself and the world. I see things with a much more tolerant eye now.

The refugee crisis. It has impacted me deeply, especially the feeling that we all are one in this world has intensified. I hope we here in Europe can meet it with a generous heart.

Serbian refugees have been seeking asylum in unpresented numbers. Listening to the stories of terrorist oppression and torture I realize how blessed we are living in a place that honors human dignity, individualism and right to speak. The refugees' stories are further imprinted on my heart with the tale of children and parents drowning in their pursuit of freedom. We are all so vulnerable to the impact of evil. How can we as a united humankind address such horrific acts? We are so blessed to live in a safe country. I can't imagine switching places with a refugee family. What I would do to protect my grandchildren from the sick torture of a corrupt regime.

Quite local: the train derailment. While I grow in my capacity to find joy in the current moment, I increasingly feel the wrongness of being apart from each other every week. I'm beginning to see the vanishing point where we'll live together again. One kitchen, one bed. I feel hopeful and urgent.

The disgust that people of every backround when they hear about ISIS, the attack at the gay pride in Jerusalem, in Duma and in the synagogue in Har Nof. The help offered to Nepal after the earthquake and the soulsearching after police violence in.the States are refreshing and hopefully a sign of the moral evolution of mankind. Also the end of DOMA and the further encouragement of equality in the States. As a country that has great influence in the world and even more so in this region.

The massive expansion and successes of Israel. I believe they are the new super power. to the anti-semitic in the world I tattooed Israels flag on my arm.

The world has been CRAZY this year. Baltimore had some race riots due to a death of a young man by cops. There have been a lot of police killings that have come up this year. There is a likely chance that these killings have been going on for a long time but are now becoming a part of the public eye due to media or internet and whatever. we all have cameras on us at all times. While I started to become hopeful that this would lead to changes I now think that there is a chance that things are only getting worse. Planned parenthood was defunded and Donald Trump is running for president throwing around racial stereotypes and being very negative. I am ok with terrible jokes and ify statements but not from a leader of this country so openly and as an argument of why this wealthy out of touch guy should be making decisions for others. ugh... I am afraid of america

War torn Europe and need for refugee asylum.. world peace seems so distant and I fear we may never get there.

The racial discord in America has left me sad and almost despairing. It seems the divide widens and leaves violence and distrust. It is hard to believe that there is so much anger and fear within our nation, which claims to be built on justice and liberty for all. It saddens my heart.

It's not exactly an event that is on a global scale, but Scott Dinsmore's death was a blow that made me think about how I want to live my life. He advocates that all of us pursue a life doing what we love, and he is on his way to fulfilling his dream of travel with his wife that they had since 10 years. It made me think if I am living a life of purpose, and what kind of life do I want to share with Rahul and the answer is clear: I want our life to be full of joy and delight, and I don't want to waste a single moment worrying about little things but just love. Sure, things get difficult, but our love for each other and our love for life will always be bigger than that and that's enough for me.

This year has been an intense world wide situation. The very first thing that springs to mind is Bill Cosby. I know how terrible the allegations must be for the individuals in question but how much moreso for those of us who grew up with this man as a part of our lives whether in TV or comedy. He was a huge part of my families life and seeing that raped by his behavior hurt more than my less than impressed with celebrity mind ever could have thought. To look at a man who failed everyone as spectacular as this man. Relatedly an idol of mine died this year. Mr. Leonard Nimoy who's characters, directing, photography, and books were a formative part of my life. I have never cried for a celebrity like I cried for that man. A true loss of a good person I have never felt so very succinctly. His legacy leaves us with words and instructions on what to do in case of his death. "Live Long and Prosper" and my heart aches for those close to him.

Gay marriage became the law of the land! This has reinstalled me hope and belief in America (at risk of sounding overly dramatic). It was the first time -- in a long time! -- where I felt especially proud to call the US my home.

The current debates about women's access to healthcare have actually raised my blood pressure; it's easy to respond, because there's no ambiguity in my eyes. It's an issue I care about the most of any political debates, one that seems self-evident but somehow keeps getting challenged. It's been disheartening to know that this is the way things are for women in the world, but thrilling to have a cause I don't feel at all half-hearted about supporting and talking about. It's given me a clear angle to share and an unwavering political stance to speak from, and it pressing enough that it's inspired me to volunteer my time to any cause that will help. It's so valuable to run out of excuses for sticking your head in the sand; when the world touches you enough, there's nothing else to do but act.

The earthquake in Nepal. My husband and I travelled there for two months at a pivotal point in our lives. I have a friend who married a Sherpa and they have a daughter who started a foundation to help children in the village her family comes from. The images of Durbar Square and elsewhere were heartbreaking. I attended a fundraiser with Krishna Das and was able to bring my son who is on the autism spectrum and LOVES to listen to his chanting. It turned out to be such a special evening for us and no matter how much money we were able to give, really embodied the idea of coming together with love and sending that love all across the world.

Black Lives Matter has inspired me to believe that we may finally live in a country that sees all her citizens as equal humans. We are far away, but I hope we can get there.

There are some: The terror of the IS drove me into depressions. All those nameless people who have been killed, tortured and enslaved by them. The deaths of refugees - the suffers of those refugees who saved their lives but still don't find any shelter or stranded somewhere in Europe just to see that their are not welcome and handled like criminals. And the reawakening of racism in my homeland Germany - for which I feel so deeply ashamed that I cannot find words for it. It lets me fear about the future.

Migrant crisis. It made me think a lot about compassion and priorities. It also filled me with sadness and anger to see how mean - spirited many of us can be. it made me angry to see that we would often rather digest errant nonsense that confirms our prejudices, rather than facing the facts.

The fact that same-sex marriage is finally legal in the US everywhere is a great relief. It also hightlighted the fact that there's more work to be done, especially in the very conflicted trans community.

Oh god. #BlackLivesMatter, and all of the fallout from Ferguson/police shootings of unarmed children - and my own failure to be as involved the related activism as I would like. I just...am paralyzed by my own sadness and my own feeling of not wanting to step in where I might not be wanted. Also Netanyahu/Israel/Iran (and the fatal stabbing at J'lem pride and the burning to death of an infant by Jewish extremists) - i am so close to being Done with Israel as anything other than that place I have to go to visit my in-laws. The apologetic rhetoric from so much of the American Jewish community makes me cringe, and yet I am so scared to speak up, to own my opinions and my voice.

The killings of black lives in the US. I think it is such a tragedy and I wonder how this violence and misunderstanding can stop. How can I be a part of the solution?

The Supreme Court granted everyone the right to marry. It doesn't specifically impact me directly, but it does mean that my country shows more respect for love in all its many forms.

Gay marriage became legal in all 50 states! One of the most amazing weekends of my life! I'm so thankful to be gay in this time in American history!

It is hard not to talk about the refugee crisis. Those poor families, poor children. The hardest to swallow in all this, is that the world seems to have forgotten the lessons from just a few decades ago. The Boat People, the Exodus... There was a journalist, from a radical right wing organization, caught on camera kicking children and tripping parents desperately fleeing the police and their tear gas, clutching their kids as best they could. There was a little boy whose lifeless, otherwise perfect little body washed up on a shore. People shed a few tears on that one, but the fences are still up, and armed, and the doors - and minds - are still tightly shut.

So many events come to mind worldwide, and they all involve some form of violence, war,and physical harm to people. I could talk about so many of them but they bring me down and perpetuate negativity. I have decided instead to focus on a worldwide series of events that while they have brought about negative responses, I believe the overall larger response is positive. A number of countries have legalized same sex marriage! While this does not impact me or my life personally, it impacts me as a citizen of the world. I am so inspired by the many couples who have been waiting years or decades to be able to do what many people do almost as a matter of course, marry the person they love. The idea that anyone thinks they can legislate who a person can love is absurd. I am so vary happy for those people and for so many more in the future. Tolerance and acceptance is here and growing.

The drought in California has directly impacted me. I've tried to be far more careful about how much water I use each day. I'm not sure I'm making a big difference but I do feel that being aware and setting good examples of water usage can't make it w0rse.

The refugee crisis. I can't understand how difficult it is to open doors to people. My home is your home. It has pushed me to be more forward. I am afraid too of being overwhelmed. I won't let fear keep me from doing the right thing, from kindness.

For this I will say I"m sure something in the news has impacted me but I"m not sure what because I barely pay attention to the outside world. Mostly because I find it depressing and I'm not sure how knowing will help- although I suppose I could donate to the cause. I like to think that ignorance is bliss but I"m sure it's stupidity and I need to do more.

i dislike this question every year, because i CANNOT REMEMBER. but this year, ferguson is there. there in the marches, the deaths, the losses, even my fear of police. and i wonder why that is, but i come to 'i do NOT feel white/privileged/ safe.' i can't write a book on this....but it's huge. it actually is the start of me feeling that the problems that american faces are becoming too large, esp with the right wing trying to make them worse....all. the. time. but.... maybe....maybe... change will happen.

I have stayed away from the world this year. For me, the quickest way to get back on my game after losing the babies was to avoid the dark things and stay busy with pleasant distractions. It's a luxury, one I'm thrilled to have. I will say that I like Pope Francis, I do not like Donald Trump, and I'm disgusted that the GOP wants to defund Planned Parenthood over a non-issue.

The upsurge in antisemitism has had a huge impact on me because of what I do. Trying to balance the reality of the situation with the understandable panic of the Holocaust Survivors and family of Survivors that I work with has been challenging. Much of the articles I am forwarded are so right wing and many times based on bizarre fallacies or faulty logic. There is antisemitism out there, it's just difficult to figure out what I or my organization should do about it.

I was extremely upset when Robin Williams committed suicide. I know he struggled with some of the same issues I have...and if he couldn't find a way to handle them, how can I ever hope to...? It scares me.

There was an Egyptian attack on some tourists on a spiritual journey who were mistaken for terrorists. About a dozen were killed. My friend was badly injured in it. I'm sad and confused about the world we have created. Does it really make sense to fight terror with terror?

Nationwide marriage equality. My relationship finally recognized all over the country.

The mass exodus from Syria and elsewhere really weighs on me. It seems like a tsunami, without end and without significant relief or peace for its victims. I can't fathom how receiving communities can appropriately respond. I wonder what I can do. I am feeling so fortunate that I live in a place which has peace, that I have enough money, and health and a good brain to appreciate things. And I have loved ones and friends who care about me.

Currently a new mandate in CA has passed that all kids are to receive all vaccines. As a mother this terrifies me, my child is vaccinated but I should be allowed to chose what's best for you. Hoping that this bill is veto or we are allowed to vote and kill this bill. Scary times when you think the government will control what you put in your body.

The Iran nuclear deal has made me think more about the rift between different groups of Jews. I have a more pessimistic attitude about Jews of different backgrounds & streams getting along.

The rise of IS in the middle east. I believe that this group has risen due to mistakes by both the Bush and Obama administrations - and yet neither group is willing to acknowledge their errors but have no problem pointing out the other's mistakes. Ownership of the issue and the solution will bring about a success in ridding the world of this scourge - but inaction or lack of action seems to be indicative of the American Way. This concerns me greatly both for America and for Israel - both countries that I care deeply for/about.

The current refugee/migrant crisis is a very strange world event to witness from afar. The reality of what those people are facing is hideous. I think that world leaders need to intervene to deal with the root cause of the issue, but we all have to take responsibility for dealing with the people involved.

Probably all of the police brutality cases in America, and gun violence in general. I feel like every day there is another shooting at a school or public area and it's just gotten out of control. I hope we can come together as a country and reduce gun violence.

The opening of the Lion's Gate 8/8/8 has been a significant event in my life. I have had to face some of my deepest and darkest fears as they rise and try to consume me. My fear of being insufficient, of being a failure, of being a disappointment. My fears of not being worthy of love, of not being worthy of respect, of not being enough. And in the midst of this storm, I came to realize that my fears, although they are what they are, have no merit or holding. I am free to be me. And being me is enough, is sufficient, is excellence, is love, is light, is divine. I seemed to have forgotten who I am truly am but this event has kindly reminded and reinforced in me that I AM. And there is nothing that FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) can do to take that away from me.

I was in a car crash. It was largely detrimental because now I'm vaguely certain that I'll die in another car crash at any time.

I was genuinely devastated by the result of the 2015 General Election. Like, properly upset, for quite some time. So I joined the Labour Party and I'm thinking about getting more involved with my local party. We may be in for another 5 years of a Conservative government, but at least I can try to make sure we avoid another ten.

Nothing. I had to begin avoiding the news because it affected my depression. I miss knowing what's going on but I feel happier this way.

Syria is a mess and there are so many people fleeing the country for safety. So many European and middle eastern countries are rejecting them...preserving their own people's 'rights'. I understand the fear and sentiment, but disagree with it wholeheartedly. We are all humans, we all deserve safety, food and shelter. We are all temporary in this life...you can't take anything with you so it is yours only on 'loan' until you leave. So share generously now and your rewards will be great in life.

In November, that police officer that killed Michael Brown didn't get indicted. Or whatever the technical term is. I was never good at details, but he didn't go to jail, and I'm not even sure he lost his job. I was staying with my boyfriend's parents that weekend, playing at a church in Portland. I didn't know what they thought of it. I didn't know if I could talk to them about it. A few days later it was Thanksgiving, and I knew that if I brought it up everyone would be angry that we were talking about politics, and my uncle would go off on a rant, and I wouldn't get the healing, grieving conversation I needed to process what had happened and why. I almost felt like I could talk to my brother about it, but I know he was really depressed about it, so I wasn't sure if that would be the best (although it probably would have been). I remember watching a video of a protest happening in Minneapolis where a protester was literally run over. In South Minneapolis. Where I was moving. I saw it late at night, right after I had talked to my boyfriend. I tried calling him back to talk about it because it freaked me out so much that we were moving to a place where someone would run over a protester, but he didn't answer. I'm not sure I actually did talk with him about it. I didn't really think he would get it. How could a white police officer not even get fired for killing an innocent young black man when so many young black men are sentenced for life or condemned to the death penalty?!?!?! The sense of injustice is so huge, and yet we as a society struggle to figure out what to do in the face of it. There are so many things we could do, and yet I worry that too few will get done. I toyed with joining the Black Lives Matter movement in the face of this. I'm not sure if the following statements are excuses or not, but I feel like their marches to raise awareness are only pissing people off, and I don't know what they're actually working for, beyond awareness. It needs to go beyond awareness. I did attend a class on racism, which was quite the commitment and opened my eyes ten-fold and even more. It was the best possible thing I could have done upon first arriving here to the Twin Cities. And I did write and publish an article in a neighborhood newspaper about the racist rhetoric around a particular neighborhood of Minneapolis. I have considered publishing it more widely, but I feel weird about it because, to be honest, I still haven't even been to that neighborhood. What right have I to say anything about it? And a friend and I are starting a diversity conversation at one of my workplaces, as well as participating in a community conversation around diversity in the ad industry. Hopefully it is enough. But what will ever be enough? Full justice - but I don't believe that that will ever happen. Right now it's easy to have hope for the world, because the places I work are filled with people doing good things. And yet the world is a big, complicated, messy place. And even though I absolutely support democracy in terms of giving everyone an equal voice, that honestly results in some pretty screwed up systems due to the differences in what people value and the fact that people don't always value other people or value land/ecosystems. It's supposed to support humanity, but in some instances it seems like it can degrade it. This event made me extremely sad. I hope that at the very least, some productive anger, hope, and change will come out of it as people awaken to this particular systemic injustice.

This year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples. Even though I am not yet engaged or married, this signals a shift in American attitudes and will simultaneously continue to change American attitudes. When and if I choose to marry, my marriage will be recognized throughout the country.

The Supreme Court declared same sex marriage legal. Though I'm in an opposite gender marriage, I was thrilled so many people (several friends among them) could finally be free to love who they wanted to love and receive the same benefits and protections that my husband and I have. As a child of a mixed race marriage, it still amazes me how recently miscegenation laws were overturned and it shocks me that we are basically rehashing the same issues that this country has struggled with for centuries. People are people regardless of sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion. It's amazing to me that a country like ours, that was founded based on the pursuit of freedom, can have so many people who seem obsessed with restriction and control of others and continue to promote hate and intolerance.

The mass migration from Central America to the U.S. drew me into working in immigration law again. That experience was a rich opportunity to try, fail, but move toward working on something that I value. I really didn't like the day to day existence but I loved the people I was helping. Helped me dive into what it means to be a new immigrant in the United States, what it means to be a child when you are exposed to fear and violence for most of your life, and what it means to be a women in a machismo culture.

For a minute I couldn't think of an answer here, and then I went "wait, what am I thinking?" Of COURSE the answer here is about the US Supreme Court upholding same sex marriage and ruling it constitutional nationwide. I'm a bisexual woman, so the ruling had personal implications for me, clearly. But more than that, it's nice to know that history is starting to bend in a way that recognizes the humanity of all people, and the reality that love has to be stronger than hate.

Bernie Sanders announced he's running for the Democratic nomination for Presidency. Bernie's the one politician I have faith in, and that has been true for a couple years now. Hearing he was running, seeing his polling numbers, it gives me hope.

I wish I could answer otherwise (especially since I’m responding with a trend rather than a particular event), but the proliferation of aggressive and sometimes violent instances of Jew-hatred around the globe has greatly distressed me this year. Responding to this same question five years ago, I wrote that I worried about the American body politic becoming “increasingly reactionary and nationalistic”; that trend has continued and even accelerated while Israel and Zionism have become moral barometers and wedge issues. Now that Jewish artists are being asked to share their positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to perform, as happened with Matisyahu this summer in Spain, it’s clear the progressive international community has decided that Jews must reject Israel and Zionism to be deemed “good Jews.” Short of that, they’re hateful racists…even if they actually have nuanced positions on b'matzav and are opposed to the occupation of the West Bank. It’s simply no longer socially acceptable to be a liberal Zionist. These developments make me uneasy. What world will my son inhabit?

I'm mostly, at this point in my life, not surprised by all of the horrible things that happen in this world. Each shooting in the state, every reveal of horrible injustice around the world, the Syrian refugee crisis - each thing reminds me that the world is a terrible place. With all of the sadness in my life, sometimes, I'm not sure how I can help fix it, so I settle for small kindnesses and inspiring others. And, while I desperately want a partner and children of my own, I can lie to myself a little and say that this world is so horrible that maybe it wouldn't be bad if I didn't bring a kid into it, after all? In the end, at least I've taught others to be better to others.

It sounds really dumb, but I struggled with the asshole that shot Cecil the lion. Of course, I was part of that "circle of rage" that everyone talks about, because, unfortunately, I think that's natural. But animals are so helpless, and although it's really fucked up for a person to shoot another person, you can wrap your head around the fact that people have differences of opinion and can actively and deliberately hurt each other and piss each other off. (This of course does not make murder okay... it is still totally messed up.) But to haul off and not even feel any remorse or sadness about shooting an animal... and doing it for sport... it scares me that there are people with that mental capacity.

The crisis with the refugees in Europe. I can not imagine countries in Europe allowing people to walk 100's of mikes. Just walking along the highways and not even sure where they are going. They haven't seen anything like this since WWII

The Syrian refugee crisis. I am thoroughly saddened by the crisis and shocked that European nations are turning their backs on so many in need. It's like Donald Trump is in charge of immigration over there or something. Shame on you European nations.

The migrant/refugee crisis in Europe gives me reason to pause. People seem to be so uncompassionate when it comes to the plight of those fleeing war torn countries for a better life. Countries are building fences at their borders and negotiating how many they will take in. Some countries will only take christian refugees, etc. I don't have the answer, but some of the crisis in their nations are caused by western polices and forces, so what would we expect to happen when things go south. As an immigrant, I'm conflicted. I want people to go where the can have a better life, but I want countries to be better places so people don't have to leave their country of birth to survive and accomplish.

Definitely the plight of the thousands of refugees looking for a safe home. I am the daughter of immigrants.. Jews from Europe... and I feel a great deal of empathy for them.

My bubble is still intact.

Nothing happened in the world really impact my personally life. But the one thing that I don't understand is that why can't we eliminate ISIS from the world. If they are completely against the humanity, why UN cannot send an international troop to finish their up? Where is justice? Helping people to find their new homes is nice, but helping them to be safe in their own homes would be much more preferable, right???

This is once again the same answer that I've given in the past. I don't stay up that much on current events. I feel bombarded with negative news when I pay attention to it and try not to feed into it. Besides, it makes it hard for me to even feel like the news I'm getting is the truth, so I hardly pay attention to it. The Syrian refugee crisis photos have affected me a lot though. It makes me realize how good I have it and how all of the problems that I focus on are truly not that important in the big picture of it all.

Honestly, I've had tunnel vision because of the farm - the responsibility has been a bit overwhelming and it's been the focus of most of my attention this year. I want to try to find more balance, to become a better community member and global citizen while still managing my business. It's a goal for next year.

Climate change Working with an environmental foundation made me feel close to the good work that is being done to turn things around. Being away from it now makes me anxious and scared and angry about our future

The refugee crisis in Europe is weighing me down. I feel helpless watching their suffering. Their situations have been caused by economic turmoil, the war in Syria, and other factors. I'm afraid for Israel's future, and I"m afraid that the economic instability could spread to the US. I'm worried that we'll have enough work to support ourselves and save for retirement.

What is an event "in the world"? An event "historical." Then it must be the one in which I felt my own agency. At the culmination of untold myriads of labors of many devoted rodfei shalom, who had themselves accumulated skillful precision in their activity, rainbow warriors, priests and priestesses of strategy, Who received and tended me! Where I had come with a fire unleashed, a fire they honed toward its own righteous potential, the skillful unfolding of itself in a mystical practice of ends-oriented-truth-regimes, within a field of knowables and unknowabilities, esotericisms. They equipped me with skills, they trained me in building by listening, in the construction of selves by their own fires into collective being-towards, pursuing. So we built-towards, so we pursued. So we became in relation to our yet-unmanifest end. We arrived at last to achieve it, and played by the grace of the muses on the field of battle, and routed our enemy, our hidden enemy. And again they were there to receive our achievement, to retain it, to mobilize it, to water it as seed and unfold it endlessly according to its trajectory. The event shaped me back through time. The event drew me into being-towards itself. The event called me into being as such. Why? The why belongs to many, but I will tell of my own. The why is the sake of righteousness. The why is piety. The why is that this life is a gift, a gift inside of a gift, an immeasurable infinity of endless giftiness, that the only appropriate response to that gift is gratitude, that the only means of that gratitude is surrender and utter devotion. Because the condition of this life is utter sacrilege, and I have no purpose like sanctification in truth.

World, war in Syria, it has a negative impact on my country, life is getting worse and more and more Arabs immigrating and all...

The Syrian refugee crisis has finally hit central Europe and thus the mainstream media. I have been talking to people who've been working on it for years without recognition of the scale of the issue. It drives me to want to practice human rights or immigration law. To change the systems we have that ddeny people the right to be heard (the right for their families to live)

Isis. The mass exodus of different countries The environment Surge of religious beliefs Political activity around the world A conservative living in a liberal world Living in a very prophetic world. We are here for such a time as this!

I would suppose this Syria thing going on right now is the most prominent in my mind. To think of what these people are going through is overwhelming. I almost can't even wrap my head around it. It's bittersweet really. Because on one hand, they are literally fleeing their homeland/Country/all they have known in their life, and on the other they are opening up to a whole new possibility, which at this point is completely unknown to them. The point that I suppose has the most impact for me is to understand the dynamic of when something is sooo bad, though it's all you know, you leave it/get away from it for something that is hopefully better though you have no idea what that will be, but you figure it has to be better than anything you were living. It truly is setting sail for a new horizon and upon arriving, burning the ships to never, ever return. There is a book that I bought a few years back called "The Black Swan Effect," and the concept is pretty simple. It says that most, if not all scenarios are "predictable," though there is always the event or rarity of the "unpredictable," and outlying existence of something. So, there truly are black swans, though very few and far in between. And until it had been documented, nobody believed this to be true. And then the author uses several cases to substantiate this effect. One of the circumstances included a story where refugees fled their country and went to a new country. They lived in this new country and refused to unpack, therefore living out of suitcases for at least a couple of years, in thoughts that they would soon move back to their country they fled from. This of course never occurred. Therefore, it was the "Black Swan Event," that changed the course of their lives. 9/11 was one for America. I think we have another one coming that will surpass that. I cannot really answer "how" the situation in Syria has affected me, other than to trigger empathy and an effort to try and understand their plight. In answer to "why" it's affected me...because I'm human and so are they. Plain and simple.

Racial violence erupted throughout the United States. I am a white woman and I was on the forefront of the beginnings of my inner-city neighborhood really starting to gentrify. I think about my neighbors, the police, and what my own prejudices are as I move through my community. My own feelings of relief as bars and restaurants change hands and become places that I frequent.

I don't think a world event has impacted me directly. I am angered that our Florida governor has banned the phrase 'climate change' from his government! Doesn't he ever fly over any of our coastal areas and see all of the homes businesses that are built next to the water? Why isn't he listening to the scientists? I am also upset that our politicians want to defund Planned Parenthood and remove the only health service option for many women without offering any alternative. I am also angered with the lies that are being spread about medicinal marijuana.

The resurgence of a wide-spread racial justice movement in Black Lives Matter has shaken me up. I felt agitated around this issue before, but I was lazy, and I think the energy that has built around BLM makes me feel hopeful, like change is possible, and that I have a place in it. I have also learned more about the stake I have in justice for Black people and other communities of color, as well as for trans people, whose experiences have been highlighted in this movement. I need to continue to cultivate my own sense of connectedness, to explore my privilege, and to stay involved in supporting this necessary transformation in our country.

The year same sex marriage became law of the land. What more needs to be said? A great year to get legally married in!

Donald Trump is running for president. I'm going to have to vote for Bernie Sanders

The fact that someone as fabulous as Bernie Sanders is running for President has given me hope for the future. It has made me think I don't have to flee Amerika quite yet!

There has not really been an event in the world that has impacted me this year. This probably sounds pretty bad, but it's true. I try to stay informed with what is going on in this world, but nothing has really struck me.

The event in the world that has had the most impact upon me this year is the refugee crisis in Europe. As someone who would not exist if my refugee grandparents and father had not been accepted as they fled from Hitler, I will not deny those fleeing today support and a safe haven. However, while I make this fine statement, I have yet to match the words with appropriate action. Time for teshuvah.

I guess I should say Ferguson and all of the other incidents of police brutality - it impacted all of us with any mindful awareness of inequality in the US. Donald Trump. Need I say more. We are the laughing stock of the world.

The Paris attacks on January 7-9 wrecked me. I was shaken to my core. Cowardly & vicious acts of terrorism seem to be the norm these days. It was incredibly difficult for me to wrap my head around the targeted and specific murdering of Jews in a kosher supermarket. I expect things like that out of settlements in Israel but never in Paris. I still get sad when I think about it. It wasn't just the Jews but the Charlie Hebdo attack was an attack of freedom. That is just unacceptable.

The current visit of Pope Francis has inspired me just recently. He stands for a positive force in the world which we really need now. Otherwise, the general carping and negative attitude of the US politicians has had the opposite effect. It gets very tiresome to hear the lies and accusations and see the rampant prejudice against immigrants inspired by the constant arguments over immigration and gay marriage.

This past year, I told my college classmates that I have Bipolar II. The outpouring of support was tremendous. So, I felt I had participated in breaking the silence about mental illness.

No impact but the continued police killings, US government behavior against encryption, and instability in the world are depressing.

The ongoing Syrian refuge crisis is compelling. Trying to imagine myself on a rickety boat with a child, and a dream for a better life...for it to be so bad a situation at home that I'd be willing to risk our lives. It's unimaginable. The impact is made more deeply having just been in Budapest in July.

I am not as globally minded as I would like to be. Mother hood has kept me in the "mommy bubble" for the last 2 years in many ways. But I guess I would say all these Republicans in office and running for the next presidential election have me thinking about the future, equal rights, women's rights, living life with compassion, open-mindedness, and a celebration of diversity. I just started becoming interested in the news for the first time in maybe my whole life. I also am becoming more interested in religion and mythology, for personal reasons of spiritual fulfillment. ALL of this makes my husband uncomfortable, but he really has nothing to feel threatened about, because it all just makes me a more open, loving, aware, deeper, and hopefully better person.

I think just all the injustices of black people and black bodies not being respected has impacted me. But I think Donald Trump running for president and people actually voting for him, is fucking my head up. Lets hope when I read this, he isn't president.

The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. It was a historic day that made me proud to be American.

The refugees in Europe. I live in a Scandinavian country. Many refugees from Syria and other countries came here. There are strongly diverting opinions about the situation. People want to help. People are afraid. It impacted me, because the migration agency, which was in charge for my own residence permit was totally overwhelmed with the work due to all the refugees...delays and no one who could give information.

The news is filled with the refugee crisis and the plight of young black men. Neither of these have anything to do with me, by cosmic luck. And this doesn't excuse me from thinking about what my response ought to be.

The war in Yemen has terrified me. The US media shows almost nothing of what is going on, but when I went to Africa last our flight was rerouted to avoid Yemeni airspace. It was the first time in my life a foreign war had directly effected me and it is in an almost unfathomably petty way. But it got me to open my eyes to that fact and acknowledge how distant I am from so many world realities.

The shooting that killed nine people at the AME church in Charleston. It has opened my eyes to the scope of racism here in the United States. I live in deeply segregated city and violence here often gets a lot of press without any results. That someone could and would go in to a place of worship, any place of worship, and start shooting just horrifies me. I am not a religious person, mostly agnostic though raised Catholic but I have a deep respect for other human beings. That we can't see each other as the same saddens me on a level I can barely express.

The current US presidential campaigning is already making it's impact felt, months before it 'starts' full force. I am frustrated because instead of focusing on issues and what is best for our country and the world, we have as a culture/ country settled on focusing on the loud and insulting sound bytes of reality TV. I really have been examining my values and trying to listen beyond the noise and hype. It's becoming harder and harder.

Violence and terrorism seems to have its grip on the whole world. Sometimes I just want to crawl into a hole and forget what's outside.

That photograph of a young exhausted Syrian mother clutching her young child as she trudged along. My God!

Having just returned from Europe, the immigration crisis is present in my mind. The conflict in Syria has driven many thousands of people to seek refuge. There are so many of them that borders are being closed down, and the existing residents and citizens of European countries fear that they will be a drain on resources - of course, that is a legitimate fear. Unfortunately their prejudices and fear of people from that region of the world are showing up in a big way. My hope is that a solution for this crisis can be reached, and a home for tens of thousands of displaced people can be found. My expectations are different, though. I expect that Europe will have a long, deep struggle to accept the changes that have begun this year, but that it will open all our eyes to the global effects of military conflict.

I never know what to answer for this one--I can only think of sad things that happen that I can't get out of my mind and don't want to think about again. I don't know if it would be better if I could take in world events more dispassionately--is it better to "witness" dispassionately or to avoid emotionally? I feel like not being a witness to other people's suffering is wrong, but being a witness and being emotionally bereft is not benefiting myself or my family. For now I ping-pong between the witnessing and avoiding, grieving and trying not to grieve.

There are so many world events that impact us on a daily, weekly and monthly basis - some of which, the ramifications are so subtle, so gradual we might not notice until it's too late. But one event has had a very personal impact- the Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage for same sex couples in all 50 states. My wife and I have been married for 2 years. It was a big deal when our great state of California legalized marriage equality. But, it was HUGE when our marriage became recognized by all 50 of our united states. The security and well-being that comes with knowing that your rights as an American citizen must be recognized by both your state and on a federal level cannot be underestimated.

The refugee crisis in Syria has given me pause and made me really try to be grateful for the simple things I have - like safety, a roof over my head, enough to eat, etc.

The Charlie Hebdo stuff made me feel like I live here. I started the year feeling like I was part of life in France. I liked being with Pia and the kids in Rennes and I love coming home to my own house.

I have been especially struck by the footage of the deaths of so many black men--how many of us in the US have turned our heads away from the realities of our country. At the same time, I have been struck by the emergence of this Pope as someone who actually embodies the values of his religion in profound ways. Watching him practice the tenets of that Catholic church has buoyed my faith in the world, even as my faith in humans has been shaken by these horrible deaths and our continued willingness to minimize them.

The horrendous events of racial profiling against African Americans in the United States and the heartbreaking stories of refugees leaving their entire lives to trek to Europe for safety at times left me stunned, at times in tears. I became acutely aware of the white privilege I experience -- as well as very grateful for the security I experience as a Jew at this moment/space in time.

The United States Supreme Court ruled that marriage is marriage. Two people who love each other, regardless of gender, can now marry. I am so thrilled I don't have words to describe it. As a civil rights issue, as a moral issue, as a humanitarian issue, I am thoroughly in support of this decision. I wasn't altogether surprised, but it made/still makes me deliriously happy.

I think it's some combination of watching politics on the national and international level and feeling somewhat depressed in the short term, though still committed long term to political engagement. Watching the Israeli election be essentially decided by Israeli racism, and watching the Republican nominating process be impacted by the overt and covert racism of both candidates and supporters is incredibly depressing: not that these candidates might make these appeals, but that they might work in the 21st century. And yet withdrawing from the process is not an option - such behavior needs to be engaged and combatted, or else the field is left free for a world that is not the one in which I want to live.

The Chinese devaluing their currency and shrinking the value of my own savings as a result. Makes me feel out of control. Which, in fact, we all are!

Nothing global really comes to mind as affecting me, here in the Colorado suburbs.. New Ausse pM. China devaluing renminbi. Waves of refugees and emigrants in Europe, from Syria... Presidential election not til next year. War. Fed not raising interest rates this week. None affecting me. We have talked for a decade about this convenient war; no sacrifice here in the day to day. It's weird to be so insulated. On the other hand, do we just get too much news? Overloaded and numb? Acting locally on the PTO -- where I can help -- instead of wringing my hands over things I cannot...

Nothing that has impacted me directly other than shaking up the mirage of order. Europe is buckling against immigrants coming in.....Iran deal? Fearing Trump for President. Our world has tilted.

The continued mistreatment of black people in this country has forced me to take sides on social issues, caused me to see the true colors of those around me whether good or bad, and made me want to act in favor of righteousness.

I pay so little attention to world events that I don't think I can name a single thing. :(

I've been so busy trying to keep my life together that I haven't paid attention to world events like I would have liked.

The weather is the only thing I can think of. I don't watch or read much news because it is so ladened with fear and negativity. The heat wave we have been experiencing had been draining and the warm, muggy summer rains that are so unusal for our region remind me of my Matthew, who died almost 3 years ago. He loved the rain. So when I moved his bed into my grandaughters room for her visit, it was hot and muggy. The air felt like it was choking me, and just when I felt like I would not be able to take a breath, the rain came. I watched it fall in the courtyard from Matthew's room. It was like he was in the rain embracing me while I took off the sheets he slept on and I tried to smell his scent. Thinking there is probably still some of his DNA on these sheets. That was 2 months ago and I still have not been able to wash them.

I think the whole trans movement has gotten to me. In that, I don't agree with the anti-women agenda of the mtt trans movement. This business with Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner was more publicized than anything in years, and I became disheartened with the way the term "cis" was being applied to all "non-trans" women, in other words, to all women who don't happen to be men who became women. And because of this, I turned to my old friend, radical feminism, and found that other women were bothered by this too, that other real feminists were disenchanted with liberal feminism and with Everyday Feminism and with sugar-coated feminism, and that there were, actually some real feminists, radical feminists, who I could communicate with online, and I'm glad I started communicating with them again and stopped being afraid to say or think (at least in private) that women born women are actual women and that men who put on dresses and play gender games are not the same thing as women born women. I am sickened by the genderization of our culture and by the idea that being a woman has to do, inherently, with putting on a dress and wearing lipstick and high heeled shoes, rather than, for example, possessing a vagina in a patriarchy where rape is a part of every waking second of life.

Ugh. So much horrible stuff has happened, both locally and internationally. The Baltimore uprising has made me even more aware of the disparities in my city and I have no idea what to do about them. I like to think that by buying a house and raising a family here I am helping, but am I really just gentrifying and making things worse? If so, how does a white upper-middle class person live here in way that does help? There has to be a way.

The Syrian migrant crisis - it's happening right now, it scares me, it makes me feel threatened and therefore shown me I am very possibly hateful, racist, narrow-minded, irrational and ignorant. Go me.

The event that seemed to have the biggest impact on me was the nuclear deal with Iran. I was, and remain, torn about the agreement not knowing what is really the right choice. I was disillusioned with how partisan the debate was, not only in Congress but also in my personal life with such strong comments from Adam and Therus on the pro side, and Kathy Betty and the Miller's on the con side. I found it somewhat depressing that we seem to live in a society, even with people I deeply respect, that is so partisan and so difficult to have a balanced conversation. In a time in my life where i am trying to be less judgmental, this partisan tone is difficult for me to deal with.

What comes to mind is the refugee crisis in Europe with people trying to cross over different bodies of water and the stories of whole boats of them capsizing and drowning, stories of them like 'huddled masses' not able to find a safe place to go, being harrassed and criminalized for trying to get out of harm's way. Of children drowning. I think what strikes me about these stories is that I am no different from those people as a human being; they are trying to escape unstable regions with their families, trying to escape persecution and danger, but they really don't have anywhere to go. All routes of egress are blocked. They are not given a lot of options, and their lives are seemingly not counted as valuable as western lives.

there's so many. the House just voted to defund Planned Parenthood, which is terrifying because I am literally in the midst of crafting a resume to work there. this nonsense with Trump running for president (and people unironically thinking of voting for him), and all of this hatred towards Mexicans and the rising Islamophobia I see... all of it really scares me. the idea that the House of Representatives would vote to defund an organization that prevents cancer, prevents abortions, and provides unbiased access to healthcare over some scare tactic easily disproved videos is terrifying to me. the idea that black and brown children are still being persecuted is terrifying to me. outside of move to Finland and act like it's not happening (and abuse my privilege in doing so?) I don't know what I can really do.

The murder of various Israelis over the past year disturb me. I beg for a world of peace. Really, there's no need to murder Rabbis praying in shuls or Shira Banki, supporting LGBT in Israel. I don't care if you study Torah or donate money in their memories. They died in vain because if disgusting people.

No event in particular, but the gun violence is getting out of control. People are crazy, and we need to get guns out of their hands. It's a scary world!

All of the seemingly racial centered events - makes me realize that our nation's past will never really go away. No one will allow old thoughts to end.

The intensification of the effects of human caused global warming is hitting me hard this year - and especially the United State's economically motivated blindness on this issue. I fear for the future of our planet and all life and am ashamed of the way my country values profit for some now over hope for all in the long run.

A child dying of cancer. It made me incredibly sad to the point where I didn't want to take in anymore sadness.

Hmm. An event in the world, maybe the Dominican decision concerning Haitian immigration. The DR basically ruled and took away Haitian's citizenship in the country, even retroactively. This happened when I was there and it caused lots of issues. Hundreds of Haitians were lined up outside of government buildings trying to get proper paperwork to not get deported at the last minute. I went down there to observe/try to talk to some of them with my Haitian friend and translator. As we were there, one Dominican on a motorbike drove by and yelled "get out of here you black people", to which I didn't respond so kindly. Another Haitian woman asked my friend in kreyole why I didn't save him and take him to the US with me. A very controversial situation.

Honestly, as a family we have stopped watching the news and mostly stopped paying attention to any but the biggest news events. As such, I can't think of anything that impacted me or my family in any meaningful way. I mean, the economy continues to suck and that's hard, but it's hard for everyone, so that hardly counts.

The whole issue of racial injustice has impacted me a ton this year. The school I go to is predominately African American and I'm white. Therefore, when all of the police abuse and wrongful deaths came about, it hit my community very hard. I have become more open and "woke" about the very real issues our country has. And in becoming more informed, I can now have opinions that are backed up by facts. I am still learning, but I am very changed by what I have learned so far. Also the court ruling for Gay Marriage was something that I don't think I'll ever forget. I think I'll always remember where I was and what I was doing when I found out. I myself am not gay, but being in the theater community, I know a whole lot of gay people. I feel as strongly about the subject of LGBTQ+ rights as much as those who are directly affected. I think that the court ruling was just the beginning, but it was a monumental step.

The legalization of gay marriage in all 50 states. It has given me hope that this world is stepping in the right direction towards tolerance and acceptance. I am also now at peace knowing that my children can be with whomever they love.

The crisis in Syria and the resultant refugee crises across Europe, the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality, and terrorism against women by Boko Haram have broadened my perspective and deepened my passion for doing good in the world.

I've become more aware of systemic racial discrimination due to the Black Lives Matter movement. I'm trying to become more aware of my various privileges.

I looked up a list of major events that have occurred so far this year, and nothing stood out as inspiring strong emotion in me. Every day, there is a new outrage that I have no control over and can do very little about.

The Syrian refugees fleeing to Europe and the world's pitiful response towards them as were the words of Malala Yousafzai. I read a lot of responses that were resentful because of the existing antisemitism still existing in society. However, most have understood that such lingering feelings, even if faint, are harmful. But the same can be said of Islamophobia, and the sad thing about it, is that today it is a justified emotion for many. I am neither Jew nor Muslim, but it still saddens me to have so much division and animosity among our human family. We only have each other, and we are all beautiful, and our lives finite. So whoever you are, I send you mettā. It is loving kindness in Buddhist practice. May we see less suffering in our world and may there be less suffering in our lives and our future.

The election is coming up and I've been kind of captivated by the ignorance parade that is the GOP. Especially Trump. I'm stunned by his popularity and fascinated by how this is all going to play out. Will it go back and bite them in the butt? I'm curious to see how this will all play out for the democrats as well. I really admire and agree with Bernie Sanders but feel a loyalty to Hillary as well. I hope that doesn't bite us in the butt. Gay marriage is also a big deal and a long time coming. The Kim Davis situation is horrifying and I hope it plays itself out. This time next year I hope to have forgotten who she is. I would love nothing more than to see her fade into obscurity. Also this Ashley Madison hack exposing Josh Duggar has fascinated me to no end. That kind of public hypocrisy revealing the weaknesses of the religious right perversely satisfies me. I wonder how that's going to play out as well.

The world is such a big place. It's hard to comprehend how things happening thousands of miles away are even capable of affecting me. I am happy to see achievements in LGBT equality. I am saddened to see that we continue to consider violence as an answer to resolving problems.

the whole debate about police behavior and use of force. I want to show more respect for law enforcement officers but seeing on a nearly daily basis incidents of police misconduct - and the attempts to justify it - really tears me apart. It scares the hell out of me not knowing whether a particular police officer is a level-headed, fair professional - or a "sociopath with a badge". It scares me even more seeing a lot of police commanders, law enforcement unions, and a lot of non-LEOs trying to rationalize inappropriate behavior or use of force. I know not all LEOs are bullies but damn...

There are so many negative events in the world right now, from natural disasters, to mass shootings, to shootings of unarmed black men, to a political climate that is gridlocked and mean-spirited, especially toward the needy. I feel helpless, hopeless, like i'm not doing enough to change the world, and yet, how can i make a difference?

There really isn't a lot that I let affect me anymore. There is an election coming up and I'm liking this Bernie Sanders guy so far.

The Iran nuclear agreement was passed and it is another indication of how scary the world is. I'm so afraid of terrorism and the rise of antisemitism in Europe, on college campuses. and worldwide. These trends are so unsettling.

The migration of refugees in the middle East/Africa into Europe. It makes me very sad how they are being often rejected. I cannot understand the most powerful world governments not acting to help these people stay in their homeland and thrive. We need to help them in their homeland. It is their heartland of generations. They do not want to leave but have no choice due to violence. Yet the powers of the world seem to do nothing. We would not have refugee problems if we could help these people govern themselves. My great grandparents and great-great grandparents were immigrants to Canada and United States. I wonder why they left. Were they fleeing? Were they exploring? Politics or religious reasons? I am curious and am going to explore those questions more this coming year.

OMG this fucking election! The tsunami of racism and ignorance brought on by the likes of Donald Trump, coupled with Ferguson and Sandra Bland etc. has been truly, bone shatteringly depressing. And don't get me started on Kim Davis. I swear these Christian fanatics have infiltrated too far and it feels like a jihad. Their self-righteousness and insistence that they are better than EVERYONE else and that their narrow minded, cruel and controlling "values" should be crammed down our throats is terrifying. They couldn't be less Christian if they tried. Just like the Tea Party has hijacked and ruined the traditional Republican party twisting it into something ugly and shameful, so too have these radicals who have smeared and degraded the reputation of all Christians. The hypocricy - it makes the blood boil!

The Black Lives matter campaigns have really affected me in the past year. I've been really moved by the way young people, especially queer young people of color, have mobilized around dignity of black and brown human lives. I went to an Eric Garner protest and broke down in front of a police office at the Eric Garner protest in Durham. I felt so dehumanized by the way he was looking at me. (Picture link below) I participated in a Black Brunch protest in Oakland where we called out white folks in the suburbs for economic violence and talked to them about how they could get involved. It was beautiful. https://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2F87336689%40N03%2F15956654455%2Fin%2Fset-72157649631027645%2F&h=hAQEnWeE5

Facebook is a fantastic tool. It allows me to share the joy of wonderful news from friends and family, as well ask being able to empathize and sympathize with them when they share their sad stories. I also see news stories that can be disturbing - and this is hard to write about. I am an animal lover - have been all my life. My personal email reflects that passion. SO...when I hear about other countries and places in the United States abuse animals, whether it is for food, fur or sport impacts me greatly.It is hard to read stories, such as Cecil the Lion or the dog meat industry in China/Korea. It makes me think about my relationship with animals, beyond my own four-legged family, and what I can do personally, locally and nationally. Personally, I am more and more embracing not eating seafood. I have not eaten meat and poultry for many years. I donate where my heart is, and adopt rescue rather than pure-bred. I am not the type to hype petition or sign petition, as I question the efficacy. But there are times I feel helpless, sad and frustrated. Images of abuse, both legal and illegal, local and international haunts my dreams. I believe this will impact me far beyond this year.

All of the racism towards black men has been such an eye opener. It is almost too dangerous for black men to walk around outside, because they can be shot. It is sad and frightening for them and their families. Will they come home at the end of the day, or will they reach for their cell phone and be shot? It has made me more aware of the difficulty people of color face, and the racism that lies barely beneath the surface. I have consciously decided to be more open and friendly when I see people that might fit that category. I can show my support that way.

Even though the Syrian migrants in Europe have not directly effected me, it's hard to watch. So many countries have helped but the help is not enough. There are still thousands of people seeking a peaceful life that they can no longer find in there home country. These are people who are just trying to survive and to see them blocked is hard to watch. It seems rather uncompassionate. I absolutely do not know what it is like for them, but I know what Katrina was like. I believe their ordeal is worse because they probably will not go home. It does remind me of the horrible attitude people in this country have towards immigrants. No one wants to be displace from their home. But a better solution would be to offer aid to the countries the migrants are coming from so they can make a life there surrounded by family. Building a wall will only create more problems. Building a relationship will have numerous unforseen benefits and is a better long term solution. Maybe it's late in the game to start, but what better time than the present?

The bombs in Bangkok were a pretty big deal since I was in Chiang Mai when it happened. Many of the backpackers coming through Spicy Thai had been in Bangkok the day of the explosions and to get first-hand accounts of that kind of story is both scary and real.

The US has begun its political process and I have gotten behind a candidate and am volunteering my time for him. I've never been involved in the political wrangling which go on my country and being part of a continuously growing group of people who all aspire to bring about positive changes to our country is a great responsibility. This process is teaching me to become a better citizens.

Building a home for a family in need in Mexico. To meet such incredible people and work alongside the family was powerful. But most impacting was rediscovering the power of planting seeds.

I've not been directly impacted by world events this year. I've seen terrible things happening to other people from a position of safety. Refugees are dying in boats as Europe and Australia aggressively defend their borders. The inherent racism of America gets bloodier by the day. 'Conservative' becomes more and more an ironic name as safety measures get torn apart on both sides of the pond. Planned Parenthood is threatened, the NHS is threatened, social housing is sold off and even the Human Rights Act was set to be replaced. We're all going to Hell in a handbasket.

The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner last summer, and then the decisions not to indict the officers who killed them, the death of Freddie Gray, and the public protest in response to all of these (and more) had a major impact on me and many others. That as a society, we wouldn't even demand that police officers who kill civilians in suspicious circumstances stand trial for what they've done... that our collective regard for black male life would be so shallow... in many ways not shocking, but the onslaught of these cases and what they showed was earth-shattering in many ways.

Not sure.

I did enjoy the general election here - the first that I've voted in. The engagement and energy it brought out in the student population was amazing, even if watching the result night with 15 labour or green voters was one of the more bleak happenings I can remember. Of course, the refugee crisis needs mentioning. I think it's on everybody's mind at the moment, a real human suffering happening on our doorsteps, both easy and awful to ignore. I hope we get somewhere with it in the next year, I hope we find some proper solutions towards these people having a safe place to live.

The division created within the society, within the families, within the couples due to Independenc process in Catalonia

The refugee crisis has been a big thing recently, with many heated debates and many people taking different sides and views on how to best approach the situation. I feel that at times like this you truly see people's colours- how they treat someone they believe to be inferior to them shows a lot about that person

The increased and continued killing of unarmed lawabiding black men in America. The systemic racism is such a scare one is left not knowing if this will ever change. I have never trusted or liked the police in America, but to watch the blatant disregard and lack of cultural awareness to simply not shoot first is appalling.

One such event that came to mind was a local Israeli story, where an Arab woman was murdered by her former husband and current husband, because she wanted to study. For some reason, this really struck a cord with me, and I remember becoming so angry and emotional when I heard this. It made me realize how women's rights is such an important issue, in which we have a long battle ahead of us.

The crisis in the Middle East with the crazy Jihadist killing Jews and Christians. They are on par with the Nazis and even hold up the Nazis as being their role model. They are crazy and it has made us all a bit wary of our outings.

The massive immigration/escape of Syrians and Iraqis from their home countries to Europe. A huge flood of people fleeing their homes in search and hope for something better, without war. It is so strikingly and profoundly sad. And what fortune I have to have been born where I have been born.

You know, I don't really feel like any major world events have had any significant personal impact on me (that I am aware of) in the past year. Not sure what that says about me.

It is many events - but the same theme. Police being killed or challenged too often.........riots in the streets against the police. This is such a giant step backwards and I hate to see our country headed this way.

The events of Ferguson shocked everyone in America and seemed to be the start of a backlash against the police and much of the racially motivated brutality. As a white teacher at an almost entirely Black school this was an interesting and challenging issue to address as a social studies teacher. But it did spur interesting conversation and was quite revealing about my student's attitudes about race in America. Most of them were convinced that white people are out to get them and it was sad to hear how little they really understood the true racial landscape in America (some students actually guessed that as much as 60% of America was black).

The event that truly has impacted me this year has been that of the equal marriage rights. I could not be happier for my fellow man that this was placed into law. I have grown up surrounded by the LGBTQ community and am Bi myself. Though I have married someone of the opposite sex I've always felt strongly that one should be able to marry whomsoever they love - regardless of gender. I was lucky that I fell for someone that, at the time, the law thought was okay. I feel that it's so wonderful that everyone now has that opportunity to express their love in a public and legal way.

It's not *this* year, exactly, because it's been a couple years now, but the impact of Pope Francis' election keeps showing up more and more. Every time this current Pope writes down an encyclical, or opens his mouth, it seems that the practices of the Catholic Church come closer to something I could return to. It's an interesting thing. Just recently -- within the past few weeks -- he announced a plan to make it easier for divorced Catholics to come back into the fold via annulment. It's not something I've given a lot of thought to over the years, in large part because of the process involved. But it it's simplified and streamlined, it becomes somewhat less onerous. Especially this far removed from the divorce itself, it seems it should be easier somehow. But this opens a whole new set of questions, most of which are quite discomforting, and chief among them is this: Do I *want* to be Catholic, or do I want to remain a "lapsed" Catholic? After all, I've married a Jew, and have a little boy whom I've committed to raising in the Jewish tradition. It all leaves me a little confused at times. The other thing, which until I answered question 5 I wouldn't necessarily have considered a "world event" was the death of Liu Ming, my wife's Daoist teacher. He was a man of profound wisdom, and deep humor, and an extraordinary teacher. It wasn't until his passing that I understood the extent to which he has influenced her, and it makes me wonder about that path as well gives me a new appreciation for how she looks at the world.

The drought has led us to re-landscape our front and back yards, taking out all the grass and putting in plants with targeted water sources, so that we use a fraction of what we used to. It cost quite a bit of money to do it the way we wanted to, but I feel proud of our ongoing commitment to the environment. Even if it's a drop in the bucket compared to overall human use of resources, at least I know we're doing what we can. Even so, I'm scared of what the drought means for my children, or maybe for all of us in a few years. Will our home, our city, be unlivable? Where would we go?

The uptick in antisemitism in Europe hasn't impacted me personally, but it's challenged some of my ideas about the Israel-Palestine conflict. I've come to understand that Jews need a Jewish state where we can be responsible for our own security. I'm also concerned that no one has really articulated a left-wing response to problems with Arab immigration. I don't think the proper response is to kick them out, or not allow them to immigrate, or in any way blame individual Arabs by crimes committed by others they have no connection to besides skin color. At the same time, I feel that the left tends to deny and downplay the seriousness of the problem, and a disturbing tendency to treat violence against Jews as an understandable overreaction to Israeli policy.

Emotionally, I think the Isis terrorist organization beheading Christian and Americans on television is horrifying. It is a sure sign that the end is near. The last blood moon will be this week so this is the advent of something very important that God is going to do in the world. Since Russia Shawn The last blood moon will be this week so this is the advent of something very important that God is going to do in the world. Since Rosh Hoshannah, last week, there has been a giant sandstorm over Israel and then flash flooding, hail the size of ice cubes and other crazy weather patterns around the world.

The Syrian refugees. I am reminded of how we are all people, how we are all connected, the horrors of us at our worst, and the connectedness of us at our best. I haven't done anything about it yet, because I don't know what to do, other than just care.

I think my beloved Canada is at a key turning point as we enter the current election cycle. When Harper was elected, he said that we wouldn't recognize Canada when he was through with it- a statement that couldn't be more true! Where we used to rely on data to make decisions, now we rely on ideology. Where we used to be civil, now we are mean. We used to rely on the equitable rule of law; now we hope the Supreme Court doesn't notice the illegal laws being made. We're selfish where we used to be generous and closed where we used to be open. I want back the Canada where peace, order and good government, as well as the Charter of Rights and freedoms and basic human decency ruled how we stewarded our neighborhoods, our country and our place within the international community.

The refugee crisis has made me think about how welcoming I want the US to be, but how enormous the problem seems. I feel angry again that the Arab states in the region do not help their brethren.

There are wars, famines, floods, droughts, wildfires, devastating illnesses, hideous injuries, starving or abused children, unemployed or underemployed people the world over - while I sit here with a warm and comfortable home, plenty to eat, a healthy family, enough money to buy whatever we need - and I let myself become depressed. It's Time to rethink my priorities. Time to contribute somehow to help - no matter how small my efforts might seem.

The refugees from Sierra those images of a dead little toddler will haunt me for the rest of my life with all those people trying to escape on a rubber dingy. This world is so sick and so many people have lots of money and yet choose to do nothing about it.

No one event, but an increasingly overwhelming awareness of how quickly and thoroughly we are decimating and destroying this precious planet

Well, the events that have been the most horrific are the Isis killings. The power these groups gain by using terror. How to rise above it?. That is what needs to be answered.

Climate change. The fires here in California are tremendous, and the smoke is every where. My old home is now gone. Thankfully I moved, but the impact is still present in my life. I was recently talking to someone about the Syrian refugees and how the whole conflict originated from a river being dammed and/or running dry. The farmers were no longer able to farm their land, and so the rural population moved into the cities. This move caused a lot of pressure on the infrastructure and the government, resulting in war. All of these displaced people are the first of us all to experience a life of migration due to the change of our environments. I have been so concerned with this issue that I am debating quitting my job to become an activist. I have thought about starting campaigns to "Save the Humans." I think nit would take off, however, under the patriot act, i would be silenced. I cannot speak out again or about corporations and their practices. Climate change weighs on my mind, on my being. I want to make a better world for my son. I want to give back to the earth, and nurture her for giving so much over these millions of years.

The world is a bit of a distressing place these days and many events have impacted me but I guess the current refugee crisis is weighing heavily on my heart. As a citizen of 2 countries (US and Australia) I am horrified by the xenophobia and heartlessness of both of them, and many others around the world. As a Jew, espeically, we know how it feels to be unwanted and turned away, sent back to a place where we're in danger. How can anyone do that to other human beings, espeically children. Whether economic or war refugees, we are all human and I find it so disheartening that people want to shut their doors, their countries, their hearts to others with hopes, dreams, and loved ones. It makes me wonder what I can do as a single human being piece of the puzzle.

Many events are impacting me in how I feel in the world. Animal cruelty, corporate control and pollution of our food and environment, one disturbing individual whom too many individuals like for next president. Wayne Dyer's departure from this life, this planet has been soul blessing. To be a part of all that love and light and healing energy was vibration changing.

The Ebola outbreak and terrorism have really dampened my desire to travel to very far away places. I have been all over the world but think I will be sticking closer to home for a while. Plus these is still so much to explore not far from my own backyard. I could let it get me down, but I am actually pretty excited and grateful to be living in such an otherwise beautiful world.

Global warming… the summer was uncomfortably hot.

Not sure I can pinpoint one. I try to keep the world at a distance. Not sure I can have much impact.

Many Syrians are now fleeing their home country and my Facebook feed is exploding with images and opinions. I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I did a lot of reading about Syria when the crisis started, and thought that the US and Europe dropped the ball when there was an opportunity to act. Now, now people are reacting with an effusive outrage. Now, when there are clear victims and not a complicated political situation. I wish this had been the case 2 years ago. I wonder if I could've done more with my outrage then. I feel agitated and uncomfortable. And I'm not sure what to do with these feelings.

The war in Syria. There are so many displaced people. And such a struggle to figure out where they can go, who can or is willing to help. I think about the children especially.

There isn't one event, but rather, many. I am more and more concerned about what I am sure will be a coming environmental disaster; the years of the drought have me constantly scared, and for the first time, I'm really changing my habits. It's piecemeal and far from perfect, but it's there. I feel more and more out of step with America, or at least half of America, as the GOP craziness continues and NO ONE on the right seems to contradict, care or actually even disagree. I feel less and less connected to Israel, as its leaders continue to be less and less moral and less and less concerned with bettering life in Israel for all Israelis. I feel less connected to my fellow American Jews, even, as the polarizing rhetoric on Iran poisons our community. In short, many of the things I took for granted (my Zionism, my commitment to the American Jewish community, even my daily behavior) seem less and less and less certain.

My growing recognition of the persistence and pervasiveness of racism in this country started with Trayvon Martin's death in 2012, but has accelerated this year. The deaths of Freddie Gray in April and especially of Sandra Bland in July have really shaken me, especially after watching the video of Bland being pulled over by the police. I have had more discussions about racism and police brutality on Facebook in the past six months than in the past six years combined. I have also become more interested (I was always a little bit interested) in prison reform, probably because of Gray's and Bland's deaths in police custody, but also because everyone I know (mostly white Jews) is talking more about all of this, both in person over Shabbat meals and on Facebook. I am embarrassed at how ignorant and oblivious I was. I never for a second doubted that racism was real and pervasive in this country, but I am only now, I think, maybe, starting to feel what that could mean for a black American on a day-to-day level. The #blacklivesmatter movement has affected me deeply.

The Syrian refugees that are being turned away from every country is really upsetting to me. It reminds me of how every country did absolutely nothing to help the Jews during the Holocaust. People in such great need should not be turned away from every country. Countries should bind together and help the situation, while also accepting the refugees. It's just so sad to see what is happening to these people.

There isn't one event that impacted me. I guess the events from 9/11 still do. Every day that I'm in the city or walk by the WTC, it reminds me of just how vulnerable we all are.

The continued murders of African Americans: women and men. It has made me despair for America. It feels like the Jim Crow era is returning. Thinking more philosophically, I wonder if every nation includes the seeds of its destruction in its founding documents. From the idea of personal liberty, to the freedom of religion, to the right to own guns--all of those have dark sides that are tearing us apart.

The event in the world that has an impact on my life is the drought. I try to be careful with water and teach my daughter the same. Summer is more difficult without water play in the yard.

That's interesting. This year I feel very insulated. That's a big relief from last year.

There have been a lot of prophetic things going on this year. The blood moons were/are a big deal. Most of my life I have really been like "that" will be in the distant future that I probably wouldn't see it. Now, this year specifically, that view was challenged and changed. Also doing a little reading on Isaiah and reading about how God inflicted losses on their economy as a means of judgement and all I could think of was the twin towers. When I watched the 09/11 special and saw how the terrorists were right here in the US making these plans to hurt people, well the gate is very wide over here. This used to be one nation under God now it has become a home of idolaters, thieves, liars, godless, no to mention foreign gods, witchcraft etc it's like a sess pool and it never used to be like this. We allow way too much. Nobody wants to tell the truth afraid of offending x,y,z - someone is always going to get offended. And really, you aren't doing any favors not speaking up. It's really true that there is nothing new under the sun...and I just don't even want to go on. You know that is one of the reasons so many people like Trump because though he's rude at least the guy speaks his mind and doesn't sugar coat it. This world has gone haywire and every time I think it can't get any worse, mankind never ceases to dig the pit a little deeper. It's really no different from the days of old. There are those telling that judgement is coming, and just like way back when, people want them silenced and don't want to hear it. Sometimes I wonder what its going to be like for these people who always have something to say to those who warn them, those who attack the messengers God sends...they are so used to bringing up their defense...when the Almighty judges their jaw is going to metaphorically speaking be on the floor. There is no defense if Christ isn't your defense. And to boot just because you say Jesus is Lord doesn't mean He's going to acknowledge you if you don't obey Him and have a personal relationship with Him. He even talks about that in Scripture. I think Judgement Day is going to be a mixed day...some will be so grateful to be taken Home, this world really sickens the spirit...corruption is everywhere...then there are those that are going to try to plan for it - you really can't by the way. When God's hand finally comes down, it comes down unless He spares you or gives you wisdom like He did Joseph before the famine in Egypt. Then there are those that are just going to be in absolute panic not knowing what is going on. Like when a woman goes into labor, here are the contractions, no turning back now, it's coming ready or not. Then there are those who will think they will be safe in whatever nest or bubble they've made for themselves until that gets brought down...for some it may be a shock, an immensely sad day because they weren't for real, they were playing church - getting the proverbial check mark for works and going to church and knowing the right answers but not knowing God, not repenting, trying to earn their way thus insulting the Spirit of grace...when they are left behind it will be like shell shock...everything going on around them but then are too in shock to realize or care what's happening. That will be heartbreaking. Parents will grieve I'm sure because of the suffering their kids are going to go through but they were too busy to seek God, share their faith with their kids/grandkids etc . And when the trumpets are blown and the woes are happening, people will realize how evil the evil one really is, how much he absolutely hates us and how demons take pleasure in the suffering of humans especially if they love God. One thing I will tell you is those things are not called tormentors for nothing and they are relentless. They don't stop. What's worse than all this, instead of man like repenting and just agreeing with God taking a hard look at their choices, scripture says when those bad things happen man's going to curse God...which is like thee worst thing a person can do. God's been for us, gave us His only Son, reached out to us many times, look at how much He tolerated even so far...to turn our fist towards the Almighty, are you kidding me?! In this day and age we don't deal with kings, feudal systems, and unfortunately, people do not fear God. Proverbs says "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." There's no making deals with God, no changing His mind, no talking your way out of it. He gave one way back to Eden, one way only, His Son. Where God is our righteousness. And if you think about it, man's righteousness I mean...righteousness in works alone. If I do one really outstanding thing within a day or probably even less, I will do something wicked- it's the sin nature of man. What we want to do we can't do, it's what we don't want to do we keep doing...how many can amen that statement?...and I so hear Paul when he talks about that in scripture so if a Pharisee of Pharisees who lives an upright life has that challenge how much more, how much more do people of this age myself included? We need God to deliver us from our sin nature. And the ransom of a human life is too costly. Why should God let you or me into Heaven? For real, why. What have we done, taking into account all we haven't done, should've done - why - what could we do to merit paradise? And He longs to be gracious to us giving us His own Son, who didn't deserve that punishment. When I see the movie the passion and Jesus being beaten like that, that was my beating. That's what I deserved. And if Jesus wasn't who He said He was do you think YHVH would have allowed the miracles to come to pass, especially where He said in scripture "You will know I am then Lord when...." Idolatry argument, well...Jesus never glorified Himself. He was all about the Father. Even when He was going to die on the cross, that the world may know I love the Father....and John tells us "in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God, He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made." Jesus...is God's Word in the flesh. And, biblically speaking it takes 2 witnesses to establish a fact, there are four gospels that share the same story. I don't profess to understand the Trinity, I don't understand it; God is unfathomable, but...I take Him at His Word. He's Honorable and Truthful to say otherwise is blasphemy and untrue. Well the bible was written by men...eh...the bible is the inerrant Word of God written by the hand of men as they were carried by the Holy Spirit. Now you know as well as I do to say God said when He really didn't was a huge punishable by stoning comment and the tell tale whether or not God did or didn't say something was whether or not it happened. 100% accuracy. So again, looking at Jesus, what ever did He say that did not come true or happen? What were the purpose of the miracles? Was it not God's abundant mercy to show people He's the real deal? Even Moses prophesied about Jesus...but many didn't recognize Him. Blessed are those who believe without seeing, but in His infinite mercy He reached even to those who had to see or maybe were so consumed with their ailment that they couldn't see anything else. And the compassion Jesus had, the absolute compassion - to me it's obvious He created us by the way He takes care of us all even when we've done wrong. He makes His rain fall on the just and the unjust too. And you know I believe Jesus, in all He spoke and stood for, especially this: the story of the prodigal son. I really do believe that the heart of God yearns for us to turn from sin and to come back home to Him. He's out there doing what He does but His eyes are looking, when is my son or my daughter coming back to me...He doesn't want to punish, He will in His justice so don't push it - He is righteous. But the abundant mercy that He gives us to bring us back to Him. It's easy to be mad at someone and be like totally they messed up - and that's how I look at it. God has the right to be mad at us all. We missed the mark, He created us to live for Him and a good majority of us, and a good majority of the time are out there distracted seeking glory for ourselves. (towel of babble, need I say more - though there are other examples) He is God a concept we seem to forget, He does have the right and all of the heavens is going to even say He's right because in truth He is. And yet, though we totally deserve the enemies prosecution and a severe penalty, God looks at us, has compassion on us, invites us to be part of His family, reinstating us as His kids - even though we have been running around with the pigs squandering time and life away, and Jesus, God's Word made flesh, Who is one with the Father, says "I'll do it. I will pay the price to bring them back Home Father." Because laws have been broken, stuff's been done and there's cause and effect, so your punishment went somewhere, and Isaiah talks all about that...the punishment that brought us peace was laid upon Him. I just I'm awestruck. So this world the way it's going, the heartache of the unborn being slaughtered and what really fries my potatoes is a baby has nowhere to go - ooh I have to shut up...I just, I just can't. This is one of the things that I mean when I say this world can really break a persons spirit.

One of my locations for my business closing was a huge blow, but G-d has a plan and I'm moving forward.

Europe's Refugee Crisis. So terribly sad to see so many people fleeing their homelands and risking death to do so. Equally sad is the inability or inaction of countries to accept the refugees, aid or eliminate the terror group behind the cause for the crisis. I detest war, terrorism and human suffering.

The migration of Syrians and Iraqis across Europe. I hope they will find homes and peace.

the insane take over of our government by religious fanatics, sexist and racist classists. It has brought about a deep fear in me. It saddens me deeply.

There are several... the ongoing IS(is) conflict is terrifying; literally feels like I am watching the Muslim Inquisition occur. The fact that the international community hasn't placed firmer pressure on the IS is even more so terrifying. The migrant and Syrian crisis is unbelievable. If one saw the photo of the three-year old Syrian boy face down, seemingly sleeping peacefully after drowned in the surf, and they didn't come out of it a changed person, I would question their humanity. The current electoral candidates for president make me question the path of the United States on both sides of the political spectrum. We must get out of the Clinton-Bush supremacy of reign, and Trump is NOT the answer. Greece has also been on my mind... it feels like the US is close to their economic situation daily.

The refugee crisis has shaken me. I'm not surprised to see so many families running for safety and the hope of a future. What I find most startling is the "don't come here" attitude from countries that participated in the events which helped to create the crisis. How can they be so blind to their culpability and the resulting basic human needs?

All of the Syrian refugees. Syria used to be a stable country and now it is a war zone. It is so scary that it could happen to any of us. I feel so badly for these people who had to leave their homes to go to foreign lands. Although there are many people being horrible about immigrants, there are also kind people helping them.

Oh hands down the new Pope. I'm not Catholic, but this guy just thrills me to no end! Man, talk about someone trying to walk the talk! This guy ain't messin' around. He shines a harsh light upon those who use religion as a weapon or bludgeon to shame and demean people. He expresses a true spiritual nature that transcends a religious label. I think I'm most impressed by his humility and public stands to love one another, take care of our planet and its resources, to forgive, to lend a hand, to be reflective of the wonderful creations we were designed to be by the Great Creator. I know there are many tragic things that have happened that many people may think "should" be mentioned instead. Probably so, because there are about 2 dozen other things in the world this year that have profoundly impacted me. But this guy isn't just an annual "this thing happened" ... he's the rock in the water creating thousand of ripples. Much as Malala continues to be in her endeavors. And just like Malala ... I hope this Pope keeps on keepin' on. They restore my hope for the world

Migrant crisis in europe. It makes me think about our own issues.

The CA drought. It makes me scared to move there. Not sure if there's a "future" there or if we'll "be ok."

Just one? Probably the Syrian refugee crisis, especially the image of the little boy on the beach. He looked like my son when he sleeps on his stomach, and that connection really hit me in the gut when I saw the image.

I'm reminded again how racism can affect people I work with. How can I be supportive?

I think the huge refugee flow to europe has impacted many of us. finally europe gets to taste and come to a terms with the difficulties in the world. it impacted me because it is my friends and my 'cousins' it is dakhaz, khaled and the other people i worked with in iraq. syrians are quite similar to iranians and beautiful graceful people. it impacted me because i want to be there to help make their journeys/transitions easier, it will be a work of the next decade and i'd love to commit my life to doing more of this and doing yoga with women and art therapy with the kids and lots of lovely outlets for them and me, alongside more traditional health/rehab work. i think it is an event that PULLS at me and wants me to belong to it and empathize with it. i think it also shows us how interconnected we are, the war/poverty/suffering is now like a cancer spreading across the planet, we cannot escape it and we must find a way to deal with it and help all of us. i also really enjoyed germany's leadership around the issue and it is an interesting form of karma/redemption maybe.

The killings of unarmed black men. The racial injustices that occur with people of color. Seeing Baltimore on the news and having them described as savages when they were angry and sick of suffering in silence. They deserved better than the whole being called looters. Their stories need to be heard. I fear that because of the color of my skin that I could be in a dangerous position. I fear that my nephew in the South has to watch his back even if there is nothing he's done wrong. Living in a place where they're aren't a lot of people that look like me made it heard to talk to anyone about race, but these issues taking the national stage have given me a chance to have these discussions and seeing my white friends wanting to be better about their privilege and seeing how they can be allies has been a beautiful thing.

The kickoff of the 2016 Presidential campaign is captivating me. I have never been interested in politics and now, here I am, requesting newsletters to political websites and watching interviews and debates. What is going on? Is this adulthood?

US specific, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality nationwide. I witnessed one of my good friends get down on one knee to tell her wife the news. We're living in the present, and we cannot let archaic thoughts about gender rolls keep us from living there.

The Iran nuclear deal has the potential to impact me greatly. It seems to be a existential test of one's world view in the sense that one has to have a hope and faith that the deal will do as expected, compared to a real politic of balancing the risk that if it is only a paper deal the results will be catastrophic. It also has brought out a lot of antisemitism, and created a Right-wing/Israel vs Democratic/anti-Israel dichotomy. This, regardless of the merits of the agreement, might have longer lasting, negative consequences for Israel and the Middle East.

The refugee crisis in Syria is really impacting me because millions of people, including children, are without a home. I think at this point Obama has only agreed to let in 10,000 refugees, which is a drop in the bucket. He has the power to do so much more, and so many other countries are being more generous--except Sicily is apparently letting in lots of children only to exploit them at the hands of the mafia. I woke up in the middle of the night last week crying about a PSA I'd seen of a little British girl whose life is destroyed by invasion and war, and at the end it said "just because it isn't happening here, doesn't mean it isn't happening". It really got to me. And it also shows how easily the world ignores the plight of refugees in some areas while responding immediately to the needs of refugees in others--even the language is different. The Syrians have been called "migrants". The Jews, one of my friends pointed out, were never called "migrants" when they were fleeing the Nazis. At Rosh Hashanah dinner, Tom Sacetti said he's going to try to sponsor a Syrian family to move to the US. We all supported him. I wish there were more I could do to help.

The Ebola virus was so horrible and I felt so bad for all the families who suffered and the children who were abandoned and orphaned by it.

The bombing of Palmyra, and the diaspora of the Islamic immigrants. Because it furthers the theme begun on 9/11, the fear of buildings melting, of art being destroyed, of people divested of their culture and their beauty. I think the most horrific of these events was the beheading of the head of antiquities at Palmyra. This is the world we live in.

The Iran deal has caused such division among people I repeat and love. I honestly don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing. I guess I was kinda sorta in favor of it as the least bad option. History will tell if it was the right call or not. But it has been so upsetting to see so many people and organizations (esp. AIPAC) claiming to speak on behalf of large swaths of the population (e.g. "the Jews") in a way that lacks nuance or respect.

Women's rights were once again under assault this year. It is unbelievably insane to me that we are still having this fight over a woman's right to control her own damn body. And if I hear one more well-intentioned person refer to choice as a "political" issue, I am going to scream. It is not a political issue. It is a health issue! Every single woman should have the guaranteed right to make her own reproductive health decisions. I will continue to fight for the day that the stigma around abortion is gone and this "hot-button issue" is no longer.

It feels like a lot from the turn of the last year into this one really affected me. I'll probably never forget the day when the St. Louis grand jury decided not to prosecute Michael Brown's killer. I was stunned. It took me back to August, when Derrick and I would spend our days on the beach in the Outer Banks and come back to the B&B at night and watch the riots in Ferguson in bed. The night of the announcement, in the fall, I was watching MSNBC and sobbing in disbelief. And the whole next day I sat at my desk and cried. Yeah, part of it was remembering that time with D. Most of it was feeling like our country is indelibly broken, or became so in that moment. It felt like a cosmic break within me and for our nation. And that made me profoundly sad. Since then, I have become so much more interested in examining race in America. Austin's History 195 syllabus and Ta-Nehisi Coates' book have been huge for me this year. I see racism more more acutely than ever before, in the ways people talk and act. I am happy to be able to see the world this way, more clearly. It's more disappointing, but by seeing it I feel far more sensitive to those who suffer because of it. The move to East Harlem also motivated me to begin to find ways to act on this knowledge. I'm really proud of my choice to attend the CB11M board meeting on the second night of R"H. This is going to be part of who I am in the coming year.

The killing of unarmed black men (mostly men), the violence perpetrated against this community is alarming. The "black lives matter" motto and, I hope, movement, will continue to garner attention and make the white community more aware. Unfortunately, I know that mottos alone cannot lead to change. But I am trying to make sure that my children understand. R, at age 6, can articulate why "black lives matter" not "all lives matter" is important. One of C's two big wishes for the coming year is an end to racism. It's on the minds, in the consciousness. I hope that I'm doing enough.

Marriage equality. I could never have guessed this could happen. And yet I find myself alone with no prospects of ever getting married. I wish marriage would have been an option when I did. It makes me sad to see friends celebrating their love and commitment when I have lost that.

I think the biggest events this year by far are the Black Lives Matter movement and the Syrian Crisis. I've rarely felt such a seismic shift in the way I view the world, the way I understand it as I did through these two, on-going events...it has made me question perception in ways that I hadn't explored before. I feel more empathy.

The tragedy of Michael Brown. Not so much his death, but the events surrounding it. My sister-in-law lives in Ferguson and I visit her frequently. I have always considered St. Louis and the surrounding area fairly non-raciest. I live in the city of St. Louis and have neighbors that are both black and white, both poor, middle and upper middle class, all within my neighborhood. We have events that bring us all together. What's interesting about Michael Brown and the national media is that they portrayed it as a black and white situation. Where some of that may be true, what really wasn't discussed in the national was that Michael Brown was a bully, both to black and white. And that he approached officer Darren Wilson as that bully.

I tend not to think globally, but locally. However I would say that Bryan has gotten me to think more about what's going on in the world and to care. I'm becoming more aware of current events.

Pope Francis' environmental encyclical "Laudato Si: on Care for Our Common Home." For me, it is one of the most remarkable, profound documents I have ever read. Pope Francis weaves together everything into an "integral ecology" -- poverty, climate change, respect for indigenous cultures, transit, technology, treating all creatures as brother and sister. So far, I've read Laudato Si twice and refer to it often. It provides me my examination of conscience. I feel something inside me has shifted. I hope by this time next year, I will see some effects that Laudato Si has had on me.

Lawlessness. The state of law and order throughout the world has diminished to chaos. Respect for human rights, respect for order, respect for human beings has begun to be replaced for a world mentality of all for oneself. Isis, Taliban, Al Queda, westerners joining criminal rebellions, shooting of police, police shooting anyone they want to, our government in the US not being able to govern all add to the perspective that our society is in decline. I believed and hoped that with more knowledge and wisdom and science, that we would see more peace and more stability. The leadership of the world and of this country have failed to lead save for their own best personal interests. Yes, there are exceptions, but in general I am discouraged that the world lacks great leaders as we have seen in the past. The personal impact is that each of us must lead lives of caution and heightened awareness of all that is in our environment.

Syrian child on the coast of Turkey. I just imagined my own child. I will never get that image out of my head.

The protests and violence in Ferguson, Missouri, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement have felt significant to me this past year (even though Michael Brown's shooting was over a year ago, and the BLM movement began before that. Sadly, there seems to never be a shortage of Black people recently murdered by police officers). If someone had asked me a few years ago whether Black lives mattered, I would have said "of course" without hesitation. But I didn't fully understand what that meant (and honestly, I probably still don't, but I'm getting closer all the time). I was pretty comfortable with the status quo and the power structure in our society, where, in general, straight white cisgendered ablebodied men from reasonable well-off backgrounds have the power. The little differences in how we perceive White people differently from Black people went unnoticed by me; they were an accepted part of how people behaved and interacted. Everything seemed fine as long as there wasn't any obvious racism, and I pretty much believed that as long as you were following the law you had nothing to worry about. However, I see now that I was dreadfully wrong. As a rule, people are racist, or at least racially biased. The biases push non-White people down and down, all the time, and if you don't put active effort into working against your biases you're just perpetuating unfair inequality. While it may be true that many of the murdered Black people would have been fine if they had been following the law to the letter--not dealing drugs, not talking back to police, not selling contraband cigarettes or whatever--that has nothing to do with their right to life, to not be murdered, to not be abused, to be respected by everyone who interacts with them (and particularly police officers!). I've been listening to a lot more podcasts about racism, reading a lot more, thinking a lot more, and what I've learned most so far is that there is racially-based injustice and violence all over the place, and White people aren't hurting from it, and the most important thing to do is to listen to marginalized people, Black and others, when they tell their stories and say what they're facing--and then believe them. They know what they're experiencing and are perfectly capable of telling their own stories and pointing out injustices; those with power need to figure out how to listen and give up their power in favor of the humanity of all. I'm still processing all this though. I think I want to take a more active role in fighting for equality, but I don't yet know how, beyond speaking up if I hear racist statements and boosting the voices of people of color who speak out.

Canadian recession (I and many friends became and remain unemployed) Syrian refugees (they have it so much harder, they just want to survive, their children to survive, I am blessed with health and financial security) Little Haley, she was only two. My daughter is her age. How could someone harm that sweet baby? I need to slow down and really enjoy and appreciate the moments I have.

The descent of Turkey has been on my mind a great deal. To see a country filled with wonderful, open-minded, modern people being forced to turn the clock back into a world of fear and government that will not brook any criticism is painful. I feel a strong kinship with the people I met there and I know many are suffering under the yolk of Erdogan.

At this moment: the many thousands of refugees fleeing the chaos and violence of their homes in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, in camps in neighboring countries and desperately seeking opportunity in Europe. How will "we" respond? How do I respond? Compassion/refuge and borders/stability, -- what is the next resolution of this dialectic?

How do I even begin? Ferguson. Baltimore. Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. We are moving toward progress in such an exciting way, while failing to fix systemic failures that yield suffering every year. Most unforgettable, perhaps, were my kids' reactions to the deaths of Michael Brown, Jessica Hernandez, and Freddie Gray. I will never forget their questions; their fear; their pure curiosity when speaking with the police officer who came into school. Their ability to go beyond. Thirteen year olds are remarkable in so many ways - one of which is to rise above the complicated world of adults and ask questions until they understand from multiple perspectives. Separately, I'll remember the rally at the state capitol upon the legalization of gay marriage; the happiness of couples; wishing my kids could've witnessed this moment. They too often see one side of the story.

I do not pay much attention to world events. A friend was shot and killed a few days ago. That has had an enormous impact on me.

#BlacklivesMatter and the ongoing and increasingly more visible escalation of violence against Black folx in the United states and Canada. The increasing visibility but not safety of high profile trans women and men while transmisogynistic and racist violence is playing out in the streets. I feel so fucking angry and so fucking powerless as I've felt myself become less strong, less powerful, less good at direct action, less good at community building as violence seems to be increasing or at least I feel very cognizant of it. The ways I am more aware of societal violence, the way doing the work aha personally been harder. The way I have so much, always will have so much to do to unlearn and fight white supremacy to be in solidarity with those targeted by systems of power.

This year the biggest thing that impacted me was the United States' decision that gay marriage is legal, and then Caitlyn Jenner coming out as a woman. This really affected me because even though I have always been in support of both gay marriage and the trans movement, the supporters were way to extreme and I almost started to resent these ideas because of the overreactive supporters, most importantly my sister.

The ongoing political debates seem useless. The European continent has been inundated with refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries. While I applaud all those that are helping the refugees, it would be nice if we worked just as hard to help them stay in their own countries. End of the war in Syria.

Allowing the freedom of gay marriage in US has demosntrated yet again in the ability for humankind to make love not war. This is a freedom that we should and do not take for granted for it is a rare precious gift of the tolerance this country is growing to experience. May this newfound freedom transcend to other places in the world where even freedom of speech, religion and right to go out dressed without a burka is not such a given right.

Hmmmm. this is hard. i am following politics and the news much more, but i can't think of anything in particular that shook me up. There's always disturbing things: * Picture of the Syrian boy washed up on to Greece. He drowned along with his mother and brother and was found by his father ashore. Devastating. * The onslaught of killings of white police officers to African American men. Is this issue getting worse or are the issues just surfacing to the public eye more? Either way, it's wrong * The political campaigns are interesting ones. America has the chance to be REALLY fucked up...more so than it is, if some of those Republicans get in there. ****Duh. how could i forget ?? the earthquake in Kathmandu killing many. Dan Friedenburg dying on top of Mt Everest. The cyclone in vanuatu shortly after i left destroying 95% of the land. I think this particularly shook me up because these were all places i have been and I just thought about the amazing people I met along the way there who were impacted...or killed.

There are so many world events I care about, and so few that actually change my life - which is how I hear words like impacted. The Syrian refugee crisis, sex slave trade, police brutality, genocide in Sudan . . . What has actually impacted me the most is the formation of Black Lives Matter and the modern movement to address racism in the United States. It has pushed me to learn more, to work harder at being and becoming an ally, to think critically about what allyship actually might be and who gets to assign the label (certainly not the person working on being an ally). It has challenged me to stand with people whether or not I entirely agree with them because I value their existence regardless and their very existence is what is called into question. I still haven't done much about it. I'm still not sure how much my life has changed - or will. I'm still mostly an armchair advocate. But I feel myself changed. And in a life in which my health prevents me from taking much action, maybe being changed myself is impact enough.

The Supreme Court decision supporting gay marriage was a shining light in our country's history. It showed that we are part of a nation that really believes in fundamental rights for all. I can only hope that this is the beginning of protection of the rights of other minority groups by America's courts and laws.

Anti-Semitism has increased throughout the world, and especially in Europe. It is eerily similar to a road leading to the Holocaust that must be stopped.

I will never forget looking at pictures of the little Syrian boy that drowned and sobbing. That could have been my kid. I don't know if I cried more because I was sad or because I was grateful.

The release of the Pope's encyclical on climate change and environmental issues was pretty great. It's amazing when a truly international world leader comes out so strongly about this! It impacted me by making me feel hopeful and excited about the possibility that we may just come back from the brink. It's really helping put environmental issues on the radar screen for millions more people. So promising!

This is sad probably but I stopped really watching tv and reading newspapers and Internet news a long time ago. I cannot think of one major world event that has affected me. Maybe that is good for us as a culture. So much hate, war, pain, and loss. My personal life is in shambles so worrying about the world isn't even possible.

I think the refugee crisis has really impacted me. Seeing the picture of the little boy who had drowned trying to get to Turkey made me cry. He looked like an ordinary, beautiful little child who was jus sleeping and the injustice of everything just burned so strong. I felt so angry at the blasé attitude of Australian society to the plight of refugees even as our own government locks them up in what amounts to concentration camps.

I can't remember a lot of current events from the last year. However, I do know that I'm feeling touched by the Syrian refugee situation. I would really like to help. I would like to take some refugees in, but don't know how. I've also felt worried about racial relations in Ferguson (and the entire country). Donald Trump's language is polarizing and hinges on Hitler's calls to action. I worry about African American relations in this country and how many police forces react and treat people.

This is hard to answer. My whole body clenches, and I forget to breathe. I read Tuvia Tenenbom's new book, Catch the Jew! a few weeks ago, and it's staggering truths opened my eyes. Acts of terrorism against both Jewish people and Black people seem to be on the rise. And in America, institutionalized racism is becoming increasingly apparent. These things bother me deeply, and I wonder often how I can make a difference, how I can change the world to be more accepting of the lovely rainbow of humanity.

I'm not sure here either. I can't recall anything

Last year my state elected a governor from an independent party. Many educators like myself were not enthused because of his views about public education. I have been teaching kindergarten since 2007 and I know how much of an impact early childhood education can be. Prior to my current position, I taught in DC and I was able to see how beneficial it is for a child to get their educational foundations in Pre-k (pre-K is available at every public school in DC). Especially since my state adopted the Common Core State Standards. I don't think our governor understands that because he will not pass legislation to make Pre-K available for all students. So because of this, hundreds of kids enter Kindergarten not ready for school (not knowing how to write their own name, don't know alphabets or numbers, etc.). And that my job harder.

The growing xenophobia and anti-semitism in the western world (Europe and US in particular) scares and saddens me

World events don't impact me. And that's a problem. The first thing that came to my mind was the recent Syrian refugee crisis in Europe. I was sickened by those images. But I can't say that I was truly impacted. The earthquake in Nepal. Elections. Failure of the world to take action on climate change. I worry about all these things. I long for change around them. But I cannot honestly say they have impacted me.

ISIS taking over swaths of the Middle East means another deployment crew for Carl's group. And never good things for the rest of the military families who have to go 'back to Iraq.'

The Black Lives Matter movement has reframed the way I look at life, fairness and privilege. As a white person, I didn't realize that discrimination and privilege exists in every aspect of our lives. It's just invisible to white people, or the majority, or the people in charge and with privilege. I now try to look for my own prejudices and acknowledge them. I don't want them to overpower me. I want to create a world more at peace with differences and matters of equality.

The refugee situation in Syria has weighed heavily on me as of late. It has made my issues with my government even more pronounced and I find myself less and less willing to stay quiet. I am disappointed in countries that have shouted things I believe in from the rooftops only to go back on those things so quickly. I am disappointed in my own country for supporting wars with little to no basis, but turning its back on those thousands suffering. I am disappointed in myself for not being able to do more, so I try to help make those around me more aware and I do what I can.

The Black Lives Matter movement. The centering of black lives, the call for safety and acknowledgement: it's huge and exciting. I want to figure out how to get more involved this, how to utilize my whiteness to DO something. This feels huge, though, and I've been involved as much as I've been able to: gone to rallies, talked to lots of other white people, even organized an action. I want to do more, though.

There is no one event that has had a major impact on me this year, but in just being aware of many events that have happened around the world remind me how thankful I am for my many blessings. I believe we have become such a Godless society. I don't think anyone's "great spirit" advocates such hate and disrespect for human life as we see in our world today. I only wish there was as much energy dedicated to kindness and love for one another.

The Black Lives Matter movement has impacted me. I am grateful for the opportunity to work and serve, even as I know it's not enough.

GAY MARRIAGE LEGALIZED IN AMERICA!! I did not see that coming! It is amazing to me how far things have come so fast. I mean, I know that there is still an uphill battle in terms of discrimination and acceptance, but I feel so blessed to know that my kids will be able to marry whomever they choose regardless of their orientation.

No world events that have impacted me this year.

I guess the biggest world event that I have felt on my own shores, in my own home, has been global climate change. The days of heat and drought were so noticeable this summer, and while uncomfortable to us here at our home, reading the news of how it affected others around the world, was very sad.

The increased awareness of Black people being murdered by law enforcement and the #blacklivesmatter movement overall has had a big impact. It feels like the tipping point of an "emperor has no clothes" moment.

Social media is all the rage right now. And I am certain that, as technology advances, social media will advance also. With all the cameras constantly going, you virtually have no privacy anymore. Not even in your own home, as there can be hidden cameras anywhere. I used to partake in the whole Facebook socializing frenzy. But this year, I have been forced to concentrate on myself, because of my husbands' drug addiction. After many long hours of contemplation, I decided to rid myself of all the 'Friends' I had on Facebook that do not seem interested in anything I do, say, or even post. It's not to say that I have cut them out of my life completely. If they are face to face with me, I will definitely be social with them. But in the old fashioned way, not the new social media way. Interesting enough, the 'Friends' that I have mostly kept on Facebook are mere acquaintances for the most part. There are still some family members there, but the majority of the 'Friends' that I have on Facebook are people who I've not seen in a very long time or have even met at all! I find it interesting that my own children can not find the time to 'LIKE' a cake I made, a funny post, or pretty much anything at all. I deleted any and all 'Friends' if they had not acknowledged anything I posted in the last 6 months. this included my own son and daughter. The result of removing these people was actually very surprising to me. I feel like a weight was lifted from me, I no longer got hurt when people I love ignored me, and I am actually much happier now. And the best part is that if any of these people, that were removed, want to be a part of my life, all they have to do is ask me to be their 'Friend'. How simple could it be?

I'm not sure I am impacted by any one event in this world. I have to say I am just sad every time I hear about the murders, the wars, the hurt that is going on and making any one of these any more important than another to me doesn't compute. Every hurt and injustice I see makes me feel for those involved and so sad that our world is as it is.

The refugee crisis has raised many questions in my conscience, the main ones being: Am I my brother's keeper? To what extent? At what point should one be required to participate in, and ultimately straighten out one's affairs (teach a man to fish...)? How much do I owe...?

the release of neil & ferdi reassured me that the truth can prevail, it just might take 14 agonizing, torturous months.

Michael Brown was shot by a police officer in August of 2014. The entire city was in unrest. It not only opened some eyes but even more so closed so many. It showed how racist people are and it's unfortunate.

I don't know why this is such a tough question for me to answer... How far out in the world do I look? Does this question ask me to consider an event that took place outside my country? Or would events within my own state count? Existential considerations aside, I would say as a cultural Protestant and agnostic, I continue to be tepidly impressed with the work of the current pope to bring the Catholic Church into the 21st century. I think his emphasis on serving the poor, on not ostracizing gay people, on being good stewards for the environment, is moving that organization with monumental world influence light years ahead of where his predecessors have left that church. It gives me hope for a more progressive future.

The refugees crisis has really made me worry about the country I live in and the values it has. I worry that people will keep being killed and raped and everybody just look away.

The Supreme Court legalized gay marriage! WOOHOO! While it doesn't impact me directly personally, it's been a huge point of pride and happiness in my community. I'm so thrilled that our country is moving in the direction of equality and justice, at least on SOME issues. We've come a long way in the last 20 years on issues of LGBTQ rights.

One of the iconic world events of this last year was the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbawe. He was lured out of a protective park by hunting guides and killed by an American dentist as a trophy. This example of senseless killing, is a metaphor for the kind of "trophy-hunting" behavior we see by the world's richest citizens. The killing of Cecil was a supreme act of narcissism. How many others (human and non-human are "killed" by the narcissistic projects of people who need to make a name for themselves in order to deal with the fear of mortality!

Malala getting the peace prize. I think she is a changemaker and a pioneer and a true inspiration. From a feminist, educator, and human perspective, her triumphs really give me hope in an often-craven world.

My brother joined the army. It's taught me to be more aware of what's going on in the world as well as appreciate the time I do get to spend with him, more than I have previously. It's also helped me appreciate family time in general since it's much more hard to come by now.

The rise of trump as a Republican candidate. Blows me away that this arrogant man is taken so seriously

I think the Bill Cosby rape accusals. I have a LOOOOOT of stuff to work out with men, esp. black men for their sexism against black women. When I read the NY Mag interviews with the women, it made me both sad and angry. Now, that I've done the meditation retreat, I remember I must also be sad for Bill Cosby. Here's this wealthy, successful, powerful man who decides it'd be better (?) to rape women than to sleep with them consensually. I realize that issues of women's empowerment really are close to my heart mainly because of how I reacted. I think it made me see that we need to treat misogyny in a way that not only helps women, but changes men. If men don't change, what will?

This year I've been more disconnected to world events - I'm not sure why. The closest thing that has really, really impacted me is the positive impact that the Pope has had in our church and in the greater society. I feel more hopeful about the church and I finally feel like we're moving towards being a church that cares for the poor as much as it cares for itself. I'm actually starting to feel like there might be a place for me in my church.

I am dismayed about the increasing evidence of man made climate changes. I am very sorry to have been right about this. I hope enough other people not only wake up to climate change, but start taking the actions needed to slow this.

The plight of the Mideast -erners and how bad they have it and how good we have it.

I got to watch the triple crown surrounded by family. It was glorious!

This seems so so dumb to say when there are more "grown up" things to be concerned about and such, but the death of Harris Wittels really threw me for a while. I think because it felt so personal and he had so many qualities I strive for. It was like a vicarious living through that suddenly got cut off. Like a friend I didn't really know who I thought of as a part of me (in a way.. not some weird obsessive thing) had been suddenly removed. It is seemingly petty but it's the first thing that came to mind. I'd rather be honest and petty than lie here.

The Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage. Now I too can marry the person I love, in any state in the union, including my very own conservative southern state.

I traveled to Selma, AL in March of 2015 for the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”, the Selma-to-Montgomery March, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This impacted me because I understand that even with the progress those men and women afforded us, great challenges still remain. I heard President Obama say, the lesson of Selma isn’t an outlier of the American experience: “[Selma] is instead the manifestation of a creed written into our founding documents: ‘We the People…in order to form a more perfect union.’ ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ These are not just words," he said. "They’re a living thing, a call to action, a roadmap for citizenship and an insistence in the capacity of free men and women to shape our own destiny."

The migrants from Syria. There by the grace of G-D go I. A different place, a different time...it would have been me. I am so blessed to live in this country...not saying something couldn't happen here but....

I'm more than normally interested in the plight of the displaced Syrians. it certainly shows me how easy my life is! I wish I could help everyone. I wish I were really rich so that I could be more philanthropic in a financial sense. These people have nowhere to go. They are flooding their neighboring countries. And now they're flooding Europe. And countries like the United States are not stepping up. At least it seems like we're not taking in very many people. And I have to listen to some of the Republican candidates for president talk about shipping immigrants out of the country. I certainly can't count on them to want to bring more refugees here.

I think there are many events, the syrian refugee crisis, isis, the stark poverty of many in our country, that have made me realize how lucky I am to have been born in the time and place I was, and to really appreciate what I have and where I am. Makes me think a lot about happenstance and circumstance and how much of humanity has a daily struggle for the most basic needs and how quickly situations can change. I've been thinking a lot about human fragility this year, and these events emphasize it yet again.

I spent much of the year consciously and subconsciously shutting out almost all news and world events. There were exceptions, of course, but for the most part I simply didn't have the bandwidth; I had my own heartaches, my own raging fires to put out. I suppose on some level I knew - rightly or wrongly - that I couldn't take on any more. But when Jack's friend at preschool fell ill with brain cancer, there was no avoiding it. Her parents dropped her off at school one morning. She seemed perfectly fine and healthy. She fainted during lunch. I'm sure when her parents got the call to pick her up they assumed she had the flu or something. Within days, though, they were faced with the fact that she was going to die. I couldn't take it, couldn't even process it. Truthfully, I still can't. Poor, poor Prescilla. I cry thinking about it now. I cry for her and I cry for her parents especially, for their loss. Oh my god, what they lost. A beautiful, shining, silly 4-year-old girl who loved to dance and laugh and draw. Fuck. It was - and is - one of those moments that makes you angry at the universe. Very angry. Like, "Fuck you now and forever" kind of angry. Still, on a personal level, it pierced the armor of my divorce, of my sadness, and of my anger to remind me that most problems - no matter how monumental they feel - are utterly insignificant in the bigger picture. That's not to say problems are to be taken lightly. They'll weigh you down, they can and will wreak havoc if you're not careful. Stress, an entirely abstract thing that floats around and isn't even a real, physical thing, is a known carcinogen. Think about that! But still...almost every problem, when compared to Prescilla's problem, to Prescilla's parents' problem, are *utterly* insignificant. Utterly. Insignificant. End of story.

The Syrian refugee crisis has really shocked me. It pains me to see a mass exodus of a people and seeing how the world is responding. Through social media, the news, and friend's personal experiences and closeness to the event I've thought a lot about it. One, it reminds me of the first Jewish diaspora. Many of them had to hide, flee, or live where they weren't welcome just as these current refugees are. Also, when the drowned child showed up on the beach is when so many nations took action. They waited until the innocent had been punished and exploited before stepping in. I want to be a person that takes action before the worst hits and this reminding me of that. It reminded me that before I'm anything else I'm a person that should help other people

The ISIS bastards.

Rampant, violent antisemitism all over the world. The beating of two Holocaust survivors in Amsterdam was particularly hard for me to comprehend. They're both in their 80s and have obviously been through enough in their lives. Who beats up old people for their religious beliefs and calls them "dirty jews"? It's getting harder to see people defend or explain antisemitism by saying it's merely a reaction to Israel's political policies. Clearly that's not the case.

The shooting in a black church prayer group. The young white man full of so much hate, coming into a prayer group and killing good intending people - PEOPLE IN PRAYER!!! It's outrageous and I still can't believe it happened. Although I have a knowing that all the dead are in a more peaceful spirit plane, even though the ones left here on earth are suffering because of the loss. It brought forth front and center the culture of hate that still exists and is bread by people who make exceptions for themselves and no one else. who have no capacity to extend loving kindness and gratitude to others, epecially those with which they have something in common.

I actually can't think of one - which tells you what a personally difficult year this has been! I regret that I was so self-involved that I did not pay much attention to the news. Let's see what I remember... the 14th anniversary of 9/11. The 1-year anniversary of Hannah Graham's disappearance. Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner. I think gay marriage was legalized everywhere in the U.S. officially not that long ago? Tragedy in Syria. Record 10 feet of snowfall in Boston last winter.

It can't be anything but the refugee crisis. Of course, the resonances with those many Jewish flights from persecution, possible/likely death, intolerable conditions, are obvious - and I think being brought up with that history so clear in my understanding has alerted me very quickly to such situations. I've been horrified by some of the reactions - and deeply moved by others, including that of my small rural local community, who not only want to welcome a Syrian family here, but are collecting clothes and money for Calais, Greece etc.

Scientists have been discovering more evidence that points to the fact thet we are not unique in the universe. I find it all very fascinating, and while it doesn't affect me directly, the implications do. It might change he way humanity views itself and perhaps shed some light on some of our basic assumptions and beliefs. Good stuff.

This year there has been a flood of refugees trying to escape war torn countries like Syria. They have traveled hundreds of miles by boat and on foot. They have few possessions, little food & water, and some are carrying their children. As an athlete, I think about them a lot. I train hard, celebrate my accomplishments, and I am respected for my achievements. Everything I do pails in comparison to their plight. They are the true endurance athletes. They move on without proper food, proper clothing or shoes, anonymously without glory. While we are all patting ourselves on the back for finishing that "tough 50 miler," they are just trying to find a peaceful life. They are the real heroes.

Nothing in the world has especially affected my life or my view of it. I am thankful that the healthy economy and the relatively low energy prices have benefited us financially.

Thankfully, events in the world don't impact me directly. They cause heartbreak, depression, sadness, futility, and overall fatigue at the stupidity of human beings...but, then I see the faces of my wife and child...and my works gets to be much smaller, richer and sweeter

The Syrian crisis has made me think a lot. It could happen to any of us... water and scarcity, violent conflict, international corporations interested in the natural resources, political violence against citizens and then mass migration, looking for places to refuge your family, your life (what's left of it). And even though it could be any of us, we are disconnected, and unwilling to care, help, question, demand that governments and countries act differently, humanly... Also the political crisis in my country. It's a start, but it's not enough. We must do a lot of work to build citizenship that is more conscious, active and that has historical memory.

Reading about the migrants fleeing Syria for a better life in Europe only to find that the open arms they were waiting for are not what they expected. Sweden and Germany are the only two countries opening their arms to the migrants and Germany seems only to be doing this because they have no option.

Oh, man. Ferguson. I finally, finally realized what I knew but hadn't completely come to terms with: society is racist and our power structures have been perverted. It makes me feel helpless because what can I do here in Wyoming other than to talk about what's right and to try to act in ways that value all human life? And I'm sure I don't even come close to doing this well.

Black Lives Matter. I just can't stand it anymore, all of it, and worst: I don't know what to do!! Everyday racism Excessive police reactions Higher incarceration rates Black kids getting suspended more...and receiving less pain meds in hospital settings (!!!) The hatred pointed at the Obamas The malign neglect of inner cities - poor schools, no infrastructure, etc.

The rise of ISIS and Donald Trump made me discard the viability of pacifism.

The rise of Donald Trump and the rise of Bernie Sanders. Two things that I never could have predicted but are now a fundamental part of our political reality. One brings me incredible anguish for our country. I see Trump as a lightning rod that is channeling incredible amounts of anger. It shows how beaten down people are. But their ignorance has been carefully cultivated to bypass the things causing their suffering and to focus on blame. It's a sickness that I've seen in so many personal relationships. Now we have that sickness ailing us on a national level. Sanders, however, is a voice of reason. There is such clarity to his message. He completely cuts the bullshit. He doesn't answer questions about what kind of coffee he drinks and he refuses to engage in pointless negative politics. Instead he talks about things that go to the heart of what is wrong, economic inequality being one of them, and indeed he is talking about the very things that The Great Angry Mob is most plagued by, whether or not they realize it. It is so helpful to see that all is not lost. There is a trend, but trends are flimsy. They change with the wind. Trump is a strong odor on the wind. Bernie is a tree, wrapped and entangled in the wind when it comes, but with roots deep into something that doesn't change, when the wind does. Watching this take place reminds me of watching the first two Broncos games (the second one just happened last night). Things seem to be going a certain way. Everything is a struggle and the odds seem stacked against the outcome you want. But what wins the game isn't the odds, it's the individual play. What wins the game is taking advantage of the opportunities when they come. The game is not an open blanket of ease. Sometimes the game has a tendency from the beginning and that is born out by the result. But that doesn't change the fact that, when you're deep in struggle and things seem against you, you still have the ability to take the opportunities and use them to win. Those opportunities still come. They come unpredictably so they might not come in time, if you're against a clock. But if you're not against a clock? Wait for the opportunities and use them. You'll win.

So many things have happened.... it is not easy to choose one. The most impact, for me, came from all the injustice towards blacks. It seems to be more in the limelight and it has made me more determined to keep saying something... and finally I am not being quiet about it. I am learning how to speak out against the injustice. I have connected with a former HS classmate (one of only a few blacks at our school at Ladue in St. Louis) and she and I have been sharing and discussing and at the same time learning how to speak out against the injustices. We are both trying to bring out the history that has been hidden. I have always felt strongly that there was injustice but now I am learning details to share; and in the process I am seeing some of our other classmates changing their positions. This has all happened over the last year since Mike Brown was gunned down in Ferguson. So, I am seeing that minds can be changed... if you are patient and teach the truth. Pretty cool.

The refugee camps in Germany. I have mixed feelings about it but I feel so sorry for the people who are in this situation

All the police shootings of Black boys/men has really made me look closer at the privilege I have as a white, middle-class person who can walk into a store with a backpack and be totally left alone. It enrages me to know that I live in a country built on the ideals of freedom from this exact kind of tyranny, and yet whole sections of the population here can't reasonably expect to walk down a street at night and live through it.

No singular event. So many. I continue to be changed by Newtown and the lack of response to it. I know these issues. I know the arguments--all of them, on both sides. It used to be my job. And really, politics changed for me when those all little kids were massacred and still, the NRA proved more influential than any will to protect Americans. As a nation, we're willing to accept thousands of Americans killed every year as the price for kowtowing to the gun lobby. We could both adhere to the Second Amendment and enact reasonable restrictions on firearms, but we don't. If not after Newtown, I don't know if we ever will. And that disheartens me more than anything has, ever, even after years of working in politics and policy. We won't even find middle ground within the bounds of the Constitution to protect our youngest citizens? Then who are we, and how can we wake up and look at ourselves in the mirror every day?

I tease about the Pope being my boyfriend, but truthfully I am deeply touched by his humility and decency, his lovingkindness towards those in need, his comfort with dispelling trappings of fancy papalcy. I wish I hadn't been so self-absorbed with family hazzerai this year and more cognizant of world events and issues.

This is a really interesting question for me right now, because over the last several months, I have completely shut myself off from the world and major events. I found that watching the news every day and following breaking news stories online added a level of stress to my life that I just don't have room for right now. Bottom line, I don't need to watch the news to know that the world can be a really ugly place, and I have a pretty good grasp on where and with whom a lot of the ugliness lies. Instead, I'm choosing to focus on the good things in life, and I can't find any of those by watching the news.

Where to begin? The war on women, the clown car that is the GOP Presidential race, wars and rumors of wars, the bigotry, the hypocrisy, it's all too much. Sometimes I feel like climbing under a rock, and not watching or reading the news. There are wild fires in Northern Cal, affecting the air quality, destroying homes, people looting, animals displaced - it's horrific, yet people are coming together, donating and getting the word out about missing and found pets and horses. It's good to see that there are still good people in the world.

The mass exodus of people from the middle east and Syria to Europe has impacted me greatly. It is a reminder of just how awful the situation is for the people getting caught up in religious battles they themselves are not fighting. It is a reminder that we human beings as a whole on this planet have a long way to go before we can say we are enlightened.

The Iran Nuclear treaty. It makes me feel more even less grounded about the future of Israel, the Middle East, the world- and, thus, about my future as well.

Kim Davis refusing to do her job based on her "religious" reasons. The comments and support make me happier than ever that my daughters are not having children. This country is going downhill rapidly and I am glad that I have no grandchild to worry about.

All of the violence against people of color by the police has really really REALLY saddened me. Like I feel like I can't stomach hearing or seeing stories about this stuff anymore (but I know it's only a drop in the bucket). It's really made me push my friends and the people around me to have dialogue about this stuff. I cannot be with people who don't see the injustice in those situations or who don't feel compassion for the black community. I have to be hyperaware of my race during all of this and I expect the people in my life to be able to take a stand WITH me. We are all brothers and sisters in this world and I literally don't have time for indifference. Peoples lives are at stake!!!

The most prevalent thing in my mind is the Syrian refugee situation. It caused me to think. Is it like the holocaust? Should Israel take in refugees? What did that mean that countries say they will only take Christian refugees and not Muslim ones? Is that the equivalent of countries closing the door on Jewish refugees from Europe? Did we learn nothing?/is this exactly how nations like the US set a quota and closed doors on Jews? And the same way the world thought/thinks Jews are evil and they don't want them in their country because they only cause trouble and eat up their resources.... This is the same thing people say about Syrians. It wakes me up to see how histrionic repeats itself over and over.

Gun violence seems to have increased greatly over the past year, locally and nationally. The numbers just keep going up. Our legislators seem to be unable to do anything to slow it down by enacting any meaningful legislation. The powerful NRA lobby seems to control the Congress. It's very disheartening.

The US dollar has strengthened significantly which is directly affecting my variable compensation. I had planned on using a bonus payment and equity gains to make larger payments on my house so that I could pay it off sooner so that I could retire from this job sooner. Now, I'm trying to figure out "plan B."

I became aware that hospitals in northern Israel were treating patients from Israel, when a paediatrician spoke at my synagogue. I was asked to write about this for the synagogue magazine but I also decided to try to get the article published in the press and it has been accepted. This is something little known in the UK and I want to rectify that.

It's maybe not a world event, but something that I felt while travelling that happened YEARS ago. Being in Beethoven's house in Germany, seeing letters he'd written, a strand of his hair, the room in which he was born... Really moved me in recognising the importance of history and legacy. How could he have known that he'd live eternally through these things and move people born generations after him. Are the things I'm doing, the choices I'm making, going to affect generations after me?

Does shemittah count? I had trouble getting good lettuce.

My event is one that happens every day, and whenever I think about it I get so upset but I'll push through it just for you, 10Q. That's how much I love you and want to remember this. Thousands of animals die every day. For food. And it's awful. I've felt guilt every time I ate meat - thinking, this was a chicken or I'm eating a dead pig. But I always pushed it aside because what I was eating was delicious, and besides, I reasoned, it was already dead. But this summer I realized that I couldn't just live with that guilt. It bothered me that, like so many other people I knew, I was aware that the meat industry was awful, but I refused to learn what that awfulness was - and I brushed it aside for my own temporal enjoyment. I had to lean into this guilt, unearth it, and make peace with it, if I was ever going to eat meat with a real conscience. So I leaned in. I read and I watched videos and I learned. Millions of animals that don't feel the grass or see the sun, who are abused and tortured, who are injected with chemicals, and who die in pain. The affect this is having on our environment, our bodies and our brains. At some point, I had to stop, because it was keeping me up at night. I haven't eaten meat in three months, and I feel really, really good about it. Granted, sometimes I have a mean craving for a burger, but I have no shortage of alternate forms of protein, no shortage of yummy meals to cook and order. (Surprising savior in particular: Indian food.) I don't want this experience to necessarily convince people to stop eating meat. But I do think that Yom Kippur is about recognizing guilt and leaning into it, exploring it with an open mind and heart, and coming out better the other side.

There's a lot going on in the world, and sometimes I feel like my own personal world gets so crazy I feel detached from whats going on, but with everything going on its hard to ignore. And even harder to not be impacted. From some hard stuff, dealing with race and privilege but there has been some good---great stuff. I feel like what is happening is holding me accountable for my actions and how my actions impact on the world.

Mass refugee crisis in Syria/Europe. It hasn't effected me directly at all. It's shown how isolated I am. And how easy it is not to care.

I have just been more in tune with what is happening in Israel and the Middle East.

I think it narcissistic the way people take world events and try to personally relate to them. World events aren't about *you*.

ISIS's continued barbarism and inhumanity.

Nothing much has actually affected me in the world this year. Although the war with ISIS has made me think about my religious choices I've made.

The refugee / immigration crisis has been a huge event building and bubbling under the surface of the zeitgeist this year. I suppose it's a knock on effect of ISIS. or IS. Or whatever they call themselves now. Either way the rise of extremism in Syria has had a huge global effect, causing mass migration and creating displaced people all over Europe. We elected another Conservative govt. I don't know if that's a world event but it's certainly an event in the world. I have become more politically left wing, more aware and educated and more engaged than I have ever been before because of the general election in the UK. I rail against the Conservative government. I think the Tory agenda is to perpetuate social inequality and injustice. It makes me very sad and angry.

The refugee crisis coming out of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq has been very troubling to me. The photo of the little boy fleeing from Syria who drowned and washed up on the shore in Turkey made me weep at my desk. I can't help but equate all of this to people desperate to leave Europe during the Holocaust. It feels personal and terrifying and horribly sad.

The Supreme Court making a decision to recognize marriage equality across the United States has impacted me this year. I'm happy that people in America can now receive the benefits of marriage regardless of their sexual orientation.

The early wildfire season is breaking my heart. Spurred on by the drought, it is early and furious. All of the beautiful parts of the West are getting destroyed and it's nearly impossible to stop. I know that, in nature, it's a relatively normal thing to happen. But I wonder if it should be so big and destructive. I wonder if this is how the world starts to end - in fits and starts and pieces.

The Supreme Court decision to recognize marriage as a right that cannot be withheld from same-sex couples impacted me. Besides having friends and family members that can now legally marry, adopt, and make medical decisions for their spouses, the decision reminded me that change-for-good does happen slowly and suddenly. The fight is always worth it.

The fighting in the Middle East and Africa - the barbaric actions and behaviour, and the response of the rest of the world make me sick to the stomach. The unending stories of torture, rape, relentless mindless killing makes me despair for the human race.

The war in Syria made me feel bad, the election of Corbyn made me feel glad and the Conservative majority made me feel mad. I weeped openly in supermarket cafeterias, contemplating melons.

There have been many -- but the one that comes immediately to mind is the US Supreme Court's decision in favor of gay marriage. Prior to that, it didn't matter that we had a wedding, with a rabbi officiating, in a 2003 Civil Union ceremony in Vermont. It didn't matter that we had a legal civil marriage in California in 2008. We still weren't married, legally in TN. This summer? Presto! We're married! Socially, it makes no difference. We feel just the same about each other. Those people who recognized us as a married couple still do. Those who didn't, still don't. What makes a difference, though, is legally and financially. If I die first (as seems likely), I won't be leaving a huge tax burden behind me. There will be no question about my wife being able to make decisions for me, or inheriting from me. She's safe. That's a good feeling.

the gay marriage/transgender issues in the news have encouraged me to constantly revisit the differences between "spiritual" and "religious," and my beliefs. what is inborn and what is learned? in the big scheme of things, does it matter? many thoughtful articles have been written by people who struggle with the same historic definitions of marriage and gender, and how those evolve. the fluidity and spectrum of both is worth becoming educated on before making up one's viewpoint.

The world event that most affected me this year was probably global climate change. I participated in the People's Climate March in NYC last October and found it to be a powerful display of action and passion to support more sustainable, environmentally-friendly policies. Climate change really hit home for me this summer on a trip to the Pacific Northwest. Major drought had hit Oregon and Washington. That, coupled, with higher than average temperatures the previous winter, made Olympic National Park much browner than usual. In what was supposedly a temperate rain forest, there were brown withered ferns everywhere. Usually on Hurricane Ridge there are patches of snow remaining even through July. This year, no snow. I know weather is different than climate, but climate change will make extreme weather events more common. I often feel disempowered as a climate activist, because there is so little an individual can do. I know Hazon has led the charge on some Jewish communal organizing around the issue of climate change and that the Pope has written a powerful encyclical about the issue, but I still worry that it's too little too late.

There are so many events. The biggest one that has impacted me has been the refugee crisis. Migrants are pouring into France, Germany and Hungary from Syria and Africa. It appears as though people have suddenly decided to leave their homes and move all at once. Germany may be receiving as many as 3,000 people a day. ISIS appears to be a major cause in terms of Syria and Iraqi migrants. But globalization factors are also having a serious impact. Perhaps all of our years of cheap labor and exploitation as well as the wars are finally coming to harvest. So far there has been no solution...the only one I see is a change in the global economy. In the US, the black lives matter movement has also had a major impact after the deaths of Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Sandra Bland and others..killed by police.

the GOP debates, and the ascension of Donald Trump. I fear for humanity-truly I do. It frightens me that people can be so determinedly stupid and refuse to think.

The constant cases of police brutality and the government is doing nothing to change it, most police abuse there power in my eyes. It's bull sh#} they should stop arresting people for drug related or non violent offenses and focus on bigger things such as murders and rapes

Hmm. World events... Syrian refugees, black people getting killed like fucking mad while a billion white people pretend there's no racism, Bill Cosby and Louis CK turning out to be major creeps...

The Black Lives Matter movement has helped me expand my awareness of oppression and how others experience it.

The death sentence of the Tsarnaev boy broke my heart. Really, his whole trial and the fact that he was up for the death penalty is, I believe, a stain on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well as the criminal justice system. Yes, he committed an egregious crime, and yes he does deserve to be punished for it. I do not believe the punishment fit the crime. It impacted me because the crime and subsequent search for him happened in my city. The resiliency that metro-Boston showed at that time was beautiful. This put a stain on that beauty. The trial and sentencing inspired me to have some good conversations (in person and on Facebook) about the meaning of justice. It caused me to see some people in a new light, for better or worse, and made me proud that I mostly surround myself with thoughtful individuals.

This question makes me realize how little actually impacts me, here in my safe, free, middle class life in the United States. The drought and burning of the western states did affect me personally. I am worried about global warming and what kind of a world my grandchild will face. I would like to find a way to be more actively involved in solutions. I'm not much of a joiner: I tend to mistrust large, organized groups. I am hoping to find a way that makes sense.

An event in the world? I can barely respond to the events of my own life right now.

Watching the refugee crisis unfold in Europe has been incredibly unsettling. We should have been doing more to help these people in the first place but since we didn't, there is compelling evidence that letting people into our country will not hurt us at all but will help them. How can we not do that? I can't imagine the feeling of trying to flee a war and having the doors slammed in your face. It makes it very hard to have faith in humanity but you have to look for the small stories of kindness in this terrible crisis.

The Mass exodus from Syria, and Germany's generous response to the Syrian refugee situation. The posted photos of people who feel they are entitled to kill precious wildlife. The massive storms that hit Japan and caused the evacuation of 250,000 people. The inability of the world to respond to the Syrian crisis appropriately which is causing the mass exodus is deeply troubling, but Germany's generous response is redeeming. People who kill wildlife sickens me because I am not in a position to solve the problem of extinction and loss of biodiversity. Our world becomes more impoverished with each loss. Global warming is a massive shift for the whole world and Mother Nature is much, much bigger than we are.

An event in the world that has impacted me this year is the US immigration allowing immigrants into our country. I have a cousin in Italy who came here about 7 years ago, and over stayed his visit a little longer than he should have but now he can not come to America for another 4 years. He has been trying for a really long time to become American and to live here to start a life and have a career because over there in Sicily, It's really poor and no jobs. He just wants to get out and come here to escape he told me feels trapped over there like it is a prison. And seeing all these immigrants allowed into our country is kind of hard to see when I have family member who can not be allowed in. And he has tried to come here about 2 years ago and as soon as he got off the plane in American they put him on another plane back to Sicily.

An event in the world that has impacted me this year was when Kanye West announced that he was going to run for president. This was such an impact to how now just anyone thinks that they can run for president. This is the guy that got drunk and ran up on stage and humiliated Taylor Swift years ago. Does someone like that get to run for president just because they want to? I don't think some rapper no matter how much money they have or anything should stick to writing music and stay away from politics. Can you imagine a country run by Kanye West? If people actually vote for him I don't know what going to happen.

ISIS... Charlie Hebdo.... Paris... Oslo.... The attacks seem to go on and on, and there seems to be no way to stop it. One side of me is scared, and I even had a couple of rabbis ask me if I was really sure that I wanted to convert when being a Jew has become so dangerous again. The other side of me is sad. And not just because of the Jews who are dying, but because of all the others who are dying, and the vilification of wide swaths of Muslims because of the crazy actions of these extremists.

The earthquake in Nepal was traumatizing. I was flying to India 6 weeks later, and I was supposed to visit Nepal, but I wasn't able to. Had that earthquake occurred 6 weeks later, I would have been in the region. Life can change in a blink of an eye. I am grateful that I can stand here in my kitchen, drinking an Americano out of my Mumbai mug and write about this event.

On June 26, gay marriage was legalized in every state. It signified one more step towards total equality in the US. Besides being just plain awesome, it also gave me a little bit of faith in humanity. If the Supreme Court Council, a very old and somewhat conservative panel of people, can realize that marriage is for love, not just heterosexual love, then what's stopping the rest of the world from coming to this realization as well?

The winter. It was brutal and made me question life. Seriously it was insane my entire February was a blur of hurting muscles and white

The north african migrations. Purely abstractly. Because it's the beginning of the climate change population displacements.

Trump's popularity with voters both appalls and frightens me. I say that I'd want to leave the country if he were elected, but I'm not sure I'd have the guts to do it. The realization that this country is so heavily populated with stupid people who are manipulated into do doing what the powerful want is disgusting. I'm not sure what actions i can take to make a dent.

Jeremy Corbyn winning the Labour party leadership election. I went to see him at a hustings in Oxford and was impressed by his integrity and moral reasoning behind opposing nuclear weapons, poverty and inequality. I'm a Lib Dem party member, but I'm thinking about switching - even though there are many things about the Labour party (from the Blair years) that I don't like. I believe more in the man than the party. I really hope he changes how politics is conducted in the UK and manages to engage the younger generation of voters. He's very inspiring. His leadership victory address made me cry. I hope he has the same impact on the quality of political debate in the UK that the SNP has had in Scotland with its progressive policies.

Cannot think of a major event in the world that impacted me this year. I do not pay attention very much. Medical news impacts me most - Ebola, diabetes, discoveries leading to better health.

The starting of #blacklivesmatter and the focus on racism in this country. I want to do something more about it.

The blight of the Syrian refugees. It reminds me of how my dad and my grandmother struggled to get into freedom by fleeing their homeland during World War II.

The weather seems to be more unpredictable -- had a record snowfall in Massachusetts this past winter, but more than anything -- the winter was persistently cold so the snow just hung around. Similarly, the summer seemed particularly hot. Around the country the same story - water shortages and severe wild fires in California. Overall, glad I am in Massachusetts but doesn't bode well for the future.

My heart breaks for the Mid East. I feel helpless. I feel upset with the people in power. I wish we could open our hearts and treasure to bring peace. Sigh.

Any of the mass shootings in this country, which now seem to happen on a daily basis. It makes me think seriously about leaving.

There have been a number of events this year that highlighted issues of race and police brutality: the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Grey, Sandra Brand, and so many others. These events impacted me and affected the way I looked at the world, and encouraged me to look deeper into issues of racial inequality and begin to look for ways to take action.

World antisemitism. It scares me. It makes me feel unsafe. Feeling betrayed by Obama regarding the Iran deal.

In June, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare and legalized gay marriage. We were volunteering at the TEC general convention and I joined in the conga line as thousands sang "we are singing in the love of god." It was a powerful moral victory given moms struggle with insurance and our journey to an inclusive spiritual understanding. It means so much to so many of our friends who are part of the LGBT community. I have also continued to be touched by the gun violence that is a daily occurrence in our land. It has made me more of a pacifist and I've even joined our church in marching for common sense gun reform. When combined with racism as it was in a church in Charleston, I have been challenged again to consider my own racist past and the great privilege I have as a white male. And all of this has led me to a deeper embrace of my activism as a young man and made me deeply grateful to be part of a church where this activism is welcomed and empowered.

Black Lives Matter! I am realizing how important it is to stick up for others and feel that I have been doing so within my own sphere of influence.

The refugees from the East merging into Europe amazes me. I also am somewhat shocked that the European nations are not very willing to take these families in to help them. They are coming on foot over mountainous terrain to escape hunger and death and corrupt governments. Secondly, I am amaze by the Republican debates and the forerunner being Donald Trump, an overbearing outspoken businessman followed by a more sedate neurosurgeon Ben Carson who are leading the pack. I think we are all sick of the old guard of politicians. It should be an interesting year to see how all this develops of the year. I am also interested in seeing if Hillary Clinton gets indicted for misconduct with her Emails or for her mishandling of the Bengali incident. Can she overcome these things and win the Democratic Nomination and the Presidency despite these mistakes? Only time will tell.

That tiny 3-yr-old Syrian boy, whose body washed up onto the shore after drowning. I recall hearing about the displacement of 10 million Syrians, reading about their plight in the news, but I didn't truly understand their suffering until pictures circulated of that little boy. To flee one's homeland is a horrible thing. To flee without knowing where one might finally call home is courageous and desperate. But to do these things as a 3-yr-old, to fall out of a boat with barely the ability to swim, not understanding why you had to leave at all... to die slowly, cold and alone... It's not right. We don't get to treat each other that way, and we don't get to ignore the problem just because we've constructed these things called national/state borders. We are not robots living in boxes. We are people... and they, the fleeing Syrians, are people too. We are a global community where membership to that community permits you love and support. And we failed as a global community when we caused a small boy's family to make a daring escape that resulted in his drowning. It's not right and it can't go on.

Probably the one that that impacted me is my decision to STOP listening to the news as much. It made me cry every day on my commute. I am switching to audio-books and more neutral podcasts.

Oh, this migrant crisis in Europe is just heart-wrenching! The stories of individuals who have lost so much hope that they embark on such an uncertain and dangerous journey. The tearful accounts of parents having lost children to the sea...the fear of war...or persecution for their beliefs. Though I have a unique opportunity to travel to Europe this fall, I feel torn over the idea of vacationing in the same refuge for which so many are losing their lives only to be turned away. Holy Spirit would you move within this crisis!

GAY MARRIAGE BECAME LEGAL IN THE USA. ALL OVER THE USA. EVEN THOUGH BITCHES LIKE KIM DAVIS AND THE STATE OF ALABAMA ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT NOT HAPPEN. The SCOTUS ruling was announced when my husband and I were out of town celebrating our one-year wedding anniversary, and it filled me with such joy. I feel like the temptation for this answer would be to provide an example of one of the many atrocious things that happened in the world this year--I like happy news (who doesn't?!) and this is some of the happiest news there is! I was filled with so much joy on my wedding day, and am so lucky to have a strong marriage--everyone in America (and the world) should have that right!

There are many events in the world that have impacted me - sometimes, I think I read too much news. I am most particularly concerned about events in the Middle East, not simply because I am a Jew, but because my daughter's partner is a secular Lebanese Muslim, who is very anti-Israel. We cannot talk about this, and it's a block between us, as well as a tender spot between me and my daughter, who of course does not want to have to choose between her mother and her partner. It hurts. At a macro level, I'm growing more concerned about the spread of radical Islam. I worry for people for whom fleeing with nothing seems like a better choice than staying where they are. I wish that I, personally, could do something to help even one person in a tangible way. I wish my synagogue would step up and sponsor a family. The thing that has had the most immediate and most personal effect on me, though, has been the loss, in the space of two months, of a pair of Bernese Mountain Dogs owned and loved by my daughter. Our hearts are broken, and it feels exponentially worse right now because she and I are in different provinces, and I cannot even hug her. It wouldn't change the fact that Ben had cancer and had to be euthanised in July. It doesn't change the fact that Wylie, who's had ongoing medical issues in all his 7 years, cannot be saved, and that we both know this. We spoke yesterday, and we both cried - she said, "I'm not ready!" And I know just what she means. We're still grieving Ben, and now we have to say goodbye to Wylie.

Though it has not personally affected my day-to-day life, I was greatly moved by the legalization of gay marriage in the U.S. That I live in a place where equal rights can be afforded to all individuals is wonderful, though the hateful backlash has not been. Nonetheless, it pleases me greatly that this is the law of the land.

Of course there have been many. Right now, the range of responses to the Syrian migrants/refugees is affecting me. I'm moved, overwhelmed, saddened, heartened, and fascinated.

The widening gap between the haves and have notes in the United States has troubled me for some time. It seems that those who have are extravagant and wasteful and their excesses could easily be used to address the basic human needs -- food, clothing, and shelter -- of so many in need, both in the United States and around the world. I don't have much in the way of financial resources to give to these efforts, and I find myself always praying and hoping for additional resources to be able to share.

Finland is a bit far from the events of the world, and I like it for that reason, so nothing from the past year. The last world event that impacted me was the George Zimmerman / Trayvon Martin debacle. That incident transformed into a crazy quilt of feelings versus facts, outrage versus sobriety, and the long arm of the authority acting lawlessly, out of feelings, not out of rationality. It was the first time in my life that I saw clearly that those in authority were clearly wrong, and persecuted one of our citizens based purely on their feelings, or out of naked ambition. "Facts be damned! Up your ass with your damned facts. George Zimmerman is gonna burn!" This from our leaders and our media and Steven Colbert and even intelligent people I like. Sobering. Haunting.

I guess all the shootings and murder suicides that I hear about in the news lately that are happening right here in the US. Makes me think that people have gone mad. Very sad to hear about children, teenagers, police officers, etc.. being killed for no reason at all. I feel we are turning more savage and less civil everyday. Too many rules and not much common sense.

Though it happened more then a year ago, the war in Israel changed everything. I feel so much less safe being a Jew outside of Israel. I can't go to libral LGBT spaces because my beliefs about Israel usually don't sync up. I have had to silence myself in these spaces and it hurts. I had a guy come up to me and say he knew I was Jewish because of my nose. Its becoming a bit more difficult to be me and over the past year I have had to figure out how to handle it.

I felt especially impacted this year by the Iran deal and all of the debates over it within the American political and Jewish communities. I'm obviously very passionate about politics in the United States and in Israel, and the controversy and ire that accompanied the deal in the United States confirmed a lot of what so often disappoints and frustrates me about the current state of affairs and dialogue within the American Jewish community. I'm thankful that the deal passed, but the mess left behind worries me greatly -- unfortunately, I feel like the diplomatic progress from a policy standpoint might be overshadowed by the discord that's becoming more and more prominent within our community. I wish that we could have more conversations that don't end in finger-pointing and accusations, but rather in constructive dialogue and mutual respect.

The Syrian refugee crisis is deeply troubling. Not only are the visual images disturbingly reminiscent of Jews fleeing persecution during the Holocaust, but also the limited willingness of countries to provide aid and shelter to those seeking safety echoes the indifference displayed during the 1930s and 1940s.

I am absolutely at a loss for this one. Surely, there were events in the world that affected me one way or the other indirectly, but I can't put my finger no one that has directly had an effect on me.

I have been emotionally moved by all the refugee children escaping violence all over the world. People are fleeing in Afica trying to get to Europe through destabilized Libya. People are fleeing Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan through Turkey and Greece to Europe. People are fleeing central America to the US. And Myanmar... Most of them flee extreme war and violence tor each destinations that don't want them and refuse to help them. Children are being severely traumatized. What can we do to help? I feel hopeless. But it also gives me some perspective. I worry that I am not able to buy a house for my daughter to live in. But we have a safe (relatively) clean apartment and enough food to eat. We are not rich, but compared with so many we are the richest and luckiest. Perspective is important.

The continuing unrest in the middle east has left me deeply concerned about the world's stability and both grateful and concerned about my insulation from it thus far. I am horrified that we can't get our shot together as a species to elevate our entire species with peaceful development and progress. I'm horrified at what these innocents are dealing with. And I'm beyond grateful my family and I are safe, at least now, from it all.

I think the rise in Anti-Israel, anti-Jewish feelings in the world has escalated. This makes me very uncomfortable and wonder why.

At first pass I missed the "in the world" clause in this question so my thinking was very me-centric. What a fitting reminder to get out of your own way. The Black Lives Matter movement has touched all aspects of my political thought and life this year. It's infused movements with new meaning and much needed urgency. The activists and thinkers have forced a conversation so desperately needed in our society and helped shine a stark light on what needs to change. It's inspiring and humbling.

I think the news event that affected me most this year was the Sandra Bland story. There are so many stories about the police and racism in the news -- enough to make me wonder what year it is -- but that one really hit me to the core. The idea that a woman could be on her way to a job interview, attacked by police, and possibly have her mugshot taken after she was killed by them...the idea that I could even wonder if it was true...that made me realize where we are at in this country when it comes to race relations. I'm not sure if it's weird to say I appreciate my privilege as a white person, but after realizing the constant state of fear minorities still live in, I really am grateful I don't have to live that way. I don't know what to do about it without seeming less than genuine, but at least I can see what's happening.

The current Syrian regugee crisis is upsetting me. I can't stop thinking about the similarities between the Syrians now and the Jews 70 years ago--all getting stuck in the crosshairs of international politicians who are forgetting that real people and real families are caught in the middle.

Hmmmm Joy that Cuba is becoming unlocked Joy that Obama continued to improve human rights and ...... So many sad middle Eastern people

The Obergefell v. Hodges decision to allow gay marriage in every state lifted my heart into the sky. It made me revisit what I think about the legal system and its power, and gave me renewed confidence in my country (although the Kim Davis clerk debacle shattered it again soon enough). I love being part of a country where Love Wins. It was a good counterbalance, at least in part, to 9/11 and Donald Trump's candidacy.

donald trump is the republican's frontrunner. I hope it has enlightened those in our government. It certainly has opened my eyes.

I think the continued turmoil in the Middle East, the beheadings by ISIS and the refugee problem has been very upsetting. I feel as if there is no solution and I am witnessing the end of our civilization. This is compounded by the total ineffectiveness of our government and the ridiculous political theater which is the upcoming presidential campaign. I fear for my daughter, her new husband and our yet to arrive grandchildren. I am becoming increasingly pessimistic about the future.

While I am saddened and angry about much that has gone on in the world (and in our own country), none of it has really impacted me directly. One of the most upsetting is the deal with Iran which I believe is a huge mistake. Even though I signed petitions, I felt helpless to stop it. I probably won't live long enough to see the disastrous results, but I fear for Israel and the Jewish people.

Police violence against black communities, white supremacist violence against black communities. I grew up in a region filled with klan activity. It's not news to me, or particularly surprising. What *is* surprising is how much it's coming out into the light of day in many more regions this year, and the connections that are being drawn between white supremacist activity, policing, and some politicians. These are the things that we need to be out in the light of day to really stop the insidiousness of structural racism. I hope that we can all find ways to stop racism wherever we find it, even the racism that bubbles up in ourselves (because we have all been raised in racist societies). I hope that we can use the events of this year, and all the years prior, to really look at ourselves in this country and put an end to the violence of white supremacy and anti-black racism.

The transgender acceptance movement has personally affected me and my family, as my first-born has come out and is transitioning. It is not easy to understand, but there appears to be a lot more understanding and sympathy and support available for people of different, non-binary beings.

The senseless killing in Charleston really hurt my heart. I was so angry and sad because on how vulnerable and accepting the congregants were to their assailant. It touched me beyond measure when they forgave him and stood by their faith principles. It also showed me how much more growing I need to do in the forgiveness area. I pray that Hashem will guide me in this area.

How can anyone possibly choose? I think the situation with the Syrian refugees (maybe just because it is the most fresh in my mind right now) is the most impactful. I've actually had the thought that I wish I were in Vienna so I could be close enough to help. I'm envious of my friends in Europe, although I was bored there just over a year ago. I wasn't...Ukraine was erupting then. History is always being made, or unmade, somewhere.

The Pacific Northwest fires. Simply grievous.

Gays (hate that word) can marry in this country, although the states are still hashing it out. I am resentful that the right to marry and the right to be in the military as ourselves are the major political victories we've achieved. The triumph of marriage is, in fact, a denial of the entire gay mode of life--a sophisticated network of friendships and relationships that is as stable as the heterosexual matrix, in the few large cities in which it thrives. I feel called to move to NYC just to be in that, to not have to feel so alone. It's impossible to live in New York and not feel alone, but at least there is a "family system" there that would be for me and the way I think about the world and the way I desire and what I want. I don't want kids, I'm ambivalent about lifelong partnership. I want to fall in love, but I'm not sure I ever want to do that, embark on that kind of co-existence, it just may not be the kind of man that I am, and in the context of that world, that would carry no stigma, whereas out here, in the heterosexual wild, it is the absolute stigma, the absolute failure, to live without a partner and never have children.

People experience all sort of events that affect them profoundly. There are several civil wars in the Middle East. This morning I've heard of 8.4 magnitude earthquake in Chile. Should I consider myself lucky not to be able to come up with anything?

For the first time, I visited Israel. The trip was intended to combine visiting my sister-in-law with a socio-political/historical tourist visit. My spouse and I intended to visit Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Yad Vashem, and perhaps wander a bit (vacation). We also expected to spend time with our niece and nephew, his sister and brother-in-law (visiting). The trip didn't go exactly as expected and we spent less time exploring than anticipated. This wasn't a bad thing, but I struggled with the "change of plans" after anticipating this vacation for so long. As he trip turned from vacation and visiting to mostly visiting, I felt a little lost and unable to unwind. But, I digress. We rented a car for the duration so that we could travel to sites and also take my spouse's sister to Ikea (near Tel Aviv). She lives on settlement in Ma'ale Adumim, without a car and with two children under 5. Even getting to Jerusalem is a schlep. We got lost - a lot. In the car, while navigating google maps (with incomplete road names) and street directions, I watched the landscape. There's something about seeing the wall - the division between the east and west bank. In some places it's made of thick, blocked concrete. In others, it's a simple chain linked fence. Nonetheless, where there's wall, there's coiled barbed wire atop. "You shall not cross". Locals note that the wall has decreased bombings and attacks between Palestinians and Jews significantly. I do not doubt that. Still, there's something about seeing the division. I wonder how we can ever talk, understand, and come to terms with our differences if we're walled off from each other in arbitrary ghettos: east and west bank. Early in our trip, we ended up in Jersulem's "Old City" after being thwarted by Israel's roadways and unable to find our way to Yad Vashem. We coiled through the cobbled market streets, glancing at stalls and people. "Where do we find good falafel?", we texted my spouse's sister. "Go to the Jewish quarter," she encouraged us. "Don't eat in the Palestinian quarter. It's unsafe." We questioned the truth in that statement (given from a conservative, Orthodox Jew who lives on settlement), but heeded our sister's advice. In the Jewish quarter we found falafel, pita and hummus, and young soldiers wielding machine guns. Members of the Israeli army, these uniformed young men and women talked with and teased each other while casually holding these large weapons. There's something about casually eating lunch amidst soldiers. Amidst guns. Wondering why so many young soldiers are necessary. Wondering what required national service will mean for my niece and nephew, now 4 and 2, when they are 18. Where will the country be then? What will the state of conflict look like? Midweek, after giving up on finding our way into the city by car, we took the bus into the heart of Jerusalem's "New City". This was my first time on Israeli public transportation. Upon checkpoint leaving Ma'ale Adumim, two armed soldiers (one male and one female) boarded the bus. They walked up and down, searching and looking. The machine gun was pointed down, but hands were readied upon it. I held my breath. No one else flinched; they continued reading, talking, drinking coffee. All was as it were. We transferred from the bus to the light rail. Unlike in the U.S., when the doors opened, you boarded at any point on the train and logged your ticket at a self-pay kiosk on the train. I wasn't sure I'd done this correctly. A stop in, two young gentlemen hopped on the light rail. They did not scan tickets. Halfway to the next stop, a conductor began walking down the train, scanning tickets. He stopped at a woman in front of us. She had her ticket - a monthly pass - but something wasn't right. It was expired. The conductor asked her to pull out her Israeli national ID and then ran a background check while she waited. The two young men watched her. At the next stop, they jumped off. The conductor gave the woman what I can only imagine was a citation/ticket. Later, I mentioned this to my spouse - the boys, the ticket, my nerves in watching the conductor. He said that he wouldn't mention it to his sister who would likely label the young men as Palestinian and call them freeloaders on Israel. Say they were the reason for the conductors; Israelis wouldn't knowingly break the rules. There's something about witnessing national security at every turn. Witnessing conflict and difference. Anticipating negative assumption. Wondering what it means for my relationship with my sister-in-law not to speak up, ask questions, make observations, and begin a dialogue. Wondering what it means for Israel that there is such secure division. Nature intervened and brought snow to Jerusalem halfway through our trip on a Thursday. We'd just begun our journey into Yad Vashem - were one hour into the museum's stories when armed guards began escorting us out. Jersualem was shutting down in preparation for snow. Tourists and locals alike were sent home in an effort to avoid the previous year's snow emergency; cars stranded on highways and locals holed upon the Jerusalem's conference center for three days. There's something about reading stories. Hearing Jewish hopes and dreams. Realizing the trust that Jews had in Germany; to leave their homes, move into ghettos, step on trains, part with loved ones at gates. Feeling the love Jews had for faith and family and culture. Anticipating the horrors of the Holocaust ghettos and concentration camps. Before being escorted, at gunpoint, in a large group through the winding tunnels of Ya Vashem through eight of the ten exhibition halls. No time to stop and look. No time to take it in. Shuffled forward. Eyes darting for my spouse and landing on machine guns. On our last day, we drove from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. Out early afternoon flight had us on the road in the early morning right after the children went to Gan. We'd printed directions and received warnings from my sister-in-law and her husband. "It may look like there are two roads to Tel Aviv, but stay on the 1. Don't take the 50. It's not safe." We ended up on the 50 and in the heart of Palestinian settlements. We dared not to stop. Not to turn around at the settlement entryways. Not to breathe. We silently drove. Prayed the car wouldn't run out of gasoline or break down. Prayed no one would stop us. Two foreigners with hamsa tattoos on our inner forearms. Queer and Jewish. When we rejoined with the 1 right outside Tel Aviv, my spouse and I collectively exhaled. There's something about taking it all in. The wall, the wire, the military, the division, the guns, the distrust, the memories, and the present. Taking it all in a letting it settle in your belly. There's something about fear. Of being afraid of strangers. There's something about not know what type of Jew I am. I don't know enough about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I don't the people. I don't know the country. I don't feel called to Israel as other Jews do. Perhaps this is because I'm a convert in process. Perhaps this is because my formal study of Judaism has decreased over the past 18 months. I don't know what Jew I am. Am I Jewish? Can I be Jewish? I am called to G-d on erev Shabbat when we light the candles, pray, and daven. When I bake challah with my sister-in-law's recipe, knead and talk to G-d. When I sit in services and hear the Hebrew; I may not understand but I feel it's beauty. I desire to understand it. There's something about beginning of a personal journey to join a people and culture that's thousands of years old. It's intimidating. Confusing. Exciting. Fulfilling. This year, my trip to Israel, seeing history, and witnessing daily outcomes of the Palestinian conflict, opened my eyes and brought forth personal reflection and questioning about my faith.

Racism in America. I feel like I am getting my feet under me, in terms of having language to speak up and remind or tell people that racism exists. Especially since I now living in Baltimore, Freddie Gray happened where I live, and I need to be a part of the community that talks, learns and acts.

Syria, it is too horrible to accept that this can go on in our time and I wish I could give more $ but instead I will be giving my time to work towards sponsoring a family with my congregation.

The legalization of gay marriages in the U.S. brought me hope that perhaps humanity is evolving and becoming kinder, after all.

It feels weird but nothing really outside really impacted me. I guess the continue push in health care made palliative care a bigger deal and the cardinals and pirates made my life more interesting and fun... but neither feels big in my life. I do wonder what - sadly that means for me

The change in phrasing about refugees from Syria. I have been following the unrest for quite some time and was horrified how these exiles were described as immigrants and migrants. Then all of a sudden all the newspapers started calling them "refugees" and there was a more welcoming attitude. This is such a strong shift for the better but in my opinion surprisingly late. Firstly it's extraordinary how strongly language affects our judgment, and I recognise many patterns from past world crises that make me realise we are reliving history.

The events of the world affect me only superficially. I hear what I hear and pay only superficial attention. If someone close to me is physically affected and probably if someone close to me was deeply emotionally affected then it would be more on my radar. I am affected though. I do feel for the refugees. I feel for the heads of states who need to make decisions about allowing them into their countries. I think that decision is among the hardest. How does a country decide not to help? At the same time can they really help the massive numbers seeking help?

This year, an anti-abortion group began a media campaign by releasing edited videos that launch false charges of gruesome practices against Planned Parenthood; in response, Congress is considering defunding them. The conversation surrounding this situation has made me very sad and very angry. I have really high faith in Planned Parenthood and have met people with enormous dignity who work there and care for patients with the utmost compassion. It makes me very sad to hear about the ways they are being attacked. It infuriates me to hear the judgment that comes from the anti-abortion folks and what I perceive as great hypocrisy. Someone published a book this year called "Pro", which explores the sociology around the abortion debate in this country and discusses the way groups like this polarize this issue so terribly that we cannot have a productive conversation about it. This really hit home for me when, after listening to the various news programs about the video and defunding situation, I found myself so angry I realized I needed to do something to reign in my own anger, to find my own way back to some level of compassion and equanimity. I went to church that weekend, for the first time in a long time not for family, though it didn't end up accomplishing what I was after. Unfortunately, many world events this year have had this impact on me and I am struggling with how to best channel that anger instead of just withdrawing.

Climate change. It's coming and we're too stupid to take the measures needed because we're beholden to the fossil fuel industry.

In a very strange way, the rise and continued violence of Boko Haram had a inverse sort of impact on me and my life. This last year, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the North of Benin, out in West Africa. For anyone who knows their African Geography, Benin is literally next door to Nigeria, the center of operations for Boko Haram as of 2014-2015. Boko Haram is the poster child of West African extremism. Composed of mostly illiterate, violently discontent adherents to a dangerous philosophy of masculine-exceptionalism, these people should be noted are not just the minority, but are an extreme minority in comparison to the overall Islamic culture of West Africa. Truth be told, Muslims in my region are much more akin to us Jews in their high esteem of not just education, but the pursuit of education itself as a tenet of their community cohesiveness. They take seriously the thought that ignorance is in itself a sin, and rail hard against illiteracy even amongst women in the community (something quite rare in Benin overall, actually). So naturally, as news of Boko Haram slipped its way into Benin, there was a palpable change in the community. Not only were people afraid of the possible effects of uneducated Jihadim finding their way over the porous borders into Benin, but renewed energy was spent on the emphasis of education as a means of social and geographic amelioration, for everyone. Both inside and outside the Islamic community. Education, it was said, is the only way to push back that radical extremism personified by Boko Haram. What can be more beautiful than watching a community identify itself by the better parts of its own humanity, as opposed to along religious lines? Boko Haram impacted my Peace Corps service. But they did so by inversely giving my community something to rally against as proof of their humanness, rather than as incitement to violence. And I am eternally grateful that I got to witness that part of humanity--that faint star in a growing, turbulent sea of night--in my lifetime.

I can't say there's one world event. it's more like the overwhelming amount of all the negativity and bad things. Of course, the big thing in the US this year was police brutality. I think with social media too, all these horrible things that happen are constantly staring you in the face and can make you feel hopeless about the state of the world. I just finished reading Proof of Heaven about a neurosurgeon who had a near death experience and went to Heaven. One of the things he said struck me. When he was there, he could see everything, the entire universe and more. And the evil in the world was just a tiny blip compared to all the good that was there. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the evil going on around us, and to us it feels like much more than a small blip. But we have to remember that God is in control and good will always come out on top.

The shooting at Mother Emmanuel in Charleston made me painfully aware of my privileged status. It made even more clear the need for gun control and the need to educate people about the racial divide and what each individual can do to help.

The Supreme Court of the United States allowing gay marriage to be legal in all 50 states and D.C. Although it does not change my opportunity to get married, it allows so many of my closest friends, who I consider family, to have the same opportunity as I do.

World news is hard for me to involve myself with. Not because I don't care... I care so much that, I want to do something and I can't do everything. I am too hard on myself. I need to let go of some things.

ISIS, it scares me, I believe that if ISIS is not stopped they will end humanity as we know it. These are animals stuck in the dark ages and are killing innocent people. Why is the world silent?

Nothing felt more impactful than the ending of "debate" about marriage equality. With many friends affected (even though our state had marriage equality on the books before the Supremes decided), and with concerns about the many children we are close to, this was the big one. It's such a weight of worry off our shoulders.

I think there are a lot of injustices in this world that have existed under the radar and surfaced recently. With the clear racism we see with police against Blacks and even today with a 14 year old boy that brought a homemade clock to school that his teacher thought was a bomb, we need to change. And gun violence needs to change. It's so hard time and time again to hear of this school shooting or that church or that movie theatre. All these things are the norm and that is disgusting to me. America is better than that. I feel in general while I'm not politically active, I have become more aware of my passions and for social justice. I'm not sure if that means I'll start being more active in doing something about it, but for now it means a lot for myself just to have feelings on politically charged issues at all. I sincerely hope with the change in president next year we don't see a loss in Planned Parenthood funding, and with the second GOP debate tonight, that kind of looks like where it's going if a Republican wins, unfortunately.

so many AfricanAmerican teens and man have been unduly killed by police. When there was a trial, the police or shooter was deemed innocent. How can this be repeated so many times? Do police have to shoot to kill every time? This is scary. I can see why an African American mother would be so concerned about her son's safety.

The Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage was a monumental event to experience as a young gay man. For the most part, I have removed myself from news sources and social-political goings-on; it was but just a few months before the decision that a wonderful gay man joined my team at work, sits beside me, and comes in as early as I do. His involvement in advocacy and current events trickles over to me now and again, and I was very aware of the mornings when a decision was to be announced by SCOTUS. On the Thursday before San Francisco Pride, while on the way to work at 6:30am I had an intuition that I should stop and grab some pink lemonade and sparkling water. Just a half hour later, my coworker and I were saying a joyous cheers with our flamboyant libations - both of us the only queers (that we know of) in our department, and two of very few within the entire company. Days later my sister (queer as well) and I shared in her first SF Pride experience, dancing the night away in utter celebration. Though this decision is merely a piece of the greater societal puzzle that must be rearranged to incorporate justice, decency, freedom, opportunity, and safety for all people, it is humbling to be in the prime of my life when the world's most influential country finally acknowledges my community for the humans beings that we are. I'm grateful to be experiencing such a shift in mindset and policy. I recognize the decades and decades of struggle and courage it has taken to bring us where we are today, and I can only hope that the much simpler acts of courage I take every day when I leave my apartment both honor those who have gone before me, as well as support the even fuller freedom of those who are yet to come.

There have been several world events that shitfted my perspective on many things. Most recently, the mass immigration of Syrian refugees has reminded me of how lucky I am to live in a country where my safety is stronger than in other places. The pyschological ramifications to flee ones country has a trauma that not many understand and too many are forced to go through. I hope that the mass migration proves positive for many families.

The deal with Iran seems so dangerous and crazy, foolhardy. I can't believe this is happening to Israel. I hope that what I believe about God's protection is true, because I don't know how we can survive these people who vow to destroy us!

THe migrant crisis in EAstern EUrope is crazy. I think it affects any caring person with a conscience, but it has been very impactful to me because Budapest's Keleti station is where we come into the city, and we stayed 4 blocks from there. WHen I hear about it on the news, I can visualize it, and I know just where they are camping, underneath in the walkways to the subways. The road on which the truckload of bodies was found, between Vienna and Budapest, we traveled that route. ANd then when they did let them leave Budapest, they went to Munich, which is also where we went. SO it's just been weird to hear about all of those places that I Know.

The killings by ISIS. Even though it was so evil and vile it only made me strong in my faith.

This year, the deaths of Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland, the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, and other related events have shown me just how much more work our society needs to do to achieve equality for all people.

I am really happy for the Catholic faith in getting a Pope who lives the word. I look forward to seeing what direction the church will go even though I am not a part of it.

This year, the memorial celebration day of 9/11 really got to me. I really wanted to understand and learn about who, what when, where, and WHY? I was very sad and scared about what happened. Then, I talked with my dad. He explained to me all abou the heros and bravery. A lot of people survived as well. It really hit me this year, but I am glad I talked about it. I still feel bad for the people who died, but now I am not scared. I am more proud of how America recovered.

Not a single event has impacted me this year

For me, the drought in California. I've lived here my entire life and I'm concerned about the wildlife, salmon, the farms, the polluted water (fracking). They say El Nino looks formidable this year, but that's not a certainty. California grows food for so much of the world. If people can become aware of how their food choices impact the environment (pollution, carbon footprint, pesticide usage, etc) then perhaps the drought is worth it. I shop at the farmer's market almost every week and this year, two of my farmers are no longer there. I wonder if they are bankrupt or had to sell their livelihood and way of life, due to the drought.

The overwhelming rise of political correctness. when i am concerned that my children or myself can be severely sanctioned over saying something in jest or off colored way and then labled or worse...is alarming. I think Political correctness is a damning stifling presence sweeping our country and is a huge issue.

The earthquake in Nepal caused me deep sadness, because I actually visited there and volunteered as a nurse just one year before. Nepali people are some of the kindest people on Earth. I hope I can return someday, and I hope that the Nepali people experience strength and healing as they rebuild their homeland. The war in Syria and violence in Ukraine were also very saddening and disturbing to witness. I hope that there can be an end to the violence, that perhaps the US can play a role in helping countries to recover. I am inspired to see so many people opening their homes to refugees in Europe and worldwide.

Not one single event, as much as seeing how wasteful a society i live in. Such excess i feel we will strip our world as well as our conscience....I decided to buy a small car with incredible gas mileage. I bought furniture from a consignment shop rather than something new--the ultimate way to recycle and conserve resources, i have increased my charitable contributions, and also my volunteering at community centers.

Canadian election Justin must win 😛

oh Wow! What a great question. I think the refugees from the middle east really demonstrate the cause and effect idea. It's something that in my lifetime, I can trace the cause and effect of how we have come to hundreds of thousands of people are trying to escape the complete failure of civilization where they live. I'm also really interested in the idea that the lack of dictatorial leaders in the middle east has resulted in all out chaos. The failure of government, ours and theirs, is just appalling. To leave so many people without a community, I just can't even relate. How do you pick up and go? I feel guilt and sadness for the situation the refugees find themselves in. I feel like there must be more.

This year I have been experimenting more with kink and polyamory. So, it hasn't been a single event that has impacted me, but a series of small events around my experimentation. I have learnt a couple of things about myself. I'm not into 24/7 Master/slave relationships, which is funny because I didn't think I would be, but I thought I would give it ago and see how I feel. Yeah, well, it's one big nope. I've learnt that I can be both polyamorous and monogamous with the right people. Sounds strange, but it makes sense to me.

Syria. Half of of the Syrian population has relocated, even if still in the country. Over 200,000 people have been killed. Tens of thousands are migrants, immigrants, refugees. They are displaced, desperate, hungry, drowning. It's horrifying. The photos of the toddlers drowned, washed up on shore, made me stop in my tracks and start full on sobbing. I love watching the world wake up. Social media is being used to raise awareness. The photo of the little boy in the red shirt, jean shorts and velcro shoes made people stop in their tracks because that little boy looks just like every other little white toddler. It made what is happening in Syria real for so many people. Finally. I'm tired of crying over the people. I donated money to feed them. I have no idea what else I can do. But if I can figure something out, I will do it.

The general election in the UK in May this year has affected me quite a lot. We've gone from having a coalition government formed of a left-wing/right-wing party, to having the right-wing Conservative party gain enough of the vote to form a government by themselves. The changes they've made since gaining power have been frightening. Lots of cuts that impact on the poorer parts of the population. We'll be much worse off ourselves as a family. I'm not in paid employment at the moment as I'm a carer for my son, who has autism and can't access childcare at the moment. We're not in a position to increase our income. Once my new baby is born, I'm going to volunteer for an advice service so I can use my knowledge of our benefit and tax system to help people affected by the government cuts. I'm also hoping it will build my skills so when I am able to look for work, it will make me more attractive to employers. So yes, the election has had quite an impact on my life.

I think that the "Black Lives Matter" movement has been a very sad wake up call to those of us who wish that the world could be more egalitarian. Perhaps the sense of being helpless against such great and untouchable forces is part of everyone's fear, and that is why this movement resonates so much with so many people.

Pigs can't swim, and pigs can't fly, but pigs can weatch the world go by... About what I'm doing. Ebola went pfft, ISIS rose, and now the GOP has had its idiocy Trumped.

I find the Syrian refugee crisis to be very upsetting. It is difficult to watch all these displaced families trying to flee their country, often dying in the process. It boggles me to think of how and where they will all settle, and what will become of their former country. I also despair for the countries they are fleeing to; how will they accommodate all of these refugees without over straining their own societies?! It is a terrible problem that I have no solutions for. There but for the grace of God......

In the midsummer, I stood one morning beside Miriam Lake. The mists rose slowly upwards as I gazed eastward towards the mountain, a place once imagined as a graveyard. In my mind's eye I saw the faint outline of the barge coming for me. I knew it well. In the distance the steady beat of a drum came to my ear, and a voice called. I turned to the sound of my name, and then turned back to gaze back at the Lake. Through the mists, I saw the deep grey-green of the woods on the other side. In that moment, I knew I was in the right place, at the right time, and that I had been here before, as a child. I was Home. My body relaxed with this Knowing. I turned and walked toward the drums, secure on my Path.

The Iran nuclear deal. There is so much uncertainty. So much fear and so much distrust. It is a terrifying thought to imagine the worst, and sort of an unfathomable dream to imagine the best. And then there is ISIS. Syrian refugees. The whole world is going crazy. With the weapons that so many of these volatile governments have at their disposal, what sort of world are we leaving to our children?

I feel particularly affected by the racial tensions that have erupted after Ferguson, Baltimore and Charleston. I have been reading many op-ed's and news stories and all of them give me the impression that we have slipped a long way from the progress of the civil rights movement. I feel that we as a nation have not fulfilled the promises of that movement. The white people who could, and even some of the black people who could, fled to the suburbs and left those who couldn't in the city to languish. On top of this, My student pulpit in Appalachia has shown me that there is tremendous poverty in rural america. The problems of poverty are not just in our cities. It seems that the solution to poverty has been to ignore it. This strikes me deep in my heart and makes me want to do something about it. What? I'm not sure yet.

The brutality and stupidity of deranged people who deciide to kill precious animals just for the fun of it. Cecil the lion is one example . It bothers me the not being able to stop animal cruelty, the pain of just the thought is unbearable

I'm unaffected by most things....again boring life...ZZZZ maybe I'm depressed. I spend too much time helping, rescuing others and have nothing left for me!

My cousns boyfriend got killed in one of the many mass shootings that we've had this year. That's about the only thing though, and it didnt even really effect me.

The American presidential election cycle began for the Republican Party (GOP). There have been several worldwide events that are far more noteworthy than this one, but none have impacted me in a meaningful way, as an American. It impacted me because I very sadly realized how prone much of our country is to embrace and follow a leader who is unapologetically racist, misogynist, xenophobic, and just plain stupid. This should not have come as a great surprise to me, but it did. I don't know what to do about this knowledge or feeling or how to interpret my thoughts on it, except that it gives me great hope for our country that the type of people who support him are dying out. Their days are numbered and the younger generations, for the most part, do not feel or think as they do. This causes me to avoid renouncing my American citizenship and would make me less ashamed to call myself American in this day and age.

The shootings and questionable deaths of unarmed African-American men and women has been disheartening, and it makes me incredibly sad. I have three daughters, and I used to believe that it was our black males who were most at risk. Now I know for sure that's not the case, and I fear for their safety. One of my daughters lives in Florida and wanted to drive home to Missouri by herself. There was no way I was allowing that! Her safety was more important than the cost of the flight, so I bought an airline ticket and had her fly home.

The emergence of far right and left wing political candidates. People like Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn. Part of this is to do with massive overreach by establishment parties, and their complete detachment from mainstream voters. But another part is an anti-intellectual trend that is truly scary. People know that Donald Trump is uneducated politically, and they simply don't care. This is very scary to me.

The shootings at Emanu-el church, as well as other senseless murders this year. I'm impacted because I realize that every public place we go carries the risk of having a lunatic with a gun. Every movie theater, mall, house of worship, school. There is no safe place. There are so many pressing issues today that it's hard to pick just one. But as a parent, I am most troubled by guns and gun violence. And I pray my child is safe at her college campus.

The millions of refugees spreading like a tsunami through Europe : wasted, disenchanted, angry, scared and scary humans; the differences in background and basic belief systems are vast; I am deeply perturbed about the haunting scenes of mass migration at the edge of the abyss, which is staring back. I'm petrified of the abyss staring back...

Urban violence against young men of color - several incidents. Ferguson, Baltimore and other places. Where a jury of peers returns surprising verdicts, and people react with more violence. This is our legacy, our unresolved legacy of relations between privilege and un, caucasian and color, Judeochristian and not. Unresolved meaning that people see that having these conversations is more difficult to day than it was ten years ago. Unresolved meaning that few school systems, justice systems, economic systems, and other U.S. historical and recent institutions have a framework for acknowledging and addressing our country's past and it's continued influence in our lives today.

Marriage equality. As a daughter of a divorced family, I thought marriage was something that held little significance to me. I was caught off guard when I saw the morning news granting me equal rights to marry my love under the law. It suddenly mattered. To be recognized. To not be marginalized. To simply be. Left me breathless. And grateful.

Two big ones come to mind, one positive, one negative. Negative: Obama reached an agreement with Iran. I do understand the complexity of the deal in that it is a last resort before war and the best deal that we think we can get. But at the same time, it scares me. I think it is really really risky, if not guaranteed to end up hurting Israel and America. I feel empowered to fight for Israel more than ever right now. I worry that if I don't, my progeny will not visit her, and that is a daunting, terrifying thought. America can fight Iran, but can Israel? I worry for America's security and Israel's. I just really hope this works out and that the CIA does something to knock out Iran's terrorist regime. I signed several petitions and letters. Right now, I think the best thing I can do is pray and think about what my next steps will be. Soon we will find out for sure if it will be signed into law as an executive order, but I really pray that it doesn't. It is just too risky. Should it go through, I just hope Obama was right and that it works out. Positive: I hope that when I am reading this I smile because Hillary is the Democratic Presidential nominee. When she announced her candidacy, I jumped for joy. I could feel the success of women. Women are becoming more equal each and every day. I know that just like Obama's presidency did not fix racial inequality Hillary's presidency will not fix gender inequality. But I do know that if Hillary is president, she will make the best possible moves, work hard, and fight for America. I believe that Hillary is America's best answer to income inequality, the gender wage gap, and racial inequality. She is going to make the American dream a reality for all of us, and I think we are ready. I believe in her because she believes in achieving a traditional America using progressive methods. She is looking at the right issues and finding real solutions. She is of course the most qualified and best fit for working on foreign policy. I can't wait to vote for her in the primary. She is constantly making history in all the best ways.

International peace day

I wish there were positive events that impacted me, but most of the world events were sad and scary. The amount of crime against black people by American cops was/is staggering. That scares me. Terrorists around the world impact me. Kidnapping of hundreds of little girls. While I'm scared, sad, mad, etc., because of the abundance of events like this in our world, I'm also becoming numb and nonplussed. It troubles me that this is the world my son will inherit.

While the big event grabbing the headlines in the world this year is the Syrian refugee crisis, I have not been personally impacted by it. What has been of import to me is the free-fall of world oil pricing. Living in Canada, this means that our oil producing provinces are hurting financially and therefore the rest of Canada is also feeling the pinch. One aspect that touches me directly is the cost of buying US cash has increased by 25% meaning that I have to curtail planned vacations. However, I am aware this small loss is nothing compared to the losses that the refugees are experiencing right now.

The Syrian refugee crisis was made all to real when we were in Istanbul. The city has changed in just the three years that I've been visiting. Now, Syrian migrants cover the streets and squares, willing to do just about anything to earn a bit of money for their families. The signage has changed too with Arabic characters being added to previously Turkish-only store fronts, etc. It's one thing to hear about the mass migration on the news; it's entirely another to see the impacts firsthand. Freedom and safety, even if imperfect at times, are truly very special gifts.

I was very disappointed in the outcome of the Israeli elections and the make up of the cabinet. I think that pluralism and woman's rights in Israel took a huge step backwards. Yet woman made a huge accomplishment by being able to read the Torah at the Wall for the first time. I am a Reform Jewish feminist who respects all forms of Judaism. I only ask that we be shown the same respect for our ways of worship, conversions and that our Rabbis be respected. Israel can be the leader of Jewish life in the world only if it respects the practices of all Jews, not just the Orthodox or Ultra a Orthodox Jews.

I have to really think about that one, and that kind of makes me sad, I think. To a great degree, I feel insulated in my world right now from the outside at large. I would love to be able to say the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage made a difference in my life--certainly it made a difference for a number of my friends--and it made me very happy and made for a great NYC Pride. But it didn't change my life, per se. Some of the climate changes, being more visible this year, I would say are making me more aware (and painfully so) of my impact on the environment. The drought in California has made me start to notice how I use water here. The overall heat in so many places is making me notice more how I use fuel.

Any extremist events, especially in the Middle East, especially by extremist Jews. I simply can't understand the point of view that says it's okay to take a life. Short of defending yourself in the moment - not defending yourself in retaliation - against a threat on your own life, I can see no reason or excuse or justification for taking someone's life. If to save a life is to save a whole world, then to take a life is to kill a whole world. Inexcusable.

I was able to get into a college, not really of my choice but was the only one that I really had an interest in. Now I am moving forward in my life as an adult... or so I think. I will not lie; I am afraid in what I will need to impress upon myself in these coming months. Somewhere in the distant future is the rest of my life waiting to happen with the here and now affecting what it will be later. But I am among many new and upcoming friends and I could not be any more happier. To know that we are all pulling in this together, but separate, is warming to me.

Divorces in the media. Jen and Ben comes to mind but it seems there's a new one popping up every week. It's like I live in a culture that doesn't have relationship skills! My stomach turns everytime I hear of another one. Why? Because of the kids. It doesn't have to end that way!

Currently on my mind: refugees from Syria pouring into the surrounding countries, and escaping to Europe. I wish I could do more to help them. I cannot imagine how heartbreaking it is to leave one's country, and how much one relies on the goodness of strangers.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent on issues that matter,” (MLK). Whether or not local or global events have any direct affect on your life, being aware of the conflicts of views, ideologies, and physical sides is an essential part of civic understanding and participation. To be a conscious member of society we must understand the implications of certain events. The world event that has had the most direct correlation to my life is the police brutality riots that have erupted throughout the US. Civil unrest in Ferguson, New York City, and Baltimore has dominated the news throughout the year. This violence and riots is in response to claims of racially biased police brutality in urban areas of America. While each case of conflict between African American males and police officers is significantly different, the trend of these tensions has caused widespread outrage in many communities. These events, while deeply tragic, has opened the door to renewed discussion of race relations in America. While I do not live in Baltimore nor New York, these events still possess dire importance in my own life. The movement, “Black Lives Matter,” has gained national momentum; even at BC High, students are seen sporting sweatshirts with slogans related to this movement. The aftermath of these events have led to contentious views on both the movement and the cases of brutality specifically. The opposing sides of the issue are then polarized by the media who disgustingly uses these deaths as means to make money. I will not go into my personal views on the cases or the movement as a whole because it would stray to far from the point of this response. This reflection is not about espousing my own political views, but to acknowledge the importance of these events and evaluate how the have personally impacted me. The racial-based riots throughout the country have made me more acutely aware of race relations around me. I have always read about the “culture of racism” in history or ethics classes, but these ideas in the abstract are hard to see in reality. The riots in Ferguson and the other cities motivates me to become observant of how race plays a role in my life and the lives of those around me.

I couldn't think of a specific world event. I tried Googling current events from the past year. A few stories seemed like good choices - the numerous airline disasters, the marriage equality court decision, the Black Lives Matter movement and the attendant focus on poverty/class, the continuing Syrian war, the spread of ISIL - particularly their the destruction of ancient world heritage sites. Something about the mass murder and displacement of thousands of people seems so enormously evil that my brain can't wrap around it. But the destruction of the ancient artifacts seemed to smash through my brain freeze. It demonstrated the pointless cruelty of ISIL and their desire to destroy humanity from its foundations. I suppose I'm lucky that most of these world events didn't happen *to me.* With the exception of some of the record winter weather, I'm lucky enough to have the luxury to pick and choose which events to pursue.

An event that has impacted me personally is health care reform in our country. Fortunately, my family always had health insurance, however, the insurance companies not being able to deny coverage to those with pre existing conditions means that my son diagnosed with leukemia in his 20's, can change careers, or if his company goes out of business or has lay-offs, he will always be eligible for healthcare & won't be refused life saving treatment. This goes for every American citizen. Of course, global warming & the devastating wild weather all over the world, endangered species, & no bees affects us all. If we have no water & can't breathe, we have no future. It breaks my heart that people in politics who pass laws don't believe in science & fact.

The shooting of Mike Brown and the countless shootings of unarmed black people. I didn't know how to process my fear and anxiety. I started to think that a race war was upon us and that it would only be a matter of time before it happened to someone I know. This became so heavy and sad; I couldn't believe that these events were happening in 2015. I couldn't talk about it with Greg because it was too uncomfortable (another red flag). He never asked about how I felt. I don;t even think the thought ran across his mind to be honest. I continued to hang out with his white friends and the conversations were becoming so stupid, I couldn't handle it anymore. How could we all just not talk about these events especially when I was the only black person in the group? How could we all just pretend nothing was happening? To be fair, it was hard to talk to anyone about what I was feeling and after awhile it turns into something else.

I think that there are two specific events that impacted me this year. The first one is the Greek crisis. This year, I got to study abroad in Greece for 4 weeks, and the main thing that we learned about was the crisis. Besides learning about it, I actually got to experience what was going on. It was so so interesting. You wouldn't have even thought a crisis was going on because everyone was just enjoying their lives. It really showed me that it is very easy to live life to the fullest. The second event was when congress passed the law allowing gay marriage. This really impacted me because as I previously stated, my little brother came out to our family this year. Along with that, a lot of my close friends came out to me this year. Knowing that they have the same rights as I do, which is how it should be, warms my heart.

I woke up to a text from my husband, asking if my best friend from business school was OK...something had happened in Charleston, her hometown. I read the paper and panicked. Seven people had been shot and killed at her church. I couldn't get in touch with her to see if the man with the same last name was a relative. I spent the next few hours panicked, head swimming with all the memories of her mother, stories she'd told me in late night study sessions about surviving and rebuilding after Hurricane Hugo, the worries she'd shared just a month ago when I'd seen her, of her brother, suffering from PTSD and trying to get a job after retiring from what was supposed to be a lifelong career in the army. When I finally heard from her, I was both relieved and ashamed to hear that her immediate family was safe. Did that make it OK? Surely someone else had as many memories of every murdered soul. And that's when it became real for me - that #BlackLivesMatter is about taking every one of these agonizingly neverending racial murders personally. I get that now. I regret intellectualizing it up to that moment. Now I promise to feel it.

My 2 thoughts - the Kurt Schaeffer craziness and the general attack on Planned Parenthood because it is a cause near to my heart and the school. The refugee crisis in Europe because can Germany really redeem itself? Does the world try to balance itself out? The presidential election because it brings the worst - Trump - and the thought of a woman? Someone inspired yet to emerge?

I was upset by the extent of anti-semitism and anti-Israel sentiment that spread so quickly in Europe and spurred an exodus of French Jews to Israel, and also by the anti-Jewish incidents on U.S. college campuses.

There are soooooooooooooo many. The racial injustice of this world is what bothers me the most. Not just to blacks, but anyone who is not white. It hurt to see when Donald Trump ignored a black supporter, it hurts to hear that a young Muslim boy was brought to jail because his science project was mistaken for a bomb.It hurts to hear some of the racist comments from other Peace Corps volunteers or when I hear stories about other Peace Corps injustices in other countries. As a woman of color, I feel powerless to do anything about it sometimes. The answer is soooo simple to me. Just love people!!!!! Like Jesus said love your brothers as your own!!! We are all related!!!!! Just love :(

The legalization of same sex marriage has had a huge impact on me. First of all, that day my daughter came out publicly as bisexual -- I've known a long time but the SCOTUS ruling gave her the courage and I was so moved and proud! Second, I became ordained about two years ago in hopes that I would be able to officiate weddings once all weddings had the same legal impact. I've now officiated at nine weddings, including the first same sex wedding in our county on the day of the SCOTUS decision. There are other events that saved or took more lives, but this was one where I could say yes, justice does come and yes, I have a part, however small, to play in it.

I am in the financial services industry so the market reaction to Chinese devaluation of the Juan has impacted me directly by affecting the value of my clients and my accounts and creating increased volatility in the financial markets.

The Valley Fire in Northern California is hitting home for me this year. It is happening right now, just a few counties away from San Francisco where I safely sit. Fire threatens organic farms and settled households of people I know, sparing some, decimating others completely. A local new age institution, Harbin Hot Springs, burned to the ground. For decades, I camped under the stars at this sacred sanctuary, walked the trails, cooked in the communal kitchen, meditated in yoga class, rested in the garden, chanted in the temple, and most of all, soaked in the beloved water. Of all the California thermal springs, Harbin had the sweetest, hottest, cleanest, most healing water in my book. For all its quirkiness, I have long loved this place. I'm sad for the displacement of 140 Harbin residents -- a motley community of builders, makers, gardeners, body workers, slackers, healers and teachers. And, personally, I grieve the loss of a spiritual oasis, where I would go to clear my head, soothe my bones, lighten my load. For years I've made a ritual out of going from hot pool to cold plunge, hot cold hot cold hot cold hot cold, silently, happily, endlessly -- for hours. Afterwords, when I finally would throw in the towel and stop the thermal teeter totter, I was both invigorated and relaxed. Ahhhh. Water! Now, I deeply feel these things: Nature nurtures and nature destroys. Take nothing for granted. Appreciate and be grateful. Live mindful of death. Breathe in the moment. Speak from the heart. Grieve my loss, then help those in this world who suffer even more than me. Merci. Mercy. Amen.

The Supreme Court's decision upholding gay marriage was such an amazing event. I never thought it would happen in my lifetime, similar to having an African American president. Because my sister is gay, it makes me so happy to know that she can have the same rights and privileges as everyone else. It was just incredible.

It's pretty recent, but the Syrian refugee crisis has me thinking. There is just no help for those people. And I wonder what I could even do. I would love to host a family (but we can't even keep up with our own family, and have nowhere to put them even if we could deal with the state department). But I don't even know where to send money to make sure to effective. The linguistics of it is also fascinating. Even NPR is calling it a "migrant" crisis. I'm sure that's the ombudsman talking, but I wonder why they can't use the far more accurate term "refugee." It wouldn't be fair to say this really impacted my life, but it does have me thinking lately.

Hillary Clinton's debacle with the emails. Makes me sad that we finally have a viable female presidential candidate and she shot herself in the foot. Also, the popularity of Trump. What is wrong with the American public? How can anyone think he is PRESIDENTIAL material?!

The war in Syria. Watching the footage of the refugees.... We need to help them!

Trump being in the forefront with the GOP I can't believe he could be our president n

Where to begin? Most recently I've been so deeply troubled by the eruption (more accurately, an eruption of my awareness and consciousness) of refugees fleeing in terror from Syria, Afghanistan, and other conflagrations. They many whys? of war are complex, but seem to ultimately be reduced to the apparent urge / impulse / need (?) of one people to control or dominate others - dominate and inject values, religion, finances, resources without acknowledgment that "others" possess the inherent human right to select their own path. This is but one of many events that have eroded my sense of ultimate justice and fairness in the world. Beyond this, there are many other sources of such pain: Jewish/Israeli terrorism within our own borders (the fire bombing of a sleeping Palestinian family), the desecration of Christian antiquities, the murder of a young woman at an LGBT event in Jerusalem (the "Holy" city?) by an incarnate of Satan who claims to be frum .... The progressive and increasingly extreme shifts in the world's weather patterns, which there is little doubt is strongly related to human choices to continue despoiling our only home (while so many continue to foolishly and blindly deny these realities. I want so much to remain optimistic and hopeful of leaving a better, more healthy world for our children and their children, yet the realities wear away and erode my hope.

Strange as it may sound, the Chinese devaluing their currency impacted me most directly as it sent a big case of the jitters into the US investment market where the bulk of my assets resides. My retirement fund dropped the most it had since 2008. Mostly, the roller coaster market just makes me edgy. That was not the case in 2008 when my assets fell to about half the principal value. I have always been conscious about money...my father's daughter in this if nothing else. I nearly came undone with fear in '08. But I took my investment advisor's advice and held my breath for the long term. It paid off. That's probably why I have not panicked this time, that and the market has had some remarkable ups to offset some of the downs. Plus I now have a larger cash reserve to weather the really tough times when our income won't cover the big needs. My history with money is simple. My parents were factory workers who eeked out enough for a $70/month mortgage payment and a car loan. They came from large frugal families with memories of the Depression. I was never a spendthrift though I did buy a few things I really wanted with my little weekly allowance. They helped me open a passbook count in my early years and I put away a little at a time until it was enough to buy a one-bedroom apartment full of solid oak furniture in 1967. But I had no experience investing until I retired. I entered the market in the spring of 2008. Timing is everything, they say. The savings habit, however, got me into owning my first home, sending my daughter to college debt free, buying my second home, putting away a healthy retirement fund and building a cash account for emergencies and a few dreams. I have a comfortable life now nearing 70. But I also know how easily that can change. Dad had prepared himself well for retirement, but Parkinson's disease eventually took everything he had saved and put him on Medicaid the last five years of his life in a nursing home. He had been a model employee for the same company for 50 years and was a stalwart believer in self-sufficiency. I never told him he was out of money. Managing his care and assets for the fourteen years from the dibiltating stage of that disease until his death in 2011 colors my anxieties about my own assets. I am still my father's daughter. My financial advisor teases me, but with serious undertones, about being so tight with my money. "My biggest concern for you," he tells us at our annual review, "is that you are not going to enjoy what you' ve worked and saved for." Last year I returned the volley. "This is my year to spend money," I announced, not meaning to go hogwild but to spend without worrying. And that's what I did. It worked out okay and gave me more confidence. I am sure that's the reason we bought our disabled daughter that little house. Money and security have played a larger role in my life than I might have wished. From the time of my divorce in my first marriage, I have been the sole or major breadwinner in my family. It wasn't just my survival I worried about. I had an entire family--my daughter, my husband, his three children from a previous marriage, and at the end, even my dad--depending on me. That was always Dad's big worry, too. He had a family to take care of and felt the weight of that in powerful ways.

When you're just trying to survive the events of your own world, it's hard to feel impacted by things half a world away.

The war in Syria, the plight of the refugees, the uselessness of the UK and USA governments' responses to the crisis, the activities of volunteers trying to help. Basically, the inhumanity of man towards each other on a huge scale and the actions of a small number of people trying to help.

Deaths of relatives. Some close, some not. For my dad, it has closed the book on a fraught relationship. For my grandmother, she had been mentally gone for some years, but still is odd not to have her around.

I'd say the refugee crisis has left me quite shaken. On the one hand, it shows the EU's (amongst others) inability to effectively - and collectively - deal with crises like these and offer basic care and support. Quite despicable. On the other hand, it has also shown a deep sense of humanity from common people everywhere. Despite the before-mentioned inability and unwillingness of large institutions and those in power to help and come up with long-term solutions, people have showed they care and want to help. This makes me hopeful that the world is changing for the better. It is my hope that once the buzz and current momentum has slowed down, people will still welcome refugees and immigrants and we start thinking about long-term solutions to deal with the influx of new human capital (e.g., offering job security, education opportunities, investing in integration etc.).

I think about the refugee crisis, and try to remember that we were exiles too.

Perhaps the Air Malaysia Crash and Tianjin Explosion, indirectly affected my work.

The ongoing crisis with refugees from places like Syria. I can't stop thinking of my 2 classmates from Iraq, who where sent in 1997 to Syria to their aunt, because their father thought of the Netherlands as a rotten country with rotten morals. I really really hope they are safe and sound.

I think nearly everyone will be writing the rise of ISIS in this box. It is so strange that in a society that we would like to consider ourselves civilised, sophisticated, this kind of mindless, medieval barbarism still takes place. It shows you that we really haven't changed. Scratch the surface and we are still little more than savages, obeying our basest impulses, motivated by violence, sex, greed and intense belief that we are right.

The undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress revealing the heinous butchery perpetrated by Planned Parenthood and the subsequent sale of baby parts for profit. I have always been pro-life, but this is the first time I really understood what happened during an abortion and it makes my heart break for both the mothers and children. Both are victims of the greed and violence of Planned Parenthood. #ppsellsbabyparts #prolifesummer

Bernie Sanders decision to run for president. For the first time in decades, I'm able to drop my cynicism of the national political process because of Bernie's commitment, authenticity and unvarnished prose, with which he describes the tough work ahead.

So much crap is happening all over the world. It's scary. But the thing that is most on my mind lately is the upcoming presidential election. Donald Trump is running and is in the lead for the GOP nomination. I am terrified that he will win the election. I will not live in a country where that racist jackass is in charge. I am very, very scared for America.

1) The shooting-down of passenger flight MH170, killing 283 people, the vast majority of whish were Dutch. The shockwave that went through the country, that seeminlgly endless line of hearses, people lining the highways to pay their respects... it still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. For the first time in a long time I felt proud to be Dutch, and I understood nationalism. 2) The terrible earthquake in Nepal, destroying so many places I visited not a year ago. It came close, because my Facebook contacts in Bhutan felt the quake and mentioned it on FB before it hit the news here. 3) The refugee crisis: a heart-rending human disaster we needneedneed to resolve somehow.

The tetrad of blood moons on Jewish high holidays. It has been a concern that they are linked to a major world changing event in Israel, the U.S. Or both.

The hottest summer on record. All the work I am doing both professionally and spiritually converges on the apparent fact that this is going to be the year we remember that things reached a point of no return, prompting us to really look at what we're going to do not just ecologically but spiritually to deal with all this.

Bob Peth, Patrick Sullivan and John Cornelius, Jr. left the world. And that makes this world a smaller, darker, and less loving and kind place. That breaks my heart every single day.

I can't think of just one event that has impacted me this year. I have been trying to stay away from the political/news world because of the negative stories and effects it has in me. However, the news that has inspired me is Bernie Sanders and his striving towards a political revolution. I will be interested to see where we are a year from now. Second, I loved Eurovision. Sharing that experience with Dan and Adina was really special.

The slowdown of the Chinese economy. Working in China, the impacts of the economy slowing down is being felt at work, making business more difficult and therefore decisions at executive level are focussed on cost-saving. This means reducing headcount, people losing their jobs, and more uncertainty in the workplace. All eyes on China for the wrong reasons makes work uncomfortable and unknown from day to day.

The Black Lives Matter protests around the US. They greatly strengthened my awareness of institutional racism and my commitment to be a white ally and make positive changes.

The continued murder of black men and women by police has brought home the true depth of racism in my home country, and the emergence of #BlackLivesMatter as a force for change and a voice for the voiceless has become ever-more-important to my decision-making and the way I live my life. How I speak, and who I speak to (and for) is more manifest to me, and how incredibly unthinking I was in my entire life to this point has been painful to recognize and grow beyond. Well, at least, as I try to grow beyond who I was and work to become something, someone, better.

The Shoreham aircrash The Syrian refugee crisis Jeremy Corbyn winning the election

Tory majority in the UK election in May 2015. Excitement around the Election of Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. Hope for the future that he'll hold Cameron, our PM to account.

Immigrants being held in Calais have been a hot topic in the press. Em went out to stay with them nd support them, giving them clothes, sanitary products and toiletries, and it made me aware of how easy it is to help people in a position of need. Nicci went to protests to promote freedom of movement for asylum seekers, and this is inspirational and important. I would like to do more to help people who need more than me.

The deal with Iran over its development of nuclear arms and our stopping the economic sanctions. It puts Jews in America in a dilemma as to whom to support-pees Obama or Netanyahu. I am very concerned with the welfare of Israel.

Seeing so many families fleeing for their lives, and choosing to be a refugee rather then stay in an impossible situation. I'm sure my ancestors went through a very similar ordeal. They were met with danger on the road and closed doors to their safety. These people are going through the same experience. It made me so grateful for the life I have and the relative security I live in.

HT Killing of black people by police has taken over my life because of death and devastation and racial unrest affecting me personally KP Yes the killings of blacks by police-I understand black lives matter means black lives matter as much as anybody else and we are tired of being invisible. This is a very personal issue in our family which is mixed with my sons being very strong in the fight for racial justice and Howard's family especially his police officer son seeing this as a kind of personal attack

The drought in California. I live in the central valley, and with the fires burning all around us, it has made me reflect upon the concept of rationing. I realize this is nature doing her thing, as she has for thousands and thousands of years, but to us the concept of having to ration, what in past times we took for granted, is a real wake up call. Our household never wantonly wasted water, but now, it is vital that those leaky faucets are fixed. that we don't let the kitchen tap run when we fill ice cube trays. Same for when we brush our teeth. Don't water the garden and then let it run because we forgot to time it, etc. We have been collecting water as we use it so we can re-use it for watering, cleaning off a dirty windshield, etc. I hope people learn from this and not take our natural resources for granted. These are gifts that we should use, not abuse, and treat them as such during the time we are guests on this beautiful planet It makes me wonder if this might be a case of too little, too late...I hope not .

Trump has made me consider that maybe we are closer than I thought we could be to the insanity that enabled Hitler to kill the Jews of Europe.

The fact that i had to do a quick search for 2014-2015 current events frightens me with how utterly self-involved i have been over the past year. Granted,SO MUCH has happened for me over the past year, but i am pretty ashamed to realise that i have been as self-centred as i have been. The first thing that sprung to mind was/is the middle-east refugee crisis - but that is just now really making headlines. it has been going on for a long time, but just not quite enough to warrant American attention - until now. More thoughts about insular behaviour, ecological issues - the California drought!!! - and ISL's idiotic destruction of art and artefacts as they subsume more and more territory need more expression, but i just can't right now.

Iran Nuclear Deal. Bad eggs have been screwed down by economic sanction. Now in 15 years, they could have nuclear arms capacity. Unhealthy for the west but especially Israel. Israels neighbours MUST recognise Israel. From recognition- respect, stability and security can grow. Why was President Obama so adamant about it?

Many events have impacted me, all of them related to institutional racism as evidenced by law enforcment murders of unarmed black people.

The Chinese stock market tanking. I didn't think it would impact the US market so much. Shouldn't most companies keep all their capital someplace that's more stable, like US exchanges? But I guess if they have headquarters in China, international companies probably get better tax rates that incent them to keep their money someplace that's a little riskier.....made me realize there are huge sums of money that run the world and the vast majority of people (myself included) don't know much about how it works. All in all, very disempowering.

Hillary Clinton (political views aside) announcing her campaign for President was an exceptionally powerful day for me. While I'm not sure that it would have been powerful enough as a stand alone occurrence, I remember listening to the video while I was up way before I needed to be, getting ready for my first day of work. The energy you could feel in the crowd, the significance of it all and the passion that she brings to her work and her livelihood was encompassing and inspiring. Here's to pursuing your dreams and being unapologetic about it every step of the way.

Gay marriage has become legal in the U.S. It means so much, even though Sue and I have not married, we are legitimized. Our love has a place in the world.

several small but meaningful local victories in the Chicago area. A county ordinance to deny county contracts to businesses guilty of wage theft it is a good beginning. A series of actions against a local moving company that was guilty of a form of wage theft cost he company a lot of business and they stopped the practice. No the boycotters are encouraging rewarding the company and using the movers. This shows small local efforts have positive effects.

Not necessarily a specific event, but the rise of ISIS has had a great impact on me so far this year. Frankly, that such a terrifying and hateful group can rise to such power and influence makes me fear for the current and future state of the world.

This answer makes my world feel pretty small. I don't feel like much in the world (and I've been more tapped into the news than ever) has really impacted my life very much. The only thing I can think of is the presidential campaign of both Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton. Clinton's was more of a feeling of "finally," but Bernie's has given me an albeit jaded and cautious sense of hope and optimism; like maybe we really can change these systems, and make a better world. I've been excited by it.

Emma Watsons speech at the UN was really eye opening and kind of sparked the burning passion of feminism inside me that has now become a pretty big part of my life.

The almost-daily news stories about gun violence in this country - and our inability to face our culture's fascination with guns - has begun to wear me down. When more civilians than military personnel die from gunshot wounds, how can anyone convince themselves that we are "safer" with guns?

The siege in Martin Place, Sydney. It crystalised the fact that acts of terror can occur close to home. The fact that it was a lone gunman has not quelled the fear I have for future generations, my grandchildren, of what the world will look like in years to come.

Not much at all, really. The volatility of the financial markets isn't having much impact, and the markets have been due for a significant correction. I'm not worried or concerned about the instability in Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East or North Korea, sine I recently retired from the Army National Guard. I may be impacted by the data breaches of OPM and the National Guard personnel databases, but have confidence that credit protection services will provide us adequate protection. I hope I'm not too naïve about this.

At the beginning of the year, the police brutality and murders of black women and men (and children) in the US really had me depressed. I felt that as an expat I had no home and would have to look for somewhere else to live, then felt extreme dispair at the idea that in most of the world, black people are treated the same way. I was actually suicidal over the idea of being so utterly helpless at the hands of hateful people; it was at that point that I looked for a counselor that I have been seeing ever since. One of the things I am practicing is letting people have their racist reactions without having to modify my behavior. For example, I use to walk wide circles around women who grabbed their purses to make it clear that I had absolutely no interest in their cheap pleather bag with $3 in it or keeping twice the distance between myself and a white patron who seemed freaked out by having a black person behind them in line at a store. I think I was over empathetic and afraid of the humiliation of false accusation. Now, I notice but let them be the ones adjusting, why should I? I feel much better these days "Like water off a duck's back".

The earthquake in Nepal had a big impact on me. It was the first time I had a connection with someone in an area that a natural disaster struck, and it was scary to not know what was going on and if he was okay.

church shooting in Charleston. My partner is from the area and it deeply affected his sense of safety. My heart breaks for how this country keeps repeating devastatingly hateful patterns.

I'm watching the republican primary debate right now and that certainly feels depressing. But I think other things, like Syria, unaccompanied minors immigrating the the US, and climate change have really made me think about what Tikkun Olam means and what it means for me to be a human.

Honestly, I haven't paid any attention to world events this year. I don't know if that is embarrassing or has helped me focus on bettering myself and my relationships. I couldn't even say one thing that has happened!

definitely the same sex marriage law in the states. first, i felt rapturous. but quickly that turned into a disgusting fear & anger, my news feed being filled with anti-gay christian articles, people trying to express their ignorant ideas while attempting (& failing) to be compassionate & right. the emtional disturbance did not leave me for a while. i stood up by writing what i believe & posting an article, only to be met with self-righteous past acquaintances telling me they pray i would change. it all affected me so strongly because of what ive learned so assuredly & understood so personally. that in contrast to what i saw so many people who claim right to believe.

This year, there were way too many world tragedies that were caused by other people, not natural disasters. I found myself repeatedly in a state of distress because of the news of deaths at the hands of humans. I wish the world could become more peaceful, but until then, I wish the news would stop glamorizing the negative and emphasize the positive instead.

I am extremely upset about the poor Syrian's trying to escape being killed and bombed on a daily basis. I believe that Europe, the Middle East countries and the United States waited way to long to make a positive statement about accepting these refugees. Genocide and the Holocaust are words that come to mind when I think of what is happening to these poor people. I tend to wonder whether the world truly does not care about people who are poor and suffering as evidenced by Somalia, Southern Sudan, etc.

The events that are most meaningful to me started with Ferguson, MO, and continue every day: Senseless, unfair treatment of blacks and other minorities. Not just by police, but by the entire system. It confirms how much the dice is loaded against the disadvantaged and I carry that realization with me every day. So I push for diversity when I can, in the organizations I belong to. It's not much, but I'm sincere in my efforts. Shocking that many people don't recognize how much the deck is stacked against the unfortunate. It steams me. People are so blind to their own advantages. I am a privleged white person, true. But I don't take what I have for granted. Or, at least, I'm aware that I take it for granted. My children have a different point of view, being a blended race. They are more aware of their differences from others. And they both have black friends. They are part of the new, more blended and diverse world.

The killings of young black men that have been tolerated in the United States have been devastating. I am frightened for my son and heartsick for this country. I don't know what to do to change things but this country has to change.

There are so different events and it's hard to choose. There is the marriage equality ruling by the Supreme Court in the US and how that might impact Australia. There is the Syrian Refugee Crisis (that is only recently become a thing according the the Western World). There is the news about Climate Change and how the oceans have been absorbing heat, so the situation is worse than thought. There have been earthquakes, floods, fires and volcanoes. The saddest was the death of Aylan Kurdi, an innocent child whose parents wanted a better and safer life for their children, who drowned off the coast, so close to safety. Aylan has become the face of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and yet so many countries (mine included) are doing so little to assist the innocent people who are fleeing an intolerable situation. I've read touching stories about every day people offering their homes, belongings and time to those fleeing persecution and it restores my faith in humanity each time I read one of those stories. However, the recalcitrant nature of our politicians shows me that greater political change needs to occur so that the will of the people is more reflected at the top.

The most impactful has been the shooting in the South Carolina church, and afterwards, the inspiring eulogy given by President Obama. How much hate and how much love can live in the same place?

The momentum being gained by three issues: anti-fracking, Move to Amend, and Bernie Sanders political campaign. Each are issues that are important to me for the values I hold. Fracking is an assault on the earth and so dangerous to our well-being. The legal fiction of corporate personhood is a mockery of our government. Bernie Sanders straight talk is alignment with most of my beliefs.

I think current events in general - or maybe it's just the reporting of them, but there seems to be so much hatred in the world. It's scary and makes me sad. Everyone seems to only do what they want to without regard to loving their neighbors or treat others like they want to be treated. There are too many wars, bombings & shootings we need to have a healthier attitude about life.

The Pope's climate change encylical has impacted me because of the reverberations I anticipate it will have for some time to come and the impetus it gives me to my own launch into the faith, climate change, and conservation world.

The most critical event that impacts me is the massive migration in Europe, and how many European countries are closing their borders. It seems as it is Nazi Germany, and it shocked me to see immigrants being tattooed with numbers. The level of xenophobia and racism in Europe is rampant, and therefore I don't look at Europe as morally superior to the U.S. Or Latin America. In fact, it seems that we were able to reduce racism and xenophobia much better than they have.

The financial crisis in Greece. It is just the beginning of a global economic collapse.

The situation with ISIS and the Iran nuclear deal has made me heavily aware of the true opinion of the world and its feelings toward the state of Israel and the Jewish people. It is often infuriating to stand by and watch as common sense and facts are brushed aside for political gain or money. The fact that thousands of Muslims are fleeing their homes and no Arab countries will take them is an atrocity that no will recognize but Israel is stil apartheid!? It's horrifying! It is constantly on my mind and makes me too clearly aware of my standing as a Jew in the world.

The Syrian refuge crisis is raging. "No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark. You only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well."

The Iran deal getting signed has not impacted my life yet, but I think it will have very significant ramifications in future years. I'm very concerned about the safety and welfare of our family within the next 50 years.

The incident involving the pilot who locked out his co-pilot and flew into the mountain was very disturbing to me. I felt that with his guy's history, the airlines should have been more on top of who is in the cockpit. In general, the issue of mental health and these suicide attacks on planes at schools, movie theatres is awful. It is not fair to the innocent people are caused harm, and our society needs to be paying closer attention to those that seem to be a risk to our society.

There are tons of things going on globally that I could reference. The turmoil in the middle east and refugee crisis of people fleeing terrible situations in Syria and surrounding countries. But something on a national level is really bothering me. It's presidential primary time. I support Bernie Sanders on the democrat side, because I think he has a true idea of the future. But it seriously bothers me that Donald Trump is leading in the GOP primaries. The guy abuses the system and is a complete idiot. It's troubling because by him leading really means that our country has a lot of uneducated, uninformed people that find substance in shock value, rather than true ideas for a better tomorrow. If he becomes president, I'd be very concerned about our global future. It's like idiocracy. It's absolutely insane to think that someone like him could even be considered for president. This just goes to show how far money can take you, rather than because a legitimate candidate for the job.

This year I found out that a man I had a run in with had been a sexually assaulting women by posing as a massage therapist and doing everything from groping to raping them while he had them on his table. The women who came out about their experiences with Bill Cosby mirrored many of my feelings around my experience. I felt less alone, and simultaneously guilty for not voicing my experiences sooner. Lesson learned.

Alas in many ways too wrapped up in my own world and feel insulated or oblivious to the worls. The big winter if record snow bit even that was a bump on the road. Concerns on growing anti Semitic. Fear and danger in the world certainly has converns Interestingly I am not one who is oblivious of the news- I actually read it ever day - but somehow don't feel I have been affected Maybe lucky or have the luxury to not be impacted by the news

Marriage Equality in the USA! Gay marriage became legal in all 50 states and on the federal level.

Thank god none of the horrific world events this year have impacted me or my loved ones negatively. The event that impacted me the most emotionally has probably been the war in Syria and hearing the horrific stories of the refugees. It is truly heartbreaking what these individuals and families are living through. Every story I read brings tears to my eyes of both sadness, for their struggle, and joy. That my family is not living that reality. I need to do more to Help these people.

The refugees fleeing Syria. This seems to be a case that is testing the U.S.'s ability to avoid war...and looking closely at it as a result of global climate change. Our deeds are coming home to roost...

It would have to be the massive wave of refugees hitting Europe right now. Although I do have my own questions and reservations about taking them in, I marvel instead at the astonishing amount of fascists and communists that have cropped up everywhere like mushrooms. Poisonous mushrooms at that.

It perhaps wasn't one event, but the several instances of police violence against Black people and the rise of Black Lives Matter has deeply impacted me. I have always wanted to work for racial justice, but I hadn't focused on it through the lens of the criminal justice system, mostly through housing and economic violence. I want to think about how my work in urban planning can help address police violence against people of color.

Pope Francis and his qords of wisdom for ALL peoploe of the woeld. His leadership has given me renewed Faith in my Catholic Community. I am now able to be outwardly proud of my Church!

In the autumn, the negative relationship between Israel and the US occupied my attention. In the winter, I was deeply concerned about the killings in France. In the spring I was engaged in the Israeli elections and the question of how to build a civil society. During the summer, the problematic deal with Iran occupied much of my thinking. Now, in the early autumn, I am worried about the refugee crisis.

The fatal attack on people davenning during Tuesday morning shacharit. Made me despair at the desperation of attacking those at prayer but also learning from jewish tradition and friends and leaders i respect that the response has to be to continue to love and pray and learn and act for good in the world.

The national discussion around race, racial tension, racial reconciliation, institutional racism, etc. has certainly added to my own discussions about these topics, both through volume and through increased awareness and education. They have led to connected conversations around all sorts of priviledge, intersections of identities, experiences of minority groups, how the social climate and pressures in the united states are different than they are in other places around the world, how people don't like talking about this stuff. But it is so important. How I have been so angry about the human experience; I have been angry about people not being able to stay out of each others business, both walking down the street and when half the globe separates us. The pull between the positive and negative aspects of the increased globalization and communication abilities around the world and how we are using/responding to them. It is complex and challenging to think on such a large scale, and impossible to fully understand the experience of those across the world, but it is a challenge I feel needs to be continually worked on.

The war in Israel. When we visited, the pressure was leading into curiosity.

All the issues with the police have seemingly dominated the news this past year. I prefer #AllLivesMatter to #BlackLivesMatter, but maybe that's showing my bias as a white woman. I definitely think that more needs to be done to keep police violence from happening. Maybe the coming year will see some changes.

I turned 50. It made me reevaluate my life. Onto chapter 2!

Both the Ebola crisis in Africa, and the Syrian refugees have impacted me. The human suffering and fragility as well as the world's lack of systems and structured to efficiently and quickly deal with these challenges and save lives.

I found something that I'm really passionate for this past year. It sucks that something terrible had to be going on around me for it to happen, but now I know one ways I can use my life to help others. I always knew I had a passion for the stranger. Now I realize that love is really for the refugee. There is something about the story of the refugee that reminds me of the story of the Jewish people. It gives me a purpose, and a way to connect to my history in ways that I wasn't able to do before. I am truly grateful for the experiences I was able to have in Madrid and hope that I can have a similar one in the near future.

The significant uncertainty of all financial markets did a number on my wife and me. We sold our home last Fall in fear interest rates would jump and drive down our price, but they did not and yet may raise tomorrow. We moved in to our daughter's and had the gentle tension of that move-in and living from suitcases for over a half year. Then the gyrations of the stocks recently - impacting our retirement nest egg - make my tummy go up and down more often than the elevator in the Chrysler Building. That on top of Lezlie's knee surgery piles tension on top of tension and we have been in Tension City (no place you would choose) for 13 months in a row. Ick. Wow just looked back and last years 10 q showed the onset of crashing interest rates as a prevailing concern at that time. And the lack of safe places to make any money. So the story is still being written on this one, just another chapter.

There's been several crazy things that have been happening around the world. People shooting people, it's unreal. Syrians escaping their country and fleeing to other countries, having left their whole lives behind them and losing children in the process in hope of bettering their lives. It's heart breaking.

Global warning gave us a very cold winter in Australia. Then the hottest September ever in San Diego. Droughts in California bring concern and with drought comes the danger of fire. We are cutting back our water use and trying to reimagine our yard. How do we make a sustainable property?

I wish I could say something impacted me this year, but I really can't think of anything. Living on the island can be so isolating that it seems like nothing ever really impacts you (even if it does).

I think the gathering refugee crisis is the biggest thing right now, because it highlights the differences between the haves and have nots. It raises questions about how the rich (us) should live. We deal with the unsecured border with Mexico, with the same problem. What does compassion tell us to do? I'm okay with compassion as long as it impacts others. Not sure if I want a house full of refugees, though.

The responses to the police murders of black men have been the most significant hing that has happened globLly, for me at least. It is heartening to see such a lame response to the heartless and illegal murders of black men and women by state actors, and yet the continued indifference and vilification of those trying to bring attention to this emergency is...heart-wrenching and downright disgusting. This is. A country that has at its root an utter contempt for black life, and relies on racism to make it go. Though things have changed here and there over the years since slavery, that is still the root. It is hard to be a mother of a brown boy, small thought he may be now, and not be continually enraged at this reality. I don't know what else to think, other than what I know, and what I know is that this country is racist down to the core. He is tiny, but I know he is already absorbing that I am angry about all of this, about so much of life beyond our doorstep- from who lives down the hall to who is taking over the neighborhood, to who is allowed to even be a police officer. I have to teach him to live in the world with respect and a certain level of obedience, to ensure that he does not w ind up in the number of those murdered. But in the end, it won't matter what I teach him. I can't keep him safe from a policeman's questions or gun, I can't keep him from feeling the slights that will come again and again. And the more I imbue him with my own sense of freedom and entitlement, the more I might be crippling him in a world that might not find him as cute as they do now, as a tiny brown body with a mop of curly hair like his mami. It is so hard to be a mother in the face of naked, bold, normative racism. It is so hard to know what to teach him as right, because there is no "right" way to be that can protect us from the arrows.

The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson a year ago. It impacted me as a mother when my former co worker, worried about her son's life as he gets older, that he will Be racially profiled. It's appalling.

The event that I find most upsetting is the situation with the Syrian refugees fleeing Syria and trying to get into Europe for safety. The situation is so bad for them, they are risking their life to escape. On the one hand, the country Syria has an anti-Semitic attitude. On the other hand, these are political refugees fleeing for their life and the world needs to do everything we can to help them. It feels as though the problems in the middle east get worse every year. Hatred and contentions run high. Yet, during this holy time, shouldn't we forgive and mend our differences? Shouldn't we find ways to help each other? In the end, don't we all want to surround ourselves with our loved ones and live in peace? I don't feel this situation physically as I feel protected here in America (for the most part). There have also been some instances that involved police shooting and killing young black men. This has led to some racial strife and some attacks on our police force. This is also upsetting. I can understand that a policeman may find him/ herself in situations that require quick decisions for self protection. But it is very odd it appears to be targeted to young black men. At least we don't hear of young white men getting killed in the news. These events are so negative and my prayer is that G-d's love will dissipate some of this hatred and negativity. We will learn to take care of and care for each other and not allow these injustices to prevail.

The obvious issue is the Islamic extremists actions around the world this year , but I will skip that... I am concerned about global warming and how the world pays no attention to the future of the planet we live on.... I feel sorry for my kids and their kids, as the world will become a very unhealthy and dangerous place in the future....No one will react until it is too late....

Irans leader continues to proclaim israel will not be here in 25 years and the world acts as if it doesn't hear or believe iran intent . It makes me feel there is no sanity in this world vEverything is a game of chess and the worlds people are the losers. Beijing this reality I struggle for peace and beauty

I don't feel that I can say that I'm directly impacted by any world event. I am very worried about what is going on in Syria and the European migrant crisis right now. I feel a little guilty bringing this up since I'm not directly affected by either of these, but I do worry about these crises will be handled and what the global outcomes will be.

The legalization of Gay marriage was a joy to see. While it still is an uphill battle to be fully realized, it offers so much to my family members and friends who were denied this right for so long. Hopefully closed minds and hearts will open in time when they see this only strengthens us as a society.

I've been seeing so much about the Black Lives Matter movement, and how it has changed the course and direction of civil rights discourse. Jews were a huge part of the first civil rights movement. Where are our voices now? To whom do they belong? Can we really be a part of something now that we are so far separated from? Do our voices even matter? What is my duty to the world?

Soooooo much is going on... soooo much... I can't even...

Some guy with a gun came into the national news broadcoasting building and threatened our whole nation there were bombs everywhere. This was just after Charlie Hebdo. It made me feel very scared. It can happen everywhere. We need to be careful everywhere

Charlie Hebdo and grocery store attacks. To be in Israel so shortly after was powerful, and chilling. A reminder of how transient peace is, and how much the threat of war is an everyday reality for others.

It might not sound important, but a website I visit frequently has had some turmoil in the community. It used to be community driven but the site is trying to make a profit off of the endeavor which is causing conflict. Users do not like the added censorship, oversight, and even manipulation of content. I didn't actually think it would affect me, maybe it is me getting old. But suddenly stuff like that matters. And I am no longer looking at that site for news. IT used to be my way to stay connected to the world outside of academia. but now I don't trust it.

I think the mass shootings that have been such a big part of this summer in the news have had an impact on me. How could they not? The rampant amount of simmering racism makes me incredibly sad. I think the climate surrounding these shootings and the various movements that have sprung up as a result of them are not doing much to improve things, either. I'd like to think we aren't becoming a more violent world, but the anger and resentment seem so strong right now, it's hard to believe that it isn't.

#BlackLivesMatter

NYPD's brutal murder of Eric Garner helped to exacerbate the larger issue of race relations in this country. I paused my seventh and eighth grade history curriculum to evaluate the history that was being made that month. Mike Brown's murderer was acquitted, a woman was unjustly arrested and may have been murdered by the same officers in jail. A church was shot up in the Deep South. Another college student was shot multiple times without cause. All black--all like my kids. I could have viewed it as providing meaning to my work. At the time, it just made me feel more helpless.

gun violence. it eats at me, horrifies me. Donald Trump. Have we really become this stupid?

Bernie Sanders is running for president. If he wins he will seriously change American politics, making the USA a true democracy again. What a brave and brilliant man, I hope with all my heart he wins.

the fires in n california - devestation. the drought - seeing the creeks and rivers bleed dry. everything is dry here, we need rain. that is an understatement. we need rain for our crops, for our mountains, for our resivours, for our sanity and peace. we need water, it's gotta come. I'm also disgusted by Trump in the presidential race. People think it is funny, however I see it as a generation of overworked people having a laugh at a very serious manner. It's the presidency, god dammit! What has our country come to? Heart broken...

The upholding of Marriage Equality laws and the enforcing of them across the USA and in other countries feels like a giant victory. Looser laws, releasing noncriminals from prison when their only "crime" is possession of marijuana, and eventual legalization of marijuana/cannabis use across the USA and other countries also seem imminent, due to the vast success (economic and social) of those places in which it is already legal and those changes have already occurred; another set of great victories. I appreciate the egalitarians' winning. I appreciate common sense's prevailing. I appreciate nondiscrimination's being enforced. Feels right and good.

The plane that was shot out of the sky the plane that went missing, all this was unbelievable. People suffering in 2015 begs belief, I use to think nothing could shock me but the disasters this last year have moved me to look at life and the fragility of this.

BLACK LIVES MATTER, more Trans visibility, Charlie Ebdo shooting, SAME SEX MARRIAGE, Charleston Black Church shooting, Warriors win NBA championship, Trainwreck movie theater shooting, Refuge crisis... The news continues to be completely depressing. Unstable, racist, hateful people continue to be able to gain access to guns.... (police included) The supreme court ruling for allowing same sex marriage nationwide was so special and the only good news I can remember this year. It feels so great to live through such monumental social change.

Marriage equality was granted by the Supreme Court on June 26th. I gained 1138 rights that day.

One of many events this year the has impacted myself and the entire world--the embargo of goods, intellectual endeavors, the blocking of thoughts and free speech. The " how" is the educational and political sharing of information that has been denied at universities and economic trade. This is keeping vital information and services to all people, not just the ones that individual nations does not like politically. The "why" appears to be ego and dislike of the "other". This has been especially true with medical advancements and intellecture growth in the scientific and climate debates.

I've been really concerned about the situation of migrants, particularly related to the crisis in Syria but also in other parts of the world. It's interesting how the outpouring of support that eventually happened in parts of Europe never materialized here in the U.S. when a wave of Central Americans arrived fleeing violence in 2014. I worry a lot about the empathy deficit--between rich and poor here in the US and between haves and have nots at the global level. I also worry about the relative indifference toward the constant instability in poor parts of the world.

there are too many events that have impacted me this year. I find it all overwhelming and couldn;t name a single one, for which I feel... Old. Ignorant. Sad

Watching from afar as generous Europeans openly welcome refugees as our government defended their detention centre policies. I wonder if, without the contrast of our conservative, racist government, would I be one of those people actively welcoming? Would I create an annexxe for the likes of Anne Frank? Why was I born in San Diego and not in Damascus?

it is always the destruction of the environment, animal habitats and injury and death to animals, the mutilation of dogs in LA, the killing of wildlife everywhere, things we don't even know about that are going on daily are terrifying because they are beyond our reach. or are they?

The legalization of gay marriage all over the country makes me feel like we are finally doing something right....

Man. This is a good one. There have been so many events around the world that seem to have great significance. One is not single event, but a series of events that have lead to the #blacklivesmatter movement. There is much that is wrong with race relations in America right now and it's difficult to parse what has been more accurate; either the revealing of racist issues, or the inflammation of racial hurts. Either way, there is much to be done in our country to solve this issue. Another that seems most significant to me is the rise of ISIS. Again, not a single event, but a series, and has been taking place for a couple years now. The rise of this group and its brutal, inhumane tactics has, in my opinion, furthered the already polarized political climate in America, and as a country we seem to have no good solutions - either that or we refuse to take action on any of them The third is the Iranian nuclear accord that the Obama administration is touting as a major victory. Most conservatives and even many democrats fear this is a poor deal and will not really help the middle east in any way. I tend to agree that this was a very poorly negotiated deal. I also feel like the term "negotiate" is just simply wrong in regard to islamist groups. Our liberal, western, secular mindset is anathema to these groups. They literally have no concept of separating faith and politics - they are intrinsically and irrevocably linked in the mind of the Islamist so to think that we can negotiate on a secular basis is simply foolish. My fear is that these events, combined with an ever-increasing liberalism are destroying what we thought were the values of our nation. The only good news in it is that the idea that America is a "Christian" nation, particularly from a cultural standpoint is being proven abjectly false.

The mass exodus from Syria and the news stories about the deaths of these immigrants and the lack of support provided by other countries has impacted me this year in that my heart feels heavy for the world. Every morning as a drive to work I listen to the news stories of more deaths, homeless immigrants living on the streets or in refugee camps, and I feel my heart feel so heavy. I wonder what kind of greater power exists that allows this kind of tragedy to impact so many while others live our beautifully privileged lives. Even as I struggle with my mental health and physical manifestation of exhaustion, my lack of full-time position, my pay cut, my lack of romantic relationship, my life is so incredibly blessed. I have a home. I have food. I have constant ability to contact those I love. I don't understand why the world is full of so much unfairness, pain, and tragedy. Nor do I feel empowered to do anything in an attempt to change it.

The refugee crisis and the European response, even the response of some of my friends has been devastating...

I found the day that gay marriage was legalized nationally to be incredibly moving. It was a moment which signified to me that social change is in fact possible -- and gave me reason to let go of some cynicism.

The Iran deal has opened a fissure in the Jewish community, because of the deal itself, as well as the polarization as people line up on either side. The fallout is a community that's less connected, and a weaker Jewish power structure. How does this affect me? Because now my dad sounds like a racist.

There's a lot of crazy stuff going on right now. I feel like I'm in a bubble just waiting for it to pop.

I don't feel very affected by the events in the world. I hear about too many of them, too often, & so I'm callous. The last event that made me think for a day was Robin Williams death, because I felt an emotional connection to him. How am I supposed to feel something deeply for events that affect others around the world, about whom I know so little?

This isn't a single event, but all the racial violence that has been happening; the shooting in the church, people of color dying in police custody. It seems worse than ever before during my lifetime. I am horrified by what I am seeing, but don't know how to stop it.

Climate change continues to be a global event that impacts everyone. Bernie Sanders running for US presidency and building a grassroots movement like nothing in my lifetime. It has impacted me by showing that there are masses of people who want the same world I do and are willing to actually work for it. Very inspiring.

This year, ISIS has been terrorizing the world and spreading discord and enmity wherever their shadow is cast. I have watched as the world turns a blind eye to the Syrians, refugees, and 'Palestinians' in other countries being murdered and chased from their homes, yet vilify and crucify Israel for their attempt to remain alive and free. It has reminded me time and time again that the world is far from where we need it to be, and someday I hope we will progress close enough to peace that it takes over.

The US Supreme Court voted for equality, which made me closer to being an equal citizen.

The constant media perseveration on the negative and candidates fear factor blather. These only serve to increase people's anxiety and drive up hormones that put people in a constant state of false alertness. Thus, fatigue and loss of a sense of reality.

This is difficult, because so much (good and bad) has happened in the world. Perhaps the event I celebrated most was the SCOTUS decision to uphold marriage equality in the US. I was thrilled to see the law of the land embrace inclusion and equal rights for queer families. There's still plenty to be done to break down the barriers of bigotry in the workplace and in states where you can lose housing for being gay, but it's a fantastic start to see bigots on the wrong side of history.

I think there are so many events, I cannot think of only one. I am disturbed that parents, professionals and people we should trust to take care of us are turning their backs on us. What parent can kill their own child? Why are police officers not trustworthy? What teacher hurts a child? It only brings more questions. Almost every parent loves their child beyond belief, police officers do so much good in the world, teachers are nurturing our future generation. I am so disturbed that terrorists can wipe out a culture. Have we not learned anything through the ages? I can only thank God that I live in a somewhat civilized place.

No specific event, but all the continuing crazy weather is scary. Because of the drought, I have definitely implemented more water conservation practices in my everyday life, so that is a direct and regular impact. I am trying to think more environmentally consciously--biking and walking more, general reduce/reuse/recycle/rot things, but I still feel like I'm not doing enough. And climate change is here and happening.

The refugees escaping the middle east and risking (and losing) their lives to get to Europe. I cannot imagine feeling so unsafe in my own country that I risk absolutely everything like that. And it has made me examine my own prejudices - to stop visualizing refugees as poor, uneducated. These are middle-class individuals who have lost absolutely everything in their escape. Those who can't afford to pay the exorbitant fees are still trapped.

Couldn't be anything other than Syria and the refugee crisis - watching so many people desperate to get to somewhere safe and be able to have something resembling a normal life, and yet being turned back is just heartbreaking. The picture of little Aylan's lifeless body washed ashore really finally got people talking, but a week on it's suddenly back to normal. There was a report today that border police are spraying refugees with gas to control them - these are _people_ who are scared for their lives and just want someone to extend the hand of friendship to help. Sure, resettling refugees isn't easy and economically it's an impact initially - but let the people open up their hearts and homes and I think you'd find the world would shine a little brighter

Legalization of gay marriage has impacted me because it will be written in textbooks to come. It is proof that we are advancing and amazing that something so significant happened in my lifetime.

All of the immigration/refugee situations make my heart heavy. What kind of situation is SO BAD that starving/walking thousands of miles/being shot or beat up is worth it? And why don't their country leaders see this and do something about it? I know that I don't fully understand the problems regarding immigration into this country, but I don't think it could be as bad as people make it out to be. I also think it will be interesting to see how countries in Europe that have remained ethnically pure adapt to the changing face of their countryman.

Hearing Lawrence Lessig speak at the University of Chicago last fall about Republic Lost and institutional corruption led me to other scholars and books from Alice Goffman, to Zephyr Teachout to Thomas Picketty to Thaddeus Russell and on and on. Not only did I learn a lot and get huge clarity about what's going on politically and economically, it made me realize that Neoliberalism and its species of capitalism has created a lot of trauma and pain for just about all of us. This realization gave me a handle by which I could work with my clients in a more expansive way to help them open up possibilities and opportunities in a world view that seems contorting and confining.

The popularity of ride sharing, like Lyft is impacting me. I am going through a divorce this year, and driving for Lyft just may be a gentle way back in the work force after being emotionally obliterated.

The Iran deal has meant a lot of excitement at home. My wife has direct involvement with people in the room. It has meant a little extra stress and a few extra hours. Mostly, though, it is something we all feel we can be proud to have a small part of.

Stephen Harper is a complete idiot and revoked rights of immigrants. He created a whole group of second class citizens. Most of the people I love are now slumped into this group. Impacted me because it makes me feel less canadian

The way race has exploded back to the forefront of national conversation has been simultaneously heartbreaking and encouraging. We never solved race issues in the United States, we just stopped talking about it. I'm glad we're talking about it. It's wrenching to see so many stories of children and adults, innocent humans, killed as a direct result of racism. But I'm glad these stories are emerging. Because people were always being killed... we just weren't talking about it.

reading about unjust arrests and mental health issues in prisoners made me change my career path.

Syria Refugee Crisis- has made me disappointed in people- especially with the walls that are coming up and people not wanting to help.

The refugee crisis in Europe has been devastating. Its impact has been to make me maddeningly cynical...to watch the contortions of politicians in representing these people as aliens, non-human, really, when their actions are responsible in large part for this mass movement...has been sickening. And in the last couple of days, watching the borders seal up again has been so upsetting, because for a moment it looked like there was hope - and it has been entirely dashed...This does not say good things about our world systems, and does not inspire hope for an equitable future.

Police shootings. I desperately want to trust law enforcement and yet am torn about the statistics. Likely, the vast majority have chosen the profession for the love of it. It's certainly not for the money. Maybe the "one bad apple" theory? I wish I could help.

Climate Change - I joined the hundreds of people arrested on Burnaby Mountain protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion that is intended to go through Burnaby to engorge a ship a day with oil from the tar sands.

I don't think there's anything worldwide that has impact me in in any significant ways.

right now everyone is talking about the syrian refugee crisis but i think about the daily killings in our own backyard(communities in our city) that most people don't know about or ignore because it's some gang member or one of their family members or someone from the community. Yet we never really talk about this. I have decided to become more involved with Homeboy industries for this reason because an activist priest practiced what he preached and many young people have had their lives saved from death.

The dangers of ISIS frightens me. I also worry about the safety of Israel.

Syria. The sense of hopelessness and the pointless loss of life. And those that survive are either greeted or met with xenophobia. These people are the ones escaping to be free and yes there may be some terrorists in the group but the vast majority are just good people trying to find a better life for themselves and their children. What is leaving me frustrated is that this suffering is juxtaposed with the Republican presidential candidates taking pot shots at each other and supporting people that are breaking the law and their oath of office.

Obama's efforts to negotiate with Syria, it makes the biblical prophecies seem so much closer and more possible. This along with climate change. The fires in California, the drought, the weather extremes, all this is impacting people no matter where one lives. Just the other day Joe said there are 4 things vital that you will need, potable water, food, a roof over your head and a gun to protect what you have. The stock market is crumbling and without my retirement I don't know how I'm going to survive. I live alone and too far from my family. I want to be closer to them but moving is not an option, it's too expensive in NYC and noone wants to hire a 60 year old Nurse. So again I find myself afraid this time of the year, what is ahead??

The US President's decision to force a nuclear agreement; bypassing the congressional debate and approval process. Throughout the negotiation process the President and Secretary of State repeatedly listed issues on which the US would stand firm. The final agreement is weak. It sends a clear signal of the USA's lack of resolve to both our allies and adversaries. Without debating the merits or shortcomings of the agreement, I fear that the process weakens our government and increases the risk of global conflict.

Events in Russia, war with Ukraine. Killing of Nemtsov.

There are always world events that impact me. That make me sad, despondent, really, or leave me shaking my head in disbelief. The current one that comes to mind is the Republican lineup of contenders for the primary. I am in awe at the lack of human kindness and connection, the lack of compassion for others and the earth, that is shown in the debates. Not to mention the lack of understanding and, even, intelligence. I am sad that the press continues to pursue the idiocy of that campaign -- that they neglect their primary purpose -- to give the facts, to state quotes in context. As evolutionary beings, I am saddened by the de-evolution that is exemplified by this "race". It appears that our candidates have "devolved" -- acting from an egoic alignment rather than a more evolved way of living and seeing. This is sad , and alarming -- not only for me, but for the world. There are so many wonderful people who see the possibilities of human connection and ways to solve problems that emanate from a compassionate heart rather than an egoic head. I would only hope that the people of the Republican party can see clearly their lack of true and good leadership and take a stand.

The whole Black lives Matter mess. I believe lives matter -- any lives, period. I don't agree with friends who believe that it's all the police's fault. There are overreaching, out of control police, but the majority of people that end up dealing with the police are committing crimes. It's hard to share what I feel when my friends react like I must be racist to even question whether each case needs to be dealt with on an individual bases.

I'm infuriated by the continuous gun violence in the US. It's every week nearly that you hear of another brutal attack via the news. When will the American politicians learn that it doesn't have to be this way? Won't Americans stand up for themselves?

Can't think of a one. The triumph of fascism here and in Europe's huge but didn't affect me.

The fleeing of immigrants from Syria it Europe frightening and heart breaking. Conditions are so bad in Syria that tens of thousands of people are attempting to move to Europe. Hungry has closed their borders forcing people to find other routes. The stories of Isis are chilling. I dont understand the violence and hated. It is frightening to realize how fragile civility is. Trump scares me, the American people's support of Trump scares me even more. I fear we are blindly marching towards something horrible that will lead us to fascism or some kind of totalitarian state. I see the word "fear" a lot. I want a faith, an inner center so solid that I never give up on the good in people. I want an inner conviction so strong, that forever have faith in the Goodness of God and that I forever see that of God in every person.

Learning about ISIS murdering the Coptic Egyptians in Libya impacted me. And then with the bombing in Kenya so close in time. I felt for the first time a kind of evil in the world. When 9/11 happened I never thought that, but this time I felt scared of Fundamentalist Islam and its far-reaching hand. I thought about how frightened those poor men must have been. How painful their deaths probably were. And then on RT television they broadcasted a splendid documentary about a village where many of the victims had come from. I was shocked at the level of forgiveness and pride the survivors, especially the wives, had. I'm so awed they could forgive. Like with the congregation from that Baptist church who forgave the shooter. And the Amish who forgave the man who murdered their children. I would love to be able to forgive like that -- like Nelson Mandela did, like Jesus did...and I can't even let go of not being treated to a beer on my birthday. Oh my!

In light of the recent reactions that are considered "Islamophobia", I have been inspired as a fellow semite to stand in solidarity with people who are Muslim. Although in the past few years it hasn't appeared that Jews and Muslims get along, I believe that we are brother/sister tribes originating from the Middle East, and that we should stand together in fighting hate.

ISIS.. has well..been ISIS. Killing my people. Hating my people just because of our religion.

The short version is that I've been embarrassingly checked out of world events, though that isn't unusual for me. The best and most exciting was the Supreme Court gay marriage ruling which made me proud to live in the U.S. The grimmest were the police killings of unarmed black men, the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe, and on a more personal level, droughts and wildfires. That last one had an immediate and distressing impact on me on returning to the toxic yellow smoke of Missoula in late August. It felt like the apocalypse, the chickens coming home to roost, etc. Global Warming and the climate crisis right in my backyard. Made me want to stop driving my car. But am still sitting in my arm chair doing nothing. Can't even bring myself to look at the anorexic polar bear video on Facebook. When did I become so uninvolved?

The fierce urgency of the plights of refugees has been something close to my heart and still shook my core over the past few weeks. I've watched in both awe and shock as the world has taken responsibility and evaded responsibility. I think it has also made me reevaluate my value priorities and shaken me to begin to truly define how I want to see the world and how to do my part.

The Black Lives matter movement. It's made me reconsider how I react to the police and how much I trust them as an institution, as well as become more aware of the day-to-day life and concerns of black people in the U.S.

The situation in South Africa that keeps worsening with the government. It is the land of my birth and where I've considered returning to, as well as I own property there and my mother also resides there which is a worry at times.

The refugee crisis has made me take stock of so many things: privilege of all sorts, the ways we talk about each other and how that forms our reality, suffering on a massive level, humans finding some joy and humanity under crushing conditions. May all people find peace and safety. bless the whole world.

Over the summer I paid. Lose attention to the passage f the nuclear deal wth Iran and to the smear campaign against planned parenthood Despite my ove of war stories I want to see peace. Likewise I have a vested interest in healthcare for women. Obama care has come through for me this year. My family has health insurance because of Obama care I was pretty wrapped up in my own problems this har but the other. It movement that has afte Ted men's the black lives matter campaign. Michael brown Freddie grey trevon martin more than I can. Count or name have died at the hands of the police. I have never ft so privileged as when I was able to honestly tell Madelyn that she could turn to a police officEr for help.

An event in the world... Hmm. I can't quite think of any WORLD event that impacted me, but there are a few that made me take pause or impacted my thought processes.... The earthquake in Nepal. The Syrian/Afghani/Iraqi refugee crisis. The Iran nuclear deal. The U.S. government becoming what seems to be anti-Israel. The Charlie Hebdo attack in France. The racial tensions in America. There are many others, as well. All of these events have caused me to reflect on who I am and my place in this world, my view thereof and what I contribute or detract from it by my presence.

I did not watch any footage of the Syrian refugee crisis. But I saw one photo and read the comments from friends near and far. I used to be one of those people who felt like illegal immigrants were one of our country's biggest problems. Now I see that the real problem is the fear driven selfishness of those Americans who mis-direct their anger. Yes, this country has it's problems. But the solution is there within us. And I believe it begins with seeing humanity as a whole, a We. Until we change our mindset, we are merely picking at scabs, and failing each other over and over again. These refugees are OUR people.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about the Syrian refugee crisis. I would also be lying if I said that it impacted me. Americans have that privilege. We can stand by and comfortably watch the world fall to pieces with, without, or because of our involvement. Really the only way this impacts me is that I feel sorrow for the humans in diaspora, anger at the violence which creates it, and utter shame at the reactions of those around me. I get it. I'm not helping anybody. But I feel that during the war in Iraq it helped even fewer people to say "I want to go over there and kill every man, woman and child I can find!" as said a once-friend. Maybe fighting the evil in my own nation's attitude towards the rest of the world is the best way to combat my guilt of passively causing many, yet suffering none of the consequences of global domination.

I'm not sure. World events don't usually affect me emotionally. Syrian refugees are all over the news right now, but I don't really care. Suffering and war and injustice is how the world works. This doesn't mean I agree with or support atrocities, but I just don't get worked up about it.

World events what world events . My life had gotten very small. I'm so busy I can't pay attention

The refugee crisis in Syria and surrounding areas has given me a lot to think about in terms of what I want to do with my life. Mostly with my photography/art/film and how it can be used to actually make a difference in the world.

The campaign of Bernie Sanders. It isn't exactly a world event but it has captured -- for me anyway -- the hopelessness I attach to any political movement with which I agree. Pretty lame, but there you go. Here's a guy who mostly stands for everything I believe about government (it's there to help, not hurt) and corporations (they really only care about making more money for their leaders and their stock holders (which is in itself a hamster wheel of more more more!)) and all we (the electorate) have heard is how impossible his campaign is. He's actually doing okay, but I don't hold out any hope that he'll get there. The republicans are one shit show after another. Money, business, personal freedom (except where women's issues and sexuality are concerned). I have some guilt that this is what "affects" me because it really doesn't -- at least not any more than the refugees entering Europe or our charming descent into redemonizing Russia. But I guess I believe that the home front is where we can change things more and it doesn't look like that's going to happen anywhere. Btw, our three month sojourn in Holland this last year was an example to me of living in a society that really works. Not a world event, but the whole smaller is better thing seems to hold true.

The photo of the 3 year old Syrian boy found drowned on a beach trying to escape the Middle East misery with his family underscored the absolute mess we've created in the Middle East, and the fallout from the Bush/Cheney wars, which have destroyed centuries old societies, killed 100s of thousands, and saddled our children with $8 Trillion in debt. IMO, Bush and Cheney should have that photo tattooed on their foreheads so they can see it every morning.

Racist violence. The widely publicized incidents of lethal police brutality against black people. The Charleston church shooting. And now the Syrian refugee issue, and the Europeans who feel their "Christian values" are threatened by the arrival of Syrian refugees. It just seems like we should be beyond these kinds of things in the year 2015. But sometimes people act like it's still 1955.

The flood of Syrian refugees to Europe has greatly impacted me. I'm not sure of the exact reason, but I think I can relate to not having a place to call home. Although their situation is much more life threatening, I can relate to running away from a place I called home. I think about them a lot.

The war in Syria, the ongoing refugee crisis. I keep thinking about my family leaving pogroms, poverty, war, Hitler, and I want to help these people so much.

Germany welcoming so many immigrants. Kanzler Angela Merkel really showing the world that the Germans I knew (Esther, Bernd, etc.) are the true, human, and compassionate people who better the world. Thank you for being an example of tikkun olam, Mama Merkel!

I'm currently working on a theatrical performance of the “Diary of Anne Frank”. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Anne going into hiding, being captured, her death, and the eventual publication of her diary. This is impactful in how I tead Anne's diary when I was 12 and was inspired to journal and live a happy/beautif life in a similar light. Fast forward to me age 23, I get to revisit Anne's diary and her story of love and hope. This project couldn't have come at a better time in my life. I am blessed with positivity and the power to do good in my world. I had almost forgotten the horrors of the world, and rereading Anne's diary has reminded me how lucky I am and to truly cherish everything I had priory been taking for granted.

The run up to the presidential campaign has me cautiously optimistic. Not gung-ho like when Obama ran, but cautiously hopeful. I try to get enough information about each candidate to make an educated decision, but at the end of the day, my vote isn't the deciding factor anyway. I'm getting more cynical about the political process as I get older. I find myself most passionate in support of women's rights and also the #blacklivesmatter movement. I've been trying to identify my own biases and prejudices, in order to help avoid them in the future (and model that for my kids). It is exhausting, but I remind myself that I have the obligation to do this because non-white folks don't have an option. They live with discrimination and racism every single day of their lives, and if I'm uncomfortable, too bad. I think that's what I can do.

The civil unrest in Syria, the ongoing war and genocide around the world." The increasing violence of Muslim Extremists. It is very sad and very frightening.

One event in the world that has impacted me this year would have to be the legalization of gay marriage. Growing up dancing I have a lot of friends that are gay. I remember when I first started competing in pageants a popular question was if I supported gay marriage or not. Now there is no question. It is legal! As it should be. One of my best friends in college, my roommate of two years came out to me as being gay. I was one of the first people she told and I think I was the first girl she told. To this day we are still friends and I am so happy that this year marked a huge milestone in the equality of the LGBT community by legalizing gay marriage!

I am so fucking sick of Donald Trump. That's all I can say here.

Supreme cour legalized gay marriage as the law of the land in the United States. The gay marriage bit is great for all of my gay friends that are now just getting validation for their love. Went to a wedding for my two friends Kady and Margot this past weekend. Two wedding dresses. One dog. And a lot of whiskey ad succulents.

I am trying hard to sit with the devastation being created by unprecedented, raging wildfires throughout California, and, in a broader sense, the drought that is causing them. I believe we are just beginning to see the extent of what we have wrought with global climate change. The coming years are going to be a rough ride. I predict that the refugee crisis in Europe and around the world will worsen, and we will see more and more extreme weather. I am praying to be able to hang on through all the chaos to come. I pray, too, not to lose my heart in the midst of all of it.

The HAB in Lake Erie. The Great Lakes are under big threat!

Baltimore riots. I don't think the Black Lives Matter movement impacted me fully until I saw what was happening so close to home. I think that was the first time I really experienced the anger and injustice and understood why.

The Charleston shooting has had a big impact on me. Although I live far from Charleston, I teach people of a similar demographic to the shooter. I was prompted to ask myself what I, as an artist and educator, can do to prevent future violence and promote peace and understanding. I have developed a course called Art + Activism that takes a historical look at the intersections of art and activism, centers around bringing diverse voices to our mostly white middle class campus. The final segment of the course will be an opportunity for students to create their own public projects that bridge art and activism.

the mayor's suggestion that in response to topless, painted women in times square he would remove the pedestrian plazas and give the space back to cars. this seems profoundly stupid and reactionary on many levels. first, it denies women the right to their bodies. it infantalizes them. second, it reverses great progress in managing cars in manhattan. it gives space back to cars, which clearly are a last century tool (as currently configured). i just dislike this thought so much.

The deal that American has made with Iran makes me very nervous. Not because the US shouldn't open relations with another country in the middle east, but because the leaders of that country are still saying that Israel will not exist in 20 years. Isn't creating diplomatic relations with that country a tacit agreement to Iranian leaders' beliefs?

In my town a guy shot his roommate. No article could tell me why. I have heard of so many mass shootings in public that I can no longer count them. I realized I live in a world where at any given moment you are at the mercy of some sick person who decides you should die. I don't understand how that can be considered a "freedom" in this country. I am scared that every time i say goodbye to someone i love, it might be the last time i ever say goodbye.

Black Lives Matter.

I fear Donald Trump becoming president. A president does not need a storyline or plot points; she should simply do her job, a thankless job with many beneficiaries. Right now, not a single candidate seems like they would help this country and I wish Biden would run already. Also, how strange that I could not muster an ounce of concern for the rest of the world to answer this question. This past year I focused so much on myself and became so self-centered, because things were not working out for my life as I hoped, that apparently I quit looking to the state of others around me. I guess in times of misfortune, I become very self-centered and that's something I cannot stand about my mother, so it upsets me that I'm not much better. I should fix that. (Irony: somehow I made this question about me. How meta.)

The Syrian Refugee Crisis. The situation in Syria is so bad that the refugees would rather cross an ocean and walk through part of Europe to find a peaceful place to live. Unfortunately, they aren't being met with open arms. Many of them are encountering xenophobia and many more hardships. One wonders when will they catch a break. When will the suffering end?

The inexplicable rise of Donald Trump in the presodential campaign. This underscores my ongoing concern of the increasing ignorance, and vehemence, of American society. I feel helpless to effect change. I wonder where the other thoughtful, rational, empirically oriented humans are?

The Supreme Court at last confirmed that marriage can be between any two people. This is not a huge direct effect on my life, but it restores my confidence that, bit by bit, we get it right. The same with the Affordable Care Act being confirmed yet again. We move in the right direction, and this makes me feel more proud of my society and happier to be part of it.

Hard to say, but I guess the Syrian refugee crisis becoming so visible and being in the news so much lately. I donated a little bit of money, but it made me think (more, again) about how insulated I am, and how preoccupied I am with the inanities of my life. I really do want to do good work and be involved in international humanitarian issues, and I wish that I were free enough to just sign up and ship out.

The police shootings and the Syrian refugee crisis. I reject artificial divisions. We are humans and need to start acting like it.

President Obama pushed through a proposed nuclear deal with Iran. It saddened me because it confirmed what I'd thought when he ran for President the first time - that he really didn't stand with Israel. Obama will prove to have been gullible in thinking that this deal will keep nuclear WEAPONS out of Iran's hands. In doing so, he threatens the only true democracy in the Middle East. I resent Obama for this and am sad that I am a member of the same political party.

In June, the SCOTUS deemed bans on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. While I don't know if I will ever take advantage of this new freedom, it is a step forward in the march toward equality in this country, not just for LGB people, but as a whole. I am very surprised and happy that the ruling happened this soon. Fifteen years ago, if you had asked me whether I would see gay marriage legalized in all 50 states in my lifetime, I likely would have laughed in your face. Though we still have a long road ahead of us, and likely always will, it's nice to have a visible step in the right direction. I'm very happy for all my friends that can now legally choose to marry their partners, and I hope to see further advances in social policy in the next fifteen years that move us closer to the ideal of equal rights for all people.

The growing hate, intolerance and indifference between Israelis and Palestinians stays difficult to accept, makes me very sad and angry with both. I know I should get more involved with the present réfugiés who are coming with thousands to Europe to get away from the middle east hell like Syria. But I don't....except from my monthly donation for Médecin sans frontières.

it's sad but most things just did not touch my life from the greater world. The only thing that I did take notice of was all the senseless deaths of black people. I find that when I see a police car I feel a deep feeling of unease. In my heart I feel that I am in a real way at risk because I do not trust the police. That is so sad to me as I live in what is said to be a free country where I don't really feel free and safe.

I am horrified by the way the refugees trying to escape war and poverty are being treated by my country and those in Europe. We have placed our fear (terrorism) ahead of compassion.

To be honest between the daily news in Memphis that always talks about the latest violence in Memphis, violent stories headlining the National news, and depressing news seeming to be the top global news. I don't pay attention to any news. I rather focus on the positive things going on in the world by smiling as much as I can; focusing and spreading positive vibes. To be honest will so much false information in the media how can one actually trust the news. Of some events in my life that has impacted me are meeting Chipmunk, getting a job at The Peabody Memphis, and just having a great year so far. Chipmunk is going to Thailand to train and he is going to and get me a ticket to see him in January.

All the pre election rhetoric is just driving me crazy mostly because of the attention the nut cases get. It scares me and appalls me to live in a country where the fanatics seem to be getting control. And I know they are a minority but they are so out there they get the media attention. So normal people who like others, are moderate, and just want to live a decent life are overwhelmed by the hatred and bigotry seen every single day.

I think I would have to say that what is impacting all of us this year and next and who knows how long, is not an ‘event’ but a ‘situation’. Two very large situations, neither of which are things I as an individual can do much about: climate change, and the Syrian refugee crisis. I see no good end for either.

The rising tide of antisemitism worldwide has made me even happier- and more relieved, frankly- to be an American.

The killings of multiple black citizens by police officers during arrests and altercations, the anniversaries of those deaths, and the outpouring of political activism in their aftermath helped me reframe my own understanding of my racism. While I am filled with shame and guilt for my own complicity with white supremacy, I'm also motivated to get over my own bullshit. This is not about me and my shame, and I need to act out my belief that our shared humanity is shared divinity. What subtle ways do I continue to treat my black neighbors differently? How to I participate in racist systems of government and capitalism? How can I create opportunities for listening and developing cultural competency?

The Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act. I have a chronic illness, and their ruling makes me feel safe. I'm also happy for this country - for the thousands if not millions of people who have insurance now that used to not have it. Also, introduced me to the word 'jiggery-pokery.'

One world event doesn't specifically come to mind. I have been mystified by Donald Trump lately and how someone like him can garner so much support while saying so little substantively. He is an enigma because, time and time again, he can offend women or say misogynistic things or just outright be dismissive of facts and people CHEER! My guess is that this time next year he will NOT be the nominee, rather it will be the establishment guy Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio the proto-Obaman 2.0, or possibly John Kasich - barring any scandal. I can say with great certainty that Trump, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and Fiorina have very little chance or appeal nationally.

The Syrian refugee migration. It was the photo of the drowned 3 year old boy that washed up on to the shores of Turkey that absolutely broke my heart. I don't know how to help (really help) and all I want to do is save as many children, families, people that are displaced. I want to hug them and comfort each and every one of them. I don't know how to help.

Wow. This is a good question. I'm worried about giving the same answer as last year - the economy. Lesson learned for me is this will always be an issue, especially for someone like me. I guess what is close to home right now is the bird flu. It could impact me on two large pieces of business. I applaud legalization of gay marriage - that was quite a moment. Unrest in the Middle East freaks me out and ongoing anti semitism is this little scary thing in the back of my head. All these things are real, but in the peripheral. It comes back to the fact that I have a pretty charmed life. I have a decent job in a field I kind of like. I live in a great town and life is good.

The prevalence of ISIS attacks and beheadings was hard to separate from random murder by crazed gunmen here in the United States. Having to fear for our lives and the lives of our loved ones in this day and age? It's all just inexplicable. As a religious person, I find myself thinking about ISIS and its goals and what it must be like to be a part of the movement. As Diaspora Jews, we commonly have success in actualizing our national identity by defending and clinging to our State of Israel in our words and in our politics, consciously and unconsciously. Spending time there just living is a dream come true. I wonder if the ecstasy parallels that of those aspiring to join ISIS. Do they want to fight, as the media claim, or do they simply want to live in a state that feels more authentically them? Do they feel attracted to a space in the world that promises to allow them to be themselves in a truer way? Of course, the violent nature of ISIS doesn't stand to any moral terms. Conflating violence and identity expression does not work for human rights. News stories of ISIS decimating communities, raping women and freely murdering innocent people evoke a real, palpable fear within me. But what's more troubling is the psychological aspect of each individual ISIS supporter that we're not exploring. What do these people crave? And is it something that religious (perhaps the proper term is Zionist) Jews understand? And if we do understand, then can we help before it's too late? Can our sympathy break the boundaries between us and prevent more murders, more stereotypes and baseless hatred? Here's to a year of navigating the uncharted waters of individual catastrophe, the deepest mysteries (and in many cases, the truly alarming world events) of our time.

This is California. Things are terribly, terribly dry. Some of my friends have lost their homes to wildfires, the lakes and rivers are drying up, and there is no end in sight. I do my best to conserve water, and feel guilty when I water my garden. But I wish the rain would come back.

Refuge crisis in Syria.

The crisis in Syria is awful. The picture of the little boy washed up on the beach, the people found dead in the truck outside Vienna... It is especially on my mind right now being in Munich and having seen so many WWII sights that vividly illustrate the horrors of the world and the evil people are capable of.

Although it doesn't impact me right now, I'm following all of the talk about parental leave, including Marissa Mayer's controversial decision. Although I'm not a parent, I plan on being one in the next few years, and I'm disturbed and disappointed with the U.S. and how it treats working parents, specifically working mothers. It's very hard for me to grasp that we're the only developed country in the world that doesn't mandate paid parental leave, in addition to being one of the highest for infant mortality and Cesarean sections.

This year the Syrian Migrant Crisis has impacted me. It showed me that I have so much to be grateful for living in a safe country where my rights are protected and we have peace and freedom to express ourselves. We don't live in constant fear of our government or Isis killers. We take this too much for granted

The violence and unrest in Israel. Part of the process of converting to Judaism is forming some sort of relationship with Israel, which for me has been difficult given the incredibly complex nature of the struggles over there. I support a Jewish homeland, a place where Jews can practice their religion and express their culture openly and with other Jews. And I do support this in the state of Israel, the ancestral and true home of the Jewish people. But I do not support many of the policies of the Israeli government, particularly in regards to the treatment of Palestinians. But I also recognize that turmoil between Palestinians and Israelis is not a one way street, but a two way, with pain and destruction committed on both sides. I do not claim to have a solution. Both sides are unwilling to forgive, both sides are unwilling to live side by side, both sides have a claim and neither are willing to listen to the other. So how is Israel supposed to move forward and find peace? Only time will tell. But I support Israel in that quest for peace, and that is where I find my connection to my Jewish homeland.

Police violence and the ongoing struggle for minorities and the lowest classes to be treated equally and fairly by oppressive and militant police and government forces.

Thus far the biggest event of the year was the Supreme Court ruling for gay marriage, as a LGBT Travel Agent this opens the door for some wonderful weddings.

The 10th anniversary of the London bombings. Having just been there, I felt extremely connected as I read the articles and stories in the news.

The TPP has me concerned about the overreach of corporations more than ever.

Our local police manslaughter . . The Eric Frein situation. Our community came together to assist the police to find this psychopathic killer. Schools closed, we were on high alert. It impacted everyone and everything around us. It was headline news. When your community is in danger and everyone is mobilized to assist one another, you realize what is important in your life. Even if your only job is to gather dental floss from area dentists for the police who are living in a small contained area. Kind of puts things in perspective....

The Nuclear Deals with Iran has seriously opened my eyes to the desperate need of Torah and Grace to All Nations! The way The United States leadership has blatantly disregarded the Land That God loves. Our Nation's have turned away from His Torah and desire other gods. Prophesies are coming to be. I will wait patiently and prayerfully Shama 🔯💟

The nuclear deal with Iran. It helped me see how divisive my own community can be. This deal will be something that will stay in the worlds conscious for many years and no one really knows if its the right choice or what's going to happen because of it. There was this supposed rise of antisemitism but I think it was jewish fear for the most part. The Ferguson protests and all related to #BlackLivesMatter was huge. Again, one of those things that you won't know the impact of until several years down the line. It impacted me because it had me question my role in race conversations and the oppression in general. What role do I play.

I was overjoyed to wake up and find that the U.S. Supreme Court had finally ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in all 50 states. What a triumph for love and freedom! Not the end of the movement, but a major victory both practical and symbolic.

Seeing over and over again the picture of the little Syrian boy washed up on the shore in Turkey. The little details of the image make it so disturbing - how it could be a little boy I see in the park, G-d forbid. It has caused me to be more mindful when I am with my daughter (when I remember to be) - to put my phone away, to be present, to make eye contact, to hug her tight, to kiss her often, to thank HaShem out loud in front of her for all these blessings we are swimming in. To liberate myself from negative talk that I'm not doing enough. Not doing a good enough job raising her.

The most significant event that happen in the world this year to me was the death/murder of the girl who was pulled over inAustin,Texas by a police officer. How: I feel immense frustration and hopelessness within our society. Why: because her death should've never happened. The way the situation was handled seems completely bizarre. I'm very sad in terms of how this supposedly civilized society is so very uncivilized.

Operation Protective Edge. It has brought me closer to Israel, because I find myself having greater desires to protect and support Israel. Especially as others try to destroy her.

Going to Norway and being near to the place where such terror has taken place 4 year previously, but which has not stopped the group from going back and giving youth a chance to voice their opinions was incredible.

The Syrian crisis and people's response to it. I have a friend who knows people in Syria; another soon to be not friend who thinks Muslims are responsible for the majority of hate crimes in the world and so opening our doors to refugees is dangerous. I feel like I'm witnessing a holocaust and I can't believe there are "Christians" who are happy to withhold help from those who need it.

The death of the three boys in brookvale effected me a lot and this is because of how close to home it is to me and because of how young these boys were. It effected my friends as they knew the boys personally so that was very hard to watch.

The horrors in Syria and other countries that are forcing families to flee at great risk to safer countries. It reminds me of the Jews fleeing and countries not accepting them. Reminds me of the horrors refugees face at home and when they leave. It reminds me of how little people truly care. It concerns me that I can care and then goback to my life like I saw in the movie Hotel Rwanda.

I have to say that aside from news stories that are posted on Facebook or the rare, random nights that I watch the news, I am fairly removed from the world's events. There is so much horror in the world and that is 99% of what we are shown in the media. I feel powerless to change it, and it is too upsetting to take all in. It's much easier to avoid it all and just focus on my small world, and I have to admit that I choose that more often than not.

The refugee crisis around the Mediterranean, because it highlights so curiously the inconsistencies in our feelings and policies towards immigrants.

I feel like I and many others will cite the refugee crisis in the Middle East as a major event. Has it impacted me? Well, not really. Where I live the only major events are a duck not getting out of the road, or a new housing development offending the local pensioners. I'm quite far away from the troubles I see on the news, but it's distressing none the less. I wish more could be done to end what is clearly a proxy war between many nations instead of hand wringing and well meaning but pitifully ineffective aid incentives. For all our talk of being civilised, developed or cultured... we are all fundamentally capable of barbarism, selfishness and malice. The sooner we realise that and stop fooling ourselves the more we can concentrate on dealing with problems instead of just being "outraged" and looking the other way in the same breath.

The Iran deal, I think we did not get enough concessions and concerned that it will further destabilize the Middle East

After the Fukushima disaster I was convinced all west coast fish would be irradiated and I became a merchant of doom about it for awhile. Now I'm learning there's not much I can do about natural or unnatural disasters except lobby for their prevention, and offer my monetary assistance when they happen. I'm happy to see gender, orientation, race and immigration at the forefront of public debate, and I believe a progressive viewpoint is prevailing, and turning its outreach to the entire world. Deep inside even the haters know what the right answers are, they're just unwilling to confront themselves or accept change. Times are shifting for them as well. In keeping a positive outlook and a determination to focus on a better world, I've gravitated toward Bernie Sanders as a presidential candidate. The utopian ideals of the sixties got derailed, but that doesn't mean they can't still come true.

The Affordable Care Act has affected me quite a bit this year. Between Jeramy's clumsiness and my emergency removal of 3oz oof my body I have spent way too many hours on the phone with insurance, Dr's, and hospitals. At this point I would rather take the penalty hit at tax time for not having insurance. We're filing statements for an accident that for some reason or another is being reported as a violent crime. No, I'm sorry, He's clumsy and split his eyebrow open while shoveling snow. The one that tops the cake, I drove my happy little tush to an ER at 3 am. Found out the gallbladder problem the Dr's kept putting off could no longer be put off. I was admitted at 7 am, by noon I was in surgery and by 5pm I was out the door. How are they billing my procedure? Emergency IN Patient. That's $5k out of pocket. Now the kicker. this occurred in January as of September I am still running between insurance, the hospital, and the Surgeon to get this changed to Emergency OUT Patient. Nine months, I really want to pay my bill but I refuse to pay more than I owe. Insurance is supposed to be there to help the insured, unfortunately they're so knee deep in paperwork they forget about the people that they're supposed to be providing a service. And it keeps getting better, I have received notices from my GP and my OB/GYN that they are no longer accepting insurance they've moved to a cash based system. Total bummer, that means more time on the phone with insurance to get treatments that were previously run of the mill and ordinary. Since ACA my cost of insurance has doubled, and that's after dropping to the lowest possible coverage with the highest possible deductible. And the grapevine is whispering that the cost is going up again this year. I don't think I'd mind the hike in insurance if my pay went up each year to cover the increase. That hasn't happened in 3 years so I don' think I should hold my breath I get it 1st world problems, but I can say with certainty ACA is a failure for the average working class American.

The shooting in Charleston - and all of the killings of people of color this year that were featured in the media. I'd like to think that this helped opened others' eyes, but unfortunately most people's reactions were consistent with their past experiences.

The federal legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. I cannot express my joy, my relief, my immeasurable pleasure at knowing this legal, loving protection is now extended to all human beings.

The SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage. A lot of people were outspoken about it, often times to the detriment of good discussion and progress. It made me evaluate how I treat others as a Christian and how words said in social media can have a profound effect on those around us. Basically it caused me to think about my end goal; I can't say mean or judgmental things and also believe that I am bringing other people to Christ. Being a true friend is more effective at changing others than a million Facebook posts. I think it had this effect because it caused me to try to understand the viewpoint of the LGBT community and how marginalized they often feel. Christianity in its purest form always sought to help and uplift the marginalized. I want to do so as well.

the refugee crisis in Syria. How complicit we are in creating it. Hungary's response to it. the compassion of Germany and the Scandinavians. The lack of response by the US and England. Gross. I just saw a video today of a developmentally challenged high school basketball helper, who the coach put in to play and the other team helped him score a basket. I still get teary thinking about it.

The suicide of Sandra Bland in custody after a traffic stop, added to all the killings by police. It's just all way too much. One can only hope this is the last gasp of this type of behavior, but I'm afraid the pendulum will continue to swing. I am trying to figure out how to be a good ally to my fellow humans.

Immigrants who are trying to escape Syria and Africa who are risking their lives to leave untenable situations in their homelands.

Threat of Brexit has made me join a political party and volunteer; migration crisis has made me move politically left... threats of terrorism make me more worried every time I take transport....

The U.S. passage of the right to gay marriage. It opens so many doors and minds. I have friends who have always been exemplary (coincidentally same-sex) parents--much better than heterosexual me!--always longing for a right I gave up. This passage alone shows progress to the developed world that we are actually moving toward becoming a country that is truly separate from any church. Religious freedom, yes, we have that. But we as a country still need to have laws that regard freedom from religion as well. The legal marriage of same sex individuals was always influenced by religion. Abolishing that law on the federal level shows U.S. citizens and the world at large that logic, not religion, rules.

The Syrian refuge crisis has been so depressing. How humans treat other humans, based on fear, is just mind boggling. I understand the cost factor involved, but what is more important, human life or money? Clearly for most governments it's money.

The earthquake in Nepal, the killing of many black men by white cops and the resulting riots, the fires in the Pacific Northwest, the changing climate. There is a rise in violence and suffering, but it seems to be met with a surge of love so I'm not worried, more encouraged than anything -- that we can change things, and also that we ultimately control nothing.

#gamergate, sadly. It's cast a long shadow over most of this year. Watching friends get harassed, feeling terrible and powerless about the people I don't know and can't help, and occasionally being scared when I get pulled in (the ICANN thing). I really thought it'd be a small flash in the pan, but it's substantially changed and embittered much around me. It's starting to feel like #gg is the new normal, that we've created a web where assholes can terrorize with impunity, and we're just going to have to deal with it. That fucking sucks.

Making Gay marriage legal in all 50 states. I just love the fact that my kids will hopefully grow in a world where "being gay" isn't even a "thing". You love who you love, there is no right or wrong way to do that. I think it's a huge step in breaking down societal barriers of what generations before all of us grew up thought as "right". It gives me hope for the future that if people can just be who they are and love who they love, they will be happier and then little by little, maybe that will the help world be happier too.

The Amazing bad deal with Iran! I can not understand how intelligent individuals (leaders of the civilized world) could support such a tragic mistake. I will make the world more unstable. I am worried

The coming presidential election in the US. You have the embarrassment of Donald Trump being considered a viable candidate. And then you have the rise of a real person, who is trying to help America get her country back from the rich jerks who want to enslave the rest of us. I'm talking about Bernie Sanders. For the first time in many years I'm excited about politics. And I think the outcome of this election will affect the world.

One thing that came to mind was the murder of Sandra Bland. The #SayHerName campaign became huge and it showed how much black women are not respected. It made me angry, sad, and afraid to be a black woman in America.

Human migration from middle-east to Europe. It reminded of our hypocrisy of human rights. At the same time it also reminded me of how the world is complicated due to unbridled yet legitimate fear of terrorism.

No world event has impacted me in a way that I can recall. I'm sure they all will, in many small ways, but I can't remember a particular one now.

Trump entering the presidential race...has Hitler returned with only worse hair than before?

The Scottish referendum and SNP gaining most seats in Scotland. Politics started to change in light of this, no longer accepting an archaic system blindly but challenging and looking for change. There was a real sense of power within the country to be governed the way the Scottish people want, a chance for our identity to shine.

I think it's IS, their doings, their cruelty,their world view, their impact. There is no way for me to understand this system. I am completely at a loss. Only thing left for me is to be darn grateful that I happen to live in a peaceful part of the world.

Ferguson and legalizing marriage equality

The Rice og racism and fascism in the world and in Europe. The tendency towards nationalism and fear-driven hatred that I see at home and every where I go. Because it scares me. I am not sure the world this world is changing into is one that I am happy to be a part of.

Sandra Bland found hanged in jail cell after routine traffic stop. This kind of thing could happen to anyone who stands up for their rights. And this woman had a history of depression, which could--and was--used against her. My heart goes out to her and so many others who are rendered powerless, their civil rights abused, and who receive the ultimate consequence, death in custody. I think it is chilling. There is the 'what if?' that follows such an event. This comes after Michael Brown and so many other incidents. It's hard to face the bigotry and sinister intentions of individuals in the police force. And the institutionalized violence and cover-ups are difficult to penetrate and solve; it leaves me dissillusioned.

Everyday in the world has an impact. The ongoing "event" that is the GOP is a shame and an embarassment to this country and to me. Their resistance repeatedly has made governing this country a nightmare for a very fine POTUS. I wish he could be in office for another term. Netanyahu coming to our country as their guest was immoral and probably illegal but we have lost the rule of law. Ferguson? Baltimore, New York City - the war of police on persons of color; the war of the country that has created this atmosphere. We have lost civility, we have lost reason and all this has created a world that hangs by such a thin thread. I think the rills and ridges on Pluto are wonderful. I think we should be concentrating on our planet; our insatiable greed and our misguided values. Pluto will tell us about the universe. Who will help our planet?This entire year has impacted my life and left me a far less hopeful person than I ever imagined I could be. And moreover - I saw all this coming and so did others - but no one - delighted with their new toys - noticed. So in the last year Racism, anti-semitism, intolerance, wars, ISIL, the GOP, the invasion of privacy, corporate greed and the lack of common sense combined impacted me. And it has not stopped.

The nuclear arms control treaty with Iran has generated much discussion while our opinions vary based on what we believe this treaty will do. There seem to be no facts that we all agree on and if our truths are different regarding the provisions of the treaty, clearly we cannot agree on whether it should be supported. Friends and family and fellow Jews disagree on it. My personal thought is that ... Delaying Iran from nuclear arms is better than not doing so. If USA doesn't support it and the other countries do we may become the enemy and have reduced access to the information we seek. The money Iran receives when sanctions are dropped is problematic. I also fear a split in Americans will increase prejudice toward Jews worldwide if deal is reject.

I have kept current with Israeli concerns ever since I lived there in 1986-87 (and before) and have seen things from their point of view more often than not. The Iran nuclear treaty deliberations and President Obama's somewhat strained relationship with PM Netanyahu have been difficult to watch because I can see from both their perspectives. My prayers are with both leaders and both countries, that we can avoid war as much as is humanly possible and live in peace and safety. So many pundits and opinion shapers really know little about the history and the issues that have been ongoing since before the State of Israel was founded in 1948. It pains me to hear poorly informed people espousing strident points of view. May God have mercy on us all as we struggle to make our way in such troubled times.

There are many. how do I choose? the mass exodus of immigrants fleeing war..losing their homeland..all of the countries have been involved in the development of events today..Asad and Isis..yet the countries don't want to help those that are displaced. $$ for war but not for the aftermath... The republicans and many others don't want to fund abortions...as life is too valuable..all life...yet there is NO MANDATE/LAW that orders the FATHER, the other half that created that life, to provide funding and housing, etc..for the child or the mom. Furthermore, there is inadequate funding for foster care, whether it is in an institution or a centralized location or a private home.. including oversight of education, mental health services, medications, and the people who work at these facilities and the conditions of these facilities..IF all life is precious and valuable then this must extend past inception. It should include $$ for education..if we don't fund schools then the future of human life will be lost.

All of the senseless violence. What birthed this unfeeling? The anger? And why isn't there a cry for justice. A cry for more light to drown and obliterate the darkness? Moshiach!!!!

The Syrian refugee crisis has broken my heart like nothing else I've seen. I know the images in the media have contributed to that-- and I think it's vitally important that we keep our eyes open through the horror. The photos have made something far away feel extremely personal. I feel helpless. I've donated money-- but man, what a cop out. At the end of the day, am I truly willing to have my life impacted by what's going on over there? And what does it say about me if my answer is no? What can we do in the face of a disaster with such scale? Would I be taking more direct action if I were living in Europe? I'm left with a lot of questions, and not a lot of answers.

Although I have always supported Civil & Voting Rights legislation and been wary of those who contend racism is a thing of the past, the events in Ferguson, Mo. and the other stories of police brutality which resulted in the Black Lives Matter movement affected me more than I expected. I wasn't prepared for the stories of how people of color are still faced with nearly constant harassment and an adversarial relationship with the police. I have been left with a deeper appreciation of the struggles of communities of color. I have also been amazed about how quickly the marriage equality movement has fostered a greater tolerance and even acceptance of members of the LGBT community. One can hope that such compassion & acceptance will also extend to communities of color.

The Iran deal. I have been following this very closely. As of last week the President had enough votes to overturn a veto so he had his democrats in the Senate filibuster the deal didn't even come to a vote. It was a very undemocratic way to resolve the issue. So I am disappointed. I worry for Israel, but really I worry for America. Iran is clearly the bad guy and we are giving Iran exactly what it needs - cash. The debate on the merits of the deal has turned into an "us vs. them" with what I feel are sinister anti-semitic undertones. Our President has disappointed me and pushed the anti-Israel rhetoric and condescending tone - "we are family and families fight hard." That's just bullshit. I am worried for the soul of America although I don't believe that most Americans are even paying attention.

Along with the rest of the world, I'm watching the civil unrest in Syria and resulting exodus of refugees with tremendous sadness. It's been called the worst refugee crisis in decades. I need to find out what I can do to help.

As I stated last year, I have never felt that world event affect me to any large degree. This past year has been no different. Gay marriage has become legal and Donald Trump is leading the polls in the GOP primary race for POTUS, so the world is as topsy-turvy as it has ever been, but my life, the parts of it which actually matter, moves on more or less unchanged by these events. I would say I have been impacted by the recent death of Michael Apfelbaum and his wife Christy. They were 55 and 53, respectively, so just a few years older than me. I met them only briefly but they truly seemed like wonderful, intelligent, caring people who were currently making a difference in the world they lived in. Their deaths just reinforces the no-shit-Sherlock idea that none of us are guaranteed another day.

I was in Baltimore during the Freddy Gray riots. It was surreal; the only thing I really saw was a deserted Inner Harbor area and dozens of armored National Guard troops. It really brought home how the media skews events: if you listened to the TV reports, it sounded like all of Baltimore was in flames. But it wasn't; the unrest was really confined to a few very small areas. Still, it shut the city down.

The plane crashes related to Malaysia and Malaysia Air -- I went on a trip there for a month, despite my fears of flying and travel, and am proud of myself for the progress I've made.

The plight of the refugees trying to get to Europe makes my heart sick - the trauma and loss and death continue, with no end in sight - the wars and extremism that is causing this mass migration seem unstoppable - I am encouraged that individuals and organizations and countries are stepping up to help, and know that God is Sovereign Lord, even in the midst of this crisis -

The Chapel Hills shooting sat heavily with me. Two of the three victims were family members of a close friend. And what scared me about that event was that it didn't get as much coverage as I thought it would. It was glaringly Islamaphobia and that wasn't addressed as much as it should've. I, myself, am not Muslim, but so many of the people I care most for are. I constantly worry about them. About my best friend living alone in med school in the middle of white America. About my boyfriend driving long distances for work. About my friends scattered throughout the country. The shootings made the concept real to me and it scares me that there are actually people motivated by a hate unjustified. No matter what these people say, you cannot justify such hate by basing it on the actions of extremists. If you set out to hurt Muslims based on this, does that not make you an extremist as well? And worse, a vengeful one?

The Black Lives Matter campaign. It shows that people still do not put equal value on the life of one person compared to a person of color. This event only strengthens my resolve to treat all people fairly

The events in August 2014 in Ferguson, MO really affected me, not just because I live in the St. Louis area. I feel sad and angry and am wondering what an "ordinary" person like myself can do to improve the situation.

The lead-up to next year's presidential election has had quite an impact on me. Watching the other party's hopefuls bash immigrants, denigrate women, pledge to dismantle unions and more has me alternately wanting to run for the hills or take a mallet and smash would-be voters over the head with it while asking, "What the heck are you *thinking* voting for these people?" I find it very disheartening that so many people are so excited by lunatics who use insults and threats to make their points and make their voices heard. Can nice guys never win? What a damn shame. I sincerely hope the world comes to its senses before Nov. 2016

wow. hard to pick just one - the middle east is really in turmoil - the arab spring has morphed into the islamist summer and fall. Unfortunately, I think the US invasion of Iraq contributed and really tarnished our reputation throughout the world and certainly throughout the muslim world. I worry. I worry about the safety of Israel, I worry about the rise of anti-semitism and I worry about the growing influence of radical Islam. Unfortunately, the growing Muslim communities in the west provide cover for the extremists. I remember a black activist in the 1960's saying to the white folks in the audience, " I don't care if you aren't racist - if you don't control your vicious dog, YOU are responsible."

The Syrian refugee situation is at the top of my mind because it's unfolding now. The photograph of the lifeless child in a rescuer's arms is an image I can't ever forget. Hungary has just closed its borders with forbidding chicken wire. Other countries are stepping up and offering to take these people-so desperate that they are putting their kids on lifeboats and hoping for the best. It makes me think of the Jews trying to escape Hitler and scores of other refugee situations over the span of history. I wish Obama would allow us to take more than 10,000. We have room. We can figure it out. Isn't that what we're supposed to do, after all?

All of the racial violence and the people that have been hurt or killed by our police force has really awakened my consciousness to the ongoing racism that strikes against the minority communities of the US, and I can't just let it happen any longer. I am trying very hard in being an 'ally', one that actively helps change the power relations.

I'm not sure if there were more earth-shattering events this year, or if the 24-hour news cycle just made them seem overwhelming, but there were so many local, national, and international events that gripped and changed me. A few of the ones on my mind lately are the Charlie Hedbo attacks in Paris (Sometimes I need to be reminded of the power of words and art, and how being afraid to speak your mind means the bad guys win); the Syrian refugee crisis (because human lives are more important than politics), and the homeless man in Brazil who sacrificed himself for a hostage as well as the men on the trail in France who stopped a terrorist attack (because it's hard to believe sometimes that people are good and care for each other, but these situations prove it).

The earthquake that hit Nepal showed how uncertain each ones life is. Nothing matters in terms of your wealth or your achievements. For me it meant to try and help out those who need resources even more..I have just begun but am at a state where I feel giving more is important to me more than ever before...I lost a friend a young my age mom of autistic boy was unbelievable and shocking to remind life is so short you don't know when it will end

I am very moved by the migration of Syrian refugees into Europe. When I wear my necklace from Damascus or remember when Libby and I were there in 2009, I wonder about the person who sold me the necklace and the Lebanese Christians who owned the inn where we stayed. I've looked into volunteering for refugee resettlement efforts in Chicago as a result.

Refugee problem. It is our responsibility as Jews to help and that is not happening.

Well, last year I had a blank in this question. This year, the only thing I can think of, will make me look very shallow, but here goes. The war in Syria will keep me from going to Turkey this year on my cruise. That sucks for me, but my heart goes out to the people living there. I can not imagine what their life is like. The death and displacement of families is horrible.

The well publicized killings of unarmed black men in Baltimore and Ferguson. It reminded me of and refocused me on the vital consequences of institutional racism that are still present in America today. I am increasing my own efforts to combat racism both at home and at work.

Oy---so many!!! Right now we have so many displaced people in the world drowning on the shores of the mediterranean, getting tear gas sprayed in their eyes, sleeping in fields and train stations, running through remote areas of Serbia seeded with land mines, and living in desperation. This has had a huge impact on me. It highlights the misguided post 9/11 governmental policies of this country, the horrible rise of ISIS, the gap between the have and have nots, and the cost of war. Mostly I identify with the plight of the women with babies and young people because my own family escaped the holocaust in desperation. I worry about how this will impact Europe. I worry about the rise of hate crime and far right thinking. I wonder what I can do when I feel so powerless. It has inspired me to volunteer in Springfield, MA with recent immigrant families. I will do this through Jewish Family Services. Other events in the world that have been very much on my mind include the fires in California, which represent the problems brought on by climate change, the massacre of innocent church goers in Charleston, South Carolina, and the police killings of African Americans that have given rise to the Black Lives Matter movement. We live in difficult times.

The death of Sandra Bland in Texas while incarcerated for a failure to signal emotionally impacted me. Unlike the death of Michael Brown her death seemed to highlight the impunity with which our law enforcement system can treat a failure to show deference to official authority. Her death increases my sense that all individuals, and even many animals, deserve to be treated as equally sentient beings and that compassion for everyone's individual struggles should trump an attitude of judgmental expectation. On this score I still have far to go in my personal practice of life.

The riots in Baltimore. My daughter's school and apartment were in the same area where some of the worst rioting took place. I was worried for her safety, because she's the kind of person who would go out to protest and I hoped she wouldn't put herself in danger.

The death of Freddie Gray and the Baltimore upheaval. I was (and still am) living in Baltimore in the midst of the death and upheaval that followed. I've been troubled for a long time by the institutional racism that is built into so many systems of our society. Being in Baltimore in the midst of the protests and the one night of riots really brought a number of things home to me. First I saw first-hand the very clear difference between what was going on on the ground and the national news narratives. I had friends calling me, weeks after that CVS burned asking me if I was okay because they were concerned. The national media made it look like Baltimore had descended into anarchy. I also saw the distinct contrast between events on the ground and the "official" narrative of authority, namely the police. Twitter, in the midst of all of this became a study in spin and propaganda, as the police official Twitter account sought to turn any possible overreaction or abuse by police personnel into a justified response to "criminals" (rather than protesters). I remember one Tweet stating "criminals have set fire to the Enoch Pratt Free Library" when what actually happened was that a police-fired tear-gas canister set some garbage in front of the library on fire. The events impacted me in that living on the periphery of the situation I felt like I had a much greater sense of the truth surrounding what actually was happening and I could compare that with how outside observers were reporting and spinning. It also made me further understand my own privilege as a white man. I do not live with burden of suspicion that black and brown people in this country do. Nor do I generally live in danger of the products of that suspicion emerging in violence. I am not at risk of being murdered by police. I am also not at risk of having my livelihood burned down in an expression of rage and pain.

The humanitarian crisis in the eastern Mediterranean. So many feelings and opinions on my part, I have a hard time sorting everything out, and find myself inarticulate. I don't know how to express myself, or what to do.

How many can I list? The Black Lives Matter movement. The Price Tag movement (negatively). The Syrian refugee crisis. The Rohingya Muslims. The Iran deal, which is showing fissures in the American Jewish community between supporting liberal causes and supporting Israel. The rise of Donald Trump as a serious candidate for president (at least at the moment), and all the ugliness of the American right his popularity represents. The murder of nine African Americans in a church in Charleston. The Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. The earthquake in Nepal. Squeezing Austin's poor out of the housing market. The move for greater accountability for sexual violence on college campuses.

Like last year, there's not a specific event but I'm afraid of what's happening to the world as far as technology and how it impacts our relationships with people, etc. Everybody is obsessed with whatever new phone is out and not really giving a shit about much else. Also, the fact that somebody like Donald Trump is even being considered for the presidency is very scary and disheartening. I worry that our world will eventually be the one in Wall-E.

I've been touched by the stories of the Syrian refugees trying to reach Europe. I'm deeply saddened by the responses from people both here and in europe to them. Why does it have to be "one of our own" before empathy kicks in? It's made me conscious of the desire to fight for the underdog always and to try to view people as one of my own as part of the human family rather than part of my social sphere.

All of the shooting of black folks by the police, and all of the deaths of black/trans folks while in police custody. It's made me more aware of the terrible unsafety of being black, as well as the difficulty in enacting change. Riots, protests, interrupting political speech have all happened and yet little has changed. It upsets me because I believe in the humanity and rights of black people (and people of color in general), and I imagine it must be so scary, enraging, and depressing to be black in America.

Gay marriage! It's very important to me!

Its impossible as a Jew not to be impacted with the Iran deal. The hardest part for me is while most people i know are against it, there are Jews like my brother who support it. To me, the facts that I am aware of clearly support how the deal is dangerously terrible. Yet the truth is time will tell. I'm worried there will be more terrorism...Israeli will have to take measures to protect itself, and terror could come to our soil.

The situation of millions of Syrians fleeing their homes as refugees is currently flooding the news and breaks my heart. Having Jon Stewart signing off The Daily Show makes the world feel a little less in touch.

Today, I read that a freshman at a Irvine, TX high school was suspended from the high school and arrested for bring his homemade clock to school. The clock was mistaken for a bomb, in part I believe because the student is Muslim. One teacher reported it to the principal. The principal then called the police, who in turn handcuffed the 100-lb. boy and arrested him. The principal then demanded that the boy make a written statement or face suspension. What is wrong with people who would confuse an intelligent, eager young man for a terrorist? Why did the principal, teacher, and police handle it the way they did? The whole event screams to me of racism and prejudice, and my heart breaks for that boy.

Few of the world's events impact me - I would say I don't give a shit about many major events because their effect is only temporary. One thing that had a lasting impact on me was the articles of Tim Urban about Elon Musk and his companies on Wait But Why. I found out that the Tesla cars are really cool and have been obsessed with them ever since, and the existence of SpaceX fascinates me practically every day. I'm such a fan that I even thought about having an American citizenship just to work for them. Musk has a plan of putting a man on Mars in 12 years - how cool is that? Even if he doesn't succeed, it's a goal far greater than I or my company have. Other than this I can't think of anything, seriously, which I would honestly list here.

The refugee crisis in Europe. Watching it on TV, imagining how they must feel is terrible and not knowing what to do to help. Donating just does not feel enough

So many sadly- The Syrian refugees, Cecil the Lion, the AME shooting. The shooting really makes me think- I try not to but I now wonder if that man walking by is going to kill me. There is just so much gun violence. Cecil also impacted me since I signed every petition against hunting and then read how Africans are hurting because Westerners are making hunting illegal and they are suffering. It taught me to see the full picture.

The refugee crisis: there are so many in need, and we have so much to give - we must help. I'm utterly depressed by the hate that that so many are expressing toward the refugees. I wish I had a spare bedroom; I'd surely take on a family.

So many have, but probably the biggest was the proposed nuclear deal with Iran. As the only member of my (sometimes blindly pro-Israel) family in support of such an arrangement, it has caused some discord at family dinners.

Mainly shootings and specifically shootings of young black men by police officers. there have been more movie theater and other mass shootings, but what's scariest for the progress of the nation is these shootings of black men by police officers, and also the massacre in a black church in charleston. These have sparked great controversy regarding gun violence and police brutality, but nothing is really being done. This impacts me because first of all I am terrified of guns and shootings, and secondly because it has made me more involved and attentive to national politics. I am keeping up to date with political candidates running for president in 2016 because they all have varying ideas about how to fix this gun violence and eradicate the underlying issue of racism Additionally, anti Semitism in America and especially in Europe has been on the rise this year which is terrifying to a young Jewish woman like myself who has spent my life learning about the holocaust as well as the warning signs and changed that occurred leading up to it.

Hmmm. Well, that I can say to this is that one of the very best things that I do is to significantly limit that amount of information that comes in to my home, life, my computer, etc. I don't find that most of the "news" is really news worthy nor is the information useful or informative. And what does it mean, an event in the world? Outside of my family? Outside of my city? Outside of my country? While nothing stood out as an having an immediate, visceral impact, much that happens around me or initiated by others does affect me quite a bit. Perhaps one thing that did have an impact, was the increased visibility of issues related to transgender, intersex, and LGBT issues this year. Part of this was the supreme court decision on same sex marriage. The other was more media coverage on intersex and transgender issues, and I'm not talking about the Cait Jenner media storm. I have tried, especially over the last few years, to bring these issues into my college classroom in a sensitive and respectful manner, and in the past year or two year, there seemed to be a lots of excellent information and self advocacy, especially from teens who are transgender or intersex. There were some great interviews that raised a great deal of awareness about correct terminology and use of language that can be offensive or respectful. It has helped deepen my understanding of social construction of disability and I hope that I can share my new insights with my students in a way that supports their work with marginalized student populations. So this wasn't really an event and it wasn't really only this year, but...

Joining Diller. It made me a better person and I made friends for life

Trip to Israel last January was as always a real experience. Seeing Talia get married in a real Israeli ceremony with many people from the 'settlements' and modern orthodox community was like walking in the steps of the bible. Even saw some wounded warriors from the Gaza war. Very moving.

I'm embarrassed to say that I've been so focused on myself this past year that I cannot even, off the top of my head, think about a world event that has impacted me in the past year....

Iran agreement has split the Jewish community; hope we can overcome it to unite once again to protect Israel

The destruction and death in Syria, Yemen, Iraq ... I have been up many nights in a state of tense wonder what I could do and wish that more states and countries would get involved.

Plastic waste. I've been made aware of the devastation plastic waste has had on the environment. I do not know the direct impact it as on me unless I count myself as being one with world. I have reduced the amount of bottled water I now purchase and make myself aware of the plastics used in every day living The earth cannot keep up with man's use of plastics. I find myself responsible for my participation in its use and disposal. I also find myself looking for ways to become more sensitive and aware of how I treat the earth.

The Supreme Court decision on gay marriage in all fifty states. Because now my friends can get married.

The fighting in the middle east, the weather changes, the contamination of the Colorado river, many things I do not have control of/over, other things I can become involved in. Syrian refugees and the death of so many innocent people. Donald Trump and his bid for presidency, to think that the country I call home can support such idiotic potential leaders and that people in this country seriously consider this man a potential president after having the unimaginable and remarkable Barack Obama!!! What will happen when Obama leaves office? OY?!

The target security breach really puts things in perspective. I'm not sure how it has affected me other than making me way more nervous about the security of my personal money and information. Well and then there is always the collapse of the entire credit network (fight club anyone)

The shooting of the DCF worker in Barre, VT made me realize that Vermont State Employee offices are not safely secured. It is a driving force behind me not wanting to work for the State in Burlington, VT as the offices there, especially the one I work in, is not safe.

People dying, drowning, so desperate to escape that they use their life savings to do so. And we in the West, for as long as we could, looked away. The lack of compassion, the sense of entitlement and we worked hard and we were born here is almost as saddening as people's despair under their own regimes - the greed is the same greed and it is really sad. I want to help, especially, to go. But I am too disabled. I hope I will give what I can and talk about it, try and shift the blinkers from our middle class eyes.

Fergason and all the racially oriented shootings and protests has opened my eyes to the issues that we still face with racism. I can feel the anger of the black community and can understand that (as much as a white upper class male can).

The murder of nine people in the Emanuel Church in Charleston turned me upside down. It's proximity to where I live (3 hours, same state) and the ramifications, and the clear racial implications, in light of the police killings of unarmed black men and boys over the past few years makes it clear that our society has become less and less able to deal with cultural diversity in any civilized way, and the rich and powerful have done such a thorough job of emphasizing the divisions among the powerless, that I almost despair for the future. The ugliest aspects of humanity, and the ugliest aspects of American character have become so pronounced and are being rewarded by the diatribes of that asshole Donald Trump and the criminal Dick Cheney.

The main event in the world that comes to mind that impacted me this past year was Robin Williams's death. Robin was a legend....in the comedic world and in the acting world. He was in some of my favorite movies! I think it impacted everyone in some form this year. It was like the world lost a family member that connected us all. The man was a genius in so many ways; he knew how to make you laugh, how to make you smile, how to make you feel inspired. The world, and I, miss him very dearly. This world isn't the same without him.

I'm a little terrified of the extreme political rightward turn in much of Europe. I'm barely a Jew by blood, but the anti-Semitism happening there is unnerving and even makes me hesitate about traveling there, or at least to certain parts. I was in Budapest a few years ago, staying in an apartment owned by Jews that overlooked the beautiful main synagogue and in that moment felt that Jewish life might flourish in places previous obliterated in World War II. I was in Scandinavia last year and felt like at least in the cities, multiculturalism was thriving. Are we due for another pogrom? Three years ago I would have said you were crazy saying that. Now, I'm not so sure.

The first thing that comes to mind here is the World Cup. For those 3-4 weeks, I was watching the US women's team play as often as I could. I don't think I missed any games. This impacted how I spent a good bit of time this summer. I really felt much pride and kept thinking of how many young people (esp. girls) these talented athletes were influencing. I watched a lot of the games with Olivia by my side and loved being able to share that with her. I hope she saw what was possible with a lot of hard work and dedication.

No fucks given. That nebulous moment at the beginning of President Obama's 8th year in office when it felt like shit was actually going to happen. Like politics might not just be theater. Reminded me that I actually need to think about my beliefs, and ally myself politically with those beliefs, and not give up on our system. Because even if I can't change it, maybe I can work within it to change our country for the better. And thus my (and my son's) life for the better.

Ferguson. Made me open my eyes to systemic racism and inspired me to be part of the solution - not a bystander.

Being arrested at the Black Lives Matter protest in Boston in November, 2014. I will never again trust police officers. I will never again believe that police in general have the welfare of the public front and center in their minds. And I will never, ever forget that racism is alive and flourishing in this country, and that it is supported by the institutions we use to maintain our societal structure. And I understand now why people in isolation cells go insane. Four hours in one- just four hours- was enough that I began to lose any sense of what was happening or even who I was. Oliver Sacks died. Just a couple weeks ago. I didn't know because I haven't been listening to the radio, opting instead for chest-shaking music to get through the beginning and end of my days. He has been the academic light of my life for years- a decade or more- and his death is a reminder that nothing is permanent. Nothing is constant. Everything will change. And there is always more to be learned, and the learning is always worth it.

In all honesty, any world event I can think of either hasn't impacted me, or is far too superficial to mention. There have been deaths of actors who's movies I have loved, and uniting with fans to watch amazing sports history. I wish the world had a bigger impact on me, but in reality most of the political drama going on seems like it's just noise and posturing with no actual influence. Hopefully this will change for next year.

Tibet earthquake Syrian refugee crisis so much suffering- can't do anything but feel

#BLM movement - important.

All the agronomical event. Phillae, the Pluto flyby, more Earth-like planets discovered. I wish I could live a thousand years to follow this wonderful side of humanity.

the refuge crises in Syria. I feel bad for those people and it seems that the usssr is on the rise again and we will go back to a warmer cold war including China

So far 2015 is on track to have the highest surface temperatures, land and ocean since the recording of temperatures began. I have started to think more about mitigating the effects of climate change... learning how to live with it; rather than trying to curtail or reverse its effects.

The UK General Election and its aftermath. After being so sure that Labour would be able to form a government, and going out knocking on doors on election night in my first act of campaigning for the Labour Party in two decades, I was devastated by the result. The subsequent leadership election has resulted in a transformation of the Labour Party, in what I hope is a really positive direction. At the same time, I'm disturbed by the attitudes of some of my friends within the Party.

#blacklivesmatter has made me more aware of how racism thrives even in today's multicultural society; marriage equality passing the Supreme Court made me proud and I felt so fortunate to march in Pridefest this summer

The burning of the church in Tiberius by Israelis. for 2000 years we have been persecuted by Christians, now things have changed, we no longer suffer the same persecution and discrimination we are equal citizens in most countries, we build synagogues and occasionally we get attacked. Have these lunatics forgotten what it's like to be on the receiving end? I am thoroughly ashamed and grieved at what they (we, for all Jews are related) have done. Hillel said: don't do top others what you find hateful yourself.

The death of Sandra Bland. This incident was the culmination of so many violent attacks and murders of Black Americans by law enforcement, and one of the few women to gain national attention. The impact for me was realizing no one of color is safe...even in police custody. The whole video of the arrest was disturbing to watch and then the subsequent death also just raised too many unanswered questions.

Donald Trump running for President. The idea of him running this country scares the hell out of me because I am a woman and I worry that he would set back our social progress by 50 years.

Global Warming/ The California drought has impacted me. It has changed my immediate environment and my plans for fun. I really wanted to go tubing and ended up flying to Florida to do so. It is mid September and we have had a heatwave that has given us very warm nights which make it hard to sleep, and even hotter days which feel rather tough to endure. On a related not to current events I feel I've not given enough attention or empathy to current events and that may be due to being too wrapped up in myself, I think I'm only becoming aware of this now in a way where it resonates. Last year I also spoke of global warming but only because I couldn't think of any events I allowed myself to truly reflect upon. I hope to better allow myself to be open to the feelings of events happening around me and the world in the future

The current refugee crisis is deeply affecting and we are so powerless to have much impact. The heartlessness of some, who believe we shouldn't allow people who have fled their homes in fear for their lives into our country, is shaming. We can do what we can, raise money, donate goods, and campaign our government to have mercy, to open the gates and allow more people refuge. Unfortunately a government that encourages an 'I'm alright Jack' attitude was elected into a second term and refugees dying on our doorsteps is just one of a long list of atrocities being done to the poor and vulnerable in the name of 'austerity'. But yesterday a new leader was elected to the Labour party and I hope he makes good on his promises and leads the charge to make this country one I am proud of again.

Numerous random shootings create more anxiety as I am in a crowd, especially at the synagogue. Mass European refuge crisis reminds me to reach out with compassion and to remember my refuge ancestors .. and the grace and blessings that have been given me.

When Brittney Maynard, the young woman with terminal brain cancer, moved her family to Oregon, spoke out for Death with Dignity and then ended her life via assisted suicide. Although I can't really how how she was feeling as she approached her end, the way she attended to her own death seemed so sane and brave to me that it made me feel less scared about my own.

The tornado winds impacting all around us changed the weather in ABQ. Caitlyn Jenner has made me reconsider my own self

The middle east - as always - I wish the Arab nations would help/control their own - I fear the recent distribution of Muslim refugees into Western countries will create more problems in the future

I was very involved in the Senate and Congressional elections. I had a campaign worker staying with me. I canvasses extensively. That most of our candidates lost has me very worried for the future. Women's rights and the rights of average workers i feel are very mush at risk. Jumping right back into it again though for the Presidential race.

Obamacare. I work as an office manager for a medical practice. It has created so much work for me!! Just the state of the world and ISIS has not affected me personally with any tragedy but it has affected the discussions my friends are having regarding religion. Also the right for same sex marriages seems to be separating family and friends with regards to religion. This has affected me personally as my brother is gay.

gun violence. This country is backwards allowing people to buy guns that aren't needed for hunting, they are used for warfare. It's absurd.

All of the murder suicides that are happening, whether at schools, family homes, etc. It's sad that things can go so wrong that somebody is wanting to inflict their pain on others, and then not have the ability to deal with the consequences of their actions and end their own life.

One of the most important events for me was the legalization of gay marriage across the United States. While it doesn't affect me personally, it affects many of my friends and people I care about. It was terrible to see so many people suffering, struggling, sad and being treated as lesser human beings because of who they loved. When the ruling came through, the out-pouring of love was beautiful and I don't understand how anyone can see that as a bad thing. The world needs more love, and some might argue that you don't need a piece of paper to show that, but the ability to stand up and say "this is the person I love and I want everyone to know it and be afforded the same rights and responsibilities as other couples" is just as important. I'm glad to have been able to witness this.

I am always hearing new stories about university students committing suicide, and they are often portrayed as people who seemed to have their lives all figured out. It is a constant reminder that everyone is struggling with something, even if it's not automatically visible. It reminds me to listen more to my friends and to care about what's going on in their lives. My goal right now is to live to make others happy.

I think the destruction of Harbin and HAI was a huge deal for me. It JUST happened days ago and has created such a huge vacuum and loss for my community. As well...the crashing of OIL....economic uncertainty....

The Big OXI of July 5th, 2015 is an event I won't forget soon... I hope.

The war in Syria has been a major event this year. I has impacted me because as I reviewed my 10 questions from last year I remember I was in Israel in July 2014 when the rockets fell near Jerusalem. Once again I am reminded how blessed and safe the US is compared to so many other countries.

I'd say the election of President Buhari in Nigeria was huge for me. Spring and summer 2015, I really committed myself to engaging in the world more than I ever have. I spent 3 hours a day browsing the Economist, New York Times, and Africa Confidential, which really broadened my awareness of the world around me and gave my passions more direction. I've always been "passionate" about Africa because of my family, but I feel that now that I understand more of the nuances of the continent I can really apply myself in an analytical, thoughtful and personal way. As for the election itself, Buhari and his stances have made me contemplate the possibilities and horizons for Nigeria, as well as the limitations on the area due to preexisting historical, geographic and cultural dynamics. People all around the world hope that he will reduce corruption, stop the Niger Delta from sabotaging the oil pipelines, and put an end to Boko Haram. But after a lot of research and thought, I'm starting to see that doing all three just isn't possible. It seems that ethnic and geographic unity (relating to the Niger Delta) and the fight against corruption will always be at odds until infrastructure has improved. Since the road and transportation systems are so non-existent, the Niger Delta does not feel the benefits of giving the oil that is so rich in their area to the larger population. Given this lack of distribution, corruption and bribery are easy yet temporary solutions to the problems. Take away corruption as Buhari is trying to do, and the Niger Delta no longer has the incentive to buy in since they're not benefiting from the government projects. BUT, if infrastructure and connectivity were to be improved (likely through foreign assistance), then government projects could reach a broader part of the population, people would have more incentive to pay their taxes, and every part of the country would have more say in the central government rather than each section having their own autonomous governments. It's idealistic and probably too much to ask for. But it's something I want to work towards.

The crime increase in the city and county of St Louis. This makes one on edge as no one is exempt. My wife and I were driving down major inner belt highway and almost became victims of drive by rolling shooting. We are very careful where we go. We no longer go into the city unless we have to for medical appointments for example.

Sexual traffiking of refugee women all over the world. Specifically, the client of someone I work with was best friends with a young woman who was captured by ISIS and forced to be a sex slave before she was murdered. The impact of this event on my colleague, on her client, and of course on the family and other friends of this young woman is enormous and makes me so sick and sad. Women are so vulnerable, all over our planet.

The situation of people living through war and violence in Syria and other places producing refugees. As a Jew this resonates very deeply. It could be me or anyone.

The mass exodus of Syrian refugees through Turkey into Greece and on through Europe. Our life is so safe here and I don't know how to help these people. I think about them, and the situation, a lot.On the one hand, so many people from that region are frankly unaccepting of the type of plurality and openness that I believe is a big part of what keeps such chaos from happening in our country. Yes, they are good-hearted people who simply want peace for their families and don't wish to harm others...but the society they represent is so steeped in sexism and tribalism and obedience and homophobia and strict rules etc... I simply don't believe most people from there want our way of life, although they certainly want the comparative personal safety and security that living in our country tends to offer. On another hand, our country and other Western countries have messed around in that region for decades and obviously also bear responsibility for the insecurity and mess into which the region has devolved. It is indescribably unfair that children there face death by bombs, execution, starvation, and whatever other manner of violence. It is also abjectly wrong and unacceptable that a female child should be told that she is less valuable as a human because she is female. That's what a couple of classmates, both of whose families are immigrants from that exact region of the world, expressed to her, in a child's way, when they tried to prevent her from playing a game with a ball near them because she was a girl. And that is not an anomaly, but is rather a mainstream way of thinking in that culture. I do not want to spend a penny to support importing that kind of bigoted thinking into our country. I feel helpless at the extent of the problem in Syria and totally stymied about what on earth a viable solution might look like. It makes me very sad.

I have lost all respect and confidence in America's political system. Radio show host Marc Levin said, "Donald Trump is the symptom that is the diseased Republican Party", and I completely agree. Hilary's lies, Obama's incompetence, the Iran Deal, etc. We are a nation lost...

The refugees fleeing Syria. It just feels personal, like it could happen to anyone. I feel helpless and guilty at the same time. Like I should be doing more.

Presidential race. The popularity of Trump and the stampede of others to imitate him has been so disheartening. The discussion around the issues this has raised has also been upsetting.

The Syrian refugee crisis. It's so easy to think about the things in my life that are dissatisfactory - yet I have so many gifts. And I have been angry that the US wouldn't take more refugees.

The Syrian refugee crisis is our immediate concern - my concern, I should say. I dedicated the proceeds from my last coaching workshop to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - and this gave 20 people ground pads so that they are not sleeping on the cold, bare earth. I look at the photos, listen to the NPR interviews, and I think, "I have a son who was once three years old and wore sneakers like that. I have a daughter who was 17 years old just last year but has the security of knowing where her family is, unlike this frightened girl I just listened to whose voice barely disguised her desperation. If I'm to enjoy the fruits of a global economy, I fell compelled to contirbute to the well-being of my global family

The spread of radical islam. It makes me fearful for the future of universal human rights. Global warming will just exacerbate our political woes. It has made me consider going back to school and do a masters in Ethics and try to tackle this issues from a philosophical standpoint.

Syrian refugees. What a terror show as thousands of people flee for their lives from both terrorists and the government. Of course I can relate so deeply because of the Jewish refugee story from time immemorial.

I cannot believe the cowardice of the western world in the face of the bullies of the muslim world, and only Israel tries to stand up to them. I am ashamed of people who are more capable and have better resources than me, a 72-yr old woman, lay down and play appeasement games with these freaks. Didn't work for Chamberlain, won't work for Obama. I support and speak out much as I can, but where is the outrage? Are people so PC that they'll accept this behavior from the dreaded and feared muslim? Bad apples are bad apples the world over, and these bad apples are giving muslim, christian and jew bad reps.

Same sex marriage, upheld by the Supreme Court.. this is the most important issue in my lifetime! LOVE WON as the signs said at the Gay Rights parade in San Francisco. It was so fantastic to be in San Fran with Delight and Clifford the weekend following the Supreme Court decision. The parade was so emotional... we all cried!

The continued denial of climate science by our nation's political and business leaders is terrifying. It's not just one event - it's continued events such as arctic ice melting, species suffering, bees dying off in massive numbers - the world is changing in very scary ways, and I worry about what my children will have to deal with in the future.

There is nothing in particular. If anything it seems like people are just complacent, including myself. It has been 70 years since the end of WWII and we still have groups like ISIS who are able to decimate populations by fear and violence.

My son's graduation and my daughter's Bat Mitzvah.

Hearing about the horrible things happening in the west bank and Gaza p ,,, makes me appreciate the safety and security my family enjoys daily. I cannot imagine the horrible pain of wating your town destroyed, grabbing your family and walking for weeks to the country borders only to be mistreated by their inhabitants.

This past year Russia invaded the Crimea region of Urkraine. It reminded me of the Cold War days and I was very disappointed that the United States did not stand with Ukraine. I feel our president has no spine, he is not willing to use American might to show how strong and capable we still are as a country. I am ashamed when people talk about the "weak" United States. I hope our new president is the opposite of Barak Obama.

Events in Syria, it all seems like crisis after crisis. Global warming. All the news says everything is always worse and worse. How to interpret it? Does one live in a state of panic when things are actually going well in our lives? We are healthy, we have enough money, we have delicious food, enough to share. Hard to figure out.

I am fortunate to live in a manner and location where world events rarely impact me directly. However, the migrant crisis has given me a lot to think about. It reminds me of the negative consequences of nationalism. People belong to their country and there is a whole challenging, sometimes impossible, process involved with belonging to another country. All these people are trying to do is live their lives free of the death and destruction that are raining down on them in their homelands. Don't they have that right as human beings? I see the worst wildfires in memory out west and I see emaciated polar bears who can't hunt because the ice is melting and then I learn that this Syrian migrant crisis has its roots in (among other things) an epic drought. Climate change makes ripples. Someday it could be us that is displaced by war or natural disaster, and what will we do then? Where will people go when there is nowhere left to go? It scares me. I worry about the future constantly, not just my future, but the future of humanity.

The behavior of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud government of Israel has made me much less sanguine about the future of Israel and the righteousness of Zionism.

The assassination of prosecutor Nisman in Argentina only a day before we has due to expose in Congress his case against Argentine President, Foreign Minister and other members of Government. It generated a huge appointment, frustration and disenchantment with my country (Argentina). I completely lost hope on our rulers and the laws they should be subject to. I have thoroughly considered leaving this country and starting fresh elsewhere, but my family ties and work commitments limit me.

In the spring my family faced a relatively minor mental health crisis. But now whenever mental health is in the news - as it is oftentimes with violence - I feel impacted and affected on a personal level, because I know that mental health and mental illness are not usually portrayed accurately in the news & media. I feel driven and responsible to spread the word that mental health affects everyone, and mental wellness can prevent violence on a personal, family and community level. I am glad to let others know about options and the reality of mental illness.

The nuclear arms deal the US is trying to make terrifies me. Most of my family live in Israel including my 19-year-old daughter. I don't believe in making deals with terrorists. Iran has vowed to destroy Israel (and the US, for that matter.) This deal could be the end of life as we know it.

The racial unrest in Missouri was especially disturbing as it was a microcosm of problems that we're having all over this country. I'm also moved by the plight of Ebola survivors. This disease knows no boundaries. We're moving into an era where antibiotics won't just kill everything bothering us.

Certainly the huge wave of fugitives crashing into Europe and my home country impacted me in two ways - one, I was so ashamed of seeing all the hate and xenophobia in my country. Stupid people blabbering stupid paroles. Youths who have not a clue what's going on in the world repeating Nazi paroles. Temporary homes for fugitives going up in flames. On the other hand, after just a couple of days, the normal people, the nice people rose up. They welcomed the poor people who had lost their homes, their families maybe, at the train stations. They came with toys, clothes, gifts, and most importantly, with open arms and friendly faces and applauded those who had made it to our country. And this made me proud.

There is so much unrest in the world right now that it is hard to pinpoint any one thing. Nothing has impacted me directly, but the sense of unease affects everything. This is going to sound silly, but the ending of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has left me feeling ungrounded. Jon called out the insanity that is our political system, and made me feel that I wasn't alone in my distrust of our elected officials (both parties). Who is going to be the voice of reason now? We can't trust mainstream media, because every outlet operates from a bias. Maybe I'll just have to be a bigger voice in my local community.

Without question the main world event for me this year has been the crisis in Syria. I have been shocked and saddened by the treatment of the Syrian people, the refusal of Arab countries to take in more refugees, the deaths of those fleeing, and the refusal of Turkey and other European countries to accept the refuges. Rabbi even stated that refugees are being housed in Buchenwald, and that numbers are being written on their skin. It's sickening. Which begs the question, what can I do? Rabbi asked for helpers and I replied affirmatively immediately. Still, what more can I do? I clearly need to find out.

The Syrian refugees fleeing to Europe and the European response, both good (Germany) and bad (Hungary) have reminded me of my own family's history of being refugees fleeing the Nazis in the late 1930's. I feel a moral obligation to help. To pressure the US government and the State of Israel to accept these Syrian refugees, because we were once refugees. We must remember and act and do the right thing! We must be compassionate and open hearted.

The mass killings of black people--including young boys, women, and trans people--not just in the US but in other large countries like Brazil, and the outpouring of protest, awareness-raising, and activism around this mass violence has impacted me tremendously. The Black Lives Matter movement has enabled me to feel supported and armed (with facts, vocabulary, etc) to engage others around this issue, which was something I struggled to do before.

The California Drought. I'm feeling both more connected to the land around me, and more annoyed that this is not a problem that is going away any time soon. The Valley Fire in Napa this fall has also hit hard. Harbin burned down. I'm thinking about the people displaced. It's unsettling.

The many police shootings and the rise of the "Black Lives Matter" movement have made me recognize my privilege in a new way and reflect on how often history is whitewashed. This has impacted my education and work, as well as how I walk through the world.

I've been very insular this year, much more than I would have liked. I haven't connected with local events very much, let alone global events. One thing that has impacted me has been the problems with climate change and environmental degradation we are facing as a planet. I don't know where to begin with this one as an individual. I know that what I do matters. I know how I vote and consider the issue matters. What I see is needed is large scale commitment to change, and both global cooperation and intense local initiatives. I want to connect with more on both. There are so few obvious places to begin, but I'm going to start looking for one or two.

Unrest in the Middle east.....I'm freightened Iran's new deal to reward them with $150,000,000,000...I'm frightened Iran preaching that they want Isreal dead...I'm freightened.... Hundreds of thousands of refugees with nowhere to go.....I'm frightened... Bruce Jenner....As open as I am, I never knew there were soon many people born into bodies that ought to have been otherwise. I'm also pretty disghusted about all the money Jenner is making because of his changing.....

The bombing of Baghdad which started the war in Iraq and had evolved into a war in the Middle East. It didn't happen this year but it has had a huge impact on the world. I went to the church in our town. My husband was out of town. They were having a prayer service. During the service I started crying and couldn't stop. I did not want this to happen. The minister came down to talk with me after it was over, and another younger couple did also. The night that George Bush had the bombing was one of the most horrible nights of my life. It contines to bother me because I love peace and hate war. It has impacted me every day of my life.

Well. When that girl was raped and killed in Romania, and a Romanian feminist posted Why I Dance as a symbol of female safety, freedom and unity, it rocked my world to comprehend the impact that we were having, and how needed our message was. It also devastated me to know a girl was lost, and I wanted to save everybody. I felt empowered and helpless at the same time. Everything and nothing. Because nothing mattered in that moment as long as sexual assault and violence against women continued. I had had a success that I would ultimately be proud of, but at the time, i was purely devastated.

Cruelty, foolish, greed and feelings like such seem to not only be persistent , but it looks like they´re increasing as time passes. The world facts deriving from them are extremely touching, from ebola en Africa to migrants in Mediterranean and many other things.

I was impacted by the Shell drilling rig coming through Seattle this summer. Although I wasn't personally there to "unwelcome" it due to family obligations, watching it move through here was moving. I was sad to see that plans are moving forward to drill, but inspired by the fortitude of especially the indigenous communities in opposing it, showing solidarity with their northern tribal family.

Bernie Sanders' campaign. He's honest and straight-forward. He's a proud socialist. He makes me think someone in national politics could tell the truth about who they are and what they stand for ... and then get elected. I am hopeful.

I am lucky to have been sheltered from so much of what is going on in the larger world. ISIS is horrifying, and the more I hear, the more I wish we could set them all on fire, and I'm so grateful that I am not one of the poor souls who has been been touched by them. Fire might be too good for them, when you really think about it.

Guns, guns, guns! The crazies are winning! How did it impact me? After Columbine, I was sick! How could this happen? After Newtown...I thought surely we as a country will change the gun culture! This year, after the sad news of the reporter and her cameraman were shot on live TV, her father promised to lead us to change the gun culture! I'm sorry for your loss! For all the loss! However, I'm bored by the rhetoric! We all loose! Nothing will be done. Stupid people and the NRA are in control!!

The refugee crisis in the middle east has hit me hard. I've been shattered seeing images from and hearing horror stories of failed Mediterranean crossings, of thousands having no shelter in Hungary, of the desperation that leads them there and the defeat of not being able to get them where they need to go. Seeing the image of a drowned little boy (bless poor Ahlan) shook me to the core. He's the age of my dear sweet boys. The risks these families are taking underscores the horrors they are trying to escape. I am horrified by the reaction of some politicians in Europe (the fucking prime minister of Hungary, for example) but also heartened and overjoyed hearing about those willing and able to help (the warm welcome to refugees in Munich.) I wish I could do more than just donate money to organizations that I *think* can help. I will keep doing that....but it's not enough.

The shootings in the US sadden and infurate me, I'm also very trubeled by the plight of refugees trying to reach Europe.

The Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality. I felt such joy.

honestly, none have. Sure there is wicked terrorism and evil people all over, but in all honesty, day to day- does not affect my life at all - thank god.

What's effecting me most right now is the refugee crisis. It seems there are so many 'broken' countries and citizens who feel their lives are threatened have no place to go. I'm ashamed that US is not doing more, I wish there was more I could do besides donating $.

The pillage of Palmyra is devastating to me. A place I had always wanted to visit, and did not take the opportunity when I was more able (single without kids). I can't see ever visiting there now. I know there are tons of humantiarian crises happening and I feel guilty for my archaeological interests in choosing this historic artrocity to write about. But it is unconscionable that we still allow these things to happen. I know, I know, we still allow genocidal acts to happen too, and thought that the UN and other NGOs exist so these things DON'T happen. Years ago I was dumbfounded that the Taliban blew up two Buddahs. Now its just business as usual when ISL trashes and pillages and steals their own history, our collective human history. Ugh.

Violence against women around the globe, the Syrian refugee crisis, ISIS and its horrific abuses and atrocities, the war in Gaza... The world is hurting.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. Finally. I'm not a second class citizen.

It's no one event--it's the continuous ongoing accumulation of damage--and woundedness--the Charleston church massacre of African American people in prayer and all the other murders of people of color, of transgender people, the refusal of the President or Congress to return to Constitutional law in charging and trying the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay prison and to release those who have been cleared for release, the continued warming of our planet and melting glaciars that are the water source for millions in the face of rising ocean levels, terrible floods, the die-off of more and more species because they can't adjust to rapid climate change. As I get older I find it takes more and more of my energy to maintain any hope or faith that we humans will be able to pull ourselves out of the mess we're making of the planet and ourselves. I fear my grandchildren will bear the brunt of the terrible wrongs we bequeath to them.

The world has not been a quiet place this year and images of death and deprivation are so prevalent as to be mind numbing. I think I am most concerned about Iran nuclear deal and the potential for this to cause irreparable harm. Then at the same moment I wonder if the "panic" around this and other political issues are just hype and since there is nothing I can personally do to change it should I even let it into my consciousness. My life on the ground is a constant blur of activity, work, kids, home and my ability to get worked up about issues may get in the way of life. I think back to a time when there wasn't instant news. My first realization of a news cycle was with the Challenger disaster- I was in middle school at the time and for the first time aware of a story being shown around the clock. But to what purpose- the event had happened. Would more attention change the outcome? I went on a newsfast a few years ago and found it to be very healing. The need to know is addictive- and paying relentless attention to stories that you have no ability to affect does not improve the quality of life. Not saying that we should have our heads in the sand, but to give proportionate attention to issues, without taking time away from what really matters and what you can really affect.

Gay marriage is now legal. It made me realize that I have significant commitment and abandonment issues. I was comfortable hiding behind social inequality....I had a good and reasonable excuse to never truly commit...now I'm forced to realize that it wasn't the laws that were the problem....it's me. 😕

The Ferguson protests and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests — along with the subsequent increased media coverage of police killings of black people — have made me take a hard look at the privilege in my life, and the ways in which I have been complicit in institutional racism. I'm trying hard to listen thoughtfully to people of color as they tell their stories. It doesn't feel like enough.

Although there are so many events on the disheartening side of the scale, I'd like to focus on the positive: advocates successfully using the courts to protect the environment, including rulings in The Netherlands and the U.S. that governments must take action against climate change.

This past year, the thing that infuriated me the most was the shooting at an AME church in South Carolina- I did not follow this as well as Sandy Hook and other mass shootings in my state, but I DO recognize this was a hate crime in a state with no laws in place for hate crimes. Due to the fact that the perpetrator was white, I believe he received less air time and the story faded faster. I am devastated by this world's mass ignorance and shaky news coverage. I feel less safe being in spaces now, and I am scared for families that have been direct subject of such mass hate. We ALL are trying our hardest on this blue/green marble, breathing the same air, contributing to the same turn-turn-turn cycle. Where do we get such lofty, false ideas from?

Black Lives Matter, absolutely. It's made me think of myself as an actor in history, as an agent and also as a very tiny part of very large events. It makes me think of the Jewish teaching that on the one hand, the world was created for me; and on the other, from dust I come and to dust I shall return. It has also really, really challenged me to see the ways that I do and do not respect the full human dignity of others (and Others). It has made me re-interrogate my own humanity in the light of anti-black racism and acknowledge some of the ways that there are holes in my soul, and holes in my compassion; the ways that I have been satisfied with shallow compassion and limited realism. What does it really mean to say that black lives matter? It means reorienting everything, everything we do and know - and there may be things I lose in the process. It's forcing me to look for my courage and let go, bit by embattled bit, some more ego.

The terrorist group isis, taking over Europe, and so many young people from America, and free countries leaving to Syria to join this group. How.- not understanding why this group is so cruel showing no mercy to their own people, and killing anyone who do not believe like them in the name of God. Why.-Realized that this way of life is spreading to other countries using our laws of liberty, and equality, freedom of religion, to later use these to take away our liberty, and live according to their way of life, I realized how happy and safe we leave in this Country until now Baruch HaShem.

Seeing the emerging immigrant crisis in Europe. I have both looked backward to compare to how earlier generation dealt with those fleeing the Holocaust and forward thinking about how we should deal with immigrants in Maine.

So many have stopped me in my tracks, but the immigration issue that is evolving right now has perhaps been the most complex to sort out long term while the immediate crisis of finding people a safe home, a humanitarian resolution, is also proving difficult. I am feeling somewhat powerless to help in any sustaining way.

The Ebola outbreak has impacted me in that it has increased my interest in public health and safety and helped me to decide on going to get my mph vs other degrees. Also I think I will focus on epidemiology and infectious diseases so I can monitor disease outbreaks and help make recommendations to keep people healthy.

Immigration. I believe we must stop the Illegals. I do not want to hear "Press 1 for English". We are America and our language is English.

The Iran Deal -- I have not resented the rhetoric around any one issue so much in so long. Both sides have made it an issue of allegiance rather than safety. It's obviously not clear cut, but framing it in that way is just lazy and does nothing but make people who aren't comfortable with their identity (who is?) averse to talking about it.

Recent terrorist attack on French train. I used to ride that train when I lived in Europe and to hear about such an event in a once carefree familiar environment brings home to me how vulnerable we all are. I just don't understand the insanity. I am concerned about the ease of access to such horrific weapons. What can we do to solve this world problem? I feel so ineffective and small.

The shooting of 11 year old Tamir Rice across town was the beginning of an awakening process for me -- actually, my concern began with the wild car chase through Cleveland the year before which ended in police cornering suspects and firing out 140 bullet the year before that (an event which, in discussion on Facebook, was the final blow to the friendship between my friends LN and LB -- the three of us had been having breakfast together at least a couple times a month since our kids were in kindergarten). Since Tamir Rice, there have been two distinct but related strands to my thoughts about police violence against black Americans: One strand has its roots in my shock and dismay at the frequency with which unarmed, passive black people, in the act of surrendering, or trying to advise police of a medical condition, or doing nothing at all, are routinely shot, choked and beaten to death. It's practically a daily occurrence in this country, and most of us, black and white, never hear about most of these incidents. Only recently, with heightened media attention, have we heard the extent of the completely gratuitous and unjustified police violence against African-Americans who police perceive as being uncooperative or unmannerly or who they just don't like the look of. And it's not just the capriciousness of police in these killings, but in their underlying certainty that they won't be called to account for these killings. In the case of Tamir Rice the 12 year old boy with a toy gun on the west side of Cleveland, video footage shows an officer was out of the car and shooting before he had time to give verbal warning. And then the officers at the scene let the injured child bleed out on the griybd without administering or calling for first aid (an FBI agent who happened to be nearby heard the call and called 911 & administered first aid). And when the boy's sister tried to reach her, they threw her to the ground and cuffed her. Which leads to the other strand of my thinking about police violence: How do people -- people who very often think they've entered law enforcement because "they wanted to help people"-- end up so callous toward human life? What gives them the sense that they can kill African-Americans with impunity? Why do they feel so embattled that they strike first, when such violence isn't called for (that is, with excessive force)? The answer to this is very complicated, but in Cleveland, at least, part of the blame falls on cuts to police funding that ended community policing efforts, engendering an us against them mentality on both sides. From my friend LN, whose husband is a Cleveland cop, I've learned things that suggest that a corrupt police administration that rewards favors and neglects discipline is at the heart of this, as is the isolation of the police department. It's undersupervised, underfunded, underequipped, undertrained and completely unmonitored by any other branch of government. The result of this is that individual policemen feel unsupported, feel that promotion isn't based on merit, feel unequipped in every sense to enter a city they increasingly perceive as unified against them. A recipe for disaster. And the burden of this disaster falls disproportionately on the black community. Imagine trying to maintain your trust in humanity -- in white people -- after your innocent child was shot by police and left to die? Imagine going to work, to the bank, to the post office, to court, feeling as though society has sought out your people for this form of public torture, the open theft of the life of a child you brought into this world. I would be so incredibly traumatized. How would I go on living with such a vivid sense of the danger my sons, nephews, cousins, neighbors live in, a danger brought to bear by men whose salaries are paid by my tax dollars, whose job is supposed to be to protect us. I don't think white people can truly imagine the existential impact of these killings -- the sense of loss and betrayal and fear they engender in black families. When white America violates the most basic aspect of the social contract -- thou shalt not kill; innocent until proven guilty, the right to due process -- how do we expect Black America to react?

The continued cruelty of the "Islamic State" and their continued hypocritical lifestyle. It makes me wish their God would turn on them.

Because of the Iran deal I have lost faith in our president. I have stepped up my contributions to Jewish and pro-Israel organizations, and signed more petitions than ever.

Many US states, Ireland, other countries, followed by the US supreme court, finally legalized same-sex marriage. I am overjoyed that we have finally put into law what is morally and ethically right. I hope this will open a new chapter of acceptance and equal rights for people.

Sadly, i haven't really kept up with the world this year from a worlds event standpoint. I think that gay marriage is cool. Its nice that they are accepted legally now. I also think it's none of the government's business to handle people's personal lives, but it is nice they legalized it for documents and things. One step towards more acceptance!

The Iran Nuclear Agreement. I've tried to follow the domestic and international politics of this. I'm concerned about the safety of Israel but it may be the best that can be done.

Nothing has impacted me personally, but the continual bad news, particularly in the political sphere and in the middle east, depresses me.

I have kind of retreated from the world. Tales of abuse, cruelty, dead refugee babies...I can't do it. Not this year. However, there are many movements that I support. Free the nipple, pushes for paid maternity/paternity leave, nursing in public, and feminist causes resonate with me even more strongly as a parent than they did before. As such, I have been participating more, both in terms of things like making charitable donations and in adding my voice to the conversation (and my signature to petitions). I have also, for the first time since 1992, registered to vote. The direction these and similar causes take will shape not just my life but the lives of my children.

The UK general election has impacted me. It's undermined my faith in our democracy. Because it was so easy for the less caring parts of our political spectrum to divide and conquer those that have a social conscience. So so easy.

Can't help but be impacted by the growth/spread of terrorism in the world. My belief is that fundamental inequities in the world - and the ways in which technology can now disseminate and distort information- is the "evil" at the root of the problem. I wish that more attention and resources could be directed at the root problem rather than villainizing those who are drawn to terrorism. Of course, defense and security need to be prioritized as well.

I keep thinking about the 80 people who suffocated in the truck in Austria. There is this terrible situation going on that I don't see any clear path about what anyone can do - Its so depressing and overwhelming. How do the Europeans be "good people" but keep their help within reason. I mean, the Greeks are bankrupt but they keep feeding the masses --its all too weird to frasp.

I live in a bubble.

The shooting at the church had an emotional impact on me that forced me to become more politically aware.

I find--and I know I am far from alone in this--the daily murder of black people at the hands of the cops absolutely horrifying. I have not been impacted directly because I live in a privilege bubble.

The Syrian refugee crisis, especially the image of the 3-year-old drowned little boy, makes me feel sad and powerless. I want to help but I don't know how short of sending money to a reputable agency that is trying to help. I will do this, but what else should be done? Should we be actively promoting that the U.S. take in more refugees? Perhaps. I want to look into this option as well.

Honestly I would like to say that the chaos in Syria has made me even more skeptical about international intervention. I would like to say that the Freddie gray case in Baltimore has opened my eyes to the disparities in racial equality and the way different ethnic groups in the United States view race. Honestly though The event that had the greatest impact on me was the flyby of Pluto by new horizon. The build up to the event, the discoveries made by the flyby, and the stunning photographs reminded me how small our solar system is in the universe. It also reminded me of you exploration and curiosity. Furthermore it excited me about the opportunities for human settlement of the solar system. I think this reveals that I am an outward and upward looking person. As a physician though I should be in tune with the importance of events such as those mentioned initially.

So many things that have happened that impacted my psyche. Just as I wrote last year, the terrible and devastating violence around the world, the hatred that people have for each other because of religion, skin color or sexual preference is disturbing. It doesn't seem to have any end in sight, at least not in my lifetime. It worries me for many reasons but one major thought, my son will have to deal with this for the rest of his life. But I can have hope that he will become one of the answers in some way. What bothers me most, I don't understand how human's can be so cruel. But then again, I feel that I am so naive and that indeed, humans are naturally cruel. It's depressing. I can't think about it too much or I will not be able to function or to have any happiness. I keep hoping that their is a god, or gods and that maybe they can work together to help us humans work better here on Earth. It's so bad now that I am not even sure who is right and who is wrong. Living in the US, our country does a lot of bad things, and I feel its about $$ and power. Money really is the root of all evils!

so many events in the world have impacted me this year. after years of travelling and seeing so many ways to live, I have been so saddened by the way we treat each other as humans when crisis arises.

I have been moved and saddened by the tide of rhetoric that seeks to blame poor people and people of color for problems caused mainly by elite white males. I have tried to respond by giving, not by hating. I have stepped up my giving to my local homeless shelter, and am helping two young people of my acquaintance buy their first house. I have sent a friend's daughter to math and science camp, and bought textbooks for a science class in my city.

The more that I read about the Syrian refuge crisis (including some from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan), the more certain I feel that we are at a turning point. The situation feels eerily reminiscent of what my people during WWII experienced and how they tried (only some of them successfully) to leave Europe. We are facing a similar crisis today and many countries are responding with xenophobia and cowardliness. I believe that we are at a point in human and world history where we can either choose to continue operating as we have been since the industrial revolution or refocus our energy on creating a livable, joyous planet for all beings. The first choice will bring about the destruction of humanity as we know it while the second gives us a chance to recover what has been lost to greed and corruption. Although the situation stated above seems grim, the choice to do nothing is a death sentence that I cannot bear to live with. I want my children and grand children to be in a world where everyone is treated fairly and there is great hope for improvement. This is why I am optimistic that a collective shift in consciousness is happening and will continue to awaken people to the urgency of our planetary situation.

Ferguson, and all the ensuing police violence. Truthfully, I don't know that cops have been killing brown people at an increased rate this year, but it's certainly become more visible to me and to the culture at large. I've been heartbroken to see bigots making fun of families who have lost loved ones, and I've been buoyed by all the brave activists fighting this. I want to do more for racial justice and for decarceration, for the abolishment of the police state, but I feel very limited, which is definitely a symptom of white privilege. I remember following the events in Ferguson during the run of Three Sisters, watching my Twitter feed and crying. I guess technically it was over a year ago, but it just keeps happening. From Trayvon to Eric Garner, black Americans are being murdered with near impunity, and it's important that that become visible. Black Lives Matter, and I hope that this is the catalyst to everyone believing that, and finally valuing and protecting black lives.

Donald Trump, and his implications.

I was deeply affected by the Charleston church massacre. A level of racial hatred that I thought had been eradicated from this country reared it's head. It was frightening but mainly disheartening, particular the relative silence and apparent lack of care of people in my immediate orbit. It was a stark reminder that while we're allegedly all in this together, there are things that affect me as a black woman that do not affect my friends and loved ones who are not black. There is a heavy burden associated with being black and this year I came into it in full. It's my birthright.

The Iran nuclear deal blew my mind. Besides the way the President handled the Israel-Gaza war, this was the turning point to effectively make me decide to not vote Democrat again. It's good to have social values and help others. It's quite another to lock yourself into an individual that is going to side with terrorism.

As far as I know today, nothing has had a direct impact on me. But things resonate. I am most moved by displacement - in Ukraine, and the Middle East or loss of work in the ND oil fields. I can't imagine giving up all control to others, except for your control of hope and faith.

Immigration. We only have a short time on the plant so to exclude a person because of where they were born is crazy. But equally as crazy is letting every Tom, Dick and Jose into American to compete with our kids. The farther up the food chain you go the less you worry because "my kid will got to Harvard or Stanford" so they wouldn't necessarily compete. Lower on the food chain I'm sure there is worry about fighting over a union job, or a mechanic. With all of the automation the jobs are going away so I understand the common man's worry. I can't help but think about my ancestors making the crossing for a better life for their kids. What if they were denied? Who would I be?

I have found the Black Lives Matter movement profoundly inspiring. I look forward to a day when I have more time and energy to put towards advocacy.

This year the people of Guatemala had enough of corruption and held peaceful protests that ended in the resignation and jailing of the Vicepresident and the President. It makes me feel very proud of my country, especially since we're being an example to other countries. But it also makes me feel worried, because there's so much going on, and there's powerful people out there. I'm just afraid that they're doing this to shut us up and nothing will change. Maybe next year when I read this again I'll have great news, of how much my country has changed since then!

Legalization of same-sex marriage in the US! It gives me hope that love will eventually win over hate.

The continued strife in Iraq. I cannot help but think that we, as a nation, brought about the increase in Moslem extremists and their spread because we destabilized the area when we, without justification, invaded Iraq. It has resulted in so much suffering. How much better the 'Arab Spring' might have gone if we hadn't set ourselves up as a common enemy for so many people in the Middle East? I am angry and feel helpless when I think of how we contributed to the war in the area. And we wonder why so many countries question our actions? Generally, I feel powerless to affect any change in our international policies. I believe our current president has taken some (baby) steps in the right direction, but I fear that his enemies will reverse them at the first opportunity.

Ebola stands out as the craziest news story for this year. Hasn't impacted my life directly but makes me appreciate the security of America. The CA drought has also been on my mind a lot and has definitely made me more conscious of my actions wrt water conservation.

The event that has impacted me this year is the election. With the rise of Trump follows the downfall off empathy and compassion. I no longer want to log into Facebook as people's opinions are just upsetting to me.

The event that has impacted me personally the most this year would be the Supreme Court breaking down the barriers for same sex couples to be married. #LoveMatters . Being in a relationship with my beautiful wife for the past 22 years, and now being able to proclaim my married status to all states in the US, is a dream, a blessing I have carried with me. I always knew that in my lifetime, I would have equal protection under the constitution and would be able to share in the most basic of fundamental things - Marrying the one you love. Additionally, having the same rights with regard to taxes, SS, inheritance etc that all couples enjoy - is so meaningful. I am grateful

My mother dying in July, 2014 which affected me both emotionally and work wise throughout this past year. Many tasks needed to be started and completed and many, many days I yearned to be able to talk with her. Prior to her dying, we talked every day, other than every other Friday/Saturday when I was in Janesville with her at her house.

Watching Donald Trump's unbelievably soaring numbers has solidified for me I am no longer a Republican. Despite trying to defend myself to others and, more importantly, myself, with each passing year I watch with horror as the party slips further and further away from the values that drew me to the party. Having been a staunch republican and a young one even, since I was 18, the last few years have been a huge disappointment. They have also forced me to self-introspect and consider what truly matters to me. Since it looks unlikely the party will ever nominate someone same (ie Huntsman), I think this will be the year that marks when I broke with the party and became an independent (or Democrat depending on who wins the nomination).

The Syrian refugee crisis is an event that has impacked me the most. It reminds me of how the Jews were forced to flee the land of Israel many times in their history. The Jews were forced to flee their homes because of invading forces such as the Romans and other waring peoples. This is similar to the Syrian refugees who are fleeing ISIS, a waring group.

Holy God, RACISM. What. The. Hell. In my naive little bubble, I honestly thought that we had gotten past so much of this. I knew we weren't all the way there yet, but HELL. We aren't even close. Ferguson is just the barest tip of the iceberg, and it all just. keeps. happening. And it's made me look hard at my own life, and the access and opportunities I have had that would not necessarily have been available were I not blonde-haired and blue-eyed. And it BLOWS that the world is full of that kind of unfair playing field. And it makes me 110% more likely to call out lazy or casual racism when I see it, and to be a lot mad about it when I do.

The Syrian Refugee crisis has really made me look at the world in a more compassionate light, especially after seeing the devastating images of Aylan Kurdi, the little boy who drowned.

Without a doubt the refugee crush in Europe has been the most significant world event to speak to me. Just before learning about the recent crisis, I had watched the documentary Salt of the Earth about the photographer who documented refugees of all sorts. His spirit was broken by seeing the crisis in Rwanda. Our current crisis in Eastern Europe led me to consider the difference between a refugee (driven by desperation) and an immigrant (driven by aspiration). I came to know I am both as I realized that for a year, I have been avoiding accepting growing older (desperate refugee) ever since I said I wanted to be a conscious elder. The consideration caused me to want to become an (aspirational) immigrant into the state of elderhood.

Gay marriage was legalized in every state! This will forever be one of the happiest days I've experienced since most of my best friends are gay and it was glorious seeing their pride and joy.

The legalization of same-sex marriage was very moving for me. I don't know why since I'm not directly affected and don't really think marriage is the ultimate right for mankind. I guess because it symbolizes the move of this country and the world towards greater and greater good. "The arc of history is long but it always bends towards justice." And this was a very moving example of that truth. To see government buildings and landmarks covered in rainbows even in traditionally conservative parts of the country that day made me cry. I'm crying now thinking of it. To see my FB page covered in rainbows, even from people I wouldn't have expected to be supportive, made me so proud. I am so proud to be represented by a Supreme Court and a President that is actively moving this country towards love and inclusion. And the speed of how the sentiment of the country on this issue changed was heartening. I am hoping the next one would be the legalization of marijuana and the decriminalization of drug infractions.

Antisemitic sentiments have particularly upset me lately.

Marriage Equity. I was able to celebrate the weddings of several of my friends, who previously would not have been permitted to marry the person with whom they share their lives.

Fires, drought, death, loss. Tragedy and suffering are the dominant themes that come up for me when I think of the "world". I'm more aware of global actions and re-actions to ecological and political events. At the same time I recognize ways in which they benefit me - strange. My own suffering, although real, pales in comparison to others, so I can't feel too sorry for myself. I try to find ways to stay centered and do no harm at least. At best, I am striving to make contributions.

This might be not a particular event but it's the ongoing crisis. The refugees coming to our country. Earlier this year I was on a train from Italy passing through Austria. This is the route that many refugees take now. And they don't do it for vacation. This made me realize how good I have it in my life.

The spread of ISIS throughout the Middle East and the destruction that has resulted. The immigration or migration of Syrians from their war torn country to Europe and possibly the United States.

The Syrian Civil War. I heard gun shots from Mt. Bental lookout in Israel. Then coming home and seeing all of the horrible pictures that were happening no more than 5 miles away from me. It's pushed me to pursue global politics in school, because something needs to change.

The crazy Republications mis-directing energy to bullshit issues continues to make my views more concrete. I now do judge someone by their political views - I see these views as a reflection of character. I just don't get what they want - except more money for themselves. How can they actually want everyone to have a concealed handgun - especially with the increase in mass shootings. How can they want to reduce birth control?

Sadly all of the evil acts of ISIS and the resurgence of Islamaphobia in the west has impacted me personally. I'm an atheist. I don't believe in God. I meditate, pray (for myself, not to an unseen entity) I am spiritually fulfilled. My name identifies me as someone whose background is Muslim. I have no connection to Islam at all, and when I read all the stories of violence against Muslims in the U.S. and Europe, the racial profiling of a middle easterners , I feel sad and unsafe. I feel cynical. My family didn't flee one set of Muslim religious fanatics in order to wind up among another set of Christian ones. That wasn't the goal.

The crisis with Syrian refugees led me to double my monthly contribution to the relief organization I support.

Is "race" and event? I don't know that I can narrow it down to a single issue related to race and ethnicity, but dialogues about social justice - particularly as they relate to race and ethnicity is at the core of my lived experience this year. So many people of color killed. So much backlash for simply trying to value black lives. So much hatred and resistance to the diversity immigrants bring to our country. And embracing Donald Trump's racist, sexist, over-privileged tirades as some sort of visionary leadership? It has all impacted me. Why? Because I care about people and I love a country that I thought was founded on an appreciation of different beliefs, backgrounds and lived experiences.

The European refugee crisis has impacted me the most globally. I could talk about my disillusionment with the American Presidential campaign but I refuse to give it more time than needed. As for the refugees, my heart hurts for them, especially when so many European countries are turning them away and treating them poorly. I am disgusted with the Gulf States and their lack of involvement and help with their own people. I applaud Germany and its efforts to help as many people as it can. I wish the US would do more to aide in the effort.

Watching Bree Newsome taking down the Confederate Flag still gives me chills to this day. The courage, the strength and determination to take down a sign of oppression for people of color was a powerful visual for me and encourages me to speak out against injustice however 'subtle' it may be.

Isis has brought tears to my eyes. Can't understand them can't accept them can't figure out how they can do all the things they are doing in the name of God. Worried about mankind and our children and children 's children. God help us all.

the Syrian refugee crisis....why....because we Jews were denied entry to so many countries....and millions perished. These people have lost everything that they have known....but they will do anything to live and raise their children....as a world, we must help them.

The non-indictment of Darren Wilson impacted me pretty tremendously. It was an important wake up call that there truly is NO justice in the criminal justice system. It prompted conversations with friends and listening to folks speaking at protests about the pervasive fear for one's life that comes with being a Black person in America today. Friends in St. Louis described, "Everyone's got a dead baby here." While I can't even begin to understand the trauma experienced by families going through this, the sudden and untimely death of my niece has helped me sympathize on some level. Being at protests in St. Louis also brought it to a very emotional level for me. Being at a protest there it makes it so clear what's really going on to see a sea of white, male cops charging against, randomly arresting, etc. a sea of Black protesters. I'm not sure where I'm going or what I'll do with this new, more emotional understanding of the way things are, but it feels important.

Honestly, all of the constant, continuing, ridiculous public shootings. How are these still happening? Why are people still totally fine with our lack of gun control and background/mental health checks into people who want to buy a gun? It's heart-wrenching every time, but the worst part is that we have to talk about this again and again because it keeps happening, and it shouldn't.

Marriage Equality was passed by the Supreme Court. I was on a field trip with Molly's Rainbows class to Brookside Gardens when someone checked their phone and saw the ruling. I cried - many of us cried. It felt like a moment when you could feel the moral arc of the universe bending towards justice. And how fitting to be with the Rainbows as everything around us turned rainbow colored in celebration.

I think the migrant crisis has been the most significant. I feel desperate for these people but just don't see an end or even how anyone can help. Please G-d by next year, let it be solved.

Oberfell vs. Hodges. It doesn't impact me directly, but it does impact so many of the people I love and care about. The Pursuit of Happiness is something that seems like it should be so basic, but we have been so behind in securing that ability for so many people. I'm happy for my friends and family, and the fact that they are able to create a legal sense of family that will protect their loved ones and make them feel more equal to everyone around them.

The rise of Donald Trump in popularity as a GOP candidate. I think of this often. I am so saddened to see a man with such awful ideas become so popular. I feel angry, and hurt, for America. I'm also deeply worried about recent shootings, particularly at Emanuel AME.

There is an ongoing political event as Republicans vie to become the candidate for president. I work in education, which is always affected by politics. In order to be seen as actively working to bettering the future, politicians who use it as a topic have to be seen to be doing something... either discarding what they perceive as waste or encouraging new initiatives they believe to be innovative. Either decision is rarely what I would consider to be particularly informed, as they don't tend to involve the specialists (teachers) or stakeholders (students or their parents) in the planning stages.

Gay marriage became legalized, which means, should I want to, I now can get the same legal benefits as everyone else. Not really looking to get married anytime soon, but it's nice to know I can and have it legally recognized anywhere in the U.S.

This year I conscientiously objected to watching the news or reading a newspaper on a regular basis. I wanted to see if not seeing all the terrible and horrific things happening would change my perspective on the world - I know it can be a dangerous place but I believe our media sources (what or whomever they are) use fear tactics to continue to create a nation of victims. Therefore I choose not to engage. I do listen to NPR daily and stream it most weekends when home working, so I am not at a total loss as to what is happening but not seeing the images and getting back to really listening has made me more of a deep thinker and I think I am a much happier person by staying blissfully unaware for the most part...

The murder of church-goers in South Carolina by a right-wing, racist ideologue startled and horrified me this year. What I found so wrenching was how the congregation had welcomed this young man into the church, though he was unknown to them, and he murdered them in cold blood regardless. They opened their hearts and he shot them. Then the extremely weak political discourse about "Southern Heritage" and the Confederate flag being tossed around -- I was astonished that this was a point of discussion, especially in the wake of a murderous hate crime. The young activist who climbed the flag pole to remove the flag buoyed my heart, but I have been reminded this year and last how far we have to go to dismantle systematic racial oppression in our country.

The terrible movement of people out of danger, looking for safety, finding more danger. (Why is it we think we should have the free passage of goods but not labor.). My Jewish family was part of the last large group of immigrant who were refused passage, entry, comfort. Who returned to their own country to find more death... We refuse to learn the most basic decency.

The NAACP Journey for Justice. Participating on this march has opened my eyes and my heart to the need for racial justice in this country and inspired me to act.

The Giants winning the World Series because it was so unexpected and brought most of my family together.

It feels like the world is coming apart at the seams: From the Charlie Hebdo and Jewish supermarket killings in France, to increasing anti-semitism throughout Europe, to the controversy over the Iran deal, to the the Syrian refugee crisis and violence throughout the middle east . There is no national or international leadership with a vision and strategy to address these huge issues. The world ignores or addresses issues piecemeal as we go from one crisis to another.

Bernie sanders running for president. I've gotten peripherally involve in the campaign and filled with hope for our political system because many that never gotten inspired before are acting to elect him.

The death of Sam DuBose in Cincinnati. An unarmed black man was shot and killed at point-blank range by a university policeman. He was pulled over for a minor driving violation and because he was perceived to be a "threat" and didn't do what the officer asked him to do, the officer said he felt threatened and shot him in the head. I have never been more ashamed to be from the Queen City. I know the city is more than one officer. But the racial divide in the city is so pronounced. When I was there recently, there was some evidence that healing is taking place, but it is not enough. My eyes are open to the struggles minorities face every day in our country and around the world. I talk to my kids about race relations, prejudice, equality etc every time I have the chance. I try to be thoughtful in my responses to questions and in my posts on social media; to ask questions and post things that help move the dialogue forward and help heal the divide. What is hard sometimes is when my black friends don't see my Jewishness as a minority--at least a minority that "measures up" to their minority status. I would never purport to be in their situation. I know that many people can't "pass," and I would hope that in this day and age, many people no longer want to. But I wish that some of my black friends understood that for every question they get about their hair or their skin color, I get one about my nose, or a phrase I commonly use, or a misunderstanding about the way I practice my religion--or the way someone else in Judaism practices their religion. I feel like screaming, "We were persecuted too!" I would never say #jewishlivesmatter in the greater sphere because I would fear being slapped for white privilege. And I know it's not about black lives mattering more than other lives. Race relations is about so many complicated issues, and we cannot right the wrongs of the past. We can only take steps to make the future better. The incident in Cincinnati caused me to look inward and examine what I find there. I'm still looking, questioning, asking and looking for answers. I'm still doing the best I can.

God, what horrible world events haven't impacted me? It seems like every day there's some new sadness, some new insanity happening on a large scale. Did people deal with this in past generations? Is human suffering just more visible now because we live in such an interconnected, online world? It feels pretty hopeless sometimes.

The earthquake in Nepal

It seems like every day there is something new to be outraged and upset about. Someone said something ridiculous, some injustice happens to someone, and it gets blown up all across the internet. It's tiring and I wish I was more immune to the "rage machine" that modern media have become.

The refugee crisis. I was appalled and moved. Also, because I know a Syrian refugee living in the US and I just cannot believe that my country would be trying not to take the (very small) quota that the EU requested.

For a long time police brutality in America has been a big issue. This year after watching Staight Outta Compton I was sad to see that whites are still harassing blacks and I can't understand why. Slavery has been ingrained into our generations and we continue to suffer the effects of it. It's hard to see how we as a community can overcome this. Why are we still being mistreated?

The Syrian refugee crisis, the blatant racism and homophobia that plagues American culture. None of this has impacted me directly, but it is a constant reminder to be kinder and more generous to people, to always assume positive intent, and to be less judgmental of others.

Not specific events, but I continue to notice how the media does not present news, but simply entertainment. It's so difficult to get information now. And so, the events in the world are difficult to watch because they are not always factual. Are things as bad as presented? How prevalent is all of this horror? I must continue to believe that there is more good in the world.

I think the drop in oil/gas prices has been very significant. My city has suffered a lot of job losses, and it's made me feel even more uncertain, and it's hard seeing people who have lost their jobs. It impacts me daily, as I worry about my job, my friends' jobs, and what the future holds. The refugee crisis in Syria, and the Grexit issue have also taken up a lot of space in my mind. The impact on my day to day life has been minimal, but it's hard to see all the suffering.

Senseless killing of nine people in South Carolina - all the killing of unarmed black men - and the Syrian refugee crisis - it is overwhelming to think of man's inhumanity to man, and the fact that so many are untouched by it all. How can people be so heartless. We need to reach out and love one another and care for one another.

The death of Alan Kurdi. My sons are roughly the age he was. His death seemed so needless; we could've acted to prevent it. I hope Europe and the West can embrace the Syrian refugees like they have done with so many other displaced peoples. We collectively have done so little. And it's even less than the little we usually do.

An event that has impacted my life this year would be 9/11 because this year I finally met my friends dad who was stationed in New York during the attacks and I fully came to realize the terror and the sacrifice that everyone had to make

The near-defunding of Planned Parenthood at the federal level had a profound impact on me. While I like to believe that I've always cared about politics the fact is that I've been mostly apathetic about our situation in this country. That's changing- I'm finding myself posting more about women's rights in both un- and developed countries. I find myself being less lenient towards conservative's principles re: controlling women's access to reproductive healthcare. I feel as though it is my duty as a woman- not a second-class citizen, not an interest group- to speak up and fight for women's issues, whether it be by donating, volunteering or merely committing to stay in a male-dominated field (because I do often think about leaving my profession). The only way women will ever be equal in this world is by being able to control their reproduction. It is the most important choice a woman will ever make in her lifetime. I always thought women's rights were something fought for and achieved long ago. However that is proving to not be the case.

The upcoming presidential election: watching the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders gives me fear/hope for the future of our country.

Charlie Hebdo and all the antiSemitism worldwide has really hurt me. It has shown me that we aren't welcome everywhere and I don't understand how hatred like this is even still existent.

I was diagnosed with depression and it snowballed to a lot of things - meeting lost family members, realizing who are really there for me, finding a man who loves me for who I am, being scouted to an exhibit, etc.

The #BlackLivesMatter movement has shaken the United States to its core. While I am a white woman who does not experience police violence, watching the movement grow and gain momentum has made me feel like change can, and will come from the people. I want to help as an ally, an advocate, wherever and however I can. I want to see my community answer the rallying cry and become part of the movement as we are asked.

The "world" events that impact me the most are anything having to do with Israel or the Jewish people. So that attacks in France and Jerusalem where many end up killed create a deep sadness in me. Especially when it happens in Jerusalem where one would think, or maybe just hope, that Jews would be safe worshipping in a synagogue.

The war on Israel Israel is continuously portrayed as the villain in a conflict not 50% of their making It worries me that the world does not recognize this growing antisemitism which is as bad as 1932

My Dad's surgery at Mayo. Helped me to realize that work is not the biggest thing and I need to get real and quick. no one will remember what work I did but they will remember what differences I made in the people around me. So, what am I going to change about how I contribute to the world?

How many questions can i talk about my dad's suicide on, lets pick something else/ This year wasn't a matter of events, except maybe quitting being a beer rep so I would have time for my HBM internship. I didn't know how broke I'd be when I quit, I think I thought things would come together sooner than they did, but my willingness to hang in there through this year. Jane was miserable at her job, there was a health scare, there was her dad's health scare, there was my under employment, then there was my dad, there was being in a new city, there was hanging the fuck in there. I'm not so sure what I learned, how it effected my temperament or whatever, I'd like to say it's made me more of a patient trusting person that eventually with hard work things equal out and come together, but that's totally not the case. This morning I was horribly anxious. But I trust now that I have a skill set and an ability to work, be inventive, and pitch myself, and that I deserve to be in the contention for things and not take it personally when I get rejected. I've learned how to get rejected and keep going. I've learned how to maintain in the unpleasant. I bitch and moan about it, I pray for better, but, and I don't want to tempt fate, for this past year I've been able to bounce back, and even when shaken tap into my essential grantness. If I can read this next year and say, "wow I trust the universe and my capability, and my patiences a whole lot more," I'll have been overly blessed and will donate some more time/money to some cause. Now that I'm writing this something I've learned is that it's totally appropriate and probably asking for too much to feel better than shaky. At least with the external nature of things. If I feel great about my relationship/health /and job security i'll be the best I've ever been in the world. The three rarely ever all come together. Right now I wrestle with accepting that it's greedy to expect all three factions of my life to be right at once. My work this year has been about being grateful not when everything is perfect, and right now its better than most times tbh, but here and now, while life is happening, which it is right now. And just as I typed this, a certain lovely cat climbed on my lap and started purring, so how great is today? Pretty fucking great.

This year California is in a major drought. Actually it's the fourth year in a row that that is true, but I just moved here from Boston, which has more than enough water to go around, and it is a totally different thing to be living here than just reading about it. Climate change means a different thing when huge parts of your state are on fire, and millions of people very close by don't have access to safe water in their homes. It has been a big wake-up call, and has made me think hard about how much water I use personally and about how I can prioritize climate change resistance and resiliency work in my giving and in my life.

I (this may be surprising to most) am actually very proud of Israel for re-electing Benjamin Netenyahu. With all the nonsense going on today they are showing that they would rather stick with what has consistently-worked as opposed to change just for the sake of change.

The Iran deal. As a Jew iiving in Israel this threatensy existemce.

Gay Marriage is Legal in the US. I live in MA and was able to get married right before my daughter was born. My spouse and I were able to be on her birth certificate without any issue. We were married, no problems, no second parent adoption, we just filled out the form with both of our names.

The rioting in Baltimore. It opened my eyes to the effects of racial prejudice, it reminded me of Ferguson which happened in my home town

The police violence aimed at black men. - It made me realize how officers (and regular people) may see my son as a threat because of his color. He's a good kid, but as a white mother I didn't think to raise him to be extra cautious about that.

I was very impacted by the large number of migrants leaving Syria and Africa. I have watched the world first shun them, then I cried the day that Germany welcomed them with gifts when they came. Europe has done an amazing job of welcoming them. Ashamed to say the Americans have been less helpful. I hate to see people suffering. I want to see equality and empowerment for everyone. I want to see the world learn to share.

The police-involved killings of so many black men and women and the Black Lives Matter movement has caused me to re-examine my own commitment to racial justice and to question whether I am part of the solution or part of the problem. White privilege is the backdrop against which I live my life. Even friends and people I love live with racism daily, but when I walk away from them I walk away from that reality. They do not. In the next year I hope to be more visible and more active standing up for equality and justice, and using my privilege to raise the issue whether it is comfortable or not.

The still deepening, mounting, growing migrant crisis. I'm not sure why it affects me so keenly. Every bit of news--boats capsized, vans abandoned, bordered closed, defiant citizens helping any way, my heart aches. Risking so much for the fragile, slender hope of a better life.

As I sit here, little comes to mind. The world is big. And I am more skeptical of what we read and see and hear from the media than I may have been in the past, or at least and looking at it through a new light. Most people I assume will look at the negative events. I think we can look at the positive events and find joy in our future. One positive event from the world this past year. Can you even think of one? We are so bombarded by the disaster, which of course serves some purpose, but the true joys of the world are not brought to the forefront. I think something to improve on this year is focusing not the positives happening in the world

The migration and horrible treatment in Europe of so many displaced persons - families, children with hopes and dreams - from Syria and elsewhere. I think because it so closely echos the post WWII situation for Jews. I am deeply disturbed that neither the US nor Israel has stepped in.

About a year ago there was a war in Israel. Living in Israel at the time and having to run for cover from bombs influenced me into moving to Israel and joining the army

The fact that I learnt that AIDS can be naturally expelled from the body by a bacteria of the intestine. That is why very people have it, and drug and alcohol and malnutritiontend to kill this bacteria, that is why there is aids among people who are in malnutrition or dodrug and alcohol abuse. I try to share this discovery with as many as I can.

Gay marriages becoming legal in all 50 states. I am overjoyed that my children will never know legal bigotry based on sexual preference. I think this is a long overdue change and I can not be more overjoyed.

violence in the middle east is scaring me more. and changing my sense of freedom and the way I am raising my child, since I am in the ME.

Maybe a US-centric response, but the beginning of the US presidential election cycle and the progress made by the Black Lives Matter movement have both been amazing and scary to watch. Ok obviously progress by BLM is not at all scary, only amazing. What's scary is the mass response by racists to turn to Donald Trump. I saw a map today that showed that the majority of states are polling towards Trump (among Republicans only, of course). This has got to be because of the way that racism is taking its rightful place in public discourse. I only hope that a true solidarity can be built among Bernie Sanders, BLM, and immigrant activists.

All the shooting and violence- both un the USA and elsewhere. Be-headings, destruction of historical monuments- which is the same as destroying our world history. How and why is obvious.

Not a single event, but the ongoing impetus of Black Lives Matter has been very significant to me. I'm so pleased to have a group of people in the congregation taking on the work with me and helping me to stay attentive and focused. It keeps me aware of the world that I rarely see and that is so dangerous for people of color. It's so very important to stay at this work.

The ongoing police brutality and the #blacklivesmatter movement has been especially moving for me this year. I am horrified by how far we still have to go but inspired by the brave activists who speak up. I'm grateful to them for their essential work in moving this country forward and expecting basic humane treatment of all! I also was very proud of our country when we legalized gay marriage in June. Again, more work to be done but we are making steps in the right direction. Change is in the wind!

The epic, historic snowfall in Boston. It made me really glad that we moved to Madison, WI and not the Northeast. Winter wasn't that bad in the Midwest, but it was historically awful elsewhere in the U.S. Made me very grateful for cold but not crippling snow.

Most recently, it is the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe that has impacted me. I can't stop thinking that this could have easily been me and my family making the treacherous journey across land and sea, seeking safe haven from war. It is hard to know how to help from so far away. I hope the US will take some refugees and I am looking to make some monetary contributions that can make a difference.

All these mass shootings haven't affected me directly, but they terrify me. I was at a baseball game, standing outside of the entrance before going in, and I heard a loud pop and, "Duck! Watch out!" My immediate thought was that someone was firing a gun. No – a ball was hit over the stadium and bounced about two feet away from me (behind me), then over my head and across the street. I felt like an idiot, but this was one week after I accidentally watched the shooting of the news anchors on live TV (via an accidental click to an autoplaying video); a couple weeks after a girl in her early 30s was gunned down in a theater watching a movie I had just seen; and a month or two after the massacre at a South Carolina church. I grew up in a small town where rebel flags reigned supreme, and now I see even more when I go home. I don't have a problem with them, but I don't think taking them down is going to stop these mass shootings. We have to do something about gun control. We need to be able to watch a movie, send our kids to school, go to church, work, public spaces, etc. without worrying about getting shot.

My own country has made some pretty big headlines in the past year. The underlying racism we've been living with has come into light in a big way. It was extremely upsetting to find out just how little the privileged think of minorities. From the lack of indictments for the officers in the murders of black people to the portrayal of protests on the news to Donald Trump's offensive comments about Mexicans & women and the fact that he's way ahead in the republican polls. This combination of events has led me to hope that we're nearing rock bottom, because it seems that nothing will change until we hit it. Some progress is slowly being made, but I am more inspired than ever to make a contribution.

Marriage Equality nation wide. Come so far, so much more to go. I've been a part of the battle and working towards spreading awareness and acceptance and I was so excited to see the news while I was on vacation- in the shadows of the Charleston Church Shooting (another impactful event), and the outpouring of love from ALMOST everyone I'm connected to. I question the relationships I have with those that don't support. Here's to being an attendant in a wedding of my dear friend to his groom. Love is Love!

The saga of Syriza, for sure. We saw a genuinely left challenge take sweeping command of government. Wow, maybe the crisis won't just empower fascists -- maybe it could empower the left as well! And then it all fell apart. The Greek government wasn't powerful enough to stand up to the forces of capital/ the EU. They ended up capitulating, humiliated. I'm not sure what lessons to take. Could they have maneuvered better? Or is that all irrelevant to the structural forces in play? What hope does it give other left insurgent parties the world over? Does any of it really matter, in the end?

I continue to be troubled by the evil that is ISIS. Still unresolved. Hard to believe that a coalition cannot be formed to recognize and destroy the evil.

The Syrian refugee crisis is abominable. To watch the chain of events unfold that all lead back to the bluster and hubris of Bush and Cheney is almost too much to bear. Families are fighting to survive, children are going without medical care, food, and shelter. The desire for a peaceful life seems to be desired by all except religious zealots, war hawks, and the Military Industrial Complex.

I get so anxious reading about mass incarceration. But I have been luckily not so impacted by global events

It's not so much an event, but a changing of attitude, because I'm watching more and more women embrace feminism publicly and with great zeal. They are doing it to change the world and make it a better place for girls to grow up in. It's not only the women, but also the men who have started supporting feminism. They are thinking about their moms and sisters, not to mention how patriarchy tells them how to be men when, like women, they should be expressing their gender on their own terms. I have gone from being questioned for being a feminist at 18 to today, where guys are coming up with hashtags such as #fuckthepatriarchy all on their own. It shows being true to yourself is always worth it.

There are so many horrible things going on in the world. Whether it's Terrorism, child abductions or murders, it's just awful and makes me depressed. I wish I had my own private compound in paradise! It makes me fearful of what my children will have to deal with in the future. Between technology and crazy people...yikes.

The events in Ferguson and elsewhere in the US have brought home to me the weight of the unfairness borne by minorities in this country whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by law enforcement officers who are biased against them. This does not mean all law enforcement officers are racist, but there are enough of them who are acting on biases to make a disproportionate impact the lives of minority people. And we need to find a way to change that dynamic.

Gay marriage becoming recognized. Why? It's a small step in allowing the lesbian and gay communities equal rights and recognition of our relationships. I never would have dreamed that I'd see this day.. but I have!

I think it's the Syrian refugees. How can we help them and yet helping them may hurt us? Will they be like our grandparents and assimilate or will they add to the thousands that hate us? The Chinese economy effecting the stock market and our stocks and retirement money

All the continuing news of climate change and the changes in weather that we've seen and experienced first hand are really frightening to me. I don't want to have children for fear of having to run with them or worry about how to feed them when a new ice age comes. I can get to a very dark and deeply scared place when I learn too much about the changes our planet is going through. I try to remain hopeful, but I can usually only do so when I avoid environmental news. At the same time, I'm also very worried about the humans on this planet. There have been more shootings, more blatant racism, and more people acting crazy and losing their patience with each other. I wish there was a way to calm everyone down or to know why all of this aggression seems to be ramping up. Is it something in the water? A brain virus? I just wish people would be kinder to one another so we can find solutions together that don't involve murdering each other.

Migrant crisis. We are all interdependent. Nothing is permanent. Things change quickly. Get ready for a new world everyday.

On the positive side, the legalization of same-sex marriage. It's about fucking time. On the negative side, all of the racially motivated crimes perpetrated by people in positions of power. It's about fucking time to let it go.

The Syrian refugee crisis; Iran's quest (and approval) to acquire nuclear capabilities. I feel less safe in the world moving forward -- containment was a successful strategy with Western nations but the mullahs of Iran are not as thoughtful. It has made me rethink travel, safety and our perilous place in this world.

Migrants from Syria invading Europe.....

The refugee crisis in Syria, watching all the desperate people come to Europe. While this one is only political in nature, there are more of them coming, in the form of natural disasters, food and water shortages, diseases, etc. I think the biggest thing this did for me was place me more in a context of being a member of the human family. It strengthened my resolve that we truly are in this together, and that we need to behave like this, and not devolve into every-man-for-himself thinking. Meanwhile my heart is breaking as I imagine myself in their shoes. It could happen here....

It's hard to pick just one - the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, the ongoing disappearance of First Nations women, the plight of Syrian refugees. There's such a sense of hopelessness. How can we fix the world so that there isn't a propensity of hate? The photo of Aylan Kurdi, the 3 year old Syrian boy that washed up on a beach will be something I never forget.

I'm not generally impacted by world events. I'M DEAD INSIDE.

I have a lot of friends who happen to be gay, and I was so happy to see the progress of gay marriage coming about in full force. I've always been on their side of the issue, even though I see so much hatred in my outer circles who are more conservative. They just haven't really gotten to know anyone who is openly gay, probably, which is a shame. I saw my gay friends finally feel some sort of acceptance by society in general. The main reason why I think gay marriage should be legal is so that spouses can be taken care of when the other one passes away, legally and without question or defiance from their families who do not accept their commitment. I was truly amazed when Ireland passed this as law. When the U.S. government made it official, I thought, "finally".

My grandmother's worsening dementia. The direct impact on me has been little. It is watching the impact on my parents. I am so sad for them that after working hard all their lives their retirement has been reduced to dealing with my grandmother's illness. They are not having the fun they should have had.

This year the supreme court ruled in favor of gay marriage. I publicly revealed my stance on this issue on Facebook in the face of some of my loved family members that I know may disagree with me. This is the first time I've really felt a wonderful joy at political event or a law ruling. It makes me feel like we're building a better society.

I expect most people will say the refugee crisis and while I find it sad that events in the middle east have spelt disaster for thousands of people, it is news in the UK which has impacted me more. The election of Jeremy Corbyn has made me consider that what is best for me in not necessarily the best for the average member of the public. I wouldn't consider myself a socialist, but I would be happy seeing myself and people on higher wages hit with taxes which would help the less fortunate reach a better standard of living.

Actions by someone close to me. Led to divorce, selling my home, moving, living by myself.

Seeing families and large groups of refugees escape Syria and being welcomed into countries willing to help. moments like these places things in prospective for me. Despite the exterior judgements and constant need for labels We are all humans who share this world. We seek and require basic needs like love, safety, home, and nutrition; those things are the most valuable and often in the simplest forms... While some of us in parts of the world shave anx, anger and high emotions over material things, or looks, superficial ideologies others are simply looking for ways to live in a safer home without having to live in fear of heartless terrorizing. As well as others looking for a meal to eat a place to call home... It reminds me to be grateful for what I have and use my abilities to help those who are in need in big ways or small.

The earthquake in Nepal was heartbreaking. Also the Syrian refugees. I am somewhat embarrassed that I have done essentially nothing to help with either of these.

China's economy deflation and currency devaluation affected the U.S. Stock market and the value of the stocks I hold.

There have been so many, but I am fairly certain that for most people, the refugee crisis has carried the strongest emotional wallop. I watch, read and listen, and to cite but one example is Germany's response, which has wavered a bit, as they try to reconfigure the best way to manage resources. It is fascinating to observe a country with the most profound sense of collective guilt reach out to displaced people. Can reparation ever be paid in full? I do not want to be cynical, yet I am not holding my breath.

It seems like the world grows more volatile every year, but we only pay attention when issues are sensationalized in the press - the Syrian refugees, the Ebola crisis, the destruction of World Heritage sites by terrorist groups - they all only caught our attention for the moment they were splashed across our screens, only to be forgotten in the rush to find the next big story.

The African and Syrian refugee crises continue to get worse and worse, and I'm ashamed, angry, and hopeless on a daily basis. Hopeless because I feel helpless, angry and ashamed at the Israeli government for completely and callously betraying the point of Jewish statehood in its treatment of refugees. I hope and pray that things get better in the coming year.

Tensions between Israel and, well, everyone, still run high. It's tragic to see the persecution and the misplaced anger when Israel is only defending itself. Also, Syria is a huge news story right now. People are fleeing the collapsing country and children are dying because they can't swim to safety. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see the photos of the babies and toddlers who have washed ashore because they drowned while their parents tried to get them out of the violence and poverty.

There have been a series of events that I feel impacted by: gun deaths. Be it shootings at schools, intentional or accidental murders, or violence perpetrated by law enforcement, each one chips away at my belief that we are all pursuing and upholding the rights of all to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Anyone's right to bear arms is trumped by this.

I can't really think of an event in the world that ideally affected me this year ,but I can say that the frequent acts of racial violence has awakened my desires for justice to be done for my black people. Many a time a african-american's head is beaten into the ground while being constrained in handcuffs by a vile sheriff. Many time a black male is arrested or killed "accidentally" because of color. It's not right and that's the end of the story. How long will we watch our people mourn? White on Black crime should never go unpunished. This is a nasty epidemic that needs to be stopped because it's killing off the black nation. I can say that unjustice causes me to become more aware and less naive to situations. This epidemic affected me the most because we all as a nation are raised to believe we are " one nation under God" ,yet we are still discriminated against and denied our rights and opportunities because of the tone of our skin(National Anthem).The fact that black children have to grow up in a world as this is scary.

Donald Trump?!? The sheer unlikelihood and the madness it points to stagger (and scare) me.

The Baltimore riots obviously hit pretty close to home. It just pulled into focus how much racism and privilege affect everyone. I knew it was a problem but I don't think I really internalized how prevalent discrimination is and how much there is to be done to have a just society. I want to do what I can to recognize my privilege and fight structuralized racism.

I think the combination of continued shootings and murders of unarmed black people by police and the Charleston shootings. I've been an advocate for gun control for a long time, but police restraint hasn't necessarily been a part of that; and #blacklivesmatter has helped me to see a larger picture. That's not quite as coherent or eloquent as I might like, but I haven't (and as a country, we haven't) really sorted it out yet.

There is such a huge Syrian refugee crisis going on right now. Thousands are fleeing war and destruction -- they're coming to Europe in boats and dinghies -- children are dying, drowned in the sea. The US Government is planning on taking a number of refugees as well. The local governments are overwhelmed. Greece has stopped registering migrants that are just passing through. It's creating chaos, but the chaos from which they come can only be greater. Just last week, reporters captured video of a "journalist" tripping and kicking refugees as they fled a camp that was being raided by police. What the hell kind of person does that? Literally kicking people when they're down. She's a monster. I feel like so much of that is happening -- people in terrible positions being exploited and further victimized. Earlier this year -- before our wedding actually, Freddie Gray, a young black man, was killed while in police custody in Baltimore. The streets erupted in looting and violence -- or so the media would tell you. It was all very confusing. While riots did actually happens, and buildings were absolutely burned down, our own friend who is a MD State Policeman said the people were engaging in civil disobedience and peaceful protest. The majority of the people out there were not endangering anyone. Meanwhile, we had friends who were holed up in their houses because of riots and curfews. It's hard to know what's real. This is something I've thought a lot about since Ferguson -- why do some communities choose to destroy themselves when faced with adversity? YES speak out. YES protest. YES fight for justice and for the side of right, but why hurt YOURSELVES? Why damage your communities? Thwart your own business? Endanger your own children? It doesn't make sense to me. If you have so little and are so disenfranchised, why, oh why destroy what little you have? Is there so little pride? These are the things I don't understand. In the battle toward self-preservation -- why don't more people focus on preserving what's good?

I am not sure about an event from this year but I know that over the summer I learned about 9/11 because I went to the 9/11 memorial. I changed on how I view the world because I feel that it changed me as a person. I felt like a bad person and I felt like I was mean to a lot people and then when I thought about all those people who has a bad day, died without having a good day. And I feel that anyone's life could be taken from them but it is even worse when they are having a horrible day.

The results of the General Election have had a big impact on me. In the run up to the election because of my work in politics life was extremely busy, putting a lot of demands on me professionally and personally. And on a very personal note, the relief that a Conservative majority government was elected despite all suggestions that it would be otherwise was tremendous. Professionally, opportunities are opening up for me and I hope to seize on them. Personally, we hope to benefit from the encouragement by the Tories to buy our first house and I'm also relieved for our daughter. It gave me hope for her. It's hard to describe how important that is.

Well, and perhaps this is just because it occurred three weeks ago today, but the shooting in Virginia of two unarmed news station workers rocked my world - because the cameraman, Adam Ward, was my cousin's best friend. Just this morning, I had Pandora on and "Cupid Shuffle" popped onto the list. The first time I met Adam, it was the night before my cousin's rehearsal dinner, and the family had a big dinner and get together. Adam was there, teaching us all dances, pouring wine, and essentially being the BEST best man ever. He continued to be a part of our lives through hearing tales from my cousin, or sending random funny texts to me. And there's no doubt that his joy and zest for life will live on through all of us. These senseless tragedies are always difficult, but you never imagine what it's like to see the face of someone you know - and love - broadcast across news channels. It hits you in gut, takes your emotions to a level you didn't know you were capable of feeling, and makes you wonder how our world too often dips into this dark, dark place. So what do we do? I'm not sure, to be honest. We need stricter gun control laws, yes. We need more help for those with mental health issues. But beyond those items, there's actually far more that we can do in our daily life. Be thankful for your life. For your loved ones. Be kind to each other. Take a moment to stop what you're doing, look up, and see the world around you. It's simply, really. Enjoy life. Tell your friends and family that you love them. So a year from now, when I get this email, that is the reminder to give myself: no matter how dark the world seems, you have a lot of love. Accept it, and share it out with the world.

The police just keep killing Black folks in the United states. As a Black person, I now live with this constant fear that any interaction with the police can and will cost me my life. I have anxiety attacks whenever I see a police car on my block. I wish for better days for my skinfolk. My heart breaks because racism seems like a neverending story.

The crisis in Syria, coupled with an online friendship with an immigration lawyer, opened my eyes to the suffering of refugees here and abroad. I am not sure what I can do at this point except to read and learn.

I have been deeply saddened and disturbed by the human exodus from Syria. The reaction of many supposedly enlightened European countries has been disturbing because it reminds me of the Canadian parliamentarian who said, "None is too many," in response to Jewish refugees coming to Canada during the Holocaust. We are doomed to repeat history.

There wasn't just one event that impacted me. It was the combination of a number of violent events that has stayed with me. The Charleston church shooting was horrible. The number of cases of police brutality perpetrated on black men is very disturbing. The shooting in a movie theater. The sniper shooting at cars in Arizona. The targeted killings of police officers across the country. The murder of the two reporters on live TV. Sick. All involving guns. And the response of the NRA is always the same. We need more guns. I can't tell you how much I despise that organization.

One of the most memorable, eventful days I've experienced in my life was the day marriage equality came to fruition in the U.S. It was especially amazing to be at the hub of excitement here in Ann Arbor at Braun Court. I'm an ally and I could barely work that day because I couldn't concentrate! A friend was able to run down to the courthouse and watch her parents get married. It was really something. I was so happy for my friends and family who could be considered legally married at long last.

refugee crisis. especially the difficulty in talking to Jews about letting in Muslims.

All the attention to "black lives matter" and what has inspired that movement has led me to examine my own feelings, attitudes & expectations. The most useful outcome was the realization that "white privilege" doesn't mean being given extras as much as not having to deal with many obstacles: I'm not followed in stores, cabs stop for me, & so on.

This past year, Ebola broke out in West Africa and spread (less than 10 cases) to America. Honestly, I was not impacted personally, but it had become a major news scare. Everyone believed ALL of Africa was infected and was terrified that it was breaking out in America. The media coverage and jokes had no limits. So then why was this important to my life? The outbreak showed me (a) how idiotic people can be and (b) emphasized the "climate of fear" prevailing in the US, fueled by the media. [I learned about this in Mrs. Jackson's US History Class by watching Bowling for Columbine.]

The women & children coming to America to escape gang violence. While I appreciate that these people are illegal under our laws, they deserve a safe place to live. It seems there should be some accommodation since these are our brothers.

SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS THE LAW OF THE LAND! GO, PILLOW PROJECT! THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN UNTHINKABLE EVEN FOUR YEARS AGO!

Presidential debates, which will impact who will become president of the USA, Which in turn will impact the future of America and my own

One even that has impacted me this year was looking at colleges at the college fair. It makes me realize how close I am to becoming an adult

Kayla Mueller's killing at the hands of ISIS really came close to home. She was a student involved in Youth Volunteer Corps which was run out of the Youth Count office, which I ran. In addition, she had been a care giver for my Mom for two weeks when I was out of town. She lived at my house and would check on Mom each day. She and Mom formed a very nice connection. Afterwards would occasionally ask, what I knew about what was Kayla doing. Before that, "the ISIS thing" was over there and didn't impact me on any more than an intellectual level. After that the emotional bond to it was in my core. She was trying to do good in the most significant ways that she could. Yet, she was naive. And she more than most people actually walked her talk about caring about ALL people!

There has not been an event that has impacted me this past year.

The rise in antisemitism. Being jewish I feel a little bit vulnerable. It's getting worse every year.

I control my emotions and manifest the events that occur around me. World events have little or no impact on my or how I feel.

The Syrian refugee situation is what concerns me the most right now. The sheer number of deaths, especially of those crossing the mediterranean is mind boggling. The reactions of the other countries experiencing the influx of these refugees is also consumes my thoughts. The whole situation has given me pause and caused me to really have to do some deep thinking about how we as a race of humans perceive each other. Then also, how these perceptions affect the way we treat each other. It is an incredibly complicated situation that also would lend itself well to some very simple solutions.

Queen Elizabeth becoming the longest reigning British monarch was a positive event, in my mind, being part of the monarchy. It's quite an amazing achievement for her, and she rather reminds me of my Mom, who would have been the same age, and who was also an incredible woman. I'm happy to see strong female role models in our world!

The Supreme Court upholding that gay people have a right to marry, fair housing and the ACA. Felt like a new world. I'm a liberal straight Christian and for a long time it's felt like we were getting hammered over the head by people using Christianity as a weapon. So tiring and distracting. That week felt like liberation for all of us from some kind of tyranny in Jesus' name. Boy, will they have a surprise awaiting them on the other side.

The death of Aylan Kurdi. His body was photographed being picked up by a patrolman after his drowning while trying to enter Europe from Syria. The pathos and inhumanity of his death and the forces that compelled his father, mother and other sibling to flee Syria made this a deeply affecting image for me.

When the people in the church were shot during Bible Study just because they were Black, that really affected me. The whole White Supremacist Movement really baffles me. I honestly cannot believe that it still exists. I do not understand how people can think that way. Race is made up. Sure some people have more melanin than others. Sure over the course of time, those with certain skin pigments have developed certain cultures due to shared oppression and history. But in the end, it is unclear who fits into which category and the whole thing is a human social invention. That having been said, the fact that this man could go into a church, be welcomed in, sit through Bible Study, and then shoot everyone in there is beyond me and goes to the depths of horror. These people were shot because of their skin color. And then when their family members stood up, looked the killer in the eye, and forgave him, I was in tears. One woman said slowly, "I forgive you" and her words echo in my ears. This is the height of forgiveness and it inspired my Rosh Hashanah Forgiveness Quilt that I made with the kids.

I suppose the obvious answer is the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. This doesn't affect me directly. I'm not dating anybody. I'm not married or plan to be right away. However, as more couples are getting married, adopting children, etc., I'm starting to feel a little like a dinosaur.

There are several, but the people who were shot in the church affected me greatly. Our church prayed for the families of the victims, but it took another member to remind me that we should also pray for the family of the shooter.

The immigrants flooding to the EU and the handling of it is amazing. That the people who live on the Greek coast are experiencing a broke government and are still pulling together what they have to help people who com ashore shows good nature.

The refugee crisis is really severe. It is so troubling to me that millions of people are risking death to find a new home. Everyone comes from being a refugee --- especially in the US. If countries did not take in my grandparents - well, I would not be here today. I want to help this population some way this year.

The refugee crisis here in Europe. Seeing all the suffering upfront from people fleeing from war is something else. and also seeing how people get together to help which is a little sign of hope, but is just not enough. also seeing how governments fail to do anything about it... it all is just an unbelievable situation. maddening, frustrating.

Black Lives Matter. There's a post on tumblr about how now is the time to see what you would have done during the Civil Rights Movement of the '50s and '60s, and it's right, of course, but it still took me a few months to realize—we're not about to find out. We are finding out. I have skin color privilege. I strive to not be That Person who does or says or excuses racist speech or attitudes or actions. And part of that is the work of calling people out on their coded language. To repeatedly call it out. To take the chance of losing friends. I don't want to pretend this is even somewhat like what actual people of color, and especially black people, face in American society. But I want people who enjoy skin color privilege (even if, like me, you enjoy pretty much no other privilege—the skin color trumps a lot of that, and it's sobering) to stop and think. This is uncomfortable work. It will impact you. It's righteous work. It's work we have to do.

The Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson was very prominent in my mind this year. It was such a hard thing, to see our city rioting, people's rights being violated. I was shocked at the lack of leadership our city and state showed, caused a great deal of mistrust. Mike participated in the demonstrations. It bothers me that there is so much racism here in my city, and in other places in our country. I hope that some positive changes come from it, but I haven't seen much yet.

Recently, time is running so fast, that it seems impossible to pick out one single event - even more so, as all events are somehow interconnected. The continuing war in Syria, the refugee crisis in Europe, the rise of new antagonisms between the West and Russia, between the West and Islam... Injustice is growing everywhere in this world. Ressources are not evenly shared, and still they are becoming more and more scarce. Wars are already being led to secure access to ressources. But at the same time, the insight is growing that we have to change our way of living in order to keep our planet livable. Revolutions are being led. Looking back at this past year, I feel more worried than hopeful.

The increasing anti-semitism under the guise of Israel blaming, for all the problems in the middle east as if it were that simple, and the increasing divisive and religious fervor made it clear the next difficult conversations were going to be about religion and religious freedom and were going to be in a language, the language of faith and religious codes , which I we knew little about in spite of our upbringing and we began taking classes in the major religions, and it has been a fabulous discovery. A fabulous treasure chest. A fabulous conversation still ongoing.

The Pope's visit to the US. It has caused me to want to revisit my personal beliefs on the Catholic religion. He seems to be a transformative leader

While there have been many world events I choose to focus on the supreme court decision on Marriage Equality in the USA. It is nice to be able to point to a world event that has a positive outcome. It does not impact me directly but it matters to me because of the impact for friends and because it means the world is one step closer to the one I want to live in and the one I want to leave for my child.

Refugee crises. There is so much despair and cruelty in the world. I feel guilty for being so blessed.

All these theater shootings have me concerned...I went to see that last X-Men movie at a theatre around 1:00 this past May and a man sitting a few rows up from me had a backpack in the seat next to him. I've seen that sort of thing before but this time I REALLY noticed it, and it made me nervous...So nervous to the point where I almost left. There were only 5 of us there in the whole theatre. All through the previews I kept staring over at him and the backpack, ready to move if I had to. Eventually I moved a few rows up. Before those theater shootings I would have never noticed any of that. At that time, I really wished theaters wouldn't allow bags inside...then I felt bad for assuming the worst about every person who brings a bag into a theater!

The current Syrian refugee crisis. Our world has become so afraid of terrorism that we as humanity are not doing the right thing by these people so desperate.

The presidential election is coming up. That's pretty important. I'ld like to watch to watch that more closely. Also, the places I went to and the people I met this year have made me a better person and more rounded and experienced. The places I've been to brought me wordly insight.

I think the most impactful event would be the massive influx of illegals into the US and the administrations lack of handling it. As a Border Patrol employee, I watched it closely and the orders that backed us off allows blatant law breaking, which no average American would be allowed to commit.

Continuing racial violence in the USA, in my country. The fact that when Straight Outta Compton came out, it was not just about the 80s or rap music or HIV or about five people who made great music. It was about the police (white or black) being unduly violent towards black people. Police, white people, and black people are killing black people. Every life matters, and this means that black lives matter. So why are we all taking them in such horrendous disproportion? It's scary, and sad. When will it change? And how will it change?

Charleston Shooting--so close to home; reminds me that the world is not getting any safer. Meanness exists everywhere now...have to shield myself in faith and God's strength from all the evil swirling around every day.

A guerra civil na Síria. Está afetando o mundo inteiro com suas implicações político-econômicas, as imigrações em massa, e chocando a nós todos com a falta de humanidade das pessoas, em especial a União Européia. Os países mais ricos, e que contribuem com a guerra são hostis com os imigrantes que fogem de uma guerra, e todo um contexto devastador, incentivado por esses mesmos países. Fiquei chocado com essa postura da Europa, achei que as duas guerras mundiais tinham sido a última vez que a gente ia ver a gloriosa Europa deixar milhares de imigrantes morrerem em suas costas afogados. Não lá... Não esperávamos por isso... Não na dita capital da civilização do mundo. Parece que estão procurando uma terceira guerra mundial. Para os bancos e ricos, seria perfeito nesse momento de crise. Acho que essa guerra da Síria ainda vai afetar muitas coisas no desenrolar da política global nos próximos anos. Assim como as revoltas da Turquia, e a crise da Grécia. As coisas estão mudando...

I am concerned about the Iran nuclear deal. I feel this is a bad move and could lead to some serious problems and a lot of killing and devastation. I just have to trust that all will work out.

Wow. The fact that I don't have an immediate answer to this question is startling. I have been so out of the loop in terms of current events, it is embarrassing. I guess the burning of a Palestinian home where the toddler died, then a week later the father, then a month later the mother was an event that affected me. Having just come to Israel when it happened and then going on a Breaking the Silence tour in Hebron and witnessing settler aggression up-close, the pain of the family and the struggle to live under occupation felt so much more real and alive. I feel like an ignorant outsider and don't know what strong opinions and/or solutions I have to offer but at the moment, I am adamantly against the occupation. It breaks my heart.

I've been moved by the Black Lives Matter movement and the deaths of young black lives at the hands of law enforcement. I've faced my own biased reactions to the deaths ("Well what were they doing that the police got involved? They were probably just troublemakers anyway.") Not that that was my primary reaction, but I can't say that it wasn't there at all. It was hard for me to mistrust the system completely. I've since moved to a place of disgust/horror/outrage that our system has abandoned the rule of law for young black and brown lives: that it's acceptable for people with power to kill people they are afraid of, rather than using the legal system we have. Paying attention to these stories has made me question the assumptions I make about the people of color I encounter, and the ways that I "otherize" them, the distance I assume there is between them and me. I've been trying to consume more black-created media (well, just news, let's be honest), and to change the assumptions I make about the people I meet or encounter-- to shrink the distance between us.

The combination of the Republican presidential debate season and the Syrian refugee crisis makes me concerned for whether the American public still believes in the core values we pretend we have. What we have as a people is largely an accident of the circumstances of our birth. To not extend what we have to others is an embarassment.

I would have to say the bitter divisions both in Israel and in the American Jewish community around the Iran deal. The deal itself is complicated. But the language, tenor, and heated passion in the debate makes me wonder about the future of the Jewish community. ISIS' continued brutality is a second factor.

No "world news" type of events had a huge impact on me this year. If anything, I have started to tune out the news. I oftentimes just play Pandora or listen to podcasts in the car instead of NPR, so I actually started to enjoy my commute! I went through a phase when I felt guilty about this, (both ignoring the news and also not using public transportation), and also felt a bit like "what's going on in the world?", but I'm mostly in the acceptance phase of all that, as there is a huge personal happiness gain in not having my daily commute drain my energy, so yolo. I am privileged that I am able to do this, although in a way it's a step down from the ideals of the academic/intellectual type of company I keep. Honestly, my main source of news is other people's FB posts. Bad news (and it's mostly bad) makes me feel helpless. The most impact I can have seems to be expressing things on social media and that is still tiny (I don't have a small army of followers). Even voting doesn't make a difference, despite "Rock the Vote" lip service. So why bother crowding my flow of thought with frustrating crap about Trump? Speaking of social media, maybe one event that impacted me was the gay marriage ruling. Sigh. A few days afterwards, I almost made a Facebook post, but then decided not to click "Post", about how hard it was to harbor secrets about yourself for fear of what people might think. I wasn't going to post the secrets, just imply that I had some. I hate thinking of myself as someone who cares what people think, but it must be true. For example, I'm a closeted queer poly person, I'm in love with someone other than my primary partner, and, I think marriage is an outdated mode of life. I also saw all the corporate sponsorship and "support" of gays as a sudden "get on the bandwagon" and rather insincere marketing initiative. I hated the rainbowing of people's FB profile pics and every new one I saw was another disappointment for me. I think the mainstreaming of gay and queer culture is not a good thing. Making marriage available for more people was an appeasement that was a step backwards from disbanding the marriage model, which is what I would like (in the distant future, when we're ready for it). People are not ready for radical ideas, especially if it threatens the validity of their own choices. I guess that's what makes them radical ideas. If I were to express my true thoughts on gay marriage and how much I hated FB portrait rainbowing, I would be a pariah in my own community, while still a pariah amongst those who hate queers.

The Charleston 9. June 18th was a big day for firefighters in Charleston in 2007. June 18th, 2015 is no longer just the day Charleston mourns its 9 lost firefighters, it is now the day we mourn our 9 lost Christians from Emanuel African Methodist. It was the day that Charleston's true strength and love showed. Though we all were in deep shock and pain from what had happened to the loving people of our community we stood up. We banded together because we knew Charleston was stronger than what happened. June 18th is not only the day for the Charleston 9, it is now also a day to remember how strong Charleston is. June 18th, a day in history.

The thousands of migrants flooding into Europe gives me great pain as I feel for them and their desperation, marvel at their courage and feel helpless to do the humanitarian thing. Conversely, I wonder how the face if Europe and the world will change with the influx of people of another culture begin to populate Europe.

Certainly it has to be the problems in the middle east how it has gripped the world with terror and uncertainty. It has put Israel and Jewish Americans on edge and in the center of political debate- not a place we generally like to be. President Obama has put forth an agreement with Iran regarding the regulation of their nuclear capabilities. I'm not sure if it is good or if it is bad. Netanyahu hates it-- so does Dick Cheney who I despise so I don't know what to think on this and in the end it passed anyway so we don't need to weigh in on it right now. We all wish it would have more teeth- more guarantees- and we certainly don't trust that the Iranians will live up to their end of the bargain but the middle east has imploded. Syrian refugees are fleeing their homes by the thousands-- I fear that they will plant their hatred of Israel and of Jews in their new homelands-- festering their particular brand of hate.

The impact of the introduction of same sex marriage in the UK, Ireland and the US has been pretty extraordinary. I've been waiting for the same to happen in Australia...

Syria and Iraq. Constant war. Constant pain and needless suffering. The World is not doing enough. I remember, four years ago, when the death toll from Syria's civil war was 10,000 people... 10,000 human lives... remarking to a friend "when it reaches 100,000, perhaps the World will say 'we should have done something'". Four years on and 240,000-odd (how glib) human beings gone, dead, snuffed-out... and the World is yet to act for them. For shame.

The world has had a huge impact, not only this year but every year. There is still a lot of good going on out there and we need to build upon that. That is the only way we will ever get good to triumph over bad. Still too many stories of self interest and power struggles that diminsh the quality of life and cause harm to the innocent. We all should try to do some good on a personal and local level. Something that makes a positive difference for all.

The surge of Syrian refugees. Makes me wish I could help in a more systemic way, it makes me sad to see so many people who want to live in peace unable to find safety. And in spite of the challenges of this move and the overwhelming numbers, there has to be a better solution than putting people into camps in Hungary.

The Syrian refugees. It hasn't impacted me directly but the fact that we are still, in this day and age, dealing with these types of crisis makes me realize how behind we are as a human race. It's sad... it's plain bullshit to be honest. We should be working towards a BETTER tomorrow... not a repeat of history.

Je Suis Charlie has made me aware of the ongoing anti-semitism that Jews continue to face world-wide, even in wealthy first world countries, and has made me more nervous about anti-semitism in my own life as a result of the shooting that occured at the Kosher supermarket. These are not things I worried about in 2014, or in 2013, or anytime prior.

In typical fashion, I haven't paid enough attention to the broader world this year. But I've been shaken by the repeated shootings of Black Americans (usually young men) and the #BlackLivesMatter movement has moved me deeply. Just today I've seen news of a brown Muslim boy in Texas who brought a homemade clock to school to try to impress his teachers, and was arrested because someone assumed it was a bomb. I'm saddened and ashamed of my country. I don't feel like I'm doing enough to help. I'm not sure what "doing enough" would mean, but I think it's more than what I've been doing.

One of the biggest events in the world this year is the Iran deal. As I think we all knew, the deal was signed. Was it a lousy deal? Yes. Did the Prime Minister use the right tactics when it was clear that he was on the losing side of the battle? No! Do I think Israel is in danger of a nuclear attack from Iran? No. Am I deeply troubled by the hundreds of millions of dollars Iran will pour into equipping our terrorist enemies? Absolutely! The Iran deal sucked up lots of my time, energy and attention as a private citizen. I gave it too much attention. At the same time, living in Israel, the existential impact on us is far greater than on anyone else. It is no surprise that it took up so much of my attention.

I think the main event that has affected me would be the Tories being voted into government. They are crippling this country while the rich are prospering. All they care about is tax dodging for the rich corporates and punishing the hard working lower classes without equivocation. It's a disgrace and hopefully people will open their eyes to their devious ways and stop them coming back into power. It's not affected me on a personal level yet, but when voting I knew they would be a horrible choice to go for. With privatisation of the NHS as well as overturning the fox hunting ban, this country is only going to get worse.

The unfolding refugee crisis from Syria. Obviously I am thinking about this because it is happening, right now - as we enter the new year. But essentially, the Syrian Refugee crisis is one of those moments in humanity's history when we are tested, and mostly, as a collective, we have failed. We have failed to prevent it, we have failed to respond quickly, and now, as the world begins to gather its strength to answer the issue, I fear we will still fail once again. And people, human beings, the reflections of the divine will pay with their lives, because we, people, human beings, reflections of the divine were incapable of finding within ourselves the compassion to move ourselves to greater action.

The refugees dying in the sea, and the rest of the world not wanting to let them in. It made me truly think about what is important. Wanting to be a citizen of the world. Not wanting to 'own' my country but to let people in. Let people in...now, there's a mouthful!

The Mediteranean refugee crisis. The dowright hostile right-wing comments on news articles and social media have shocked me to my core. I can't believe people can witness this kind of mass suffering and not feel compelled to help, to care. I know I do. Of course there are also lots of great initiaves, grassroots projects, Germany opening the doors (but then closing them again), but the openly shared selfish meanness of many people has had the most impact. It's not that long ago when the 'othering' of fellow human beings led to concentration camps. In these hateful comments I again see the banality of evil surface. It takes so little for a thin veneer of civilisation to disappear. It has made me cry.

Syrian refugees crisis. Because it can happen to anyone, over all in Europe

The earthquake in Nepal. Usually it would be something I just read about in the papers, watch in the news and I'd feel sad and worried, but also very disconnected. A Nepalese friend of mine reported about the earthquake in short Facebook posts and that naturally had a very different impact on me. I have experienced the same before with political events in Turkey and Tunisia, where I also have friends. It's odd how Facebook, where I usually see funny videos and birthday messages and inspirational quotes, can be a space where something very grave and large can be transported. It does make the world feel a lot smaller, as though I can reach out to my friend and hug her - which I can't, she lives in the US, I live in Germany. And I'm not sure exactly what difference a hug would make when your home is in pieces. So it makes me feel more helpless, when I am aware of sitting in a safe, cosy spot, while friends of mine have to live in danger and fear and deal with trauma. I am on an island, while I watch others around me drowning with binoculars. The refugee crisis is intensifying this experience, now the drowning people move to my safe spot. It's strange that it took so long for this to happen. I've been thinking that for a while - when will the people who live in war zones, in poverty, in repressive regimes, people whose homes have been destroyed, all come here, where there seems to be too much food, too much space for the amount of people living here (not for all of course, but definitely for a small percentage of the very rich and a larger percentage of a shrinking middle class). For me the earthquake in Nepal and the refugee crisis are thus connected. First I thought - this feels closer, the world seems to be moving closer together. Now I think: It is, there are fewer spaces inhabited by more and more people. The world is changing. I have dystopian visions of the rich becoming richer and raising their electric fences, in the style of post-apartheid South Africa. The poor people trying to survive outside, trying to climb in, being shot... I used to think it was difficult, a luxury that was hard to bear: Being in a safe place, while others aren't and knowing this, looking at images of violence, fear, death, destruction and thinking that me being safe and comfortable is part of the problem. Now more than before I think, I have been so lucky to not have experienced wars or natural disasters where I have grown up, I have had peace and stability and wealth for such a long time.

The Nepal earthquake of 2015 has impacted me in a very real way. It has shown me both my connections and disconnect from the country where I lived for 8 months prior to its occurrence. I missed being in Kathmandu for the terrifying disaster by one day, as I was en route back to Nepal from New York. Though I empathize greatly with those who were hurt by the natural disaster, I did not want to continue living in a place so dangerous, void of my friends and foreign connections, and unstable, both politically and seismologocially. Also, the earthquake has afforded me new opportunities. Though I was scheduled for a summer tour of Southeast Asia before it took place, I may have never visited Sri Lanka had the quake not ruined my work visa prospects. In some ways it has been fortuitous, given my current situation. Then again, I write this as my company plans to send me back to Nepal at its earliest convenience: January 2016. Some days I look forward to how ramshackle Kathmandu was -- it seems like a bigger party than Colombo. I miss the frigid winter mornings, reading the paper with a pastry at Pumpernickel before strolling into the office, or my secret spot for Korean grub, Picnic. I do not miss anyone still living there, but Kathmandu has a greater spirit of community than Colombo, most likely because of its backpacker vibes. I hope that this aspect was not impacted by the earthquake. If anything, the earthquake has added to the family joke that I am a cat with 9 lives, maybe 4 of which are left.

The refugee crisis. I am finding it hard to respond. Donald Trump's campaign. I am dismayed at the stupidity.

this year has been incredibly eventful, to say the least... the black lives matters movement has been huge in making me really examine how i relate to people of color, what i can do to be an ally and not an oppressor... i'm still learning, and incredibly imperfect, but i've really been able to reflect differently, and i attribute it to the internet activism and use of social media as a discussion platform. this has also opened my eyes to ally-ship in general. to trans people, to feminists of color, trans feminists. of course the other thing that's been incredibly troubling is the state of affairs in the middle east. from netanyahu's surprise re-election and the racism in israel, to the genocides at the hands of ISIS, to, now, the migrant crisis in europe. two very separate things, but the middle east is already so wounded...

Traveling to Brazil to visit my 86 years old mom that I hadn't seen for 20 years. I also met my three grandchildren. I met friends and places that had a special place in my heart I keep asking myself how I could lived those 20 years without seeing my mother. My dad transitioned to the other side. From him I have his 2 shirts that I use now to snuggle in bed. Time is gone and missing the things we did together one day before my departure to a n terew world. Those memories smack my hope into pieces. The cemetery was too old and naked and it's closeness helped me to excuse myself from the pain of not seem him.

I do not know if I can call it event, but it was the boiling weather this year in summer. I was on a bus trip to Italy Tuscany and it was unbearable for me sometimes especially when we were in the city of Verona. I had to take medicine because my feet were tumid from the heat I suppose and from the long hours on the bus in the seats! I know it is a very personal even,t but it showed me that I have to care more about my health.

the fact that ISIS is pretty much surging ahead with absolute impunity is extremely worrisome to my as a Jew. The Jews are never too far removed from being persecuted and what would the world do it Jewish people were being rounded up and slaughtered? The DEAL with Iran is insanity of the highest order that I KNOW will never end up being a positive - no matter what!

Mass migration from Syria and Libya to Europe. Living in Latvia, we do not have a large impact here. However as being a part of the EU, it is interesting to see how Europe is reacting to this problem. While many citizens are opening their homes and protesting for opened borders, many countries are closing their borders and even criminalizing refugees.