Q04

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

The ferry that went down killing all those teenagers in asia

the wars in israel, palestine, syria. my heart breaks in many directions and for all people./

ISIS - It has scared the hell out of me, enough to learn how to use a gun.

The death of Robin Williams. It made the world respond and open up about mental illness.

Israel-Gaza war: it has stopped me from taking Israel's freedom for granted.

Terrorism and inability of the general public to see its source, world naivete is terrifying and disappointing for me.

winning of Mr Narendra Modi as Indian Prime Minister

The war in Israel/Gaza. It was horrifying to see the level of hatred from both Jews and Palestinians towards one another. As someone who works in Israeli/Palestinian peacebuilding, I try to retain some optimism about the possibility for peace and justice...but this summer nearly drove that away.

The only impact I have experienced from world events has been psychological. I wish people would stop bombing.

Pretty Isolated here in Panorama but not to happy with the Harper Government passing the Pipe lines and selling out Canada.

School shootings. Feels close to home because my mom is a teacher and it is beyond devastating.

The kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria and soon after, the crash of a bus of students on their way to visit college in California. I link them together and to the year in our family, so full of successes and planning and anticipation for the future. Just as those girls and their families were doing, when their quest to learn was torn from them in an impossibly violent tearing.

Saying goodbye to my 17 year old son in June. He is travelling solo through France and Spain and is walking the Camino de Santiago. With each breath I replace fear with love.

The rise of the terrorist group in Syria is terrifying. It is attracting the most bloodthirsty parts of humanity who seem bereft of emotions, empathy and civility. The world is unrecognizable to me and not in a good way.

Continued violence, unrest and racial profiling. The Ebola virus. We need to do a better job of healing our world.

The increase in conflict inIsarel and other parts of that region of the world...........????

The shooting of unarmed black men is truly disturbing. I feel helpless to do anything to fight back, to help. The political climate and inequality of wealth is also highly disturbing.

The imprisonment of Christians for their faith! The rise of Isis. How slowly taking away freedoms and killing people just because of what they believe. It is a call for me to pray for others to support them in this way!

Ferguson. The outpouring of racism and hatred fueled by ignorance. A complete and whole trusting in news reports as if they are true and not just private corps.. but the most amazing thing was the people of gaza tweeting to the people of ferguson support and tips on how to not be damaged by tear gas. that kinda stopped me in my tracks.

The Back2y event in Birmingham. A meeting with financial advisors/planners in how to create an efficiënt, profitabele and convinient buiness. It was very inspiring.

Robin Williams' death affected me in a way no celebrity death has. He inspired and entertained me for as long as I can remember, and it was hard to hear that someone who had brought me and so many other people joy took his own life.

The Gaza War impacted me because I have a daughter and son-in-law who live in Jerusalem. It has shaken once again my conflicted relationship with Israel. I have always had a sliver of hope that peace was possible. Now I'm not sure.

The rise of Isis, the breakdown of the Iraqi army, the be headings of journalists, the decision to arm the Syrian rebels. I feel like we created a monster by going into Iraq in the first place, and now we have to slay the monster. This will never end. I fear we will always be fighting extremists,and we'd will always be forced to be violent. It is so against everything that is good in the world. I'm so tired of hearing of all the senseless suffering, and yet we cannot do nothing. It seems we are trapped in an endless cycle of violence.

The war in Israel, the rise in anti-semitism worldwide, and the wave of new ELLs to ERCSD have impacted me this year. I am very aware of and afraid for Israel's safety. I am very concerned by the global trend against Israel and against all Jews everywhere. And I am facing daily challenges arising from the flood of newcomers with no English and little or no prior education and a need and right to a place in our school community.

Many science discoveries: proof of the multiverse, ability to teleport particles, invention of pre-tractor beam technology, getting paralyzed rats and others to walk, moving limbs and other things with just the mind: so much! Very exciting, and all goes into research I use for my "Spanners Series" books!

I continue to be impacted by the international response to the actions Israel takes to protect itself and the Israeli people. I don't believe Israel is always wise but I believe the international response to israel's struggle to survive is unbalanced and unfair. This year's murder of three Israeli teens and the horrific Israeli revenge killing of a Palestinian boy impacted me more than any other world event this year.

Robin Williams suicide - reflections of me at 18 and at 55 when 2 people I tjought I knew committed suicide. Why-life is short live it to the fullest which at times I do nothing

This year there has been a lot of tension between communities of color and police. One young man was shot as he was backing down from an altercation w the police. Another died in a choke hold. Then police in Missouri started using military style weapons against people who were protesting brutality. It really showed an us vrs them attitude that was sad and scary. It feels like the people are the target. Marykate and I went to a march that was quite moving. I hope to do more but I'm often not sure how.

The growth of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and the beheadings were scary, really chilling.

an event that has impacted me in this world is the recreation of the twin towers. how or why is it that it takes destruction to make beauty. this has been a pattern of this world. we humans must change to keep peace and not have to give in to the sacrifices of our evils. they are there but each one of us must recognize the difference between good and bad. love is in peace not in killing. i'm anxious to see the towers as it is now but the past will teach me ALWAYS.

School girls being kidnapped in Africa

My Grandad passed away on Thursday, not sure how I feel yet. I just think I'm a bit lost and confused and heartbroken and I'm dreading the funeral on Thursday but then I guess I can escape to Staffordshire a few days later

I cannot think of any particular event that has impacted me this year. This is probably because I don't watch TV. I have limited my exposure to the news, as I use NPR, The Week and internet headlines to stay aware of events. Each of these is either short, or I have control over the amount of info I read. This fits my philosophy in life of focusing on what I can do to positively affect my life and the lives of those in my community. When I am overexposed to news globally, I tend to become very pessimistic. There is way too little positive, and the agencies are not interested in reporting multiple sides of each story, resulting in many inaccuracies.

China regulations on energy efficiency have displaced my work on Extended Slurry in place of Radiant Syngas Cooler product marketing. It has put me in a position of coming up with new ideas, pitching these, and getting funding. It is good that I finally learn how to do this. However, I am beginning to lose confidence in my management and am reaching the point where I have started seriously looking for another job. I wish that China could abandon coal altogether; however, I have this running argument with myself that reducing emissions with these projects helps global warming more than any other job out there at the present.

Legalization of marriage in so many states has me hopeful that our society is becoming more open and compassionate. I am trying to focus on the good that is happening, and not all the bad.

The sudden acceptance of Cody to Oberlin shifted all sorts of plans and expectations. It was a no-brainer for him, really for all of us, but geez, so far away! He was ready though, and prepared to make the move and take advantage of what-all is going on there. And we three are adjusted, there's an upside for all four of us--just having faith that everything will work out, he'll keep up etc.

The kidnapping of women by Boko Haram. Women continue to be treated as chattel, slaves and raped and abused accordingly with no remorse from the perpetrators. These women were largely punished in the most base fashion because they were seeking to educate themselves. It shatters me that this attitude continues, that the world appears powerless to intervene. Or perhaps doesn't really care?????

The rise of Islamic State and other militant Islamic terrorist groups has had a huge impact. Their hard line stance, their violence and total disregard for human life in the name of their religious stance is chilling. I fear for the future of the world and possibility of world peace. But just months before, the world's condemnation of Israel over their response to Hamas Palestinian attacks, seemed to generate a frightening anti Semitism. The month of July was very sobering.

The Eric Snowden incident. It made me much more aware of how the government and other agencies track our behavior.

This is typically a hard question, but this year's answer is obvious because I was personally affected by it. The Gaza war, or operation tzuk eitan, had a big impact on my life as a resident of Israel. It was my first experience of rocket sirens and bomb shelters. It was the first time, when I heard of young Israeli men being recalled by the army, I had specific families, those of my colleagues to picture. While I felt little danger as an individualy, living in a insignificant little city and having faith in the IDF, I could see how one can waver between continuing on with your everyday life and feeling that your very existence is threatened. I also found it hard not to take the media bias, mis-information, and anti-Israel internet rants personally. How can people equate the situation with the Holcaust and yet pretend to be impartial observers! Israel has more enemies that she deserves, and its hard not to make the connection to anti-semitism.

There's nothing that comes to my mind, I try to avoid anything to do with life outside of my own little bubble. Life can be challenging and emotional enough, without letting outside information that may or may not make an impact on my life affect me too.

The war in Gaza impacted me this year. For the first time, I lived in a country that was physically at war. I lived my life listening for an air raid alert. I grappled with the idea that I knew that I would be protected by the Iron Dome, yet still had to seek shleter and safety. I did all of this, knowing that I return home at the end of this year. I confronted the idea that Israel wreaked havoc on the lives of many many people in Gaza. I considered the trauma of losing one's home. I heard stories of the Israeli army acting in kind and generous ways. My heart broke, for everyone involved. The question is how to take this home with me and use this in my career as a Jewish leader.

The latest outbreak of war between the Israelis and the Palestinians. I've seen a lot of hatred online, but also a lot of things that gave me hope on an individual basis; I know there have been countries who were at war for much longer than we are who are good friends now, but sometimes it feels like there is no light at the end of this tunnel. My religious faith has helped to keep me strong and believe that one day we will have peace, and that there is some sort of purpose to it. Despite seeing horrific things said about us and how rapidly the world jumps to believe it, I have also spoken to people in Gaza who reject that brainwashing, hate Hamas and are longing for peace between our peoples... I just hope by the time my baby daughter is old enough to read the news, it will be good news at last!

War in israel. So worried about my cousins trying to live their normal lives in and out of bomb shelters.

ISIS threat.... Need I say more

The Indonesian flight that disappeared. I still am in awe over this. How, with all our technology, global interconnection, and many satellities, can we lose a flight?? None of it makes any sense. I remember watching the news and thinking something is very wrong. Planes do not disappear, it is a big plane after all. They still haven't found it and I still believe something more than it just went into the ocean happened. It really makes me realize how very fallible the human race still is, how we just don't know anything...or do we and someone just isn't telling the public the truth?

I feel like I should say something very serious and profound like Ferguson or conflict in Syria, but truthfully the thing that affected me the most is Robin Williams suicide. Not because it made me sad necessarily (b/c it did of course), but b/c it forced me to take a good, hard look at my own depression. I wasn't suicidal, not even close, but I think I had let myself slide down to a level of depression that made day to day life difficult and I realized I had to start taking steps to change that.

I signed up for the Affordable Healthcare insurance, which is the supposedly Landmark Legislation to help out americans without insurance. It is the right price but a lot isn't covered. Typical of the government to give us a half-assed solution for our healthcare needs instead of going to single-payer.

For the most part, it would have to be the slow job recovery and more specifically, consumer confidence coming back. Along with all of these things comes the slow and steady investor confidence which directly impacts me as a financial advisor. The growth in confidence allows my clients to be more comfortable taking risks they otherwise would not have been so apt to take.

the california drought has worried me. for awhile I was checking in by computer on the snowpack in the Sierras every day from my office in Baton Rouge. We are 2 hours ahead in Baton Rouge and, from my office I watched snow flakes drift past automatic cameras in the Sierras in the predawn hours. It seemed an odd preoccupation but my sister lives in California and I used to live there and enjoy visiting. I worried about rich water cheaters keeping their lawns green in Southern California, how my sister's marijuana crop was doing, the elk herd at Pointe Reyes Peninsula, critters gasping in rubble, etc. I even seriously considered purchasing a rain barrel to set under my roof in the backyard so I could ship water to California, envisioning a nationwide effort of roof runoff water gathering.

I think all the air attacks and bombing and cruelty that man is capable of inflicting. Babies and children getting injured with shrapnel in their bodies and getting limbs blown off or seeing all the death and ugliness that is just a part of their life. They live in that environment , it become who they are and the vicious cycle continues. I an just a dentist but I have had 4 years of training in oral and maxilla facial surgery. At the time I did not get board certified so I lack that credential. I had this desire to join Docs without borders , I wish I could help more. But I think the fighting in the Middle East will never cease. I am reflecting, trying to figure out what I need to do in this finite circle of life. This might be all I have to give.

The war in Israel is hectic and of course Nelson Mandela dying marked the end of an era

There have been so many that make me nervous for the future of our world: the drought in California, the rise of terrorism and Hamas and ISIS, climate change and all the extreme weather. I worry for my yet-to-be born grandchildren. My general anxiety has increased.

ISIS beheading journalists... It made me want to learn more about the muslim religion. It made me feel bad for what all the none extremist muslims must go through after something like this happens.

The war between Israel and Hamas,ISIS, Syria, the killing of a young black man in Ferguson, Missouri, the complete dysfunction of congress. I am faced with the ugly reality of our capacity as humans for hate.

There are so many! One of the first that comes to mind is the mass kidnapping of the 200-some schoolgirls in Nigeria. I feel terrorized as a woman to think that people with evil intentions would be so inhumane. I cannot imagine the agony of these girls and young women and their families and loved ones. I feel helpless to do anything that can stop human trafficking. Yet I pray for peace and love to prevail. Our world has so many problems attributable to human greed and inhumanity. I know I am very blessed with all I have, both material goods and intangible gifts. I try to share love, kindness, and compassion when I can.

Having Israel defending herself and seeing how others reacted to it.

The war in Israel made a lot of things change for me. I'm much quicker to defend my Judaism than I ever was before, and I've also seen people I thought I knew side with Palestine, ignoring where news is coming from, ignoring that the photos that run with stories are from other parts of the world. I've seen and heard people say anti-Semitic things because of the situation there, and it has dramatically changed how I view some people. It is important to me that people either not take sides OR do not condemn Israel for her actions. It has become almost impossible for me to tolerate less than that.

Ukrainan kriisi ja ISIS on ollut aika paljon otsikoissa ja ne on herättäneet paljon ajatuksia, mihin tämä maailma on menossa ja miten se meihin vaikuttaa.

There was an 8 year old girl who was allowed to use an UZI sub machine gun and accidentally killed her instructor when she lost control of the gun. This happened after a young boy shot himself last year at a gun show in MA. I am disappointed with society. How can we allow an 8 year old to handle an automatic weapon and think it is ok. I get sick when I hear of the needless loss of life of our children.

Gaza and Israel war. I live in Israel, and I have never that much of hate in my whole life. I am only 13, and I need to suffer more that normal kids in my age. It impacted me by being afraid every day, that maybe my family will get hurt. It impacted me because I live in Israel, and people hate me for being here. Because, mostly, it's not my fault.

So much has happened in the world this year, from civil wars, to Ebola outbreaks, to ISIS extremism, what it has really had me thinking about, and what the book Half the Sky helped me articulate, is the plight of women and girls worldwide. Females' lives are thrown away everyday because they are not seen as valuable or equal. This is the greatest challenge now, empowering, honoring, respecting, and supporting women and girls to achieve their greatest potential, which will greatly improve our world.

The Scottish referendum has been the most significant of the world events in personal terms. My sister-in-law is Scottish and I know she wants to move back there eventually. I wondered if I'd have to change currency and take a passport if I were ever to visit her. But I suppose it felt more important than that with regard to the identity of the country I live in. Our culture has been ill-defined for a long time now, more visible by what it isn't than what it is - ie an economic power, an empire, a nation with pride in itself. It seems to me that all I ever hear is complaint and criticism, yet really we are very fortunate to enjoy a relatively high standard of living. The referendum could have provoked an important discussion about national identity. As ever it devolved into name calling and smear campaigns - is it any wonder so few people have faith in politicians? I felt deeply relieved that the vote ended in a 'No' decision. I somehow feel that we should stick together and make the differences a source of strength in diversity, not hostile division.

The taking of the girls by Boko Haram just terrified me. I have a daughter and I kept thinking about those girls just snatched when there were at school. I really had trouble reading about that event.

the drought and climate changes wars in middle east, gaza, beheadings my president talking on tv bringing me to tears football players being implicated in domestic violence, and then the public picking up on it and protesting people working against sexual violence and the hashtag thing of #WhyIStayed (and Left) CLIMATE changes, then. harkens back to my injunction to Get A Condom, due to overpopulation, due to our "success as a species." We seem unwilling and unable to control our reproduction, and rationalize it w so-called religion. In earlier times we rationalized by calling large families a financial issue. The good news is that China, thru brutal authoritarian means, admittedly, was able to change to a ZPG rate within a generation. Now they have become the largest growing economic and political country in the world. If they can do it, can anyone else at least begin to move in that direction? OR, will ebola and other plagues be needed to reduce populations in the rest of the world? Stay tuned to learn more about how our evolutionary imperative worked against us, but may become a force for a different sort of survival and 'thrive-al.' : ) sigh!

Today's events, such as the Ebola virus, more war in the Middle East, income inequality, climate change, etc. makes me question God. Why does God let this happen? Why is God not in our lives as He was with our ancestors? Is God a myth dreamed up by people looking for something greater than themselves to explain the mysteries of life? These questions, though, have also focused my belief. I believe in the Shma - Hear O Israel, the Lord Our God, the Lord is One. But I don't believe all of the other stuff - the stories, the need for all of the rules, the reverence for a king that knows all that lets all of this crap in the world happen.

Watching Macklemore sing One Love at the Grammys. Amazing. That's when I finally realized the incredible injustice of the past legislation on marriage and how freaking awesome it is that people can finally marry the ones they love. YAY!!!!!!!!

The Nigerian School girls abduction. It just reminded me about how evil can effect women more significantly than men and how despite the progress in women's rights inthe US and other developed countries, we are still so vulnerable. Seeing Gloria Steinhem recently reminded me that changing the culture about violence is integral to achieving women's rights, but that women's rights are also integral to changing the culture about violence and evil.

The death of Robin Williams. I normally don't pay attention to celebrity news, but his death has made me immensely sad for days and days. I attended a memorial to him, set up in Boston Public Garden, and paid my tributes. I am crying now as I think about it. I cannot imagine the amount of psychic pain one has to endure to want to end one's life while being fully supported by a family and millions of adoring fans. Aside from his contributions as a performer, Mr. Williams did excellent charity work, and seemed like an all-around wonderful human being, and his performances - especially in Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets' Society, Toys and Patch Adams - affected me at my core.

A story of Elephant pouching , how elephants are sometimes shot but escape and as they die they crave water , the narrator of the story went on to say they return to the African elephant reserve knowing it is a safe haven and die at the watering hole also went on to say elephants in wild on verege of extinction. How impacted me ? Sadness first, disgustof poching. why ? Betrayal of life who has a birth right of exsistance not to be extinguished by our actions, the fact that in an act of desperation they seek the safety of those who by way of our fellow species are also the source of their demise.

This year we have experienced another war. I found myself crying for innocent lives that have ended, both in Israel and in Gaza. I felt the fear of waking at night from the sound of sirens, when rockets are fired at us, grabbing my scared child and running for shelter in the (not safe at all) staircase in our building. Hearing the explosions and praying that it will not hit us or anybody. It left me less hopeful about our future here, and it has left scars in my soul. It made me look for prayers. It made me join several initiatives that tried to build bridges within and between the two peoples.

Events in Israel this summer affected me greatly. The murders, the bombs, the suffering, the fear. And most of all - the discourse surrounding the events. The vitriol, the anger, the sadness, the grief, the hopelessness. This was the first year that I had friends in Israel. Friends that I cared about, with whom I had shared Shabbat dinner, whose children played with mine. This was the first time I had experienced conflict in Israel living in Ghana, a place with no real Jewish community. It was the first time I took sides and defended Israel as my own. I still feel very conflicted about many of the issues facing Israel, but the conflict made me feel more invested in the outcome of those issues and made me realise I would be personally affected by whatever decisions are made.

The school shootings at Sandyhook and others has made me feel even more protective and responsible for the preschool special needs students under my care.

The war that Israel has been fighting against Hamas. It shows how much anti-semitism there is and it seems like we are condoning it. My father is a world war 2 vet. And it feels like we learned nothing.

I hear that in Mexico & the middle east, kidnapping, torturing, raping women and children. How could this not impact myself and you? How aware of how evil some people can be for greed and their devil gods. The impact makes me afraid to travel outside USA. Then I hear how men have kidnapped children and tortured them too. Evil people taking advantage of the weaker for their own selfish & perverted gains. I feel very sad for those victims. I wonder how long God will allow the whole world to be like Sodom & Gomorrah. How much longer?

To be honest no world event has really impacted me this year. I was upset about the girls being kidnapped in Nigeria, however nothing had such a direct impact on me this year. Listening to an NPR pod cast on the gangs in Chicago did really impact me. It made me feel so sad for those kids and almost guilty at how good I have it.

The war in Israel has impacted both myself and my family this year. Once our family and friends were sent to the West Bank and Gaza, we've felt a passion towards Israel that we've never felt before, and we wanted to do everything we could to help. We contacted our family every Shabbat to check up on them and to make sure they were ok. This has brought us closer to our family and friends in Israel, and we have kept the tradition of sending shabbat shalom messages to our friends and family in Israel.

Living in Conakry during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has given me a closer emotional connection to the tragedy of the failed response. The complete lack of capacity of the healthcare systems in Liberia and Sierra Leone is no surprise to anyone who has visited those countries in the last 20 years. By contrast, the surprise has been that Guinea has done a reasonably good job of responding to the outbreak. Somehow the powers that be let down the people of these three countries by failing to help support Guinea during the first months of the outbreak to make sure that the epidemic did not spread to its even more defenseless neighborhood. It seems that nothing was done to prevent this completely foreseeable disaster. At first we were afraid for ourselves and I even stayed out of the country longer than planned in August to watch the situation evolve. But with the health measures being taken at the entrance of every public place, the reduced handshaking, and the reassurance that as Americans, if somehow we did contract the virus we would be well treated and would have good chances of survival, we are no longer personally concerned at all. But this complacence is also one more step towards accepting that our lives are somehow worth more than other people's lives. We are safe so we can go on about our lives while thousands are dying largely for lack of basic health services, and their futures are even dimmer given the extreme costs of the outbreak that got out of control due to the lack of action from the world community.

I found the Ferguson race riots interesting. They happened at the same time of "Operation Protective Edge" in Israel, and I couldn't help but compare the two. We were all living our life as if nothing had happened, and nothing was going on. So many people in Israel also live a life not wanting to think about the conflict with Palestine because it is too uncomfortable, and they see no good possible outcome. I think that I'm interested in why our world has become so uncomfortable with talking about the racial elephants in the room? What's wrong with occasionally being offensive? We're not making progress, so maybe we need to change our approach.

So many . . . too many! But I'll choose the protests in Ferguson, MO, because unlike many of the global events (ebola, Gaza, ISIS, Syria, Ukraine and on and on) this one felt so much like we should -- I should -- be able to do something about it. It was in my home, and I know enough about all the sides to choose a side, and I don't have the feelings that the good guys can't win or there are no good guys. I was also impacted by how it impacted friends who don't tend to "get on the bandwagon." It had a feeling of, "wait, no, we draw the line here." I wonder if it will make any difference, though, because I can remember moments that did (gay marriage, for example) and moments that didn't (Occupy, remember that?)

The ISIS crisis and Ebola crisis has brought to light how fragile each world is and makes me think that preserving each moment and valuing each moment really needs noting. I already know this but seeing it in a more global sense that we truly do need to care for each other is more significant to me.

Robin Williams' suicide hit me really hard. When I first saw the news, I was sure it was a hoax. Even though I know that being funny often correlates with deep pain, I just thought someone with his spark would always find a way out of darkness. I think it is a terrible loss, and I'm still sad about it.

I think the Scottish referendum was an interesting event that divided my family, united my friends and made think about my own position as someone who is half-Scottish and half-English. I wasn't sure which way I would've voted which perhaps reflected the lack of certainty with which promises were made but I was tempted to say yes just to see if Scotland could offer something more liberal and the UK could withdraw from a complete Tory dominance. I felt sad that the opportunity passed and may not come again for some time but was also very excited to see the country come alive and people be engaged with politics.

The continuing swirl of instability in the Middle East, the rebirth of fascist behavior in Russia, the rise of antisemitism in Europe, and the sadly persistent racism, sexism, and homophobia among some Americans, all combine to leave me wondering how in the 21st century the world can remain so hostile, so tribal, so full of aggression and hatred, so resistant to peace? What then can I do, can any of us do, to help the world become a harmonious place where it's inhabitants treat each other with respect and work together to lift up all our lives? Like all things, I suppose, the path begins at one's doorstep, with each of us resolving to make peace, build bridges, work collaboratively, negotiate fairly, and live peaceably with those we encounter every day. We must too all remember to make life much more about giving than getting, to resist the daily bombardment of messages that preach the glories of acquisition and accretion. To turn instead to a life of sharing and cooperating, of lifting up those on rungs lower than us so there will be less resentment in the world and more appreciation of the small miracles that occur each time we resolve to join together. Let's envision not a world where all are equal and none lack anything, that's too utopian. But let's resolve to foster a world, through our individual and collective actions, where everyone has a fair chance to live a life of dignity and fulfillment.

The relentless rocket attacks on Israel and the resulting incursion into. Gaza. This would have impacted me even if Danny hadn't had a trip to Israel planned wih Bronfman and if Caleb weren't fighting on the front lines. In previous Israeli wars, I've had more mixed feelings. This time, with lethal rockets being fired at unarmed civilians, intentionally, I felt that Israel had no choice but to try to destroy them at the source.

I think the continuation of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia under the Wahhabi "Islam" continues to disturb me. I am angry that the United States appears to have know committment or common knowledge of the violence perpetrated against very vulnerable populations there. For years I have heard accounts from very poor people from Kenya, the Philippines, Yemen, Eritrea, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal, Indai, and Ethiopia of how migrant workers there are raped, enslaved, beaten, and worst of all -- blamed for crimes that wealthy Saudis have committed, and thus are found guilty and beheaded. I am so angry that the poor are put in such horrific situations because they are unable to feed themselves back home. And we're going to be stuffing our faces on Thanksgiving...or just about any day.

i had the opportunity to go to the 9/11 memorial in new York . over the 13th anniversary. they had just opened the museum to the public. Its like going to a funeral for your best friend,the emotions were at a high pitch level and very raw.i had to leave , i couldn't stop crying. the reflecting pools are magnificent. Its something no one should ever miss, lest we forget..............

Nothing. Not a thing. Personal impact? Everything this year has been 'close to home'. There are some CONDITIONS in the world that have/are having impact on us - climate matters certainly. The price of gold. But those aren't 'events'. In the terms of the question - nada.

The be-heading of people. I know humans can be cruel to one another, but this has taken it to a new level if insanity. I have always hoped that, as a species, we would, over time, evolve. But we have not. It saddens my heart deeply.

Since I have taken courses at the local JCC on the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I have followed news of the latest outbreak of hostility more closely. I am American. I am not Jewish. I am not Palestinian. Yet, it still matters. Lack of peace one place affects peace everywhere else. It seems so simple. I have great respect for Jewish and Israeli culture and I'm learning to see the conflict from the point of view of the Palestinian. Peace, sadly, isn't so easy to achieve. I truly want to be compassionate. I truly want to live my life according to the love my neighbor as myself ideal that is common to Jewish and Christian tradition.I have not studied Islamic traditions as of now but, I assume there is an equivalent ideal expressed there too. Studying about Islam is one goal I have set. But this isn't entirely and only about religion. it is more about compassion and understanding myself and other people as human. Learning to see' through the eyes' of another increases the real possibility of peace -shalom- everywhere.

Ferguson. The brutality and injustice and racial politics and my watching of it all unfold over Twitter and my inability to do anything of substance to create more justice in the world.

The wars in the Middle East. I am fearful for my children and grandchildren. I also worry about the fate of Israel. The world is in more caios then I have ever known in my life.

The increasing terrorist threats to our country are very unsettling. I worry for the younger members of my family, and for what they will have to live through in the future.

The situation in Israel reminds me that for now... living here is better for my family. We were there at the beginning of this current conflict - and that had it's stresses, and it was so small compared to what went on this summer. It would've been hard to justify still living there.

The most recent one was actually a clip from Late Night with Seth Meyers; he explained the ISIS situation more clearly than I've ever heard it on the news, and he did so in 3 minutes. It's a little bit sad that when such big things are happening in the world right now, the most reliable and straight-forward information that I get is from a late night show rather than any news outlet.

The political dissent and rallies in Thailand. It changed my trip there and gave it a very different feel. I met more locals, experienced horrible traffic, and got to know on the ground what the actual "instability" felt like, which was actually fairly peaceful. I also ended up staying in Bangkok longer rather than traveling around the world.

The Malaysian Airlines Crash during the Russian/Ukraine conflict - I lost a lot of feeling of being relatively secure just because I live in a certain place and have certain colour skin. I also still can't believe it happened, and it was horrific, but seemingly - literally, just like that - no one is talking about it and no one is really being held responsible. I just keep thinking of those people who lost their loved ones in a terrible instant.

Nothing has had a personal impact, but all the war, why can't we have peace

Really little of these events has directly impacted me, but the Israeli War against Hamas and in Gaza impacted me more than other worldwide events. I have a friend in Israel whom I stayed with in '07 and after I moved I called her. We hadn't spoken in a while. She invited me to stay with her again in Israel and I am hoping to go in May or June.

I don't know that there's 1 event. What I'd say is the ongoing bad treatment of human beings by other human beings and the complete disregard for our planet, our home make me very sad. We're destroying ourselves and our home and we can't seem to stop it. The infection of the 3 posions of greed, anger and stupidity have us firmly in their grip.

War between Israel and Gaza. It's personal. They are attacking my child and our friends & families. And everyone on fb was still posting kitten videos.

Wow. So many events in the world impacted me this year. From the renewed fighting in Gaza and Israel, to the airplanes that went missing/crashed this year, and from the hobby lobby court decision regarding women's rights to birth control to the Ebola outbreak in Africa. And ISIS. And mass shooters in public places. So many events happened this year that have frightened me and made me not proud to live in our world and also terrified to live in our world. As a Jewish woman, I feel weak and vulnerable as women seem to be losing the ongoing battle for equality and are targeted by shooters. And as anti semitism rises worldwide because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I am just praying for us to never forget the holocaust and to never let anything like it happen again.

World Youth Day in Brazil It was so moving to see faith still practiced in the world in a positive way on a global scale. To witness the care and love for the poor off the beaten pat from the beaches of Copacabana...to hear Pope Francis deliver wise words of peace and keep as little barrier between him and people with needs. Very inspiring call to action... And later on World Cup in Brazil was a chance to bring the world together through the greatest game ever!

The conflict in Israel has educated me deeply this year. I have decided that living in or visiting Israel is probably not something my family will ever do.

The lack of outcry over isis internationally. They have been so open about their destruction and murders yet no one seemed to care

The shooting and riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Racism is alive and well in this country, which is really sad.

Hosting a German exchange student had a big impact on me. It helped me to embrace change. And, she helped me to embrace change too. It added to my stress level at times, but having her stay with us made for a very interesting year.

Event? I have to pick one? So many that weigh heavily on this world. Ferguson. The girls abducted by Boko Haram, The beheadings by terrorists from ISIS. The Malaysian Air missing plane. Dumb cops doing dumb things. A pervasive lack of education in the U.S. that is starting to bear ugly, rotten fruit. Just a lot of pain and suffering that make you question why some of us are allowed to live such a carefree life — and what we can do to help.

The ongoing political unrest in Africa and the ebola impacted me, not so much directly. But because I visited Zambia this past year, a lot of family and friends associated these events with where I was going. This got me thinking about how little people actually know about Africa.. and how massive a continent it is.

I was in Israel for operation protective edge. Seeing how the Israelis live their lives in spite of conflict was amazing but it was so painful to see the anti-semitism in the rest of the world. It was horrifying seeing the way the news reported it. It strengthened my Zionism, my love of Israel, and my resolve to fight for Israel's right to defend themselves.

Gaza conflict. Taught me about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict -- not sure how I made it to 40 without really understanding what it was all about. Bit embarrassing, really. This entire year has been one atrocity after another. Not sure if it's always been this way or if my eyes have just been opened -- actually -- I *am* sure. It's always been this way. (See: Colonialism/genocide/slavery.) Thinking about this conflict and all the conflicts of the past has really driven it home to me that we're just repeating these terrible cycles in different contexts without truly learning our lessons. I love people theoretically but in practice, I've come to believe that half of us are deeply terrible -- apaths -- done in by a lineage of loathing before they even had a chance to sort themselves out. The other half --empaths -- are flawed but lovable and doing the best they can with what they've got. And that dynamic will always exist. Of course a percentage of the first lot are also psychopaths but those folks, well, there's nothing to be done about them. And they can produce some really good people in counter-balance --- I mean, how else do you rebel against a psychopathic parent but to defiantly become the best person you can? In any case -- I think we just do what we can for the good people and that's what we can do. We make our little corner of the world a little brighter. And we maintain optimism in the face of seemingly insurmountable terribleness.

The growth of ISIL and, specifically, the videotaping and dissemination of the beheadings of hostages. The brutality with which people can treat others in the extreme moment is equally horrible to how brutally people can behave toward one another over time, yet these immediate incidents are reminders that feel individualized and therefore affect me/us in a different way, then reminding us of the bigger picture of brutality, desperation, aggression that exists in the world and, perhaps, in all of us in some way. It's not random, or without context, for sure, but the brutality in the world is always both distant and near. I'm not sure what to do with that knowledge except to keep thinking about it and trying to understand the context as critical.

The death of Robin Williams deeply affected me this year. I often find celebrity deaths unsettling, but suicide is particularly traumatic, and it was a shock to find out that an icon from my childhood was no longer on this earth. His death seemed to cause the whole nation to reflect on how some of the figures who give us so much are not getting what they need in return. It really makes me think about how I can better express to the people in my life how much they mean to me.

The War in Gaza- Israel's blatant war crimes and nobody stands up to them. I hate feeling helpless as they kill and destroy. There are evil leaders among them, that is certain but our government is afraid to stand up to them.

I have a number of British and Scottish friends online, so I heard thorough analyses of both sides of the issue. I was impressed by how deeply people in other countries took the vote to heart, whatever the result. It strikes me as an international version of Occupy, with people standing up for their own interests.

Hard to know where to start. It's been a horrible year internationally, what with Boko Haram in Nigeria (and the kidnap of girls there, among much else), the explosion of Islamic State, the continuing misery of Syria, the near-collapse of Iraq, the Israel-Palestine war, the ongoing horrors of South Sudan, the Ebola outbreak in west Africa. So to pick one... Rather than one event, I'd like to pick on one aspect of most/all of these events - namely the way in which women are seen and treated. The use of rape as a weapon, the assumption that women's deaths constitute collateral damage to be shrugged off, the imposition on women of repulsive notions of our wickedness (so we have to cover up, keep indoors, or whatever) - this year has shown so very clearly what an enormously long way there is to go before anything can really be said to have changed.

I guess I am blessed in that no single event has impacted me (positive or negative). I do worry about the impact of the economy and middle class squeeze on my family, the war in Israel and anti semitism. These are all real things but u struggle with how I can make an impact day in and day out.

Ferguson. Because it's crazy to think that racism is still a thing. It's made me start a screenplay about it deal with the problem by pointing out that there is no problem. If we all just treated everybody we meet as people, not as white people or black people or Hispanic people, the problem will quickly evaporate. I think.

The kidnapping of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali really impacted me on a personal level. It turned me into a more vocal activist for Israel.

The world is in terrible shape and it scares me. The word or term "beheading" has become a part of everyday speech as a result of beheadings by terrorist group ISIS. I don't see an end to this kind of terrorism and to be honest it frightens me.

There are lots of events going on in the world that affect my thinking such as the frequent be-headings by ISIS (I have not ventured onto U-tube to look), the uncovering of bad NFL player behavior (I only pick "ethical" players for my FFL team), and the disappointing loss by USA in the World Cup (which revealed a very hopeful future and increased interest in the sport in our country). The "event" I'm really affected by is the slow, methodical drought that continues here in So Cal. We are now filling up a bucket in the shower to see if we can save some dead-looking patches of what remains of our brown backyard meadow. I have worn short sleeves to work for about 5 months straight now (since May).

The violence in Ukraine. It's a horrible thing, and while it's nice that people are starting to notice world events, the actions they take need to move beyond hashtag activism. The Michael Brown shooting and the subsequent protests over the summer are a step in the right direction, but there still hasn't been enough reaction from the public to shift the balance of media reporting away from the typical "these are angry black people" stories. Sadly, I really think that making substantial change possible is going to require a much more shocking and violent abuse of power from police/military, and a proper, widespread reaction from the media.

The beheading of journalists by ISIS & their plans and conflict in Iraq & Syria. How will this all be resolved. Also the horrible disease and spread of the Eboli virus. Scary! The lack of understanding and empathy regarding the children coming across our southern borders & the terrible treatment of these children wanting to be reunited with family. Where is our love and care for one another?

Fears for Israel and her soul. And the fear that retirement will make me less compassionate.

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has given me the desire to be of service in my work, in a way that I've never had before.

Robin Williams death has stuck with me this year. He brought so much happiness to so many and was so unhappy himself. And so needed acclaim he wasn't getting. It makes me sad.

Police militarization. This affects all

There is quite a few things that have happened this past year. Sandy Hook, Fergeson and ISIS stick out in my head a bit. But really I think what stands out the most to me is the change I feel in the world. The anger that everyone has. The entitlement that people feel. I don't know if it's because I can witness through social media easier then ever before, or if the world is really changing. It scares me frankly, and I am scared for my child and the future.

The aggression of Russia towards it neighbor Ukraine and the anemic response provided by the US and Europe has disturbed me a great deal. As a student of history and politics, I feel like I am watching a repeat of the days leading up to WWII and that scares me a great deal. These events have restored my memories of the cold war and constant reality of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) that we all lived under through the 80s. I am disgusted by the general lack of political leadership and will in Washington from both parties and I worry that this lack of leadership may lead to serious consequences for my country.

When the Israelis started bombing Gaza, I got engaged in to a lot of discussion about what responsibility the "Jewish people" had to stop this. I was enraged, completely enraged, but the antisemitism behind that kind of thinking. Supposedly educated people told me that "we" needed to do something about it, making all kinds of assumptions about my politics, my connections with Israel, a million other racist bullshit ideas that can only come from thinking of the Jews as a homogenous mass. It also made me really sad. To have antisemitism walk in my front door like that from people I formerly respected was a horrible, horrible thing.

The situation in Gaza and the resulting anti-Semitic protests. Learning that all the riot police in Bastille were for the big protest just 2 blocks from our apartment and the synagogue in Marais -all while we were there. The protest in Westminster... I am generally wary of the talk of rising anti-Semitism and often feel it is exaggerated, and I don't necessarily buy in to the anti-Israel=anti-Semitic, but our world is not as safe as I wish it was.

Three Israeli teenagers were killed, and this escalated into a larger battle between Israel and Hamas. Beyond the horror of this, which is itself a significant impact, the anti-semitism that the world has shown has made me stand and defend Israel even more fiercely, and at every turn. Hey, people! Israel is the only stable democracy in the Middle East! They have long sought to offer good living conditions to ALL their citizens! No other country in the world would stand for constant terrorism being rained down upon it; hell, the US just started bombing Syria to "weed out" ISIS, which is Hamas. Think any civilians will be killed in such a skirmish? Israel, on the other hand, risks the lives of its soldiers to launch a ground attack, which results in MANY fewer civilian lives being lost.

The forming of ISIS and wht they are doing.. I feel less safe in the USA andmy son being in the army I hope does not get deployed to such a barbaric country to fight

Oh geez I don't know I just avoid the news... I'm not sure I know any world events!

The Israeli Gaza war. I think I'm most disheartened about the overt rising anti-Semitism it has spawned as well as the terrible coverage and understanding by the mainstream media. Deborah Lipstadt's upcoming talk should be most interesting and probably disturbing.

The war with Hamas in Israel. I really found myself immersed in the conflict. How it was impacting both sides, but more so my people. Wanting to find a path towards peace.

Most national and world events don't impact me directly, but I am intensely disturbed by a lot of what goes on. The hatred, injustice and outright savagery is just incomprehensible to me. That said, I hope that we don't again go to war in a fight that's not ours. I don't want to see any more of our young people die, or come back maimed or psychologically shattered from a foreign war that can't be won.

Climate Change is an ongoing event in the world that has impacted me this year. Ian & I continue NOT to travel by air. We read George Monbiot on Love Miles a number of ears back and still can't get on a plane. Plane travel is so energy inefficient and it is on the increase. Monbiot implores us to only fly for love. All my loved ones are close at hand. I don't have to fly anywhere to be with people I love. I am a third generation Canadian born in Vancouver. Those of us born in Vancouver rarely move to live anywhere else. It's beautiful although expensive here to live. Because of Climate Change I have gone to marches and events that support the stopping of pipeline construction and Oil Sands expansion. As a high school teacher, I do all I can to make the connections between what we are studying or doing int he classroom and the larger world. In art classes we use the kiln judiciously. It uses a lot of hydro-electric power (not directly related to climate change but still it connects to energy consumption). We Reduce, Re-use and Recycle in our art making. All materials are reliant often the transport and extraction of raw materials often from the other side of the planet. I ride my bicycle to school even at the age of 53. It takes me about 35 minutes each way. Racism, sexism, homophobia, classism (poverty), ageism, able-bodyism etc continue to preoccupy me. I endeavour to act and talk accordingly. I don't support war.

Israel's attacks on Gaza that killed so many innocent civilians has made me feel alienated from the Jewish community. I went to a demonstration and a march but fear the results if the conversation turns to this in my temple or Jewish community. I fear the talk my rabbi is going to give on Israel on Yom Kippur.

There are 2 events this past year that have impacted me - the attack on Gaza & the Ebola epidemic. Because I lived in Bethlehem in the West Bank in 2006 & 2007, I have many friends in Palestine, including Gaza, where I traveled twice to interview Dr. Suhaila Tarazi, director of Ahli Arab Hospital and to check out Bethlehem Bible College's outpost in Gaza City. It's very difficult to watch the lives, families, homes and civil infrastructure of people you know & love destroyed & be helpless to prevent it or to change the story. Even more frightening, I saw & heard Israeli & American Jews fall prey to fear-mongering to the extent that they lost their humanity & began to openly call for genocide against Palestinians & Israeli Arabs. Of course, this all fed anti-Semitic flames. I lived in Guinea in 2010 & 2011, where the Ebola outbreak began in December 2013. Many of the students I taught at Guinea's national polytechnic university came from the Forest Region, which is Guinea's hardest hit. I had colleagues from Sierra Leone & Liberia. I was sending pedagogical materials to Peace Corps Volunteers in Guinea before they were evacuated. My friends on the Peace Corps staff there are still living in worrisome circumstances, not least of which is that if Peace Corps doesn't bring those volunteers back in country, the program will be suspended & they will lose their jobs. I work for an international child development organization with programs in Guinea, Sierra Leone & Liberia so of course I'm concerned for the safety & well-being of the staff there. And I sponsor young girls in Sierra Leone & Guinea. The entire economy, health & education systems of these 3 countries are shattered. Gains in human & economic development they'd won through hard work over the past few years are lost. And it seems the world cares little about the lives of West Africans, just as it cares little about the lives of Palestinians. It was only when Ebola became a national security concern that America paid attention & began to allocate resources. This is not a good sign for our survival as a human race when we violate fundamental ethical principles & don't even notice. I have to ask myself if I these 2 events would be so crucial to me if I hadn't lived in these countries. Of course I would have cared, having traveled in both the Middle East & West Africa. But is it necessary for human beings to have specific, physical connections with people who are suffering in order to act?

N/A

Climate change acknowledgement. Feeling a but hopeful for my daughter's future.

I've been fairly insulated from world issues this year in that nothing that I can think of has impacted me directly. I suppose the closest I've come is the disappearance of the Malaysian jetliner. One of the passengers was a friend of friends. Oh, and the Ebola scare. Same thing -- friend of a friend. The Ebola outbreak is terrible, but I don't believe it will become a huge problem in 1st world countries. The jetliner? That's just too odd. No trace of that plane anywhere -- I find that almost unbelievable.

I've given up caring. My focus has become incredibly narrowly focused on my own survival. Recovery my ass. Can barely pay my own bills. Struggling to find work. Hoping I can hold everything together until the economy turns around. Tired of hearing how many millions are spent every time the president goes to play golf when I'm counting pennies to buy enough gas to get to work. I went back to school and got an engineering degree and I can't get a job because I have no experience and there are too many people out of work who have experience. So I don't have the energy to give a damn about what's happening in the world.

The kidnapping of the girls by Boko Haram was one of the most devastating stories of the year. Not just because of the horrendous nature of the act, but because of how it took an immediate back seat to other issues, particularly the situation in the Middle East. Those young women are the future of their people and the world, while interested for a while, almost forgot about their plight. Anybody who tells me that women are never less valued in the eyes of society, had a difficult standing by that assertion in the wake of this catastrophe. We must start demonstrating by our actions that our girls at home and around the world have equal footing with their brothers.

The shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Mo. I think this particular shooting has impacted me more because of the immediacy of social media -- I felt I was getting more of the story more accurately from people on the ground. There's something so deeply amiss in America, something so fundamentally askew...it's very hard to see how we can set ourselves right. I want to do more to be supportive of and part of the struggle, but I don't know how. As a shy (and perhaps selfish) person, I want peace and solitude. But being walled away in my home, apart from the people who are resolutely facing our sins and pleading for change...that feels increasingly cowardly.

Officer Darren Wilson shooting Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. It has challenged my uninformed liberal perspective on the world. Called me to read and listen and grieve and rage more deeply. To know at a deeper level than my former "knowing".

The events in the Gaza strip. Do I want to be Jewish? Do I have the right to pass this conflict down to my children?

Robin Williams's death It brought back so much from my sister's suicide. But this time people. Could talk about it and tried to educate others about it. It was sad but I felt comfort from the sympathy I saw others displaying for Robin Williams.

The world was already pretty screwed up in my view, but the events of this year--ISIS, beheadings, the flouting of hard science by wingnuts who insist that climate change is not happening, Tea Party-driven intolerance, police shootings of unarmed teenagers...I could go on. I feel like we've descended in a downward spiral of madness. It's what I imagine the Dark Ages to have been. Where is the light? I feel powerless to make it better.

From the Hamas war in Gaza to the Ukraine/Russia issue, Nigerian kidnapping and ISIS beheadings, its a scary time in the world. I can't help but think of all the little conflicts that led to WWI but started out isolated. How do we avoid a decades long war in the Middle East?

The 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, also known as Operation Protective Edge. After living through Operation Pillar of Defense in Israel the fall of 2012, seeing the country have to deal once more with the constant fear of safety, the constant sounds of Iron Dome protecting the nation, and the constant running to bomb shelters from Jerusalem to Haifa to Eilat always makes keeps me at edge. Even though I'm no longer living in Israel, Israel will always be my home and it's a place I worry about constantly. I hope that in the new year, the idea of peace can become a possible idea in the middle east.

The entire Obama Administration has me worried that its intent is to weaken our country and our culture. Every world event that needs to be stopped has been furthered, and every condition that should be encouraged has been delayed. I have no trust in the President or his cabinet. I hope we get a new Senate that will accomplish and be rid of this man and his ideals.

This just goes to show how self-centered I've been this year, so caught up in my own drama I can scarcely think of a world event this year that I've let touch me deeply... There is a definite theme developing here, not a pleasant one but one that offers direction toward renovation of the self through turning outward rather than collapsing inward

The Nigerian militants kidnapping those young girls.I'm tired of all the violence.

The war between Israel and Hamas. I guess this was one of the first major and lasting conflicts Israel has been involved in during more of the social networking era. There were so many strident comments and opinions floating around, and very few were open to a broader perspective. I mean, a lot of them were very black and white with no room for any other point of view. I have difficulty entertaining opinions from folks who have no idea what it's like to live how the Israelis or the Palestinians live on a daily basis: pervasive fear, terror, poverty, hopelessness. I would never dream of trying to espouse "you should just..." or "why don't they simply..." kinds of opinions from the safety of my own home and terror free life.

The escalation of the fighting in Israel has impacted me this year because that's where my sister lives. Hearing her talk of rockets hitting areas near her home in Israel is scary, and I wish the whole fighting would end. I've also been struck (pun intended) by the increase in violence in general, in my own community and across the country. It seems that not a day goes by where there isn't another story of a school shooting or some other senseless act of violence.

There have been a lot of crazy stories from all over the world this year. As Obama said, (something like:) The world has not all of a sudden gotten crazy, people are just now hearing about it because of social media. The question of impact is interesting, I guess emotional impact is impact. The event that impacted me the most is the Gaza Israel war. This was my first year out of school and over the summer war broke out. It began with the kidnapping of the two Israeli boys and then fears of the third Intifada and then all of a sudden Israel and Gaza were going at it. I was completely immersed in the situation. At work I was constantly listening to the news about the war, doing work and then searching the internet for a new story about what was going on. It was so weird to feel so connected and immersed in the situation and then to constantly be around people who weren't. I would go to lunch with my co-workers and they would talk about their dogs or their husband and internally I would be like My God there is a WAR going on right now! Maybe this is what it felt to be Syrian, the constant on slaughter of information about the war that most people let slide over them and they continue on with they day. How could you ignore it? There was one situation that really stayed with me. The casualties in the Gaza strip were terrifying. And then there was a story about four boys who were playing on the beach and they were hit by rockets. They were not the first children to be affected by this war or the last but it was shocking because there appeared to be no target near by other than the children. I was at working watching video covering the situation and it was a video of two of the boys laying on the floor of a hotel they had been taken too (it was a hotel that most of the reporters in the Gaza Strip were staying in). You could see there were tons of people in the area, most seemed to be reporters, taking videos or pictures of the scene. The video zoomed in on one of the very young boys, lying on the floor, bleeding and alone. There were 20, 30, 40 people in the room. All trying to get photos and videos. No one just sat down with this hurt boy. They just stood there taking a photo of him. That image made my heart ache and still does sometimes, but I am sure that he is with people who love him and will take care of him now. I just couldn't believe my eyes. The whole situation is horrible. Is, because its not over.

Gaza uprising. It has "hardened my heart" with regard to the "Palestinians" and has convinced me that peace is, at least for the forseeable future, a pipe dream. It is sad, but the Arabs do not want to live in peace. One cannot negotiate when the other party's stated goal is to kill everyone they oppose. What is our negotiating position? Should it be "How about just maiming us?" I think it was in a James Bond movie that the bad guy answers Bond with the cheery words, "No, I don't want you to talk, I want you to die." This is a digital absolute answer and is not an issue that can be mediated.

Last weekend, I participated in the Climate March because a friend told me, "If you believe it's something that a lot of people should attend, you should go yourself." Her statement -- and the march itself -- made me reconsider my relationship to activism: while I'm not as politically passive as I'd been in college, and not nearly the firebrand I was as a protest-frequenting child, I'm starting to recognize the worth of showing up, of simply being counted.

OMG, there are so many. If I had to choose one, I would have to say the continuing war in Gaza. There are no good guys here, and I say that as a Jew. I had the eye-opening experience some time ago to travel to Israel and Egypt in consecutive years. My lasting impression, besides the obvious history, is how similar they are culturally. The food, the speech, the outward appearance, the architecture are eerily similar. Despite these similarities, with a few historical exceptions, it's just soooo sad these 2 rich cultures cannot coexist. I personally find the problem to be founded in religious fundamentalists on both sides of the battle. Most people just want to live quiet, peaceful, productive lives. It's a shame that this cannot be achieved as long as there are people using the name of God to foster hate. It's even more of a shame that the prolem seems to be getting worse, not better, and spreading like a cancer throughout the world, including right here in the US of A.

The Gaza war was really the first time I felt very immediately connected to it through the real time posts on Facebook of friends who were there and the even more immediate impact of "Red Alert", the app I downloaded whited buzzed my phone every time there was a rocket attack. The days before the cease fire felt like a relentless barrage of attacks, and even though I was glad to be so far away, I also felt the desire to find a way to somehow be closer to israel, and to find a way to be more helpful.

I've been watching the Ebola epidemic with interest. I'm a scientist, to the aspect of the disease itself and the healthcare issues are fascinating. The natural history of a disease establishing itself in our current world. We will not be rid of this virus now, it will be part of our history. And then there is to social and political response, or rather, the lack of response. But look at the other events occurring at the same time as this epidemic, war, terrorism, beheadings, racism, murders, etc. No wonder the world community was distracted. Another sleeping giant of a problem is the increasing economic and social gap between the rich and poor. What are we going to leave our children? Anything good?

Climate change has caused where I live to be inundated with heavier concentrations of allergens, pollen and other asthmatic problem makers. I have problems breathing in regular weather so I've had to start taking more medication more often. Ah the changing world...

The war in Syria really worries me. I feel so sorry for all these people losing their home and so grateful for the safety I am living in. There is so much going on with Russia and the Ukraine, that I really don't know what to think about that.

Any sort of gun violence involving a semi-automatic. I become apoplectic with rage and for a couple of days at least convince myself to get involved with the gun control movement. Then I don't. But I talk a good game. On a more personal note, the drought in California has me very worried for my relatives who live there - now including my daughter. My sister lives in a fire zone, and the apocalyptic warnings of the worst fire season ever have me very concerned for her.

The thing that impacted me most was the iCloud hack that releases personal photographs of celebrities online. At first like any other curious young male I searched for the photos online and indeed found them quite easily. I spent some time looking at them - I did not find them arousing at all, in fact it was sad to see these larger than life people reduced to pale bodies burdened with same narcissism, the same desperation and the same need for love and lust that afflicts all of us. In the end when looking at the pictures of Jennifer Lawrence I just felt sad for her and for a world where such a thing can and will happen. In the she was just a woman, just a girl plagued by the same insecurities as every one else and putting herself out there under the intense glare of love, lust, envy and jealousy that comes with being a movie star.

The war in Israel starting up really scared me since my best friend moved to Tel Aviv. She dually seemed really nervous and shocked by it all, but also mundane and blasé. I think she is trying to fit in with the life long Israelis who weren't as freaked out, but I know her sensitive side and I'm sure she was scared. I wished I could've been there for her, or that she would move somewhere less dangerous. But she says the good outweighs the bad... organic food and great climate make up for war zone? Ok, her choice... An event in my world which impacted me greatly this year was my great-grandmother's death. Grandma Evie was such a lovely woman and I have so many fun memories of playing and talking and eating together... She was still so present in mind even in her 90s. She had spunk and was stubborn, qualities her children and grandchildren complained of, but I think I get that from her. I am proud to be her only brunette + green eyed great grandchild, bearing her resemblance more than anyone else. She was stunningly beautiful and was firmly rooted in her faith, she gave me hope. If I get to live as long as her, maybe there's time to figure it all out.

NSA spying! Now, on chat I say things like "hi, NSA!" "boy, hope the NSA didn't nab, that one." and such. Also, wtf, bitcoin? I could have been a millionaire, if only younger me didn't think you were so stupid. Isn't it odd, that the happenings of hte world aren't really having an impact on me? Hmm...we seem to live in some sort of isolated bubble...I think I'm okay, with that.

The Israeli offensive in Gaza was brutal and ruthless. I understand how Hamas may have been using the location for terror purposes. The impact on me is the way the the Gaza people who lived through bounced back to celebrate life in the middle of such a horrible situation.

The escalation of the Israeli-Palistinian conflict. It certainly made me reevaluate my thoughts on Israel, even though my general conclusion still is that I don't feel like I know enough about the political history to make a conclusive decision on where I stand. But more importantly, it made me think about my Judaism. Because of how high profile the conflict became, I had to decide whether and when to express my Judaism, since I know that there are people who I interact with who are staunchly anti-Israel; I am always afraid that that will translate to antisemitism, meaning that I become afraid to let it be known that I'm Jewish for fear of something happening to me as a result. Maybe that's irrational but maybe not- it's in line with things that have happened to Jews throughout history.

The event that has impacted me the most is Operation Protective Edge. I wanted so much to be there with my people but I was so proud of them. Its so not like the US with its peaceniks protesting. Yes I want peace but I know there is a price for peace. And I know the concept of peace is so different in Israel. Protecting her people is such a different concept. I miss that. I hate the way Americans view war here. Maybe because it's not in their faces but I admire Israel for their Sabra ways and fierceness in the face of adversity. And I miss it more than I can say.

I was in Israel during the most recent fighting between gaza forces and the idf. I was staffing a birthright trip so we had to explain to our participants a lot more of the politics than usual. Later when I heard my first air siren it became more personal and my fiancée and I had to deal with the emotions for ourselves. It was weird but I did not feel unsafe due to the iron dome defense system. I hope the fighting ends because it was unfortunate so many people died.

Israel fighting in the Gaza Strip was an event I witnessed first hand. What I mean by "first hand" is that I was in Israel during the start of the rockets attacks and the official invasion of the Gaza Strip. The sound of the siren could be heard from up to 40 km away and was fairly scary to hear. I felt safe in Israel though. I knew that we ( the American tourists) would be the first out of the country if anything went wrong.

The conflict in the Middle East and resulting anti-Semetism made me more aware of my being a Jew. Regardless of what I think, beleive or feel, the world will regard me as a Jew.

I've been pretty much burying my head in the sand over world events this year. Wars here, fighting here, people being killed for no good reason - and there's nothing I can do about it.

ISIS, because for the first time, I, as an American, feel threatened by this group in my own country.

Ebola, Ukraine, Algeria, Middle Africa

The Israel-Gaza crisis made anti-semitism more transparent worldwide. It's been shocking and depressing to see that these sentiments still persist. I was so naive to think that anti-Jewish feelings were a thing of the past. If most of the people on earth died off the planet tomorrow, I feel as though there'd still be racism, intolerance and ignorance. They are insidious.

The Palestinians/ Israeli war in Gaza. The violence and extreme suffering, particularly the death of so many scores of Palestinian children and women, shook me to the core. More than ever before, it has made me question Israel's actions. I feel so torn between my support for the Jewish state and protection of the Jewish people, because that kind of violence, oppression and bloodshed can ever, ever be justified. And it goes against all of the Jewish values I have ever learned. The war has heightened the conflict I feel inside over Israel.

There is not one event. It's the overwhelming numbers of events demonstrating our lack of social-political evolution. It is destroying the physical, mental and spiritual life of our Earth and its inhabitants. I believe the resultant sad, disheartening, disgusted feelings I, personally, experience from all this negative news is related to the media and what it chooses to focus on . . . not that these destructive things are not occurring. My choice is to be generally informed about these occurrences and open to learning what I can about their backgrounds and source. However, mostly my attention is on self-realization . . . remembering my Mission: To be a source of "knowledge, wisdom and understanding" - with the intention of providing a spark of light to counteract the dark news.

The kidnapping of the Nigerian girls had a huge impact on the way I thought about my own body. As an American woman, it's easy to feel that you are never enough. "I'm too fat, to short, too hairy, too this or not enough that." This brutal event reminded me that there are women and girls all over the world fighting for survival. Their bodies are brutalized and sold on a daily basis. Hating myself is a luxury. If I had to fight these same battles, I wouldn't have much time for this. I am lucky. I embrace the freedoms that I have and work each day to find peace with my body. I will not participate in any kind of war--especially against myself.

The anniversary of 9/11 actually had a huge impact on me - my oldest learned about the events in school and I felt the need to tell her my story. What I thought would be a fairly straightforward telling ended up being me sobbing in the car because I did not want her to be afraid that this kind of thing would ever happen again.

The beheadings of journalists and escalation of the threat of terrorism in Australia. I am concerned for my grandchildren and future generations - there seems to be no resolution to the horrid conflicts raging throughout our world. Peace is still just a dream in Israel and terrorist groups contine to cause deaths and fear.

I think I am most affected by the events in the Middle East - ISIS...the brutality of this group, the beheadings, the genocide. It is beyond reason or understanding how/why human beings could do this.

Perhaps the beheadings of American journalists by the extremist group ISIS should have impacted me more than it has, but I have not responded to these events with the nationalistic fervor that is apparent in social media and news sources. Instead, what has impacted me more is the reaction of Americans to the beheadings. So soon after responding similarly to the attacks of 9-11, Americans again are lead to a reactionary response instead of a thoughtful measured one. I can't help but conclude human beings, by nature, desire violence and aggression instead of peace.

What impacted me the most this year was not one specific event but a phenomenon. More and more, celebrities and influential people are talking about feminism and there is a realization that there needs to be a shift of focus, that we also need to include our male counterparts in the discussion about what is and isn't consent/rape/feminism. I'm feeling good about the word feminism slowly shedding the negative connotations surrounding it and about women finally becoming equal. There is still a lot of work to be done but I feel good about our future.

When the fifa world cup was hosted at the home of the favalas. I was fascinated by the fever

The victory of marriage equality in an increasing number of US states. Every state is a victory. And I'm not even in a relationship.

I feel as though world events do not impact me as much as they used to. I don't know if this is because I don't listen to the news as much or because I live in a small town, or if, which would make me sad, it is because I expect hardship and when it doesn't impact me directly or people I know, then I don't feel the same strength empathy I used to when I was younger. Is that really an awful thing though? Sometimes I feel I used to put the weight of the world on my shoulders and it never inspired me to act, it only made me feel depressed or anxious about the state of the world. Now, I feel like I have more strength to actually do things, to impact the world more positively when I do not let my mind become weighed down with disasters and problems that are not in my direct realm of influence. I do feel right now for all the refugees coming from Syria to many other places. To be displaced, ridden from your home, this must be a terrible loss and I cannot even imagine being a child within that world. I want to though be impacting close to home or do what I can from here to help those people and others rather than let a world event impact me. Then again, positive events have impacted me as well. I'm so glad more places are progressing with gay marriage sanctions and addressing violence against women. I feel the world is moving positively, and when I remember this, it makes me want to act positively as well.

The drought of 2014 in our area. I am now much more aware of saving water in so many facets of my daily activities. I am also so saddened when I see "before and after" photos of lakes and rivers and creeks in northern CA. To know how this water shortage is affecting not just humans, but so many animals and plants. I find it heartbreaking; however, it motivates me to make a difference.

All of the hate in the world - towards other races, ethnicities and lifestyles. I could care less what you are or how you live your life if you are a good person. I wish we really could all get along.

It's not one thing, but cumulative. I was raised by New Deal Democrats, and my parents placed a high value on learning, rational thought and education; basic enlightenment principles. I'm beyond angry at the dumbing down of society, and at the notion that experts and scientists are somehow less trustworthy than people without any training or knowledge. But honestly, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Politicians and leaders, people who know better, seem to have no qualms about outright lies, about stating things that are counterfactual and about perpetuating the myth of trickle down economics, and the previously mentioned "dumbing down," this notion that one person's opinion is as valid as another's fact, allows these lies to take hold. I'm bothered that there always seems to be enough money to build new weapons, and yet money to feed children is always at risk. I'm bothered by the demonization of the working poor and the Calvinist notion that some are fabulously wealthy as a result of some sort of virtue. I fear that Democracy, as I knew it growing up, is eroding, and it leaves me depressed and anxious.

Np and jp- the widespread response across the world even in democratic, liberal democracies to israel,s actions in gaza. It has been very upsetting. A country has kids kidnapped and killed, rockets fired at civilian targets and tunnels dug under its cities. What could Israel do ? We feel sorry for the Palestinian civilians who suffer and those who die whether at the hands of their own thuggish Hamas government or as the innocent victims of Israeli actions aimed at curbing Hamas sponsored attacks. Hamas you can understand even as you deplore the harm they do. Even the reaction of angry, frustrated Palestinians who are poorly served by their leaders. But europeans or evenMuslims outside the middle east. when 10s of thousands of innocent Sunnis and Shiite are being killed and now millions displaced by wars initiated by fascist dictators and crazed fundamentalists in Syria, Iraq and Iran in the other 98% of the middle east.

I already talked about the shooting of Mivhael Brown. That and the resulting discussion had just saddened me so deeply. I wish I still thought it was just ignorance, rather than a good bit of malice, that was driving racial inequality in our country.

the Israeli-Hamas war . I've been going around with this terrible sadness & dread about the continued existence of Israel, what sort of an Israel it will be & how the world blames Israel/Jews for this war that was started because Hamas murdered 3 boys & retaliates thru anti-Semitic acts & attempts to isolate Israel thru divestment. Even in my own family there are deep divisions about what we believe Israel is & represents, creating tensions & painful distances. Then America bombs Syria & there is no outcry about the civilian lives being lost because now murders of Americans have occurred.

Signs of the Times, REVIVALS THROUGH OUT THE THE WORLD THROUGH PRAYER, RECONCILIATION, CLOSER RELATIONSHIPS DURING STESSFULL TIMES. WAKE UP CALL: THE LORD IS COMING!

I don't think it's so much the events, but the continued ignorance, lack of empathy and understanding that's prevalent with so much of the media coverage and public reaction when it comes to events involving feminism, rape, stalking, abusive relationships, sexual abuse and sexual assault. Having been a survivor of multiple rapes (known statistically to come mainly from someone you know, they take their time to win your trust and court you into a compromised situation when their true behavior comes out) and abusive relationships, the betrayal from them in the end/over time, we beat ourselves up about it enough as it is, that we should have known better. Dealing with that abuse and betrayal from our partner is bad enough. The second betrayal from our own peers, our own laws and how they're levied, on how in court there's still the prevaling question on our character and if we somehow "asked" for this. This victim-blaming, this condemnation, is worse. Could anyone honestly say their sister, mother, daughter, could do something to "deserve" such a soul-robbing experience? What people are we, when we deem "rape" a morally fit punishment for behavior? Even when 1 out of every 4 women have experienced this? It keeps those who have been raped/assaulted/abused from speaking out, from feeling that we can seek help. Then there's the belief that once we go to therapy we're somehow "cured". There can never be anything that can undo what was done. Just as death and war can never be forgotten or undone. Just as innocence can never be reborn. We can't pretend it never happened. There is no magic wiping of the slate. No return to a happy lala land. We just learn to live, and while it is always there, time eases the burden as new memories are created to layer over the bad. But that mark, will never go away. I wish someday more people will understand. I wish someday I won't feel like a marginalized and be able to speak of what happened, share with other survivors, and feel we are supported. To not fear condemnation before I raise my hand or open my mouth to identify myself as one. I wish more people would take a little extra time before rushing to judgment and speaking the harsh words they do, because the very woman they're speaking to may be one of those victims/survivors silently suffering and in need of help. I left my abusive relationship, but the words of my peers still follow me.

oh, there are so many always. when the malaysian airlines plane got lost in the northern seas, my fear of flying (which is new to begin with) was definitely ramped up. the more people of color get killed by cops, the more sadness i feel about the world. the palestine/israel conflict is depressingly, angeringly, neverendingly absurd. to say the least. i continue to stand up for my beliefs and protest whenever possible, but it's hard to feel like an individual with an impact. always.

Just opening the daily newspaper and reading what makes the headlines & front page and them proceeding to turn the pages.

The continued violence and cruelty in the Middle East has shaken my belief system to its core; especially beheading. Creating a nauseating reaction to any news from the area, this cannot be the meaning of or bedrock of any religion. This spreading disease of hate & martyrdom rocks my senses. When and where will it end? At the end of a gun barrel or sword? The other event that saddens me--not scaring me is the Ebola outbreak. So much focus, money and time is being spent on the Middle East, while poor Africans die from what we take for granted. Where's the outpouring of vaccines, money, doctors, etc. Refugees need much of what they needed in their own countries. I get very sad, I send a check, I listen. Can I do more? You bet. Do I do more. Not really. Why is that?

The kidnapping of 3 boys in Israel and subsequent war between Israel and Gaza. My 18-year-old daughter had just arrived in Israel for her Birthright trip when the boys were kidnapped. She opted to stay in Israel after the 10-day trip ended. I always fear for relatives who live in Israel, but having my daughter there with missiles coming in right where she was brought my concerns to a new level. I watch the news more now and I pray more for Israel. I have also switches my political views in the US over the way our leaders have handled this situation.

The death of Robin Williams sent me into a week of profound mourning. His suicide provoked feelings of strong empathy and sadness at his pain. Imagining that moment. His emotion leading up to it. I was also destroyed by the loss of true genius. I grew up thinking I would work with him as an actor and worshipping him, dreaming about him, imagining meeting him, entranced by the spell of his talent. Just a massive loss for the world and for the young me with stars in her eyes.

Oh, this fucking BCTF standoff with the government. Do I side with the teachers, who are constantly being forced to eat shit served up by Christy Clark? Or do I be honest with myself and want to watch thy fucking union break? Bah, not by her. What a shitshow that cost this single mom a loooooot of extra dollars an stress in childcare.

The war between Palestine and Israel reminds me of the ongoing battle at our own Mexican/American border. Both groups of people have legitimate claims to the borderlands, and the "winners" - those with more weapons, money, and power attempt to keep those without out. I've lived on the border most of my life, and don't understand the hate I see in some of the faces trying to keep out refugee children.

The conflict in Israel/Palestine has affected me this year and every year in which it has remained a barrier to peace. This year it was particularly hard to watch the polarized opinions of friends and family on Facebook. I was deeply saddened by both the anti-Israel and anti-Palestine sentiments. I am pro-human. Pro-peace. May it be a reality.

In August, an unarmed 18 year old Black young man named Michael Brown was gunned down by an officer and lay in the street for four hours before his body was removed. His brutal death drew more public attention to the police brutality, racism, and inequality that continues to plague our country. Peaceful protests in Ferguson, Missouri were shut down, and police officers continued to act out unfairly, targeting Black citizens and those who supported, reported on and participated in the protests. This event impacted me deeply, reminding me that there is so much work to be done regarding systemic racism in our country. I feel overwhelmed by the educational inequities that continue to marginalize students of color, and feel more committed to implementing changes in our schools. And my heart breaks for young Michael Brown and his family.

The missing airplane (Malaysia Airlines). That an entire aircraft could disappear, made me believe that an entire civilization could disappear. It was something too lost about it. Too frightening. It was beyond. But what it mostly spoke to in me was the desire to be kind; the NEED for kindness. The cruelty of man against man & woman against woman in this world has become intolerable. Where is the love?

The war between Israel and Palestine has been much on my mind this year. How to condemn the actions of government/s while supporting all people in despair and pain and fear.

If I let my brain think about the Ebola crisis in Africa, I get overwhelmed. So many people are dying and there's nothing we can do? I worry about the 3k soldiers from the USA that are going to go help...and then come back to America. Are they going to bring it back? I am also still upset about the events in Ferguson, MO. The injustice is disgusting and I have this urge to go help in some way. To not let my fellow man stay on the sidewalk and help them up. I don't even want to get into the fact that so many countries are at war with each other. It's very upsetting and honestly, I try to not let myself think about it or I get too upset.

So many. So much ungodly violence in the middle east, murder upon murder in Chicago, baby's dying alone in roasting cars, terrible climate change events never ending....scary and awful results of human behavior that are either avoidable or preventable that keep happening.

This summer the news was all horrific all the time. The US is entering yet another endless stupid senseless war against brown-skinned people. Is the Islamic State terrible? I've certainly seen no evidence to the contrary. But frankly, the difference between IS and the KKK or John Birch Society or even the Tea Party seems pretty minimal from where I'm standing. Certainly I see no real difference at all between IS and the ammosexuals of the NRA. And in the face of all that idiocy and death and destruction, I feel so small and helpless that I just tune it out. I turn back to my sphere of influence, small though it be, and do the best I know how to spread intelligence and life and construction little by little here where I am. It isn't enough, but I don't know what else to do.

The war between Hamas and Israel. It made me realize how many misconceptions and biases exist about the subject, including the ones that I possess. I really hope that the conflict will reach a solution that includes peace.

the gaza war and the coverage given to it in contrast to the ongoing wretched war in Syria where Palestinians suffer far worse than in Gaza, hunger and illness and killing and now ISIS, and ISIS itself. Is this all part of the same event or different events that have impacted me this year since they all make me feel wretched and helpless to do anything to better these world situation and things just seem to be spiralling way out of control in that part of the world. By contrast, Ukraine is almost a normal ugly war.

This would be a natural event. We are in the third year of a drought on the West Coast, USA. Because of this the entire food chain has been affected. Not only are consumers paying higher prices for essential food items but farmers, ranchers and all the support staff have been dramatically impacted. This has provided an increased awareness of our precious resources. I no longer shower every day. I've discovered I can go many days with only some strategic cleaning and save tons of water.

The rise in hate crimes against Jews around the world has impacted me. I have always wanted to believe that we live in a different time than the time that of Nazi Germany. I still believe we live in a different climate, but it is terrifying how little outrage the world and other nonJews have shown at these events. It means that Jews have to continue to remind the world that its not OK to hate on anybody, no matter what.

The increased violence in the Gaza strip is so utterly disappointing that I have cut back on my consumption of news. Still read the LA Times, but I can't see this madness on my television screen anymore. It makes me feel hopeless and there is nothing I can do about it, so why torture myself by continuing to care about people who will never stop harming each other?

So many that I can't name one singular event that has impacted me. My heart breaks for the young girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, the lives lost in both Israel and Palestine to the lives lost here in America by abusive law enforcement. We are a single race of people that are intimately connected, as long as we continue to hurt, abuse and traumatize one another the world will continue to feel a singular pain. It's time we wake up and recognize the connectedness and start the healing.

When the 3 boys were kidnapped and killed in Israel, igniting another conflict between Israel and Palestine. As a Jewish American, I stand behind Israel. I wish there was some way for people to realize that if you stop trying to harm Israeli citizens, Israel stops trying to invade and occupy your land to protect itself. I also have issue with the fact that people struggle to separate Israeli issues with Jewish ones. Not all of Israel is Jewish and not all Jews are Israeli. The anti-semitism that sprung up all over the world during the conflict scared me. It showed me that the world has not come as far since the Holocaust as I had hoped. And as a Jewish woman who is dating a Muslim man, I hope that someday people can put their differences aside and choose peace instead of war. The world needs it!

I think the missing Malaysia Airliner really impacted me. It came at a time were it felt like there was one bad thing after another, and it really got me down about the world, the tragedies that surround us, and how we often we never get answers to the biggest questions that we seek.

The rise of IS and the brutal neheadings of westerners (purportedly) by a British jihadi. It makes my stomach physically churn to be in a world where one man can do that to another. I fear for the sort of world my daughter will be growing up in when she can click on youtube and watch something like that in her living room. We are supposed to be moving forwards, but we seem to be moving backward.

The turmoil and war resuming in Israel between the Palestinians and Israel has had significant impact on me this year. It started with one smoldering fire- 3 Israeli boys were kidnapped and murdered. What happened after is only history repeating itself. But it seems most of the world has turned against Israel. I remember Mom talking about terrorists hiding weapons in schools, hospitals, and orphanages. What is Israel to do? I believe in her defense. Antisemitism is making a great come-back in the US. I feel it and see it. Adam and I went to the lumber store to pickup wood for RS so they can build a sukkah. (where even this online spell check thinks it's a bogus word) The guy loading the wood asked what project we were doing. I explained I was just the delivery person, and I wasn't sure what the wood was for. When I got back in the car, Adam asked why I didn't tell him it was for a sukkah. I simply said I didn't feel like explaining it to him. Adam asked, "if you thought he was Jewish, would you have told him." yes.

Bombing in Gaza. Made me think even less of Israel.

The shooting of Mike Brown and subsequent protests in Ferguson ended up being something I'm unable to distance myself from. Going to college in St. Louis puts me very close to the epicenter of the conflict and I can't pretend it's not happening when it's only a few minutes' drive away.

Gaza Attacks on Israel

The death of Robin Williams in August of this year had a surprising impact on me. He committed suicide, which was a surprise, and there was something about it all that made me quite sad. I reflected that, perhaps subconsciously, Williams reminded me of my father (they are very close in age, and they look ALOT alike).

The large number of children arriving unaccompanied from Latin America has made me reflect again on my work as an ELL teacher.

World terrorism. Including the fights in Isreal, Seria, and ISIS. With all of my recent traveling, these events have made me realize what a small world it is, and that, even though we live in the US, we are still vulnerable. WWIII doesn't necessarily have to be started by major countries...

War in Israel by terrorist Islamist that want to annihilate all of G-ds chosen people and Christians that now come under Abrahams blessing by Christ. It is personal to me. I love Israel and fully support her. Israel is home. I feel they are threatening home and family. I will do everything I can to support and defend Israel and Jewish people everywhere. God bless Israel and protect her.

Where to start? The resurgence of nationalism and islamisism around the globe are certainly frightening reflections of the times leading up to WWI and the rise of nationalism that led to WWII. Not much I can do about it other than work elect a more enlightened and pragmatic leadership and try to keep my family out of harm's way.

What happened this summer between Israel and Hamas and related to that the rise of anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe. To read the things people said - as if it were the late 1930s and not 2014 - was very chilling. How do you react? What is the reaction? How do you remain silent? I'm still not sure I know the answers. Why so much hatred? Why toward Jews? How do we fight back?

There has been a lot of violence towards women (rape, assault, harassment, revenge killings, girls being kidnapped and sold into marriage) made public in the news of late and it's incredibly depressing and disheartening. The reaction to a lot of people towards #yesallwomen really upset me. I'm hopeful, however, that the watchdog aspect of social media is doing a lot to make these crimes visible. I wish our society didn't encourage such a hateful, violent attitude towards women. I think about what I can do about this a lot.

The continued war in the Middle East. My daughter has joined the National Guard so the war has become increasingly important to me personally. Also as a teacher I am seeing some of my students from past years now being sent to fight in this war. It is difficult to impossible to remain objective about the issues surrounding this war.

The girls kidnapped by boko haram upset me. Initially it was just the magnitude of it (so young, so many) but then what depressed me was how nothing happened. Just today it seems as if maybe one girl was released, but it has been so long that the story didn't change. It's not like this was an issue where world leaders disagreed or ignored the issue. Many spoke out against it, but somehow nothing happened. Maybe there's some other explanation, but I'm left feeling that the reason nothing happened was that hardly anything was done and it's depressing to think we live in that world. That was what emotionally impacted me the most. What has impacted my life the most is the threat of terrorism which means police stare me down in the subways and I don't carry a bag anymore because I don't want to miss a train due to a bag search. I'm not saying I think the police are doing the wrong thing, but I don't like how much liberty the terrorists have taken from me. That certainly in a practical day-to-day way is the most world events impacted me, which honestly I should be thankful for as many people in the world would be happy to have such relatively little impact to their life.

Definitely the events in Ferguson, by a longshot. I saw our country's true face in the reports. A militarized police force savagely hurting unarmed citizens. Many try to say that race is not involved or is not an issue. They're blind. It's enraging and as a white man I acknowledge the privilege I have and appreciate it; I just wish there was more I could do with it. Speaking of privilege, the whole "gamergate" scenario is another thing. Zoe Quinn and others in the game industry hacked and harassed and chased out. It's a damn shame. I'm so ashamed of the greater community of gamers lately.

So much war. Middle East, Ukraine. Fear that it will affect us more than it already is.

The blatant acts of anti-semitism in the world - leaves me feeling sick and frightening and knowing that the words "never again" are just words.

The never-ending tension in the Mid-East and the growing threat of ISIS. I feel tense about traveling somewhat (even within the US). I work to NOT carry over thoughts/feelings that lead to bias towards ALL Muslims because I realize this is some extremists -- just like there are extremists in my own faith. And yet, it somehow creates feelings of mistrust and fear.

Robin Williams suicide and the shame around mental illness Beheadings

Israel's acts of genocide in Gaza have truly disgusted and disheartened me. I am glad that this year more people were able to see these war crimes for what they are. Watching so many of my Jewish friends make online statements in support of Israel and show their commitment to a dangerously flawed idea that these are acts of defense rather than acts of colonialism and domination has been extremely upsetting to me. To see so many US politicians stand with Israel and continue to send money to attack Palestinian territories, killing children and families and reducing these areas to rubble in order to take more and more land, has been eye opening for me. I have come to better understand the limitations of human beings, and how privilege works. This year, I have come to question Jewish identity, and Judaism as a faith and a practice.

I've never installed an app to follow rocket attacks before. The war in Israel/Gaza hit home not only with relatives called up but with two of our young nieces sent to their grandparents in Europe not just for vacation and time with our kids (as planned) but also to be out of harm's way. The youngest stayed with her parents, who had to pay daycare an extra fee to hire additional staff to help carry the toddlers into bomb shelters.

The whole ISIS thing and Terrorist attacks have completely freaked me out. As a Jew, it scares me even more. I am quite nervous, anxious and paranoid of the potential of these unhuman monsters attacking the innocent of our community, or anywhere really. The disappearance of the Malaysian airplane has also impacted me. I am scared to fly even more so than before.

The war between Israel & Hamas. Obviously because I am Jewish. I also have been to Israel and realize how small it is and how much damage can be done physically to them when rockets are fired over their borders. But I found that I followed this war much more (probably because of all of the postings on social media) and found myself defending Israel more than in past wars. I also found that more than ever the United Nations is anti-Israel and offered no help, only negative remarks. I used to respect the United Nations but in recent years feel that they should be disbanded as they are not effective overall and UNITED in any way except against Israel.

Many world events this year have affected me. The rapidly accelerating rate of climate change and the absence of viable solutions and public policy to affect the rate of this horrific environmental catastrophe, for one. The Israel/Palestinian conflict escalation for another, and, again, the lack of viable solutions to create a stable peace in that region. The world seems to be at war with itself - Russia/Ukraine, the rise of ISIS. All of these events trouble me.

Robin Williams died. (I bet you thought I was gonna sat the gaza war!). When I heard he had died, all I could think was "he was young! My age!!" Then I learned it was suicide.

The recent kidnappings and be headings by the Islamist militants has upset me. I simply cannot understand how people can treat each other so terribly in the name of God. Extremism of any sort is terribly disturbing and depressing to me.

The abduction of the Nigerian schoolgirls brought me into the situation. I began praying for them daily. Still am.

Nelson Mandella - I never appreciated what he endured until after he was gone. He endured an unbelievable amount and was able to forgive those responsible. I look at my life (1) I want to be able to forgive like he did and (2) I want to believe and have faith as hd did.

My almost sold out show, my return show to Baltimore, opening for Mt. Royal after a ten day tour with my favorite band and feeling, empty. It was time to reevaluate. My first time to let a passion go. To re-learn to identify myself. To try to figure what to be next.

It's hard to think in terms of global events impacting me directly, because for the most part they really don't. I'm lucky enough to live in America, as do most of my loved ones. The only way that global events really affect me at all right now is emotionally- the bullshit of ISIL, which only reinforces my belief that religion is, by and large, bullshit. The Ebola epidemic which makes me profoundly grateful for my education and sanitary conditions, and exceptionally frustrated with the widespread ignorance in America. But none of this makes an actual difference in my day-to-day existence.

The unrest and extremism in Iraq and Syria and other places. I find the unwillingnesss of peoples to accept different points of view and resorting to such despicable brutality to make their point incomprehensible. Doing such things to other human beings? No sense of connection to each other whatsoever. How can that be?I wish I could think of something really amazing that occurred to counter this, but it's funny how the bad news sticks and not the good. I do try and focus on the good. I believe in the good of humanity to prevail.

The broad conflicts throughout the Middle East where there seems to be, for some, no sanctity of life. Ultimate cruelty and savagery that shouldn't be and is contrary to our desire for long term existence. Troubling that humans have such capacity for killing, particularly in the name of "religion".

The arrival of ISIS. I see that evil again. I know it is always here and that much does not get publicized but this is so I see it. I am surprised that my liberal counterparts are saying we should not get involved; it reminds me of WWII which is disheartening.

The unrest in the Ukraine made me so thankful that I live in Canada. It's painful to think that our world still hasn't realized getting along is the only way we can create a promising future.

Russia moving in on Ukraine terrified me. It upset the sense of security I have due, largely, to the fact that I was born nearly at the end of the cold war. The notion of world powers annexing other countries is unfamiliar to me, and I'm beginning to understand, in part, how my parents and grandparents must have felt at various points in history.

In regards to world events, the conflict between Israel and Hamas has affected me the most. It worried me greatly before arriving to Israel, but once there, it was at the back of my mind. It was not as dangerous as I, or anyone I know, anticipated. Connecting with the Israeli people led me to an even greater understanding of the conflict, and my heart goes out to all involved in the terrible ongoing tragedies. More than ever before I stand with Israel and wish for peace in the region.

The bombings and war between Israel and Gaza(Gaza Strip) effected us (the Jewish people) in a way that was unmeasurable and unexpected. Of course, this tragic war had affected Israelis and the people of Gaza a million times more than the people worldwide, but this event has hit home for many Jews glob ally in strange ways. It is hard for some to support the Israeli army when they are doing just as much killing as Gaza. Globally, it appeared (that through the media) like Israel was innocent in the matter versus a fighting factor in the wars' continuous length and gruesome moments. Yet they are our people, our homeland, our counselors, our friends and our community member. So, must we fight? That's the issue that struck me, my family, and my Jewish community/identity this year.

ISIS is scaring the living daylights out of me. I don't know if I'm just more aware now or what, but the state of foreign affairs is pretty scary these days. I hope that the people in charge are able to make the right decisions in these situations.

The war ending in the middle east. My son doesn't have to go to war again. He is a captain in the army.

The death of Robin Williams. The state of mental health in our world needs to be looked at more seriously and paid more attention to.

In not really being able to come up with an answer to this question, I'm forced to admit the fact that I constrain myself to living within a very small bubble. I'm very me-focused, though I wouldn't call it egocentricity so much as prepratory: developing my skills so that I may be of greater benefit to the world. There's that simmering "do something to justify your existence" drive that, although I'm not approaching it directly, I feel like I'm moving in that direction. A second realization prompted by this question is that many of my recent thoughts and philosophies about life, the world, and human existence are a tad on the fatalistic side: "we'll end ourselves sooner or later, and this transient flare of thought/creation/interaction is made all the more poignant for it." I've taken my bubble-paradigm and created a justification for it. Defensive? Useful? I'm not sure?

The war with Israel bothered me greatly. Isis and its brutality is an affront to my civility. The whole world seems to be unraveling. I call it The Great Unraveling. The video beheadings..I mean really. I want 20 years with Sheila. .we've earned it and deserve it.

Michael Brown shooting, and the riots that followed.

Purchasing a $400K annuity makes one wonder if they invested their life's savings properly so as to sustain them for the rest of their life.

The war in Gaza this year occurred when my son was co-leading a group of Jewish camp kids to Israel. I was significantly more tuned in to the rocket attacks and developments throughout the month he was there. I would text (whatsapp) him trying to casually ask how things are going. Since he had just returned from the states after living in Israel for 4 months he had the easy going nature of the natives. His typical response to me was, "So how are things in America father?". I responded that we were pretty messed up but was glad he had his typical sense of humor. Since his safe return I continue to think and worry about Israel. His group's decision, as well as those of many other groups, to stay put while they rerouted their plans daily is a testament and inspiration to the spirit of the Jewish people. That's the kind of chazak, strength, I hope to hold with me for the upcoming year.

The war going on in Israel has impacted me very much because my son is over there. It is a very uneasy feeling to know that he is only miles away from where an irrational force is bombing Israel. I am also very uneasy of all the anti-Semitism that has resulted because of this. So many countries blame Israel and claim they are killing innocent civilians while Hamas hides behind them.

I think that the ALS bucket challenge that has gone viral has been a positive in helping me understand that people are innately good but sometimes their goodness has to be challenged and confronted. My cousin Billy died a year ago from ALS and it has been good to see the response. He would have been proud of what everyone is doing to support a cure for this horrible illness. I participated by donating money,

Definitely Ferguson MO specifically and all the other issues African Americans being mistaken for "thugs" and subjected to violence. Ferguson as one specific incident of an endemic issues is especially important to me. I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1970 and tutored grade school children in another almost all Black "suburb" which was really a neighborhood that had been just without much legal recourse told they were no longer part of the city. This had happened years ago and I never knew the whole story and I do not recall the legal word for the opposite of annexing areas into a city but apparently cutting Black areas out happens more than most White people know or admit

Ferguson as symbolic of white supremacy and the immoral acts committed by the status quo to maintain that undeserved power. I attended a peace rally/protest and was rebuffed for my presence. I am a trauma survivor of gun violence but I am also a white male. I was a lightening rod for emotions explicitly based on my physicality. I realized that my work and volunteering for social justice causes may be less glamorous than the raw power of demonstrating, but I can be much more effective in the long run and contribute positively to changing our society for the better if I remain humble and patient.

Not much has impacted me personally, I though the Scottish Referendum would have voted for independence but I was wrong there. The ebola outbreak, civil war in Ukraine and the uprising of ISIS are all greatly concerning and I fear these types of things are growing commonplace and will soon be the norm, a worrying time for us all.

Seeing images of Pope Francis, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas Mahmoud Abbas come together at the Vatican. To me, it shows that all it would take is a will to make things better. If they could find the strength to come together peacefully at Vatican City, they must have ability to "bend" and let down some of the walls that are holding them back from find some resolution.

This question just never resonates with me. Lots of world events - I'd daresay all the ones I heard on the news - impacted me. We all live in the same world. The longer I live, the more resigned I become to believing that humans are destined to go through absurd cycles of violence somewhere around the globe forever...and only psychotherapy for everyone couple with the naturally resulting equality among people will solve or prevent it. But I continue to work for justice locally and globally -- what other choice is there?

The 3 Israeli boys being found killed by Hamas. It made me connect more with my Jewish identity and people of Israel. Because I feel we are part of the same family of the Jewish people, I mourn their loss. Because this is a statement against my family I feel I have a duty to stand in solidarity with them. And it scares me to think what else could happen to my family, what additional pain could be inflicted. But there is an internal conflict because I know the violence and ugliness that would be and was borne of this event.

The recent beheadings of Americans and a British citizen by Isis have impacted me, as well as the Islamic State movement they represent. For the first time I really notice fear inside myself related to international events and find a part of myself buying into the need for war to "eliminate this threat" even though I don't believe war is the answer. I remember holding up a sign before the 2003 Iraq war that said, "war makes more terrorists" and I think that has come to be true: on both sides. So, I'm sad and feel powerless and hope that peacemakers will rise up everywhere. What is my role in that?

Ebola virus has made me think. As much as i see the tragedy I am also struck by the enormous stress on the planet of population explosion. I can;t help but think it will take something like this, an epic disease to reduce our populations and since people are pre disposed to procreate only nature will have the power to effect this. I am also struck by the humanitarian effort, and selfless ness of people to volunteer and help. Its all a bit complicated andI have lots of conflicting thoughts. It reminds me that there are no simple answers or cures to the worlds problems. Its all happened before in history only the impact and results change.

The intense conflict between Israel and Gaza has ignited antisemitisim. I get angered by the ignorance of the misinformed.

There is an ebola outbreak in Africa. The world community is very slow to respond and as such the outbreak could not be contained early. To date, over 5000 people have contracted the disease and half of those have died. The countries affected are very poor and their people are afraid and largely uneducated about the disease and how it is caught and transmitted. By the time this (hopefully) gets under control, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent, already fragile economies will be ruined and thousands more will die because of the initial inaction of the rest of the world. We are our brother's keeper. We can minimize the suffering and the impact if we act early, but we ignored the issue until it looked like it would expand outside of Africa and affect us. It makes me ashamed of my government that we did too little and too late.

The budget crisis at the end of 2013. The fact that unemployment compensation was cut off put more urgency into my finding a job during a time (after a troubling breakup) when I had no motivation to do anything but wallow. Going out and actually being considered for several really good jobs gave me back an amount of confidence I had lost both during a terrible relationship and in the aftermath of it falling apart. Landing and starting an amazing job (one that pretty much every professional experience I had previously was building toward) helped me realize I am a much more capable person than I had given myself credit for.

The Israel/Hamas war in Gaza. War is ugly wherever it happens - the tit for tat of who is better or worse than who is almost childish when you stop to think about the normalcy of violence and loss of life in humanity in the name of god/land/power. The shortsightedness of proclaiming all Jews as Zionist scum and the seeping in of barely veiled anti semitism - as a response to their 'genocide' of gazan civilians belies an ignorance and dangerous mob mentality so deep and wide that it was scary to behold this year. Even more so was the emergence of ISIS and their fanatical wielding of swords and guns in the name of Islam - which does not at all represent the true nature of Islam and it's people. The transparency of issues coming to light, the protests worldwide opposing power-as-usual, the white privilege and racist police state actions in ferguson and business as usual - while worse may also in my heart of hearts, dare I dream, be a sign of us waking up. Hope springs eternal.

The war between Hamas and Israel this summer July 2014. It basically started with the kidnapping and murder of 3 Israeli teenagers, the retaliation of an Arab youth and the thousands of rockets from Gaza into israel including dozens of terror tunnels. The media terrorized And defamed israel and anti semitism was rampant in Europe and even in the US. It's been very scary and so disappointing. My love and support of israel doesn't waiver a bit. My disappointment and surprise at the ignorance of people is tremendous.

Probably "Operation Protective Edge" because it surfaced up a lot of complicated feelings about Israel vs the Palestinians. I deplore the loss of (innocent) human life and the obvious manipulations of the arms industry, but I also deplore most people's simplistic portrayal of Israel being the aggressor. It makes me understand the urgency and clock-watching that Clinton invoked during the 1990s. He was right. And it makes me less and less optimistic about Israel's future.

The advance of terrorism from Mexico and from the middle east.

Severe drought in California. Are we finally getting the message that climate change is real and is already affecting people, plants, and animals around the globe? Audubon Society foresees half America's bird population becoming extinct in 100 years. This grieves me. This is systemic sin. I want to see the way forward for what I can do. I get caught up in other people's plans for me. I am failing at getting my parish to become actively involved in Care for Creation. This is frustrating and saddens my soul.

Ferguson. Ebola. Syria. Where do you start?

The aweful and disgusting beheading of people by ISIS. It is so troubling that hate can be so strong... It makes me feel sad that people can be so oppressed or suppressed that they turn their hurt into hate and act out their aggression against innocent people. I think injustice causes such hate; and a misunderstanding of one's religion make for a bad mix! It make me feel hopeless and that peace on this earth is virtually impossible in my life time. It bothers me that human beings can feel so bad that they start to hurt their fellow men/women.

An event that has impacted me was the atrocities happening between Hamas and Israel. It bothered me to see innocent civilians getting killed and that Hamas was actually encouraging people to be human shields.

Nope. I've been pretty much ignoring the world events. More than ever I feel that the world is not informed by my activities, the world has it's own inertia and pace.

The ongoing violence in the world. First, I paid a lot of attention to the Israel/Palestine conflict. It's easy to think that Israel is wrong, that they shouldn't have been given the land in the first place, that they shouldn't be bombing Palestine, but then it gets so complicated when you realize there are Arabs that literally will not rest until all Jews are dead. Now we have the situation with ISIS, Islamic State in Iran and Syria. Those fundamentalist Muslims are downright scary and they are growing like crazy...which is hard for me to understand. Especially when Americans are joining in now. Why do people want to go back to the Middle Ages? It is depressing and scary.

The Gaza war and the slanders against Israel really depress me.

I avoid the news like the plague or I wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning.

Congress did not pass an extension of unemployment in December 2013, like they did the 4 previous years. This made it harder for me to live this last year, and made me become more resourceful, and also more in touch with what it is to live in poverty, and how it can affect you, good and bad. I think it taught me new skills and new capabilities, to dig deep and be grateful for really subtle things (sunrises, health, love), and also helped my daughter learn some of the same things.

I was very heartened to see all the marchers at the Climate Change event inNYC last week. Their slogan is "to change everything, we need everyone". I feel like I woke up again. Climate change is real; we need to change our behaviour to stop this horror from happening. So. Naomi Klein's new book, and then, action

The Ebola outbreak in Africa scares me. Logically I don't think it will affect my family, but one never knows. Now that I have my own family I have more to protect, more to lose. Of course that means I have more to love too!

Seeing the barbarous beheadings of James Foley and others has caused me deep pain. I think about their families, their children, and the diminishing capacity we seem to have to speak our minds and not be met with violence or suppression, or to have to speak our minds THROUGH violence or suppression. I wonder what measures I may have to take to protect my children; I wonder what the world will look like in 10 years; I wonder if we can ever come to a more loving and mature sense of humanity. I want to retreat and read a book or remember easier past times, mainly because I don't know what to do and I feel powerless.

The People's Climate March last week in NYC made me feel hopeful. They had over 400,000 people there and it was supported by hundreds of events around the world, with several thousands at many of those as well. And it is bringing together unions and indigenous groups and religious people--all walks of life coming together on this issue that is affecting us all. Regardless of whether the handful of world leaders listen, that there are hundreds of thousands who know and care, gives me a lot of hope.

There were 2 televised beheadings in the Middle East. I recall seeing the photos just before it happened as being so incredibly disturbing that I was glad for the networks that wouldn't show the actual act. That this is going on at all makes me so sad for our race. Later, I read that there were supposedly plans to randomly take people in various countries and behead them...just because they can. Dear God! What is wrong with us???

My biweekly conversations with a christian friend. Our conversation are far ranging. We cover a number of very personal questions regarding our faiths. I have gained insight into my own faith and the the faith of others though the eyes of another. These conversation have allowed us to grow in many ways that are like waves from a pebble thrown into a lake. I have been able to verbalize some very basic beliefs. I have come to believe that religion and science provide two pillars upon which I \ We see this world. They are complimentary not contradictory. We can not use one to validate the other. To make a matter of faith science is being hypocritical and to try to explain science in terms of faith is not scientific. Faith gives us reason and science gives us the how and why.

The be-heading of journalists by ISIS. It's very hard for me to understand how humans can do that to each other. I want to believe that it could be possible to have a world where we respect and honor all people. Events like that challenge my hope that there is a real possibility for peace.

The fact that Princess Kate is expecting her second child. As a Mom of five, I relate to the wonderful feeling she must have...Even if she has morning sickness!!

All the trouble in the world. We have family in Israel and worry about them.

Workers at fast food restaurants went on a one-day strike in support of their call for an increase in the federal minimum wage. I have always supported an increase, but I never realized how bad things were until I read an interview of a man who had worked at McDonalds for 22 years and was paid $8.45 pet hour. After 22 years. This sickened me. And it made me realize that the minimum wage no longer operated as a fail safe to keep people from living in poverty; it has, instead, become a form of socially sanctioned feudalism -- enslavement of the poor and uneducated. I could no more eat at a McDonalds than I could eat road kill from the side of the road.

In my own world, loss and change have occurred monthly --- 2 dear young men died unexpectedly in May and June, and 2 friends' fathers in June, July, and August. The associate pastor job at my congregation was eliminated by a board decision and the managing partner at work was promoted away from us, both in June. All of this together provides regular opportunity to experience the reality of the saying that 'change is the only constant'. It reminds me to have faith in the knowledge that we are in flow. It has allowed me to recognize the value others place on my support and I've grown into that. It has allowed me to know that I am ready to step into larger roles in my community.

Gay marriage has been working its way through the courts. It gives me hope that full equality may happen really soon, even here in ga. That has really been exciting for me.

The Isis crisis in Syria. People are fleeing their homes to live on the mountaintops to stay alive. Reports stating international food organizations are cutting the calories for each person so their food will last longer. As it is, the food will run out by November without additional funding. My heart breaks for these people who just want to live their life, they don't want to hurt anyone. They will starve, it's so sad. I hate to see people suffer, especially when they didn't do anything wrong. I feel helpless.

Cannot believe the horrendous actions of the 'Isis' people- and that people from England and perhaps other countries are joining them. Once again the UK government going to attack them. On the one hand I agree if people are doing such terrible things they should be stopped while at the same time I do not believe in violence. Also difficult to know how much these strikes will help. Sometimes it seems like out of the frying pan into the fire. But how can we tell the people who are being massacred that we will not send help? Could there ever be a political settlement? Violence only ever seems to be the response, everywhere in the world.

It depends what you mean by impacted. Nothing has had a direct impact but I found a lot of things distressing. The nearest I came to "impacting" was during the conflict between Israel and Gaza, I became afraid of antisemitic attacks in this country.

The drought. I don't watch the news in any form except what I catch glimpses of occasionally, but the drought in the West has had a huge personal impact. We're changing the way we think about water in everything we do at home. Sadly though, most people aren't. It's been fairly easy changing our habits and if most people in California would do the same there wouldn't be such a huge problem. But they won't because people are idiots.

The intense months of fighting in the Gaza Strip was very difficult to comprehend. Attempting to understand the differing points of view so I might form my own opinion proved nearly impossible. In the end, to hear leaders from all sides speak with such hopelessness about the peace process opened my eyes to a reality so different from my own that all I could do was pray. There are no victors apart from the sovereign justice within the Kingdom of God, so have your way Lord I pray.

The Isis beheadings have reduced my belief in a common humanity.

The be headings by Isis and the unrest in Syria.

The Israel/Gaza conflict has made me question how I feel about Israel. As someone who is Jewish the continued existence of Israel is very important to me, but I do not agree with many of the country's political policies. The bombing campaign this summer has made me introspective because seeing the death of children is painful to learn about.

The Ebola epidemic has to be one. As a doctor, I ask myself how it is that I am not helping more actively, how so many of us are willing to make sacrifices, but just up to a very particular point, and then hard stop. Very hard stop. And then the 'islamic state' and the terror that so many people live in, every day.

One of my doctors says I have an extra empathy gene. From the time I was a very little girl (I'm now in my late 60s) I've always intuited the world around me and its impact on others. This year has been horrific. There is very little that hasn't impacted me: Syria and the girls in Nigeria, both mostly forgotten except that ISIL has made Syria known again but not the suffering of all the displaced people. The destruction of people, buildings, countries - the world's history - has been so overwhelming. Jewish, I am a minority who believes that what Israel does to Palestine is wrong and has always been. The war in Gaza made me sick as did the killings of Jewish and Palestinian children. Why is there so much hate among brother religions? The poverty in our country, in my own city, in the world - the NEEDS of so many, make me feel helpless to do anything. I sign petitions, donate to what I believe are good causes, and will never feel I've done enough. The greater impact for me is to keep, among followers on twitter and fb and linkedin, the issues at the front of people's minds so that they might act. No, not one event. The entire year's manifestation of hate has caused me great pain.

My daughter had decided in the spring to study in Israel for a month during the summer. At the time it seemed like a good and innocuous idea. Right after she got there, war broke out between Israel and Gaza. It lasted the whole time she was there. In some ways she was not endangered, but in others it affected our own outlook, our sense of complacency and the precariousness of living in Israel and , in a way of living anywhere in the world. She had to know exactly where bomb shelters were, was greatly restricted on where she could travel and lived with an awareness that was like a fog the entire time she lived and studied there.

On Saturday September 20th 2014 there was a powerful event held at the United Nations to usher in the UN Climate Conference, which was tasked with finding ways to basically keep our planet viable and sustainable. On that evening Fisher Stevens, who is my son presented a series of images, with music & narrative projects on the marble surface of the buildings. It was a beautiful and impactful way to inform and inspire people to take responsibility for leaving behind a well cared for planet for future generations. The impact it had on me was the realization that art can be transformative and that I had raised a son who was willing to step up and take up the task of moving people through his film making and other forms. I have been involved with using theater as a transformative experience through being part of the production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues and producing V-Day, the celebrity performed version of the play in venues from Madison Square Garden to setting events up around the world. I also had my own run at the UN when I build a space in the front lobby and produced and curated a huge exhibition within it that dealt with ending violence against women worldwide.

The immigrant children in this country who are treated so inhumanely by the hysteria and racism of the white citizens of the USA. I am the grandchild of immigrants. Most of us Jews came from immigrant parents or grandparents. We were white, therefore there we were allowed into the US, many through Ellis Island. Whether our ancestors came into this country legally or illegally (i.e. with new names) our whiteness gave us access to live and work in the US, and become citizens. Yet children of color who have come here illegally, from some of the most horrific circumstances, are placed in "camps" to be dealt with as if they are not human. I am ashamed to say that I am a citizen of the United States of America. I am ashamed of the racism that has never decreased but only went underground until we have a Black president.

The middle east crisis....the way the world has turned on Israel- it's hard for me to understand how this continues and how I feel the news skews everything. ISIS- where the hell did they come from and why haven't we heard about them before? I fear it's just a matter of time before they do something in this country similar to a 911- already beheading 3 people....it's unreal to me that humans can be so cruel to other humans- especially in the name of God and religion. I don't understand it-I'll never understand it- the hate- the hate of Jews....why? Nazi Germany- it can happen again I fear....it's been happening just pick a different culture, religion, skin color.....ughhhh!

Suicide of Robin Williams - I have considered suicide many times but can't do it. How did he find the strength?? Are his kids o.k.? If I knew these answers, it would be easier for me to do what I want to do

The only thing I can think of is my distaste for politics. Politics as they are presently, as corrupted and dysfunctional, have worn down my ability to have faith in any politician. We have a midterm election coming up, and rather than being jazzed for the possibility of change, I am rolling my eyes at the whole ordeal.

Implementation of "Obama Care" impacted Holly and I because it doubled our medical co-payments and increased our premiums. Gaza-Israeli Conflict - caused inner distress and angst. Both for the existence of Israel and the devastation wrought on civilians in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The middle east has totally gone to shit this year, with Isis and Operation Protective Edge, and all sorts of horrible things. But the one I'm thinking of is a little closer to home: The Scottish referendum. It was so close! Everyone thought it was going to be fine, but then the polls got too close to call, and it was very exciting. On the morning of results, extremely unlike me, I woke up naturally at quarter to six(!) Maybe it was the rain on the velux window pane, but it definitely happened to be just perfect to see Edinburgh, Argyll & Bute and Aberdeenshire battle for airtime as they declared, and couldn't be much better timing to see the swing over the threshold for the 'No' vote. It's so exciting that I was sitting there, scared to go to the loo, as Fife (the one that swung it) was expected any minute. I'm so, so pleased that Scotland have decided to stay with us. The turnout was amazing, there's been so much engagement. They might still be part of the UK, but Scotland stole the stage, and it was wonderful to see.

The war in Israel this summer was traumatizing. I was living in tel aviv, hearing air raid sirens, and running for bomb shelters at least once or twice a day if not more. I was fine physically & emotionally while in Israel but once I returned to North America I began experiencing PTSD symptoms & an unbearable feeling of helplessness. My friends and family, my home, were under attack. It made me so unbelievably sad. It's been hard to come back from all of that even though the war has been over for weeks.

While no one single event has impacted me (am I too jaded? has human stupidity stopped impressing me already?) I am nevertheless happy to realize that while right wing Christian and Muslim fanaticism is on the rise, so is the number of people who describe themselves as atheists or agnostics. Maybe there's hope for Humanity after all.

Reading about North Korean prison camps made me extremely sad, because the reality that thousands of people live this way, and we know about it, and the world is really doing nothing to help.

The media's coverage of ISIS has forced me to look at news from a whole new perspective. I know people have been talking for years about the media blowing things out of proportion or whatever party is in office spinning world events to benefit their own agenda. When I first started hearing about ISIS nonstop, I was definitely scared of the group's recruitment of Americans as terrorists. But the more I dug to get answers to questions I had, the more I've been able to view this threat on the appropriate scale. I'm questioning the media more than ever, and I feel more empowered because of it.

the climate march. how: the weeps + the feels. why: possibility.

The Isla Vista killings that happened this year seriously shook me. Having this huge reminder of how sexism is putting me and people I love in danger every day made me furious. I am constantly working to fight inequality in every way I can, but it's often exhausting and discouraging.

The rockets and ground war in Gaza and Israel

Gaza War -- it clarified my strong position on BDS but also that position alienated many friends and family.

I thought a lot about the Sewol ferry incident this year. There were a lot of factors that kept it on my mind. It was a senseless, preventable accident that killed so many young people. There were a lot of strange events that happened afterward (the principal's suicide, the mysterious identity of the ship's owner or whatever). But the most awful part to me was witnessing the tragedy unfold, knowing there were people trapped in the boat, and that it was slowly sinking and we had no way to stop it. And then knowing that it was sitting on the ocean floor, filling up with water, and there was no way to stop it. Knowing that with each hour that passed, the chances of recovering anyone alive were dropping. It was a very helpless feeling, and very frustrating. "We've sent people to the moon, and robots to Mars, but we can't cure the common cold?" Or in this case, we can't stop a ferry from sinking, even if we get to it before it has fully capsized? I suppose it's possible, but that the frequency of these events doesn't justify the R&D dollars it would take to build a solution. Still, just very frustrating to sit and watch people die. It also even made me a little nervous about ferries, or any other situation that should be safe but can apparently be made very unsafe by the incompetency or selfishness of an authority.

The unrest in the Middle East and the brutal beheadings of journalist by ISIS. It feels like I'm living on shifting sands, with no stability anywhere. I'm concerned about the future of humanity.

The Napa earthquake: we were responsible for helping my partners mother clean up the damage from the quake which was extensive. However, I was most impressed with the resiliency and strength of my mother in lWs 93 year old neighbor who was able to get herself and her little dog out of her house safely and into her car where she sat with the heater on when we arrived at 5:30 that morning. What an inspiration Muriel is to everyone!

The crisis in Syria and Iraq and Kurdistan is most upsetting. Feeling helpless and powerless in the face of great cruelty and suffering. Teaching Holocaust Lit with a young Syrian woman in the class brings it closer. Each day I see how easy it was for the Holocaust to happen while good people everywhere either didn't know, couldn't believe, or had no idea what to do. It feels like genocide and war continues unabated.

I wouldn't say there is one event that has happened but more like many events that have made me lose faith in the American public. With several police shootings creating racial issues as well as gay bashings and other homophobic events, it's a sad state of our country that we seem to be falling backwards instead of progressing. Then if you look at how people, especially elected leaders, are disavowing science and trying to push America into a religious mindset it makes me fear for the future. I feel like we are turning on each other and creating statutes that demean others which will only lead to the downfall of this country if gone unchecked. Many Americans have lost the notion of true freedom that this country was founded upon and has replaced it with ideals of entitlement and twisted religious values being disguised as so-called patriotism.

ISIS over running the Iraqi Army has brought into stark relief the mess we've made in the Middle East. Not understanding the ethnic and sectarian divides, and mistakenly thinking we'd be "greeted with rose pedals" in the hallucinatory words of Dick Cheney, has come back to haunt us. The post WWI political borders drawn by France and Great Britain have been proven to be unsustainable. Destabilizing Iraq let Iran roam widely without check, leading directly to the destabilization of Lebanon, then Syria, and ultimately to the Hamas-Israeli water in Gaza. I'm saddened by all the carnage, but slightly encouraged at the possibility of redrawn lines that respect ethnic and religious areas.

Da-esh...frightening

The world even that impacted *me* this year actually happened in 2002: the Indonesian club bombing that killed 23 Australians in Bali. We saw the monument to them in Perth this summer, at Kings Park. It was beautifully designed, with big stone slabs that create a peep-window. The angle of the sun on Oct 12 shines a ray of light through to another slab with the engraved names of the victims. It was very peaceful and had a fabulous view down to the Swan River and CBD. So the impact was this year. The event was random and senseless and the victims were young innocents; I guess for me, the thoughtful and serene monument -- which also shows gratitude for everyone who came to help, taps into the parental & societal grief and misery of (Colorado) school shootings.

The Supreme Court ruled that "closely-held" business do not need to provide women with birth control coverage if it is against the owner's religious beliefs this past summer. It inspired me to finally do something and get involved, so I started volunteering for Planned Parenthood. I'm so fortunate that the ruling does not directly affect me, but it impacts so many women in the US. I decided that even if an event is removed from my personal experience, that doesn't mean I can't help make things better for other people.

I would say the ISIS attacks and murder of journalists and the US's subsequent reentry into a war time operation is going to impact me the most - maybe not now but it will have the most significant impact in the long run.

The bombing of Gaza made me realize how tired I (an American Jew) am of making excuses for Israel's actions.

Climate Change! World's weather gone freaking crazy. Species made extinct. War as always. The impact from invading Iraq still devastating the people and we are on the brink of more air strikes.

With our troops leaving Iraq and on the way out of Afganistan it was a sign of our troops coming home. But with this new group "ISIS" or "ISIL" which is supposedly just coming around, or were just hearing about. Kind of scary of what they are possible of doing or what other groups are out there. We just went over there and bombed them and after 3 days we did a great job. Dont know how much of that I believe because how can a group that is so big and is possible of doing so much be hindered so badly in 3 days. I dont know if I believe that. I just hope the world is around for my daughters to have a future.

The kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, and the death of two Israeli Arab teen boys shortly thereafter, one by Syrians, one by Israeli Jews. We were in Israel while they were looking for the boys, and their deaths were very upsetting this summer, both politically and personally. As a parent, it affected me greatly.

The war in Israel this summer. As an Israeli, Jew and citizen of the world, it was so deeply upsetting to see the world show it's true colors of antisemitism covered by a guise of anti-Israel rhetoric. The whole conflict was so terribly sad, that innocent people on both sides of the border were killed. But mostly because the world hates Israel and hates Jews. I was terrified for my friends and family there and I was scared for the larger, global Jewish community. I believe there is a resolution to this conflict and that both sides can achieve peace within the confines of a secure region.

The kidnapping of the girls from school in Nigeria has been difficult for so many reasons. As a woman, while not generally fearful, I have moments of being aware that simply being a woman makes me a target for some men. I am aware of how for granted we take our safety in the United States. I am appalled that nothing is done or can be done (?) about such a horrendous event. While strides in awareness and fighting maltreatment of women seem to be made in the US, I wonder if we can ever see a day when treating women as equal human beings will ever be a universal value in the world.

The "war" between Israel and Gaza. My father decided to go to Israel to show his support. He just went there. He didn't protest or join any official meetings. He went there to see his Israeli friends and 'show' them with his physical presence they are not alone and that he supports them. He is very emotionally attached to Israel. Like it's a person (what's the word for that?). I was worried but he was fine. He emailed me and said 'don't worry, I'm staying at the Hilton in Tel Aviv and my room is on the North side and the bombs are coming from the South side. At least there's that.'

I will not describe one EVENT; rather, I will describe an overarching theme which is prevalent around the world: Women everywhere are being beaten, kidnapped, raped, restricted, demeaned, and generally oppressed and abused across the globe. India, Africa, NFL,courtrooms, in public and in private; UN initiatives in play, individuals and communities in discussion-- and women remain victims of the physical and psychological violence in men. I have to keep reminding myself this is the 21st century, not the times of Barbarians. I am impacted as a human being. As long as one of us is not free of oppression, danger, abuse, etc, and as long as one of us is mean-spirited and evil against another, we cannot any of us be free or safe.

I was impacted by violence in Israel this year, more violence than we've seen in recent years. I have friends living there, and it was scary to think about them going about their normal lives with the threat of destruction so close by. It's also infuriating in this day and age that this still goes on.

The capture and enslavement of almost 300 school girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram. This event caused me to feel angry and and very sad that we still live in world where religious justification is used to brutalize and control women. In reality, it has nothing to do with God or religious teachings but everything to do with a sick need to subjugate others in a lust for power.

Any Macro thing that happens effects my business. Ukrain and Russia effect the sale of the business of one of my top clients. Postponing additional assets I will be managing. Concerns over global risk force me to spend more time managing clients emotions and less time be proactive in growth.

Ferguson,Mo. I am just sick of people not thinking about OTHER people. I know it's difficult.... I can barely remember to call my father sometimes but when your job is to protect and to serve... you have a greater responsibility to think about other people. you have a weapon in your hands... how do you not think you have a greater responsibility? i'm also just tired of all all the racism. come on people. just love each other!

I recently switched my place of employment and the level of assistance that my clients need, which is still a lot. I began my midlife career only 2 years ago and I quickly became disillusioned with individuals who are or have been chronically homeless with severe psychiatric disabilities find competitive employment. My switch to a new employer threw me into better circumstances personally. My own mental health has improved because I am no longer in a chaotic environment. However, it has also made me realize that I don't particularly want to work with individuals who don't particularly want to work. It reminded me that me 2 initial passions are in fact still passions which I need to figure out how to move closer toward after I have my LPC licensure. 1) working with veterans returning from combat and 2) individuals like me, who have battled with ADHD but who really try to find sustainable careers by turning their perceived liabilities into assets.

The death of three Israeli teens and one Palestinian teen occurred in the two weeks before I left Jerusalem. It inspired conversations between my family and I that emphasized my American upbringing and values of equal rights, non-violence, and reconciliation. I felt Othered and ready to return to the US. Now my challenge is to stay informed about and connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while not having to live it daily.

the genocide and terrorism in the middle east-esp ISIS- is frightening and appalling. where is the united nations taking a stand to address this senseless violence? where is the outrage among people around the world??? I fear for the world my grandchildren will inherit...

I'm deeply troubled by the Israel war. Israel continues to pursue a dual policy of antagonism of the Palestinians, while, at the same time talking a good game on the world stage. I find their hypocrisy, violence, and expansionist strategies disturbing. It's "bad for the Jews" and it continues to imperil the world because of violent Muslim extremism. As a Jew and a nonviolent person, I'm really upset by this and feel helpless.

There have been so many tragedies this year - wars, almost wars, the Ebola outbreak - but the one that has had the most viseral effect on me was the beheadings of journalists and tourists by ISIL. Not only tragic but seemingly personal - as if I was being attacked myself. I didn't know any of those poor souls but I feel like all of humanity suffered from those senseless killings.

The Ebola pandemic has deeply disturbed me. The growing disparity between the rich and everyone else in the world is troubling.

I think right now, with ISIS wanting to attack the Western culture (primarily Americans, British and all allies) is beginning to scare me. I'm actually beginning to think about a possible invasion of our soil somewhere in an American city. I have great faith in our military intelligence and that we are highly protected but there may be a few who get through the cracks. It's making me worry that there is such great hatred in the world, going against all that most people on Earth want: peace, love and harmony.

I've become much more aware of the Israel/Palestine conflict. It felt personal this summer when Hamas was shelling Israel. Verbal attacks on Israeli self-defense felt like attacks on my part of Israel.

I read in this morning's paper about local high school football players being suspended for hazing. This is just one example of the lack of kindness that seems rampant in our communities. I am also concerned about all the stealing that takes place on so many levels and in so many ways locally and globally in personal, private, public and corporate sectors. Many folks have lost their conscience. I wish I knew how to truly help them. The world needs love and kindness. I resolve to be less judgmental and more loving and helpful to those who are angry, unhappy and thus unkind and apt to steal. I also resolve to set an example by not stealing.

The israeli-hamas war and the global anti-Semitic response to it. Sad about all of the loss of life on both sides. Also sad that Israel always seems to lose the PR battle and is seen as the aggressor. Israel is the only country that doesn't seem to be able to defend itself. Can you imagine if terrorists were found digging tunnels to infiltrate the US? We've spent over a trillion dollars responding to a single attack? Israel should take the high ground but I totally support their right to defend themselves even if it means going on the offense.

Tthe abduction of school girls in Nigeria. My 9 year-old has been asking hard questions. How can it be, he wants to know, that the English police has mobilized a massive police operation (apparently, the largest since the 2007 bombings in London) to find a missing 14 year-old girl, but the UK government cannot spearhead the rescue of hundreds of girls kidnapped in Nigeria. Is the life of one English girl worth more than the life of hundreds of Nigerian girls? To answer that "it's complicated because those girls are in another country" is not satisfactory.

This is going to sound trite, but in just the past year or two I feel like I have noticed a difference in how healthcare is offered to me (in the southern US) and what I receive for my money. The per-week price I pay has gone up, yes, but it goes up every year by a similar increment, and from what I have personally experienced I feel like the model of a preventative, all-inclusive healthcare system has become more prevalent and more popular. On the flip-side, I live in a state that declined additional funds for healthcare, which really frustrates me. I feel like the meager improvements I've seen really could have been so much better if my state wasn't so politically intolerant of people of lower socio-economic statuses. The healthcare reform taking place (albeit slowly) in the US has also led to several enlightening conversations with others, most notably my family. My family has for a long time been strictly Republican, while I have been Democratic for a while. It was only recently that I pointed out in no uncertain terms that they would do well to remember that by any measure they wanted to use, *I* was one of those people eligible for help from the government, and I'll forever treasure the moment of blank clarity on their faces when the "undeserving masses" suddenly became their sister/daughter/family member/friend.

This year the deaths of young people in Israel and Palestine, and, less violently and turbulently, the death of comedian Robin Williams in the US, caused me to reflect on the fears, values, and concerns of my wider social community as suggested by their public responses to these events. Personally, I have found that my response to news of deaths around the globe is usually very private and reflective. There is a personal sadness that arises, kind of a solemn tone of wanting to just hold space for these people and not just their contributions to life and history but also their vibrations as human beings of spirit on the planet. These events may be politically or historically motivated, but they are not political or historical events. They are simply part of the lifecycle of people whose lives have become symbols for the global community.

Wendy Davis literally standing up for women in texas. Remind me of my fortunate year of birth and those before me who faught for my rights. And she fighting for my daughters rights and my sons future wife's rights

Operation Protective Edge - our war with Gaza, and the whole Islamic Jihadist/IL/Al Queda, etc. The overall effect is that if you let it you will be constantly terrified. However, all off what has been going on has strengthened the bond between myself and my son as well as my neighbors. Faith that somehow we will come through this mess globally and locally here in Israel is what seems to be the way to get through this. Baruch Hashem.

E Bola outbreak will kill hundreds of thousands of people before it is done. It really shows how clueless we are in the West...how essentially xenophobic. We didn't do anything to stem the tide until people with our color skin who spoke our language were effected and now it is too late to save many, creating a new wave of poverty and setting back progress in West Africa by decades.

The fighting in Gaza over the summer had a significant effect on me while at the same time watching the growth of anti-semitism around the world. It made me have a new appreciation that events such as the holocaust could conceivably happen again.

The Gaza war made me acutely aware of the antisemitism rampant in our world today, and more actively grateful for Israel's existence. It also opened a chasm between my oldest son and me, as it was an issue that we disagreed on but he was unwilling to discuss. This caused me a lot of sorrow, especially since he had been raised in an environment that highly valued Judaism and Israel. He had been planning to go on a Birthright trip, but now has no interest.

I was in Portugal when I heard about the ship sinking with all of those children on on it. I was impacted deeply as I have 4 children of my own. My heart sank for all of those families that wanted their children to have an incredible experience that in most cases lead to there death. The guilt and loss that they must be going thru would almost be un bearable. I was very thankful that all of my children were safe and at home.

War between Gaza and Israel. I saw pure evil and anti semitism and at the same time it was an ethical dilemma that innocent people were dying on both sides and I couldn't do anything to stop it. It was also horrible to see pure unhidden anti semitism burst out from around the world, it was the do first time I really felt that people hate Jews.

Everything in Ukraine. I've spent a lot of time learning about Eastern European history, and I've been watching for news reports about Ukraine and I keep hoping that the kindness that I experienced when I was in Russia will be extended to Ukraine, because I hate seeing people suffer over something that doesn't need violence to be solved.

The Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, had a major impact on me this past summer. There are so many different elements here. First, seeing how the media was treated during this time was a real eye opener that sometimes police take their power too far. Second, seeing the killing of an unarmed black teenager broke my heart. I think about my high school students and how many of them could find themselves in a situation like this. It's a tragedy that this happened, and I sincerely hope we all learn from this.

The beheadings of innocent journalists in the Middle East. I have friends living in Iraq and I treasure every moment we have together when they can come to the US. I realize how fragile their lives are, how fragile our lives here in the US may be. I feel like it is the Holocaust all over again with ISIS. We need to do something. What can I do?

The Gaza War: Operation Protective Edge. It made me feel more strongly grounded in Israel and made me question my religion, my friends, the world etc

I think I have to list the top 6: 1. Boko Haram kidnapping the girls who wanted to just go to school. As I've gotten older, I just can't escape the realization that a significant group of men everywhere in the world are threatened by smart, young girls. They rape them, they kill them, they try to destroy their spirits. It's not always that blatant here in the US, but sometimes it is! Sometimes it is. I have had nightmares about those men since I was a little girl. 2. Ferguson. They really thought they could just do that, the racist cops, just shoot the kid and leave him to rot in the sun...they thought they could get away with that because they're cops. (Btw, any female cops on that force? Never saw any.) I used to have doubts about Eric Holder. Not any more. He's acted with restraint in his job! At this stage of my life, I now see that progress towards fairness can be erased back to the stone age PDQ if we don't pay attention. Race hate, sexual politics, the dominance of the wealthy over morality, they just hide until the bullies think it's a good time to reignite them and use them to control the population. 3. Advance in rapidity of global warming. I signed up for all wind energy. I stopped eating meat. I need to get more politically involved in.marches, etc. 4, ISIS beheadings and use of rape as a weapon of war against the Yezidih women. It's almost like it's been made up. A cartoon version of backlash against progress. It has brought Muslims to finally patrol themselves, the only good result. But here's, soothe example of barbarity in a supposedly modern world. 5. The continuing pageant of Gilded Age behavior on the part of America's wealthy in an environment where 80% of families who qualify for govt food assistance under the tough new guidelines have at least one person working full time. It boggles the mind, the selfishness, the cluelessness, the obliviousness, the tastelessness, the tackiness, the heartlessness, the plain old stupidity. As if as a class they were adding anything to our civilization! Yeah, right. Clunky fashion, Donald Trumps hair, ugly architecture, the kind of "morality" someone like Mitt Romney represents.....he's a supposedly good guy because he's a married family man not out drooling over young girls. The same kind of good guy George W. Bush was. Can you be good if you're not intentionally evil, just self righteous, self justifying, self involved, and uncaring about the interests of, anyone who's not just like you? (ie an heir, a rich, white , American, man) 6. Stand your ground and the NRA response to the uptick in shooting incidents by nuts. I just don't understand how these people think carrying guns is the answer to their fears. I get that the NRA is nothing but a cynical trade organization drumming up business, but the fears of the gun.owners....well, I get fear, but what I don't get is how they think having these guys and just blasting away is going to make their lives safer and better. So I guess the underlying issue here is human fear and how we respond to it, and how do you respond if you're the victim of a fear crazed

Israel and Gaza. It has dug up the latent anti-semitism in Europe. Also Israel is in an untenable position. what will happen?

The mass shooting of those children at Sandy Hook. It was so horrible, and I felt more then any other mass shooting a pain come from my chest for the fear that those children felt as they were watching their friends die and for the incredible grief that the families were left with. It was so horrible watching there pictures on the news, I cried, I couldn't watch it after awhile. I had to stop, it was so painful. If I felt so much pain, I can't imagine how much pain those who were left behind felt.

The climate change march that happened very recently in NYC reminded me that my activism is important to me and that I should focus less on work and more on making the world a place I want to live in.

The whole world's reaction to Israel's destruction of Gaza was good to see but ultimately their genocide and apartheid still continues. It is disheartening to know that NOTHING stops the military industrial complex here or there.

The Gaza conflict - I wanted to go to Israel as a Sar El volunteer but leaving work for 3 works has been a problem. It is a horrible situation and I support Israel 100% Iraq and Afghanistan - US must get out and never go back including reducing the embassies to a handful of people with minimal military support. No more US soldiers should ever die in either country. They need to solve their own problems. Unmanned/drone military is a great development that I support. The return of space travel is something I am a big supporter of. Ebola is the scariest thing. Reading Clancy book about it makes me think it must be cured and eliminated. The US Republicans racism and hate of President Obama is destroying the USA and our quality of life.

The "war" between Israel and Hamas. First, because as usual, Israel, while defending itself is being demonized. This has caused an upswing in antisemitism in the world today. This does not only affect me, but every Jew the world over.

Ooof. This summer's war in Gaza was...I don't even have the words. I am still grieving how much hope I have lost for a peaceful future in Israel/Palestine, and how much more troubled I am by the fractures it caused and exposed in the American Jewish community. Parallel to Gaza, and how afraid I am to speak about it, and how ashamed I am to be afraid, is the fear in my heart about global anti-Semitism, and how we might *need* Israel (in all the ways I've resisted imagining over the years) after all. My soul feels bruised from the events and the rhetoric of this summer, and I don't know when I'll be able to heal.

The events in Ferguson really affected me. It laid bare the racism that is still very much alive throughout our country. It also made me sad how protesters are depicted in the news (even when peaceful) when it's their constitutional right to be there demonstrating their conscience.

The war in Gaza, two of my friends were called up, nearly everyone I know had friends or family directly impacted.

Ferguson. The outrage and subsequent ignorance of the issue.

The startling emergence of the radical fundamentalist Islamic terrorist group ISIS, with their sophisticated use electronic social media as a platform for broadcasting their terrorist messages (e.g., the onscreen beheading of Westerners) has greatly deepened my concern about the growing presence of Islam across the global. Also, Putin's intrusion (invasion) into the Crimean region of the Ukraine has once again raised the specter of the threat of Russian aggression within Eastern Europe and the potential that it will destabilize and/or shift the balance of power and the safety of growing democratic nations in Eastern Europe. And the rapidly expanding incidence of "fracking" that is causing enormous environmental impacts from groundwater pollution from toxic chemicals, potential for earthquakes resulting from geologic instability from faults induced by fracking into surrounding rock strata, and the hostility of the corporations to disclosure & transparency of the toxic brew used in the fracking process. These events have caused me to have a much greater concern for the safety, wellbeing, tolerance, and freedom that many people on Earth along with the enormous social, financial, ecological, environmental destruction and destabilization.

Definitely the tsunami at Fukushima, the downing of 2 MH flights and the Gaza onslaught. The first 2 events showed just how ill prepared we are in a growing order-less world. The controlling company of the nuclear facility never had an emergency/response plan to a tsunami hitting the plant because it was scientifically improbable. The global airline industry couldnt track and trace a modern airliner in the vast sea and what was wholly unforeseen and therefore adds to the sense of chaos is the shooting down of the second MH flight within 6 months- that on 2 planes from the same airline crash on a transport medium that is safer to use than any other medium speaks volumes. Its deafening hearing the rise of chaos and disorder in our world. Gaza, so much to say. How the world just turns around and drinks up the bullshit that the israeli propaganda machine spews- if anything it highlights the ignorance of how people perceive and accept things and how alienating the powers that be are towards them even their arab bretheren becaue its on within their best interest to do anything about it.I hate to admit it but I do admire the zionist project from inception, to implemntation to protection of that colonial-settler undertaking- Masters of action and deception. Its impact on me made me realise with the whole BDS movement that clicktivism is the same saying "oh shame", its time to take control of how you feel about the situation and do so with action.Thats what made the zionists get so far as they been isnt it?

Making a vision board. Gave me a chance to visually see my aspirations instead of just think about them. Very empowering to look at. Very motivating to flip through magazine etc. And create a future out of it, learning more and more about myself and coming to conclusions that were maybe just dreams but are very much possibilities. Very empowering and exciting. Confirmed my values and what makes me happy/what I appreciate.felt gratitude . Felt limitless

I feel a sense if hopelessness watching the world attempt to ward off/fight ISIS. Knowing how the Israelis have been forced to deal with the radical side if Islamvfir iver 60 years, my fear is this faction is now drawing the entire world intobthis chaos. A hopeless battle, best won via education vs. Warfare.

Mostly they are american events - changes in health care have made what I do in palliative care much more desirable and interesting. I think the Cardinals getting in the playoffs has brought my family togehter!

Hearing of Ukraine and Syria opens the eyes to the world around.

I think that the impact and the interconnectedness of groups such as ISIS rising, Hamas waging war, Ferguson racism, and the growing human rights expansions for those of fluid gender and who identify as homosexual or grabs is very interesting. Here we are at this cRoss roads: expand our definition or narrow them deeper. Save the planet or let it erode. Love Or hate. I worry so much that hate will win because love is too soft. That hate will win be ause it organizes with fear and love wi lose because it organizes with understanding empathy. Sometimes I hink, what is the point? Why bother with any of it? Then I rememebr that living with purpose is the only anecdote to hatred and ignorance. That education and knowledge are power. Speaking truth is the answer, and it's my hope that we remain undiscouraged by the scary nature of the world today and speak our truths.

So many terrible events.. the Israel and Palestine conflict, IS, Ukraine. It's impacted me in that I'm quite worried about where we're heading, with growing hate, fear, war, conflict. Humanity as a whole seems to be regressing.

The problems between Israel and Gaza. We were within firing distance and spent the summer-holidays running to the bomb-shelter. We were not able to do our usual summer trips including going to the beach. And many of our friends had husbands or sons serving in the region, making for a very tense few weeks. I feel horrible every time I hear is Gazans suffering there, but I believe that much of that suffering is brought about by a leadership which cares almost not at all for their wellbeing.

Operation Protective Edge had a massive impact on my life. My friends were suddenly split between those with a connection to Israel, many of whom were unwilling to see the negative side of Israel, and those who are massively anti-Israel and completely unable to see the justifications for the offensive. As a liberal progressive zionist, I found myself torn, unable to stand on either side completely, and frequently called upon to explain my position to people who refused to see compromise.It's strange to me that an offensive on a different continent, in a country to which I have no ancestral connection, had such a big impact on my summer, but that's just the way it is when you're a young diaspora Jew.

The shooting in Ferguson, MO had a big impact, not just for itself, but for the way it illustrated police excess across the country. The military equipment they have without training on how or when to use it. The attitude that citizens are the enemy, that people are guilty and deserve beatings and arrests - especially young men of color - but they seem to be going after everyone who disagrees with them. Are they all on steroids? They're frightening. I'm a middle aged white schoolteacher, and I put a dashcam in my car mostly for insurance purposes (also hoping I'll video some of the asshole drivers I see daily doing something You-Tube worthy) but also because I'm afraid of traffic stops.

So much bad world news, from IS/ISIL/ISIS, to Russia and Ukraine, to Israel and Hamas, to Boko Haram, to Ebola, and on and on and on. It seems that I am always forced to re-evaluate the world and my place in it because of all the instability. I have heard, on this 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, that the world situation this year is very similar to 1914 and that one event could tip us into all out world war. That is always in the back of mind.

The conflict this past summer between Hamas and Israel has made me fear for the lives of my family and friends in Israel as well as mourn for the loss of innocent Palestinian lives. I believe that war is truly tragic, especially when it so frequently arises between two very similar cultures.

Not to quibble *too* much, but all events occur in the world. Even the ideas we have are events that occur in the world, and since there's no other world that I know of, this question basically includes all events. I think what the question might be getting at is "world events," or even "large scale events": i.e., country-wide, continent wide, or big enough to appear on the nightly news or to pop up on our twitter feed. This narrows the field somewhat. "Impacted" is a funny word, too. Emotionally? Impacted my way of life? I live in one of the biggest cities in the world, and therefore have the luxury of being as solipsistic as the denizen of the tiniest, most remote village in the Himalayas. In fact, one could argue that a world event, like, say, Climate Change, might effect someone like that more than it does me. On a hot summer day, I can go inside, and even Superstorm Sandy didn't have a huge long-term effect on my life. I am privileged in a way few people in history have been, in that, for the most part, I am free to ignore world-wide events with impunity. The war in Syria? No effect. The rising tides? Not an issue. I am more effected by a signal problem in the Atlantic Avenue subway station than I am by an ebola outbreak in Africa. This worries me. The size and violence required of an event for it to break through the well constructed wall of comfort our civilization has created will be terrific, and, perhaps, catastrophic. I hope I shall not be alive to see it, if and when it comes.

Not just one event but a whole collection of events -- Syrian genocide, ISIS & beheadings, innocent kid being shot by police in Ferguson, Mo. I feel that individually, and collectively we have lost our moral compass. I feel like the world is spinning out of control -- everyone pushing the envelope everywhere. It feels very unsettling to me. I fear for the world. I remember feeling this way when hearing about the Cuban missile crisis. I don't think I've been as frightened since. I am absolutely scared.

So many. All scary signs of chaos and disorder. Ferguson, Missouri. Beheadings of Americans, a Brit, a Francophile. All scary except this one -- Obama finding his voice.

Ferguson. The civil unrest after an unarmed black boy was shot to death by a white police officer. I often wonder how far past Jim Crow are we? How skillful has the United States become at hiding and systemizing our racism? There's still too much oppression and discrimination, but what am I doing to help it?

The rising tensions in the world seem unsolvable - Muslim extremism, famine in Africa, drought in the USA, weather extremes worldwide - the list is endless - I feel helpless in the face of such tragedy, until I remember that God is Sovereign Lord, and the battle is His -

From Ebola to violence, extreme drought in the West to epic rain near home, it doesn't feel like the world is in balance. It's frightening to feel powerless.

The on-going military exchange in Israel. I find the random launching of missiles from Gaza on the people of Israel upsetting. It must be stopped. I find the military incursions into Gaza by Israel, with the destruction of homes, lives and life to be very upsetting. It must stop. I do believe that Hamas has brought it upon themselves by launching the missiles and by doing this from hospitals and homes and neighborhoods and schools. Did Israel go to far? I do not know. I am not there. But the situation in Israel leaves me with a sense of great desolation. Both the Palestinians and the Israelis should have the right to live in peace. But how to get there? I do not know.

ISRAEL! I have finally had to conclude that antisemetism exists an will likely always be a major factor in all that happens to Israel and Jews. It is inescapable, irrational an a fact nevertheless.

The drought here in CA has made me conserve more and become very worrie about our sustainability here on the west coast

This was the 100th anniversary of World War I. Because of this anniversary I read the book, "Guns of August". I now realize the world has always been fighting each other and basically dysfunctional. Man kind must read, study, and understand history so it does not repeat it.

Overall continued destruction of habitats and fragile environments. Thus my renewed interest in organizations that appeal to saving endangered species and environments. I want my kids and grand kids to have similar experiences in their lives.

I can't take the prison complex. It's worse than death, it's being thrown away by your peers, for life, and for a profit. All the police violence against black people is too much to really contemplate without losing myself. I don't believe in much or follow news any more, but I do believe fully that black people deserve reparations for slavery, its legacies of poverty and disenfranchisement. I am also terribly sad about the genocide being waged against Palestinians. I don't know what to do about these things---I feel helpless.

The explosion of conflict and violence in Israel in the summer of 2014 had a great effect on me. It was hard to watch the images that the ever biased media showed on television, and to remain strong and composed while Israel was enduring so much hardship. My political and personal relationship with Israel was tested, and I faced difficult questions that others asked me and that I had to ask myself. I planned on studying abroad in Israel in the fall, but had to make the difficult decision to go back to New Orleans for my personal safety. I have such a close connection with this nation that the conflict was hard for me to bear, even while I was not the one running to bomb shelters in the middle of the night.

The murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO was a wakeup call for me. I am all of the things that Mike Brown wasn't: white, old, middle-class, unassuming. But the treatment of him was barbaric, and it happens *all the time*, especially to young black and hispanic men. I am outraged, and saddened, and angry, and a little hopeful, because we are finally, finally acknowledging what is happening in our streets, in our towns, in our country, in our world.

My remaining daughter have birth to her first child. I became a grandparent, a totally new and unexpected experience. This child is so wonderful and I love her more than I ever thought I could love anyone.

Geopolitics intrinsically relates to our family because Carl is active duty military. Watching the civil war in Syria spiral out of control, the rise of ISIS and al-Quaeda branch offices, the outbreak of Ebola and the endless litany of minor crises to contain China and Russia all feed into my worry bucket. I'm grateful that he's here in a relatively small but important platform, and that he's decided to stay the course in the military. But that's always counterbalanced by a creeping sense of dread that he could be sent away at anytime to take responsibility for making impacts on global events far beyond our control.

Of course the war in Israel had an impact. I was worried about the loss of Jewish lives and even joined a program to pray for and do tzadaka for an IDF soldier named Tuvia Akiva. I am concerned about the rising anti semitism around the world. Rabbi kitty even gave a Drash at temple about it saying anti-semitism never really went away. It seems nearly daily that there is news about Jewish hatred, attacks, defacement of Jewish property, or the BDS movement. And I am concerned about ISIS and the beheadings lately in the news...even one yesterday in Oklahoma of all places by another probable Islamic follower influenced by ISIS. It is not a safe world for Jews. Or even non-Islamic people. Of course Islam is a religion of "peace".

The War In Gaza. It demonstrates what a weirdly upside world we live in. Hamas puts rockets near schools - Israel blamed for killing civilians. Hamas says they would go after military targets if they had more accurate weapons - no one seems to bat an eye. One of the first thing Netanyahu says after the cease fire is agreed to - we will build MORE settlements in the West Bank. How does the circle of madness get broken. Israel can't defend itself? The Palestinians are getting what they deserve? Hamas uses cement to build terror tunnels? The world is completely upside down.

Ferguson, Mo. Israel/Palestine Robin Williams' death. Love is all that matters.

Today the Arab Israeli conflict impacts me. Today Global Warming impacts me. Today the difficult job market impacts me. Today the shrinking of the globe impacts me. This highly stressful world impacts me. When security guards shoot a man in a store who is holding a toy gun that impacts me. We are all on edge. We are all ready to take each others life. We are so afraid of what we do not have. This impact me. People are living from the attitude of scarcity. People living in fear. This world is too tough! This world kills people.

The violence in the Middle East and the Ebola that has led to the trauma of children losing their parents and/or family caretakers and living in fear, being hungry and/or sick. I can only imagine what these children experience. The priorities of these cultures are different than my culture. I have a family, a home, health & healthcare, peace, food and emotional & spiritual support that I take for granted. From what I hear & read it obviously is not a given for millions of people. I am in denial most of the time as to what is happening in alot of the world because if I'm in denial I don't have to own any of it. If we are all One then these millions are me and I am them. I will bring the Oneness into my visions, requests for love & support, into my meditations and into my dreams at night. Infinite Love & Gratitude to the Oneness--all there is.

although issues w/ global warming/ozone layer being destroyed/ etc. have been going on for YEARS, this year the weather locally, (in Los Angeles) has been outrageously hot & NO RAIN. also, weird 'storms' such as loud thunder, then rain for less than 5 minutes (near centinela & wilshire while i was at work), followed by lightening storm down at the beach...lots of people were struck by lightening...mostly those in the water, but even someone i personally know. and, as for the rest of the world, they have had it much worse than us. seems like disasters just keep getting worse...i am scared for the future in regards to natural disasters that we have indirectly caused by ignoring our mother earth and all the warnings we have been given (verbally & physically)

ISIS - has made me really fearful about the world we are leaving to our grandchildren. What makes people think it's ok -- even required-- to treat others in such horrible ways?

The Scottish referendum on independence because I have a daughter who may want to live there and this affects her chances.

I find I am increasingly angry at world that treats women as second-class, as objects meant for sexual gratification, meant to shut up and make babies has me so angry and desperate to find an outlet for activism. The Hobby Lobby decision, the shootings in Santa Barbara, Emma Watson's beautiful speech to the UN, online gamers who viciously attack women, hackers who leak private naked pictures of celebrities, the media siding with football playing rapists, the NFL siding with abusers. The list goes on and on and on and it's sickening. It hasn't been a good year for women, except that I see my friends waking up to it, rallying against it. What I want for the next year though is to find a way to actually do something about it beyond impassioned Facebook posts.

Can't really think of anything. Oops!

The war in Israel impacted me this year. It strengthened my conviction that I do want to go to Israel in my life, hopefully sooner rather than later. I was aware that people hate us Jews, but this year, it feels like everything's been amped up exponentially. I carry this fear a little closer than I did before, worry about how I should protect my family a little more. It seems like it's not just the crazies who hate us; it feels like there is a wave sweeping across the world that threatens to drown us.

A couple stand out: 1. Maya Angelou's death: "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." Dr. Angelou's spirit and poetry had a profound impact on me throughout my life, starting with "On the Pulse of the Morning," the poem she gave at Pres Clinton's Inauguration. She was hopeful and there was reason to be. . . that the world would experience far more peace and prosperity in our lifetimes than we will. I'm sad to think that she died disappointed, if she did. 2. The kidnapping of 260 young girls in Nigeria by yet another crazy terrorist group whose name translates to "Western education is sin." The subjugation and exploitation of young girls is exponentially more disturbing than the subjugation and exploitation of adult women, which is one of the most disturbing things in the world. I don't understand why finding these girls hasn't been a global mission at least as urgent as "degrading and ultimately destroying" ISIS. What example are we setting relative to our support for human rights, not to mention women and children?

Just one? I sometimes feel buffetted about by the news, just battered. Finally, a question to which I have an abundance of answers. Now what are they. Certainly the summer's news: the shooting of Michael Brown, the riots, the shooting of John Craford III in Walmart. Going to war against ISIS. The latest round of Israel vs. Palestine. Ebola. (What made me despair in the spring, or last winter, or last fall? I guess I have a short-term memory for current events.) How does it impact me? Despair and cynicism, mostly. Makes me want to go back to bed. I have to consciously compartmentalize, lest I start dwelling on how fucked we all are.

The killings at the Jewish Museum in Brussels as well as the obvious rise of anti-semitransparent in Europe during the most recent Gaza war made me become part of my mother's world as a teenager in Germany in the 1930's. But I was in the ambiguous position of seeing multiple sides. And yet, as the child of a Holocaust survivor but a member of J Street, I still had to come down on the side of the Israelis. The important word in the previous sentence is "had". I know the settlement policy is wrong; I know that seeing four children dead because they played on a beach is searing; I know that deaths in a refugee center at a UN school is outrageous. But still....I spent slot of time alone in the woods this past summer where I realized how visceral this is. And unfortunately this led me to understand how visceral anti-semitism is as well I am frightened and dis-spirited and enormously sad

Israel vs. Gaza battle. It made me so sad and angry -- I feel like I don't want to pay attention to Israeli/Middle East politics anymore, but then this happens and I feel torn between defending Israel's right to defend itself, and being furious at Israel for murdering innocent people and making itself look so terrible.

The World Cup. After a difficult period in which I found myself deep underwater, this helped me through and I will always remember Brazil 2014 as a special time when I started to swim again. I loved those warm, long summer nights, watching the games in the evening with Jude and then going to bed and watching the late games (USA v Portugal for example) and feeling like there were many, many points to all of this. I loved that World Cup. A turning point for me.

I've been worried about the unrest in Syria and the new Alquida group Isis. A friend told me not to let it worry or scare me, that's just what they want. But of course it's scary and unwanted and evil, of course it will scare me. It is a small world and when we see what is happening, it is close to home. I can't believe this I'd happening, where is God? What God are these groups referring to, because I see no love or respect. I do have an anxious feeling about this all the time.

I was sad at the death of robin Williams. First cel energy I grew up and felt an affinity with to die. Also sad that he killed himself. Took maddy to an Omar's march I. NYC. That's more a family event the. A world event. Traveled to Europe for spent break, There have been wars in Ukraine and Syria, and a horrible Ebola outbreak in west Africa, but all these thing s are far away. Suppose I am pretty far from world events.

Terrorisim and the violence that surrounds it. Whether it is the act of the terrorist or the repsonse. The cycle doesn't end. It's not that we shouldn't defend ourselves and the resulting violence of the action. It is the extent to which we will take that violence to retirbuiton beyond the perpetrator. In today's world the technology of war that we have can keep us from putting aditional lives at jepordy by bombing from above or sending in "surgically" targeted weapons. There will be colateral damage. It is bound to happen. And the perpetrators will hide amongst the inocent. Even use the inocent to do their work. I just wonder in our hast to bring justice do we lower our selves to the enemy's level. Hae we been willing to lower the bar of behavior so low that we are all in the gutter? I have always been for swift justice. Now I wonder if we haven't lost sight of the bigger picture. This is a small planet. We aren't getting off it anytme soon. We have to live together. We can't be nieve enough to think that everyone is right about how to live as the human race. Meaning that we cannot have everyone live at the same level of income in the same size house, with X number of children etc. We are all individuals. Uniquely gifted. Blessed by God to have dominion over His creation. Dominon though doesn't mean abuse creation. It doesn't mean make people think the same way. We all have free will. Adn it seems that we are willing to demand our own freedom for ourselves but not for someone else if they don't believe, look, smell, talk, dress, or act like us. Why?

I started volunteering as a docent at a historical house, and it's taught me to look at details more closely - they're often what sets something apart as beautiful.

The deaths of Casey Kasem and Robin Williams were major for me. Both of them were people I looked up to in a big way and who had larger-than-life personalities. It kind of goes along with the theme of mortality in my personal life and family.

The flare ups in Israel and Gaza this summer bother me because there are solutions to some of the problems-- it's hard to tolerate people that are not practical and interested to solve problems. The historical, religious and political reasons for either one or two state solutions cannot be undone. However, tracking the use of materials, increased accountability to by hold and support a Palestinian infrastructure CAN be managed, overseen, administrated, regardless of a future solution of country jurisdiction, people live there now, and need services, schools, jobs, access to resources. Trust can even be built over time in securing these social structures.

The issues in Syria/Iraq with ISIS. It's another reminder of how horrific parts of our world can be. Also, the recurring stories in the United States surrounding domestic violence and violence against women. It demonstrates how much more work we have to do in order to create a more just and equal society for women.

Sochi Winter Olympics. It is a reminder of people coming together in peace from all walks of life. Event though it wasn't perfect, the opportunity for people to celebrate together is important. There were moments of genuine human kindness, where individuals put others before themselves that made it beautiful and inspiring.

Nelson Mandela's death. Saddened me, but also made me hopeful that we might actually rise above our petty differences some day. What an amazing man he was!

The Russian invasion of Ukraine reminded me of the sacrifices and hardship my Grandfather endured during the Winter War in Finland and why an organisation such as the EU/NATO is so important to prevent powerful people wanting to drag us back to the past from getting a foothold in the world.

the strife around the world. syria, isis,terrorists, israel, iran, iraq, the entire middle east, africa.it seems as tho the world is going to blow up at any minute. once we get one area semi under control another 2 become unstable. it seems never ending. and now that we are engaged in another war, in syria, against isis, or isil it is scary once again. how do you kill someone's twisted ideology?

The drought in California has made me think, once again, about the future and the impact of our lax environmental stances. This is just a preview and my fear is that people still aren't paying attention and are completely unwilling to change their behavior. It doesn't bode well.

The fighting in Ukraine and Crimea has been just one of many things to contribute to my constant background depression about the state of the world (Israel/Gaza, ISIS and others). In this case it affected our now canceled cruise of the Black Sea which of course is very petty in the grander scheme of things. But since this is Arch's area of expertise, he (and therefore I) have also been somewhat involved. Arch has given what have been interpreted as pro-Russian lectures, but they draw on history in a way that has made me even more aware than usual of the stupidity and lack of knowledge that often -- and definitely do in this case -- guide our foreign policy. The need to see things in black and white, to have a scapegoat etc., has not only contributed to the ills of the world, but in this case is especially inaccurate and dangerous for everyone.

Again, the whole year has just been a blur. So many bad things have happened in so many places, I'm not sure I could pick one. They have all been awful and greatly hinder my faith in humanity.

Israel. We just came back from there a month before the war started out there...... and how it played out on Facebook: People posting hate, fear, polarisation, and seeing the "other" as wrong. How it made me see that I value peace and love for ALL peoples, above anyone being right or wrong... that there are no "rights" when it comes to war. That when someone posts anything anti Israel, it taps into a deep fear of being hated for being Jewish, that I just hadn't understood, or noticed until now. I see how I have been carrying how Antisemitism lives in the my body, without knowing I was doing that. That it is in my blood, from my ancestors. And that our generation are the first to try to heal this pain through responding to hate out there with a fierce love, both for ourselves, and for the other.

i was so, so sad about robin williams. and i'm not the kind of person that gets sad when a celebrity or cultural figure dies normally because i didn't know them, you know? and who am i to mourn someone or attempt to be authentic in my grief when i only knew just this one facet of them? it seems very disingenuous and like i'm being a grief-tourist or something. but, i don't know, i was very, very sad about robin williams. like, crying over my oatmeal at 7 AM while watching old interviews and stand-up routines sad. it made me miss my childhood. and it just makes you realize that you can never know anyone.

The government shutdown. The willingness a the few to burn the commitments made by their forebears at a civil institution for which we are all care takers. And millions cried out in favor! The federal government of the United States is the largest, most complicated organization in human history, and in my opinion the most admirable... maybe they just need better PR. This has impacted me to re-expression my ideal and conscientiously define a shape to live by. America is an 'n-sided' polygon and everybody is in their corner. I have decided diversity is the central tenant by which I will live. Seek out lots of ideas and go lots of places, specifically because that is better (caveat, that doesn't mean a uniform distributed, one thing, one time, next thing, I mean higher variance, less comfort clustering). I will be an advocate for other to do the same. We can presume nothing, never talk in generalities to or about an individual. Tomorrow we will laugh.

The Ebola epidemic in Africa has shown me how fragile our health system could be under the right set of circumstances. The suffering of the thousands of Africans is heartbreaking. However, the size of the challenge will probably result in a much better understanding of how to treat this disease in the future.

Hamas attacking Israel and the anti Israel sentiment. It showed how we may not be making peace with people that use their civilians as shields. It showed how strong anti Israel feelings are in the world. This makes me afraid of the future of Israel's place in the world and fearful of rising antisemitism.

Major problems (but me impacted?). Israel & Palestine in major war. Ebola virus in Africa spiraling. I've acted in only small ways. Joining my shul's board. Pushing for our Tikkun Olam committee to join with the church on a project. Betty & I need to clean up our house, so that we can invite others in. Also, I need to become more fit, so I have more energy...to clean up & more. No obvious solutions...but it will be helpful to have a bigger vision.

Change of government in my country. We suddenly find ourselves with a bunch of 'leaders' whose policies reflect an open hostility to it's people, a complete lack of empathy and understanding. I am not overly surprised that this has happened but I am a little surprised with how brazenly ruthless they are. In a way this is better, as I hope that their agendas and attitudes are so obvious now to the majority that there's far less chance of them getting in again. I am also hopeful that this may bring more people to realise more the importance of the values they would like to see reflected in our government.

The Jewish-Palestinian escalation after the three boys were kidnapped and killed, and the Palestinian boy burned to death in retaliation: this really hit me. I felt the need to make a gathering of Jews at my house to reflect together on this other/Other challenge we all have. How hard it is to extend that grace, to see our shadow and our own ability to create evil ourselves. But we didn't get too far in the discussion. Most of my guests were unready. It felt like a failure. I failed to even generate thought about it. But I learned a good song for peace and inner peace from Jon G: "O Zion, More Love!"

The way the republicans are voting and dealing with issues that are harmful to humanity and the environment. It makes me fearful of the future of our country and our world.

this California drought. for a couple reasons: 1)the shitty snow season 2)the fire season it was a very poor year for snow. possibly worse than the year before. all my plans of getting super gnarly and riding waist deep pow and going big while progressing my skill as a snowboarder kinda fell short. instead i ended up riding in rain more than i ever wanted to and hiking in mud. i ruined my burton board on unseen rocks under the snow surface. i broke my collar bone riding too aggressively in variable conditions. the dog bar fire was very close to some of my relatives homes and they ended up having to evacuate for a night. my aunt stayed over at my parents. the king fire shrouded the tahoe area in a haze of smoke. the fire came 20mi from my home in truckee. the sun appeared burnt orange and blood red. ive learned that some things are always out of my control. there's only so much i can do to dictate my life. things like weather and time are just factors that i have to live with and play by. I've learned to go with it and make the best of it. i can at least control myself which is my only way of interacting with the world.

The war in Israel has really affected my expression of my Judaism. I'm sorry to say that, but it makes me embarrassed to be a Jew. The Israeli government makes a lot of choices that I don't agree with, especially regarding Palestinians, etc. I used to wear a Star of David around my neck. I don't anymore. I used to casually talk about how cool Israel is. I don't anymore. I try to steer conversations away from religion these days, or at least away from politics. Also, Wendy Davis' speech to the Texas state senate has encouraged me to identify myself as a feminist. Her courage and strength inspires me to take more of a stand, and I'm very proud of that.

For better or worse, I have insulated myself from world events the last four years. I have enough on my plate to worry about without taking on things I have no control over. I look more to the happenings in my immediate surroundings and as the prayer goes, accept the things I cannot change, have the courage to change the ones I can, and hope I have the wisdom to know.

None, I try not to let the world effect me in anyway.

The murder of the 3 yeshiva students, was very hard to take. We prayed so hard that they be found alive. I light a set of shabbat candles each week for HaShem to avenge their blood

Obamacare! Thank goodness for healthcare that is affordable. My costs have come down and I was able to buy a car and keep my business up and running. I have also witnessed a client with Multiple Sclerosis benefit from now having healthcare and getting much needed medical attention.

The Ebola breakout in Liberia. We were there two years ago. I think of the people we met, the villages we saw, the hospital/clinic we visited and wonder if the warm and wonderful people we met have been taken by the disease.

This might sound naive ( I have a sister that not-so-kindly calls me a 'sheeple' because of this attitude), but I really don't pay a lot of attention to things that go on outside my own sphere. I decided a few years back that I will care and try to make a difference here and now, where I can...and the rest I will just let go. The media likes to feed a frenzy of fear and horror. I opt out of most forms of media for that reason.

The fighting in Israel and Gaza. It led to some painful discussions with Jewish and not Jewish friends and colleagues, and resulted in the cancellation of my daughter's planned trip to Israel with a Jewish youth group.

Ferguson didn't affect me enough. I followed Gaza/Israel more than I have in the past. The bank robbery in Stockton hit hard, not being there. The drought in California made my heart hurt. What else? Maybe I wasn't involved enough in the greater world.

The Gaza war made us realize how vulnerable we are to any semitism and also our love for Israel. So proud of Lea who is becoming an IDF officer.

The notable loss of the starfish from our tidal pools here on the northwest coastline, joining the mass die off of bees, bats, frogs of all sorts, multiple bird species, not to mention the extinction of the black rhino. All driven by the corporate oligarchy we have become and a feeling of powerlessness in the face of the addiction that drives it. So each day becomes an exercise in not giving in to the helplessness I feel. And it is when I am immersed in nature that I find some reassurance. I am put in my place and with a sense of wonder find the wild within me that is bigger than anything we can imagine. Then I have hope....some wild hope...that good will out.

Embarrassingly, I am pretty out of touch with world events. There's so much unbearable horror, carnage, selfishness, deceit, anger, rage, no compassion, no empathy, no understanding it makes my heart hurt to pay any attention to it. Especially since I know of nothing I can do to make any sort of impact.

The war in Isreal. I think it impacted me in particular because I have friends living there and feel a strong connection to the land because of past experiences there. Its hard to understand how there is so much hate in the world. Especially when I've encountered so much love. It scares me for the future of humanity, how can we change this?

What I'm thinking about today is domestic violence in the NFL. It is hard to reconcile supporting sports when so many of the players aren't admirable people.

The events in Ferguson, Mo- we live in St. Louis and my husband grew up in Ferguson- it has been surreal to see that small area of north St. Louis County become known around the country and world, St. Louis City and County has always been deeply divided racially and economically- this event helped to bring it out into the open, which hopefully, will ultimately be a good thing to come out of a tragic situation.

Ukraine, Ebola, Syria. Here in the US we are pleasantly insulated from the real truth/nature of what is going on. If an Ebola outbreak had occured in the US I fear the response would be much different - the reponse should be the same - we value some people more than others and I am complicit in this.

I moved on. I adapted and changed. Thank GOOOOOSH

I paid more attention to the conflict in Israel this year than I ever have before. Being more involved with our synagogue and my Judaism makes this issue more important than in the past. I still don't understand all the details, and it makes me sad that the sides can't share the space and get along. But I listen more closely than before when the subject of Israel is in the news. I would like to visit what is left of it someday with my children.

Republicans blocked attempts at comprehensive immigration reform. So every day I still fear that my family could be broken up by deportation. My children are 4 months and 5 years old. I feel so vulnerable. Most people who know me casually have no idea this is part of my daily reality.

The Gaza conflict. A lot of my friends have relatives in Israel who face terrorism attacks daily, and it's incredibly surreal to hear about the ridiculously huge amounts of destruction that the conflict is causing.

Climate change impacted my life directly - and the impacts go on. I bought a duplex a year ago, in order to live on one side and rent out the other. It took eight months to find someone - and meanwhile, it was the coldest winter in decades. All winter long I had to pay two heating bills so that the pipes next door wouldn't freeze. Driving winds knocked the top spine off my roof, so that had to be replaced in March. And the constant drenching rains this spring caused part of my ceiling to collapse and a leak through the light fixture in my study. The extremes of weather are as hard on my 85 year-old house as they would be on an 85 year-old grandmother. But I love my home, and I want to keep it in great shape despite the expense that global "weirding," as Thomas Friedman of the NY Times put it, is causing. I bought this house to leave to my daughter some day, since I have changed careers after age 50 and won't have much else to give her. I want to take care of it and leave her with a home she can use for her own family or lease in order to pay part of her rent as she starts out in life. But I only hope that it will survive the changing Cleveland climate . . . and that we won't be poisoned in the next few years by a toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie . . . and that, should my daughter decide to raise her children here, they won't have to spend summers cowering in the basement during tornado warnings like we did this past summer. Climate change could change everything. All our hopes for the future depend on what we do now. I have a renewed determination to fight for a change in how WE affect the climate.

Shooting down of civilian airplane over Ukraine and seeing video Collateral Murder from Wikileaks made me recognise that mine or anybodies life is worth nothing, if somebody decides to kill you. And states kill. USA kills, Ukraine kills, Russia kills.

Shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. Because I don't want my boys growing up in a world that treats other people as less than because of the color of their skin. Because I dream of a world that truly is like Indra's Net - where each person shines brilliantly, illuminating all the other jewels in the net.

Too many. The kidnapping of the teenage girls in Nigeria - whose only crime was being girls who wanted to learn. The kidnapping of three teenage boys in Israel, whose only crime was that they were Jewish and it offended Palestinian radicals. Those struck me the most. I have a daughter and a son the same ages as these kids. How can we go on when children cannot live without fear?

The death of Robin Williams. A profound entertainer, I loved his dramatic works more than his comedy. I always thought he had sad eyes. It bothered me tremendously when he passed. I am still asking myself why, but I think it is because I am someone who struggles to find my "happy" and if someone as wealthy and famous and successful as THAT can't manage happiness, will I find it?

It's not one event. It's the continuation of the brutality that humans, supposedly the most intelligent species on the planet, inflict upon each other. . We continue to destroy what we have, and kill others. ... FOR WHAT? Religious beliefs? Control of others? Pleasure?

War in the Middle East. Israel is surrounded by her enemies! Teshuva, return to HaShem is the answer!

The Israel /Palestine conflicts hit home in a new way as we now have close friends in Israel that we skype with each week. We worried for them and the members of their family in a way that was different from our concern for the survival of Israel as a nation.

I try not to let the events of the world affect me as most of the time, there is nothing that I can do to change what is happening and I feel that worrying about something beyond your control only causes undo stress in your life. "Not my circus....Not my monkeys"

This weekends vote to reengage with Iraq. Cried. Boko haram girls' abduction. Threw up

The war in Gaza plus the rise of ISIL. Somehow the new year looks very fragile with these people still in it.

The continued struggles around the world fought in the name of individual ideologies continue to cause concerns, innocent adults and children caught up in wars and forced into all kinds of horrors leave me ashamed of humanity. Although not religious myself, I have often envied the comfort that others derive from their faith, yet the beliefs espoused from all sides do not appear to offer any kind of comfort. I can only hope that the small faith that I do have, in the individual's innate care for others will be realised and people may learn to tolerate and coexist despite their differences- although belief can make fools of us all.

When I hear of journalists slaughtered, it's sickens me. I feel violated by these tyrants who infringe on the basic human right to free speech. Those who silence freedom of speech and kill innocents are the ones who threaten all humanity. However, U.S. should not go it alone and I hope the world will stand as one against these haters. As for global warming, I've been making adjustments to offset the usage of carbon. It maybe too little, too late.

This year my world is very small, it's me and my family. Everything else is out of my vision. This is the price of real chaos.

The Ebola Crises has given me a vision of how the "world ends". It is amazing that we are ready to spend billions if not trillions of dollars on a senseless war in Iraq and Syria but can barely raise the fund to put an infrastructure in place so this epidemic can be halted. The risk her is much greater then some possible terrorist attack. It is a real risk to the whole human race.

Energetically, there is a shift happening in human consciousness. I'm very involved in shifting the life paradigm and perceptions of women toward more feminine energy. It is my belief that historically, we have turned our backs on our unique and very feminine strength. We did so for good reason--it wasn't safe for our foremothers to be authentic. It wasn't that long ago that women were imprisoned, tortured and killed for speaking their truth. In parts of the world this is still very true. We live in a place and a time when it is not only appropriate to let "her" out, but we must do so in order to save ourselves and the planet. Men must honor the feminine ways as much and maybe more than women--her softness and compassion as well as her fire and fierceness for the sake of deeper integrity. This is an event that has happened this year and still continues. YAY!

Every year the nationals and internationals conflicts cause a great impact on me because I can see the bad things the human being is able to do.

This is a difficult question for me. But I would have to say that the biggest impact for me was provided by the most recent escalation of the conflict between Israel and Gaza. It was significant because the hopelessness of it basically turned me off to world events in general. Whenever I would listen to how intractable the situation is, I would become depressed and downright misanthropic. This set the stage for all the other depressing things of the year: ebola, ISIS, Syria and so much more. It was like that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. Now I have no cynical armor to protect me from the horrors the news media slings at me. Whenever I hear a news report I am filled with sadness and hopeless dread.

The economy - more resource extraction. That has meant I've gotten to go on some interesting enviro work trips.

Operation protective edge, where participation was requested, in the social media front. It appears that there is little understanding of living with being bombed and championing the desire to a peaceful existence. It strikes the concept of peace askew to find that the desires outcome comes after the engagement it violence, so much so, that balance seems like a more desired option than peace, peace coming at such a cost.

When I heard that Robin Williams had taken his own life, it made me reflect on the fragility of human emotions. Our ability to be successful in the public's eye, as in substantial wealth, talent, a good family and friends, doesn't always mean happiness within ones self. It is such a tragedy, menatl health/anguish. It seems no matter who you surround yourself with, it is only you, who can save yourself.

If a magazine article can be considered a world event, that is what has greatly impacted me and ironically, it happened this morning! A dear friend posted the link to the article on FB. It appear in The Atlantic, October 2014 issue--"Why I Hope to Die at 75," by Ezekiel Emanuel. I had tears in my eyes when I finished because it SO incapsulated many of my beliefs. All I can do is recommend it to all!

ISIS Their existence threatens mine, Also the ebola outbreak They say there is no danger to us but I KNOW that it will spread to here and touch my life

The two Malaysian planes that went down. One shot down by pro Russian separatists and the other still unknown. It's such overwhelming sadness for the families and sadly it feels like everyone just moves on with no consequences for these actions. It feels like there have been non stop man made tragedies including the Korean ferry disaster. I feel as though people have become desensitized to death and destruction.

Israel's continual fighting. It causes a split in me. I'm with my people, but I'm also a pacifist.

The way in which the Australian community reacted to operation protective edge and ISIS. It's hard to continue to call Australia the most accepting country in the world when Muslim, Jewish and Christian schools are all attacked in the space of 2 months. It's hard to call Australia home when there are leaflets dropped into mail boxes designed to alienate you from the rest of the Australian community.

The attack on Israel by Hamas this past summer, and the negative world-wide opinions towards Israel's response. Israel is, and has been, (and probably always will be) fighting for its very survival. Why don't people understand this?

I dunno. I live a super insular life. I read the news, but it barely affects me. I guess the State budget cuts at the university I work for has had some effect, but it's been really indirect.

Earlier this summer in SC, Debra Harrell, 46, would let her daughter, Regina, use her laptop while she did her shift at McDonald's — until the laptop was stolen from their home. Upon her daughter's request, Harrell let Regina play at a nearby park while she went to work and was later arrested for child neglect. This really bothers me. What has happened to us as a society that we can't let our 9-year olds play alone at a nearby park? And then to vilify and imprison the working moms is disgusting. We need better support for mothers in general and working mothers specifically. The change needs to be systemic, from individuals to workplaces to our beliefs and practices on education.

It is not one event, but the ongoing complex of events that has had the impact on me. The continuing violence in Syria, the Russian violence toward the Ukraine, another Palestinian-Israeli war, the "developed" world's shrug about the Ebola epidemic, world "leaders'" disregard for the destruction of the earth caused by global warming. All of these reinforce my despair at governments' disregard for human life, their inability or unwillingness to address dire problems, the ease with which they create and accept destruction.

The war in Israel really brought out the politics in me in a way I had never felt. Yes, I felt strongly about Israel my whole life, but this had me really reading and posting and saying how I feel in a very clear, "I am for Israel; Hamas is completely evil and wrong" way. We are going in May, to celebrate my aunt Aya's 70th birthday, but I also feel it's important to support the country, my country, at this time.

The ISIS or ISIL activity has made me think how innocent people can be victimized by barbarians. My grandparents and uncles and aunts died in Auschwitz at the hands of similar barbarians. Although I do not want us to go to war, the destruction of this evil force is what the civilized world we should accomplish. First they came for the Christians, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Christian. Then they came for the moderate Moslems, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Moslelm. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

The Ebola epidemic

Tzok Eitan. I literally don't remember the things that happened this year other than that, though I'm sure there must have been something. What did we talk about, worry about until Gilad, Eyal, and Naftali were kidnapped and murdered? The Malaysian airplane, the kidnapped girls, The Russian Olympics, French antisemitism, Ebola, the World Cup, the Typhoon. The deaths of Rav Ovadia Yosef, Ariel Sharon, Shirley Temple, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Maya Angelou. Eyal, Gilad, Naftali. I just googled all of those things, had literally forgotten about them until I was reminded. How crazy that other things happened in 5774, that in other places, they had completely other things to worry about than Code Reds and 15 seconds and baking cookies for soldiers drafted into the reserves for a month or more and searching for three boys who couldn't come back home. I wasn't in Israel when they were kidnapped, and my heart was ripped apart extra hard from the pain of being away. How grateful I was to have returned home in time to mourn together, and to be a part of the national unity that somehow swept the country as we went to war in everything but name. I wish that I had played a more active role in the story. I was unemployed and depressed, and then newly-employed and stressed, and I let others play parts. I was a citizen in name only. I baked no cookies, donated no socks, lit no candles, even. But I was a citizen. Every single soldier in uniform filled me with pride and gratitude, to be Israeli, to be here.

I was strongly impacted by the terrorist attacks going on in Israel. As a Jew, even though I don't physically live there, it is and will always be my home and to have something like this happen to the jewish people and my home is very painful to hear about and having to live here, in the U.S., everyday thousands of miles away while my friends and family are being terrorized by Hamas is just heartbreaking and frightening.

I have been distraught over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. My sense of what the best way to respond was/is as a Jew and as a human rights supporter is still troubled by the whole polarized situation, and the lack of political progress in basically any of the proposed alternatives towards resolving it. But, I felt that this affected my sense of Jewish American identity by heightening my awareness and provoking good, hard conversations, and heightening my sense of loyalty as a Jew towards peaceful, sensible and pluralist ideas about how we as a people should be acting.

Russia invading Krimea and Ukraine

The Israeli war against HAMAS. It amazed me how many people didn't understand that Israel was left with no choice. Hamas wants to annihilate the State of Israel. The double standard in this world was unsettling to say the least. Those that only focused on the Palestinians missed the essence and history of the situation.

Mh70 disappearance. I spent ours reading about this and was totally consumed. It effected me as it was such a mystery and a terrible tragedy for those onboard and their grieving families. It's a example of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. It saddens me that it's not mentioned in the media now, as the families of the passengers need some sort of closure. I flew long hail not long after this event, experienced bad turbulence and was terrified. A lot of us where. I kept thinking of the missing plane on that flight.

Israel and Hamas engaged in skirmishing during the summer of 2014. While I don't back everything Israel does blindly (nor do I with my home country, the USA) - including their decision to build settlements in Gaza - I nonetheless believe in the Israeli cause as the only true democracy in the Middle East. It is highly unfortunate that in condemning the Palestinian civilian casualties, much of the world fails to acknowledge the Palestinians setting up operations amongst civilians in civilian buildings. It would be practically impossible for Israel to defend itself without civilian casualties. Destroying those tunnels was a big priority. Israel stands as a beacon to the world.

The beheading of innocent people by ISIS has reminded me of the vulnerability I felt after 9/11. I am nervous to travel abroad next month and worry about my children's safety. Also, the killing of Michael Brown leaves me with feelings of hopelessness that things will never get better. I hope I am wrong.

The blatant disregard displayed by the republican party against the president has completely soured me to the democratic process. If the President says black - the Republicans say white - just to argue with him. I have always considered myself an Independent but have decided that I will NEVER again vote Republican, just because I think they have behaved like petualnt school children during the presidents term. I also believe that no other President had a better opportunity to bring races together towards a common ground - being 50 white and 50 black. His not being able to do so gives me NO hope that harmony will ever be achieved.

Many events in the world where women are mistreated--even in the U.S., women are still being raped, beaten, murdered. Every time I hear of another incident, the pain in me as a female is awakened (and sometimes it stays with me for long periods of time). I used to feel good about being a woman (when I was younger)--but not so much anymore.

The deaths of "Our Boys" in Israel. Mostly because it brought the whole Jewish world together.

Had to sit on jury duty for three days, look at pictures of a dead girl, and send a guy to prison for six years.

The death of Robin Williams was a sad moment for me. Many years ago I read a novel about depression. I learned that a person who is depressed can function, but there can come a moment where that person feels like he/she cannot live in their agonized mind for another minute. It is in that moment when a suicide can occur. Until I read that novel, I truly didn't understand how bad it feels. Now that I understand, Robin Williams' suicide broke my heart.

The cascade of various court rulings over the past year that have legalized same-sex marriage in several states have given me and my partner hope that soon, in our own home state of Georgia, we will be able to marry as well and enjoy the full benefits of other tax-paying citizens.

A volcano in Iceland, under the Vatnajokull Glacier, threatened our late summer vacation. Just days before our departure date, we got news of earthquake swarms around the Bardabunga (barada: wide, bunga: bulge) volcano. We thought about cancelling, postponing, when we could find 18 days to go again. Lava began erupting and volcanic ash in the air became a concern. We decided to go to Iceland anyway. We seemed terribly brave when we came back. But all along, we received advisories from the Icelandic highway department about road closures, blue haze threats, national park closures. At one point, in the town of Myvatn (Fly Lake), we could see the red glow of lava reflected in the clouds of the night sky. We could see odd, gentle ripples in the surface of the water in the northern and eastern fjords. I swear I could feel gentle tremors; I remember feeling a bit dizzy, slightly off-balance, and it occurred to me that ground was moving, not me. Weeks later, not much has changed: the lava continues to flow, campers try to get as near as possible to see the lava, pricey flights hover over the cauldron, and glaciers have not melted and caused the catastrophic floods that the experts predict might happen. Lots of maybes, no certainties. Just like life. We really are not in control of very much. It is humbling to think about.

This was the easiest question for me to answer. The uptick in violence around the world makes me wonder if I am being true to myself by sitting safely stateside, doing nothing of any consequence to protect or help others. Just this summer there has been Gaza/Israel, the rise of ISIS, beheadings, children flooding up through Central America into the US, racial tensions/violence in Ferguson, outbreak of Ebola; and of course the perennial mass shootings, kidnappings, foiled (and un foiled) terror plots, murders, car wrecks. sex trafficking. I cannot help but turn to self-examination: what am I personally doing to relieve the suffering of others, defend the helpless, and combat evil? There are soldiers, aid workers, law enforcement officers risking their lives, and what am I doing? The most dangerous part of my day is driving to work, and my job in the health and wellness industry is a luxury service for so many in my country, let alone the world. As a young, healthy, unattached, physically fit, easily trained individual with a decent moral compass and some psychological fortitude- does the duty not fall to me to protect the elderly, the children, the disenfranchised or unrepresented? As a woman, societal expectations have never burdened me to step up to stand in the gap. But our US soldiers and their families are so tired of multiple tours of duty, good men and women police my streets nightly, while I am content merely to offer up the occasional thankful prayer that my mundane existence has been preserved. My brother is in the military, and he and his wife had their first child this year. If he dies in combat, he leaves a widow and son. If not me, who? My brother?

The event was many years ago, but last November I visited Hanoi and saw proof of what a waste the Vietnam War had been.

Robin Williams committing suicide got to me, it brought the fact that no matter who I am, no matter how long I stay sober, no matter what, I will always have this disease, and that today, I have a choice. The fighting in Israel got to me, well, not really the fighting, what got to me was the anti-Israel sentiment that I saw on social media and on the news - it was disgusting.

I must honestly admit that there isn't any world event that has changed my life in terms of my daily living. My day to day life stays the same in spite of world events. However, I am deeply concerned about several things that are happening in the world: I am very concerned about extremists perpetrating acts of terror in the world. Along with that, I am concerned about all the anti-Muslim hatred I hear in response to these extremist acts. I am also concerned about the growing tide of anti-Semitism in Europe. On a personal level I fight against hatred wherever I see it in my day to day life. I speak up as often as I can when I see or hear any kind of prejudice / hatred being perpetrated.

The disappearance of the Malaysia airliner. I can't believe in today's digital age we aren't able to find a plane and hundreds of people. And I can't help but shake the feeling that this is the event we will look back on when our world turns upside down.

The conflict in gaza. Israeli and Palestine issues have always been polarising, as with most conflicts. But I feel personally conflicted given my closeness to israeli sympathies from my backgound and identity as a jew and believer in democracy, but at the same time my ethical and professional position from a human rights and humanitarian perspective. Everyone accuses the media of bias, in voth directions. What is true? What to believe? Are people I believe to be good in the wrong? Someone must be as both sides can't be right? Or can they? I find myself torn between deliberately sticking my head in the sand and having no comments or views on the conflict, versus wishing to read the truth however I can find it to ensure I am on the right side of history and can be a force for good in achieving what's right.

The events surround the irrational inhumane treatment under Isis, makes my stomach turn. how can we stand by in the US while this is going on. The fight for Peace in Israel affects me and my loved ones daily and we pray for Peace!

The beheading of the American journalist by ISIS. It has affected me because I cannot believe how any human being can become so evil and why God would lte this happen.

This summer I was in Hawaii when tropical storm Iselle hit. Hawaii doesn't have many hurricanes and while this one was downgraded when it hit land, hurricane force winds battered the district of Puna where I was. Power was out everywhere for days, cell service was intermittent and there was no ice anywhere on the eastern side of the island. I was fortunate. My boyfriend is building a house there. It wasn't complete but we camped in it during the storm and were quite safe. The winds were terrifying and we lost several trees. We had some electricity from solar and cold water. We were lucky. In part there was so much damage because of invasive trees that are very brittle and are all over the district. This is an environmental problem and the state government's response has been inadequate in eradicating them. I feel that climate change is responsible for stronger storms and fear that they will impact the poorest areas the hardest. I don't think that local or federal governments have adequate emergency response measures and will wait till the last minute to deal with this growing problem. I have little faith in our government's recognition of climate change events and it's ability to respond to environmental disruption.

The issues in Israel have broken my heart. The problems seem insurmountable. The world feels aflame with ill-will, misunderstandings, immeasurable cruelties. Beheadings? What? How can a person even physically accomplish such a deed? What does it serve? Who does it help? What does it solve? But our own government, the announced unwillingness to come together under our elected leader, the poor losers in the opposing party, obstructing ...all these are discouraging.

The rise in global anti- semitism has me very concerned. I never thought I'd see it in my lifetime as my parents were children who survived the Holocaust and here it is in the media in all its déjà vu horror. It's being highlighted in Europe mostly but I know it exists here in the US as well, even in the bastion of literalness that we call the Bay Area.

The war between Israel and Palestine has impacted me greatly this year. What a complicated and terribly sad state of events. I am disappointed in the people of Israel, but I know they also are in a terrible position. Becoming a Reform Jew just weeks before this was especially difficult. I know the battle has been going on for decades, centuries really, but I hope for improvements and moves towards peace in the next year.

The bombings in Israel hit me especially hard this year. My daughter returned from a gap year there less than two months before the bombings began. I have always been upset when this has flared up in the past. But this time, it was visceral, and very much more real. My flesh and blood could have been killed. I truly cannot wait for the day when they beat their swords into plowshares, neither will they learn war any more.

The disintegration of Iraq has been devastating to me. We wrecked the country. I have held out hope that we might arm the Kurds and assist them to finally create their own state, but my hope is waning. It hurts my heart to see Iraq, where I spent nine months trying to help just a little bit, fall apart. I keep seeing the faces of the women I met. I fear for them, and wonder what their fates have been.

I am and always have been a pacifist. Working at the VA for the past 5+ years, and listening to the stories of veteran after veteran has only solidified that conviction. I was glad to have a president who emphasized negotiation over armed conflict. So, the recent horrific behavior of the so called "Islamic State", and our country's (and the world's) stepped up aggressive response, is very distressing to me. I don't claim to have the answers, and certainly the terrorists cannot be permitted to act unchallenged. However, more weapons, more attacks, and more war, can only lead to more injuries, deaths, sorrow and misery.

The Ebola epidemic has reminded me how fragile our species is. It also reminds me that there are plenty of natural obstacles for us to overcome without adding to the list with selfishness greed and all other difficulty that accompanies our lack of spirituality.

In general, it seems the massive problems of sexual assault on college campuses have gotten a shocking amount of coverage, which makes me hopeful that things will change and more interested in being a part of that process.

I already wrote about Israel/Palestine so I am going to limit the world to the United States and talk about the gay bashing in Center City Philadelphia. Two gay men got the shit beat out of them by a group of up to fifteen people. A lot of more recent articles put the number closer to 10 - 12. This completely shoot up my sense of safety in Boston. I broke down and cried for the first time at Community Time at Hebrew College. The reason I was so shaken is this happened in an area I always thought was safe for the LGBTQ community. I had and still to some extent have this sense of if it could happen there it actually could happen (and probably does I just don't hear about it) in Boston. I was also anxious about knowing those that participated in the attack or the victims thinking some of them might have been Temple University students at the time I was at Temple. This does not seem to be the case. The story is still developing so who knows I may come back to this next year...

The suicide of Robin Williams impacted me the most this year. That's because he and I were so much alike in outlook, brain function and body expression. Being a male, he was first tolerated, then encouraged and eventually built a successful career out of his shenanigans and quick witted jabbering. Being a female, I was frowned upon, shushed, criticized and emotionally duct taped. My behavior and way of thinking were "unseemly." Nobody wanted to see a "girl" jabber on seemingly out of control, even if she was funny and smart. So I learned to shut myself up to a large extent, and exercised some control over my mouth. This is probably why I, too, did not lose it and off myself. Of course, there were other problems! But I've always understood Robin and feel nothing but compassion for what he lived with. It is still okay for a man to make himself the complete center of attention, but not so okay for a woman to do it. Just ask Joan Rivers.

The death of Robin Williams. He was not my favorite, and I didn't think he was THAT spectacular, but he did have a sort of magic about him. I never quite understand why celebrity deaths get to the fans so deeply--especially because they have never met him or really know what he is like outside of the spotlight. But I did feel pretty sad when he died, just thinking of the people really close to him and all the peoples' lives he has changed. I was especially upset because it was suicide and those things are not ever looked upon lightly. It was shocking for a ray of silly sunshine like Robin to have taken his own life, but that just goes to show how little we know about people. And what they're going through. My favorite movies he's in are Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin. My sister and I quote the Genie to this day. He was talented, that is for sure.

The beheading of the reporters and the emergency care worker by IS.First, the sheer brutality of the act. But it is not just the fact that we have plainly turned the corner on a new level of human cruelty. But what also upset me was that others, everyday folks, wanted to view the tapes of these beheadings. I cried for the men, the families, and gor humankind.

The Gaza war. It was a very stressful time. I thought about it a lot. The bias, half truths and lies I saw being propagated and believed was very troubling to me. It helped that I was able to send care packages to members of our congregation who are serving in the IDF. It made me feel less helpless.

Israel's action in the Gaza has impacted me emotionally this year. While I want the IDF to kick butt, I am aware that there MUST be a long term solution to the fighting - and the hatred. I am alarmed by the rapid rise in anti-Semitism and it scares me. The fact that there have been incidents all over Europe is worrying, but that it is also happening HERE is terrifying. I don't believe that this is something that we can just throw money at and it will go away. There has to be dialogue, but how do you have a dialogue with someone who simply wants to annihilate you?

The terrible unraveling of the Arab spring has haunted me. From the beginning I was suspicious of the ability of nations who had been under despotic rule for so long to peacefully transition into a functional democracy, but somewhere I left a little room for hope. So, it was bitterly disappointing to have my worst fears confirmed and to see all the countries that rose up against their rulers devolve into violence and crisis. I see myself, like the passive observers of WWII, standing by, watching as innocent children and families are ravaged by the cruelty of war. And, yet, I do not feel that there is anything I can do. Maybe those who stood by and watched the decimation of the Jews - those that I vilified - were helpless, like me, to change the course of events. I am also horrified at the lack of any coordinated action by the UN and countries in the developed world to slow the spread of the ebola virus. It seems that, had a relatively small amount of resources been spent after the initial outbreak, so many lives and resources could have been spared. Now, thanks to our passivity, this may become the next scourge of the 21st century.

The truth is, there isn't really anything that's impacted me deeply. Everything that happened this year, however horrific, isn't new. It's the same stuff human beings have been doing for a long time. I guess I've stopped being surprised or outraged by any of it. It still troubles me, and I still try really hard to understand it (I can't, frankly - it simply does not compute,) but I can't say any of it really impacted me.

I don't know if one could call this a "world" even't, however, an event that impacted my world very deeply was the Ohio University student body president's "ice bucket challenge" in which she dumped blood on herself to proclaim her disagreement with the State of Israel and to proclaim herself as a pro-palestinian student. This event triggered many feelings for me on its own, but when 4 pro-Israel students were arrested for standing up for what they believe in that is when I understood. I understood that the world that a grew up in and the world that I live in are two very different places. I learned that there is no such thing a freedom of speech. I learned that people don't know what it means to represent a people, and not just represent yourself. When I have children I can only hope they don't have to experience or witness this kind of hatred towards anyone or anything.

The shoot of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has probably had the biggest emotional shock and continued resonance; I know there are lots of other things going on around the world, but we should be able to get some things straight in our country before we start bombing others.

I don't want to be negative, but two recent events come to mind. ISIS beheading people on camera and the Ebola outbreak. The beheadings effect me negatively, in that, it's truly depressing to know that life does not matter to some and that some is a large number of people. It's all over the world. It's all kinds of sociopaths. It's people texting while they drive or speed excessively. They don't value or care about human life. The Ebola epidemic is eye opening. A reminder that even if you're safe from fellow humans, nature is after us too and often times smarter than us.

The effective invasion of Crimea by Russia was shocking to me. It reflected a time - 20, 30 years ago - when the Soviet Union was alive and, well...well. The idea that one man harbors the need to reconstruct a dead state is frightening. The ensuing incursion into Ukraine further shook me. I feel like the world is sub-dividing into blocs - a model of modern society that is not at all modern, given the global nature of life, today. I can't say it is morally or ethically wrong - that would be an over-reach. I can say that it is a recipe for pain and a statement about the failure of human beings to comprehend their need for one another.

world events have mostly slipped my radar since I started riding my bike to work. i was previously held hostage to the car radio during my hours long commute and was kept ridiculously up-to-speed on current events. now, the conflict in syria is real and horrible. the death of refugees in boats and containers is a nauseating truth. and then we have high paid sports heroes causing world reaction because of their lack of control and aggressive behaviour. it is a strange strange world.

The horrible continued fighting in Israel I have family there . I pray each day for their safety.It is unreal to hear that they have to go to bomb shelters. The killing of the three boys. That is how some of my family travels with having no car.My nephews are in their teens. This war really hits home.

The Israeli conflict with the territory of Gaza and the world outcry against its military action was so disturbing. Somehow the empathy we all feel for those in both areas has made our Jewish community coalesce into "pro-peace - at any cost" and "pro-invasion- at any cost" and civil discourse by either faction's adherents is not tolerated. As a non-apologetic Zionist, who supports Israel, even when it doesn't match my own philosophy, I'm nervous about being attacked for that support, and called to account for something I can't control, any more than I can control the military decisions of the USA.

I'd have to say the war in Gaza and its related incidents affected me more than anything else. So many things concern me: Israeli racism; Palestinian racism; the threat posed to Israel by the tunnels; the enormous death toll in Gaza; the vitriol among partisans on both sides (including me, sadly) on social media . Perhaps the most difficult aspect is that for someone like me, who still holds on to the two-state solution as the most viable, it's hard to see a way there right now. Not that I or we should stop trying.

The global capitalists calling the shots and who have thoroughly corrupted our government so that the upward transfer of wealth continues -- aided by the lapdog, irresponsible mainstream media.

It has been very hard for me to hear about the war in Syria. There is just so much pain and hunger and strife and it seems so insurmountable and out of control. I think knowing that there are so many children over there that can't get medical care or food so feel safe just breaks my heart. I think partly it affects me so much because my brother in-law is Syrian but that feels like a small part of it. It just feels like an enormous problem and one that hurts so many innocent people it seems worse than so many other issues. That is just how I see it though.

Throughout the year horrors have plaid out daily in the Middle East, and the Ebola virus threatens large portions of the world. These are important crises, but therected isn't much I can do about them. The Middle East has been a train wreck for millenia, and I have faith the Ebola virus will be dealt with by science. The thing I seem most actively concerned about is the threat to all of us posed by global warming. I'vet really gotten on board with the effort to change our energy usage habits. If we don't do something soon the entire world may become a Middle East.

A teacher in Montana was sentenced to 1 month in prison for raping a student. After massive public outcry and a year-long retrial, the judge re-sentenced him to 10 years in prison. However, the judge told the victim that she was partially to blame for her assault. She committed suicide as a result. This just made me realize how we still, as a nation, do not understand rape and rape culture, the sexualization of women, self-control issues among men, inequality of the sexes, and so much more. It's sad; a teenage girl took her own life, as a result of these shortcomings.

The war in israel certainly had a very strange impact on me - being at camps where everyone was so happy and cheery and then knowing what was happening in israel - that was strange and surreal.

The genocide of Christians and innocent people around the world. How does such hatred and atrocity continue in our modern world? Why are children left behind, abused, and innocent lives slaughtered with no remorse? It makes me hug my kids closer and practice gratitude for the basic safety and freedoms I enjoy daily.

Ebola, Catchy song.

The violence that has occurred in my hometown Chicago and the Ferguson situation. The ignorance around race and tolerance has always troubled me. The fact that I have african american men that I love and care for as an aunt and sister and wife, is one reason why it impacts me. I also want more love in our world. Simple as that sounds, I still hope it's possible

The continuing conflict in the mid-east. We will never have peace until people stop preaching hate from birth!

The Syrian war because we aren't doing anything to help people when weapons of mass destruction have been used on innocent people - we have no credit - our word means nothing - the us has lost more integrity . Ebola & lack of aid in a timely manner also disturbing - true heroes there to help - I sit with opinions but what am I doing - nothing much like the same of the country I live in... I need to act

Sadness is a cloak I wear -- people killing people, pundits dissing others in such unskillful ways, the media creating endless mindless unethical ways of keeping viewers in a state of greed and competition, which are the very qualities which create the killings all over the world -- other countries and in our very own neighborhoods. Sadness is a cloak I wear -- criticism and judgments of other others pour from our mouths, anger and resentments born of fear, an unwillingness to work together (politically) to move toward peace and harmony, just to remain stuck in the status quo for what? the preservation of a political agenda?? Sadness, yes, again and still, is the cloak I wear -- where mental illness is left on the outskirts of insurance reimbursements, where there are not lovely and safe places for those who are suffering and their families are struggling to help them, where, when families know not what to do, there seems to be no answers at all. Even NAMI is not always forthcoming with help to families who need it the most. Sadness, mmmm, yes . . . children being demonized when they attempt to flee violence and come toward our country which prides itself as being "free" and welcoming to all. And, although sadness is the cloak I wear, I remain optimistic, doing my work and helping others see through the veil of their own despair that is deepened by the events of the world. That they can see clearly and become strong and balanced enough to choose something to do to relieve the suffering of someone, something, some group -- in whatever way they choose. And I can stay in the evolutionary process and help others to do so as well: that is, to enjoy the beauty of life, to see through the despair and work towards change -- continue the path towards truth and beauty and peace for all.

I was shocked and appalled when the Israeli's killed an innocent Palestinian. I recognize Israel us under severe provocation but still we're supposed to be the good guys. It made me feel frightened, as if a line has been crossed.

The Islamic State atrocities because, although I normally oppose violence, especially state-sponsored, those acts triggered something in me (and apparently many other people).

It's the ridiculous level of incivility and seeming lack of ability to think rationally. Cops shooting people, conservative attacks on the poor and middle class to serve the rich. Scientific ignorance to a level that threatens our future. Extremism in the middle east and seemingly everywhere. Not just disagreements about belief or political opinion. Downright hatred. Just when I think humanity is doing ok, a year like this happens and I just don't think we can call ourselves civilized.

ISIS activity, the plane that was shot down in Ukraine. Everywhere you look, life's not fair, G-d gives people things they can't handle and they die. It makes me happy to be fortunate, but sad because unfortunate things happen to completely innocent beautiful people.

Greg Rader birthday is November 04, 1958. Self Jewish name Joseph ben Abraham and Sarah Englis name Greg son of Drucy and Bill Rader

The drought in CA and the general lack of understanding of the seriousness of it by the rest of the US has really surprised me. Here in Marin County, CA our children are reminded of the drought daily at school and everywhere they go. While the midwest waters their massive lawns to create curb appeal, my neighbors and I watched our landscape turn brown and remain that way for nearly a year - so far. Your welcome, people! It gets a little annoying that my part of the world is blamed for "greedy liberal ways" while the farmers all over the state struggle more than ever to provide the MAJORITY of the US's produce.

2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak began. It makes me concerned as a front line RN as no matter how prepared we are, some will be exposed and maybe die before it's contained-

Global climate change. First time really aware of extreme heat and water shortage.

Almost too many to name. Globally I worry about the climate and what's been done to it by the disrespect we heap on the planet without worry as to how this will affect young people and those yet to be born.

Robin Williams's suicide. It has opened a dialogue about the illness he and I share. I am still closeted because of the hate and fear that people have for people with my condition, but I truly believe this tragedy reduced the consequences if I were "outed".

Although I haven't yet been personally impacted, I am very distressed about the level of hate and violence in the world. Between the vitriol spewed toward our President and the intolerance between groups of people that lead to the events in the Middle East, it seems that as a society we are becoming less peaceful, more fearful, and more angry.

The conflict in Israel. Although I am Jewish before this year I have never closely followed the ongoing political unrest that continues to plague this nation. But now our entire family has planned a trip to visit this december and it's making me very nervous to travel there. I'm not sure I feel a strong enough bond and tie to risk putting my family in danger. This has caused some friction and discussion between me and my husband because it's his parents who have planned and payed for this trip and he doesn't want to disappoint them. I feel a little betrayed that he is putting their feelings over mine.

The shooting of the teenager near St. Louis. It made me realize just how lucky I am to have been raised to not behave like a thug. Behave and present yourself as a citizen who should be respected and you'll receive respect. Present yourself as a thug looking for trouble and trouble will find you. I know that I am doing the right things by my family and the good life I now have is my proof.

The No vote in the independence referendum. Initially I felt crushed: the Scottish people voted No and gave Westminster, who have come to represent everything that's wrong with our society, back control of Scotland. However, it's made me more determined to fight for what I believe is right and not to just "go back to sleep" after the referendum.

I read a story on line about an elephant who was rescued from a miserable existence by a group who rescues all kinds of animals from similar torture. When the story went "viral", hundreds of thousands of people made donations to help feed this elephant who was 1000 pounds underweight. They also signed a petition to stop the owner who tortured this animal from getting the elephant back after the owner went to court. The fact that so many people in our selfish world would go to bat for this elephant touched my heart in such a positive way. There are still many selfish people who would ignore the plight of an elephant in India, an elephant the helpful people will never actually see. I thought to myself, "Self, the world still has good people in it. You are going to be one of them!" And I sent a donation to buy mangos for this elephant, his favorite food.

Last year I couldn't think of any but this year it's definitely been what's going on in Israel & the resurgence of worldwide antisemitism. I've been much more outspoken & argumentative & have made an effort to really marshall my facts, provide sources, be able to counter what I consider vile &/or uninformed opinions. I think I am a better advocate & I know I have developed a thicker skin.

The hope that Hillary Clinton will run in the next election. I know that she is sometimes not the most favourite potential president, but to me, her winning would really go on to represent female equality and I would love to work on her campaign and help her win this election. It's made me a lot more aware of women's issues in the workplace, and in society at large, and have the confidence to speak out about them.

I would say alot of the issues in the Middle East, such as Syria and the chemical weapons, the bombing between gaza and Israel, ISIS, because while I see the constant bad in the world . Realising that in my opinion it's just going to get worse, it's hard because I don't know what I can do and it hurts me inside to see the world falling apart. People killing one another, sometimes in the name of god ...

Wow, the protests in Istanbul, because I was in them, and I got to see what it meant for a people to truly fight for something they wanted and believed in. I kept, and still doubt that Americans would do that, but we did, and the response was much the same; police militarization. It's crazy to see how the world works, and how much we are similar to the rest of the world despite feeling so separate from it.

As selfish as it sounds, I can't think of one. Enough has occurred in my personal, family, and work life to impact me more.

War. Massacres. Crimes against women. Terrorism. I am very angry, sad, fearful.

Rise of Islamic power. Islamic multiple births/family will give them the vote in Europe, Africa, US. No one is trying to limit their family size and the incompatability of their religion with Democracy and individual rights. I feel it threatens Jews and me all over the world.

The invasion of Ukraine. This act made me feel like our expectation of how civil government acts is very fragile. Also, the increase of how many people have gotten health insurance with the Affordable care Act has given me hope of taking more care of our more vulnerable citizens.

The ground offensive and ongoing fighting in Gaza and Israel without question. I've been alive through some of the conflicts but this conflict was the most directly connected to home with several close friends, their siblings and some not close friends on the ground in gaza. The hatred from both sides in the media was constant and brutally biased in the coverage. Everyday it was friends from high school posting outrageous articles about Palestinians deserving to be killed and the righteousness of Israel or just total disregard for anyone to say anything that would question Israel's military decisions. The same days obviously being filled by friends in the liberal world I typically exist in slamming Israel as the worlds most severe violator of human rights without much of an understanding of the region at all. Very rarely snuck between videos of hate their would be someone articulating just how horrifying and sad the situation is without any claim to righteousness in the conflict. I felt a constant fear for Safi, Tani, Shelly & Gary. I felt a complete sense of confusion about myself as a progressive americanized secular Jew. And now I feel conflicted about my desire to take a birthright trip to Israel before I age out. This is the first time I've ever felt anything off or insecure about telling someone that I'm going to Israel and I hate that.

The Palestine-Israel conflict because it allowed me to see a lot of the biases I have towards that situation that have stemmed from being fed false stereotypes from the Jewish community I am part of. It also made me realize the world is full of these conflicts - and history continuously repeats itself - with different wars, countries changing names, people forget, and it all happens again. It allowed me to see how there will always be a cycle of progressive, thinking peaceful people that I would like to be a part of. The Malaysian plane that got blown out of the sky by Russia/Ukraine was horrific and I will never forget how that was just forgotten about and there was no response from the world that led to any meaningful change. Civilians will always be the main casualties of warfare between governments and when people start realizing that they are just pawns in rich politicians schemes there will continue to be atrocities occurring until people demand otherwise.

The beheadings of people I think has brought humanity back to barbaric times and that's a very scary feeling. I had hoped our children and grandchildren would inherit a better word. Now I'm not so sure.

There are so many events and they all draw feeling from me, but the most fearful feelings I have felt have been from the two flights that have fallen from the sky with all passengers gone. One was presumably a highjack situation of a flight from Malaysia to Hong Kong. The plane just disappeared, but not until it more than like ran out of fuel some two hours after being taken over most likely by terrorists. We seem to have no answers and the wreckage has never been located. The other was the same airline on a flight from Holland to Malaysia which appeared to be shot from the sky by Russian terrorists as the plane passed within their target range. It blew out of the sky with all passengers falling to their deaths. So many innocents lost to terrorism AGAIN! I am fearful every time I get on a plane, which since 9/11 has been hundreds of times! I was so thankful that my job changed and I quit traveling so often as I really began to feel it was a numbers game...one day my number would be up. It's hard enough to think of how a huge tube of motorized metal stays up in the sky and how precarious a simple loose bolt can send it down - but to think about being purposefully crashed or blown out of the sky at the hands of others is numbing. I wouldn't even imagine it if it hadn't happened so often over the recent years. I am scared each time I fly and grateful each time I land.

The war between Israel and Gaza was very traumatic for me. I was disgusted with the Israelis' overreaction and just as disgusted with the one-sided media coverage as if the Palestinians hadn't built all those tunnels and put innocent people in harm's way on purpose. Hateful all around. We postponed our trip to Israel thanks to all this chaos.

The Middle East has been very hard. I am Jewish and the war in Israel and Gaza was terrible. ISIS is worse. A good friend is Syrian and I feel for his sadness. We had new neighbors from Tel Aviv who went back after a year - I had grown very fond of them and I miss them terribly. The Middle East is a very frightening crisis and we should all take notice. And climate change. This is a question that plagues me. How can anyone not accept its reality?

More than one event it's been the terrorism of the so called Islamic state. I used to think of myself as open minded and compassionate. My thoughts now run toward, "Just nuke the fucking rag heads." I know. I'm not proud of this but it's how I'm feeling right now. It's a major shift, I think, and one I don't like.

The continuing attacks on Israel from Hamas in Gaza and the accompanying rise in antisemitism around the world and New Zealand in particular. I grew up feeling both safe from those forces in New York and slightly guilty for not doing enough to help. Now I have the chance and I am nervous about my ability to respond to it.

Both of my parents passed within a week of each other away this year.

the korean ferry that capsized killing several hundred teenagers. i was dating a korean woman at the time and felt as if those children could have been mine. there was video of them kidding around joking they were going to die not knowing they actually would in the next few minutes. And this was avoidable. this boat had been cited before and was overloaded and the weather was horrible. the parents have been devastated losing their children to what was a school outing to a drowning tragic death also robin williams suicide at 63? really threw me. he lived in tiburon and was an incredible talent and it wasnt as if he had a drug overdose--he deliberately took his life and he was a brilliant man who Id met years ago and admired on some level.

the first thing that comes to mind isthe death of Robin Williams. It seems that great talent & creativity in any art form seems to come with , or maybe from, mental anguish.

Hearing about the Ebola outbreak made me recognize the delicate balance we live. I also find intense gratitude for the healthcare environment I have available and get to work in. With the huge career change, it's crazy to see what we're capable of. It's also frightening to think that economic status really decides who lives and who dies. I hate that brown people dying in Africa doesn't hit our radar until the numbers swell or there is some threat of a global crisis. Or that health workers from 1st world countries are at risk. How is that ok? How am I okay with that? And why haven't I been praying for God to work? Wow the conviction. I wonder if there is anything I can do to help. Writing a check doesn't feel like enough.

The latest conflict in Gaza really changed my view. Whilst I've always been strongly pro-israel, this conflict hit home to me - the dangers of anti-semitism and Israel's importance to the security of the Jewish People. I have resolved to support Israel even more fully. I don't give a fuck what the world thinks of us anymore, we will continue to do whatever we have to do to survive.

The rise in anti-semitism in europe and the conflict in Gaza/Israel breaks my heart. I also find myself terrified of Ebola and the unlucky communities in West Africa affected by the outbreak. And, then, I worry about how this impacts me. When I studied abroad, I had to do so much education about Israel because no one knew any of the country's history or facts. That the line between Israel and Judiasm is now blurring so profoundly in europe is terrifying. I've always been envious of europeans for their lifestyle and history, but I'm safer in America, without question because of the violence of a chosen few; the majority of people I met abroad were incredibly kind and open to discussions. I also worry about the extremism that's happening in Israel right now. I don't support everything the country is doing and worry that the country is losing it's morality. Finally, with Ebola, like many in the world, of course I worry about if it spreads. I don't pray all that often, but I pray we can find a cure. And, of course, I pray for peace.

The War in Gaza. Even with the bias of western media, it has been discouraging to see Israel return to the same game plan that they have followed for the past 20 years. It has been discouraging to see that Palestine can not simply declare themselves a state and move on with their lives. It has been discouraging to see that they can not implement a non-violence movement except in small communities. The stalemate is as solid as concrete. Meanwhile anti-semitism grows in the world against all children of Shem: Jews and Moslems. And then, there was Ferguson. I feel like the world wants to destroy all those of my heritage: African-American and Jewish.

A child was photograpged holding the head of a soldier and was completely relaxed by this.. How do we have people in our word that think this is OK?

nothing

The uncertainty of the terrible happeings in the Middle East. Not knowing how far terrorism wil reach, the impact on Israel and the world, and foremost the effect of the current situation on the next generation, my grand children. What kind of world will they live in as adults. I find the prospects frightening on all levels.

I will go with Ebola outbreak 2014. It's unprecedented in recent history. It's lethal. It's awful, separating families, making orphans and widow(er)s. It is devastating entire villages, regions. And it seems that because it is in a third world country, because most of the people affected by the disease are black, poor, and rural, the world health organizations tasked with handling this have UTTERLY FAILED. MSF (Doctors w/out borders) has been AMAZING and really come through for people there (and here, and everywhere!), but it is likely that the lack of appropriate response will result in many, many more people becoming infected. I'm not sure how this has affected me the most, but I believe it has helped me clarify that I want to make an assload of money and give loads of it to organizations who actually DO something when the gauntlet is thrown. Who respect humans for their humanity, not their power, wealth, or position.

The Gaza incident, whatever it's called, but I already covered that. Also, when Robin Williams died. I was surprised that I cried when I read the news. It's so hard to think of someone that full of life being in so much pain.

All the violence against children, and black men in particular. Violence against Jews in my community.

The war in Gaza. I take my freedom as a Jew as my right. The level if antisemetism our world and media displayed rocked me to my core. The hatred people feel in our world- there goal to annihilate a nation rocked me. I love Israel the threat to its security seemed so real it made me realize how much I take for granted and that we might not be as far away from the holocaust as I want to believe we are.

ISIS and anti semitism. We are going backward. Very upsetting. We cannot let radicals have their way anywhere on the globe. Being a first generation Jew, child of Holocaust survivors this weighs down on me very heavily. There is nowhere outside the US that we can be safe and the US is pretty screwed up right now. With its own radical right loonies

I don't think it's a matter of one event affecting me (please, please don't use "impact" as a verb) so much as the confluence of crises discouraging me. Syria, Pakistan, excessive police violence, a paralyzed and paralyzing congress, dreadful Supreme Court decisions, clergy (and other) child abuse, gun violence, the outbreak of ebola . . . oh, dear God. I don't remember ever feeling so despairing of the possibility of change.

Oh gosh.... I would have to say the state of our political system in the US, starting with my state of Maine and Gov. LePage, who is such a bully and abusive and triggers me to childhood every time I heater him speak. He's a tyrant. Then the fact that the legislature and senate and congress - they are so broken and the partisan politics is just old school and I really really hate it. It won't matter who the president is. The way they are doing politics won't change.

There are so many events that have impacted me this past year. As a whole, I would say crimes against humanity. I guess that many of us are so used to hearing about horrible events, that for some it's become monotonous and numbing. We are a society that's numb to the things we don't want to hear, see or talk about. People just don't respect other's lives anymore. It affects me, because I don't want to become numb and accept the way that we are living. It's a sad and scary world, I don't want to contribute to the negative.

This business of ISIS has further convinced me that all religions are equal and are all after the same thing: world domination.

The China economy has slowed significantly and there by effecting my log trade to China and real estate in China. We were very lucky to have completed a deal to sell one of our flats just as the market made a material downward turn. This sale is propelling Jian and I out of a situation of making ends meet to one where we are financially independent. As this unfolds our lives unfold with it. We are learning a little more just how to enjoy life yet not let our 'bones grow too light'. We feel lucky the decisions and hard work earlier in life is paying dividends.

This destination of American reporter James Foley is really stuck in my mind, as well as the assassinations of Steven Sotloff, a British citizen, and a French citizen. It pursues because they show how twisted the world still is. You also leave me confused, as they throw out the window any notion that there are certain limits no human would want to approach. These people are unafraid of death, and they also have no disregard for human life as they slaughter people without thought. These were limits I thought all humans weren't someone found by except for the small handful of people who, like Hitler, had no semblance of humanity left in them. I think it will continue to be the case that these events will only temporarily caused people to reflect, but otherwise they will live their lives without much change. For me, I hope that they continue to be rallying cries need to address real challenges in our world.

The be headings by ISIS. The world is a scarier, more barbaric place that I want to believe. And, the recent fighting between Israel & Hamas has had me examining my feelings toward Israel more deeply.

Rise of the Economy- got a new job

It is ridiculous, but the defeat to Germany during the World Cup by 7 x 0, got stuck into my mind for days to weeks. I was impressed of how much we get involved into the media and the fact that I was in Brazil during that time made it even worse. Being Brazilian was not an easy thing in July/14

I can't think of anything. I can't think of any event from the past year that has deeply impacted me. I can think of world issues and various causes that I care about, but no one event.

I have to admit that I'm having a hard time coming up with a world event for this question. I don't know what to think about that... is it that I'm reading so much news, taking in so much information these days that it all rolls off my back without making a dent, so to speak? Am I experiencing less emotion personally, because I'm reading so many more comments online that are designed to produce outrage, that I experience that outrage only in that moment and leave it behind me when I close the browser tab? Am I less connected to the real world than I realize? Or do I try to capitalize on certain events and use that as an opportunity to climb up on a soapbox and demonstrate how "right" my point of view is? I know I felt sorrow, and disgust, and anger, and guilt, and a measure of resignation at the events that unfolded in Ferguson, Mo, and the aftermath as it played out in the media. But as someone who is 180 degrees opposite of Michael Brown in almost every way, do I even have a right to be impacted by his death? How much of an advocate/protestor/teacher/guide can I be, on his behalf and toward the people I am surrounded by?

Anti semetism....will it never end?

I needed to google what had ocurred in the last 12 months to answer this one, and Google was not at all helpful. I don't tend to watch the news and there are only a couple of pages I take notice of in the news paper, the comics page being one. I'm not ignorant of what's going on in the world around me, but I am more impacted upon by every day events and the people I care for as a person living in a community and working as a nurse in mental health. I'm not ashamed that nothing stands out in world events as what we see tends to be the worst of human nature and I see enough of the negative aspects of life every day.

Well, just about everything seems to be a repetition of previous events from my life. And when I read history, the big events in my life are not new. It's all happened before in one way or another and most of us are too blind to learn. So, no, nothing happened this past year that has impacted me any more than my life was already impacted, whether I knew it or not, by events that have happened before and during my life. God, if vampires were real, they'd die of boredom. The Newtown, Ct shootings from almost two years ago has continued to make me anti-gun which I was not before. Wait, spring is an event that impacts my life and I NEVER get tired of it. It makes me happy that winter has gone and summer is coming. I love the flowers and greening of the trees. The baby squirrels and birds are so cute. I could totally go dark with the baby animal thing, but I won't.

The shark cull. Tony Abbott coming into power in government in Australia. Great barrier reef/Tasmanian forests etc

The disintegration of the Middle East. I had so longed for the exit of the last American soldiers. Too many had died. And for what? I feel impacted because this area is so complex and has so many nuances. I cannot begin to wrap my mind around it. I want peace---lasting peace--in all of that area of the world. Since I work in the field of grief---and this weekend am adjacent to Fort Sill, I fear---deeply fear--that these boots oj the ground will lead to boots in caskets and more boots on the ground. I love my president and I grieve for the weight that is on his shoulders. That grey hair. And I grieve that so many people will not cut him some slack. I am most perturbed by the lack of civility in the body politic and the mounds of money spent on spinners, advertising that could go for the healing of the nation. I am reminded that the song, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin in me. . ." was composed by a musician walking through NYC during the chaos if the Cuban missel crisis when the world walked to the brink. Can peace somehow begin in me?

The USA government policy to force interest rates to near zero has a few effects. Good: we are selling our home for a nice profit as it is still a good time for prospects to but, and we are looking to lock in an interest rate guarantee on a home we are building. Bad: there is no safe harbor for investing. Bonds suck, and my Mom has had tiny increases in her Social Security checks for years, plus she cannot get any income out of CD's to help her cope. Thus she, like so very many seniors, is getting squeezed into poverty. Were she not in a church-related retirement home, she would be tossed out in a few years when her money runs out. Praise be that in her place, she will stay and they will accept Medicaid and her pension and eat the shortfall.

My best friend's mother was a victim of a senseless and brutal murder that made the local headlines this summer. She was kind and loving. She died in a horrible way. There was no rhyme or reason for the act, it just happened and it was horrible. My friend will suffer as a result of this act for the rest of her life. I am not sure I will ever feel completely safe again. I am unable to process this act as having any sort of purpose for anyone. Random. No reason. Just horribleness in the world. Shit happens all the time, for no reason. There is no one in charge.

The Ebola outbreak scares the shit out of me...

One event that had a significant effect on me was the appointment and later resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich. In 2008 he donated $1,000 to support Proposition 8 in California. Myself and others in the Mozilla community were put in a very difficult situation. Many of us are staunchly pro-gay marriage and gay rights. We are also people who are inclusive of others and don't believe in witch hunts to shame and force out others who don't share our views. I felt especially torn because when I was fifteen my mother's brother, who was deeply closeted and ashamed of his homosexuality, committed suicide. My mother was in San Francisco for my birthday when the media firestorm and resignation happened. It gave us a chance to talk about my uncle and what happened, to forgive ourselves and each other. We both carried significant guilt and a sense of responsibility for his death. To finally get to a place of resolution twenty years later was a gift.

michael brown killing by the racist cop in ferguson missouri. I no longer trust cops anywhere at all, and think we need to completely revamp our system of police. why, because it is not right, and if this is the direction our country is going, it makes me ashamed.

All those damn motherfucking school shootings depress the shit out of me. There was a spare of them in the spring, and by the time we got to the UCSB killings in May, I was gray with despair. Just absolutely flabby with it. I blame the sorry ass shooters, of course, but also the goddamn stupid motherfucking Republicans who keep thinking that everyone has a right to a motherfucking gun. Fuck you, Republicans and NRA ignoranuses. This past winter also sucked--it was long and bitter and depressing--but it wasn't like the shootings.

I have found the ISIS beheadings very disturbing. While all killing of humans by other humans is troubling, these public beheadings seem extraordinarily barbaric and senseless.

The kidnapping of the teenage girls in Nigeria truly haunted me. I was upset for the girls, for the families and disgusted with the unethical, horrific behavior that human beings are capable of.

Gaza. And I was stunned to see how some peeople attack Israel without knowledge, and how some Jews justifying even things you'd condemn in someone else.

The conflict between Israel and Gaza made me feel very vulnerable and very connected to the world beyond my comfort zone . It humbled my perspective and challenged my security in my family and that protection I naively have thought is infallible

News has impacted me a lot this year. Basically, the news is depressing and makes me feel like I live on an awful planet I have no business bringing children into. Mass shootings make me feel like not bringing children into the world. Climate change makes me feel that, too. ISIS and beheading journalists makes me hate religion. Hearing about the right-wing attacking women and reproductive rights. Racists. All of it makes me feel like I shouldn't bring children into the world, makes me scared for their future. I worry that something horrifyingly violent will torture and cut short their precious lives. And yet, I have a 19 month old daughter and am pregnant with a second because, despite the news and my anxious, depressed default emotional state, my children are gorgeous, joyful beings and I am glad they exist, I'm glad they are on this planet and I just wish for an invisible bubble to cushion them a bit on this journey, but not blind them to the world's suffering.

The war in Israel - "Operation Protective Edge" - had a dramatic effect on me. I was there when it started. On July 5th I was living alone in faculty housing at Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva, at the end of my first week of a wonderful three-week academic visit. The work was interesting and the Israeli hosts had been welcoming and wonderful. I had gone for a walk alone in the early evening as Shabbat wound down and then the sirens suddenly blared. I had never heard them before but the sound, and the urgency, was unmistakable. I ran behind some strangers into an apartment stairwell, crouching while blasts went off in the distance. They did not speak English. I left on the train for Tel Aviv that night, expecting to return to BGU in a day or so, but that never happened. After a couple of days in Tel Aviv it was clear that the war was heating up and I returned to the US, my academic work unfinished. It was an unforgettable experience and the fact that I was alone and did not speak Hebrew well enough to function made it much worse. I feel very badly for the Israelis who must live with this constantly, and for the Palestinians who are used by Hamas as human shields. Hamas needs to stop.

There is no one world event that has personally impacted me so that my life is drastically different; however, the recent events surrounding child abductions by Islamic fundamentalist groups has impacted the way that I think. I am still trying to get my head around the extremely evil deeds that these groups commit; I wonder what prompts so much hatred of the innocent - and the Holocaust seems not so remote and pushed back into the annals of history. The abduction, slaughter, rape and ongoing sexual slavery that these groups enact upon children as their victims has made me very sad and also very intolerant of any of their agendas. I also can't help but picture my own children in the places of these children in the world who are the victims. And I feel complicit by standing by and not stopping it. But I don't know how.

The situation in Israel. I feel that the world is becoming more antisemitic and Jews are not stepping up to the plate. Am happy to be going to Israel in February to show my support.

Interesting. My life is so overwhelming it feels pretty sheltered from the rest of the world. The only thing that really comes to mind is the recent violence in Israel and Gaza, though the only impact would really be awareness...some thoughtfulness about the situation - nothing very direct.

The California drought. I drove from the San Francisco Bay Area in mid Sept, and the absence of snow on Mt. Shasta was shocking. The lack of water in any of the lakes, rivers and reservoirs is disturbing. It has made me more aware of how I use water.

The murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. As a white girl from the Midwest, my relocation to Brooklyn, NY has shaken me into investigating my own assumptions about race and privilege. I have always thought of myself as liberal progressive (still do) but living in a truly diverse community, one that is in constant flux, has humbled me greatly. In this midst of this ongoing realization of my white privilege and its impact on my life opportunities and choices came the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer. The media coverage, the local police response, and the community's outrage solidified how little I had understood the insidiousness of racism in a "post-racial" (ha.) society. I have so much to learn, so much listening to do, so many assumptions of my own to investigate.

The rise in anti-semitism has made me stop and think more than once. When I was getting my passport photo taken, for example, I intentionally took off my hamsa. This was painful, and yet at the same time, I viewed it as a necessary act of self preservation.

The death of Robin Williams. My life history and his have a number of similarities. The fact that his depression led to his suicide was painful for me to witness. There is a fine thread that separates the level of pain and sadness that determines whether a person can tolerate setbacks and stay alive. Public sentiment about mental illness and depression is falsely sympathetic when a famous person loses their life to a mental disorder. The public is quite hypocritical as they claim to feel the tragedy of this kind of loss, but a day later they will vilify people who cannot "control their emotions" and suffer mental breakdowns. The "Why" this has impacted me is that reminds me how much more work needs to be done to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and addiction. I have given 42 years tro this cause and progress has been too slow.

The invasion of the Ukraine by Russia (or its proxies) right after the Sochi Olympics had a significant impact on me. On a micro-level, I found myself teaching geography and geopolitics to elementary school students, struggling to find a way to express significant ideas in terms they would understand. On a macro-level, I feared for the world's ability to achieve a balance of peace when the US is pulling back and Russia is stepping forward even as terrorists are amping up their efforts worldwide. I still ache for the lost hope of the early 90's with its economic prosperity leading to peace initiatives and interventionist US foreign policy to advance humanitarian concerns. A world of al-Queda, Hamas, ISIS, and others is not the world I wish to bequeath to my children.

The isis group in syria and iraq. My college senior son has talk about being a journalist and going abroad to cover stories that no one else wants to. After hearing of the brutal beheadings of journalists by isis, I am very concerned about sons career choice. I would want him to live his dream,....but I would want him to truly live. I could not bear to lose my son,.......any of my children,.....before my death.

An event in the world...there are so many both terrible and amazing things that happen every day around us that help to shape us. I have long since stopped watching the news in order to 'filter' the constant sensationalist negativity out of my life, and so thinking of one specific world event which has affected my life is difficult. But I can speak of world trends. As I walk through this life and take in what's around me, I notice patterns. I notice systems of oppression to which I had previously been oblivious. I notice the symptoms of ignorance, sexism, racism, and bigotry perpetuated every day in the people around me whom I love and respect. It is a maddening, and deeply saddening thing. But becoming more informed about these subjects has made me realize that the only way I can be any source of enlightenment and change in anyone's life is by not sitting silently and resentfully in the corner, but by speaking out and living a life of example. As the lovely new Women's Rights Ambassador of the UN Emma Watson so eloquently said in her speach, all it takes for evil to win is for good men and women to do nothing. The impact upon me has been multi-faceted. I am more aware of the habits and attitudes both in myself and in those around me which are formed by these cultural systems of oppression, I have learned alternative ways of living my life in order to promote balance and equality, and I have 'grown a backbone' and begun standing up for what I believe and living my life as an example of the principles I believe can make our society a better place for all to live, not just those with legacies of privilege. 'If not me, then whom? If not now, then when?'

The various conflicts in the middle east have been troubling. There are those that call Hamas "Underdog" aren't they a fundamentalist muslim movement who are ultimately not just anti-Israel, but Anti-Jewish, and anti everyone that does not esposuse thes same fundamentalist Islam beliefs that they do. Aren't Hamas, al qaeda, ISIS, and ISIL from the same fundadamentalist cloth that would call for an end to civil law, in favor of sharia law? I have quoted, and corrected the well known atheist Christopher Hitchens many times, when he said "Religion poisons everything" I contend that fundamentalism poisons everything, look at the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981, or the Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 both by fundamentalists who opposed their attempts to find middle ground. A good conclusion to negotiations is one where both parties are unhappy with the completes result, however each got some of what they wanted, to a fundamentalist, no compromise is good enough!

The kidnapping and murder of the 3 teens in Israel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_kidnapping_and_murder_of_Israeli_teenagers

The big earthquake in Napa impacted us because it reminds us of the Northridge Earthquake. We survived and went on. It was a remarkable time of our lives. You just do what you have to do. The conflict in Russia/Ukraine stopped some work trips. That is a mixed bag. Good to be home and sometimes no travel is a good thing. Hopefully world peace is a possibility some time in the future.

The World Cup in Brazil, because there was every kind of feelings, about football Brazil is a very happy nation but when they were destroyed in the pitch by Germany, well you know what happened in the country. I don't live in Brazil but i care what happens there. At the end the best team won the World Cup.

Considering all of the international crises that occurred this year, this one is relatively minor, but I felt very angry and sad about the Sochi Olympics. The corruption and abuse that were involved in Russia obtaining and preparing for these Olympics was shocking, and as a huge Olympics fan, I felt guilty for watching it because the event symbolized so many terrible things. One of the things I felt most angry about was Putin's treatment of gays and lesbians in Russia, and how this was still going on even as the Olympics were occurring there. It was also disappointing that Sochi was a terrible place for the Winter Olympics -- the skiers and snowboarders basically had to ride on slush, which looked incredibly difficult. I don't think I can in good conscience watch the Olympics again, and I used to love the Olympics.

The war in gaza involving Israel. I have come to understand more about the history of the area and the people. Binae and her family have given me a more complete understanding and opportunity to learn more about the Jewish faith. It is so much like 12step recovery

So many. Globally, war, terrorism and disease seem to creep closer and closer to my loved ones. I am scared sometimes. Personally, I finally got a raise. My mother apologized. My daughter is in a relationship. I am lighter and more grateful. I continue to move toward kindness.

The rise in antisemitism in the world has been both distressing and entirely predictable.

I was listening to NPR one morning when a story came on about how there were rapes taking place in many villages in India when the women and young girls went outside to use the bathroom. The lack of any means of more hygienic way to use the bathroom was putting them at risk. I was appalled by the story. I was not naive enough to think that the rest of the world all had nice, indoor plumbing, with power flush and low flow toilets. But it had never occurred to me that females were put at risk because of the absence of these items that I take for granted everyday. These necessities that I expect to just be there. When I first heard the broadcast on that June morning, I had a moment of clarity about how truly fortunate I was to live where I do and to be born into the socioeconomic level that I was. I have problems, I have stresses, I see things around me that drive me crazy. But I do not experience anything like this. I have thought of this story many, many times since I first heard it. When I have had bad days, I remind myself that I am a lucky female.

The ebola outbreak -- While it's an ocean away and there are MANY things in our country that elicit the same feeling from me I think I'm just amazed at how few of my peers are aware of it and the level of human lives that can be lost (and have been) and the impact it's had. I feel like the world was slow to respond but I'm glad other nations are finally stepping in. Additionally, I become incredibly frustrated when I hear those same peers complain about small, relatively insignificant things - while I don't think we should invalidate our own concerns/issues in our daily life, I think we need to keep things in perspective more - we have access to amazing health care in this country, food, safety, etc. It drives me nuts to hear people complain and worry about the small things in life when others around the world are just fighting to survive. It makes me mad that some people only chose to care when it directly affects them.

The man in New Delhi killed by the tiger. Amazing to talk with Phyllis about it compared to her tigers and WA tigers. Tigers don't love people, Phyllis states. A more accurate word is respect.

Stolen and traded like cattle, 200 school girls, all from Nigeria. Stolen by a radical Islamic sect. There is no money to be had in Nigeria, so what do they matter. Their own government didn't bother to look for them. Less than cattle, I would argue that if a rich business man had lost 200 cattle to the Boko Haram the Nigerian government would have been more affected. And the US, the defenders against terrorism? The UN, the devoted to keeping the warfare fare? Their response? Michelle Obama tweeted a picture saying #bring back our girls. The UN blustered but did nothing. Meanwhile in Syria...TWO men are beheaded....we are now at war...backed by the UAE. greedy...greasy...slimy....oily bastards.....blowing up refineries in response to ISIS....driving up the prices of oil, benefiting themselves and their colleagues. All in the "fight against terror." They arm Sryian soldiers to to get back the weapons that were stolen the last time we fought. Resolving it the same way by creating the same situation...the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Insanity

An important event that springs to mind is the conflict in Ferguson, MO, following the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown. Many members of the Black community engaged in protests--some peaceful, and some not. I feel like our nation continues to be divided by race, and I feel like many people are ignorant about racial issues. Most people only understand the limited viewpoint offered from their background. They don't take the time to understand the opposite point of view. People post their opinions all over the internet as if they are facts. I understand both points of view, and feel frustrated that the real facts are buried under rhetoric and rage.

I am very concerned about the recent flare up between Gaza and Israel. I think that the final outcome was the best that could be achieved, and I am not very hopeful about a final solution to the issue. I think that Israel's back is to the wall and they cannot provide anymore good faith actions, and the leaders of Gaza cannot provide any peace or security for either their population or Israel because of the horrible rhetoric by which they have built their reputation and power. A longstanding peace by which both sides can accept small gestures over many years without flare ups seems to be the only way forward.

The war in Gaza. I felt helpless not being able to be there and I felt furious at the biased reporting.

the anguish in Israel. the kidnappings/murders the retaliatory act the war the ongoing anger and unknown.

Gay marriage-- filla me w hope Ferguson- shame and guilt of whit privilege, my own fear and biases. Isis beheafings- journalists! shameful! Makes me sad fear peace will never come Furlough! So tired of stereotypes of lazy govvies.

War in Israel. Massive bombing on Israel from Gaza Strip by Hamas Palestinians. Can't imagine living in fear wondering when the next air raid siren will go off . Press makes Israel look like bad guy and not showing both sides of the war. Israelis have a right to defend themselves. After being there, made so much more sense to me. We stand with Israel.

The unrest in the Middle East has left me sad and determined to keep praying for peace in the world! Each of the men who died at the hands of the Islamic sect in Syria and Iraq has left me so very sad. I struggle with the utter sadness of how the world is straining with the horror of what one can do to another- It reminds me of how alone in the world I am.

Puna Lava flow This single important natural event on the island where I live is changing not only the face of the island but possibly everything. It sharpens how people think, how they plan, what matters. Thousands of people might lose their homes or worse perhaps have to leave them, possibly forever. Insurance companies are trying to non-renew policies and the lava is so slow they will get to do it if lawmakers do not put a stop to that practice. The county is seeking solutions, the electric company is fumbling with how to keep services going once the lava marches past existing lines. Meantime the 30 meter telescope is going up on Mauna Kea, with ground breaking about to coincide with a renewed lava flow. Many consider the mountain sacred and the ground breaking further defilement. Pele is seen as the avenging warrior goddess. It is fascinating and heartbreaking. There are no clear solutions, only how we meet what is happening and how we make sense of it in our own lives. We all stand to lose materially but gain spiritually.

I discovered HONY (Humans of New York) while the photographer travelled the world. People are the same, no matter where you go. We all want love, and to be heard.

An article in the Israel times stated the bottom line in understanding the terrorists who are against Israel and Jews is they hate us and want us dead. That resonated. to my core. It cuts past. They hate us because we se went quietly to the gas chambers. They hate us because we rebelled. THEY HATE US NO MATTER WHAT WE DO OR DO NOT DO

it is really hard to pick an event. I listen/watch the news everyday. I am impacted by all that occurs as I think about it, respond, and what happens as a result of events ripple on. Abortion becomes harder for women to get, birth control is now not a right (the company oen works for can decide), the affordable care act of which I am a proponent impacted me to the place where I have to be fully employed as I can't afford premiums for healthcare insurance - I had planned to start a private practice. double standards and disregard of rights between men and women, gays and straights, whites and people of color. I get sad, I worry, I still believe in people.

The events happening now in syria and iraq break my heart. I have never been one to hope that everything would be just fine. I hate war, but i hate injustice at least as much. I wish the people of that part of tbe world would have stepped up and said no. No can be costly but looking the other way can be worse.

What hasn't happened in the world? So much heart break. War, invasion, lies, deadly disease. I could go on about Palestine, IS, Ukraine, Syria, Ebola. I consider myself immeasurably lucky that none of these things has had a direct impact on my life. And while I know it's completely useless to say so, my heart goes out to those caught in the crossfires. I can't imagine what their life is like. I feel immeasurably lucky that I live in a place where no one is bombing me or being beheaded. Where I don't have to worry about contracting an illness that has a 90% mortality rate. It reminds me of how good I have it. My life is set to easy-mode because of my privilege and I aim to both acknowledge this fact and be very thankful for it.

My baby! Of course this is a narrow scope personal to my wife and I, but I was always thinking about the world. Now I want to slow down and enjoy these precious moments with our beautiful girl.

The Israel and Palestinian conflict. I am finding it difficult to continue supporting Israeli actions as I have in the past. I support their right to defend their existence, but the Palestinian civilian casualties are hard for me to tolerate. Palestinians are as important as human beings as the Israelis are. There has to be a more humane way to handle this strife!

Improving economy has allowed me to do some things that I had put off - i.e trip to London, Normandy and Paris, purchase of new vehicle and home repairs.

The event that had the most impact on me was the assassination of the Christians in Syria by ISIS. I don't remember the name of the village or area where they were living, but those people had deep roots there and had been Christians - "believers in Jesus, the Christ" - long before Mohammed and Islam ever existed or were even a thought. Yet the ISIS militants, in their infinite wisdom, decided they were infidels and had no right to exist on this planet. Yet...apart from a small news story that was only a passing comment by the talking heads, there was no attention given to this atrocity. My heart was broken over this incident. Where will this end? I am sad, also, for the Muslim friends I met here in Kansas City. They are just as bewildered as I am over what is happening in the Middle East, yet they are guilty by association. They worship Allah, but what they see happening in Syria and other places in the Middle East does not ring true to them...that is not the God, or Allah, they serve - they do not know that God!

The war in Gaza. It sickens me. Israel looks like a thug. Teenagers are getting assassinated. Media are dishonest and political. Such a tragedy and everyone just keeps making it worse. I wish I could wash my hands of the whole sordid mess.

The war in Gaza this past summer was the first time that I have had so many conflicted feelings. I was deeply worried about my sons' friends who were on the front lines. I was deeply disappointed in the world's reaction to Israel. At the same time I was mortified by the way Israeli's murdered a palestinian boy and concerned about the huge loss of civilian life among Palestinians.

There's a lot of war going on. ISIS and Gaza and Israel. At the same time Eva is becoming more and more aware of the larger world. To try to explain such atrocities to her makes me more aware and disgusted.

I wasn't affected by any world events.

The Hamas uprising and rocket attacks on Israel really affected me this year. That the absolute illogical basis Hamas uses to attack Israel is accepted, let alone supported by anyone - is a testament to the ubiquitous global antisemitism that otherwise remains relatively hidden.

Although neither has any direct impact on my life, i felt a pain in my heart for the people of Ukrain when they were invaded by Russia and I felt the same pain when Issrael was attacked. For the most part people in these countries are trying to live peacable lives, raising their children just like i am.

The three Israeli boys being kidnapped and killed in the West Bank this summer. I was impacted because they were my age, in a place that I had been. It felt incredibly close to home even though I had never met

The war in Isreal had a big impact on me. It has shown me how antisemitism is rampant and that we were not meant to live amongst the nations as one of them but as a light onto them and even if we forget ... They don't.

The world is scary right now. Isis is hinting down people in the Middle East & killing people by the hundreds. The conflict in the between Syria & Israel is increasing & the world is turning against Israel. On a closer note - the family of new horizons is currently undergoing a fracturing due to mismanagement & Phil's firing Renee & Rod.

My first art exhibition. Stressful pleasure.

It's an on-going event that has really impacted my life this year. I have been a vegetarian for a long time now, for both spiritual and health reasons. And I have been vegan before but only for health reasons as I didn't feel that dairy specifically caused any harm to the cow, especially pasture fed cows. What I've come to understand as I have become more educated is that dairy farming, no matter how the dairy cow is treated, is unethical and cruel. The calves of dairy cows are only allowed to be with their mother to receive the cloister and then is taken away immediately so the cow can of course provide milk that is cartoned and made ready for sale. The calves from that time on are forced to leave their mothers and are then either used for veal, beef or dairy cows. While the consumer might know how a cow eats, we are not likely to know how the calf is treated, through any of the options that have been chosen for that cow or further, how despondent the mother cow is from not being able to live out a natural life cycle with her calves. It use to be that I felt comfortable periodically eating Ben and Jerry's because the ice cream is advertised to be made from "happy cows" unfortunately marketing and even well-intentioned purveyors are uninformed of the complete process of the dairy industry. I no longer eat dairy, as of this year, because it's one way to not shut my eyes to the suffering of other sentient beings that I share this planet with. And something I can do.

Gay marriage. I'm a fan. I have a lot of opinions that have evolved over the years. This one not so much.

There has been so much sorrow this year: the war in Gaza, the girls kidnapped in Africa, the war in Syria, typhoons, earthquakes, floods, racially motivated killings, riots, beheadings. Sometimes it seems like the only news is news about people hurting and disrespecting others or the planet. This year the community mental health center where I worked with people who had been traumatized in their lives was taken over by the county, which gutted it and destroyed it. I quit because I felt I couldn't collude with a system that existed to maintain itself at the expense of the workers and clients. It has left me feeling hopeless & cynical. I feel like the rich, the business model has abandoned regular people & the planet in cavorted of greed. I feel a lot of terror and grief. I am trying to find a way out

As I think about world events over the last year...there has not been one that has impacted me on a daily basis or even really at all. I am saddened by the unrest in the middle east and have tried to understand the conflict between Isreal and Palestine and also how an evil such as ISIS can happen. I listen to NPR and try to understand what is happening. It is hard to comprehend but it has made me ever so thankful for the general safety umbrella we live under in the US. But know one is ever really safe from tragedy. I try to be grateful for the relative peace in my own life and not take it for granted.

Not sure of an event, but the increasing violence and antisemitism in the world scares me....

The gradual improvement in the economy has been helpful to me and my family, allowing me more freedom to decide where I want to work rather than feeling trapped. I'm interested in the instability of the Middle East, the expansionism of Russia and the threat of a new plague in Africa, but these aren't on my doorstep as much and the gradual improvement of the economy.

ISIS. The young women kidnapped. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Middle East has gone wilder than usual. But especially ISIS with its beheadings. How can they think that will better anyone's life?

There have been several: a young girl being shot for wanting an education, children being murdered for their belief by a sudo religious terrorist group and the beheadings of random people have made it hard for me to remain a pacifist. I find I have pleasure in visioning the downfall of ISIS by the hand of women and the rise of a woman's movement in Islamic countries and the rejection of an oil based economy due to the rise of solar,wind, and hydro fuel sources

One game during the 2014 World soccer cup particularly caught my attention: It was the game of Japan against Cote d'Ivoire on June 14, 2014. At the end of the game, Japan lost 1 to 2 against Cote d'ivoire. While Ivorian supporters were leaving the stadium, the Japanese supporters stayed behind cleaning their stands. It was a very remarkable act of leadership. It made me reflect on another possible definition of Leadership: Stepping up to show the way, getting hands dirty for others to follow. I must admit that I used to think that Leadership is having a vision and bringing others to follow. I now think simply asking others to follow is not enough.

The war launched by Hamas. It has made me much more critical of the news media, much more aware of bias, and much more thoughtful about what "freedom of speech" (in US) actually means.

The rapid shift toward public and legal acceptance of same-sex marraige and, specifically, in PA. I was married in CA 6 years ago but our marrige was not recognized in PA until this past June. It is something that I did not expect to experience in my lifetime. It has been a bit surreal to watch so many states shift toward approval. I don't think I really realized how much of a second class citizen I felt like until suddenly I wasn't one.

The obvious progression of global warming. Each year the seasons are different, and my garden grows less or more...

The complete disappearance of the Malaysian Flight MH370. The guy from Texas was fiance' to my former boss. I prayed for her, and for them to be found. But as of right now, nothing yet.

The Scottish vote for independence and the annexing of Crimea by Russia made me think about how we might be stronger together than alone.

I think that the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces was the word event that most reverberated with me. My mother's ancestors originated from Ukraine, so I found myself following the story very closely and hoping that the world powers would help the Ukrainians keep their autonomy. The situation is still ongoing but tensions have eased. I will continue to pray for the people affected by this war.

The first thing that comes to mind is the woman in Blackstone who really shouldn't have reproduced. The story is sad and my heart aches for the children involved. Having compassion for someone(s) you don't know is a big thing these days.

I feel like there were so many things that had momentary impacts on me throughout the year. Many anxiety inducing, many leaving me shaking my head, worrying for the future. I'd say the recent conflicts in Isrrael have left me high,y reflective, as I consider my views with regard to Jews, Israeel, Palestinians, terrorists. I find myself questioning whether the Israelis should be doing what they're doing, how strong the propaganda from Hamas is and its huge impact on others, particularly our mainstream media. I wonder how it is that liberal progressive types who have always sided with Israel could suddenly turn their backs on them and why and what impact it will have on Israel's future.

After the U.S airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, I finally realized how old I am. I’m seventeen, less than six months from being considered “capable” to fight in a war (Although the U.S. government has a problem with official “wars”). Even if I personally do not serve in the military, I will undoubtedly have friends my own age who do. I have two friends who plan to enter the military immediately after high school. The idea that either I or someone my own age that I know personally could die is fortunately alien to me. I’ve never had to experience that situation before, and I hope for all involved that it doesn’t happen anytime soon. I could go into a long-winded, two hundred page thesis on the meaning of life, but we all know that would take way too long. We may need U.S. ground forces to even have a chance of truly defeating ISIS, but America is tired of foreign conflict for a reason, a reason that I understand a lot more now than before.

Bill DeBlasio being elected impacted me because I lived on his block in Park Slope. It was very exciting to watch him on the national stage, knowing that he came home every night to a home in a neighborhood that I could relate to - it made the city feel smaller, more intimate, more personal.

I have been more impacted by world events this year than perhaps any other, but by far the most impactful for me were the events in Ferguson. I am white, and I have 2 white boys who will lead a far easier life with more people giving them the benefit of the doubt each and every day, and as a parent, I am exhausted on behalf of the black mothers who have to do all that extra teaching and worrying and advocacy. And I am so sad that our subconscious doesn't know better and do better collectively as a white-dominated society, and even more sad that our conscious selves don't know and do better. It felt all the worse when many white people were so dismissive of the idea that the events in Ferguson - and the protests that followed - had anything to do with race. How do you, as a white person, stand hand in hand with black people, let them know that you will advocate with and for them, and do your very best to give black people the benefit of the doubt when you are so embarrassed by my white peers? I just hope I can convey my very strong sentiments to my children and surround them with people of all skin colors, so that they see skin color for what it is and fully comprehend the reality of that rather than hide behind this ridiculous notion of color-blindness. What keeps me up at night, though, is that I don't have confidence that my neighbors will strive to do the same.

I keep myself insulated as far as possible from world events. The results of the NZ elections were more (unneeded) evidence that we in the first world live in a cynical plutocracy.

The Gaza conflict, the situation in Hungary, Putin's activities in Russia and the Tea Party in the US. I see a common worrisome tendency in these three: the "truth" is defined (and defiled) by how media savvy the media spin doctors and their masses are. I am concerned that if the basic facts are covered up and distorted than there isn't even a chance for shared reality and to have a civil political discussion. Let's see one by one. Yes, there were lots of civilian Palestinian casualties in the Gaza conflict and that's terrible and the images are heart-wrenching. But due to the successful (social) media campaign of Gazan most of the world doesn't even think about why, what and how the Israeli army attacked. Why: because Hamas made great strides to their declared goal of destroying Israel with the building of the tunnel system. What: localized, military targets, that were often hiding amidst civilians on purpose, so they could use the images of casualties in their propaganda war.  How: The Israelis called ahead the targets and let them know about the coming attack to minimize losses in human lives. It saddens me that millions of people are incapable of seeing the whole picture and take only one side. The same (lack of) logic the government owns the tax-supported public media and dictates what appear there. As a result people who only get their news from there live in an alternative reality, that, in my opinion, has little resemblance to the real political landscape. They, the prim-minster and his lackeys are in the constant process of redefining not just such words as "nation" but also basic economical and political terms, like liberalism, expenses, debt, honor... Again, the result is that people on the two side of the divide are incapable of communicating with each other, because the part of their mental reality that can be shared is shrinking. Same in Russia. Majorities of Russian believe that the Ukrainians were the aggressors, while it was Russian soldiers in disguise who invaded the Eastern part of the country and forced its questionable independence. The truth that we on the west know is the polar opposite of what the Russian populace knows. The US is not an exception from this kind of distortion either. Riding on Benghazi, coffee-cup salute and other non-issues fuels the hatred of the far-right with a steady support of lies by Faux News. We , who don't swallow in whole what that channel spews no longer share the same space or even country with its followers. So how/why does this affect me? I care for the people of all of these nations I mentioned for different reasons. I am a Hungarian Jew living in the US, who's been to Ukraine a long time ago. I don't mind ideological differences. I think it is natural that people have different values system. I enjoy intelligent conversation and analysis that comes out of confronting them. But when they don't know/believe the foundational facts the chance for such progress is limited. It scares me for the future as I don't know how to bring the lines closer to each other.

There are so many awful things headlining the news these last few months... Ferguson MO, ISIS and the civil war in Syria, the Ebola virus outbreak, the conflict in Russia and the Ukraine.... The list is far too long. But I read about these goings-on everyday, and hear about them ad nauseum on NPR, and yet they really don't have a direct effect on my day to day life. I feel glad that I live in a place not completely ravaged by civil unrest and/or disease, but it also scares me that we are all too naive, that we would have no capacity to deal with a real "oh shit" situation if we had to, if I had to. I'm so greatful for my health, my safety, my security, my ability to live a normal life where I worry about grocery shopping and yoga and my girlfriends instead of whether I can get to work safely. I'm so greatful for where I live.

The unrest in Israel, with Hamas attacking Israel constantly this summer, has really impacted me. It is devistating to me that the so many in the world are placing the blame on Israel and are conveniently ignoring the facts. The uptick of anti-semitism is infuriating as well as scary. I hate that these types of things and this level of hatred still exist in this world. And I hate that my child is afraid to go to Israel.

Probably, the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa has impacted me the most. Not in terms of behavior, really, but psychologically, it's scary as hell. I've read too many pandemic novels and zombie books to relax about it. I hope that in a year from now, we're not in the throes of an outbreak in the US. I hope we're not even talking about it anymore.

The spread of ebolla in Africa has frightened me this year, not so much because I fear an epidemic will reach me and my family, but because it puts an exclamation point on the extreme differences between my relatively comfortable world in the United States and the lives of so many people all over the world. I feel helpless around the inequality of resurce distribution and refuse to just be in denial about it. Feeling helpless hurts, but not as much as being on the other side of the unequal equation would.

The people being beheaded by ISIS. How could this happen in a civilized world?

The Israeli-Palestinean conflict in Gaza had an impact on me. As always, my first thoughts with conflicts like these is about how Aunt Bea is. But I was also impacted by the rampant anti-Semitism going on as a result of the conflict. I think people are becoming less educated and more polarized in their views of that relationship, and people always show their ignorance (on both ends) on social media. The fact that I dont 100% support Israels's actions doesn't make me a bad Jew - it makes me informed.

Israel having to defend itself in media for it's fight with Gaza this summer. Obama's determination to be pro muslim and anti Israel Decline and embarrassment he is causing the greatest and original freest country in the world. The nightmare at the border, liivng in Texas. The increase in racial divide. Expecting to be "politically correct" or else. The effect the Obamcare is having on the medical profession and patients How the cost of social security and medicare is breaking ur country because of the way it has been handled. I thank younger peole every time I see them for what they pay for my medicare. Of course my social security is taxed to practically nothing, like wht I paid into it for 30 years and my husband for 40, when the cost of living was 12 cents for a loaf of bread and dr.'s made home visits. I remember when my husband broke his arm, first time we needed a dr. here in Houston. Beneath registration was If you do not intend to pay for this visit,m ake another appoitnment.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17's crash in Ukraine in July was truly sad. All 298 people on board were killed, and the worst thing is that many of those people were on their way to the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne. All lives have equal value, and any life lost is a tragedy. That said, it is so disheartening when those who devote themselves to service - not bankers, not businessmen, not politicians - but those serving the world's poorest and least, are taken from this world in such a violent manner. Each life has equal value, but some lives multiply their value through good deeds. Those souls are missed.

the events in Ferguson...I am so tired of hearing this same story, and maybe now as the mother of an african american daughter, it means more to me than ever, but I have had enough. I'm tired of hearing excuses for racism, and denial that white privilege exists. Next to climate change, this issue has me at a breaking point and I can no longer have it just be something I believe, but something I must work to change.

An event in the world that has impacted me. Wow. I want to answer this, but my first thought is of the people who have been more directly impacted by the events around the globe this year. Shootings, riots, extreme militant terrorists, earthquakes, floods. These events "impact" me, in that, if or when I read about them or hear about them, I feel shocked, appalled, maybe heartbroken, or maybe just numb and incredulous that such events could really take place. And perhaps in my jaded adulthood, I am coming to see that these events really do take place, and they are less uncommon than maybe I or we once thought. And that's not a reason to give up and stop fighting for the good stuff. But at the same time, sometimes I have to block out the information when it becomes too much. Not because I don't care, but because I do. And my one major effort of Tikkun Olam this past year - as it has been for several years - has been to fight the good fight for the good that is within me. To not let the inner terrorism take hold and "win" my life. That is my world. That is my war right now. And until I win that war and have peace inside, it seems to me that I won't be able to fully engage with the world and really take in all that is going on out there. And at the same time, I also truly am hoping that this battle I am in right now is not going to go on much longer. Because the world is out there, and it's waiting for me. It needs me, and it needs people like me to share our perspective. May G-d give me the courage to do that this year.

The cold blooded murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO, and the subsequwnt, Oh, HELL, no, more of this response of the community - llocal to there and on the national level. Not just the fact being said to willing ears about how an unarmed Black man is murdered by police every 28 hours in this country - but these names are being called out more publicly, nationally, as they happen. It must not stop until the patterns stop. I will Witness, and speak my tiny bit, send support, contact my legislators, and vote. This matters. People matter. Social justice matters. to everyone.

The tragedy in the middle east is beyond human compassion....love is the truth we all need to find & once we know love this tragedy will never happen again.

Too many shocking things this year for one to rank above the others. ISIL. Hundreds of girls and women kidnapped by Boko Haram; the feeling that it's more unsafe than ever to be a woman in this world. The war in Gaza that caused me to question my relationship to Israel. Gun violence beyond all belief, beyond all capability to understand why it's still happening. Everything combined to make me feel unsafe, and unsafe in the long term--especially in my solidarity as a woman with other women. I think the hashtag is #istillcan'tbelievei'm protestingthisshit, but it's true: what are women really worth to this world?

I was let go from my job. This necessitated a move to the other side of the country. Every piece of my life was impacted. I am still struggling to find balance.

The police shooting in Ferguson, MO. We had just moved to St Louis about a week before it happened. It didn't impact is directly, but it was a horrible thing to hear about. I just feel terrible thinking about the racial stereotypes and inequalities that are still so much a part of our culture :(

How horribly the American media is portraying Israel. I cannot understand how educated people continue to paint Israel in a demonic light when she has every right to defend herself.

The war between Israel and Gaza. Hezbollah an Hamas have taken advantage of the Palestinians. I have been to Israel a number of times, we have family there. Family was killed in the Shoah. There is no other imperative. If HL&H acknowledged Israel's right to exist, there would be peace.

I read the news online every day but I am realizing how i disconnect from the stories I read since I can't think of an event which has impacted me. I always think of where I was on 9/11 when the anniversary and how my small world has changed since. Also, seeing the Pearl Harbor memorial in Hawaii this year has impacted me as well. These events cause me to think of how quickly our world can change and how vulnerable we all are to events much larger than we are as individuals.

I worry everyday about global warming. I take tiny personal steps but it doesn't seem to me to be enough.

Marijuana was finally made regulated and legal in not one but two states. Absorbing the negative view that this society has about this largely beneficent experience, I realize that this legalization is a liberation for me, personally. I feel more comfortable recognizing and acknowledging that cannabis is a part of my healthy spiritual life. I am glad that this is at last coming about, along with a reform of the cruel and evil penal system which uses these laws to put down black people and latinos.

Pope Francis fighiting mafia and pedofiles. It's inspiring to see someone in that position doing real things on this subjects.

This may not seem like a world event but it hit pretty heavy in this country and that is the passing of Robin Williams. There are so many reasons this hit me hard. It was the same week I found out my ex-husband was seeing someone. It was the same week I learn a former student of mine had her two-year old fall out of a third story window and die. It was the same week I learned of one colleague's husband dying and another colleague's son-in-law had been hit by a car while riding his bicycle and he died. It was a week of sadness and Robin's passing seem to be the tipping point and it seemed to provide the place where I could cry and feel that I was part of a community. I, too, struggle with depression. Recently, my doctor failed to renew my prescription and I ran out. I didn't make an appointment to see her so I stopped my medication cold turkey. I had a few weeks of utter devastation and sobbing every night before bed. I felt like I was getting better when all this happened. It felt raw and vibrant at the same time. Of course, I don't know Robin Williams personally, but my heart hurt knowing he was no longer on the earth. I felt like a black hole - a vacuuming suction at my very core. I feel like a little of the light of the earth's eyes has gone. No other famous person has yet to grip me this way.

The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and the drought. The Ferguson situation made me feel energy to mfight for change. The drought has made me really examine the quantity of resources I use every day and think creatively about how I can use less.

The Isis terror threats and realizing that safety in the U.S. is becoming just as fragile and uncertain as many other more "dangerous" countries around the world.

Climate change is impacting the world. In my own life I am obligated to conserve water due to the drought in California.

The events in Israel this summer: the kidnapping and killings of 3 Israeli boys, and then a Palestinian boy, and then the war with Hamas in Gaza, definitely impacted me and everyone. When I got back to work after vacation, a nasty anti-Israel billboard had gone up in our town, and I got involved in protesting it and advocating for Israel, even going on TV. At the same time I felt terrible about the many civilians killed in Gaza, and heartbroken for the young soldiers and civilians killed in Israel. I feel deeply pained about the breakdown in civility, tolerance and respect from so many directions, the closing of minds on left and right alike, the loss of compassion. Every year it seems that my predication or hope is that next year will finally bring peace in Israel, but now peace seems farther than ever.

I think the events unfolding in the Middle East are very troublesome. The gruesome be-headings of journalists is so stomach turning. The energy that ISIS takes in promoting violence and hate stuns me...

The Israel and Palestine occupation/conflict/war/unrest It has made me grateful for the peace on the ground where I live. That I never have bombs, or rockets exploding around me taking my loved ones lives, and destroying everything around me. It has given me great respect for the resilience of people in seemingly impossibly difficult situations. It has given me a deeper appreciation of the freedoms I enjoy in my country of origin even though it certainly has a lot of room to improve. I am grateful that I am not required to register with the military and take up arms. I am grateful that every day I get to get up and build a life that I don't think will be taken from me at a moment's notice as the result of an on the ground conflict/war/occupation in my homeland.

The War in Israel started by Hamas. Senseless killing of innocent bystanders. Why? This makes me even more invested in Israel and Zionism and the importance of keeping our secure political and physical community of Jews safe and secure.

The death of the three Israeli boys impacted me a lot because I had been really hoping and thinking about them and I didn't expect that they would end up dead.

I think the ongoing crises in the Palestine, Israel, and Syria/Iraq have made me develop a more extremist opinion of America's role in the Middle East. My opinion is that we've meddled too much and any escalation of our presence there is unwanted and unhelpful. I even feel like we should withdraw our military support of Israel and admit defeat. If we have money burning a hole in our national pocket (which we don't), we can send aid. But no more military efforts. Obviously I don't know what national threat we face, but this year, I began to believe that Arab extremist groups such as Islamic State should be fought from within. If they cannot be defeated from within, then they will need to govern their people or face a massive exodus. I visited Cambodia this year, and learned a bit about the horrors in the killing fields. I suppose if IS was allowed into power, there could be a similar genocide. So how do you stop a genocide without handing out weapons?

Russia invading Ukraine; because I have Russian and Ukranian friends; I have no idea WHO is right [THINK Russians are wrong] but I love them both and pray they live with justice in mind for all they do.

This is silly, but I was really bothered when Ani Difranco got crucified by the media for having planned a songwriting retreat at an old plantation in Louisiana. I've always been a huge fan of her music and her politics, and I was baffled that people would be so effing cruel towards her (calling her a "racist whore," among other things), after all the advocacy she's done for so many over the years. Of course, there were other huge national and world events that were FAR more tragic, but this is one that hit me more personally. I think it really pissed me off that so much energy was wasted yelling at an ally; it doesn't help anything to p*ss on your friends, even when they make mistakes. We need more allies to be in the trenches, doing the work to raise awareness and advocacy to help prevent events like those in Ferguson this year.

The war in Israel. Worrying for family, worrying for friends there. Reading posts on the internet and realizing how horrifically awful and real and unabashed anti-Semitism still is, all over the world. Realizing that the existence of a Jewish state, for all its advancement and strength and technology, can't be assumed or taken for granted. Actually considering, for the first time in my life, voting Republican (though when push comes to shove, I don't think I could bring myself to do it - I'd probably just refrain from voting altogether).

I was deeply impacted by the James Foley beheading. The video in particular. I had heard a lot about it and it took me weeks to bring myself to watch it with my own eyes. The whole time I was tempted to look away, but felt I needed to see it. It was gruesome, and I can never un-see it. I can't get the image and aggression out of my mind. At the same time, I felt, and continue to feel, deeply conflicted. His death was atrocious, an act of terror and inhumanity. But the words they had him speak before the execution about the atrocities the US had committed there were acts of equal aggression and inhumanity - perhaps more in terms of volume and civilian casualties. Right/wrong was no longer the issue - I just sometimes cannot believe the world we live in and what people and governments are capable of doing to human beings.

Israel and the hatred others have because of what I can only presume is ignorance. It is the only democracy in the Middle East that recognizes women, gays and where one can enjoy beaches, night clubs and what we in the west would call normal life. It is beyond me why there is such hatred and blatant anti Semitism and I'm sure I'll never understand, but will continue to advocate for others to understand.

The war in Israel this summer. I was there just before and after it started, and it totally changed my relationship with the country. I was surprised how right-wing some of my opinions were or became, and it made me feel much closer to the country. It was also a great experience for me professionally, as opportunistic as that is. Being there working with the people I was gave me access and a chance to shine I never imagined, and I think in many ways led to the promotion I just received.

There are many events that concern me. I am very concerned about the environment and there have been several news stories about the melting of the ice caps and extreme weather that has impacted on me. I have also been very concerned about the war in Israel and the growth of ISIS.

World Cup. Despite the wars, the sensational ISIS public brutal killings, the general lack of respect for human life and the feelings of others the world can stop and celebrate the Beautiful Game with passion, joy, rivalry, disappointment, frustration and appreciation for all that is wonderful in each other and our cultures. I am so glad I got to go and to share it with Ben.

Robin Williams died in the past few months. This was shocking for many reasons, but mostly for the fact that he killed himself. At the same time, I had been going through a very dark place and had contemplated such thoughts myself.

There has very recently been a college age girl disappear from a well known college. This happens often, and yet only now has it really started to stop me in my tracks. My oldest daughter entered high school this year. She's just a handful of years from being in college. News reports like that are starting to hit far too close to home.

A world event that has affected me is probably the ISIS Terrorist group and the conflict between Palestine and Israel. These two events really opened my eyes that I am very clueless to the world around me and that I need to pay more attention. I started to follow the news and look at the headlines that are really interesting. It isn't much but it's something and it's more than what I used to do.

It sounds silly, but Xi Jinping's anti-corruption measures in China. I have been working in Beijing and the anti-corruption policy made a lot of things impossible, which were usual in our half-state owned joint venture before: company trip, team building, Chinese New Year party...all adding up to an even worse work atmosphere than before.

The conflict in Israel has been more challenging for me than I could have expected. I knew that becoming a Jew would mean taking on the conflict between Israel and Palestine in a more personal way; I would own a piece of the conflict along with my "right" to make Aliyah. But the simple challenge of free movement in these places has paralyzed me on more than one occasion in the last few months. How can we who were turned out before the Second World War from so many countries deny free movement and safe settlement to others? And who am I restricting through my actions and decisions?

I am so overwhelmed by my life that I can't see past the front door. I listen to the news, follow stories, but they wash over me.

There are a number of horrible events in the world that have impacted me - from the killing of the three Israeli boys to the outbreak of Ebola and the rising of ISIS. All has made me sad, but also ignited the fire in me to realize that I am incredibly privileged and have an obligation to those in the world who are not as lucky and do not have as much opportunity as I do, that I must SEIZE THE DAY and impact those around me positively. Perhaps even make change in some way.

Israeli soldiers beating an Arab-American teenager in response to 3 Israeli teenagers being killed... We all have monsters in us - all of us, apparently. We all must fight with all of our strength to vanquish our inner monsters. If we are going to seek justice for wrongs done unto us, we must punish only those who deserve such punishment. Otherwise, we sin as terribly as the original sinners.

Over the summer three Israeli boys were kidnapped. I read a lot about this while I was working at gymnastics camp, and looked at different news outlets to compare how the story was told, etc. The more I read about Israel and the conflicts happening there and the turmoil in Gaza the more anxious and upset I became. This was not a personal event. And there were not many (any) people at camp who seemed to have any interest or investment in the subject. The one friend who did listen to me often expressed sadness, and sadness for me that reading about these things made me so upset. I was able to talk with him about how I was struggling to process my internal conflict about why these things were so upsetting to me - I was not there, I did not know these people personally, and yet I felt so connected to this place and nation and issue. It kind of makes sense since Jewish community is important to me, but I am so far away, and I don't live there or deal with those threats or way of life each day. So then I was struggling with whether I could have such strong feelings, like if I was allowed to, which is silly. You feel how you feel. As the events in Israel and the conflict with Gaza continued to unfold throughout the summer it weighed heavily on me, and I am still trying to sort out my place in the pool of feelings, political views, and the like.

Between the renewed Palestine/Israel conflict, the surge of ISIS or ISIL in Iraq, and the Ebola plague in Africa, it's hard to choose a "world event." I guess the part that's hard to articulate is how these crisis are impacting me. I feel more responsible than ever for a world that seems more irrational than ever. Humans are not reasonable creatures. How are we going to acknowledge and deal with our own irrationality? When we will stop killing ourselves? How will I take responsibility for my part in the madness? What can I do step up and say, Enough! We have to love each other or die? I feel responsible for sharing what I know about love. We are all suffering, and some of the suffering is self-inflicted. One of my favorite songs of the 80s was the Jonathan Richmon anthem, "People All Over the World" ("are starving....just for affection" "To me this ain't funny, to me this is real, and I've got to tell everybody how I feel about affection...")

Oh my God, the beheadings of all those brave unfortunate men has PROFOUNDLY affected me. To the point that I can barely describe my reacstions. Cutting someone's head off seems to me to be the most barbaric thing imaginable. I see the pictures of the men facing death and they seem so calm! I would NEVER consider viewing the actual deaths, but seeing these men who know they are about to die violently at the hands of religious zealots just chills me to the depth of my soul. I think that in their place, I would be crying and screaming and vomiting... and these brave men are so stoic. I hate the people who are doing this. HATE THEM. HATE THEM. Why?? I just cannot get my mind around this awful obscenity. Damn them to the worst hell imaginable.

The war in Israel had a big impact on my life this year. All of a sudden, I looked at my surroundings differently. When a rocket can come flying at you on a moment's notice and you have seconds to find shelter, the world looks different. If I'm watching kids in the park, where's the nearest shelter, and can we run there in time? Where can we take shelter on our walk home? Does my apartment have a safe room, and if not, where should I run if I hear the air raid siren?

The war this past summer hugely impacted me of course. It was tremendously stressful to live through and to guide through. I was lucky enough not to lose work at the time, but I am suffering from the after effects now. Hardly any work for the next few months. The hardest part was the sense of hopelessness. We knew that this flare-up would be over sooner or later but we simultaneously knew that this would never be over. There is no prospect for anything better long term. Hard not to be depressed by that.

The deaths of Lou Reed and Robin Williams affected me strongly. Lou Reed died on my mother's birthday last year, October 27. I was with my son, his sister and her daughter. My son read the news on his phone and told me but I decided to ignore it since I was with out-of-town family and confirm and consider it later. It was true and I was overwhelmed. I was a huge fan and had actually bought tickets to take my son to see him since he was my favorite musician and my son is also a musician. The concerts were canceled. He died from the same thing that killed my husband, six years ago, a failed liver caused by hepatitis C, likely contracted for drugs and exacerbated by alcohol. Lou got a new liver; my husband didn't, but his body rejected the liver and he died. Lou had married Laurie Anderson, one of my favorite artist and they were my favorite "couple." It makes me happy to know that two artists who I love and respect and feel like I get found each other. The news was also hard on my son, perhaps because we had planned to see him and because he died from the same disease that killed his father. We have had so many people die on us in the last ten years, considering we don't live in a war zone.

I visited New York City this year and attended the 9/11 memorial and museum. I knew it would be emotional, but the serenity of the memorial fountains and the level of detail throughout the museum was extremely moving. Just thinking about the experience brings out emotions. The sheer scale of what took place on September 11 is still unimaginable but yet it happened and is so greatly documented. The event and visiting the site will stay with me forever.

Isis decapitating an American and then a British journalist. And distributing the video of this horrendous act to the world so we could see the barbarism up close and personal ( no, I didn't watch it). Journalists. Really? Where is the rationale in this ? ( I know - there is none)...and each man, someones son, of course - I did see a video clip of the American mom pleading for mercy for her son. No - they decapitated him with a large curved sword. Like you'd see in some old Ali Baba disney movie. This IS surreal. And worst of all-- this was done in the name of religious freedom... I am horrified by what one human can do to another .

I gave myself a little time to think about this question to see of there was one event that has impacted me this year. I would have to say it is the collection of events in the Middle East from the terrible violence in Syria to the attacks on Gaza to the rise of ISIS in Iraq. What is stunning to me about them is the horrific, concentrated, sustained attack on large numbers of people in such small areas. I know the regions of Iraq can be vast but the fighting and brutality can be localized as ISiS takes over section by section and resources. On the news they spoke of workers at oil refinery standing up valiantly against the takeover of the major refinery by ISIS combantants. I thought of dad and how he used to work at Shell oil refinery. What if he and his fellow workers had to fight against viscious fierce fighters with nothing to lose? 4000 women were kidnapped from one group and I thought of all my fellow students from countries in the Middle East or here, but still dressed in traditional attire. What if it were them? What if I came to school and we were told they all taken to be sold away as wives and sex slaves and disappeared? What if we were trapped inside Gaza as we were bombed and shelled from the outside? What of the terrible stories that have come from Syria -- a country of educated middle class people? How can such small areas sustain so much violence? How can these people endure such terror and hardship? I cannot fathom what it would be like or how they could ever rebuild or move past it. How can so much life continue to go in the world while that is happening so close -- closer now than ever before?

The conflict in Israel and Gaza has impacted me as it was both heartbreaking and confronting. This was the first time that I stepped back so that I could see a bigger picture...and also a time when I watched and prayed but did not take a stance or share opinions with others. It may have been a failure on my part to stand "with Israel" but, more importantly, I sought to stand with humanity.

I'd like to name the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) terrorists in the Middle East as event of the year. First, it is a threat not just to peace in the Middle east but maybe to the rest of the world. With an increasing number of so-called Jihadists coming from Europe and the US to fight for this extremist group it is an event that should make us think. Furthermore it raised the question, who should fight such groups and such threats. Local governments lack the resources, the miltary infrastructue and the conviction to its own population to ensure a strong enough counter force. Once again, the US is asked to act as world police to fight that terror to the benefit of all. And again, it will not be a glory job but one where many people will complain. Last but not least we should ask ourself about the value(s) of our democratic societies. Extremist groups manage with relative easy to gather thousands of people and convive them of their terrorist objectives. Why do democratic societies and (christian) churches fail in trying to achieve the same popularity? As a member of a democratic and christian society we need to refocus on our values and stand for them! How can I contribute?

Israeli-Palentinian conflict, seems it will never end Emergence of "Islamic State" - seems like the dark ages all over again, and has drawn the US back into war

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I detest war but it seems to be status quo in the middle east. Peace seems so unachievable. Honestly afraid of extremists and attacks on innocent people.

The war in Israel this summer was an eye opener for me. I was there for a conference, than on vacation traveling with friends, and I experienced the 'conflict' in a different way. I understood that Jews are alone in the world in our holy pursuit. That what is happening in France and Europe bodes awfully for us, and is indicative of that solitude. We must keep to our mission, keep holy, do good, know our friends, and love our family. It made me question Judaism, why does it matter if the whole world wants to kill us. I have to read my own sermons to remind myself. I love when the conflicts die down, but the poison still exists, the hatred still flows, now i understand this will never go away -- ever, it is 3000 years old and will never go away. And i understand it less than ever.

All of the unrest in the Middle East, including the wanton slaughters going on in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Syria, Islamic State brutality. This is very disturbing on a chronic level. Women are brutalized and it's given comment on how terrible it is, but no action taken on a global stage (collateral war damage, oh well they'll get over it, they always do). Multinational observers watching until their interests are at risk. Then there is the Ebola crisis which we are still just observing and tossing a few resources at. Of course, let us not forget the global impact on climate- many coastal areas in the US are now flooded regularly and action is needed to move people and cities. But, let's not fully acknowledge that it's truly happening! So, yes, there are many things going on that impact me- many on a chronic awareness level, accompanied by a feeling of impotence.

None that I can think of. Does that make me sheltered, or disconnected? And yet, I don't miss reading the news more, I like being more connected to my immediate reality.

The rise of ISIS has been quite disturbing. I feel the USA had the opportunity to act more than a year before they became more powerful to shut them down. I pray that we can stifle their evil.

One of the few good things to come out of Obamacare is expanded Medicaid eligibility in my state, which means for the first time since 2003 I will have health coverage.

It has seemed, more than in previous years, that the world is falling apart this year. Of course, my own history in Iraq and Sierra Leone make the ISIS and Ebola crises particularly impactful for me, but the situation in Ukraine has reminded me that crises are not limited to the Middle East and Africa. Thinking about my life, I have trouble deciding whether I want to follow crisis or stay in nice places. This time in Brazil has made me wonder if maybe being in crisis is not the only way to be. I do miss the feeling of making a difference that we had in Sierra Leone or Iraq, but I also know that the progress that we have made on certain issues in Brazil is real and will last.

Like much of the world, I am shocked and appalled at the isis beheadings and their activity. It frightens me and I do not feel safe.

Ebola outbreak. I was asked by a colleague who works for OSTP to help identify medical wearable techs to monitor the health of medical personnel working in Africa.

A group of fellow seekers formed on FaceBook and drew me in. I now have friends on similar paths all across the planet. These are the events that hold my interest now.

In previous years I've been plain embarrassed about my lack of current affairs knowledge but this year when commuting to work I started listening to Radio 4 for the first time. It's been really nice being up to date and able to sustain a conversation on politics for the first time and just thinking about things rather than the vast mass of senseless, mindless media that I consume most of the time. Product of my generation if ever I saw one. Yet at the same time I had points where I switched off the radio for a morning to shut out the constant flow of negativity in the world around me. The sickening activities of Jihadi fighters are something I can't even fathom and I am embarrassed by the fact that I don't even want to. The thought of a western man being beheaded turns my stomach and I am in the luxurious position to avoid it if I want to. The worst thing I don't see what is to be done about it. I genuinely believe most politicians are good people but have too many stakeholders. It's not like David Cameron doesn't care about saving British captives but there is something very wrong with a world where the motives of his political opponents in cozy Westminster stop his government from acting.

Not much. I suppose the escalation in Gaza has made me think about that conflict a lot more, and how people end up on which side of it. But I wasn't directly affected by anything, Whixh I suppose I should feel grateful for.

Fighting. Bombing. Closed airports. Israel. Eli.

The crash of MH17. I was at Melt festival, in my car with my friends, driving from the swimming pond back to the festival terrain (a very hot and sunny day). Then one of my friends was called by her mum. The best friend of her father and his wife was in that airplane. It was a shock to hear.

Michael Brown. Sometimes I'm just so mad I want to scream, and sometimes I honestly think I'm going to cry because this hopelessness settles down on me, and I wonder if we're ever going to live in a world where people of colour are treated like people, not only in everyday individual interactions, but by the system, and the representatives of the system. Last year I answered this question with Trayvon Martin. I wonder who it will be next year, and that's possibly the worst part.

One answer is certainly Operation Protective Edge and the unleashing of Anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere. It is very personal for we have family there and know many people who have been affected. When I think more deeply about this, I would say the Pew Report about our state as Jews. No denomination is immune from the results. What scares me in particular is the response. I looked online and was left with the impression that Reform and Conservative denominations are burying their heads in the sand. The Orthodox are also part of the problem since I was very alarmed by the attrition rates. The good news is that the OU has not shied away from it, but the bad news is far too many Orthodox Jews do not understand that we too have to face these issues and help fix them if we can.

Happy event: Federal judge Barbara Crabbe striking down Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage! I was privileged to officiate for 5 couples during the week that the state was issuing licenses to same-sex couples; my colleague in ministry officiated for about 10 couples - including 2 couples from our congregation, and a colleague and her wife. The impact is indirect for me - after all, I'm straight, and have been married to my husband for 37 years. But, it's huge for the members of the congregation I serve, and for many of my friends, and colleagues, and my children's friends. There have been so many of these rulings, that it seems inevitable that the Supreme Court will choose to hear one - or a group - of the cases. I'm hoping and praying for a "Loving v Virginia" type ruling. Sad event: The shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, by a Ferguson, MO police officer - and the ensuing protests, which are ongoing. I've struggled with the anti-racism, anti-oppression "work" (which always seems ill-defined) my denomination engages in. Discussing this event with my youngest child - who is East European, with olive skin and black hair - has made me painfully aware that I need to do a better job of engaging in anti-racism stuff. This causasian child has been perceived as: Indian (from India), Native American, Mexican, Italian, Greek, and bi-racial. Italian or Greek comes closest - she's from Bulgaria, with mixed Bulgarian/Turkish heritage. She's been stopped by the police at night in our subdivision, walking home from her friend's house, and made to prove she has a reason to be here. She's been told in job interviews that "perhaps she'd be more comfortable at a business that employed more Mexicans, like you." She's been told to go join the "People of Color" identity caucus during church conferences. She tells me now, "I have to consider myself a person of color. I know I'm not, really; but that's how the world sees me." My heart breaks.

The death of Robin Williams has taught me how the demons of a person's mind, which though they may have led to the unique talent(s) of their mind, are also the torture that drives them "madsad." Williams could not find a balance in drugs or in being constantly lost in his work. His movie, "The Angriest Man in Manhattan," became a somewhat pre-autobiographical end to his tale and he even gave the bookend dates of his real live. The "dash" is our transpiring life and it is our mad dash to find meaning in and for ourselves before we expire.

The beheadings of the innocent men and the mass executions have caused me to reevaluate my life and the politics of my country. I just can't grab my brain around the motives of the people that are doing these atrocities. I think of the people being killed and their final thoughts and feelings. How brave they have been. I hope that their deaths have meaning in some form.

I think it would be the ebola virus. or maybe the invasion of Ukraine. or the border between Texas/Mexico being filled with minors and the USA not knowing how to handle it. or maybe the "save our girls" where young women disappeared in Africa without a trace. The war in gaza. It's just been a hell of a year for our world - somehow it feels like the world is a worse place than it was a year ago. Now we are going back to war as a country because of Isis and Israel is quiet for now but who knows. It just has been a rough year and it makes me wonder what it means for us as the world becomes more and more war torn, more horrific things happen with children and our hearts get desensitized to the many terrible things that happen in the world. I hope next year when I answer this question I can't think of so many ways to answer it.

The Seahawks winning the Superbowl. Everyone in Seattle seems to walk a little lighter, smile at one another a little more and even with the huge diversity her, it forms a common bond for us all where we have a sense of connection and unity. This contrast with the various controversies with Seattle and other police where people feel more cautious with one another

The war in Gaza. It impacted me personally, as I found myself torn between complete support for Israel's need and right to defend itself, and the horror of the resulting casualties and destruction. As a professional in the Jewish world, it also impacted work discussions daily.

The crisis in the middle east. It is unsettling in its impact on our country and brings back fear and memories of 9/11. It is a reminder how vulnerable we are. People have forgotten.

Obama is ruining not only my country but the entire world. When Israel had to defend itself against the ragheads, it was vilified, and all of the anti-Semitism you'd think was gone in civilized people flared right up. Now the world chooses sides Israel or ragheads. makes me sick to my soul

The world is a crazy place. ISIS, Gaza, Ebola, PEOPLE being so offended all the time, so inconsiderate. It can be very frightening as well as overwhelmingly disheartening. It all impacts me .. it frightens, freaks me out, and paralyzes me UNTIL I shift my point of view and take it all as a Call To Light .. it's one of the (if not THE major) reasons I'm here .. to assist in this tumultuous transition. If this transition is beshert .. and how can it not be? .. I am here to help. I have completed my contracts with old menacers and now it is time to turn my attention entirely to the New Energies of Hope, Healing & Possibility! #godgivemestrength

The Gaza war. While I don't agree with the actions of the Israeli government, I also don't see any real determination for peace or any compromise from the Palestinian factions, and of course not from Hamas. What affected me most, aside from the human losses, is the world's rush to lay all the blame on Israel and to demonize not only its government, but its people too. This only leads me to support the country more, while still be critical of its government's actions.

The ACA passage with Medicaid expansion in DC was a godsend. I found myself unemployed and in need of surgery back in January, and Medicaid paid for it all. Without the safety net, I would have gone bankrupt and been homeless. Then, later in the year after I found a good job, I switched to an employer-sponsored plan that was ACA l-compliant and needed the same surgery again. While I certainly paid my fair share, there's a huge comfort in knowing there's an annual maximum to pay out, the amount of which is quite reasonable.

If by "impacted me" you mean it has made a material difference to my life, then I expect continued poor economic circumstances of the world have affected my job seeking (unsuccessful) and no doubt made all my public services that bit worse. If you mean affected me because I care about them, then probably everything - war, ebola, climate change, etc...

Since my sales territory is South America, and 80% of the business there is Brazil, the World Cup and the Brazilian Presidential election have both impacted my business, and both are tied together. The money spent on the Copa, and the resulting protests, and the distraction from daily business, practically shut down the Brazilian economy earlier this year. And the money spent on the Copa will have an impact on the election, unless Dilma can show a positive economic uptick directly related to the Copa, which is unlikely at this point given the election is a week away.

When Robin Williams died, I sobbed at the news. His brilliance lost to the world, his struggle, and decision to end his life broke my heart.

The rise of the Islamic State (ISIS), its irrational violence and utter suppression. After the second journalist was beheaded I felt a complete hopelessness, knowing that every public display of violence also represented countless victims living and dead in the areas they've overtaken. I've never felt this hopeless about our future on the planet, and more than ever I worry about what my children's future will hold.

This year collectively has been full of events that have shown how deep racial tensions still run in this country. How disconnected we are from each other by the amount disrespectful words people write to each other. How unimportant women still are in the world and this country with the amount of rape. Children are extremely to vulnerable and we need to do a better job to protect. Relisha Rudd case sums up so much based on elected officials reactions. To sum it up.... We need to do better as a society in treating each other as people and be willing to help and do away with stereotypes and search out facts for ourselves and not what is reported to us. We need to be better people collectively as a world and stop wasting good energy with negativity. I pray next year I can have a totally different and positive answer .....

C: The shooting in Ferguson Missouri of Michael Brown. It along with all of the other shootings or beatings of unarmed black young men by white police officers, seemingly without warrant. It has happened before (Diallo, Rodney King, the man in Staten Island) and will continue to happen (most recently a black shopper at walmart holding a gun from the store was shot by a huge team of police - white people doing the same thing don't seem to receive this response). I don't know what it will take to stop from happening aside from a huge shift in perception by white people (police, public, etc.). It makes me sad that even now, in 2014, there is such a huge divide between whites and blacks. J:Rememberance of 9/11/2001. Ethan: Bugs. Meaning Germs. On his teeth. They are what caused him to throw up yesterday. He has 35 white blood cells that are fighting them off.

The war on Gaza. Having a stronger connection to Israel than ever before and never experiencing a feeling of empathy, I can say after the 7 or 8 long weeks I knew what being empathetic was.

I'm not sure it would've be defined as an "event". California is in the midst of a drought, and the world as a whole is changing, thanks to the increased atmospheric carbon. I'm concerned about the future-my future, and humanity's future. I think there is much cause for concern, and hope is questionable.

The beheadings of journalists underscore how dangerous the world has become. Travel seems scarier and life more tenuous.

The war in Israel against Gaza Terrorists put me on edge for days. I always feel its life or death at all times for Israel and this was a particularly precarious event, given that we really don't know what these terrorists have or what they will do.

There has not been one event this past year from the world that has affected me. Why? Because there shall not be any worldly event that impacts of how I see the world as it is. Also, I do not pay any attention to what is going outside of the realm of what I need to get accomplished. As self-centered as that may sound, I disallow myself from allowing any event of in world affect how I should view my life. If I allowed a worldly event to affect me, then I would find that the continuous events of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, would continually affect my thought process and I would become overly self-conscious. I do this for the sake of focusing on my goals in life and I do not want some event to discourage my perspective.

The Scottish independence vote. I'm not from there, but it brought up a lot of conversations about the possible impact, especially on Quebec.

The kidnapping and death of the three kids, it should not have happened, not because they were hiking but because in the 21st century you shouldnt be fearful of death by getting in a car. Savage people with whom we are still ineluctably bound to make peace. Something to think about when fighting hard to get moderates to agree on something

La guerra de la franja de gaza con Israel. La reacción de la comunidad mundial entera frente a esos hechos tortuosos. Los asesinatos publicados en las redes sin ningún tipo de filtro. Nosotros como comunidad siendo parte de esa guerra, con la impotencia de tener que actuar a través de instrumentos políticos. El día en que se publicó el "detenimiento al alto al fuego" como una forma de comunicar bombardeo y asesinatos. Las 10 o 12 horas de "pido gancho" para que en gaza levantaran cuerpos y atendieran heridos, para al día siguiente seguir matando. La institucionalización de la guerra. Tremendo. A esta altura de la vida, de la historia, de la evolución de pensamientos. Tremendo...

Ferguson. It was so hard to see such anger and pain and frustration and to see yet ANOTHER unarmed black man die and feel so helpless about it. It was all I could think about or focus on for weeks -I couldn't even say much online because nothing else seemed to matter, and any one thing to say seemed so little. I was able to channel some of that into teaching and the Engaging Diversity work, which took place right after. But it's still so heartbreaking; we are so sick as a culture of people who can justify such ongoing brutality. Something has got to change.

Although not directly impacted by anything, I guess I have been distressed by events in the middle east, especially Israel's war with Gaza, the media coverage of it , and especially the apparent rise of anti-semitism in many places that followed. Not sure what I can personally do about it except to continue to combat bigotry in all its forms.

The relatively recent developments in Ferguson, Missouri have reminded me of the racism and historical lack of justice that plagues the US. I feel for the parents of the young man gunned down and realize that the country has not come very far in the past 100 years.

Sadly, for him, for the world that loved him so much, and perhaps for me merely in the fact that I consider this one of the most significant "world events"--for me--the suicide of Robin Williams. I have spent a good part of my life fighting for my life and against the lure of suicide. Only during the infancy, childhood, and youth of my own children was I ever completely free from the grip of these thoughts. Perhaps my only truly happy and fulfilled years. So trite, but now that they are all-but "gone," there seems no reason again, and so many reasons to _not_ be here. Better for them, and all that; no hope for my future which has been seemingly destroyed both by my own actions and my unfortunate relationships with others (which I choose). No one knows any of this, and I wonder if the conversation should be "opened up," as some TED speakers, for instance, are contending, but I can't think of a soul I'd have the conversation with. Publicly would be the only way (strangely), because if I could do it to help other women and girls, I would.

The assaults and killing of native or tribal peoples for political or religious power or both in others' homelands is frightening. Whether the majority of the world's populous is aware or not, threats of ongoing conflicts against the human rights of individuals and the groups of those many faiths and races may break the balance of reason which has been striven for since the ending of the Cold War.

There are so many heart breaking events happening but probably the action taken toward the Central American (and Honduran) children traveling illegally to enter the United States. There is more to this problem than meets the eye. Who began spreading the rumor that these children would be accepted? I feel that it is being provoked to be part of another 'Wag the Dog' ...a false flag to distract while something even worse is becoming established.

I think it's tied between the US government shutting down in the fall of 2013 and the events surrounding Ferguson MI and the shooting of Michael Brown... The shutdown affected me on a personal level-my dad works in the government and near the end he was starting to get anxious about whether he'd have to find short term work somewhere else. But the Ferguson thing, it really exposed police brutality and the continued presence of racism in the US in a way that no other event has-including Trayvon Martin. That exposure has led to a lot of important conversation. I hope that people keep having these conversations. It's one of the best ways to teach others about tolerance, compassion and solidarity.

The slow financial starvation and dismantlement of the Philadelphia schools. It has impacted me in many ways:g., e. ethically, and in terms of my every day job experience. It is difficult to watch such bald-faced social injustice up-close, and from a policy perspective (by reading about the policitical, economic and social agenda of its' perpetrators). It has mostly been a dispiriting experience, as my health issues have prevented me from participating as much as I would like in the fight against these forces.

The war between Israel and Gaza over the summer. Obviously, anything in Israel affects me to some extent, and that war was pretty brutal. I know a lot of people in the IDF right now, so it was a little scary. Luckily, everyone that I know was safe and things have certainly calmed down now. This war was also especially interesting because some other Arab countries seemed to be on Israel's side, wanting Israel to be successful in removing Hamas from Gaza. I also know about a lot of summer trips that were cancelled or postponed because of the situation.

ISIS is terrifying. We take for granted the relative safety in our country. We worry about our kids getting hit in a cul de sac, not that they will be bombed or kidnapped. The amount of funding that this organization has scares me, as does the fact that we have never addressed the issues that underlie the anger these groups have towards us. I would never validate their means, but I can find common anger at the Western civilization's affects on other cultures. I bristle and gag at the over-sexualized and secular nature of our culture, our obsession with individual rights rather than community benefit. I wholly reject the use of religion to justify terror or any oppression -- or the use of *any* reason to justify terror or oppression -- but I am not proud of our response. Our backyard is littered with trash. We need to clean it up. I think on a more personal and immediately level, the obsession with testing and evaluating students/teachers is hitting home. It causes stress in my classroom, my department, my district, and across the country. I feel the pushback effort rising and I hope it changes drastically. I also hope I can find the place I best fit -- as a teacher or as a union organizer.

I believe the war this summer in Israel had an affect upon me. To see the hate played out on a world stage is staggering. That people are so desperate that they must turn their plight against others is saddening. It also is frightening that once again our people, our children, and our grandchildren must be aware that people out there would destroy us all if allowed. I pray for a lasting peace that will see the people of Gaza raised out of poverty and living side by side with Israel in peace.

The war in Syria and all of the deaths and innocent people suffering and dying because they are Cristians . It seems humane to me and I don't understand the intolerance and violence that some people live with everyday. I ask God to stop these wars and give Wotld Peace... It is not impossible ... People and humanity can change for the best... We jyst have to believe and teach the younger generations tolerance and humility... We have to start somewhere...

The war in Gaza has had a great impact on me. It has forced me to defend Israel's right to respond to the rockets and defend itself, while at the same time acknowledge the anguish I've felt over the thousands of people killed in Gaza. What has seemed disproportionate is the level of killing. But should Israel send ineffective rockets back to Gaza? Or should Israel allow the rockets to rain down so that just as many Israelis are killed? And what about the systematic tunneling into Israel for the purposes of kidnapping? Yet I am also adamant that Israel keeps hurting itself by continuing to sanction more and more settlements in the West Bank, and oppressing the people in Gaza and the West Bank. I find myself on both sides of these discussions, depending on who I am talking to and what their position is. Defending Israel. Decrying Israel's response. And I certainly don't know what the answer is.

This years Israeli Palestinian conflict has opened my eyes to how biased young educated people are. They support Gaza no matter what. The Palestinians use children as human shields yet they call Israelis are war criminals. I used to sympathize for the Palestinians in almost every circumstance, and I still do for the people who wish to live in peace with Israel, but it makes me angry to see so many people my age follow the popular trend of unquestioned, unanimous support for Palestine.

Thanks to the DOMA ruling, this was the first time I was able to file taxes as a married couple. Not state taxes, of course. I need to get the hell out of the south. Being queer is getting normal. It's striking to me that we have come so far so fast. Now if only I weren't a legal stranger to the kids.

I am terrified of global warming. and it is an irrational fear. I hear all these stories about florida sinking into the ocean and I think about how we are destroying the world and it scares me. It does not seem that enough people care and that they are not doing enough. I know I am not doing enough, I try to do my part but it is not easy at all! I want to be able to show my son some great parts of nature ( national parks, alaska etc) that is my goal I want him to love nature as much as i do

Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ebola, and ISIS have really reminded me how lucky we are in Canada but also how quickly things can fall apart if the common man does not stand up and take action /work together to protect each other.

It seemed like the world got more unstable this year. Iraq Syria, ISIL. But I think Ferguson was what made me think about things more than anything else yet. It made me reevaluate my privilege, and examine my own prejudices. I'd like to see Portland do better with these types of issues. Not sure how to start healing this racial discrimination wounds.

The attack on the people of Gaza has completely de-legitimatized the State of Israel. I have long been critical of the government and dismayed by the drift towards totalitarian politics over the last couple of decades, much as American politics has become more and more irrational. The government of Israel has perhaps never represented the values of the Jewish community, but the community has been supportive of it. Now I believe it is time for the community to give up on that government. It is too much of a moral compromise to be tolerated any longer. I am very saddened by all this. It was perhaps always naive to think a government could be a moral exemplar, but this was an intentionally Jewish government. What is Jewish if not our ethics? So we had high hopes have long been overly tolerant of its abuses and lies. No longer. I have been attached to the idea that Israel, the state, could be an exemplar -- but it doesn't want to be. We want it to be one. That is now our failing, as it is clearly not a moral entity. We have to find another way. This makes me sad, in a very deep way.

War. Putin, middle east, Syria, ISIL..... Depression. What's with humanity? I feel I have no control.

The World Cup ! I knew so much more about futbal this year and was able to share the sport with many people .

The sustained rebound in the economy has allowed me to build and sell properties that generated capital that payed off debts carried for much too long. The end of a chapter in my life, one door closes and another door opens. The lesson learned was to be more modest in my aspirations and value the simpler things life has to offer.

Stateside lawlessness and what seems to be like a growing division. I am digging deep to reflect on how I can conduct myself in order to be even more of a beacon of light. So I guess that it has heightened my level of introspection of myself as well as globally.

The War in Gaza, which I feel was necessary, has just unleashed a LOT of Jew-Hatred around the world. My politics align with Lev.Ch. 19, and unfortunately, most Christians who share those same political views (while not recognizing Lev. 19 as the source) pick Palestinians as their underdog, and swallow all the propaganda, and then promote it to their friends. I try to let them know that the issue is more nuanced AND that when they promote this issue and bash Israel, they actually endanger the lives of me and my relatives. You can see it happening in France and even in some cities in the US. Unfortunately, this is not something I am willing to compromise on, so it is costing me friendships in addition to making me and my community feel less safe.

GLOBAL WARMING Weather patterns changing globally. Water becoming scarce, fertile lands drying up. Polar ice melting at alarming rate; cities at or near sea level. Agricultural industries decreasing their labor forces and effecting economy; changing seasonal patterns occuring due to different wind patterns. Lack of moisture worldwide are moving feeding grounds. Biology is changing creating new breeding habits. New cross breeds starting to appear such as grizzly/polar bears becoming known. The indifference and disbelief of governments in the global warming effects are beginning to cripple this planet.

The national elections. I got really optimistic and emotionally invested in the Green campaign, and to see National get to such a sound victory, after everything that they've done, was crushing. Three more years of stripping out our assets to line the pockets of the wealthy, increasing inequality, native species driven to the brink of extinction, cynical and blatantly dishonest politicians... It still upsets me to think about it. The poor and the children will suffer most.

The perpetual killings around the world in the name of God. It makes me contemplate my own faith.

Bowe Berghdal was released from his captors. I had been praying steadily and i had felt more prayer was needed. Then suddenly my husband called to tell me. I cried. I don't know this man. I just felt i needed to hold him up. I am not a soldier but my husband was and i endured 2 deployments single parenting while he was away. I knew the worry Mr. Bergdahl's family felt. I think we must share eachothers worry and fears. Then we can celebrate eachothers joys as if they were our own.

The events in Ferguson, MO have brought a great deal of dialogue about race and police violence to my social circles. I find myself confronting and inspecting my own racism. Particularly living in a city with high racial tensions and a considerably high crime rate, I recognize that I have my own set of fears, unreasonable suspicions, and assumptions about race. I've been trying to slowly peel that back and challenge myself to react in a more honorable way when confronted with my own bias. It's really, really hard.

Many things impact me. I am upset with the Gaza Strip news. So many different angles in the news, and I can't know what's happening from so far away. Which means I don't know how to help...and I feel helpless...

The war in Gaza began just as my son went into the Army. He wasn't involved in the fighting since it happened while he was in basic training, but friends of his were there and sons of my friends were there. My sister lives near Be'er Sheva and spent most of that month in shelter. And when war goes on here, everybody is affected in one way or another. During the fighting I attended a Red Tent gathering with Jewish and Arab women where we shared our feelings and wrapped each other in love.

A lot of bad things were going on and still are. I am afraid that the world's problems can never be solved because it is too late to talk and financial interests are often in the way. In my opinion solving these issues is too less profitable for the people who could do it.

The whole situation in Israel has sickened me, and is particularly upsetting as a Jew. I cannot condone the horrendous actions against the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people, particularly those living in the area of Gaza, has been emotionally weighty for me this year. There was a time when I would have found good reason to defend the actions of Israel. In the present day, however, I really struggle to understand the inhumanity of their military campaigns. There were several days during the most recent eruption of violence that left me feeling emotionally bankrupt because of the deaths of what I understood to be innocent people, particularly women and children, seeking shelter in UN identified safe shelters. The reason it affected me so, I believe, is the seeming non-compassion for human life because it had been trampled by the desire for dominance and right.

Ugh, the war between Israel and Hamas. And the Michael Brown shooting that took place in our former home. The former has forced me to clarify in my own heart and conscious what I believe about Israel, and to summon the courage to speak out loud about it. The latter has made me realize, again, what a terrifically oppressive society I live in. It's hard to be hopeful.

The events around Operation Protective Edge and Israel's conflict with the Palestinians have been difficult. I visited Israel during one of the most intense periods of the crisis, so I found myself more engaged with it, more involved than I would be usually. Since returning to London I have reverted to self-protection by disengagement. When I was there I felt torn, between gratitude that I was well-protected by the Israeli army, confusion around the morality of Israel's actions in Gaza, and heartache for my people and the Palestinians.

I feel very lucky that most of the world events I hear about affect me only in the sense that they make me uneasy but have little practical effect on my life. By this I mean, I am lucky that I have lost no loved ones to global conflict or disasters. I realize this makes me lucky and is all the more reason to pay attention.

The war in Israel. It has given me more pride with Israel and love. It's because I know have a more connection to my religion and pride for israel

Last October there was a big government shutdown. Lots of people who work for the government had their jobs furloughed while Congress battled over policies. Nobody benefitted from this as far as I can see. But a bunch of people had to worry about their jobs and money while things were sorted. I was lucky enough not to get furloughed, but I went to work every day wondering whether I would have a job the next day. I didn't love my job and was about to have a baby anyway, but the unfairness of the situation had me feeling soangry.

the girls being kidnapped in africa, forever gone their dreams and desires for lives that we take for granted every day.

I'm troubled that we are on the precipice of yet another war - again in the Middle East. ISIS/ISIL and the "collation"…again. I'm conflicted. I see how crazy this might be - part of me sees a potential genocide like we saw in the Sudan or Rwanda and the opportunity to prevent it. The other part of me sees the chaos that we might drag ourselves into entering another way - and thinks we should just leave it alone. Still not sure what the right course of action is. The racial divide and conflict that still exists in the nation is also troubling and saddens me. Racism is taught, not learned. It's nice to be in a community that seems to be more diverse.

The Israelis finally had enough of the rockets being fired from hamas strongholds and they fought back. It reminded me of the way I felt about Israel when the Gulf War started when I was in ninth grade. I wore my star of David from Caesaria every day and followed the news closely. I am doing the same again now all these years later. I have also discovered that many of my Facebook friends (mostly former work colleagues) agree with me. I find it disappointing when celebrities and people I would otherwise admire do not fully understand the issues. Discussing Israeli issues has also brought me closer to my mom with whom I would otherwise have political differences.

The domestic violence issues in the NFL. They made me question why I still like to watch football (I do, and am feeling a little guilty about it.) They also made me appreciate how I was raised and the really nice men in my life who wanted to protect me, not hurt me. I am still trying to understand what drives these women to stay. I'm hoping to become more empathetic and compassionate this way because I tend to be contemptuous of what I see as weakness.

The war in Israel during the summer of 2014 impacted me because I was there when it started. On Seminar, our schedule was changed a lot. Our trip from the North to Jerusalem was delayed, our trips to the South were delayed, and our week in Tel Aviv was cut out completely. Israel means a lot ti me as a Jew but also as a friend because my best friend, Leeor, moved there. I want her to be safe so Israel's safety is her safety.

When Maya Angelou died I felt that an important voice had left the world and it was a little darker because of her passing. She left behind so many wise words that are a guide to live by. I have always loved her writing and wisdom, now that voice is missing and it saddened me to no end. Ms. Angelou always marched to a different drummer. She did not let other people define her and instead bravely followed the path that seemed most right for herself. She held herself to a high but not impossible standard saying that when you know better then you should do better. For me that was a voice that spoke to having high standards but not impossible one. Her writing gave me courage to follow my own path and speak my own truth. She gave me permission to make mistakes as long as when I recognize them and try to right them. In the days ahead I hope that I will still hear her wise words ringing in my mind, guiding me to reach higher and reminding me that no matter how high I climb I should always reach back to help someone just behind me on the path of life. Maya I miss you so

I can't really pinpoint one event. The news and media is so filled with horrible events. School shootings, workplace violence, children abused. I try not to spend emotional time on the sad events. I try to focus on positive. Key word: TRY

Israel's war with Hamas. The rise of Isis. I don't think that war in the Middle East will ever end.

The Israeli- Gaza war. I had to go into the bomb shelter twice in one day. I was sent home early from my Aluma trip because of it and I was devastated. I felt powerless. My family was dying in Israel. We were under attack and people in Americansides with Gaza. I knew people that I thought were rational that we're supporting the terrorists. It just boggled my mind. I couldn't believe it. Around 60 soldiers died and it really hurt. But it has inspired me to advocate more for Israel. To be more knowledgeable when it comes to radical Islam, and to be a beacon of rationality and support throughout.

The kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria. There were other events too--the ebola epidemic, the ISIS beheadings. But somehow the fact that in this century, women and girls are still such pawns in political strife and subject to such wanton violence struck me as particularly horrific. And while that is immensely disturbing, the lack of action by the country and the world in finding them was even more horrific. It made me wonder about the future of our world, and somewhat glad that I had not had kids of my own, despite the fact that I had recently been sad at not having children to whom I could pass on our rich family history. Both emotions prevail, and I am not sure that one is more important than the other.

The conflict between Israel and Gaza. I'm not sure how honest I am about my feelings. I want to empathise with both sides - I feel that it's the right thing to do - but I don't really do empathy. What has upset me more is seeing how it has affected friends - seeing how reactionary and bigoted some of them can be.

The kidnapping of the 3 boys in Israel and their deaths, especially as coming right on the heels of my boys returning from their birthright trip to Israel. It broke my heart to read this story and I actually went out and bought Yahrseit candles and lit them for the boys. I suddenly felt much more of a real connection to Israel and a real concern for its safety. At Temple this week the rabbi talked about a plan that Hamas had to attack Israel on the holiday in a kind of 9/11 major attack while the army was not prepared to respond. Apparently because the boys were kidnapped and killed and the war subsequently happened, then it was as if the boys deaths ended up saving Israel. I haven't heard anything in the news about this attack plan, so don't even know if its true, but I don't like to think of people dying as martyrs. Death is death. There is nothing good about it. My heart breaks for the families, and for the family of the Palestinian boy who was killed by some Israeli extremists in retaliation.

The war in Israel very much impacted me this year. It started with the kidnapping of three Yeshiva students and is still going on to an extent. It is very hard to be a proud Jew and a proud Israeli in Portland, where the feelings towards Israel are very mixed. Every time I hear of things happening in Israel, I go through the internal struggle of, should I be there or should I stay here? At this point, I think I'm committing my life to here and, I am actually very ok with that.

An event in my family eclipsed world events and concerns. My son had a motorcycle accident about a week after he cut me out of his life. His injuries were severe, and although he was hospitalized and in coma for a while, no one called to tell me what had happened. I only found out when an acquaintance saw a posting on social media and called me to ask after him. When doctors were taking scans of his skull, they detected a brain tumor, and when he was sufficiently recovered from his injuries, he underwent repeated surgeries to remove what they could, followed by proton beam radiation therapy. I do not know how he is, what is happening, or what may happen next. I can only pray and send love out into the universe for him from afar. My heart is blown apart.

My biggest takeaway is how little I've been impacted by events this year. How easy it is to forget about the joys, and more often, pains of other people when my own life is safe and comfortable. Ebola was big news for a while. So were the protests in Ferguson. But then the mass readers of the press grew tired of hearing about people dying, about people getting angry. So the news covered other topics, and I put it to the back of my mind. I don't want to be overwhelmed by the suffering of others so that it impacts my own happiness unduly, but neither do I want to forget, and live an insulated life.

The re-emergence of armed conflict between Gaza and Israel and the bombs aimed at Israel had a much bigger impact on me. My daughter had just returned from a year in Israel when this started and I had much more of a connection to Israel because of it.

The war in Ukraine and ISIL are the two events that make me frightened for the course this world is taking. It has shocked me that in the 21st century it's still possible to commit such attrocities in the name of religion. Haven't we evolved as a specie? Obviously not. I can't imagine having my rights as a human being and as a woman being taken away by a bunch of deluded butchers, and yet this is happening. Words cannot express how horrified and angry I feel about that. As for the war in Ukraine, I must say I'm really disgusted by Russia at the moment. Everybody knows they started the war and that they've been sending troups to Ukraine from the very beginning, and all thismakes me sick. My country found itself in a similar situation some 25 years ago. We were attacked by another country using the very methods Russia is using now - a "disgruntled" minority fighting for independence, a motherland stepping in to help because they can't watch the "suffering" of their people - liars, all of them!

The Isis beheadings... Which I did not watch... Have deeply affected me. For some reason these acts and their portrayal in the media have caused me to have a bit of obsessive fear. Living in DC, I feel nervous about terrorism and this has heightened that in the same way that the sniper incidents did. The nagging fear has not stopped me from living my life in the same way, but it is there like a background noise. Writing this makes me think: but isn't that what they want, and aren't you giving them a win? I hope writing this helps me get past these feelings.

I have come to the realization that we are involved in World War III with the Islamic extremists, especially ISIS. I am very sad about the idea that we may not be able to win this one and the world will forever be an unsafe place. It is not the world I knew or expected to live in during what were supposed to be my "golden years".

The war in Gaza affected me, not personally, but as a member of the Jewish people. I was pained, not only to see the devastation and destruction on both sides, but to witness the constant smear campaign against Israel. The media bias against Israel caused me to question the motives and truthfulness of the media years ago (early 2000s), and ultimately led to my becoming a conservative. I wish more well-meaning people would question authority, question the media, and learn to think for themselves. We Jews certainly don't believe everything we hear about Israel, so why not challenge the media on other issues as well?

All the events with Israel starting at the beginning of this past summer have impacted me greatly. Israel only wants to defend itself and its citizens, whereas Hamas and ISIS and all the other terrorist organizations and Arab countries want Israel to be destroyed. Hamas used its citizens to protect its rockets, but Israel used its rockets to protect its citizens. Despite everything, so many Americans are siding with the TERRORISTS! I don't understand why!!! They are not the "underdogs," they are the bullies who are worse than bullies, they are those who want to destroy the world as we all know it. Anyone who sides with Hamas over Israel is supporting a terrorist organization and is thus a complete idiot.

The war between Israel and Gaza this June/July. It was certainly frustrating, as it highlighted the lack of progress in Israel-Palestinian relations and the painful repetition of an ugly history. It also was the first time in which I fully realized how disgustingly obsessed with this conflict the media is. I was appalled by the fact that news of death tolls took over the entire front page of the new york times for a month, overshadowing plenty of important news and other human rights issues (cough, cough ISIS) and how overwhelmingly sensationalist every article I read was. While I'm used to rolling my eyes at my dad when he says support of things like BDS are antisemetic, and I don't think every person who thinks Israel should be boycotted is an antisemite, I came to understand that the extremely disproportionate attention that this conflict gets and has always gotten can only possibly be explained by one thing- the desire to criticize jews (aka antisemetism). It saddens me that plenty of well-meaning people concerned with human rights are convinced by the media that boycotting Israel is the most noble use of one's time and energy.

The war in Israel this summer really bothered me. Not only was Israel under attack from Hamas, but also from world opinion. Both forms of aggression are unfair and dangerous. Having friends and family in Israel, even though we're not well acquainted or particularly close, made the situation more troubling.

the war on Gaza and the accompanying blatant anti-semetism spike in the world. We have no one to rely on besides G-d and ourselves. The world will throw us under the bus in a heartbeat if it suited them

Islamism, immigration, Ebola--so far, not affecting, but closing

The conflict between Israel and Gaza changed me dramatically because, after going to Israel this year, I realized how much I have to lose. I also see my friends who can't understand the ramifications of their behavior and really understand anything beyond what people tell them to believe. I think that thinking for myself has been an important skill that I have embraced and seeing beyond what people have told me to believe has made me a happier person.

all the events impact me, all the events impact us, we are the events. it's my theory that we are the events. if every human was able to live in that zen place, that Buddhist state of being, aknolwedging the world while floating one plane above it, would people be killing one another? would money be the prize people were clamoring for? wouldn't community, peace, good food, good laughter, bright colors, joy, love be who we were and what we sought? it doesn't appear we're changing quickly enough. I am not changing quickly enough. the world is demanding I change more quickly.

All of the refugees fleeing their homes in the Middle East, so many children especially. Seeing the sadness and despair on their faces ...they don't deserve to live through war and destruction

War in Israel and rise in anti semetism and acknowledging that I am both responsible for and will be blamed for some of that situation- as an american Jew, as someone who works with a zionistic youth group, as someone who would be hated by the people who choose to hate based on religion.

Nothing....I don't watch the news or really keep up with current events enough to feel I have a right to voice anything major. If I had to make a choice on anything in this category...I would say the ISIS terrorist group.....taking the name of my Goddess and making into something awful. That hurts my heart more than anything.

I haven't paid much attention to world events this past year. I'm reminded of this quote that say, "Everyone is trying to change the world but no one thinks to change themselves." So I'm working on helping the world by being a more peaceful self.

This year, slowly but steadily, bans on gay marriage have been declared unconstitutional and lifted across America. There are still a few states clinging to it, but we've got more than half the country onboard. This is important to me because the idea that anyone should be denied the right to a partner, with all the legal and societal benefits that come with it, simply because of their gender, is horrifying to me. This is something I'm passionate about - I have gay friends and family members, but even if I didn't, it still wouldn't be right to say a man can't form a legal bond with another man, simply because they both have boy parts. That two women can't or shouldn't adopt a child, simply because there's no 'man' in the house. That anyone should be denied a basic right due to their sexual orientation. So I'm incredibly happy that this is finally going through.

The economy has made it very tough for me to get a job, but Obamacare has helped me get the meds that I need.

This year, the police in Ferguson, Missouri, killed an unarmed eighteen year old black man. Since then, there have been numerous videos surfacing of police brutality. Also, in the aftermath, during ensuing protests, it became known that the pentagon has been supplying local police departments with war weapons as riot gear. This has further eroded my faith in policemen. They are no longer peace keepers, but have become brutal, bullying killers. I would advise everyone and anyone to avoid them as much as possible. This makes me sad. They should be a force for good, and they have become a force of evil.

I think I'm fairly isolated, in my little city, in my little country. Some of our commodity prices have risen in response to international events and pressures, but I count myself lucky - I have not been privy to terrorist threats, security nightmares, invasive policing, wanton violence, political revolution, or any of the other large-scale world events.

The ever improving economy has continued to make my business strong and vibrant. I am thankful for making it through the worst recession in history and am pleased to see my hard work pay off.

The Israeli conflict this year impacted me mainly because of my proximity to the community. I now know people who have family and friends on either side.

the world with all its problems have impacted me. My daughters are in their 30s and it is becoming clearer that they will not be having children, and I am quite okay with this. On a personal level, it is their choice, but more broadly, while I suspect that every generation and thought that things were going to hell in a handbasket, it seems so true now. It is harder to be positive in a long view way. In part is is my age, but in large part is that things look so dyer. (is that how you spell it?). So many nasty people using religion to justify not only killing, but treating others so badly. The environment is dying, and politicians are too freaking busy getting re=elected to care.

The events in Israel and Palestine have really made me angry. I'm so tired of seeing human beings killing other human beings over ancient and petty religious differences. I don't care that those differences define every facet of life for many people there, I just want it to stop.

I still cannot say that anything has impacted me. I am troubled/concerned about things that are going on in the world, but to say that I've been impacted is a stretch. I live a safe and comfortable life for the most part.

The one year anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing and the war in Israel has me wondering about the impact of religious extremism and conflict. I am worried for Yehudit, Shaul, Gavriella and Natan living in Israel. I do not agree with the hatred that comes from Yehudit towards Muslims. And I can understand that hatred comes, in part, from fear of dying. I am wondering about my journey to Judaism. What does it mean to be seeking at be part of a religion that is under debate and scrutiny? What does it mean to try to understand centuries of religion and culture, celebration and conflict, settlement and emigration? How can I have an opinion? What opinion will I have? What will it be like to got to Israel as a potential convert? What does it mean that if something happens to my partner's sister, that he will make aliyah and live in Israel as parent to her children? I have lots of questions- and few answers...

Having my BOD Pres and others be out to get me It created some paranoia and anger I needed to learn more about managing my own "feelings" and work at strategies to stay centered, sane and compassionate The Heart Sutras via Tich Nacht Hahn have helped as the comfort of people who know me

The continued destruction of the USA has been very disturbing to experience...because there seems to little I can do to change it. The welfare society seems impossible to get rid of. The laws of the country are not followed. The Federal and State debt means that my children and grandchildren will never be free of debt. Debt means they will never fully experience liberty. What they earn through their own efforts won't be theirs but required as a mistaken contribution to the society at large.

The Ebola Virus has me really worried, though it doesn't seem like the International community has been sufficiently worried about it until recently. I'm very concerned about the ISIS or ISIL people, too. Although they are clearly horrible people, I'm not sure it makes sense to re-start the war in Iraq. I don't understand why the people who are doing the beheadings can't be hunted down, like Obama did with Osama bin Laden? The floods in Colorado and the drought in California are also very concerning. None of these events have affected me personally, but I worry about them and pray that world leaders will exercise caution.

climate march. I work on public education every day and it is gratifying to see the movement growing every day.

The development and growth of ISIL is particularly troubling. In addition, I am confused on who we are fighting in Syria. I am so troubled by so many events in Middle East. When will it end?

Missing Malaysian airliner. My heart aches for the families of the missing and not having any answers. I pray for God's peace for them.

The widespread violence in the world, especially that directed against women and children in the name of religion, weighs heavily on me right now. It brings home how lucky I am to live when and where I do. I've had access to education, and I have the freedom to go where I choose, to work, to express my opinions, and to make my own choices about big and small things. What people are being subjected to in the Middle East right now is terrifying to me. But how can we find common ground with those who place no value on human life? Where do you even start?

The events surrounding the brutal terrorist group ISIS, has made me fearful and sad. I see no good way to stop them other than for governments to be aggressive and thus hurts innocents at the same time.

There are so many: the Ebola outbreak in Africa, the continued fighting in Syria, the recurrence of violence in Gaza, and now this new violence related to ISIS/Islamic State. I feel like the whole world is in turmoil right now; it makes me realize that the turmoil I feel at work, the chaos I feel with my family, and even the chaos I feel internally is mirrored in the turmoil in the outside world.

IS. They are pure evil and I hope they are dissolved for good soon. Also events in Israel and the rise in antisemitism. I found it very distressing.

The war in Israel, as always, hit very close to home. Roi lost his brother and it was awful to have my friends be so hurt. It also made me even more frustrated with the current state of affairs in Israel. I feel both engaged and tied to the place while being forced further away from the organized Jewish community and how they respond to threats and actions in the Middle East. It made everything more complicated and more hurtful. It wasn't fair my friends are hurt, when they are against the war.

Puebla governor wanting to transform the Cholula pyramid into a theme park has outraged me extensively, I am furious about it, I've seen what the tourist industry and developers have done to the mayan forest of my state in order to make a Xochimilco theme park and I am just annoyed about them wanting to bastardize our culture in such a vile way, I've lived under the blanket of that pyramid and I know closely the people who has lived there. It's completely unfair those ambitious politicians and are looking to profit from our culture in such a cheap way. It makes me feel ashamed, wanting to move back and do something about it. Sometimes I feel I will go to make a five year plan, to make a PhD, live in Japan but be good enough to go back to my country and put all my better effort to help to make it a safer, healthier and proudest place to live and be from.

The Ebola epidemic in Africa hasn't impacted me personally, but it sure makes me grateful to live in a first world country and value my health.

The Ebola crisis has been heavily on my mind. I feel angry that more international assistance has come too little too late. This is a major crisis and threat to the entire world but gets little attention because it is happening to people in a country that few care about. I hope to see a reversal of this as the virus becomes a greater threat. When 2 were bought to the US for treatment they received the proper care and survived.

The war in Gaza. It caused me to think about what I believe and know about Israel and the relationship to Hamas and the Gazan people.

The main event in the past 16 months which has affected me was the birth of my first grandbaby. At first it was actually really hard but now it is so great!I just wish we lived closer. Another event was hiring and subsequently having to fire a friend at my office.

An event in the world that has impacted me this year? This is a tricky one. I've been so wrapped up in everything that was going on in "my" life, that I haven't taken a step back and looked at the bigger picture. I cannot think of a specific event straight away- which is embarrassing as I'm sure I will remember one later on. The IS stuff has been absolutely awful- but if I'm honest ive been trying to avoid reading about it because it's so horrific and unimaginable- get it is taking place.

I am constantly reminded how precious and fragile life is through the learning of someone I know that is sick with cancer or has suddenly died of a heart attack at too young of an age. It is also not lost on me how fortunate I am to be living in the United States with the constant war and disease that makes living absolute hell for most on this earth. I have a blessed life and want to never take that for granted.

The summer "war" in Israel challenged me to practice my faith and trust in a rational way, and when feeling truly serene and calm in my decision, along with P, letting A go to Israel in spite of the anxiety others felt.

Jay Leno retires, Jimmy Fallon takes over. Jimmy Fallon is SO different from Jay Leno...much more "with it." Record each show and try to watch the next morning...to get the day off to a good start.

It's thrilling to see advancements in solar research and quantum computing. I'm certain these fields will work in tandem over the next twenty years to alleviate climate change, jump-start nano-medicine, extend longevity, reduce oil dependency, revolutionize travel, improve global communication and transparency, and produce wondrous advances in devices for our entertainment.

Ebola... Scares the crap out of me. Seems like the prelude to a bad apocalyptic tale.

When Robin Williams died, and he died by suicide, it opened up a conversation within myself about depression and how comedy is so often a mask for pain. I realized that I often make jokes and try to make people laugh because it makes me forget how sad I am.

Ebola crisis in africa = FEAR

The rising tide of terrorism has, of course, been troubling. I fear for the future of our young people as war seems inevitable. However, particularly troubling is the rising spectra on antisemitism in Europe. This seems to be a response to increased influence of Islamic radical groups around the world. These groups hate Israel and, therefore, the Jews. It seems like other Europeans have adopted antisemitism as some misguided attempt to appease these islamic radical groups.

The war in Gaza is such a horrible tragedy, and my government is supporting a genocide. I a vocal minority is affecting our leaders more than the silent majority. We must do more to let our leaders know how we feel so they can better represent us, especially during tragedies such as the bombing of innocent civilian by an apartheid government with weapons that we have them.

The events in Iraq and Syria with ISIS/ISIL attempting to establish a caliphate and spread their influence and Sharia law beyond the borders of those two countries. It is has made me realize their are truly bad people in this world who wish to destroy all the apparent gains the civilized world has made. It has made me realize we must never let down our guard. These types of people are, unfortunately more ubiquitous than I had realized. There is no guarantee of fairness. Not everyone looks at this world like I do. There are many who have little who are willing to give their lives for little true purpose. The insight I have gained from thee events has changed my perspective. It makes it less clear to me how our civilized world will progress.

The most recent war in Gaza. I've really started to rethink where activism on Israel should be heading. The justification of war and the overt racism now ever present in Israel is so far away from the values Judaism holds dear. I'm not sure where I stand, beyond a significant unease.

Growing conflict in the middle east. I've made more of an effort to be educated. I hate when people think I blindly side with Israel just because I'm a Jew.

I already addressed that on day 1. I just can't think of anything else.

Ferguson. Ebola. Eric Garner. choke hold death. NFL Goodell Coverup. The world is greedy. Corrupt. Selfish. Racist. Its disheartening.

The escalating and ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has probably impacted me the most of all the world events - and there are many -this past year. It often seems like a futile conflict with no peaceful resolution in sight. The governments are so disconnected with the people of that region. I know that on both sides, common people would rather work together in peace. To me, this conflict is a reflection of greater problem: religious fanaticism. We as Jews, as human beings, have learned very little from the past. Instead of being a "light unto nations", we have given in to the hatred and imbalance of the world. It saddens me greatly, and I hope that we will soon see a peaceful resolution that will benefit both sides.

The whole middle east thing has depressed me. I will never understand the killing for religious reasons and what is happening in the world takes me closer and closer to atheism.

The war in Israel with Gaza. The futility of the loss of human life in war. The endless terror against the Jews in both Israel and around the world. The direction that we are moving toward another war.

I suddenly feel like everything that happens in Israel has something to do with me. I'm just not sure what, or what I can do about it. I also feel the need for more eduction about the whole region.

It would be difficult to go past the rise of Islamic State and the affects that it is having in Australia. It is so sad to see the persecution of Muslims by some people as a result of the terrorist threat. I guess what I struggle with is how we continue to ignore the number of women and children who are hurt and/or killed by their partners or fathers in this country every single day. What about all the children who are suffering abuse or at the best sub-standard parenting every single day in this country. Of course the biggest killer of Australians is the cars that people get into every day without a thought for the danger they are actually facing. It is so easy to concentrate our efforts on faceless terrorism so that we can ignore what is actually happening every day.

Coal Seam Gas ramping up in Australia. I've never been an environmentalist. I cared about what we were doing - but never actively involved. Well that has changed this year with the threat of CSG/Unconventional Gas. This very industry sucks water out of our fragile ecostructures at an alarming rate, puts chemicals into the ground at enourmous quantities and the resulting gas is sold offshore - we don't even get to use it. So I have somehow become the face of the local gasfield free group - I don't like talking in front of crowds...but somehow I'm speaking on stage to packed audiences, talking to reporters and writing letters to politicians. Politicians are asking me to meet with them...wat that!!!!! that aint me!!! I liek the quiet life doign my own thing. But this issue is way bigger than my ego. I still dont like talking in front of people....but I'm glad our shire has been declared unconventional gasfield free and i was a part of that :)

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa. I was in Sierra Leone last year, and it's a stark reminder about the fragility of life. I can't help but think of the people I met and whether they're okay.. and realistically, I'll never know. It's events like this that remind us what is important, and what is unimportant (not having a new dress to wear to a wedding is definitely not important).

In the world? Very little. I have very much been in my own world.

the climate change march made me cry to be reminded of how tragic global warming is and how long I have been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and how I got derailed from my environmentalist mission

I think constant turmoil in the middle east is finally getting to me. I can't believe the hatred on all sides. The basic lack of humanity in humans. It's depressing and it feels like we've got a leadership vacuum. The girl that got shot, Malala, is incredible and her story really hit home with me. I love seeing strong women taking up for themselves. The misogyny in the world just seems to be getting worse.

The Israel-Palestine conflict impacted my life directly. My boyfriend Andrew spent the year in Tel Aviv for a graduate program and messaged me constantly to update me on it (including how freaked out he was). I paid more attention to it than I ever have before.

Housing market seems to be bouncing back, home prices rising rapidly in my area. Hope I can afford a home some day.

Strife in the middle east, Ukraine and elsewhere - so tired of people thinking the US needs to be the world's police force and pay for it with our cash and blood. We always have no money for nice things in this country yet can always afford to bomb people

Although there was a lot of international unrest, to be honest the thing that connected me most to the world stage this year was the famous people that died-- in particular Pete Seeger, Maya Angelou and Robin Williams. They were national treasures. We remembered Pete's songs, we posted quotes from Maya and watched films from Robin. We felt our mortality and how they lifted us up within that and connected us to each other. Also we lost Dec Nelson Mandela, Jan Pete Seeger, Feb Shirley Temple, Apr Mickey Rooney, May Maya Angelou, June Ruby Dee and Casey Kasem, July James Garner, Aug Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall.

Russia's invasion of the Ukraine. It just brings back the shadows of the cold war and all the fear that went along with the thought that we could die any day from a Nuclear War. It is scary to see a war break out in Europe in an area that had been at peace. I don't trust Putin.

Hmm, impact is hard. There's plenty that has upset me. But impact? I can't say. I listen to NPR & BBC all the time when I'm home. I get a constant stream of news. I will say the Syrian civil war. Specifically, the news that childen are being tortured, abused and made into targets for sniper fire. I cried when the BBC revealed that nasty truth. I cried at Sandy Hook as well. I was disappointed in the rabid anti-gun control blabbering after Sandy Hook. Those impacted me emotionally.

Isis. Seriously. What the fuck? And why? I've always wondered if things have always been this crazy. But I know they have. I know that when millions of Jews, gays, etc were victims of mass genicidenthat people thought it could never get worse. Human nature is terrifying. How do we tap into the inherent good?

Gaza conflict and all the surrounding anti-semitic events. I felt more connected to Israel than I have in a very long time. I feel fearful of what the future holds for the safety of the Jewish people. I wish Israel would behave better so that it was easier to stand up in support.

The passing of Robin Williams was striking for - perhaps not the one event this year that has impacted me the most, but I was struck my how widely it impacted so many people. He's a man, an aura, and a spirit that the world found beautiful. I wish he knew that to a stronger degree. I think, at least for awhile, much of the world will take depression more seriously.

The world began exploding this year, and it was/is very scary. Obviously the biggest situation is/was Israel v Hamas, but even more than the actual fighting has been the IMO uptick in antiSemitic rhetoric that has blossomed throughout Europe and even in the US. Normally sane people and friends are buying into the anti-Israel language, and for the first time in a LONG time, I have been afraid for peoples' safety. People have been using language that would have been unthinkable to be shared just a year ago - the antiJewish hatred, the Presbyterian vote re Israel, that chaplain at Yale - it's frustrating because no one seems to care how bad it is, and it's terrifying.

The U.S. Government Shuts Down. Like seriously!? The government shut down! This was all anyone talked about, and I didn't think it was really matter to me. But it did. We were suppose to go to Red River Gorge in Kentucky to go camping, and it was shut down. Not a huge impact, but still - the government shut down. That shouldn't be real.

To be honest, I can't think of one thing that has made a noticeable impact. In previous years, I may have said a senseless shooting (at a school for example), but I can't recall one happening this year. That's sad because I'm afraid that I'm becoming numb to shootings. It shouldn't be that way. On a positive side, the World Cup was played this year and I am always impressed on how sports can bring people together. There was a lot of positive energy, from the perspective of someone watching from TV.

Well any event is an "event in the world" but I'm guessing that the question means something like, "Describe an event that got national or world-wide attention." If that's the case, then I'd say the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and the subsequent police reaction to the riots. That, coupled with my work in Delta that summer, really hammered home the fact that racism is very much a reality in America right now. I've become a lot more distrustful of the police, the people who ostensibly "protect and serve" the populace have some serious issues with attitudes and practices. Personally, it makes me very sad. I worry about the future of this country -- for many other reasons too of course.

The escalation of violence in Gaza has made me very sad and made me think deeply about the State of Israel. I was raised believing a certain narrative that was put one by family and community, but recently I have been questioning that narrative and learning about the issue from the Palestinian perspective. I want to do more to engage this narrative and open people's minds to others viewpoints.

I'm affected by extremism... By isil and the need for disenfranchised men to pursue such fanaticism. We need to arm people with meaning... Not weapons, with passionate s now knives..

I am so deeply saddenned by Isis & the brutal blinded way the Islamic world is insisting their concept of religeon is the way to God. I am very frightenned by this. I fear for humanity & our President seems incapable of responding in any way that shows our strength as a nation of free people & world protector.

No world event has impacted me...as far as I can tell. I wish I could be surprised by some event, but the reality is that I am not surprised by any events that have transpired.

Probably one single event in the world that has impacted me has been the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia. In 2006 I travelled to Liberia on a mission trip for 2 weeks. I fell in love with the country, the people, the landscape. I always wanted to go back to spread my love of yoga and teach self love to the people of Liberia. Now people are dying by the thousands. This breaks my heart but it also scares me because of the potential for biological warfare and the power of great government to destroy nations.

During the three weeks this summer Israel was in a war with Hamas and that was very impactful. All the protests that sprung up everywhere and the news coverage really got to me. I took a more active role in defending Israel on Twitter and Facebook. There really is no distinction between Jews and Israel; I am the enemy of those who hate Israel and I can definitively say that I would die for Judaism and Israel. But the experience also influenced how I talk about Arabs and Muslims because it is so important to recognize the hardship that they go through and also to use my words carefully as not all Muslims and Arabs and Christian Arabs etc hate Israel and hate the Jews and we should not go around saying as such.

Wendy Davis. She has given me hope that perhaps my state is not a total lost cause. On the other hand, the fighting in the middle east and the emergence of this new Islamic State makes me think the world is going to hell in a handbasket and no matter what we do we are doomed.

There have been so many world events and I think each one of them impacts me, in some way, every day. I'm sick (and terrified) of how people are so mean to each other, not just mean but brutal. They , injure, kill and starve people with no regard. I just do not understand how humans are like this. I lose faith in our world, on earth and wonder what it's all about. Why are we here, what are we doing, is it all worth it? It gets depressing and I have to fight not to let this feeling take me down. I guess I just have to keep doing the best I can, for my family, for humanity, for the future. I hope there is a God and a better place after earth. I keep praying and having faith as this is the only way I can continue to live.

I must have been a bit too cocooned this year because I can't think of an answer for this question. I might say Ferguson, MO, but while I watched in sadness and a little terror, it didn't impact me. I watched. The same could be said for the world Climate March just a week or two ago in NYC that so many of my colleagues attended. But nothing comes to mind straightaway, so I think there's a likelihood that I'm just a little too numb to get hit.

I find myself having difficulty answering that question. I usually consider myself quite well informed and involved, but I don't know that any event this year has impacted me personally. The recent violence and upheaval in Israel has shaken my support of Israel's policies, and I found the events in Fergeson upsetting (notably the police actions) but not surprising.

The rise of ISIS in the Middle East, and the associated violent beheadings, and in general, the rice of violence between Israel and Palestine has been very concerning to me this year. It makes me feel like we (as in the US) don't know how to appropriately respond, and while we keep trying to assist in conversations and actions to drive stability in the region, we will never understand with enough depth the cultural and religious root causes of what is going on there. While I feel there is also good in the world, this whole area leaves me with great un-ease, and I wish everyone could put aside those differences and relate to each other as human beings.

This is a very hard question for me. I don't feel like there is a world event that have a very direct impact on me. My family has been safe from all of the major storms and catastrophes, I don't have relatives or friends being put in harm's way by our foreign policy. I suppose the "event" that is happening that most worries me is the ongoing rise of misinformation, cruelty, bigotry, and self-serving justification for making bad policies that seem to be part of the agenda for conservatives. I could appreciate an open debate of ideas, but there seems to be more interest in propaganda so that real ideas don't get out there. It impacts me because I see that opportunities for people starting out are severely limited by these policies. Programs that can help people get started in their lives, help to keep them whole if they make mistakes, and give them support if things don't work out are being carved away. I worry about my son's future in this environment of crapitude.

We had another terrorist attack (Boston bombing). That was crazy but interesting. I got to see how the United States could respond to domestic terrorism. It did not really hurt me but I loved the fact that I was in FEMA Corps. The government shutdown was interesting. Did not affect much but it was interesting to see it from the inside.

A few months ago, a white police officer shot an unarmed black man in cold blood. We don't know why he felt so threatened that he had to shoot him. There was so much going on. This led to riots. This led to looting. It was a very traumatic experience, watching people get beat for protesting his killing. It brought attention to how divided our country is. It brought attention to how people of color still struggle against racism every day. So much struggle. It also brought attention to the militarization of the police force.

The Ferguson, MO protests horrified me and reminded me of how fortunate I am to be in the circumstances I am through no word or deed of my own -- to be wealthy and white and urban and educated is such a valuable thing, and I too often take it for granted and I need to do that less and to make more active choices to heal the world.

The idiotic supreme court's ruling re: Hobby Lobby impacts me because I am a woman and women's civil rights are being continually and unrelentingly diminished in the US. The ruling also erodes the separation of church and state, the most brilliant founding idea of our country. I am angry, disappointed and frightened by the political temperature of the country, and people's willingness to excuse all sorts of poor thinking and bad behavior under the banner of "religious freedom." It's bullshit. I expect things to further deteriorate, because the powerful are (still, almost exclusively) white, Christian men and they are not going to cede power willingly, either to people of color, women, or religious (or non-religious) minorities.

The terror and disaster happening in Israel has impacted me the most. Jews have been targeted since the days of slavery in Egypt. Now its happening again. I am proud of being jewish and I don't see why people could have so much hate for Jews. I have family living in Israel and im so afraid of anything happening to them. With this terror going on, it has impacted me negatively. I am much more colder towards anyone who is non-Jew only because i feel that i must protect my culture. Though i have to remember that not everyone is like the people of ISIS, like the Nazis, or like the Egyptians years ago.

The tension between Russia and Ukraine. And the ongoing tensions in the Middle East between Israel. There was a time when I was disappointed to be Russian and Jewish, and embarrassed for both nations.

The rising debate on gay marriage has made me think through what I believe and why, and how does this impact people I know and love?

The wars in Syria, and the Ukraine especially in juxtaposition to the 100th anniversary of the first world war, it made me feel as if history was repeating itself. It made me wonder how much We have actually learned from history.

So many young, unarmed black boys being shot. This year it happened in Ferguson, MO, and it felt like the whole world was on fire. I realized, perhaps belatedly, exactly how easy it was to ignore or pass judgment on the hyper-violent police states of other countries: Russia, Colombia, etc. And yet the hyper-militarization of police forces in the United States was something I had the privilege never to have to think about if I didn't want to. I know that's not true for everyone, but it was for me. So to see the direct line from Over There to Exactly Here was deeply disturbing.

The increased fighting between Israel and Palestine has been more devastating to me than ever before. Maybe because I am older, or listen to the news more or have more radical Jewish friends who are also paying attention, or maybe because Israel just becomes more and more violent. Obama literally condemned the violence one minute and used that statement to justify sending more weapons to Israel. During the fighting this summer over 2,000 Palestinians have been killed and less than 100 Israelis. There are so many civilian casualties and the Jewish Institutional community continues to support Israel. Ilana thinks that this conflict this year is the turning point that the Jewish people will look back on and point to as the moment when the new Jewish leadership, that which is not ready to shed blood over maintaining a Jewish homeland but rather is dedicated to real justice, rose up. If this is the moment, I can be proud to say I was part of it. #IfNotNow

200+ girls were stolen from their beds while studying, bravely for final exams to pursue additional studies. This happened over Passover. I realized I couldn't face myself or my son knowing this had taken place and doing nothing. I sent out an email call to my new interfaith colleagues. They answered with gusto. We had 100 + people to a prayer rally and now I keep a daily FB account of news or lack there of to #bringbackourgirls. I try to not let my heart get hardened or completely broken, I want to keep faith and hope and one day tell my son - they do survive, they did come home.

The suicide of Robin Williams. Impacted me to the point to begin reexamining and thinking about on own ongoing struggle with depression.

Many things. Ferguson brought to a head my feelings that the great inequalities in the United States are only getting worse, and I am not sure how we can affect change in the future. The disparity between the haves and the have nots is only growing and the people at the bottom are the most hurt.

I was really struck by the 50th Anniversary of the Civil rights act. I also turned 50 this year. Seems like there's still a lot of work to do around equality.

Ferguson has definitely made me more aware of world events and how important social media can be to spread information, especially when traditional news media seem to be hiding the truth. It has made me more aware of how much that is wrong in the world can be found in my own backyard.

The Israel-Palestine conflict has impacted me because so many innocent people have been harmed. A video of a 10-year-old Palestinian girl--the same age as my oldest son--telling the world that she is just a 10 year old girl and not a terrorist--was particularly jarring.

The Ferguson/Michael Brown issues came up a few months ago. Being so local (but yet in some ways not), they make me feel helpless and also eye opening how ignorant people can be on both sides of things...sometimes I get scared that I am just as ignorant but I at least know better to keep my mouth shut and just pay attention, listen, try to learn.

the conflict in israel. just so heartbreaking in every way. i see it from both sides, i see how we got here and why hamas does what it does and why israel does what it does and i see no answer other than for everyone to just fucking stop already. why did it impact me...because i care about humans, not jews, not palestinians, not men, women, children, white, yellow, black or brown - just humans. and a lot of them were suffering and dying.

operation protective edge - All of Israel's operations always test my commitment to Judaism/the idea of a Jewish state.

The war between Gaza and Israel has majorly impacted me as it has made me feel so much prouder to be a jew. It has made me very emotional about all these deaths, kidnaps and soldiers dying and really made me think how lucky i am to live in Australia where its safe but at the same time made me distressed about whats happening to my people. Why because i care so much about my people and my religion.

The beheading of journalists and others by ISIL. Even though it isn't normally part of my "circle" it still stunned me that savagery like that exists in the world. And that people are so desperate for attention or to get what they want that they feel like a person's life is only a necessary means to an end. Those journalists and tourists were pawns in someone else's war. It saddens and sickens me that their lives were given for some fundamentalist reason that 99.99999% of the world will never support or understand.

Hamas' unrelenting attacks on Israel and the world's generally anti-Israel response. It seems that the world press is willfully ignorant of the facts on the ground. Even countries who purport to recognize Israel's right to exist, seem to disregard the unequivocal language in Hamas' charter. My blood pressure skyrocketed each time I read the uniformly biased, anti-Israel coverage.

I haven't explored the world this year to be part of or witness to an impactful event. The media has highlighted sex trafficking, racist cops, immigration, the Ebola crisis, terrorism, war, domestic abuse in the NFL, etc. I am sheltered in my cozy neighborhood and am impacted by the minutia of life that freedom offers me. Taxes, bills, lack of health coverage, student loan debt, raising a child, commuting 40 miles to work one way. My freedom has shielded me in defense of lesser evils and I have become somewhat desensitized to the world that I experience through television, magazines, newspapers, and online media.

The rise of antisemitism has left it's mark on me. I have seen that antisemitism may be dormant for a while, but it never really goes away. I am almost always hopeful about the future; it seems to me the vast context of human history shows one of progress and movement towards loving each other and experiencing less racism and hatred. Yet with that said, I worry that the world's persistent antisemitism will adversely impact my kids and will end up threatening the existence of Israel.

The world. Power, beauty, awe, chaos, change, growth, destruction. Nature moves, people move, always there is a current running. The events that draw me in are always tragic, often from the forces of nature. I am most recently left concerned about ebola, the sheer unbridled potential it holds and the conscious awareness of our powerlessness if it or something like it breaks out. It is a reminder to me not only of our frailty but our blissful ignorance that doom may be impending. I am equally concerned about ISIS, the threat that it represents to our safety and as fearful as I am about a natural cause, I am saddened by the source of something that SHOULD be within our power to stop yet we don't. The associated tragedy is senseless and sad. It lingers in my sub-conscious, tearing my hope away that our society will exist in peace in the future.

Terrorism. I feel dispair in that we still as huma beings cannot share the world and just get on without killing eachother.

The reports of climate change. We are in such a precarious position, and nothing seems to point to the positive. There is the one side that would suggest, "What is the point?" This related to building a business, trying to progress, move forward, etc. The other, "We mus tact now!" but to impact what? Of course, the best plan is to move forward with plans to create positive impact. Prayers, manifestation, realization. All those strategies and more.

One event , this year!, the year the world has been imploding and exploding. Countries split apart by war, terrorist groups attacking and killing people who, even to the tiniest degree, disagree with them, Russia invading Crimea and the Ukraine. Israel, once again having to defend itself against one of many groups and countries that would like to see it cease to exist as a Jewish state and all Jews be killed or forced to flee the country. Closer to home there was the Boston Marathon bombing and its one year anniversary that we observed in April. Something that changed a celebration of so many things on Patriot's Day forever. Patriot's Day, my best friend's son is now on a Navy Carrier in the Persian Gulf trying to help keep this country safe. That makes it all personal and very real. Then there is the Ebola outbreak. All of these things analyzed by "experts" their complexity, the missteps and mistakes that were made trying to balance our safety and humanity's safety, it has made me think about how small and imperfect we are as human beings. How hard it is to do what is best, to do the "right thing", to sometimes even know what that is. What still touches me and gives me hope are there are still people, brave people, that aren't giving up on our world and will keep fighting to make it better.

It has been a bad year around the world. I have long worked hard to try to enable the two state solution in Israel. I did a lot of work in the last year (or 3) to work with and promote the work of J Street in my community and nationally. This past summer made much of that work feel irrelevant, as the latest war with Gaza made that solution seem farther away than ever. And the events in the rest of the Middle East were in some ways worse. I see our country continue to go "down the tubes" because the leaders of the Republican party are interested only in trying to push out Obama and the Democrats -- and there is no interest in doing what benefits the nation as a whole -- especially if it would somehow benefit the President.

Overfishing - makes shopping for fish a lot more difficult. Helps our son's future career as a marine ecologist:)

Global warming! The temperature of the sea has changed. The weather on the Mainland and at home on Maui has changed. The numbers of sea creatures has changed. It makes me so sad to see the impacts that human beings are having on our planet. I'm afraid that our very planet is at peril due to our inability to conserve, to be grateful for and careful with what we have been given.

It was very sad for me to watch the juxtaposition of the summer Olympics and the Russian Separatists invading Crimea and shooting a plane down in Ukraine . I was ins ended that the Russian government would think no one would notice or realize they are funding the separatists.

All the unrest around the world has affected me professionally (as I wrote response pieces) but I would say I've been pretty insulated from them. I am not sure if I wish I weren't (as they were all pretty terrible), but that's what it is.

I read the news daily so it is a little difficult to distinguish which events effect me the most. I would say that in light of the high holidays, I have reflected on the current affairs in Israel and Gaza. Mostly how the events in this part of the world have spread to other parts of the world, namely Europe where Jewish people are fleeing because they feel unsafe. It seems unimaginable to me because I have been privileged to grow up in a place where Jews aren't persecuted for their beliefs and religion. It also makes me realize the greater issue of religious persecution is still quite strong on more than one religion around the world.

The beheading of Jewish Anerican journalist Steve sotloff. The hopelessness and lack of self determination of people caught on the Isis mess The tragedy of the air Malaysia flight shot down over Ukraine. The lack of self determination for everyone aboard.

There is so much happening each day in the world that effects me viscerally, I can't believe it. When the Milesian Airliner was shot down (I couldn't imagine the shock of the people on that plane) and war in Ukraine (something like that is how WWI started), The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the beheading of reporters in Iraq and Syria, the collapse of the Iraqi state and the rise of ISIS. But the one thing I could not get my head around this year and something that really effected me was the suicide of Robin Williams. It just proves how real depression is and that money and fame can not save you, being funny can't save you. It is a horrific mental challenge to have clinical depression. He made so many people laugh and made so many people happy, but he could not make himself happy in the end.

Flooding in Colorado, particularly in Boulder county. It doesn't feel like a world event, but it was national news. I know the Lord was protecting me because my first day at my new job was the worst day of flooding in Boulder. While I was safe and dry in Fort Collins, many of my friends were displaced by the flooding, and one was even in labor giving birth to her first baby. It was so frustrating being too far away to offer much help, and it felt like this huge thing was happening to all these people I cared about, but I was on the outside of that experience. The apartment I had just moved out of was probably unlivable, and I'm glad I didn't lose all my belongings or my car, but I felt like I was missing this big experience, the 500 year flood that the whole city talked about every summer. Every summer was supposed to be THE summer when the torrential flood hit. And it hit the first day I no longer called it home.

I would say that the passage of Obamacare has impacted me. Directly and indirectly. Directly in that I was on the receiving end of things and had to deal with the myriad inanities, inefficiencies, and frustrations that came with the new system. Indirectly in that I believed in the concept of universal health care (and still do) but felt embarrassed that our gov't was so inept at this grand venture that could have done so much good and instead fell rather flat on its face.

When medicaid through the Obama Care came through it saved my family so much money with excellent care. Im thankful for things to help me as a single mother to care for my children.

The war in Israel and Gaza. It has made me heartsick. As a Jew, I feel responsible for the death of Palestinian Civilians.

This is another hard question. I don't feel as connected to world events as I might like. It's interesting to reflect that the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson came just one year after Trayvon Martin and how these 2 shootings made headlines and raised my hopes of opening conversations about race in our country, but then everyone just moves on....

The drought in California, but not as much as it may seem from the news. Mainly, we stopped watering our plants, and luckily I had planted low-water plants. I also carried out buckets of water from the bath tub after the kids' baths.

Operation Protective Edge occurred. Israel conducted a ground invasion of Gaza in order to destroy Hamas tunnels. I engaged in the media warfare over the summer. I strained and stressed. I was boiling with anger and fear over all of the anti-semitism that absolutely erupted. It was astounding. I thought about looking for a job with the ADL since I'm a good writer. I can't do this. I get sucked in and become someone I'm not. I was forever changed because I was not comfortable telling anyone I was a Jew (except for other Jews) or wearing Jewish jewelry. It's a little better now. ISIS exploded, the IS is rising. But on the other hand, as an astute optimist said, "Our biggest enemy is group of barbarians driving trucks."

The event that FLOORED me this year was in June when the Supreme Court Ruled against Contraceptives Mandate: In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court decided in favor of corporations owned by religious families. In a close five to four vote, the Court ruled that corporations like Hobby Lobby cannot be forced to pay for insurance that covers contraception for female workers under the Affordable Care Act because it is a violation of the federal law protecting religious freedom. Give me a break!!! Have we stepped back to the 1960s?? What is next? Jehovah's Witness employers not having to pay for blood transfusions, or organ transplants, because it's against their religion??? Words can't express how much this has shocked me.

My goodness, I am amazed some times at how I tune out from politics and world events. They pass and I dont let them sink in. I'm afraid of things that are happening with ISIS, but I cannot deal. I dont deal with public events in a way. Coping mechanism, laziness? I dont know; But this is who I am.

It's hard to pick just one event - between the tragic and too-soon deaths of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams - and the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson...The shooting in Ferguson really shook me up. As a white female, I am LUCKY. And as the mother of two girls (also white!), I feel even luckier. I can't imagine the pain of raising an African American boy in today's USA. Yet, I feel powerless to do anything about it...I can protest, I can write letters, I can post on Facebook about it and try to raise awareness...But I am at a loss for how to actually effect change. I hate it.

Having been in the military overseas both Europe and Asia and seeing first hand the ability of different governments controlling their peoples... I friend of mine had mentioned that when they were overseas visiting, someone mentioned that we (in the US) live in the promised land and they wished to come here. As I look around and consider all we have (wants and needs) and what others are striving for, I am fortunate! Billings, MT

The rise in shootings around the US this year has really affected me. The situation really hit home when two were killed at a mall near my house in January. I started getting nightmares about shootings and felt scared constantly. This fear is pervasive and always with me.

The month of June was so full of events that impacted me that I can not separate 1 from another. My 1st trip to Israel, The Gaza War, Putin acting like Hitler, children at the Txas boarder and communities refusing to help, etc, etc. I had to take a vacation from all news - radio, TV, internet. I became very involved in each story, cried and even felt afraid for myself, my country, Israel, the world.

While this isn't technically a single event, the homecoming of our combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan continues to weigh on my heart. I want to be part of their successful transition to civilian life, and I am exploring ways to be an advocate for veterans' health.

Unrest in Thailand, since I visited there twice, and had to consider my itineraries carefully.

Toledo Ohio ran out of water for a few days. It didn't get too much coverage, but the effect is terrifying and I'm afraid of the way to come. We take for granted that water and other natural resources are here for ever - but they're likely not. I do think a new equilibrium will emerge, but not before it gets horribly bad. If I think about it too long panic starts to set in. We take for granted that water will come out of our faucet when we turn them on. But what happens when nothing comes out?

8th March 2014 Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 disappears without trace enroute KL to Beijing; carrying 227 passengers & 12 crew; including 6 Australians. This event amazed me - reinforces everything I believe in - life can be gone in a flash, without reason, without fairness & without explanation - life has more questions than answers - life is short, fragile & precious. I like to live my life with purpose, urgency and gratefulness

Anti-Semitism around the world seems to have vastly increased this year. It hurts so much the hate that people have. I took two discussion at my university that educated me about Judaism and went on my birthright trip as well as enrolling in a hebrew course. These things have strengthened my bond to Israel and to my religion, so the hate that is targeted towards these things cuts deep. I hope a year from now, things have gotten quieter and everyone can relax and love each other.

The war in Gaza. It uncovered the vast amount of antisemitism in the world and for the first time in my life I became afraid of another WWII situation. Radial Islam is steeped in fantasy, lies, and propaganda and that people believe it scares the hell out of me.

Typhoon Haiyan last November was one of the strongest storms ever recorded. There was not a huge impact in Taiwan but the storm hit the Philippines hard. This impacted me personally because we had recently traveled to the Philippines. In fact our flight home had to divert around a earlier Typhoon. I believe that the same typhoon hitting Taiwan would not cause as much destruction because the infrastructure is so much more advanced. In the Philippines many people had rudimentary structures as homes. Every family left someone behind to protect their belongings from looters even when they were ordered to evacuate so many people died. I also taught Earth Science last year so we covered Typhoons. Typhoons only start when the ocean water is above 86 degrees F. So human actions are leading to global warming leading to fiercer and fiercer storms. I hope to see humanity as a whole, and the USA specifically rise to the challenge of climate change and secure our future, because otherwise things will just keep getting worse. I am quite privileged that these storms have not impacted me personally, but it is only a matter of time if things continue on the trajectory they are on.

All of the airstrikes that have been going on lately… I have had horrible dreams. In one of my dreams, I lost my daughter. It scares the crap out of me. Who knows how the world is going to be in the next year. Another huge thing that has been happening is equal rights for gay marriage. I wish Texas would legalize gay marriage. I hope this happens within the next year. So many people will become even more happy. A lot of my friends will become happy!

The Israeli incursion into Gaza. I find it deeply worrying that certain issues can polarise opinion so starkly. That there are issues that can turn friends into enemies and seem completely unsolvable is something I just don't want to accept. There must be a way to see the shared truth. Surely we can find a way to a future that isn't so firmly rooted in conflicts of the past.

The drumbeats that led to the hysteria necessary to waging war against ISIS made me sad. Wars look so good when they are new. Resistance to war is rare when we need it, at the beginning. We debate endlessly about a pipeline but feel it necessary and prudent to just go along with calls for war - as if it were trivial.

The Gaza War (Operation Protective Edge). The first time I really understood that Hamas genuinely wants to indiscriminately kill "us", and there is actually a daily war against terror happening even in peacetime. Very scary. Also scary to see how quickly I became inured to the death of the Palestinians. War dehumanizes.

The Oscar Pistorius crime. I feel so sad for Reeva and her family. As much as I feel for the Pistorius family as well it just boggles me that you can shoot at someone and only get 'culpable homicide'.

The Ebola outbreak in west Africa.... It has shown me how we have such a dichotomy between poor and rich areas of the world, and how we are still a frail species.

The rise of ISL. It's terrifying to hear of a powerful, well-funded terrorist organization that is declared a caliphate in the Middle East. It's affected me by making me aware of how lucky I am to be an American. I'm not impressed by fanatical religious groups... I can be whoever I please, whomever I am and no one in this country is allowed to treat me badly because they don't agree with me. Being an atheist I really appreciate the protections and the religious freedoms that my country gives me. I hope the scoop is taken care of by next year.

The conflict in Gaza and the subsequent antisemitism. Just the amount of hatred toward Jews that always seems to be bubbling under the surface is scary to me. The riots and the rallies, the comments left under skewed news reports.. it's just so easy to forget that another disaster is just around the corner because we live in a society that prides itself on tolerance--but tolerance is not the same as acceptance.

The events in Ferguson, Missouri has made me more aware on issues of racism. In my country, these things are really not talked about.

The downing of the plane in the ukraine/russia border it means that WW3 could start at any given moment and that's a scary thought. Also all those poor souls who died because some pilot made an "error judgement" on the flight path plan, there were little kids aboard that plane who will never grow into adults and that breaks my heart. The youngest was only a couple of months old.

Impact happens when one thing crashes violently into another. I've been fortunate that none of the horrific things happening in the world have had that effect on my life. As much as I am disheartened and outraged by world events, as much empathy as I feel for others who are not as fortunate, my lifestyle and my travel through the minutes and hours of my day happen easily. Climate Change is the one thing that has the obvious power to effect me personally. Even so, the scientists are saying, worst case scenario, the Pacific Northwest is the best place to live. Once again, lucky me. I have spent a lot of time feeling impotent in the face of great powers making life harder and harder for the poor and middle class. (lobbyists, governments, big business). That impotence is overwhelming and crushing. I've wasted a lot of emotion on arguments about climate change, politics,economics, human rights, the death penalty, cultural theft and so many other things, with no positive result. Those who believe as I do, continue in their belief, those who believe differently continue in their ignorance. (That was a joke. Sort of.) I have spent a lot of time worrying about the planet. It's scary to think of it not being here for our grandchildren and great grandchildren. And it's easy to feel small when you think of our futures depending on the 6 billion people who are here right now. I am not a political or social warrior. I've decided to leave that Road to those of you who have the heart, determination and stamina for it. The enormity of the pain in the world makes me feel like a deer caught in headlights. This past year, I have focused on what I "can" change: me. Me and my relationships. I don't have the power or wealth to change lives or living conditions in the world but sometimes I have the ability to make someone's day a little brighter. I can notice someone else. I can appreciate someone else. I can check on someone else. I can be kinder, less angry; softer, less opinionated; listen more, bruise less. I want to do my small part, right here where I am. I want to be a force for good to the people who come into my life. I want to be the opposite of all the fear in the world. I want to be Love. That's a big enough challenge for me.

I've been unsettled by the renewed violence in the Middle East, particularly in Syria and Iraq. But what is most unsettling about it is the feeling I sometimes have that people are basically evil -- which is a total turnabout for me. When people at work express shock over the ethnic violence and killings, my reaction is "why are your surprised? People have been slaughtering one another for the sole reason that they're different or believe something different, or look different, for centuries: the Holocaust, the Turks and Aremnians, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and on and on". Very depressing.

The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri has underlined for me the depth of racism in the US. It frightens me. I do not like to see the police becoming militarized. Now it's African Americans but I could imagine other groups being targeted - immigrants, Jews, progressives etc.

The mess in the middle east has had a personal connection for me this year. One of our long-time trainers is now in fear of returning to his home country due to prosecution. He knows too many people and things from an ousted regime. He is in no man's land - going from country to country as long as he can stay. I want to help him, but I don't know how. I am very thankful to be living in my own country at this time in history.

The Ebola outbreak has bothered me, because I think it has far reaching implications that are being ignored. It is frightening because it is a disease that has the potential to affect the world, it can complete shut down the way our life and world business is conducted.

Very recently was the Peoples Climate March in NYC that impacted me. Over 400,000 folks gathering in New York prior to the UN session to bring attention to the necessity of change of direction regarding climate change. It was super to be there, for me, the first time taking that kind of action. No world events come to mind. There's war in the Middle East, Ebola in Africa, more inequality everywhere - dramatic numbers in the U.S., race conflicts in U.S. especially around police force on blacks, active ignoring of climate issues; one last U.S. issue is the lack of working together (maybe working at all) in Congress - it is ludicrous. How does that impact me? In ways I feel helpless, and I also want to shout from the rooftops WAKE UP! May I find internal strength to do the latter in my part of the world (and maybe Oklahoma, too!).

Israel/Gaza returning to the media... Reading Footnotes in Gaza in comics class brought back some of my high school-era anti-Zionist fervor, and then all of a sudden the attacks are everywhere in the news again.

Robin Williams death made me reflect on the whole "tears of a clown" thing. I am an alcoholic who for a long time, childhood, has found it easier to make fun of myself and others rather than take anything seriously. It works to a point, but I am 34 years old with 2 children, 2 stepdaughters, wife and a dog. It affected me because it reminded me that I need to grow up and to do that I need to let go.

All the terrorism and violence and anti-Semitism around the world worries me; traveling, for me, just isn't as fun as it used to be. I want to stay close to home now. Hard to admit after traveling all over for the last many years. Maybe things will get better, but, for now, I'm staying close to home.

All of the events in Israel this summer affected me in the sense that it affected all of my friends. That doesn't sound right but so many of my friends and acquaintances were really upset and moved by everything going on. I suppose I felt something. I felt like I care about Israel but it's the type of thing that makes me feel like it's just going to keep happening and happening so I can continue to conveniently stay apathetic. There isn't anything I can do about what is happening and I feel like it is silly to try. I want to work to figure out my relationship with Israel but I also think I do not have to work too hard to describe something that might not be there. It's okay if I am just Pro-Israel and pay attention to the news. I don't have to be trying to save Israel or American's relationship with Israel. I can just be.

The war in Israel had a significant impact. Even though we're away from the land, it is still home.

Israel/Palestine/Gaza -as a Jew I feel a certain obligation to love and support Israel. But I've always had some issues with the creation of Israel and the fact that non-Jews defined and created the land which Jews have now claimed as their homeland. Israel stands for so many things and provides a safe haven to Jews all over the world. The Right of Return is something that no other culture has. I know that if I truly needed to leave the US, I could go there and be welcomed and make a new life. Watching the conflict (what a dry, unemotional word) unfold it breaks my heart for every side involved. my Rabbi Glaser spoke a wonderful sermon this year about the variety of opinions and the Jewish tendency/tradition to debate. That in order to make any progress at all we can't cast out any opinion. though that is exactly what it feels like is happening with I/P/G

Fighting in the Gaza Strip. The issue w/Gaza is just how divisive everything about Israel seems to be. I don't think Israel should segregate Palestinians. I agree it is a form of apartheid. On the other hand, w/an organization like Hamas, what choice does Israel have? The group is belligerently aggressive. Israel has a right to defend itself. I am bothered by Jews in the US who seem to feel they must support Israel right or wrong. Whereas I feel, as a Jew, the issue of Israel's sovereignty is a legitimate issue to discuss. I think back to the time of the Moors. Jews and Muslims coexisted fairly well. And why shouldn't they? The cultural basis of their respective religions derives from the same source. I've always held a very poor regard for Christians. They are the ones who went out and slaughtered. Why now this dissonance between Jews and Muslims? The creation of the Jewish state, though historically right, could only lead to this kind of tension. When you take land away from one group (and it was taken by colonialist Britain) and give it to another, resentment will of course arise. I have no solution to offer or even suggest. It seems an intractable conflict.

The crisis in Israel has reminded me how much anti-Semitism exists in the world, and how much of the world holds Israel to an unreasonable standard. I've been sad and disappointed to see how many friends and acquaintances are opposed to the very existence of Israel.

The passage and signing of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) in July. Implementation will start in July 2015 and should be totally in place by July 2016. I know this will broaden and extend the path forward. It will also smooth the surface we travel on. There will be a lot of positives as we carry out our work in the future.

I think the death of Robin Williams greatly impacted me this year. It brings to light the struggles of depression, which really hits home with me as I'm currently struggling to find the right medications for my own depression.

The war in Israel reminded me acutely just how much anti-Semitism still exists in the world, and how fragile the statehood of Israel is. Israel has always existed in my lifetime, and I can't imagine a world without a Jewish homeland. Yet so many feel such red-hot hatred for the state and for Jews. The war and the world reaction reaffirmed my support for Israel and my desire to travel there later this year.

I really can't think of any. Perhaps that's because I've been so focused on the family this year.

The shooting of 18 year old Mike Brown, a black college-bound Ferguson resident, by white police officer Darren Wilson. The injustices in this world are endless, and inequality isn't going anywhere soon. But it isn't going anywhere EVER unless we come together, acknowledge it, and work towards fighting it.

While I was at BCI, three boys were killed in Israel, and then all hell broke out in between Israel and Hamas. It's really affecting a world-wide perception of Israel and made me feel more connected than ever. It put off my Israel trip (sort of - Emma had already convinced me to do this but if I had wanted to, it would have been impossible) and worried a bunch of people. And I realized being Jewish would rarely be safe. But here I am, leaving soon, putting myself in the middle of it, because I have to....

Mass shootings have had more of an impact on me since I had a child than ever before. I find myself thinking about how to raise a child who respects human life. It is one of my greatest fears, having a son who murders people! As these shootings become more common, I have found myself in fear occasionally when I am in public, particularly with my baby. It's not at a point where I avoid going places or anything because of it, I just feel more aware of such a possibility and think about it more often than before.

Robin Williams suicide prompted my dear friend's husband to take his own life. This has caused to me to reexamine my life and appreciate all of the blessings in it. Truly appreciate my friends and family and how much they all mean to me. And to think about what I would do if I were to loose my husband. Or one of my children. Or even a sibling. Not a thought I enjoy.

Wow - there is unrest and concern on a global level and here in the US. Everyday it is a new concern, from the threat of ISIS, kidnapping of young girls in Africa, Ebola, shootings of young black men in America. The list goes on and on. It brings into sharp relief the difference between my charmed life and the lives of others around me.

An event in the US that has impacted me on several levels is the implementation of ObamaCare. It has forced my part time employer to offer me healthcare benefits and to move me to a salaried position. It has given me greater financial stability.

I'm pretty insulated from the world. I avoid the news and I'm pretty introverted. I'm worried about the conflict in the middle east but I'm not directly impacted. I'm worried about Ebola in Africa but again I'm not connected to that part of the world in any way. Maybe I need to get more connected with the world around me.

I have been impacted by the rash of NFL arrests, as it has opened my eyes to the potentially unseemliness that professional football seems to embrace. Do I want my kids to be exposed to this? I used to think that anyone who didn't like football was dumb, but I'm beginning to understand why its barbaric nature may not be the wisest thing to thrust upon an impressionable child. I wonder how I will feel about this come next year, because right now my father's season tickets to the Steelers and my fantasy football interests are the only thing holding me to the sport.

The Israel-Gaza War impacted me this year because I have a nephew in the IDF and one going into the IDF in the summer. My daughter has many Israeli friends serving also in the IDF. It bothers me that Gaza receives a lot of media coverage for being the underdog against Israel when it is Hamas who is launching the rockets into Israel. The Hamas leaders are hiding and using Palestinians to be killed for them. It is a terrible tragedy for Israel.

No specific world events have impacted me personally. I feel emotionally troubled by the violence in various parts of the world, but that is nothing new.

All the leveraging to solve the worlds economic issues is scary for someone in finance. When the debt bubble bursts what will become of my job and what will become of the economy. Currently the world keeps piling on debt without making an attempt to pay off some of the outstanding debt. The only way to fix this would to be a complete meltdown of the financial system. This should have happened in 08' but they found that borrow insane amounts of money puts a band-aid on the bleeding.

A world event that has impacted me this year? Several come to mind. The Ebola epidemic, ISIS taking control of much of Iraq and Syria, the kidnapping of 300 school girls Nigeria, the ongoing conflict in Gaza. I think the one that is the most alarming to me is the Ebola epidemic because disease does not discriminate or stay local to a particular area. Of course, that's not to say that ISIS is very discriminatory either, or that they will stay confined to a local area. It is very concerning that other terrorist events seem inevitable in our country. And it is very concerning that Ebola has spread so quickly and will likely spread beyond the African continent. I think that these concerns have most affected me in general terms. They create a feeling of helplessness because it doesn't seem there is anything I can do to combat them. It would do no good to go out in the street and protest Ebola, like we protested wars we opposed. It would do no good to donate money to fight ISIS, as we do when there is a natural disaster in the world we wish to help with. Fear is a very destructive emotion. It causes depression and anxiety. I saw a cartoon recently that showed a man sitting in front of his TV with 24-hour news on the screen. He was asking "What can I do to alleviate my fear and anxiety about world events?" The answer was in the next frame: he turned off his TV. Turning off the news doesn't solve the problems, but sometimes I find that I need to stop watching the news for that very reason. Despite all the real and serious problems in the world, I think that the modern news cycle is very destructive and manipulative. There have always been problems in the world, but we are bombarded with them if we allow ourselves to be. I wish I could help to combat Ebola and ISIS...but I think back to that saying, "World peace begins with me." If I cannot be peaceful, then I cannot promote peace in the world. May all beings be peaceful and free from suffering. May all beings grow in wisdom and compassion. May I be peaceful.

The conflict in Israel earlier this summer impacted my view of my support for Israel. I had always had the feeling of Israel by any means necessary, but this time my husband helped me understand that Benjamin Netanyahu is more of a tyrant and doesn't stand for what I stand for when it comes to Israel.

I guess the upswing of the larger discussions on rape culture, not so much because they have impacted me personally, but because, in impacting many in my social Tribe, I'm particularly interested in how those ripples affect my friends, and who we as a microcosm deal with these kinds of contentious, threatening issues. Women friends finally looking at their own histories and redefining (or finally admitting) that some of their experiences are, in fact, non-consensual, then being party to, or at least witness to, their struggles to process what that means. On the flipside, while most of the men we know define themselves as feminists and allies, there are times when conditioned behaviour slips and old patterns emerge... then what do we as individuals and as a group to to deal with that? It's been a fascinating, dynamic process to be a part of.

The whole situation with ISIS is scary. I finally read something that was able to clearly explain the situation to me. To think that these people who are in refugee camps had homes, jobs, a normal life just weeks or months ago is terrifying. If it can happen there, what would stop it from happening here?

The pay-gap fix was recently voted down again in the Senate. Makes me very angry.

Those girls who were kidnapped in Nigeria have stayed with me. My heart aches for them and forgotten they must feel. How could anyone do that to children? It makes me lose hope in humanity that grown men fighting for power continue to use innocent children for gain and exploitation. It breaks my heart.

Honestly, I can't think of anything Global that really affected me this year. I was so wrapped up in what was going on with my family all year that things on a global scale didn't register. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, I try to keep up on current events and read the news so I'm aware of what's going on, but on the other hand that stuff is really not crucial to my well-being, and maybe it's good not to worry or think too much about it when I have so much to work on closer to home.

Nothing really. The election loss in BC last year and the ford thing (he still has a 1/3 of the electorate voting for him despite being utterly useless, violent and shit) have really caused me to disengage from the world at large. Everything is shit, and it's getting worse.

So much war and chaos in the middle east, and it's hard to feel hopeful about a peaceful resolution.

I have news burnout this year. Nothing is penetrating. It seems like any time I look at any form of media there is a disaster or outrage happening somewhere. Ebola, Chikungunya, NRA, Rob Ford, ISIS, Hong Kong, 850 calories per day rations at UN Refugee Camps, California drought, celebrity nonsense... my brain is resisting it all.

The Malaysian plane crashes were truly heartbreaking to witness. All the lives lost and the questions left unanswered made me think how unstable life is at times. Anything can change in a matter of moments.

The world has experienced a moderately high amount of turmoil over the past year. A lot of demonstrations, some peaceful and some not. And of course there's Israel at war with Hamas. And USA vs. ISL in the middle east. Also, Scotland making a break for it from the UK was interesting despite it's failure to do so. None of that has really personally affected me other than to form opinions on it though. I suppose my fiancé's mom being evacuated after the first shelling in Israel was the closest I personally came, but I really think that the only world or national headlines that have actually affected me are the myriad concerns and issues with internet account privacy and in a small part the issue of "network neutrality." I don't want to go on about it here, but I think a great lesson can be learned for all of the questions those items pose by considering this quote from Tim Cook, "A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product."

The antisemitism in Europe. Has made me feel really uncertain about the future that my children will have in the world. It is sad to feel that as Jews we can't be completely open without fear of hate.

Events in the NFL have really clarified my thinking. The Ray Rice domestic violence case, and the Adrian Peterson child violence case, have brought to light the fact that there is still a pervading culture of inequality. Then, Emma Watson's UN Speech for #HeforShe, and the subsequent threats she has received, show how unequal society is, and how threatened others by equality. I thus feel compelled to write stories that can illustrate this, and also to teach my boys the importance of respecting all others.

All of the gun violence. I support the Not One More cause and the workings of Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly. I don't understand why responsible gun legislation has not been enacted in every state in our union. Really. Not One More. What act of violence will it take? I cannot take action on all of the worthy causes that abound but I am dedicating time to this one.

Legalizing gay marriage. After 25 years of being together, my mom and her partner finally got to get hitched. It was beautiful and touching.

No one single event, but numerous smaller events. I've grown increasingly distrustful and disappointed with government. Corruption and abuse are getting worse and those with oversight don't appear to care or can't actually do anything. I fear it has already created a new class of citizen, and looking at how such behavior has resolved itself in past leads me to believe it will only end with a war. Probably civil. But I doubt it will happen during my life time, for which I'm thankful. But it motivates me to teach and empower the next generations.

I wouldnt say it has a direct impact on me but the stand the Imran Khan is taking in Pakistan against all the politics and Nawaz Shariff, its amazing. Its like seeing Martin Luther King Jr in real life. This man is inspiring and give me hope about a better future for Pakistan. I pray for his success and Inshallah Pakistan's.

Israel. Nuf said.

Maya Angelou passed. Her poetry and words always touched me. I wanted to go see her and passed on the opportunity. A big loss for me. " I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory"

I am not sure any one world event impacted me this year. However, I would say the race riots in Ferguson have been particularly disturbing.

Not in the world but I guess the,pork barrel issue, DAP and corruption issues in PH government which also highlighted the vision of this administration. I hope people will be held accountable and for a change, get what they deserve and that is to be punished.

ISIS, it has made me realize how fortunate I am to live in a country where I feel safe and free. I am so lucky. It also makes me want to be able to give back to people around me who don't have what I have and who aren't able to appreciate the same freedom I do.

Of course, the events of the world impact me but there is not much I can do about it, so I focus on the things that matter to me like my family, friends and work

The loss of the Malaysian flight I found really impactful, especially since they have not yet found it! I find that incredibly hard to believe, and am so sorry for those who lost family members.

Israel-Hamas war. I appreciate the existential threat to Israel and also condemn Israel's refusal to negotiate reasonably and Israel's dehumanization of Gaza residents.

The rise of ISIS, it is like an explosion. A horrible one. I am so overwhelmed by the cruelty and the total disregard for human life. This coupled with the kidnapping of the young women in Nigeria has really saddened me. And it takes me back to the beginning of George Bush's war on Saddam Hussein. I can't remember the Op Ed writer but remember reading that the war would bring about all of the things we are now experiencing with these Islamic extremists. It makes me very sad and I feel very impotent. I know that the best thing is to pray for those who are hurting as well as for the perpetrators - for their conversion.

The world feels chaotic right now. The stuff in Ukraine, ISIS, Israel-Palestine, the Ebola outbreak. It is all sad and actually very scary. The decapitations by ISIS seem so barbaric, cruel, and unnecessary. And has contributed to my growing dislike of religion (or at least people's interpretation of it). The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is so sad and truly frightens me. For those people and the possibility that it will spread to other parts of Africa or even the world. America feels somewhat safe and protected from those things (all of them), but I wonder if we really are and for how long.

The events in Israel have affected me this year. Seeing the venomous reaction of the rest of the world towards Israel and Jews in general has been a startling wake up call. I find myself getting very worked up about anti-semitism and I believe, even more strongly than I did before, that being anti-Israel is being anti-semitic. I also find myself growing very disenchanted with the liberal movement I have always considered myself a part of. But with that group automatically "taking up the cause" of the Palestinians without knowing enough about the situation, it has been made clear to me that I am an outsider in that movement.

Ferguson. Good god. It's terrible to see how bad things are with race in this country - not that I haven't seen these examples time and time again, but this feels different, maybe because of the local community response, and because of all the conversations I've had about it. My friends and the media both are talking more openly about racism; I'm proud of the conversations I see and participate in, if nothing else.

All of the negative world events, that seemed to rain down this past summer -- the Ukraine conflict (and the downing of pasenger plane), ISIS, Ebola, the Israeli/Gaza war, etc., made me re-think my personal response. What CAN I do? NOTHING directly. PLENTY indirectly. I can continue to work for inner peace, wisdom and compassion that I can share with others in my life so that will hopefully spread. Be mindful in all I do, and then share that merit with others.

Well interestingly I have been struggling with the idea of being a Zionist - for my entire life my family speaks of what Israel should have and what Palestine shouldn't - For me I have had this internal dialogue about humankind and that we all bleed red blood and we need to take care of one another - so I realized this year that I am not a Zionist and that I believe that the Gaza Strip should be given back to Palestine and that we should get along - but then I realize that when both people believe to their very core that God gave them the land, how do you give that up? This is helping me to focus on what is important in my life what I have to bring to the table and what I can leave at the door - who I love and who I choose to let go -

We live in a time when things going on in the world, any one of which is overwhelming. But all of them put together are - I can't think if an appropriate word to describe it. In the midst of the horror of the world is a God who is in control of all things - including e-bola, ISIS, war, climate change, Russia, drought, and the list goes on. In the midst of all those things and more, I can only be grateful for that which God has given me and pray.

The killing of Mike Brown and the other many killings of African-Americans has impacted me, because it makes me fearful of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I worry about my family and my friends who travel and work in open gun states. I want to work to make a change to our communities and how my community is policed and treated by the government. It has really given me a reminder of why I do the work that I do. It makes me want to be a leader in my community to make sure that when I do have children that they are safe to walk down the street. I worked this hard so that my family could get away from street violence and I refuse to allow the street violence to come from those who are meant to protect us.

I think the fact that there isn't one says something. Each year I think I should read the paper more, watch more news, listen to NPR. I'm kind of dumb when it comes to international politics and happenings. Might be worth considering for this New Year.

Just last Monday I read about a 22 year old man that burned himself to death in protest of Chinese occupation of Tibet. Hard to fathom the desperation, frustration, anger, hopelessness etc that makes a person kill themselves let alone kill themselves with fire.

This year the 1 Billion standing initiative really and truly inspired me to become more active in women's issues. I've been a side-liner for quite a while as to not get into debates with my dad and my family on my dad's side (who are very conservative) but this action made me think twice about being silent. In a way silence is acceptance and I just cannot accept things as they are any longer on that front. I need to be active and so I have been (in small ways) a more active member - speaking on issues that mean something to me.

The huge furore over the Indian election. I realised how "flighty" and shallow I can be. I always have to have an opinion, even on things I know nothing about. And it can be dangerous. I know I said this a few years ago, but I really need to engage more with the wider world. It will be hard, but it is necessary. I just live in hope that Modi will vindicate our hope in him. And that good days are, in fact, around the corner.

The world has been a series of major events, too much to take in at times, looming climate disaster, for one. Somehow the suicide of Robin Williams seem significant, his vulnerability and mortality was a cultural wake-up call

Nothing really. I don't watch the news much. I'm aware of what's going on in the world, but I don't focus on the negative and that's all the news does. So I'm not impacted by tragic world events. My life is good. No matter what. I insist on it. Life is too short for anything else or to waste your precious time worrying about things you have no control over.

The rise of ISIS always makes me cognizant of how others view me in the US. Despite being born here and giving back to the communities that I am a part of in the US, I'm not white so I am aware that many people look at me and thing terrorist, illegal alien, and other. I may not be Arab or a muslim, but that doesn't stop people from looking at me an assuming. Even if they guess my ancestry right, they still assume I shouldn't be here, that I wasn't born here, and that I fit a caricature shaped by popular media. I should be here, I am here, and I am more than a stereotype.

The conflict in Israel has been profound. It is so difficult to separate the defensive actions of the Israeli Government from the penalties of living in a Palestinian Ghetto that I witnessed when I was in Israel --- I feel that I have a deeper and deeper understanding about how connected we all are.

The shooting in Ferguson, Missouri made an impact on our family; because it caused us to question the way we teach our children about law enforcement, democracy and justice. We were also impacted by the war with Gaza, and the resulting anti-Semitism that happened around the world. It's one of the few times I've felt scared to be publicly Jewish...but it also made me incredibly proud, and I chose to self-identify even more as a result and started covering my hair.

Thankfully, I haven't been personally impacted by the anti-Semitism that has reared its ugly head throughout the Middle East, Europe, and even the United States. However, the amount of hatred directed at Jews around the world, as a 'result' of the war with Gaza has been heartbreaking. The broken glass, the hateful chants, the vandalism... it's all astonishing to me that this is happening in the 21st century. I'm scared for my family's future as Jews. I'm scared for my brothers and sisters in Israel. I'm scared for all Jews and for minorities everywhere since hate is a very powerful thing.

It feels like the world has been falling apart more than ever - the Israel-Palestine conflict, the upheaval in Venezuela, the horrible situations in Iraq and Syria, the deaths of unarmed young men at the hands of the police in the US, the ebola outbreak. I've tried to keep up with everything and learn as much about each issue as I've been able to, but I have often felt overwhelmed to the point of wondering if it was ethical for me to bring a child into this world.

For some reason the disappearance of the Malayasian Airlines flight has me very upset. I am already terrified of flying and that just seems unimaginable.

Police violence in Ferguson and cuts to bus service in Seattle don't seem very connected, but they both made me realize that there are people who actively and with intent are working to make our (US) cities worse.

The turnout for the Boston marathon. A sense of pride in the number of runners and spectators willing to participate Demonstrates the resilience of the human sprit to flip the symbolism from something horrific to sheer goodness

E.W. Scripps announced they would be spinning off their newspaper division. It felt like our company really only cares about profits and is getting rid of the newspaper part of its business. I'm concerned for the future of The Star and my job.

Putin's invasion of Ukraine, land-grabbing and destruction of a country already struggling for economic stability. It has hit me that we cannot count on the "world order" to remain as it is; and that one man with great ambition and power has the potential to hurt so many people. It puts Hitler in a different perspective - as well as how the world responded. I feel this with ISIS as well - wanting to advocate for peace, but also afraid that a world that does not respond forcefully to evil may suffer even more. How do we advocate for peace and oppose war, but still protect people from the evils of those willing to use force to torture, abuse, control and violate human rights? Very disturbing.

The recent uprising of violence in Israel this summer stirred my friends online and stirred up hatred worldwide. It makes me nervous for the future of the Jewish diaspora. I take solace in the notion that I can always go to Israel and I'll be safe.

My little brother who I don't speak to very much or at all in the last two years is going to prison for 33 months. It makes me feel like it is my fault. Like I could of done more or something to prevent it. I have lost my brother to a broken system that doesn't work and when he comes out, if he comes out he will not be the same person.

Nothing immediately comes to mind. I know there have been plenty of world events, but I guess I am lucky and privileged enough to not directly be impacted by any of them. That said, there is lots of brokenness and violence and unrest and disease in the world that is not going to get better by itself, and we are all one human family, so I am not truly unaffected. Climate change terrifies me because I know it is too late to do much about it and it is going to kill so many people who are already worst off in the world... but again, I am privileged enough to avoid most of the coming calamity.

The Israeli conflict had a direct impact on me, mainly due to the antisemitism that arose from the conflict. Too many people were quick to jump to anti-Jewish rather than anti-Israeli sentiments, and the media mainly portrayed Israel as a bully. I was sad to see that many of my friends who are pro-Palestinian use the word Zionist in a negative sense and portray Israelis as horrible people. I hope that someday soon there will be peace and this conflict will cease to exist.

I could choose so many events here. But I will point to Emma Watson's HeforShe speech at the UN. It was a wonderful speech and I would love to have used it as an example in a public speaking class. But it also made me look at my view of feminism and gender and examine how I feel about these issues. I have always supported diversity in identity but have realized the need to occasionally review my understanding of what that means in a world of ever-changing identity concepts.

Our beloved tailor, Vittorio, was killed by a drunk driver. This tragedy reminded me how unpredictable (and short) life can be, while also illustrating how one irresponsible decision can have dire consequences.

The Hong Kong demonstrations for democracy (and subsequent Chinese backlash/authoritarian crack down) this late September have greatly affected me. On top of the obvious reasons of my family members living, working and residing in China, I am also concerned about the future of China and Hong Kong. I am cynical enough to worry that another Tiananmen Square Massacre may be right around the corner. I also worry that, even if things do not escalate to this degree, China will renege on its promises to allow Hong Kong democratic autonomy. As a matter of fact, I am sure this will be the case. At the same time, I am also unsurprised and relieved the world is starting to see the real Chinese government behind the veneer and gloss that the booming economy has provided. I truly hope this pressure drives some genuine reform for the better.

The attacks on Israel and the rise of anti-Semetism internationally! It is frightening to be so vulnerable. I worry for friends in Israel and for all Jews.

There is so much pain in the world today: the mid-East, Ukraine, etc. Closer to home there are issues with poverty and racism. I feel like I am not doing anything to improve the world, and I have to work harder at that.

All the crap in the middle east... for some reason it sucks me in and makes me feel like crap that those folks think G-D supports them all.

Hamas's war on Israel and the rise of the Islamic State scare me. The constant barrage of Hamas rockets showed how vulnerable Israel is--and then we learned about the network of tunnels Hamas fighters dug into Israel itself. Israel was in a life and death struggle. They made some mistakes, but they did the best they could. There were civilian casualties because they were fighting an enemy that deliberately placed military installations in schools, hospitals, and other civilian areas. It was only when the Islamic State began its indiscriminate rampages that the rest of the world was understood what it means to oppose this kind of bloodthirsty enemy. I don't know whether the rest of the work sees that Hamas and the Islamic State as cut from the same cloth. But they are. Jews may be critical of specific Israeli policies or actions, but we must stand with Israel.

The malasyan missing airplane (it's too wierd to be true); Ukrania, Syria, Ghaza...I'm sad becuase UN -and the rest of the wrold- has decided not to do anything about these places for so long, and now that things have gotten worse the same old countries (US, England and France) want to participate in war to get piece of profits. The fact that alage were found surviving at the International Space Station's windows; scientists do know those organisms weren't carried at launching so they had to arrive there by airflows and manage to survive radiation and extreme conditions of outer space (as a biologist this is pretty awsome and this discovery represents that organisms -more complex than aminoacids- can travel and survive through space) and Ebola, it's freaking scary...

Central America,Ukraine, Syria, Israel, Africa...the world seems to be consumed with war and children are paying the price. There are so many of them displaced, killed, orphaned. How do we help them? Are they lost generations? Why are we letting them be killed? I can't understand it, I don't know that I want to understand why war continues to be waged in the name of God, progress, power. Can't people understand what children are to us as a species. Regardless of race, religion, nationality, all children are our future, our legacy, we should protect them. It makes me look at my daughters and thank God, that we live in the U.S. That past generations made it to this land. It's not perfect but we continue to work towards a better society. It's not perfect but here I don't have to fear death is hunting my kids in the guise of bombs. World events and our role in it will make an impact on how I vote in the next elections.

The death of Robin Williams really impacted me. It bothered me because if someone with his resources can't win the fight against mental illness, resist the siren song of suicide when things get intensely painful, then I worry about what chance I have to get and stay better. At the same time, it makes me more determined to live and to heal, to not let depression define me or beat me. I wish that during his life Robin Williams had been able to really understand the extent of his impact upon others. But maybe he did, and the pain was still too great to continue living.

I was really impacted by the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip. The rockets started just a few days after we left Israel, and having just been there, I felt like I had a whole new understanding of the tensions and difficulties there. No solutions to ending those tensions, sadly, but at least a commitment to educating myself more about the situation and the history, and a greater sympathy for Israelis and the way they have to navigate an increasingly impossible "damned if we do/damned if we don't" situation. I find myself increasingly worried about the increasing rise of Islamic fundamentalism all over the world but especially in the Middle East. It is starting to feel like an epic fantasy world, where the powers of darkness are brewing in Mordor, and the rest of the world looks away. I try to remain hopeful that the forces of light and peace and tolerance will triumph, but I'm not sure we are as well organized or committed as the dark side.

Sorry to sound like it's all about me...... Being put on insulin has REALLY REALLY impacted me & gotten me out of denial about being a Diabetic. Also being abstinant from sugar & haven't it be EFFORTLESS!!! Thank you GOD!!!

Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany!!! Unbelievable, and a sharp reminder that preparation and teamwork have become the standard of excellence, and that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

you have been so many devastating things that have happened this year in the world. Beheadings, tornadoes earthquakes or genocide, already pation drought. The sad thing is that I have been so much on my own pain loss and sadness that I AM completely disconnected of these events and tragedies. The impact on me the lack of impact on me. I don't know if I will feel connected again

Fuck. A lot of terrible stuff happened this year and I guess it sobered me. It's hard not to be aware of all the rough stuff happening everywhere- all the systematic, constant injustices. Maybe it's pushed me to actively do more good.

So many thought-provoking, earth shattering things have happened this year. For me the ones that have had the most impact were those that hit close to home and were tragic. The Kansas City JCC shooting in April 2014 took the life of one of my little brothers friends and shook a community to its core. I have never found myself crying or shaken at tragic events that happen even when nearby but I found myself so distraught over this act of terrorism against my community. First off, I grew up going to and working at that JCC. Knowing what the center means to the community and how it is a place of inclusion boggles my mind why someone would target such a place ( I know the shooter had anti-Semitic motives but no one in the community views it as an exclusively Jewish place and this is coming from the perspective of a a non-Jew). Second, to hear that my baby brother to experience the tragic, violent and senseless loss of a friend at the age of 14 makes my heart hurt. Even sitting here writing this, I am having trouble holding back tears. Thirdly, the fact that I am about to marry a Jewish man and plan on raising my kids Jewish makes me worry and second guess what kinds of world I'd be bringing my children into. to really experience this kind of hate towards the community that I grew up and loved makes me a lose a little sense of myself and my faith in the world.

All the events that took place in Israel recently have really affected me - the kidnap and murder of Jewish teenagers, the retaliatory killing of an Arab teen, the bombings by Hamas, and the bombings by Israel. It's been really hard to sort out my own feelings about Israel, and it's been hard not to have many people with whom I can discuss this in a nuanced way. The amount of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment around me has been very very sad also.

All of the violence against women this year as been horrifying and disheartening and frightening. There are too many traumatic (personally, nationally) episodes to count or list. The only reassuring thing is while I do not think we are at a tipping point, it feels we are - as a whole culture - treating these issues with more urgency and more disdain for the perpetrators of such crimes. In other news, I thought the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was stupid (If I had more energy I'd write problematic and explain why), especially in parallel with the murder of Michael Brown and riots in Ferguson.

I see/hear the news about the Middle East with a sense of dread and defeat. I so wanted Obama's leadership to get the US out of an unjust conflict, a war we should never have been in. And yet the mess there NOW is utterly horrific, and here we are, on the brink of going back in. I do not know what the right answer is here -- I am no where near having ANY idea what is right or wrong. I know that the Islamic State follows an extreme interpretation of Islam that frightens me -- especially as I think of women and children trapped in the area -- and yet, is this our war to wage? It is such an impossible situation. And my heart bleeds when I see/hear about atrocities occurring.

I would so like to be able to think of something very positive -- there must have been SOMETHING nice that happened, but all I can think of is the wars, diseases, disasters... It is difficult to pick just ONE event. I'd have to say the following three for me run neck-and-neck: Ebola virus in West Africa; the large Korean ferry that capsized and then sank killing almost 300 teenagers aboard; and the almost 300 girls and women abducted and held for ransom in Nigeria. Ebola is frightening, horrific, and so tragic. Thinking of the terror those teens experienced on the ferry is extremely upsetting. Those abducted girls' lives must be unbearable and although no surprise, it is chilling being reminded such evil people exist in the world and get away with doing evil, and that human lives in so many places in the world are considered expendable.

The terrorism that seems to be on the rise. The beheadings of people by these extremists shocks me to the core. I just don't understand the cruelty and viciousness that exists in the world.

An event in the world..... well, Robin Williams died recently. I didn't realize it at first, but the fact that one of my all-time favorite actors has passed away affected me more deeply than I would have thought. The mere idea that my own children will grow up in a world in which Robin Williams is not a living person, that there will never be any more new movies or stand-up acts or appearances by this wonderful man, is heartbreaking. And the fact that he committed suicide is heartbreaking because how can the funniest man I've ever known, one who brought so much joy to so many, have not understood his own importance in the world? Other world events include the ground war in Israel, which admittedly I don't know a whole lot of details on (embarrassed to admit, but saddened by the fact of it nonetheless). My first week working at the new job, a university student went missing. It is now three weeks later and she still has not been found, though a suspect has been arrested. This has had a profound impact on my experience these first weeks in seeing how this community binds itself together and how it deals with a crisis. I still hope they find her alive, but all the evidence seems to make this hope unlikely to be fulfilled =\

I feel like the obvious answer to this as a Jewish professional should be the conflict in Israel... but I think my answer isn't going to be popular among the masses. Don't get me wrong - the conflict and the war are horrible things. It's really just terrible that all of this is STILL going on. Violence, war, hate, fear. It's heart-breaking. But I didn't really watch any of it on TV. I barely read about it. I feel apathetic. I am apathetic. As an incredibly optimistic person, I feel so incredibly pessimistic when it comes to finding any sort of agreement over there, that I just tuned out a lot of it and kept going with my summer. I caught snippets of this guy was killed and that person was captured and that tunnel was blown up... but I just feel like there is so much hate over there that nothing's going to make it better - and I have NO idea how I'm supposed to feel about it all as a progressive, liberal Jew who still likes the idea of a Jewish state. So - I guess the conflict / war impacted me in the sense that it further frustrated me making me feel helpless... so I avoided it and feel slightly horrible for ignoring it. Oy vey.

The emergence of ISIS has concerned me. I fear for the lives that are being lost in those countries and the potential of that trouble to spread around the world.

A young protege received a promotion based in part on my work with him. While this is a relatively small event "in the world," I hope that it will have an important ripple effect.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the Ebola outbreak in Africa, and how very lucky I am to be born and to live in the USA. We are insulated from so much tragedy and violence simply by virtue of where we were born. If Ebola were to ravage the lives of Americans in the numbers that it's currently killing people in Africa, there would be a radical response from governments, institutions and people. I pray for those affected by the disease, I pray that effective treatments will be developed and distributed fairly, and I pray with gratitude for my blessings.

I suppose it's more just the general state of affairs. It may have been ever thus, but it feels like things are falling apart on a global level, with the wars, ISIS, the Ebola outbreak, stagnation in Congress, Ferguson, MO, and on and on. Sometimes, it's really hard to see the good. The older I get, the more I realize the less we as individuals can do to impact things on a global scale. Unless we are very rich and powerful, there's really nothing we can do. I choose to make things better at a local level, with the hope but no expectation that things will trickle upwards.

Of course my answer has to do with Tzuk Eitan AND the Isis crisis. For the first time in my life, I felt very unsafe in the world. I was nervous about myself and my family traveling outside of Israel: Aviv to Japan through Turkey; Amir to England; all of us to Ireland. I was even a bit uneasy in NYC (e.g., shocked when I saw men on the subway wearing Kippot when I got off the plane). I'm extremely concerned about the state of the world and me and a few girlfriends all felt this is like the story of Noah and the world as we know it is coming to an end.

the kidnapping of the 3 boys. i felt like my personal misery over divorce and my husband's enforced childlessness, making me barren against my will, could be put to one side. i felt part of a community. i saw goodness. i also saw how i lost friends - there were a lot of people who i now don't count as friends because of how they behaved during OPE.

The state of the Middle East and the attacks form ISIS have caused an effect, though I feel odd because I feel selfish in how it has effected me. With this new job I will travel all over the world, this includes countries in the middle east, countries that are not necessarily huge fans of Americans, and countries of extreme poverty. With the instability of the Middle East and the recent ISIS attacks, I have come to realize that as a women and as an American I could be put in an unwelcome position in my job. Selfishly these happenings have made me reflect on how they affect ME, which isn't how is should be. I should look at the detriment it is causing to those who actually LIVE in these areas and are exposed to that kind of instability on a regulat basis. I don't know if I choose not to better understand these things because I don't WANT to know about these things or because I don't make time to know about these things. Either way I should make a serious effort to better understand the state of our world rather than play dumb and live in my American bubble.

The Israeli-Gaza conflict of summer 2014. צוק עיתן I arrived in Jerusalem on July 4 for 16 days of Ulpan. My son, Ben, was already in Israel on a NFTY trip. We both experienced the אזעקה, the alarms that said bombs were coming over Jerusalem and we had a few seconds to find a bomb shelter. "Bomb shelter" in older buildings, like my hotel Malon Eden in Talpiot, turned out to be an inner hallway. I felt surprisingly safe while in Israel. I was distressed by the anti-Arab mob in Jerusalem. I was grateful to be able to worship with the Nashim haKotel, Women of the Wall, and members of the ACC mission at the Kotel on Monday morning July 7. There's so much more. But in the end, I felt more personally involved in Israel. I felt supported by others who feel that Israel's current policies of occupation are a wrong turn for Israel's future and causing untold human suffering. I have kept more in touch with what's happening in Israel and have been more active with JStreet.

The killing of an 18 year old black man in Ferguson, Mo by a white police officer and the subsequent violence that continues. It has forced me to look deeply into race relations in our country and think about how little progress we've made in the past 50 years. And I can't relate to the black community because I've never walked a mile, much less an inch, in their shoes. I can empathize, but will never understand.

Meeting Rafiq and his family of drone survivors. Prior to meeting Rafiq and his family, while I recognized that drone strikes as a foreign policy were complicated and not always founded on sound policy and principle. The more than we began to investigate the issue the more and more I realized that innocent people all over the Middle East (particularly Yemen and Pakistan) are being killed because we Americans are afraid and live in fear. I also thought I had a larger view and understanding of the global community and little did I know how sheltered my thinking about people, especially in regions that are very different from America, was off. Thanks to the work that I do and some luck I was not only able to meet and spend time with an incredible pakistani family who were innocent victims but also to gain a stronger understanding of how limited my view of the word is and I how I must actively work on changing it.

The increased awareness of terrorism on the planet in all its extremes impacts me. What happens in the human heart that allows the cruelty, and what appears to be evil to overtake it? If we kill every person who claims this cause, will the thoughts still exist and just recreate a new population of similar thinkers? What is the response to terrorism that will make a difference?

I always find this question difficult to answer. I'm not that much affected by world events. Well, that's not totally true. I actually listen to the news less now than I used to. And I don't watch TV news or read the newspaper. The news has a negative impact on my mood, so I prefer to listen to podcasts while I'm driving alone. To and from work I sometimes listen to Radio 4, but we sometimes talk over it. I'd rather stretch my mind with new facts and thoughts than pollute it with more of the same depressing stories of war, rape, abuse and political corruption.

Not many things, the planet is still in jeopardy if we don't make changes

This past year 3 boys were kidnapped and killed in Israel. It has drastically changed my entire outcome as a result. I was not a Zionistic person when i first came to Israel. I have always loved this country but it's been more because I am a Jew and this is my homeland. Actual events that occurred here always seemed far away and quite detached. My being here for that heinous act has bonded me to this country in a way i didn't know I would feel. It was beyond my comprehension that those boys would not come home. I felt it in my bones, my heart, that ultimately they would be ok. When I saw on Twitter a confirmation that they had in fact passed ... It was the first time in my life that my heart broke for someone else's pain that I didn't know and would never meet. I will defend Israel with my every fiber in my body. It's become a part of me. I am now a Zionist, a warrior. I"m alive.

I have been really inwardly focused this year, because of being pregnant. Perhaps that should have made me more focused on the world I'm about to bring a child into, but it didn't. So the events that have impacted me have all been related to birth research, and the one the pops into my mind is the recommendation that active labour begin at 6cm, not 4, giving women more time before being pressured to accept interventions. That made me really happy.

I live in St. Louis, and the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson shook me to the core. It was surreal to see the military-like presence of law enforcement in the streets. I grew up in Newark and can still remember the National Guardsmen in the streets of Newark during the riots. I never dreamed I'd see that again.

The economic downturn and the strife present in our society whether on capitol hill or on main street has me wondering if we even have a chance at survival. Our government is made up of people convicted of crimes, corruption is rampant, and people do not seem to care in the least unless it directly affects them. And now we have the ultimate holy war that no one sees...Is it only me that sees that religious fanaticism is going to be the doom of our world. Religion has no place in politics or in the treatment of the human being. It is a personal freedom for us to share within ourselves and our communities not something to be used to wage war and create strife.

Nothing major has impacted me directly. But, I think Emma Watson's UN speech was incredible. Also, the outbreak of Ebola has me wondering how they are going to solve that problem.

I don't watch news, don't read news papers and there were no significant events that would leave any mark on me. I'm just trying to live my own life and leave all the noise for others who have nothing better to do.

I think the war on Gaza has made me feel the most helpless. Being a bi racial Jew and seeing how evil Zionism has become and how racist and islamophobic Jewish people have become in the name of some bizarre exclusionary belief that Jews need a "homeland" is deeply troubling to me and continues to further alienate me from having any Jewish community whatsoever.

ISIS is pretty scary. I don't know how bothered by it I am in day-to-day living, but it's still upsetting that evil like that exists in the world today. I can only hope something is done to make it better, but I suspect that only means more war and negativity. And this comes from someone who is actually supportive of justified wars.

ISIS. How in the world have we allowed this to happen. It's 2014 and beheadings are still going on. What is wrong with humanity and the US? How are we going to deal with these monsters?

ISIS terrifies me. Just something about how horrific that religion can get really upsets me. Most religions went through the epic barbaric phase ages ago, but Islam continues to devolve into something so incredibly demonic that I get scared for all of us.

The bombing and fighting in Israel has had a major impact on me--but not in the way everyone might think. It has revealed some people's true colors, politically and socially, and revealed some intolerance that was previously hidden. That was surprising to me. It also made me realize that despite all of resistance otherwise, the indoctrination was effective and I did feel as if Israel needed to defend itself and survive. I didn't feel the need to get on a soapbox and shout it from the rooftops, but when a good friend challenged Israel's actions, from an American liberal perspective, I felt the need to speak up about the media's anti-Israel bias. That surprised me. I doubt I will ever be a fervent Zionist, but the alternative, especially given the mass and growing hatred of the Jewish people at home and abroad, is untenable. Israel has to exist so that we, by extension, can exist.

The ongoing turmoil in the middle east and eastern Europe is a daily concern to me. The news reports of beheadings and other atrocities perpetrated by ISIS/ISIL is so horrendous. How can I keep my head in the sand and tell myself that area will always be in a state of war and it doesn't affect us. Well, it does affect us, all of us. It has been made clear that our country is a target of terrorists that are not only cunning but obsessed with taking over the world. I am fearful for all of us, but especially our children and grandchildren. What a world they have inherited.

This summer's Gaza War served to reinforce my struggle with supporting Israel and being a politically active Jew in the world. Once again, Israel has made decisions with which I disagree, but that is nothing new; this time around, though, I've found myself increasingly uncomfortable with the climate faced by Jews around the world, whether they support Israel or not, when faced with political discourse. It was incredibly difficult for me over the summer to log onto Facebook and see people whom I love and respect accusing Israel -- and implying the guilt of American Jews as well -- of being some kind of genocidal demon. And then I'd switch over from Facebook to Twitter and see reports of synagogues firebombed in Paris, Jewish students harassed on American campuses. It's been extremely difficult, especially knowing that I am now living on a college campus myself and must prepare myself for potentially harsh and certainly difficult discourse in which I must defend not only my political beliefs but seemingly the legitimacy of my community.

The increasing craziness in the world. Naming just one unfortunately, would be hard to do as events seem to be getting worse seemingly on a daily basis. Isis is the most alarming and successful of terrorists organizations. That there is a real possibility that they, with the help of 100+ American traitors, could infiltrate US soil is scary and un-real.

The Ferguson event that revealed how racism is still prominent in this country as well as police brutality. There's been a bigger wave of feminism too; trying to get equality for men and women out there. Beyonce and Emma Watson were big names trying to get out to the world that feminism is a good thing and should not be stigmatized.

There are so many horrible things happening in the world right now. I am so upset about the Syrian refugees, the bombing of Gaza, the proliferation of ISIS. But the event that most upset me, I think, was the kidnapping of the more than 200 Nigerian school girls by Boko Haram. My own pattern of fears makes it easy for me to put myself in the place of the terrorized girls, being that vulnerable is the stuff of my nightmares. It is beyond upsetting to think of them being rounded up, misused, sold off or given away like chattel, then becoming sexual and physical slaves... Without any sign of them, or anybody being able to do anything about it, that seems incredible. Appalling.

The latest Israel/Gaza conflict was very difficult because of how it flared up in social media. I felt pulled in all directions emotionally.

I think that my world is smaller than the entire world. Israeli events do impact my smaller world but I am not there... I am here.

I know it sounds trite in a way, but I was heart broken to learn of the death of Robin Williams. I am seldom moved by the news of celebrities, yet hearing about him brought immense sorrow and grief. It also reminds me of how much of my time has passed, the memories I have formed from childhood, and how quick it has all gone by.

I'm ashamed to say I can't think of a world event that has impacted me this year. I try to focus on what's going on in my life around me, because that's what I can engage with. I've come to see so much of the other stuff, outside of my immediate context as just noise,especially as it's filtered through media organizations that strive for emotional impact, rather than emotional content..

The NFL has repulsed and repelled me via its handling of its criminal element. It has been an important part of my life. Is it of paramount importance? No. But it has filled my life and time with pleasure and the potential for reflected glory. It is impossible to be a real fan now. How will it change going forward?

The kidnapping and killing of 3 innocent teens in Israel - the blatant dishonesty in the media when portraying how the Israelis react as compared to the Palestinians mades me both angry & sad.

I just do not understand why Obama is so recoiled. I do not understand why the NRA did not step,up when shootings in public places occurred and support gun control. I do not understand ISIS and others (think American Indians in early days of explorers in a,Erica) tell people,to,believe as they donor we will kill you. I do not get hatred.

ISIS or ISIL's beheading of innocent people. I can't get the picture out of my head; yes, it's "graphic" even if I'm only picturing it. I cannot stomach what goes on through those victims' minds as it's happening. I cannot stomach their families' despair. I cannot stand that our children are watching it and hearing about it and then, of course, there are copy-cats out there, too, watching, taking notes, doing it. I know: people die daily. Ebola. Twin Towers. Palestinians vs. Israelis. Drug dealers in Mexico. Dictators. Our own military. Our own ghettos and drugs and refusal to help the poorest of poor. But somehow the decay in the world is epitomized by beheadings for show. I lost hope in the world when the first American journalist died. I watched myself throw a plastic bottle in the garbage instead of the recycling bin.

It may seem trite giving all the world issues, but Robin Williams suicide really affected me. I guess because I live with chronic major depression and PTSD, his death brought to the light how very fragile we are -- especially those of us with mental illnesses. It also both opened up the conversation about mental illness and revealed how very far we have to go in terms of people understanding. There is SO much stigma, misinformation, and prejudice it is disheartening to me. However, I can only hope that the voices of compassion and understanding will prevail.

The rocket attacks from Gaza this year were very intense and really brought home how safe the US really is. I can see why people (like the children coming from Honduras this summer) risk their lives to get to the US.

I was sad when the 300 school girls were kidnapped. It made me grateful that that kind of danger isn't part of our everyday.

Ferguson. Has made me question even more deeply how I want to raise my daughter and how I can raise her to understand the vast privilege she will grow up in. It makes me sick to know that we are still such a divided society.

How can one not be affected by all the strife exploding all over the world, from the Middle East, Ferguson, Ebola, our lame Congress? Yet, while it sits front of mind I feel helpless to really do anything. We argue the fine points of each conflict from our privileged perches over artisanal pastries and coffee drinks. Yet how many of us would be willing to sacrifice even our smartphones for longer than a day in the hope that it might change things? How many of us privileged people would dare to admit that while we aren't outright racists, we make subtle prejudicial judgments based on our privileged upbringings all the time? Whether around gender, race, or economics? The ISIS beheadings of western journalists can't help but make one feel guilty for the ease in which we live while they risk their lives to bring us news that at best we read at worst is gobbled up by media channels and our government and spit back to us overheated and exaggerated to provide an means to self-serving political ends. I would never diminish the horrible nature of this terrorist organization, but at the same time the fear mongering is irresponsible. Have we learned nothing from our 13 years at war in that region? My only course of action is to at least challenge these cheap tactics in pubic forums of discussion. Because I'm way too much of a chickenshit to sign up for a Middle East press corps...

This is not my usual geo-political answer, but Robin Williams passing away hit me very hard this year. He was a very special person who was able to overcome his own demons and make the world laugh. The impact on me personally was not just that of loss, but also the realization that my personal feelings about this great comedian, actor and person were shared by so many. We all felt a special connection to him. This makes him even more special.

Everything thats gone on with Israel and Palestine this past few months has definitely had a huge effect on me. I'm just really not used to having controversial beliefs I guess, like, I'm used being a liberal, living in a liberal area. And ya, I'd disagree with people every now and then, but it was never extreme and I can't really think of a time I was ever in the minority. But once all this shit started happening, people all over tumblr and twitter and the news and, well everywhere, were calling Israel a terrorist state and accusing it of committing apartheid and genocide and ethnic cleansing. I even came across a few posts saying "Hitler was right" and stuff like that. When it really hit me was when Jon Stewart came out in support of Palestine and saying Israel needed to calm the fuck down. Like, usually he's one of the figures I look to when I want to hear my side, not the opposite. I guess it's been a challenge for me to try and figure out what I believe. Like it's been a lot of trying to sort out my pacifist side and my Jewish side and not let them get involved. With all the facts I have, it's clear to me that Israel isn't guilty of any of these crimes its being accused of. I feel absolutely terrible for all the Palestinian people who are suffering, but it's Hamas to blame, not Israel. Israel isn't doing anything differently from how any other country would react under the same circumstances. But none of that is being reported, people just see a bunch of pictures of torn down houses and crying children, and then decide that Israel must be evil. They don't bother thinking about whether or not Israel has any other options. They don't consider what they're own country would do if it's citizens were under constant bombardment by terrorists who publicly claimed they wanted them wiped off the face of the earth. They don't consider any of that. Anyways that got off topic. I guess my point is, it's been a challenge for me to figure out what I believe, but also to stick to it. To hold onto a belief when surrounded by so much opposition. And the difference is this opposition isn't what I'm used to at all. It isn't a bunch of dumb republicans and religious rednecks. It's people who I know, smart people who I look up too. Learning how to hold onto my beliefs, in direct opposition to these people, has definitely been a learning experience.

Oh, my. The whole worlds seems to be falling apart. The kidnapping of the school girls in Nigeria by maniacs. The violent massacres by Isis and beheadings of innocent men. Beheadings! On video! Putin's brazen invasion of the Ukraine and then arrogant denial. The Israeli-Palestinian war. Ongoing apathy about global warming. I feel as though goodness and reason are losing. That humanity has forgotten the lessons from past evils. Power-hungry, cruel and ignorant people are doing things that should never happen again. I feel helpless, sad to the core of my being. I don't think that kindness or reasoned debate will help, but I don't know what will.

The marriage equality movement and many states opening up to accepting homosexual marriages. I'm pansexual and it makes me very happy to see this change. I don't understand discrimination of any kind. Consenting adults should be able to do what they wish as long as they are not harming another (i.e. killing). I hope one day my state will accept homosexual marriage. NASA continuing to explore Mars. This is very exciting to me because one day it is very possible we could be living on Mars. I'm so happy that NASA and private organizations continue exploring space. I feel it is necessary for our growth as the human race.

The fighting in the world has left me confounded and sad along with the lack of action taken by individuals including myself. Syria, Isreal, hamas, palestine, Africa... how can I be connected and live my life to support these issues?

The rise of ISIS makes my world less safe, more worrisome. And diminishes my faith in our so-called intelligence gathering.

The war in Gaza. I was on vacation when the violence started, so I was able to hide from it for a few days - but the stark reality of the pain and suffering caused was incredibly difficult to bear. Add to that the particular sadness, frustration, anger, and guilt that comes from being an American Jew, and knowing that Israel's actions are done partly in my name, in the name of security for my people. When for me, this aggression undermines everything I hold dear about Judaism, and distances me further. Finally, working for a Jewish organization, it was a painful conversation in our ranks, with people on all side unable to hold nuance or talk to people that didn't already agree with them.

The change in government in Australia in Sep 2013 has been an ugly, ugly thing. Driven by ideologies I actually hate, they have attempted to wreck Australia to remake it in their image. I can only hope they will lose at the next election, but that is so far away.

Scary drought in California. Seeing the effects in the nature north of San Francisco and the effects on the farmers who sell on Good Eggs. It bothers me that restaurants are stingy with their water to customers and cite the drought as the reason. This doesn't even make a dent of an impact. Hydration is important, idiots.

Ferguson. I'm from a fairly racist area abutting the traditional South. It's a depressing area and I have more than a few things against it, but suffice it to say it is outwardly racist. Most will tell you they harbor no ill will against other ethnicities and races, but they're fast to exclude Others from their company and especially from their family. That outward racist does not make such a place more racist, apriori, but rather makes it more uncomfortable on the whole. Of course, I say that from a position of privilege. I'm white, male, cis, and middle class (though when I lived out there we were considerably poorer). For minority groups in such places, there is no relative comfort. But then, in most places, the threshold for relative comfort is quite different than it is for me. I don't see strange looks, I don't get ignorant questions, I don't deal with anywhere near the same level of prejudice. When I go back there, I get backhanded compliments about having gone to grad school (oh woe is me) and when I express my religious views I get plenty of crap, but that is far from the same. These are choices (well...religion...) I've made. What the last year has taught me is that the more worrisome brands of sexism and racism are those that entirely escape the notice of well intentioned people. The "progress" who doesn't realize s/he is creating an uncomfortable work/living environment for women in their office. Ditto for racism, religious intolerance, and sexual orientations. The more pernicious evil out there is the unseen, unspoken, under-reported, and utterly misunderstood ways that racist/sexist/etc. tendencies have invaded the vacuum left by out and out exclusion. But it's coming to a head, and that makes me happy. As happy as I can be about the immense birthing pains associated with new social change.

The non-stop hatred and lies attacking humanitarian values, progressive policies. ISIS and world condemnation attacks on Israel. Leaves me feeling hopeless, angry, and impotent. I don't see ways for the good of people to counteract the evil of the few.

The attacks by ISIS/ISOL are scary to me, more than any other international terrorism. Perhaps because they are SO indiscriminate with their violence. Perhaps because they are so media savvy. Climate change scares me. Sometimes it's hard to see the good in the world. and that scares me too.

I've been so wrapped up in my own life this year. I'm aware that so much is going on outside of my family: Ebola, Syria, the troubles of the NFL; but my focus is so much more on my family. I listen to the news, but it's not impacting me right now. As the baby gets older I'll learn to look beyond myself again.

The conflict with Israel and the West Bank really bothered me. I felt really angry and powerless as an American, because the actions of Israel are so tied in with our own diplomatic status. But because Israel has its own sovereignty, there's very little politically that I can do to express my disapproval of Israel's actions. At the same time, my government implicitly condoned Israel's actions, provides Israel with weapons, resources, and diplomatic support that allowed it to conduct atrocities against people in the West Bank. And I just felt like there were so many things in American government that are like that. But none that made me feel so intensely that I had blood on my hands.

Operation Protective Edge impacted me very much, from afar. I have a close friend in Tel Aviv who I was in touch with daily during the war. It made it much more real. My husband and I were watching Prisoners of War during it as well, and that put an entirely new perspective on it for me.

All the fighting going on in the world this year--all the unreasonableness behind it, the unthinking things people say and do to hurt each other, the political verbal nicities to justify the unjustifiable--makes me feel so tired. And yet I find within myself that same unreasonableness, bitterness or simple snarkiness. Sometimes it bursts forth, an explosion, and there is no stopping it; astonished and bewildered I ask where in the world that came from. Certainly not from me?! Is that how all fighters feel? Or do they simply want to feel right and everyone else wrong? I wonder...

The passing of Nelson Mandela. His death provided an opportunity to reflect on his life and the impact he had on me as a child growing up in the US. As a kid, I learned about the man who spent 27 years in prison only to released and become the first black president of a free South Africa. His life and example reminded me of my values and inspired me to live in accordance with them.

All the terrorism in the Middle East because it has made me a nervous wreck for my boyfriend to be joining the military if he continues to do so.

My world is very narrow. The drought is the thing that is affecting me the most. The dryness and heat are so unpleasant.

Sad (or happy) to say no world event has impacted me this year. The closest thing would be the Seahawk's winning the Super Bowl. I had a great sense of pride from this event living in Seattle for the past 25 years and never seeing a major sports team win their championship in Seattle. All the other world events did not change my life in the slightest bit. Not to say I was not aware or knowledgeable about them but if they did not happen, nothing in my life would be any different.

I have been on a nearly-year-long news sabbatical: I can't handle all the horror humans inflict on each other. I have been trying to be 'blissfully ignorant', but that doesn't really work.

The shootings a Berkeley, while minor on the scale of world events this past year, made me open my eyes to the reality of gender inequality. For the first time I saw what was wrong with some of my views on modesty, rape, and a patriarchal society. I have to admit that #YesAllWomen has changed my life.

I would have to say what was going on in Israel. As the war was going on my kids were getting ready to leave for Jewish overnight camp to see their old friends and meet new friends and counselors that were coming from Israel. They all did wind up making it the US and everyone had a great time. Also, as this was going on in Israel I was signing my son up for his 8th grade Israel trip that he is going on with his friends. I became a little nervous but was hoping that everything would get better there so I decided to continue the paperwork. I'm happy to say that for now everything is quiet and my son will be going on his trip in February.

I was really upset about the death of Robin Williams. I was shocked in some ways, like the rest of the world, but at the same time I felt like I understood why he did it. I know what it feels like to be completely loved but at the same time feel lonely.

The beheadings of four human beings in the Middle East has impacted me. It has made me less trustful of my fellow humans. It has forced me to acknowledge the presence of evil in the world, and to be be aware of it as an underlying current, when I would prefer to think otherwise.

The one thing that comes to mind immediately was Elliott Roger's shooting rampage. I think it showed that there really is an issue with misogyny that is looming large in the minds of men, and that it is a real issue that needs to be taken seriously. It allowed many of the really great men I know to understand more about the fear that most women feel toward random men, and more about how much women are objectified. It started a really good conversation and got people talking. Of course there is a lot of pushback, but it's also pushing this particular issue toward the light. It also showed the world how loneliness and isolation is negatively impacting the world, and how much we need connection and interdependence.

Israel-Gaza conflict---im jewish and it hurts that people hate israel so much

The bombings in Gaza City struck a nerve for me. I saw the photos of the children playing on the beach one minute and then the next photo showed their family carrying their limp bodies. It made me think about intractable conflicts and all the suffering in this world. I am grateful for my beautiful, happy family.

Operation Protective Edge. Holy cow, that affected me more than I would have expected.

Almost every big event has impacted me... It has really played on my mind and made me feel a kind of despair at "man's inhumanity to man". Robin William's suicide also really impacted me; at the time I felt sad but really grateful that I had avoided going there; of course, then my own mental health plummeted and I understood, again, how easy it is to feel that way.

The one that comes to mind is the shooting/killing by police in Ferguson against a black youth. It impacted me because it reminds me that my students, mostly black youth, live in a world where they are really not free to be themselves and live without fear. This is a mentality that I have never had to live with so it has been so important to keep reminding myself that my students live in a different world than I do.

Everything having to do with Israel affects me somehow. It makes me have to think about the situation and what it means to me. Beyond that and other events which cause me to think, not very much actually changes my daily life.

The outbreak of ebola has had a particularly upsetting effect on me. I find it distributing that so many people are left to die a terrible death when their suffering could be alleviated with the resources and determination of a few bold countries.

Oh dear. World event? To be honest, I have to think about what happened outside of my little sphere . . . . well, there was the world cup. The Gaza/Israel situation. I'm sure Putin did some crazy stuff this year. Honestly, it would be hard for me to find something that I can say really impacted me. I guess I'm just not connected with the rest of the world right now . . .

continued presidency by Obama

I have been lost in my own world this year. I should pay more attention to my surroundings.

Malaysia 370. AN ENTIRE FLIGHT OF PEOPLE DISAPPEARED. Gone. No one knows. People literally vanished. It's just disturbing.

All of the war, genocide, violence has impacted me on a cellular level. I'm aware of the amazing privilege I have to live in a place that is safe, clean, with abundant food, water, electricity. I feel the sadness of the world in my bones and hold onto the hope for peace no matter how faint that possibility seems.

An event in the world that has happened in the past year was the war in Israel. this had an impact on me, because it showed me that I really care about my religion because I was worried. Also, because I was worried that when we go there soon that maybe the war would still be happening. There was actually some rumors that I heard, but I was very joyful once I heard that it was finally over, and everything was safe and back to normal for them. Also, I really appreciate all f those young soldiers fighting for their country. To protect us and risk their lives for. Ours.

The hatred of the Palestinians and the Jews. They are alike in so many ways. Extreme religion, no matter the flavor, needs to be stopped. Also, the Hobby Lobby decision with which a superior can metaphorically inject his/her ideology directly into my uterus.

the Israel/Gaza war. The surge of anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism shocked me, made me realize how many seemingly good people still harbor dislike of the Jewish people. Made me feel stronger and more connected to AmYisrael.

The beheadings in the Middle East and the thwarted terror attcks that were planned in my country. This has made my start to question the heart of my values and begin to think of ways that I can assure the safety of my family. I want my family to be able to handle any physical attack they may be subject to by a violent person. I do not want them to be a victim.

Nothing stands out, besides the Gaza War, which did not directly affect me - praise G-d. Watching politics-as-usual has been uniformly depressing globally.

Syrian war spreading into Iraq. Now I don't believe in Obama. He is an idiot.

The war this summer between Israel and Gaza was incredibly jarring. The constant barrage of propaganda across social media, the intensity with which people were engaging, was, at times, very overwhelming. I had two powerful fast days, focusing on praying for peace in Israel/Palestine. The situation also led to some productive and deep conversations with friends and neighbors, and that continues to happen.

I'm not really sure what event impacted me the most. I think I'm surprised the Israeli conflict didn't Impact me more, but I guess I was caught up in my own thing at the time.

i'm scared of ISIS and that whole gaza strip thing. i feel like we are on the verge of world war III

The war in Israel deeply impacted me this year. I have always been a supporter of Israel, even if I don't always agree with her actions. Additionally, for the last few years I have felt a connection with Israel. However, when crises' occurred in the region I would always be afraid to travel and as I once said, "I love Israel, just not enough to devote my life to it". However, during the war this summer, there was no place I wanted to be more. Never had I wanted to travel to such a dangerous zone and felt incomplete by being safely in the states. It was this war that made me realize how much my relationship with Israel has changed and how much deeper my connection with her has become.

Indian elections. There seems to be great hope for change in direction in India. I'm skeptical, a bit like Obama's win, Modi's win may not end up changing much in India. I'm also hopeful, as there are more solidly educated people entering politics for public good rather than enhancing their wealth. Something more along the lines of what the founding fathers for the US wanted for the Congress and Senate in the US.

There has been a lot of deadly conflict in the world this year and a lot of anti-semitism. I am questioning how we can continue to live in peace

Oh jeez. Can we talk a little bit about the drought and how I don't feel affected by it really and that's effed up? This isn't ISIS or Israel, but I've been totally disturbed by the hacker 4chan targeting women and violating their privacy by revealing nude photos from their phone. And how the media react, slutshaming, etc. And that gamer who is getting death threats. And the NFL benching players for marijuana longer than for knocking their gf unconscious. wow. There are more gruesome things happening in Syria and India, and everywhere, but thes things that are so close to home and mainstream bring to light the same point: the world has a long way to go regarding the treatment of women. I'm not part of a cause now, but maybe once I'm onboarded with the new job, I can finally volunteer for an organization that helps women. I'll finally feel secure enough to do something nourishing like that. Net positive for everyone. And let's start local.

I would say the Crimea/Russia crisis. Mainly as it has directly effected my work. Also because I have taken much more of an interest in understanding the situation and the impact that it is having on the world.

I seem to suffer from a sense of detachment about world events. I am interested in what goes on in the world and do care about and pray for people directly enmeshed in events. I hear stories that are inspirational and reveal mankind’s amazing capacities for courage, resourcefulness and altruism. I hear stories that remind me how razor thin the line is between what we call good and evil (pain / pleasure, war / peace, heaven / hell). Evidence of the power of the free will of one to affect and influence that balance for many, for good or evil, impacts us all every day.

Unfortunately it is not one event but the accumulation of violence domestically and internationally. The thought of young girls being raped in India. men and women being raped in Africa, terrorism, be-headings, a football player knocking-out his girlfriend... The list goes on. It is pathetic and awful. I don't like bullies or people that stand around and let things happen to others. Words can be just as bad. We all need to act to protect those around us that need it.

All these things I hear in the news about companies, groups and people not wanting to pay for birth control, makes me want to ask are we really moving backwards in this country? Sexism is so ingrained in this country. It's in our speech and policies and in things we took for granted were true because that's how we were raised. It makes me angry and makes me feel helpless to change people's minds. I feel that people cling so hard to their ignorance that they can't hear or see the truth.

The war in Israel. I was sorry that happen, I was sorry for people that were killed in that war. I was sorry that the biggest part of the world was blaming Israel which was so sad and which wasn't truth.

The blummin Hamas war with Israel. It was horrible. Feeling under attack constantly by horrible people who are complete lunatics and just want to destroy Israel for the sake of it. I will never understand why they just can't leave us alone and let us live in peace.

Even though I often don't read the news and no what is going on in the world, I wasn't affected personally by the shooting of Ferguson, but it was a News story I followed closely. It's pretty scary to think that the police could have killed an innocent person. And I know there are arguments that Michael Brown was attacking the police officer, but the report I read said the only witness saw Brown sitting on the ground before he was shot. I'm not gonna argue over what happened in the incident because that doesn't help to change the situation. A lot of people think that, just because people aren't African American, they can't feel the effect of it. I think I was affected by the lack of respect for the value of a human life in the case. Even if he was attacking the officer, did he deserve to die? Nobody deserves to die. It's scary to think that a police officer would shoot somebody multiple times too. Nobody shoots another person multiple times, without intending to kill them. I'm not trying to say I have an answer for solving what happened in Ferguson. i just think we all need to think about the value of a human life

The attacks on Israel by Gaza has affected me deeply. It had sparked antisemitism in Europe. I am beginning to be concerned that the only place to live May soon be Israel!

The war in the Ukraine, the riots in Israel and terror threats around teh world. Any of these events frightens me, make me anxious of losing the ones I love. In adition, those events make me aware that everyday life can change within an instant. Nothing is forever.

Israel and Palestine - shaken my support for Israel.

I don't know that any world event has directly impacted me this year, but lately the ISIS beheadings of captive westerners has really troubled me. The ability of human beings to be so unbelievably cruel in the name of a philosophy, politic, or religion is astounding to me.

Recently, during the beginning of the summer around the time we were going on the cruise to greece in july, hamas started launching rockets at israel and nir and ori were called into IDF forces and didnt come on the cruise let alone come home for a few weeks. Everyone is israel was used to going into bomb shelters at the drop of a hat. I have never been effected by a world event so personally. i downloaded red alerts to know when the rockets were hitting and i never felt so powerless not to be with karen and sharon and ron's family in israel. for the first time, it made me feel like i would rather be there with them in it than here in the safety of my american life. i think it strenthened my respect for the IDF, for my sister in laws, and strengthened my connection to israel as a whole.

Every tragedy has a much larger impact on me than they used to. The ebola outbreak, the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls, the beheading of American journalists by ISIS...my heart breaks. I know tragedy affects me more than it used to because I have a daughter now. I know how strong love can be, and I can see what others are losing every day.

I must be really out of tune with the world, because I can't think of anything.

It has been more than a year since Pope Francis was elected, but that was probably one thing that impacted me most in the last couple of years. I don't go to church or synagogue or anything like that, so much as I watch them. You get a sense that Francis really lives the golden rule: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. He leads by example, not by direction. He reminds the church and parisioners to take care of the less fortunate. He is simply inspirational because of his humility and focus.

You know that they are just fading into one another when you have to Google world events of the last year to get an overview. I would say that the tide changing on gay marriage has been a lovely thing that has happened. Just to see love accepted and celebrated in all corners of the US have been heartwarming. Living in the South, our town of 2000 was the first wedding ceremony in our state and it was a grand moment. A win of civil rights that I wasn't sure I would ever see. Love really can triumph over fear - something to remember in all situations, I believe.

In the last year we have struggled through disasters and miracles and horrors and blessings. I think the event that had the largest impact on me was the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Watching a large country invade a neighboring developed not third world country in 2014 was unbelievable. It showed how tenuous peace can be and how important the vigilant truth is in keeping it.

The short war over the summer between Israel and Hamas in Gaza - it is shocking how much misinformation is treated like gospel from people who have no idea what is really going on in the Middle East

The rise of anti-Semitism in the wake of the Gaza fighting makes me fear for the safety and security of my fellow Jews, even including me, my family, friends, and community here in the USA.

The 2014 war between Hamas (in Palestine) and Israel has been very influential on me--as has the related book "The Lemon Tree." I've realized that I can criticize and love Israel at the same time AND that I need to be aware of the stories of both peoples.

Ebola, Isis, Israel and Palestine, obesity and health problems, fracking, American consumerism, Boko Haram ... humans are a terrible example of living beings. All I can really do is limit my own foot print and do no harm.

World cup soccer. Much job and shared experiences with friends and family.

The war in Israel and Gaza reminded me of how much I love Israel and how we need to support her in both good and bad times, because at the end of the day there are very few of us in the world that love and support her. Anti-semitism is sadly rampant, and I truly believe that Anti-Israel sentiments and behaviors and just antisemitism with a slightly different name. I haven't been to Israel in nearly 20 years and we need to get back. In the meantime, it is important to be proud of her, support the IDF and those who live there and defend her and we need to do what we can to turn make small improvements - take tiny steps - to change how outsiders view this special place.

I have tried to think of an event and there is nothing. The economy is still bad but getting better. I have a real job. Actually, a couple real jobs. It seems like things will be improving. That is the event that has impacted me most.

The bombings in Israel/Gaza. It's been hard seeing my school friends say bad things about Israel, especially since they've never been and also don't have all the facts. They don't really understand that Hamas wants Israel gone, and some who do understand don't care. That hurts.

The rise of militants and their ability to recruit has alarmed me. The threat of ebola has alarmed me. The corruption of mankind and the ignorance of choosing good over evil has alarmed me. Apathy has alarmed me.

The gay rights movement toward marriage equality has had an impact on my ideas about the nature of marriage and relationships. I've thought more and more about what marriage means, what its purpose is, and whether it's something that I want for myself. I've also seen American political and social conversations change as people react to this movement. It's been eye-opening.

Along with the flare up in Israel, it seems to me that it has been the smaller world events that have moved my soul. The deaths of spouses and children seem to rock me that hardest. School shootings and the violence against the innocent. The flare up in the conflict was harder than in the past. As a professional Jew who is working in human rights and anti-genocide work, people seem to question my integrity when I would not support the Palestinians (Hammas) and did not waiver on my support of Israel. Given my line of work, one would expect it to be the increased violence in Syria and Chad.

I'm sure more people have said this, but the nonsense with ISIS near the end of this year. I really Don't like stereotyping, but that area of the world really does have a problem.every time we turn another way, something else is happening, to terrorism or a war and now this cell, charging across Iraq. It just scares me that one small part of the world could be constantly ravaged by death and still remain. I worry for the sake of the rest of the world, as cheesy as that sounds. One misstep here could spell a much larger conflict in a million different ways.

Gay marriage in Illinois = hetero marriage for ABH & Sue!

I am terribly troubled by what seems to be an increasing acceptance of (or rationalization for) violence in our society. The number of shootings is beyond frightening. I cannot see any reason whatsoever for guns to be readily available to anyone other than law enforcement or security professionals. How can it be a sport to kill living things? Aren't there other ways for citizens to protect themselves? If we could only work as hard at tolerance and acceptance as we do at lobbying. "Being right" is not equivalent to having rights.

When you already feel personally overwhelmed with grief, in an act of self-preservation, you sometimes tune out what is going on in the world. That's what I did. I have not watched an evening news program or listened to a radio news broadcast this past year. I scan the headlines in the paper and on-line to see what's in the news, then read, in a sort of very private act, what I can handle. There is so much senseless fear and hatred, such imbalance in resources and freedoms, such strife and polarization that I feel overwhelmed by the inhumanity of it all. And that goes for here at home as well as abroad. What should I, to be a good person, do about any of this? What can I do that makes any difference at all? Where do I find the capacity right now? Like many Boomers, I have been on a search for purpose now, and came one day, after listening to Krista Tippett's On Being broadcast, to a nearly epiphanic conclusion: my purpose is to bear witness. That is where much of my poetry comes from...sharing the stories of others or sharing my own to perhaps give voice to others. I have been listening to and caring about these stories all my life. Granted, it is a small private act of one person who strives to write something of value, meaningful. But I wrote a poem once that nudged a hospital to show more compassion at 6:00 in the morning. I preserved the stories of two elderly women whose memory will endure through me. I filled a young man's face with joy as he showed off a poem dedicated to his kindness toward me one afternoon. I recently heard a story about a response Mother Teresa gave to someone who obseved her tiny hospice seemed but a mere drop in the bucket compared to the enormous need. It is reported that she said, "It is a drop in the ocean. But that drop changes the ocean." Maybe that is my opportunity. Bearing witness with love, even on such a tiny scale, could matter in the ocean of disconnect in the world. For now, perhaps that is enough of a star to help guide me forward.

Major event and heartbreak! Israel bombing Gaza this summer. Many Palestinian civilians died and some Israelis. Peace negotiations blowing up. Israel taking more land for settlements. Tears and concern. When will the understanding that there can't possibly be a military solution become evident? Violence begets more violence! Too many have died! I pray for a peaceful solution. I have hope this is still possible. Two states for 2 peoples, might this happen?

The war in Israel against Hamas. This has impacted me because of the great numbers of people I know that have gone to be in the IDF. I am paying more attention to both the war and to the human sides of it, something I've tended to put aside in the past.

I was always proud to celebrate Israel and went to the Annual NYC Israel parade with my family. It meant a lot more since I had been to Israel the past summer. Little did I know how important my support for would be for Israel just 1 month later. The kidnapping of the 3 teenagers in Israel and the resulting Operation Protective Edge 50-day war greatly impacted me this year. For the first time ever, I was hooked to every moment of the news, reading Times of Israel's live blog, sharing and liking pro-Israel posts, praying tefillin, contacting friends in Israel, doing the Shmira project, writing up lists of how we can help Israel, going to rallies,and talking to my family about it. I was also horrified at all the anti-semitism around the world and shared all of this on Facebook. I got some heat from people that I was a little too vocal on FB, but I personally don't think so. The worst crime is to be silent and let another Holocaust occur. I was proud of the strong Israel advocate I became

Murder of teenager in Ferguson, MO. I realize how little our identities around perceived ethnicity/race have changed so very little. How deep seated hatred is in this country. MAKES YOU WANT TO HOLLER, as Marvin Gaye sang

Spending some time in Israel during the latest rocket cycle. I don't think I'd ever spent that much time in Israel during a time of intense conflict. The experience didn't change my views towards either side in any meaningful way, but it highlighted, in some small way, my regret for not having served when I turned 18. Not because I think I would have a made a difference, nor do I necessarily agree with the actions I might have been part of, but the knowledge that I would have given in service of a country I love on such a fundamental level.

Many world events have impacts on me. Simply reading Google news each day has an impact on me. I would have to say the Ukrainian crisis and the ISIS ordeal both make me realize how quickly the war drums can be pounded in America especially within the government and within the Republican party. I'm grateful we have a more logical president that doesn't rush into things that have lasting effects. Also seeing the effects of war on the gaza strip as well as Syria it makes me extremely grateful for stability where I live. It also makes me realize that dynamics can change quickly and that America is not immune from this as much as we would like to think we are. Another event that had an impact on me would have to be the deaths of citizens by law enforcement and the riots that followed. There is a crossover point where the aggression of law enforcement is far too much and is having a counter affect on protecting society as a whole. I realize that civil unrest can boil over into some intense interactions and it is a little scary to imagine a war between citizens and law enforcement but that concept isn't as foreign now that Ferguson has happened. I also realize that peaceful protests are becoming less and less. The police escalate things to levels that are unneeded especially with the use of military equipment that they have no idea how to use.

I have become really upset about the level of Islamic violence (terrorism, beheading and so on), and have really been trying to think about whether there is a non-violent way to stop violence, and about how to persuade people to behave more peacefully. I am disliking myself for wondering whether some cultures are simply more violent than others, and am struggling to come to a different way of thinking about this.

With being so busy, I'm less engaged in national and world affairs than I think I am normally. That being said, I'm not much of an activist and don't get riled up at world issues. Some of the topics that have most interested me include. 1. Barack Obama being just as bad or worse on issues of national security and upholding 4th amendment rights. He's now bombed more countries than any president in history. 2. The NSA leaks are pretty incredible and show the power of whistle blowers leading to serious changes. While the NSA and the govt will continue to do what they do, the tech industry seems to have taken notice and are making moves to lock out access. That's pretty cool. 3. I'm on an anti-anti-GMO kick. The more I research, the more I see this as a movement not based in science, but in fear-mongering. We're going to need GMOs to support a growing population and to avoid famine (and thus wars) across the globe. 4. I love seeing the tide fully turning on gay marriage and marijuana legalization. It's about time and I'm happy to be living in the midst of it.

Hard so say. I'm just so numb from all the media coverage.

Well that is hard to say. So many events have impacted me this year. From missing girls in Africa, to police shootings in NY and Ferguson, MI. How can one be human and NOT be impacted by the events this year? How do I explain to my son that yes cops will kill and unarmed man? No, that isn't right. Yes there are bad cops. I'm a Black woman, a mother, sister, aunt and cousin and I would hate to receive that call. The racism and hate that is occurring today is so blatant and pervasive. It seems we are going backwards.

The biggest thing I can remember was Emma Watson's speech on feminism. Although I did not watch very much of it, I heard it was quite wonderful and her definition of what feminism should be is really commendable.

All of the Climate Change related weather stories just make me enraged that people don't understand and make the connection. Floods, droughts, polar vortices, etc. are ALL impacted by how wasteful of our natural resources we've become!

ISIS. It has changed everything for me. The beheadings, the extremism. I have seen it before, and in fact it has always bothered me more than those around me. However, this is different. It is beyond something bothersome and has become pervasive in my mind, my spirituality. It has caused me to question everything I believe in, and to wonder what the hell the point of this earth is. I feel guilt, anger, shock, and can't take it that this situation is completely out of my control. I want to follow every headline, but they seem to only take me to my own anger and frustration.

The ISIS terrorist group coupled with Israel's war in Gaza has forced me to (re)think my staunch pacifism. Reality has impinged on my long held theory. The incredible complexities of the modern world doesn't always square with the notion of compassion or loving-kindness.

Yet again I'm failing on paying close attention to world events. Oops. Still focusing on Los Angeles metro news and events.

The recent immigration of thousands of children to America from Central America. The world is so so unfair. Our government ignores those who we don't stand to make money from, or have oil. Central Americans are our neighbors, we should help them.

The event that has impacted me this year was learning about Jayden, the girl who was passed out and raped by several people, then subjected to social media mocking, and then crucified by her peers. This has caused me to awaken from my slumber, and start the campaign to bring rape culture to the forefront in an effort to educate and effect change.

Israel always impacts me. No other country in the world would put up with the denigration, lies, bombs, antisemitism and daily attacks of all kinds. In spite of all this, Israel (that tiny, tiny country) has achieved more than all the Arab countries combined that surround her. They could (and should) take notice of that! I do not understand how the U.N. can condemn Israel and not do the same to those nations who totally abuse human rights, who break every contract, who supply arms to murderers, who threaten the entire world. And yet...there they are with their "holier-than-thou" attitudes. It puzzles me. The U.N. in my opinion, is a worthless, hypocritical, fraudulent organization enjoying the "high-life" in NYC, wearing expensive designer clothes, dining at the best restaurants, using diplomatic immunity to disregard our laws & not paying thousands of dollars in parking fines. I could go on, but you get the point!

I would be lying if I said that the Ukrainian crisis has not affected me. In a way it has made me afraid and also realize that Russia can actually be a threat and that the peace that has been in the western world after the world wars can be broken. Somehow I have realized on a deeper level that nothing is permanent and we are living the future's history at the moment.

Feels like bombings and unrest in nearly every part of the world. Unsettling.

I have stopped listening to the news whenever the Middle East is the focus. I no longer care about conflict in the Middle East. My potential compassion for the people there is tapped out. I used to enjoy listenting to news and felt it kept me better informed about the world. Now I struggle with what to listen to in my daily routine that will not leave me feeling either bored or depressed.

The conflict in Israel between the state and Hamas. I learned how quickly I can become angry and how much things effect me that are happening around the world. I made a conscious decision to become educated on issues but to read less inflammatory media and news.

Since I got rid of my television, I am not as affected by world events. I know there is violence in the Middle East that is affecting politics and the economy but I do not know much about it. The same with other horrible world events - I know they exist but they are not part of my life.

Less people doing the print advertising makes my job harder.

The epidemic of legalized murder and assault of black men has filled me with anguish and fear for black men and communities. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and the scores whose name I do not know.

Bar Mitzvah.

Getting good grades

The Hamas/ISIS situation this summer was really impactful this year. At camp, a lot of my friends were Israeli and they all knew somebody there fighting and all had family there suffering due to Gaza. This event gave me more motivation to take Hebrew at Emory and to study the Middle East.

The war in Israel with Gaza has made my interactions with the people in my Jewish community very tense and awkward. It has altered how I can communicate in my work place, and has made me begin thinking very seriously about how powerful war is to silence truth and the ability to listen, even when not in the war zone or actively impacted on a daily basis by the events of the war.

The Ferguson shooting and subsequent riots. Over the past year I've become good friends with several African Americans and whenever I hear about another unarmed black man being shot by police I think of all the photos of their loved ones on FB and how the same thing could happen to any one of them. It makes me sad and angry.

Nothing with the rest of the world

...

Robin Williams committing suicide. It seemed like everyone took that celebrity death so personally. Also because I deal with depression it's kinda scary to think that one day I might feel that way too, but hopefully not.

world events. that's a tough one. not because i don't think about them or consider them important it's just that. ..to me. ..they quickly become overwhelming. i remember some years ago when i was watching the nightly world news and they had this story about some russian school children that were being held hostage that were finally being freed and they were running for their lives. i was sobbing watching these little children run, literally for their lives. after that i stopped watching the news. i still struggle with the issue of wanting to be informed and being overwhelmed by the tragedy that exists every where in the world. after pondering this one for a minute (because my brain runs so slowly) i thought of a few "little" bits of the world that i was interested in while they were happening. the first is the Ukranian Revolution. i am not really sure why this story grabbed my attention other than to say - i think it was due to the fact that there was a lot that happened quickly. a lot of power shifted hands quickly. i am not so sure how it has impacted me but why i can tell you for sure. ultimately, it looked like and i think it was meant by the people to be an uprising to help the people of Ukraine, which seems like a good thing. but then it looked like the uprising might not be to their benefit after all. the willingness of a people to riot for what they believe to be better for them is always a fascinating thing to watch. when so much blood is shed because the belief is a better life i tend to pay a bit more attention. i want to see how our humanity plays out and i always hope and pray that good will win and not evil. the second event may seem trivial to some but for me was kind of a shocker. as an avid movie watcher i was very surprised when the news came out that robin williams had committed suicide. this is not the first actor to commit suicide or die his own hand. this isn't even the first actor that i knew growing up that passed away. yet, for some reason it was like a splash of cold water on my face. growing up there weren't many actors that my mom liked. even to this day i still quiz her about different actors and most of the time she says no. robin williams was no different. even to this day i can recall hearing her say she specifically did not like him. he was, i would speculate, in her opinion "a loud, rude, crude comedian" or something like that. but for me i had experience of watching him and see his talent in movies like: mrs. doubtfire, dead poet's society, good will hunting, hearing his voice as the genie in aladdin, world's greatest dad, RV, and one hour photo. he really was a very versatile actor. who knows maybe there is a par of who he was that i identify with. in this movie watchers opinion - he will be sorely missed.

The growing acceptance of gay marriage continues to affect my life, as friends are getting married all over the place. Most have been together for years already. It somehow widens the gulf between the married and single folks.

A world event? Other than some freaky shit happening over in the Mid East.... Having just had a child - did we do something dumb by bringing some beautiful, innocent baby girl in to a world of beheading and terrorism?! Teach your children well and let them lead the way.. I think we will pull out OK.

The conflict with Hamas and Israel, because I was in Israel while it happened and I had to go to the bomb shelter a lot, and it was very meaningful to me.

World events generally confirm my understanding of the world, so whether it's gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, fighting in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ebola, hurricanes, congress, and the rest, the vigilance associated with where Jews are in the world, where rights are being recognized or suppressed, and where we all are on the general health of the planet, this year has been more of a confirmation of trends than a revolutionary impact on my way of living or thinking.

I guess Robin Williams' suicide really affected me. I really felt deeply in touch with his pain. It made me realise how deeply I am drawn to pain and I need to look towards the light more.

The war in Israel is affecting me more this year. My cousin lives close to the Gaza strip and has shared with me about her children enlisting in the army at just 18 yrs of age and their horrifying experiences.

Obama won! :( He still president today. I don't understand why? But ITS OKKKKKKKK he lose next time

I'm so out of touch...but I have been thinking a lot about environmental issues and I am really interested in what is going on at the climate change summit. I want to understand, and maybe help others understand, the choices we need to make to live on the planet sustainably - not for the next hundred years but for the next thousand, or ten thousand.

Recently this year in Israel, there was a war between Israel and Gaza. It impacted me greatly because I was born there.

This year the implementation of Obama Care has affected my job. As a result of the higher price of healthcare, I have had to implement a price increase with all of my customers. This has required several hours spent on negotiating and implementing the increase. Often for only a few hundred dollars of additional profit to cover the increased costs of the healthcare reform.

The World Cup was this summer. Holy shit I love the World Cup. Nationwide, positive unity is rare for the good 'ol USA and it always feels embarrassingly good. Anyway (that's not really my point here), it also made me hyper-aware of just how little cultural experience I have. How many of those countries have I traveled to? None. I know little about their people and customs and have never witnessed firsthand any of their beauty or uniqueness. It's heartbreaking, actually. If not now, when?

The Ray Rice case. I'm glad to see people begin to shine the disinfectant of sunlight onto violent assaults that happen to be perpetrated by people related to their victims. I'll tell anyone what happened to me. Why not? It wasn't my fault and I should have no shame. The more people hear it, the less quarter it will find!

The war in Israel has impacted me and my family. We have family in the IDF and we are worried about their safety

The Malaysian Airlines 1x disappearance and 1x shot down. When you have friends who travel a lot and specifically using MA, it adds to the shock and horror. Waiting to know friends are safe is heart stopping.

Upset about a LOT of things: the plight of the refugee children coming across U.S. borders, the fact that so many people work hard but don't earn a living wage, the assault on the freedom to be exposed to provocative ideas at high schools and colleges. And esp. upset that I am on the sidelines just observing the problems and not engaged in the fight to make things better. Don't want to save the whole world but would like to identify a new cause/group that I want to support, preferably with some hands-on volunteer work.

ferguson breaks my heart. what else can I say?

The Incursion into Gaza broke my heart. I hate the deaths of Israeli soldiers and the innocent Palestinian lives who have been used as shields. I hate the terrible flare up of Anti Semitism masquerading as Anti Israeli feeling. I hate the copmparison of Israel to an Apartheid State - I am a South African and Israel is NOT that! Fare from it. I hate the comparison of Israelis to Nazis. That hurts so much. Again, accusations by the ignorant, and the bigoted. I hate the fact that for the first time in many many years, I feel real fear, as a Jew even though I live in the US.

Robin Williams suicide.

I’m not sure there’s a “world-related” event. There are experiences I have had this year, like going to West Africa, that have opened my eyes to some world events. Made me more aware of the impact on other people. Made me more conscientious and cognizant. The fear of Ebola is so close to my Ghanaian family….although they have not been touched by it, it’s terrifying.

Two come to mind. 1) Ferguson. As someone who profoundly respects African American culture and people, it's really hard for me to empathize with the black community about what happened at Ferguson because I am not black. Or white. I am Asian, and it's difficult being this "model minority" the colored community is always being compared to. It's difficult to write about because I feel like I need to tiptoe in and out of what is politically correct. It's difficult to speak about because you never know facts, especially when I've learned in college time and time again about how media conglomerates are all owned by the same dominant corporations. Corporation run by white men and their political agendas. So who to believe? Who to read about? I stand by my beliefs and I support the Ferguson movement, I don't trust the police, but it's hard when I am a model minority citizen and I have never faced the hardships that blacks have. I can watch Scandal all I want, I can think about the quote from the show on how they need to "work twice as hard to get half of what they have" and all I can think about is yeah, fuck white privilege. But then I have to be put back in my own space...and check my "Asian Privilege" because I never struggled. I never had any doubt college would be taken care of. So it's difficult to have a voice here. 2) Emma Watson's speech about feminism. When Anh asked me last year, in the NIP, about whether or not I would identify myself as a feminist, I said not "an extreme" one but definitely yes. And I felt that UCLA was the place that opened my eyes to that--gender equality, tolerance, etc. But after hearing Emma Watson's speech, I realized she was incredibly correct. I didn't identify as an "Extreme feminist" because I didn't want to seem aggressive, or a man-hater. And that is what the term has become. The fact that it is all just about equality--but instead turns into this nasty stereotype, is astounding. This year the rise of the feminist movement came--Beyonce, Emma Watson. Voices that for generations, like Maya Angelou, have finally been acknowledge. And it's in this social space, this pervasive media, and in college campuses around the world that I feel has impacted me in this way. Hopefully, by this time next year the movement has taken off a little more. Feminism. Maybe next year, that word won't be so threatening and negative anymore.

Israel vs. Palestine I think because I've admittedly never been that invested into global politics, this was a new realm for me to enter. Dating a jewish man had a huge influence on my way of thinking. Nonetheless, being the kind of critical thinker I am, I fought it for a long time. I said things to be controversial, I prodded him into arguments, I wanted to see his responses. I think after months of dramatic heated debates that may or may not have threatened a relationship, we both have a better understanding of the way each other thinks, and of the situation at hand.

I moved my father and saw the sum of his life being tossed out on the curb. Very sad.

The violence that is happening all over the world does make me feel lucky to be in a place I feel relatively safe.

I feel this year I've been pretty insulated from world events, less than pretty much any other year, outside news events haven't affected me other than the direct ones such as global warming and heatwaves. Its amazing how not having TV changes your panic meter.

To be honest, not much affects me, and I don't follow a whole lot of world events, so this one doesn't totally apply.

The number of folks destitute and on the margins of society. This continues to trouble me very much. I struggle with the call of the gospel to include those in the margins and yet our churches do not reflect, "the least of these."

The conflict in Israel this summer. It really challenged my world views, my views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and forced me to get involved in an uncomfortable but necessary dialogue.

I am struggling to come up with an answer. I have tended to avoid the news as much as possible, because I feel helpless and frustrated. I guess is there is a world event, I would have to say it's the gridlock and stagnation in Washington. The sides are polarized, there is not a lot of healthy deal-making, I've gotten worn down and tired of the rhetoric on both sides. The wars in Syria and the Ukraine seem very far away.

The war in Gaza against Hamas. I realized that many close friends and family are anti-Israel, and in a way which is anti-Semitic. It has been a shocking and very disturbing time.

nothing really. i try not to follow the news to heavily b/c its depressing and i like to be somewhat naive

First I thought, tennis events, maybe? Then I remembered: the DAP. When the SC ruled parts of the DAP unconstitutional, and when the NEDA SG ordered a freeze on all DAP-funded projects. That included me, technically. People don't understand anything. I especially hate ignoramuses screaming DAP foul. I hate the SC, I hate the closed-minded practitioners of rigid law that doesn't allow progress and change. You all know nothing.

I guess the Bowe Bergdahl event has affected me. I don't hear much about it now, but it sure felt like a real-life Homeland situation (tv show). I was impacted by his being held captive for five years. What is really weird to me is how his dad seemed to have become Muslim and grew the beard, how Bowe sort of disappeared and didn't see his family as soon as he could, and how US soldiers turned their backs on him. I really don't follow the news or current events too much. From Wikipedia: Bergdahl was released on May 31, 2014, as part of a prisoner exchange for five Taliban members who were being held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. This exchange quickly became a political controversy within the United States.

The murder of journalists James Foley and Stephen Sotloff. I have been a reporter my whole career and I take it for granted. These murders brought home to me that people die for the principles that I and others in the this country take for granted -- that a free press can report what it sees as the truth. We fear that people won't talk to us, or they'll call us biased. My guess is journalists in this country go to work not even thinking that they may not go home that night because of the work they do. The murders of Foley and Sotloff renewed my belief in the need for a free and vigorous press, and scared me that many in this country are taking that press for granted and don't know what we'll lose when we lose the ability to criticize without fear.

Third year of drought in CA. Why? Pretty obvious. Though the only actual impact has been that I let the garden go. And no x-country skiing. Other than that it is more along the lines of worrying about next year and thereafter.

The war in Gaza has made me think hard about the entire Middle East situation. I hate war and unnecessary bloodshed but I also hate that the Israelis must live in fear all the time. I am so angry about Hamas, Al Quaida, and now ISIS. How can these barbarians be stopped? Life is difficult enough without these terrorists operating all around us now. I am frightened about the world we are living in these days. I have always felt safe no matter where I have been, but that has changed because of these indiscriminate attacks and murders. What is next?

The violence in the world has made an impact on me in that I feel riled up and more anxious at times. Radical Islam is on my mind quite frequently and it is so vile and against all that civilized beings find holy and rational. The more I look at radical cultures, the more grateful I am that my ancestors had the courage and fortitude to sail across the ocean and become Americans.

My funding was pulled for a meeting was pulled because of the sequester, and my talk was pulled. I also organized a symposium at another conference after three years of work and the government was shut down during the meeting. The registration fees and the rest were eaten by the government. I couldn't work out going at my own expense, so I did work for our professional society while we were shut out.

Death ... of people I know. The death of two of my Jesuit professors (Smith & Schumacher) and of an Oblate priest-friend (Sherlock). The sudden death of two of my former students (Chad & Jade). The sudden death of a fellow professor (Lino). I am not afraid of death and I even welcome it. To me it will mean a respite. Oblivion means I will no longer have to be concerned about so many things, trivial or otherwise. At the same time, death is the termination of all possibility. The truth, beauty, and goodness that one contributes and could still have contributed will no longer be possible and come to an abrupt end.

The beheadings in Iraq- medieval and evil. Makes me feel very sad for the mothers of both men. It's just plain gruesome and shows the underlying violence that probably all humans possess . The difference being that love and kindness predominate- as well as the peacefulness that religion and spirituality have on tempering those underlying forces. You know- civilized behavior. Fortunately the Muslim community is just starting to tell the rest of the world that tenants of fundamentalism is not a part of their religion.

The war between Hamas and Israel and Hamas and Gaza. This affected my work, my friends and colleagues and my experience staffing a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip through work for my community.

The Ebola outbreak. It has brought me face to face with my mortality. The first known diagnosis in the US happened today (9/30/14). It could take off here like it has in other places. Really, what's to stop it. I am afraid for my kids.

The war in Gaza filled me with anger. I want to do more work for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine. I want to make even the smallest counterbalance to the many people I know, especially family, who support not just the state of Israel but its armed forces directly.

Israel attacking Gaza. It made me view Israel as an imperialist and it's breaking my heart... What will this mean for my (unborn) kids? What will this mean for Jews? For my sister who made aliyah? My identity as a political radical? Etc. it made me further isolated as a radical Jew.

The war in Ukraine started - the kind of war that should not ever be. It seems a real madness. Hard to believe.

The war in Gaza. World wide antisemitism. The deep and terrifying feeling of not being safe in the world as a Jew. This awakened all of my ancient memories of oppression persecution and isolation as a Jew in the world. Grateful for the IDF and the state of Israel.

Endeavour 2014. I got to meet different people from around the world and make new friends. I got to experience a whole new different world!

A steel storage tank near Charleston, West Virginia leaks the chemical 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) in large quantities into the Elk River, part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, leaving 300,000 people in nine West Virginia counties without clean water. Not only did these people not have access to clean water for a long time, but even when it was declared 'safe' no one believed/trusted it including the local authorities. The problem with getting food for drinking, cooking, bathing...to that many remote people is hard. People and Companies do stupid things without thinking. This is yet another example that our environment is fragile.

I guess the war with ISIS is building and every time something like this happens I become certain its the start of WWIII. In the last few weeks, however, I have noticed that unlike the other events, this one is affecting Australia. There are attacks on Muslims physically and emotionally and there are calls for it to stop. I don't think this has happened before so THIS makes me think that it might be it.

The Islamic civil war in the ME. It has not affected me directly, but it is a sobering reminder of how difficult Arab culture has become.

An event that has maybe impacted me the most is the drought in California and also the climate change crisis on the whole. I'm afraid to lose the chance to see certain things in my life like ocean life or natural beautiful places. That's my biggest worldly worry as I get older.

The genocide in Israel has been specially shocking to me because of the merciless attitude of, not only the militar forces but also the government and the political sphere of Israel, they don't carr if they are men, women, young, old or babies, they just exterminate. I'm overwhelmed by how inhumane their attitude is.

The war in Gaza. Simply because i'm here. No sirens. No attacks in our area. But the whole country had a tension that was palpable.

The growing militant Islamic groups, their barbaric savagery which is simply evil, their incredible cruelty and complete lack of humanity, has people in fear. They truly must be stopped. Torture of a mother of 3 and then beheading her... there are no words. It is complete ignorance of their own reason for being on this planet, complete savagery and turning away from their own humanity. The lowest that we can possibly be. In the face of this, ANY humanitarian and peaceful effort is GREATLY needed and applauded. I appreciate my friend Seitu's attempts at peaceful "mumblins". I appreciate kindness. I appreciate efforts at building understanding, patience with one another, people rising up to serve their neighbors in any small way. This is building community, this is what we are on this planet for.

The growing tensions around the world, as reflected in the Middle East, Ukraine and many other parts of the world. The beheading of journalists, the kidnapping of children in Nigeria and the disappearance of a domestic airliner are all a reflection of this growing tension

The shooting of Mike Brown. How helpless and stupid I feel as a white person, not responsible but also weirdly at fault, and yet not sure what to do about any of it.

Syria is going down the tubes and the IS is growing out of control there. Russia is invading the Ukraine, where a Dutch plane was shot out of the sky. Corruption in Spain and the list goes on. I've decided for my own sanity to keep my awareness to a minimum and to work on making the world a better place in my local area. You can only heal pain and hurt and anger with love.

war in Israel- it is so disturbing. Jews are not safe anywhere in the world and it looks like Armageddon is coming. Maybe messiah will come and save us soon b'h!

Yes, the aggression in the middle east. It is very scary, and we are killing innocent people, which I feel helpless to stop. I have a strong with for the Israeli and Palestinian people to form new relationships with each other, and heal the 2000 yrs of conflict with each other. I envision an international city of Jerusalem one day.

Robin Williams death really impacted me in that my brother and Dad are going through similar issues. Robin did everything "right" and he still felt helpless. Made me feel helpless in the moment.

If only one event, it's a cop killing an unarmed kid in Ferguson, MO - the weekend I was there, no less. The bigger part is the lack of trust I have for cops. This was a major blow to it, but there are so many instances over the past year alone that further erode my trust in them.

Surprisingly, a singular world event does not leap to the top of my mind. I read several newspapers each day including international papers. But yet, nothing is on my mind. I wonder why that is? There are plenty; Ebola, ISIS, Libya, Congress, on and on and on. Perhaps I am trying to keep my little corner of the world a bit less complicated.

The Isis beheadings. The raw view of that world. The feeling of helplessness and rage. and injustice. And disbelief. And watching that world being controlled through fear. Grateful for where I live. Wanting to do or say something to provide strength. Not really knowing what it is that those oppressed need.

Right now my own pain and immediacy feels so strong and overwhelming that I have trouble even recalling anything that's going on in the world. Ebola, conflict in Israel, kidnapped girls in Nigeria... so much horribleness in the world. Yet my personal life crisis right now puts blinders on to the rest of the world. Even though my marriage issues seem small in comparison to ebola or war or kidnapped girls... it's my reality.

The Ferguson shooting and the response has pushed me to be less automatically defensive about being white. I still think the activist community is too harsh toward allies, but I also have been reminded that the world I live in, with all its terrors, is nonetheless much safer than that of black Americans, no matter how smart and careful they are. That kind of fear and pressure is going to lead to things that feel too harsh to me, and I should be understanding.

The increasing use of drones -- weapons that cannot discriminate between civilians and combatants and are operated by people remote from the action.

The war in Gaza with Hamas has impacted me a lot, especially since I left Israel two days before the three boys were kidnapped. I respect the fact that the Palestinianas have genuine grivences that should be addressed, but I don't understand anyone who sides with Hamas. They are terrorist organization, it is written in their founding charter that their mission is to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews. People keep trying to make the war about Israel taking away the Palestinian government, it's not about that, it's about the fact that Hamas wants Israel destroyed. No matter your views on the other aspects of the issue, everyone should be against Hamas as a terrorist organizations.

Whether the cause is global warming, global cooling, or weather change, I have noticed the quality of food in my local groceries decreasing as the cost of 'real' food has increased. We've corrected for this by giving up most processed and junk foods.

Just like last year with Trayvon Martin, this year is the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The ensuing details of what happened is galvanizing me to get more vocally and visibly involved in working towards racial harmony. I am on the newly-revived Steering Committee for Not In Our Town, and the association with like-minded people is empowering...

The father in Atlanta that is accused of killing his young son by leaving him in the hot car. The boy was 2 months younger than my daughter, so the story hit too close to home. I know how aware she is of everything around her and how aware that boy must have been of being in the car. It hurts me deep in my sould when I think about a father being able to do such a thing. I just can't even comprehend.

The war in Gaza. Thank God my daughter came home with us in early June and missed the shelling. I don't know how she would have reacted, but I do know that my husband would have been on the next flight in order to bring her home! Having left Israel a few weeks before everything started made me much more cognizant about what was going on. And I was much more active on social media defending Israel from the haters.

Probably the problems facing the new country of South Sudan. People there are dying from starvation and other shit and the small amount of resources the rest of the world is providing isn't even being distributed to the people who need it properly because of corruption and mistrust. The world is a shitty place and there's nothing I can do to change that. South Sudan crushed my idealism and gave me an everlasting feeling of guilt at having access to clean water and not having to deal with basic issues like not dying today.

The continuous conflict between Israel and Palestine. I am Jewish and have been to Israel but for some reason I cant fully stand behind the country. I feel like I am betraying my people but as an American I am able to see it from an outside and more rational perspective which is what I think makes me so torn. It's scary and I just wish it would stop, but sadly don't think I will ever see peace in my life.

Shootings. Seems like the US gun culture is out of control

The #yesallwomen thing brought new understanding for me. It's so tiring to deal with, it's so exhausting to talk about. Even we have a hard time talking about it sometimes. He wants to talk about it, which is great, but I can see immediately why the conversation never gets anywhere. He starts suggesting things that we've been told for decades and haven't gotten us anywhere. Then he gets annoyed because I'm shutting him down, and it's because I've heard it my whole life. I think the difficulty is in the fact that women deal with this shit their entire lives, from what, 10 years old? And men only come to it when a woman in their life is affected in a way that brings it to their attention. So they're at Step One, and we're at Expert level. Mansplaining is exhausting, even when they're only doing it because they're new to the discussion and not meaning any harm.

I'm not sure there's been one particular event that impacted me this year. Usually this question is easy for me because I do follow the news closely and feel things in a personal way. But this year, I haven't felt that attached to any particular story. However, I do feel like this past year I have been more focused than ever on stories related to feminism and LGBT rights. As soon as we take a step forward, we take two steps back it seems. The Supreme Court overturned Prop 8, which was great news for marriage equality. But then they said Hobby Lobby didn't have to cover contraception, which was idiotic and bad for women. So the news is up and down for me.

Suicides of celebrities and those in the public eye. How close am I?

The Winter Olympics. The Olympics had always been exciting for me. I found them inspiring, and enjoyed watching the athletes wherever they were from. But this Winter Olympics was different. This was the Olympics that I realized the the Olympic Committee was just like any other company. They only cared about profit. With the bad tracks and routes, the last minute buildings, and the exclusive hate, I was horrified at the committees lack of response. The countries I understood as they were playing politics as always, but I always thought that the OC was above/beyond that. Sure the OC head made a comment about being accepting of all athletes and people in his opening speech, but that wasn't enough, and I find that they Olympics have lost their magic for me now.

It has seemed like so many things in the world are falling apart- Ebola, the Middle East. Probably the war in Gaza and the shooting and protests in Ferguson have impacted me the most- feeling both sad and hopeful.

When the Boko Haram kidnapped almost 300 girls and women from the Chibok school in Nigeria last April, it was all over the news for days. Maybe even weeks. Even the First Lady got in on it. Then we were on to the next thing--I think it was ebola?--and we forgot about them. Meanwhile, there are still almost 300 girls and women kidnapped in Nigeria. You can occasionally find news items about them if you google for them, but never in American news; I don't think people stopped caring about it so much as we just couldn't handle feeling so helpless about it, so we simply changed the subject.

Viewing the devastating shootings in the world. Praying for the safety of our children and our world.

Honestly, I find the news to be so sensationalist and fatalistic, I can rarely bare to listen. I do love NPR and the human interest stories I have heard there. One random and distressing event occurred this year when a convict's photograph went viral. The attention this convict received based on his chiseled chin and oh so beautiful skin and eyes! Honestly, I found this so upsetting. Are people and the media really so disengaged from meaningful endeavors that they can take the time to talk online about some hot convict? Get a life, get a job, go to work on something that matters. The world is needs your attention!

I keep abreast of world events. I care about what happens in the world. But I am much more concerned with local events and interactions. I may feel temporarily sad or anxious or excited about a world event, but it is the kindness of a stranger brushing the hair out of my eyes when my hands are full of bags that I find the most impactful.

There are events that happen daily in the world that impact me. THis year it seems a lot of what's happened/happening in the world has a lot to do with how people treat each other. I guess the most significant was the girl in India who was with a friend and got on the wrong bus and was raped and left for dead by a group of Indian men who felt justified in what they did. It's sickening to think that our culture has become about "try not to get raped" vs "don't rape". When did that all become okay? When did it become the responsibility of women everywhere to ensure they aren't raped? When did it become their fault? My stomach hurts just writing this down.

I think the war in Israel has had an enormous impact on me this year. I have had to deal with close Muslim friendships being tested and have had to deal with my bias towards Israel as always being right and Palestine wrong. It has tested my support of the Jewish notion of a homeland and has made me re-think about my own biases and position. I have been affected by the negative perception towards Jews in South Africa as well as our treatment because of Israel's actions. I think it has allowed me to introspect and come out with a more rational opinion of the challenges that exist in the region.

Ferguson -- terrible, violent, devastation. It has brought to the forefront the realness of the wreckage of racism, the vitality of people powered movements, and the impact of the media on shaping opinion.

The ongoing Edward Snowden revelations have caused me to reflect extensively on the state of privacy, free speech, jounalism, and democracy. (Hi, NSA/CSEC!) I plan to release a novel next year that addresses these topics.

The general unrest in the middle east including the Israeli conflict and ISIS continues to weigh heavy in my mind. It saddens me to see the inevitability of war. The Ebola outbreak is also troubling as the Western world thinks it will not affect us and interventions are slower to be available in under developed countries.

Brother getting a gf. Parents getting a new house.

A man in GA left his toddler in his car on a hot day and the toddler died. Father had left him in the car and went to work. There was evidence that he even went back out to his car at some point. What affected me most was learning that the toddler had tried to escape from the car and that there was evidence that he had struggled before he died in his car seat. I can picture this little boy waving bye bye to Dada as the father walked away knowing that he was killing his child. I don’t understand how a person could do that to their child; to this little person who loves you so unconditionally and trusts you so implicitly. What kind of monster could do that to their child? I can’t even think of the appropriate word to describe my feelings in this. Appalled, angry, disgusted, sad, the list goes on, but no word can fully describe or define how this incident made me feel.

I do not have anything specific, just the lack of accountability from our nations leaders. They all want to point fingers and blame others and no one accepts responsibility for their actions. From Benghazi to lack of ownership for the ISIS invasion into Iraq, Obama Care to welfare. No one wants to make tough decisions or hold themselves accountable.

Ferguson... it has given me hope that we can change things and make a difference if we refuse to do things as we have in the past.

Like every year, there is turmoil everywhere and big events and small being reported constantly on the news. The culmination of all of these horrible things has led me even more to believe that my purpose is not to know all of these things and be angry, vengeful, righteous, sad, whatever. My purpose in life is to bring the beauty and wonder, the good, to every day and every life I touch. In my own tiny corner of the world I can affect change by first doing no harm.

The major airline crashes (Malaysia and Ukraine) rocked me primarily because of the extensive loss of life and the mysteries surrounding both, which leave me feeling untethered. The brutality of ISIS is unspeakable and horrifying; I have found myself feeling hopeless about terrorist threats and have just realized I need to pray at these times to dispel that feeling.

2014 has been a year of victories for Marriage Equality in a number of states. That makes me feel good ,like the tide is turning, and we soon will be equal in the eyes of the law, if not by all people. I think it is now in nearly half the states. It's coming. It makes me happy. I hope the progress continues and that it is soon national law.

The Ebola epidemic. I was dismayed to hear there was an experimental drug that saved two Americans who contacted the disease when they were treating the afflicted, so why didn't we send those drugs to the population who needed it so much? I know if I had my choice, I would chose the hope of life with an experimental drug than certain death. What was wrong with that picture? People are dying. It could become a Pandemic. It could mutate. etc., etc., etc.

This year has been the beginning of the nightmare I predicated in 2011. The world is in disarray and many things from Iran nuclear talks to the war in Syria or Ebola in Africa are affecting me. However, two things have been the biggest impact on me. First, the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines plane by Russia and how senselessly many families with young children got wiped out deeply impacted me. I hate that Russia is not paying for this. The second part was what I had predicated. That the current administration world view will cause us to lose all the very hard gains we had made in Iraq, Afghanistan, and global terrorism. I am still predicting an awful terrorist event on the homeland within the next 3 years and I hate that.

The rise of Islamic terrorists and increased anti-semitism makes me so uncomfortable for my family and the world

The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. Maybe it doesn't directly, personally me directly since I am heterosexually married, but it does offer me hope that my country is getting safer and more protective of love in its many forms. It more directly impacts many people around me, and I look forward to many more celebrations of love.

So many people disappeared, taken, missing. The jets shot down, the schoolgirls we've since forgotten about. Most grandly, the fighting in Israel. My heart goes out to the land that I loved so much I wanted to taste the dirt, to swallow a little bit of sand so it would become part of me. As a Jew, I feel a darkness, an unsteadiness shifting in the world's perception. Yesterday I saw two swastikas on a stop sign, marked inside two stars of David written there previously. Meaningless, maybe. But I feel exposed, defensive, when people criticize my country. My homeland, my people. A grief and a pride as I feel for my own family. More quietly, the record-breaking cold. I felt winter would never end. Getting into the fall now, I delight in my favorite season. Forgetting that the winter follows, how the darkness overbears on the twinkling. Perhaps this year: I will hold the warmth close, and thrive.

It's difficult to pinpoint just one...so much has happened. The SCOTUS' decision in the Hobby Lobby case was pretty impactful in that it made me realize the extent of the justices' ignorance of the realities of birth control use as well as the country's current anti-woman climate. I fear for my daughter and all the young women in this country.

The war in Gaza made me confront previous feelings I had about Israel and the Palestinians. While my beliefs definitely skew left, I found myself in full support of Israel's response at the start. The rockets had to be stopped, but the civilian casualty still affected me. The fact that my daughter flew there while planes were grounded did nothing to help ease my anxiety. The anti-semitism which sprung from the campaign scared me, especially on social media. The fact that the UN did nothing about rockets being launched from their schools, etc. was maddening! I still am a firm believer in the 2 state solution but I'm not sure if that's possible with Hamas still in the picture.

The war in Gaza impacted me because I realized how separate I am from the Israeli Jews' experience. I can't imagine how either side felt being in such constant danger. And as an American Jew, I feel guilty for not entirely agreeing with Israel's position in Gaza. It also made me feel that the fighting and the situation is pointless. Why keep fighting--it doesn't promote anyone's cause and just leads to more suffering and bigger grudges.

The Israel/Gaza war. It has made me more committed than ever to Israel and the Israeli people and to Hebrew as the language of the Jews.

The resurgence of savage hordes in Asia, killing everyone in their path, like something out of Lord of the Rings. The saddest thing is the people joining them from all over the world. What kind of charm do these assassins hold? I feel that nobody is safe anywhere.

The war in Gaza.Man - was that insane. People on both sides - nasty. The anti semitism that showed up on social media and people - progressives no less - don't see it. I felt scared to post anything, say anything. I stayed silent online and at times felt like a traitor and going against my values. I speak up! That's what I do -but I stayed silent.

The kids crossing over the border has affected the amount of families coming into chelsea who need help immediately.

Gilad, Eyal, Naftali. I really believed we would find them alive. Their death, as Naftali's mom said, spurred a war with Gaza which possibly saved lives as the tunnels were destroyed. The achdus demonstrated made me feel so connected to Jewish people across the spectrum.

The chaos erupting around the world, stemming from religious and philosophical radicalism. No religion can claim to be pure or free of radicalism when it is threatened. I can't help but remember protesting the Iraq war in 2003, knowing two years before on September 11 that Bush was going to pervert that event for his own ends. It brought us to this chaos in 2014 and so many people without power and resources knew it back then. With two children of my own now, I fear for their tomorrow. Without listening to the radicals and attending to the circumstances that led to their violence (much of it U.S.-created), the chaos will only continue. Listen, accept, mediate, inquire - these things are needed more than ever.

I think I've answered this question the same way every year and that's that I don't stay that current on world events. I used to - a lot. I forced myself to listen to NPR on a regular basis and then I just stopped one day and felt better. I am mindful of what I put into my brain. I don't watch the news and figure that if I need to find out some really relevant and important information, it will find it's way to me somehow. Most news and current events information is slanted and who knows if we actually get the truth or at least truer perspective anyway.

Terrorism. Just the blind hatred of mankind. If they knew God at all they wouldn't be recklessly murdering people, His creation and to boot, making a spectacle out of it. When I see these signs of the times, just makes me see Biblical prophecy coming to pass. In a way its comforting because it reinforces Biblical inerrancy...on the other hand, the turmoil and effects of sin, opportunities for sin...sometimes this world really breaks my spirit. The takers keep taking, people take advantage and it seems the truly poor and needy are either forgotten or trampled underfoot...it's just a sad state of affairs.

The ongoing stupidity of killing people because they kill people - illustrated repeatedly in the world. Violence begets violence - locally and world-wide. The absence of integrity, never knowing how much truth versus propaganda is coming out of the media and government officials. It is depressing and infuriating and discouraging with little idea how to change it. My response is to live my own life with integrity.

There's no specific event, but I am ever-more mindful of the fragility of life. As I lean into AA and other supports, I find that the only response to life is to be present, to do for others, and at the same time not neglect my own needs. If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? Hillel's counsel reminds me that time is short, and that I have wasted precious time in an endless lifelong cycle of blame and complain. I have avoided taking responsibility, and depended on my wife and others to step up in my place, to compensate me for the wrongs of my childhood and then absolve me from obligation. (Who will be for me? I have to be.) When they naturally resented this, I blamed them for failing me. (Just as my parents did). And because I was angry, I acted out in juvenile, selfish and hurtful ways. (What am I? An adult who is only now growing up.)

Superman Sam. It's just so scary to know that you just never know what will happen in the future - how things can change. Or maybe it's better that we have no idea...

The violence between Israel and Gaza has caused me to look at my beliefs on the place of Jews and politics in the world. I am saddened by the improbability of peace between the two but it also provides a view into my own person as to my position. I found myself tied to the idea of a homeland but pulled away by the violence that surrounds it. I may be a dreamer but I believe there are so many ways they could be going about this whole ordeal that would solve the issue and I am saddened that they are not approaching it that way. That being said, I myself do not understand all the complexities that are tied into the issue and I don't think I ever will but this ability to reflect upon this and decide for myself how I see my Judaism and the state of Israel has provided a great sense of belonging (if not just since I started writing this)

Probably, the stories of women being abused. The young heroine in Iraq who was maimed, left for dead and lives to continue her quest to educate girls/women in her country. The horrific stories of rape in India and throughout the world, as well as human trafficking on the increase in my home state. It just makes me wonder "where is God" in these people's lives, and what can I do to help?

Well, the Climate March is the most recent. It was inspiring! I'm so glad I went; I wouldn't have missed it. Gaza, sigh. I ignored it as hard as I fucking could, because, I thought, what good can my misery do for anyone getting killed over there? Sometimes it leaked in, like the NPR story where they reported from inside Gaza and it was all, "There's sewage in the streets, there's no food, there's no money, the banks are closed, the people are getting killed while they shelter inside school buildings, etc etc etc." And then they interviewed a guy in Sderot or wherever who was outside washing his car, and he said, "I'm so glad I can wash my car in peace. This is a human right. I think a little trouble is worth it." Moments like that and my brain would just fold in on itself for a minute.

The 50th anniversary of freedom summer. Suddenly I was thrown into the thick of things and had the chance to see heros in the flesh like Julian young, bob moses, holice watkins... I also learned more about civil rights that I ever had growing up. I learned about the rich history of service in judaism, and the jewish freedom summer vets. I met them and was inspired by them. Furthermore, their passion about palestinian rights inspired me so much and angered me that these figures don't have more of a voice in the community. I think they helped me to broaden my views of service and of justice and ground this work in the jewish tradition. Most of all, I was blessed to be living in Mississippi and experiencing these stories all over again. Questions of are jews really white folk began to arise and add complexity to my view of jews and service.

The protests in Hong Kong are affecting me as I live in China. I know how the "little" limits to freedom impact personal relationships building walls of doubt and suspicion, and how they impact education. There's so much that people can't learn, analyze or discuss. Hong Kong is able to rule itself. It should certainly be able to choose its own candidates. Yet I worry that the PRC will act violently. Praying for the Hong Kong Patriots.

Wow. This year, I don't even know. I've been too caught up in my own problems to pay attention to world issues. The Hobby Lobby/birth control thing? That's an issue close to home. ISIS? That really hasn't weaseled its way into my thoughts too much. Maybe dumpster babies or prom bathroom babies, if that even still a thing.

The increasing conflict between Israel and Palestine has impacted me since I am Jewish and have friends who are both Jewish and Muslim (although I am not Israeli and they are not Palestinian, we still hear these stories constantly from relatives, friends, etc). It made me realize the constant danger that many Middle Eastern people, some younger than me, are placed in each day.

The beautiful orange and purple starfish that I grew up poking at and wondering over on Orcas Island as a child have started disintegrating, dying off en masse, due to changes in the ocean. Global warming hit home personally, it is destroying something that I treasure.

New Doctor!!!! Yeah, the Whovian in me is showing. But it is one of my favorite shows. I'm really liking Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.

The IS beheadings. Really scary that there are horrible people like this out there and that we will be in another war. I cringe to think about my future children being brought into this world.

The death of Rik Mayall, whilst obviously not affecting me directly, brought it home to me once again that life is short, and there to be savoured, sucked clean and really lived. he was a person who lived, I think.

I'm sure there is one but... I guess in CA the drought has caused less than ideal circumstances. We had no snow this past Q1 which resulted in no snow boarding and I'm sure that cut out at least a couple of fun times with the family.

I always struggle to answer this question, no world event has impacted on me this year. Nothing has affected me directly or indirectly and as I avoid reading and watching the news because 95% of it is horrifically depressing, nothing has affected me in that way either.

The situation in Ukraine and arrogance of the Russian people and president. The USA ' s inactivity as well as EU too! They all fear Putin

The beheadings in Syria. They are so awful, so violent. They have made me want to (and often DO) turn off the radio, stop reading the article. Denial and avoidance aren't helpful (or responsible ) responses, but what can I do? (Emphasis on "I"/me.) Truly, what difference can I make about this?... I ponder but come up with nothing.

Trying to answer this question has brought home to me how unengaged I am with world news these days. I used to be very politically engaged and listen to Today every morning and PM every evening, but since the 2010 election I've just found it too depressing. I loathe what this government are doing. I didn't expect better of the Conservatives, but the Liberal Democrats have been a HUGE disappointment, and now I'm left feeling like I have nobody to vote for. Labour can't win in my constituency, the LibDems have let their voters down, I'd rather die than vote Tory and UKIP make me shudder. So depressing. I find world news depressing too. The religious right in the US scare the bejesus out of me. The middle east is terrifying. ISIL are beyond terrifying and their rise is because of a vacuum we created. Awful. I can't bear the stories of such suffering - my tolerance was never high but since I had children it's lower - I give what I can to charities that help and write emails to my MP that don't get answers but other than that I feel powerless. The ray of sunshine this year was the passing of same sex marriage legislation in the UK. That made me happy. I'm a woman married to a man for 9 years, but as we're both bisexual, we're both aware that it could have been different for us both. Now I'm glad that marriage is just about love, and nothing else.

Nothing. Not impacting me, but my friends went to Israel while it was being bombed by Gaza. This was scary for me not knowing how they were and if they were safe.

This has been such a difficult year for us personally that the outside world hasn't been in my focus at all. There's a long list of world events I could list, but they haven't impacted me because I've already been bombarded at all sides with issues much closer to home.

When ISIS started a war with the Iraq and Syrian Government because they have lots of power and are still growing.

I think I really identify with the migrant children who are being detained and the ones that are being sent back to their countries, even if those countries are horrible places to live. I think of what it would be like for Katherine to somehow transport herself from South America to the United States, to live in a detention center and then to be returned back to her country of origin. How does a child that young even comprehend such a thing. I see her playing with her toys and worrying about playdates and being exhausted at the end of the day because she's learned so much at school and I don't even know how she would begin to consider migrating. It just boggles my mind.

The growth of radicalism and fundamentalism. The challenge of power amongst the various power brokers in world of economics has lead to an attempt to use the guise of religious fervour to harness hatred. This hatred and pathological zest to have power has become every evident this year.

The ice storm last winter. It hit me how fragile life is and how important it is to live it wisely and well.

The war in Gaza. My commitment to the jewish people and my own family living in Israel made me actively involve in Hasbara activities to defend Israel's right to defend itself. I was moved by the soldiers and by the deaths in both sides. I prayed for peace and still do.

Nothing that has happened in the world has impacted me in any direct way.... Mostly because I try not to pay attention to anything going on in the world at the moment... I'm not pleased with it, but I just have enough crap going on in my own life that I can't be bothered to worry about how the world will impact me. That being said, I'm sure that's what will end up biting me in the ass. The biggest problem with the world today is being so self-absorbed that they don't pay attention to what is happening in the world around them... I am not pleased to be a part of this statistic.

The deaths of Robin Williams and Maya Angelou really made me think about lives and pain. The shooting of Mike Brown made me think about the unresolved racial inequity still alive in the US and the blindness the "black community" has to other pains that aren't police brutality. The allegations against Ray Rice and Adrien (?)Peterseon made me think about how so much pain occurs on intimate levels, but no one wants to talk about it. I hate that black women and black queer people and people not thought of as "black" are constantly silenced.

Robin Williams killed himself, that was incredibly sad and made me think about the mental health of me and my brother as something we should look to deal with rather than just continue to try to live with.

I traveled to California and Las Vegas this year! It was the first time that I attended Electric Daisy Carnival. This wasn't an epic world event, but for me it was incredible!

The war in Gaza, it made me reflect on what true Judaism is and made my wife and I argue. Thinking of the innocents lost.

ISIS taking over parts of Iraq really impacted me. I am stunned at the stupidity of the officials in our government that didn't foresee this. And I am upset at the public for being so blind and needy. We had to get out of Iraq, a war I didn't agree with at all, but it fell just like South Vietnam fell. Just like Afghanistan fell. Do they not get it? Because the mission kept changing. And at some point the mission was to help build a stable state. (One can argue that it was a stable state before we invaded.) But then after making all those commitments and training all those people and loosing all those lives we were just like, meh. I think I'll go home now. Good luck. Another event that troubled me was our state election. I supported a local independently minded Democrat. I even helped in my small way with her campaign, going door to door one afternoon and engaging voters at the polls. And how many registered voters turned up to vote? 9%! What a fucking sham! All these morons with their flags and their "America!" ra-ra and when it comes time to actually participate in democracy.... 9%. We get the democracy we deserve.

all this trans stuff. fascinating. it's exciting because it forces us to question our own narrow-mindednesses, to rethink what we think is icky or unacceptable, not to mention what we think is beautiful. it requires us to open ourselves further, and that is a very very good thing.

The continuing boiling of the Mid-East cauldron. Have changed my attitude to a position where the US is not the World's keeper or policeman. We should tend to home issues first.

Robin Williams dying was very sad to me. Someone who brought so much joy to the world, and yet he was plagued with sadness. It really was just such a sad week and something that hung over me for a while.

The death of Robin Williams. It feels silly for me to care so much about a celebrity, but I did know him. Not metaphorically, literally. I went on a retreat with him and his son, as well as my mother and several other families. We were there to work out our emotional issues, which was painful, and, of course, very personal. I shared things in front of him and he shared things in front of me - as well as all the other people in our group. We laughed, we cried. I thought he was an interesting person, but I was fascinated by the effect he had on people around him. Not that he made everybody laugh and people got happy whenever he joined a conversation, but rather... the way they oriented themselves toward him. Everyone was trying to act cool, like they weren't hyper aware of the world's biggest celebrity sitting across the room from them. People would try not to stare, or, rather, try not to appear as though they were staring. When he left the room they would huddle and whisper, gossiping as if we hadn't all just witnessed the exact same thing. Once during a community meeting I made a joke (you can't live with depression if you can't laugh about it), and Robin cracked up (something about how family week was akin to vomiting, you really dread it, you know it's going to suck, while it's happening you feel like shit and you hate it, but after it's over you're so glad you did it). In the vestibule after the meeting (as soon as he had left the room) a few people approached me to say "Watch out, he might steal that joke from you!" What the fuck? Anyway. Robin was a human being, but the heights of his achievements seemed so far off the ground to us mortals that we couldn't treat him like a person. He was a legend. He always will be a legend. I tried, but I couldn't get the fact of who he was out of my head when I was talking to him. But I think that's okay. He left an impression. He left a happy impression. I know he had demons, and I saw some of them, but I also saw him experiencing genuine joy. People are talking about his death as if it means he was NEVER happy, as if he always was super depressed and just faking whenever he appeared to be in a good mood. This is not true. He had downs, he had really really bad downs, but he had joy in his life. He had a lot of joy in his life. I think he is an inspiration. Living with bipolar disorder is like having one hand tied behind your back. He did wonderful things, and knowing his struggles, they're all that much more spectacular. He took a shortcut to the finish line. I don't think that means his life was a waste. I think he wanted to go before things went downhill, before a great life became an okay life with a protracted painful end. Honestly, in some ways, I think his suicide was justified (especially considering the parkinson's). This affected me because of my experience being around Robin, and it made me think about my own mental illness.

The Winter Olympics occurred in Russia this year which has become synonymous with homophobia. While it didn't happen to me the fact that no one is stopping it and it hasn't been talked about since winter is bothersome. I hate seeing such an important subject tossed aside.

No world event has ever led me to feel as if something seriously bad is looming in the near future than the Israel conflicts with Hamas and ISIS in Gaza. ISIS is mobile, powerful, and their ideologies seem nothing short of genocidal. To me, history in the past fifty or so years has seemed blurred by so many factors that something as purely evil as this movement is surprising. The only relief I find about ISIS is in the belief and understanding that this is something undeniably bad.

The Israel-Gaza war sits in my mind every day. It affected a friendship. It worries me because I love Israel and I hate seeing stupidity from Israel, although that is set alongside the hatred of Hamas and growing anti-semitism. On the other hand, interesting subject for study...

Although saying this will blow my image as a selfless human, here's the truth: the saber-rattling around the globe, especially in Ukraine and the Middle East, has made it harder to keep my PTSD under control.

It feels like things are unraveling. There has been so much bad news -- climate impacts, the middle east, Ebola, Ferguson, racial disparities in my own community. My experience as a sustainability leadership educator has helped me remain focused on the actions I can take as an individual. I think the growing pile of bad news made me even more determined to find a new job through which I felt I could make a positive difference.

The polar vortex! On this news-making day of weather we had no other choice but to drive from Pittsburgh to Chicago, stopping in Michigan to drop off the truck. There was supposed to be a 9am rehearsal in Chicago the next day, and it was our only chance to get the truck to MI before we headed south to Texas after Chicago. It was the scariest drive of my life. I remember checking into the hotel in Chicago feeling shell-shocked. And of course the rehearsal we'd busted our butts to get there for was cancelled, none of the show trucks were able to make it. This is an example of how tight the schedule was on tour at that time we were buying and outfitting the RV and truck at the same time as moving from city to city every one or two weeks. It was amazing that we were able to accomplish it all as smoothly as we did. Still, the experience of it was not smooth. We got ourselves in some tight spots and had to do some difficult things. I saw at least 3 eighteen0-wheelers jack-knifed on the road that day. It was slippery, windy, freezing cold. It was not fun. It was the razor-sharp edge of excitement, the part that stings more than it thrills.

One world event that always gets me fired up is the World Cup, and this year was no different! I love the global aspect of the game - it really feels like a unifying event. This year, the US went further than expected and the spirit and energy behind the team was palpable. It was awesome.

This question is hard for me. Maybe I need to be more in tune with what's going on in the world. Or maybe it's good that I don't let world events impact me. Not sure.

ISIS beheadings of children and Western journalists. Fear of getting into war with a barbaric enemy with no end-goal in mind.

I didn't have to think for more than one second to know: It was the beheading of Steven Foley by ISIS. It made me sick to know that such barbarism is alive and well in the world and terrified to know that so many people are actually inspired by it. I am a kind person, and have worked hard to exorcise demons from my heart, to learn to forgive, to do the right thing, to live ethically. But I feel powerless to make a difference. How can we eradicate barbarism without becoming barbarians? We would then only perpetuate the barbarism. I can continue to try to be a better person, to refrain from judgment and stereotyping, and to speak out against injustice. Perhaps, more than anything else, it's the best any of us can do.

The conflict in Israel with Hamas impacted me. I cringed when I heard how many Palestinians were killed. And yet out of it all, I realized that Israel was under real threat of great damage by the tunnels being built and the rocket attacks. I became more pro-Israel as I thought of what they needed for their survival and how Hamas is out for their destruction. Also, I am able to hold both views in my mind at once and have great compassion for all the Palestinians that have been killed and wish that Israel didn't have to harm so many. I also am angry at Hamas who puts their people in harms way and if they are going to attack Israel, they should educate their people on how to protect themselves in case of attack.

Something that his me really hard was Robin Williams' death. It's the first time a celebrity death really affected me and depressed me. I guess it would have been one thing if he had just died from an accident or old age, but he died from suicide. Robin Williams was such a major help and hope to me when I got depressed, and he managed to pull me out of being suicidal several times myself, so it was hard to see him die by that. I keep wishing that I could have been there for him the same way he was for me. Probably what's hardest about it is that he always felt like a father figure to me, in a way. He felt safe, and comforting, and I honestly felt love for him like he was a family member, which I don't usually feel over celebrities. And I guess it's hard to realize that my own family will one day die too.

El mundo se ha convertido en un lugar oscuro y violento. Hay tantos actos de violencia y crueldad hoy en día. Por ejemplo, un hecho que ha afectado mi vida fue en gran medida ha sido la propagación del virus del Ebola. Un pequeño virus mortal procedente de una aldea africana que ha estado causando temor en todo el mundo. Ahora ha sido detectada en los EE.UU.,está afectando mi manera de pensar. Ahora soy muy cuidadoso , lavandome las manos en cada momento posible y evitando mucho el contacto con humanos enfermos.

I feel so out of touch. I know I should know more about what's going on. I've got that stereotypical American short-term-memory-of-a-fly problem. I have no idea how any of it affects me. I'm so privileged. There are so many horrible atrocities going on every second of every day, and I experience none of them. My family and friends experience none of them. When my government - local, state, or national- makes decisions about how we interact with the world at large, I feel no impact whatsoever. I'm sure there are many things that affect me. I just don't see them.

I found myself conflicted when the gaza war happened this summer. The level of anti-semitism in the world scared me. I pray for peace between us and our Arab brothers and sisters.

The events in Israel impacted me massively this year because it reminded me that A) I miss Israel and B) the world continues to stand against Israel and the Jewish people.

Tony Abbot as Prime Minister. The passivity and powerlessness of individuals in Australia. A government that does what it wants, regardless of ethics or human values, regardless of evidence. I feel stuck, shamed, angry, dirty. If I could work out something to do that actually made a difference that didn't involve a radical and irresponsible lifestyle change -- for example quitting my job and becoming a full time activist - I would feel better because I could encourage everyone else to do it, too. I'm not alone! I somehow feel responsible and guilty. If you know what we can do together, I want to work with you.

I work in aviation. Flight MH17 crashed. And I suddenly got a lot of questions from friends and family about how it could happen and where it could be. Sadly, these were mostly from people who just wanted some support for the OMG THE GUBMINT OBUMMER MUSLIM CONSPIRACY OMG of the day. Not from the truly curious. It hammered home for me how many stupendously foolish people there are out there. And how closely related I am to some of them (For the record: oceans are huge. Jets are incredibly small by comparison. It is NOT HARD to completely lose a jet over the ocean.)

The turmoil in the Middle East is flaring up once again. It leads me to wonder about my stepson who serves in the US Army and whether his life will once again be defined by events in Iraq.

Well this year has been eventful in the world I'm sure. I think I'm being closed minded some times. That plane disappeared. It seems suspicious. Who can we trust? There is war... again... surprise. It's pretty sad. Tons of people are dying. My very first boyfriend from the 1st grade is over there. He has a kid he's never met. I actively avoid the news because it makes me upset. I prefer living in a world I don't understand.

Iran, Japan with nuclear weapons, threatening to destroy Israel and the US; seeing the end times unfold.

The latest operation in Israel greatly impacted for me. For the first time I felt very closely connected to the conflict emotionally. It was partially because I was with Israelis at BCI and was sharing the pain, sadness, and hardship with them. It was partially because I was older, more mature, and more educated about the issue. And it was partially because I made more of an effort to read the news everyday (often three times a day) and know exactly what was going on there. It affected me emotionally each and every day as I toiled along with the conflict. It also made me even more of a critical thinker but also defender of Israel.

Oh, I try so hard to stay out of the 'the world'. It just depresses me more than I can handle. I stopped watching TV news and reading the paper over 15 years ago. I decided to go on a Media Fast and it was so freeing and peaceful that I never went back. People say to me all the time, "but how do you know what's going on?" Well, everyone tells me anything I need to REALLy know and the stuff I'm interested it, I CHOOSE to read about on the internet or just do what we used to do and pick up a good old fashioned book and read it. :-)

The train strike in France effected me because I was there when it was occurring. Having my sister haul her oversized suitcase up and down several flights of stairs (including an escalator no wider than either one of us that was turned off) , cussing at the absurdity of it, was not a memory I will forget anytime soon. In a less direct way, the Central American crisis of the plight of hundreds of children has impacted my heart. I have felt a deep desire to help with the crisis, which I realized is complicated and deep. The crisis seems to have died down for the moment, but I am concerned about what is going to happen again. I am praying for my next step.

The conflict in Ukraine was that sad event that captured my attention this year, the year before that was Syria. In the saddest moment, a civilian plane from Netherlands was shot down by pro-Russian separatists killing all aboard, families, women and children. The images of the aftermath were heartbreaking. Russia flexed its arm to the world. Venezuela attempted a revolution at the same time as Ukraine's was happening. It could be said both failed, although Ukraine managed to get their president ousted. Monica Spear was assassinated only seven days into the year. This too was a heartbreaking day. I had the opportunity to meet her a new year's eve some years past. She was a beautiful and kind soul. Only her picture remains and I feel grateful for the memory she left me.

I'm depressed and disheartened by the multiplicity of violence -- e.g., Ferguson, MO; Gaza; Ukraine; Syria -- and my own sense of powerlessness to help the victims in any meaningful way. Conversely, I have the greatest respect for the many medical professional who have been risking their lives to care for the Ebola sufferers and to eradicate this often lethal disease.

1976 homicide case - solved. Thus is why I chose this profession. A great reminder.

No one event has impacted to me...or at least my impaired memory can't produce a particular event. What is impacting me on the negative side, is the increasing incidence of climate and weather disorder and the amount of human devastation that accompanies these terrible storms and events. On the positive side, there were recent climate protests that seemed to get the attention of the mainstream media. Is it possible that the world will start to recognize climate change? Will my conservative friends and relations now embrace this topic or continue to claim these are typical weather patterns?

Ebola. I work in health care. It's now been identified in Texas????????

The Israeli / Hamas conflict has impacted me greatly. No, I'm not Israeli, Jewish, Palestinian, nor Muslim. But, after developing early views on the conflict, then asking friends and being directed to other sources, I have completely changed the way I think about conflicts in general, and world happenings as well.

The police violence and the media storming to create what I believe is even more hysteria. I realized while watching the riots and people turning against each other its not as much about color separation as it is about the lack of respect for oneself. children are not taught to respect their parents much less their elders. Too much violence in the hands of kids and WAY to many guns. Teach the kids to love life, respect the earth and each other instead of how to use a gun. I'm ready to get all grass roots and help save the children from growing up to soon!!

There has been the war in Gaza. it has affected me especially this time because kyla is dating a palestinian so i feel the conflict a little more personally, and also i see the impact that it has had on the world around me. How people are starting to be involved personally with the struggles israel has had for generations. I feel proud of israel for being an army who is on the forefront of fighting a war with great effort to keep unnecessary deaths from occurring... but i recognize that it has been very taxing for me to come to terms with the amount of information and thinking that i need to have and do in order to formulate a wise opion of the whole matter. it has been daunting to me and this recent war has allowed meto open up to my feelings about the situation more, because the world is also opening up to it and i am part of the world. I feel I am learning about it with the world community and that gives me support in a way. I hope to see more solid ground being covered in the coming year as to where i stand with the whole issue. Amen.

The war in Gaza. I can't count how many times I was caught in rocket sirens. Many times it was at home, and since our apartment doesn't have a safe room we needed to gather up the kids and run to the stairwell each time, even in the middle of the night. Once I was caught in the bathroom, and once in the shower. It was so awkard and difficult, I didn't know what to do. A number of times there were also sirens while I was in commute, which was more scary, crouching by the side of the road and hoping nothing would fall near us. I saw an Iron Dome interception over my head while crouched on the side of the road once as well, which was surreal. I hated being at work and having the siren blare, and having to run to the underground floor. The single worst experience was being in Ramat Gan and hearing a siren, but not at full volume. I didn't know if it applied to that area of not, and didn't know where a shelter was, or what to do. In the anxiety of the moment I froze, until I then heard 4 explosions in succession. That was particularly awful, I had a really bad headache afterwards and felt traumatized. I am sorry my daughters had to experience that, and need to be aware of other people in the world who wanted to kill them. I am also proud I was able to play some role in the defense of our country during this time.

Rather than an event per se, I have been increasingly upset by the ongoing reporting of violent acts, rapes and murders as "news" - on radio, television and print media. I find myself disturbed by these stories and question the relevance and purpose of reporting on these acts. I acknowledge the need to keep track of crime statistics in various areas, but cannot comprehend why - beyond shock factor points - such awful acts are seen as news. World events, wars, political demonstrations .. sure these I understand ... but awful individual acts of violence and perversion? No way. I cannot comprehend this.

Algo que me a impactado fueron los de Isis que les contaron la cabeza a los americanos. No se como pueden hacer esto es muy impactante.

I am encouraged about the more widespread acceptance of the science behind global warming. The demonstration in NYC was large and diverse. Unfortunately, it has taken major storms, fires and droughts for this to happen. I am sure it is not possible to decrease carbon pollution by voluntary methods. I can only hope for economic and technological solutions. I have been disgusted by events in the middle east. The emergence of a truly evil ISIL in Iraq and the continued brutality of Benjamin Netanyahu's government towards Palestinian civilians despite obvious negative consequences for Israel disheartening.

The Ferguson shooting and the disgusting excuses a lot of people have made for it make me even more hesitant to think of returning to live in the US.

Well nothing has impacted me directly but things like Isis and Ebola involve the US so in a way they affect me somehow. Or have the possibility to.

The airplane that crashed in the Indian Ocean. Malaysian Airlines were considered safe by most people. Is it ever really safe to use any kind of public transportation?

Un evento qué me a impactado en el último año fue la pérdida de Argentina en el mundial. Estábamos tan cerca de la gloria absoluta y lo perdimos todo

War in Israel because it showed how ignorant people could be.

Gaza. It's made me realize that neither a single nor two state solution is going to work until... (more about this in my blog)

ISIS's beheadings.....not just the reporters but children, women, innocents, Christians. Now there's some news of ISIS friends beheading a woman in Oklahoma City (wonder if the Black Mass had some tie to it). It has impacted me because it's a wake up call that religious persecution is coming here soon. But also, I need to do my duty as a Catholic to make spiritual reparation for ISIS's offenses against the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary. They are ultimately the ones hurt.

I am completely undone by either the rising level of occurrence or the rising level of the reportage of rape occurring globally - as either a weapon of war, or as a weapon of control and degradation, or, almost more horrifically in some ways, as a means of dehumanizing, indifferent entertainment at college campuses everywhere in the first world. It's beyond appalling, is deeply disturbing, makes me fear for my high school aged daughter's future.

The plane that was shot down in the Ukraine was especially sad to me. So many innocent unknowing lives lost for what I do not know and can not comprehend.

Brene Brown is bringing the conversations about vulnerability and shame out more and more. Shame and fear are some of this worlds biggest scourges. Love will prevail, I will stand for it

The plane shot down in Eastern Europe made me feel afraid for my girls. So powerless

I feel like everyone will say Ebola since it's just now showed up in the U.S. I feel remarkably detached about that. The shooting down of a passenger jet over Ukraine broke my heart - so many lives shattered and I was feeling emotionally raw anyway. Also, the taking of the schoolgirls by the Boko Haram. I was first sad that they weren't getting much press, excited they caught the world's attention and then astonished as they were nearly forgotten. Can't forget how much women globally must fight just to be educated. I hope they are freed.

The March for global climate change in NYC showed me that people care but still cling to individual aspects and don't want to be holistic and compromising.

Fortunately I have not really been impacted. There are lots of world events that I have not been touched by. And most world events are negative, so I'm thankful for that.

The war in Israel made me think hard about my own identity. Both anti-semetism rose and my apathy toward Israel (not toward Judaism, but to Israel) rose. These seemed like two concrete issues that were precursors to Nazi Germany. It concerned me quite a bit. I thought over and over again about Hillel's famous statements and how I would want my children to internalize these conflicts. On one hand, yes, Israel was under attack. But it was hard for me to feel MORE strongly in this conflict than what seemed to be happening in Syria. In either case, it is my first reaction to feel for the most vulnerable. I could only find solace in the Jewish and Israeli Americans who were concerned about Palestinian citizens not involved in Hamas' conflict but directly impacted. It has made my worldview more muddy, not less.

Hmmm....can't really think of one. I do think I would like to get more involved with Footsteps though. That would be a cool way to give back to my community, helping those Orthodox Jewish who choose not to stay in their communities.

The face of the economy has impacted my family. We became one of the many unemployed. We came through and struggled some but realized how much we still had.

The Cathalan Independist movement. Its bigger and bigger each time.

The growing anti-Islam sentiments in the western world disturb me much much more that the supposed threat from a minority of extremists. Although it doesn't have the same long history, I equate it with anti-Semitism and how that escalated and escalated until 6 million people died in concentration camps. I keep telling the 'ban the burkha' brigade that those whose forget their history are destined to repeat it, but everyone seems so caught up the fervour of blaming someone for their problems that no one can see where it could lead or, even worse, they do see and they don't care or welcome it. It makes me feel sick. I did read somewhere that xenophobia increases during period of economic crisis, but I find the whole thing chilling.

There's so much going on, and I honestly feel terrible admitting there is so much about it all that I don't know. The Ebola outbreak in Africa, the unrest and drone strikes in Israel, syrian refugees starving to death, people without homes because they have been refugees so long that no one country will claim them -- children born and never registered with any official office, so it's as if they don't even exist, civil war and border tensions in Russia and surrounding territories, the downed plane in no man's land and the bloated, putrid corpses of innocents baking in the sun -- it's all so much. Moving to Missouri right in the midst of police brutality in Ferguson...seeing what sentiments and realities around law enforcement here are really like...it's wild. Also, earlier this year, actually just in April, the shooting deaths of three people at the KC JCC -- the same place where I go every week for my conversion classes. I would like to say I'm doing a brave thing by choosing to become a Jew and marching myself into a place where people where murdered to do it, but I'm not. I'm doing this for me, not to make any sort of stand. I'm a nobody. And as much as I usually "feel" things...I've gotten so spiritual or supernatural vibes in that building. It's a place of community -- that's what I feel there. Yes, all the strife all over is terrible, and yes, I've sort of mentally insulated myself from it. I guess I'm not woman enough to confront the world with all its ugliness. It only serves to make me upset and feel inconsequential -- it only reminds me how little impact I can make in an effort to fix any of it. It reminds me I am small.

My fiance's husband was sent to Afghanistan, he finally comes home next week.

35,000 walruses stranded on a small spot of land because ice is melting. I swear to God I'm going to do something.

The world is a scary place right now. ISIS is rising, antisemitism is rising, antizionism is rampant, and Israel, having just been through a month of horrific violence, is a less safe place now than it was a year ago. This has all caused me to really deeply assess my own feelings toward the issue of Muslim extremism, and Islam in general. I'm still struggling. On one hand, I want to hold the liberal ideal that what we are seeing is just extremism, but the reality seems to be that the illiberal ideals that the Islamic religion teaches permeate all of those who hold true to the faith. This isn't to say that I think all Muslims are bad. I absolutely don't. But I do think that Islam's teachings are more dangerous than those of the other religions to which it is often compared, and that the Muslim world's lack of outcry at current atrocities are telling of a dangerously widespread violent ideology. What does this mean for me? I'm not sure. But this is a question that weighs heavily on me.

The war in Israel and Avi having been called back to the army. It makes you realize how precious life is and how important family is too. It is also interesting to see what aspect of the issue people chose to connect to in regards to the issue.

The continuing saga in the mideast is quite interesting. All these countries forming an alliance of sorts to straighten things out in Syria and Israel is right next door. Yikes! That seems to have some biblical implications to me.

So many things happened. It's been a year of tragedies. I was most affected by the death of Karpal Singh, a prominent lawyer/politician/humans right activist in Malaysia for some mysterious reason. I don't really follow him closely when he was alive. But in his death, I felt a gap. A huge hole in the consciousness of this country. It's like, the main upholder of the conscience of this country died. The head of the Justice League died.

The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in March, 2014, didn't really impact me directly, but it is the world event I've paid the most attention to. Maybe because I fly a lot. Maybe because I'm fascinated with this kind of disaster. Maybe because I totally didn't think it was possible for an airplane to just disappear. Something is wrong with this story.

The kidnapping of the three boys broke my heart. At the same time though, it made me cry tears of joy to see so many different types of Jews come together in such pure unity.

The Hamas attack on Israel and the lack of support other countries offered to Israel. I feel very connected to Israel and this experience was very sad and made me angry as well. I attended large rally in support of Israel. Antisemitism has been a life-long awareness for me.

The shooting of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri - so many people impacted and not understanding what really happened. It makes me feel sad and angry. Yet I'm so far removed from the situation.

This has been such a terribly violent year. I think it's had an impact on my mental health - in terms of general depression, but it's hard to say. I have a hard time comprehending how people can be violent to one another - be it locally, as in Ferguson, MO - or in the Middle East (ISIS, Palestine v Israel, etc). What does a person go through to get to the point where they have no regard for, or even worse, hate, for another human being. I feel defeated - because I don't know what any one person can do - or even if there is a way out or to rehab people or enlighten them. It has inspired me to look at others with love rather than fear - even if on a smaller level. I always feel better when I accomplish this, but it is sometimes easier said than done.

The Israel bombings has really impacted me. I have become much more in tune to the world around me, and it has widened my eyes to see more clearly.

I think the event in the world this year with the biggest impact on me was the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson MO. It brought so much focus and attention to the level of inequality in the United States. It has made me think even more about my life having been started on "easy mode" (as Scalzi says). I'm white, I don't have to prove that I'm not committing a crime. I'm a man, I don't have to prove that I belong in one community or another. I'm not dirt poor, I have opportunities to pursue a non-trivial portion of my dreams. I'm thankful for what I have, but I'm so very sad for how large the chasm is between the privileged and the oppressed.

The war in Gaza, ISIS, and the increase in anti-semitism. These have forged a much stronger bond with my fellow Jews, made me much more pro Israel

Robin Williams suicide. I am desperately saddened by the pain that he must have been feeling when he made a choice to end his life. He was such an inspiration to me and to so many others. I grew up with him and am indebted to him for the way I see the humor in things. I respect him as a comedian and as a dramatic actor. His pain saddens me…and is a reminder of the pain that so many with mental illness must feel. We never know that pain that those around us carry. We must be gentle with them and with ourselves.

the war in the ukraine. because people/ countries are in fear now and start to arm themselves (even more). That's so heartbreaking.

I don't know if there was one event in particular. I think I'm just continually aghast at how human beings treat one another, and I'm stunned almost to stillness by how I could possibly change anything or try to have some positive impact on our injured world.

Syria. Murder in the name of religion. The beheadings. It makes me feel sick, scared, angry and sad. This is not humanity.

All the effin' war. Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, Afganistan... and on and on. It is unfathomably sad and I fear there is no answer as long as there is money to be made and wars to be fought for oil. It's disheartening to see it continue to get worse, not better and I fear the world leaders are not equipped to create the necessary change in trajectory. I have been forced to reluctantly put down some of my inherent optimism and faith in a better future over these last few years and I fear for the future our children will inherit.

Reading about the rise of anti-semitism in Europe has been impactful. I even attended a Federation event put on by the Community Relations Council with a Special Envoy on Anti-Semitism from the State Dept talking about this issue specifically. It made me realize how scary it is for Jews living as a small minority in places like Belgium. Having never lived in fear for being a Jew it made me question how I'd react if living in their shoes. A very difficult situation to imagine. I'm blessed for being in a pluralistic society like the U.S. and hope in my lifetime and those of my kids and grand kids that we never come close to experiencing such hatred.

Israel finally responded to the intense onslaught of missiles fired at them from Gaza. Turns out there were a myriad of tunnels dug under them by Hamas terrorists, planning a huge invasion for today, Yom Kippur. Israel targeted Hamas in Gaza with airstrikes, actually calling all people to evacuate the buildings before they bombed. Of course our govt. Kerry and Obama pushed Israel to stop. But Hamas built weapon storage UNDER NATO built schools and hospitals, holding young children up as shields! Many died on the Palestinian side, much to the sadness of the Israelis and us all, due to the cowardice of Hamas. So in this whirlwind, window year of 5775, I expect to see God move us towards the End Times.

The rhetoric from Russia regarding the Ukraine and more recently the old FSU states. It is the first time I feel I really could be at risk of war or animosity towards foreigners for where I work and live. The Middle East/ Arab Spring didn't cause me this level of personal safety consideration when I was in the UAE.

Many things - Israel and Palestine bombing once again; Ebola spread; police violence - Michael Brown shooting; climate change deniers... How: Growing sadness and worry in humanity's overall ability to grow up, face consequences, and become more forward-looking, protecting our future generations and the Earth as a whole. We need to collectively dial down fear and passivity to make steps towards a better future. Why: It hurts my hopefulness. Even though I'm an inveterate worrier, I do so as a mistaken positive - because I think it'll protect me from the future - that if I bank my worry in advance, I'll protect myself from future ills. Not true. Bad things can just happen. And Then: So, how can I help? Encourage folks to work together towards a better world for future generations of, sure, humans, but all life on Earth? What can I do to make a difference?

I don't know whether to choose Syria or the Ukraine. Syria highlights the problem of how slow the engines of democracy are to act where action is needed, and the Ukraine shows that our egotism lets people like Putin getting away with corrupting and disrupting the development of countries.

Seeing the domestic violence discussions around Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and others have made me really to be more compassionate. This worlds needs compassion more now than ever. It's almost made me think more about the negative impacts of social media.

Israel is in chaos and ISIS is on a rampage in the Middle East. 1. It's made Jewish life inherently more political. 2. It's made family life more political. My dad has become conservative and paranoid. How can the man who raised me feel like such a stranger? Seriously - are we talking in broad "them's?" 3. It makes me so nervous for my brother in the army. I trust all his choices. I support all his decisions. But my heart is in pain knowing what international instability means for his safety. He may get transferred to Kuwait. I just... I remember the year I spent praying for his safe return, the yoga sessions where my intention was to send him peace and an open heart. The older we get this does not become easier.

The disappearance of Flight MH370 has really fascinated me; I was glued to the coverage for a long time. It's amazing to me how easy it is for a plane to fail, for radar to not identify these issues, for satellites to not pick up the problem, for scientists to not even know a part of the ocean because it's never really been mapped before. I have always put my faith in science, and the fact that scientists have never done their research in this area concerns me. None of this makes me turn away from logic and reason -- it just reminds me that fallibility is everywhere.

The war between Israel & Hamas has impacted me, as I feel more & more hopeless about the prospect of peace between Jews & Muslims in the Middle East. The peripheral anti-Semitic incidents in Europe make me re-think my love of travel to some of those places.

Man's inhumanity to....everything. I actually wonder what "humanity" means at this point, as global behavior has been so wretched this year. It seems the total disregard for the living...period. There are of course examples of love and beauty, kindness and empathy. These seem to be most prevalent close to home - but beyond my immediate world there seems to be an epidemic of disregard for all of the natural world. The kidnapped girls in Nigeria The missing student here in Virginia The beheadings by ISIS The on-going tensions in Israel and Palestine The greed and graft of politics everywhere The lack of empathy for fellow beings I think that last item sums it all up for me - more empathy would create a better life for everyone and everything.

Being a privileged, white, American, I am not impacted very much by world events. However, I try to know about what is going on, and feel for what it might be like for people in areas of conflict, famine or just diverse cultures. The conflict in Syria and Iraq, especially the slaughter and persecution of the Yazidis, has touched me recently. Hearing the stories of those who have had to flee their homes, watch as their family is killed, raped or worse, and be beaten, raped or starved themselves, is heartbreaking. I can't imagine how they can be surviving, let alone trying to rebuild their lives. Even if they escape, what are they supposed to do? No home, no possessions, possibly most everybody who knew them dead. How do you even find a place to live, a meal to eat? What do they tell their children? I have given $225 to help feed them through the WFP. I feel like that is not nearly enough.

There have been many, but I witnessed a lot of anti-semetism in France and the UK, and the emergence if ISIS is terrifying.

So many awful things have happened in the world this year, but I live a pretty privileged life and am not directly impacted by them. I think the war in Gaza is tremendously sad. It upsets me that Israel takes actions that jeoporadize it's future as a truly democratic and Jewish state. It upsets me that people who have been historically the target of racism, genocide and all manner of injustice would inflict that on another people.

The war in Israel/Gaza this past summer certainly impacted me, although I still can't describe exactly what that impact was. Mostly I felt conflicted: between universalism and particularism, and between support for Israel and concern for human rights. I did not come away with any strong position other than feeling conflicted and upset. I have also been concerned about rising antisemitism in Europe. I want to do something to help but don't know what I can do.

Offhand, I can't really think of a world event that really impacted me very much.

Michael Brown and every other POC that were killed by police and the world just shrugged. How many black and brown people will be killed before real action is taken.

Probably the expansion of hostilities in Israel and the subsequent rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and the Middle East. I'm not super concerned about it affecting my family here in the US, but the amount of hatred in the world over a millenia old argument is just disturbing. No one is fully in the right in this argument and there are problems on both sides, but the fact that people hate all Jews because of a few in Israel is just disgusting.

The Gaza conflict was disheartening. Lots of crap. We need rain here in CA. Politicians managing nothing in this country.

The tunnels in Gaza and Israel's response/the world's response to Israel made me nervous. For one thing, my brother was in Israel. For another thing, there has been increase anti-semetic activity around the world. Scary.

The prevalence of violence and hatred towards women in the media has been especially maddening this year. The shooting in Southern California over the Summer helped shed light on an issue that many men are struggling with in our culture, and if we have any hope of reducing gender violence and hate crimes, the root problem has to be addressed. It made me realize that there is still so much progress to be made when it comes to gender inequality and it's time for women to reclaim the feminist movement. Emma Watson's UN speech was a breath of fresh air in the midst of so much backlash against feminism for the last decade. The correlations she drew between male oppression and gender violence was spot on. Her speech promoting He For She was the most encouraging I had ever heard on the topic of gender inequality.

The one that stands out is the Scottish Referendum. The huge turnout marked a turning point away from apathy in Scotland. I'm involved in the diverse Yes movement and I've met so many lovely, inspiring people through it... despite the result the movement is still flourishing and I hope to get more involved with The Common Weal movement going forward.

Hm. I don't keep up with news much. But all the nonsense in the Middle East and Israel has been on my radar a bit. I hope for Peace in the Middle East.

i can't remember. i went back over the news for 2013- 2014 and.... not much. events happened, upsetting or happy, and... i have no recall. memory, it would be nice. even important stuff is getting lost. i have strong feelings about events, and some even move me to donate, but i have no idea what i was reacting to. i sit here in my lovely studio basement apartment, and i'm online and reacting, and thinking, and sharing.... but no recall of actions. except friends. i do hold onto those. and matt and jackie, while not a world event, was still wonderful. so maybe i should start that online diary.

The kidnapping in Israel and subsequent war with Hamas. The incident began while we were in Israel, so we got a feel for how it was impacting Israelis. Then, I learned that many of my friends bought some of the biased, inaccurate reporting of the war. I attempted to engage them with facts and more accurate information, but I suspect more people just stopped ignoring my online posts. People will believe what they want to, and I think a number of my "friends" are anti-Semitic. This may have been a blessing in disguise. Also, I learned a lot in my quest to sort out the truth from the fiction in Israel-Palestine issues.

The world is basically imploding since summer started.. As a Jew obviously, a lot of people are focusing on Israel. I don't agree fully with the politics on either side and certainly not at all with the terrorists, but I think the majority of people want peace, and I wish the region could at least make progress in doing so. So many people have said terrible things to/about me and though I'm not Israeli, I am a Jew and Israel is home to my people. I stand with Israel, but I also stand with peace. It's a strange phenomenon feeling so passionately about a country across the world that I was only in for 3 weeks.

When the three Israeli teenage boys were kidnapped I really did hope for the best, I don't know what it was in me that presumed that of course they'd be alive and well but they weren't. I'm still very shocked at the whole thing, it was such a random attack and so filled with hate and panic. I was still in Israel and was told the third infitada was occurring by Michael which of course wasn't true but of course a set of events was sparked. The poor Palestinian boy who suffered for nothing, hate was met with hate which just ended with all sides angry, hurt and four dead teenagers. Then of course the ground offensive was launched and thousands more teenagers, children and adults died. It's impacted me since i've been home as well, people asking how it was being in Israel with all the 'troubles' and I reply "oh it all really started after I left..." but it didn't really. It all started long before I arrived.

Oh goodness. As always so much has happened in the world this year. The thing that comes to mind is not so much a single event as much as what feels like a wave. In many global conflicts the use of rape is rampant. And terrifying. I'm not sure if it's actually increasing or if the world is more willing to talk about it - but either way this wave of using rape as a method of warfare is horrific, appalling, and deeply scary and troubling.

Nothing particular has impacted me personally- just an impending sense of doom

I don't think one singular event has impacted me, rather the general feeling that whole world is on fire or put another way, that so much of us seem to be relieved our compassionate humanity and rather than empathy, are facing our fellow humans as monstrous distortions of values and faith. It's truly appalling. I have to believe that right will earn out, but I also wonder how much more atrocity will be tolerate before people are moved to action. I sincerely hope, that my response to this question a year from now will be awe at how we unified as a human population against this threat.

I can't think of any one event this past year that has significantly impacted my life, which speaks for the insignificance of what happens around you. Some things that have happened in the world that have made me think recently are the outbreak of ebola, police brutality and police shooting unarmed black kids, females speaking up in the name of feminism. All these things and movements and atrocities I want to aid or join or help or prevent. I want to live out my savior-complex. The death of Philip Seymore Hoffmann and Robin Williams really impacted me and made me incredibly sad, but are hardly worldly events. The death of Philip Seymore Hoffmann in particular did really affect me though, because of some of his characters and how he has been able to utter words that have held a profound meaning to me.

The gaza conflict with rockets firing and secret tunnels. I never thought I would care as much as I did during that conflict. It's scary how many anti-semitic events have arisen from it too. I would like to believe that everyone in the world is open minded and I guess that's just not true

The threat of ISIS has been occupying my mind a great deal recently. It reminded me that although we are 13 years past 9/11/2001, it could easily happen again. Here, in my city, affecting me and the ones I love. It makes me afraid for the state of the world. It forces me to confront my own mortality, and live in the moment.

I have been really dismayed by what feels like some really ramped-up misogynist aggression in some sectors -- both online and in real life. From Elliot Rodger to the recent GamerGate "scandal" to the repeated attacks on Anita Sarkeesian's generally level-headed critiques of video games -- it's been tough to see (and read ... and see and read and read and read) all the vitriol. It's making me more scared to speak out, more scared to be out, and I don't like that. If you had told 18-year-old me that almost-35-year-old me would be lamenting the "good ol' days" for women in the late 90s, teen me just wouldn't have believed you. It feels like we're moving backward -- or more accurately, being forced backward by a tidal wave of hate.

The Malaysian Airlines Flight went missing in the spring. I had no idea what a major event it would turn out to be. I think it impacted me so much because of how it was a real life version of Lost, and I never thought of what a tragedy it was.

The lack of faith I have in our President due to his reluctance to fight the war on terror - a religious war, in my opinion, between Christians and Muslims. I believe this was prophesied and has to happen, but I'm fearful that people will be harmed and/or killed without the proper opportunity to learn the Truth. I'm ready for eternity, but so many are not and I want those people to have as much time as possible.

This year's iteration of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict opened my eyes, but not to the inhumanity of Hamas or the sheer power of the Israeli military. It was the rampant antisemitism that I encountered amongst my peer group that I found the most shocking. Never before had I been aware that many young Americans did not stand with Israel, and that Israelis are viewed as terrorists through the eyes of some young American adults. This was a shocking revelation to me, and I felt as if I had been living a sheltered existence to that point. I will always remember thinking "if the Jews are the ones who control the media, why is there so much pro-Palestinian nonsense on the airwaves at all times"? Why were so many people so quick to call the Israelis, the non-aggressors in the situation, the bad guys? They were not the ones hiding weapons in schools, nor were they the ones using children as human shields. But the people in this country somehow continued to see both sides as equally at fault in the conflict, which I found and will continue to find for all eternity, bewildering.

The Treyvon Martin case was such an injustice, I feel so sorry for that family to have lost a child due to racism. He was loved, he was just walking down the street, and should have the right to do so, just as we all do.

I went to the Climate March. It was inspiring to see so many people who are concerned about Mother Earth. Now I need to decide what piece of Climate change I will take on and what actions I will take.

Snowden - made me realize just how much lying is a part of the government

The lost girls and Ferguson, MO. Just want to be past hatred, racism and sexism. Just so tired.

The threat of Ebola. Studying medicine I fear that a global pandemic is a real and worrying threat. But it can be averted with the right precautions. It has made me appreciate life in a different way. I realise that life can be taken away so easily and I'm grateful for what I have. It has taught me to be more diligent and to try and educate people on proper precautions in preventing the spread of disease and preventing antibiotic resistance in the community. It has made me think about the extreme importance of vaccinations and in of using antibiotics under only the prescribed manner.

World events - at least as they are portrayed by the news - are overwhelmingly negative. I rarely pay attention to them or attach deep meaning to them, because I've learned that obsessing over them adds absolutely nothing to my life and fils it with negative emotions. What I've learned is: to be successful in life, you have to pay attention to the smaller, personal events that shape you. Those are the ones with the most impact to you as a person.

All of the wars, big and small, both far away and on the streets of oakland weigh heavy on my heart. The misery and suffering that war brings not only hurts the combatants, but also the witnesses and their sometimes unborn children. Continuing to yearn for peace.

The Israel-Palestinian conflict. A tragedy on both sides, but staggering numbers for the Palestinians. The injustice makes me cry on the inside. It makes me angry at the world. It makes you wonder about what it really means to recognize a person, a nation; to be decent to people, to a nation; to respect a person, a nation. What does it all mean?

As always, I remain unfazed by things that happen in the world. Is there something wrong with me? Am I so consumed with my own "stuff" that I have no room to empathize with others? Need to figure this out this year!

Las reformas en México, simplemente es horrible ver cómo todo nos hace mal y nos quedamos callados.

A number of world events impacted me this year, though none in dramatic, lasting ways, which I think speaks to my focus being more toward circles closer to my life this past year. I did struggle with my reactions to the escalated conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. I have a historical and long-cultivated attachment to Israel, but also feel sympathetic to events of Palestinian citizens' need for long term safety and stability. For the first time, I saw my Facebook newsfeed including opposing posts (some with inflammatory messages). This also was a loud reminder of just how much strife and divisive animosity there are between peoples, whether national, religious, racial, or 'turf' alliances, which saddens me greatly.

Operation Protective Edge. The brutal murder of three Israeli boys created a series of events leading to Israel unleashing a terrible bombing campaign on Gaza and invading much of the territory to destroy "terror tunnels" leading into Israeli kibbutzim. The escalation was super tough for me because I was working at a Jewish summer camp when it started, but often felt constrained about how far I could criticize the Israeli government. Between that and some related issues around Israel, I got into a bit of a dispute with the camp director, which soured my summer a lot more than it should have. And at the same time, I became alienated from many of my lefty friends who were posting articles and statuses that in my mind marginalized Jewish narratives, which seems subtly anti-Semitic. Coming away from Protective Edge, I've realized the limits to my affiliation with the radical left community, as well as the presence of institutional anti-Semitism even today.

The Edward Snowden leaking of CIA documents has definitely held my attention and intrigued me this past year (not sure impact fits exactly here). After each editorial on the issue or interview with him, I flip flop on whether or not he did the right thing or went about it the right way (should he have cracked open the issue without a path to resolution?). The whole incident has inspired me to be reflective about the increasing importance of understanding privacy and the value for transparency by my generation.

Recent climate changes have been impacting our family lately with the rise in grocery prices. We have started working on plans for a fruit and vegetable garden to help with expenses and teach the kids where things come from.

The ISIS hostage beheadings. I can't understand what it takes to make it possible for humans to do that to each other, and remain whole, and keep believing in their cause.

Cannabis being legalised in 3 states in the US has really given me a free counter argument when people complain about smoking.

I'm going to talk about a domestic event: the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case and decision. The courts decision infuriates me. I am worried that this attack on birth control (read attack on women) was successful. And I am worried about the implication of assigning more rights to corporations. We are headed down a dangerous path and it will impact everyone, not just employees of Hobby Lobby, not just women, everyone.

I found that the stories the Syrian women were telling about the ISIL and how the men were abusing the women in disgusting and vulgar ways as if it was their right, affected me profoundly. To the point of tears and prayers that these women would survive and be stronger for having suffered this cruelty.

I have become so much more attuned to the pain in the world. I can't watch the news, I can't read the paper sometimes. I feel occasionally like there is nothing I can do to alleviate the suffering. But isn't it true that if I save one person, if I relieve their suffering for just a little while, then I save the world? Doesn't that bring the Worlds closer together, doesn't that usher in the World to Come? I have to believe that. I have to know it in my heart. "We can do no great things. Only small things with great love."

No hubo ninguno en particular. En términos generales biotech y destrucción del planeta, el mar aral desapareció.

Climate March/actions worldwide including the United Nations Climate Summit. The awareness shown worldwide regarding global climate change and the need to take action has renewed my hope in our societies. So often these days the clear attack on the less fortunate by "The 1%" is depressing and appalling. But when so many individuals and then governments stand up and acknowledge the need for some basic changes in the way we operate as a civilization I am hopeful that real change is not only possible but probable. Please don't prove me wrong.

The event(s) that have happened in the world that has impacted me this year is all of the wars and terrorist situations in the Middle East. As a Christian, I know there are certain things that must happen before the Messiah can come back and I believe these happenings are part of it, but it is a little unnerving to not know what our world will be like next year. I also saw that one congressman or senator who is running for office is trying to get the retirement age raised to 70. I am fighting hard to hang on 3 1/2 more years until I'm 66 so I can retire. It is just a scary thought that I will have to work until I'm 70 or that because of the world situations that there may be no SS when I do get to retirement age.

I have been thinking a lot about climate change this year. It is hard to ignore here in Colorado. We had major wildfires followed by heavy flooding in the past couple of years, and that has displaced a lot of people and given pause to many of us who weren't impacted directly. We had a huge snow year and are likely to have another. It impacts our thoughts about where we live now and whether water is sustainable here in Colorado, or would be in the mountains where we have considered retiring. So I wonder - are there changes that I should be making to my daily life to preserve water? Does it matter? Is this where we should stay? Should we find another place to consider retirement?

This summer felt particularly tumultuous and there were a lot of impactful events happening in the world. The war in Gaza was (is) very disturbing and intense. Although my relationship with Israel is not especially strong, or tied to family that's there, as a diaspora Jew, a social justice-minded / politically left Jew, and someone who has a lot of intentional Jewish community in my life, it is impossible (and probably wrong) not to be invested in what's going on in Israel/Palestine. There is a human rights crisis happening there, a deep history of pain and trauma and displacement, and although there is a constant state of war, this summer's attack on Gaza and the unbelievable death-toll, the total destruction, was chilling and heartbreaking. From my newsfeed being a contact flow of information and opinions on a wide spectrum, to my friend's reflections upon returning from Birthright, to my family's car being vandalized after my brother hung a Palestinian flag outside his window, my own responses to an old friend from high school through Facebook-posts, another friend with an app sending her notifications when missiles were going off, and co-organizing a lefty Jew shabbaton in the midst of all of this - there was a lot to process and grapple with and feel angry and scared about. I feel both connected and disconnected from what's going on in Israel and Palestine, and a real sense of hopelessness around how and when things are going to change, and also a shame in some circles for being Jewish through all of this suffering.

The events in Ferguson, MO. have given me a greater appreciation for the scope of the horrors that we can commit.

The downward spiral in South Sudan has been a blow to my heart. We had worked so hard in 2008 and had so much hope for the newest country in the world. The other hopeful even t was the election on Pope Francis. Now, I am praying for a God-electde Muslim and Jewish leader. I pray goodness and love at every level will absorb and transform hatred and fear.

the war between Gaza and Israel. In part because I was there just before it began officially (it was underway behind the scenes even before I got to Israel). The war, combined with my trip to Israel, has changed my view on the State and its future. The boundaries are porous (is this true for my own life?) and the situation is not as important or big as those involved would like it to be (also maybe true for my own life). As I teach about Israel, I will focus more on the reasons that the Zionists went to Israel and how that can affect the current situation.

The rioting in Ferguson has greatly affected me. The behavior demonstrated by people has disgusted me. I would follow the events on a daily basis but I had to stop because I was so disgusted and anger by people's lack of decency and how they were using some unfortunate events to get theirs, so unbelievable! Let's steal from a store because someone else unrelated lost their son...just pisses me off.

The protests around the world- Ferguson to Tahir Square to Hong Kong- have brought out the activist in me. We cannot continue to live in a police state.

The Nigerian girls who were kidnapped. It moved me further into the belief and desire to bring awareness to the rise of the feminine. The rise of the Goddess.

VIBRATORS NUFF SAID

An event that impacted me this year was the passing of Joan Rivers. It made me realize that life is incredibly precious and can be taken from you when it is least expected.

Nothing. I am not impacted of any event in this world. I am living my moments, creating good memories. I am deleting unnecessary data, imbalances, impurities in this body, mind and soul may it be present, past or future, consciously, subconsciously and super consciously. I am part of everything and attached to nothing.

The shift in focus from global warming and energy crisis towards overpopulation and food crisis, which is not widespread yet certainly noticeable, has impacted the way I think about populations, food and the relation between them. The unnatural ways of food production agriculture has introduced are damaging the diversity and health of all life forms on this planet, decreasing soil quality and even driving climate changes as extreme as desertification. As in most cases, the first step is awareness. Therefore, when buying, eating, cooking or producing food, I try to be aware of the consequences for the Earth and all of its inhabitants; as well as learn about all of these changes through experts such as chefs, climate scientists, biologists and farmers.

This is a hard one to answer. It goes back to my habit of putting things behind me that aren't pleasant and moving on. I'm going to say that the typhoon and earthquake in the Philippines is the event that has had the biggest impact on me because it was the reason that I was approached by former Peace Corps volunteers from the Philippines to set up a microfinance program there. Trevor and I continue to develop the webpage, and have made contact with representatives in the Philippines. I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll soon have infrastructure in place and be ready to start a fundraising effort. In addition, the typhoon, which was the strongest ever recorded, is a reminder about the unsettled nature of our weather systems, and the cause of that unsettling, which is climate change.

It is hard to pinpoint one event that has affected me, as I don;'t think anything has affected me much. I am a blessed person- nothing is happening to my country, to my people, to my family, so every event is more a theoretical impact than a real one. Meaning, I can think about the ebola spreading and be truly worried, and judgmental about the lack of proper handling, but reality is I always end up closing the news and being more preoccupied with what's for dinner for my kids. I find it hard to be truly impacted by an event when things happen so far away.

ISIS and its reaction to negative social media coverage as well as its public beheading of several journalists. The evil and lack of empathy in the world is astounding to me. The anger, need for retaliations, and struggle for power is beyond my understanding.

My class laughed when I told them that I've become a bit paranoid since I've begun teaching my Zombies course. But the larger truth is -- I've just thought of this! -- is that I think I teach the course at least partly as a protection: not from zombies, of course, but from the very scary world we now live in. From environmental degradation and rampaging viruses to escalating war and increasing regimes of hate, this is a very scary time. Very scary. Focusing on mythical monsters is so much safer! Not merely a distraction or even a way to face "what if" scenarios, but also a deflection. I can't do much or anything about most of the ills and evils in the world, but I can analyze cultural productions. Big deal, one might say. But, besides what I already do, I don't know what else I personally can do. So I teach. And have to hold on to the immense importance of that.

The Ebola epidemic has worried me. I am afraid that our American isolationist society will become even more so. -

Wow. There has been so many terrible things in the world this year, and somehow none of them really got under my skin. I'm not sure if that's ok... Gaza got to me when it was at its peak, especially when the antisemitism in Europe got bad, but once it left the news, I moved on with my life. I guess that's a pretty terrible way of being an active citizen of the world. Bad things should get to me, should inspire me to make change...

The killing of many humans and animals in especially in humane ways. I shudder at the idea HOW one person/s could do this to sentient beings. Because I "bow to the light within" everyone and could not conceive of such a thing.

All the violence, ignorance and prejudice (The terrorist groups inflaming the Israel/Palestine conflict, the growing of the ISIS influence, the local wars in Syria and other countries and the anti-semitism) make us all wonder about the Future of Humankind in this Planet

Their have been many moving things this year. Mostly Distressing. The disappearance of MH370, continued unrest in Syria, the emergence if isis and their beheadings, the Israeli assault on gaza, the break down in the Ukrane.. but the event that stuck me hardest was the Shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri. It brought to a head so many issues of race and class and privilege and abuse of power and how shitty most police forces in America. It's heartbreaking that in this day and age with a black man in the whitehouse, that both institutional racism is still alive and well, and that their are so many sectors willfully blind to it, and willing to deny it.It makes em so angry I want to light shit on fire. I want to make a difference, but i'm not sure where or how.

The coverage of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza this year showed me that anti-semitism is still alive and well. Verbal and physical attacks on Jews as representatives of Israeli policy made me realize that being a Jew in the world is still equal to being a minority. I had lost sight since living in Ithaca and New York City which both have substantial Jewish populations. It's made me feel that it is more important to identify as a Jew and to be proud and vocal about my heritage and traditions.

The violent movement of ISIS has pushed me further towards a growing distrust and frustration with those who follow Islam. I was tolerant in the past, and even defensive for those who talked poorly of individuals in that faith, but lately it has been hard to hold to that sentiment. The religion blatantly calls for violence towards those who are not Muslim, and the fact that the media and everyone else attempts to deny that is foolish. Yet at the same time, Christians are labeled as evil and full of hate for standing, peacefully I might add, against behaviors that are clearly hurtful. Islam is not peace, it is darkness and hatred, and we as followers of Jesus must stand against it in the love and peace of our God.

When I think about events in the world, all I can think about is war and more war. This, plus the move to an area that is very military saturated has made me much more aware of PTSD. I am educating myself on the effects of war. Learning about moral wounding. How to use what I know to help somehow. Don't know now yet. It's also causing me to further investigate my own inner warrior, which I have spent years denying even exists. Must find my Athena - warrior, but also wisdom and justice.

The world gets uglier and uglier. The Israeli - Gaza conflict turned actively and openly violent again this year. I think I will die before I see peace. There are unprecedented levels of anti-Semitism and it's a scourge that gets more and more sophisticated and cleverer in its presentation as the world gets more and more barbaric. I would die to protect Israel proudly and without hesitation. I know I am not the only Jew who feels this way and because of this I know Israel will survive us all. For this I am full of joy.

The war in Israel and the upsurge of ISIS. The vehemence of the reaction to Gaza and the innocents impacted seems more extreme than in the past and from a power that holds more cards, so it is hard to defend. It has not been the Jewish people at their best and I don't know where those of us who can see that can rebuild the path to our higher ground. Plus it contributes to deep seated anti-Semitism around the world that causes the such fear that extreme reactions seem prudent for some in the first place. And when one looks at IS (or ISIS) one sees a movement so heinous and psychopathic that you start to wonder if/when violence is the only recourse. I am flummoxed and disheartened for all.

The violence in Iraq and Syria has kept me glued to NPR and consequently made me more informed and critical of the worldview presented by the commercial media.

Police brutality. It seems to be a weekly thing that I hear a story about a power structure, especially law enforcement but others acting out of control. We seem to be having more and more interactions with each other that are entirely fear based. They seem to escalate quickly to violence and profoundly negative dialogue. It really bothers me that as a country we have very little unity, it used to feel like regardless of differences we could have civilized dialogue. That dream of country feels very far away now. Since I believe so strongly in conflict resolution, I find this deeply troubling. Simultaneously, it feels like the things people are talking about are more trivial and vicarious in nature.

The ebola epidemic has been a source of stress and fear all over the world. I have been trained through the Red Cross as an emergency management nurse and may be called upon to help. I have helped in other instances in the past and I know that my experience and expertise will be appreciated, but it does scare me to be put in those positions and to leave my family to assist.

All of them and none of them, I suppose. The Scottish referendum maybe? I'm glad we stayed together. I'm half of each. This wasn't the year to be picking sides and I'm relieved I don't have to. I don't know that ay world events feel like they've affected me, not in particularly. Of course as a whole, they do all the time. But I don't feel the specific touch of one or another. I've been very inward looking this year, self-involved, selfish probably. I think I had an excuse. I don't know when that excuse runs out. It's hard to take on the events of the world. I wish I had the strength to. Maybe then I would do something more useful, worthwhile, valuable, helpful, and I'd feel some purpose or meaning beyond myself. Perhaps this is half my trouble, or just a part of me I've ignored.

ISIS/Middle East Conflict: My skepticism of religion as a tool for manipulation. My growing understanding of the world as one plagued by human selfishness, and my belief that we are all connected and part of a bigger whole. My disdain, ironically, for conservatives of any faith who are intolerant of others, failing to realize that God is bigger than any human created institution. My astonishment of how incredibly complicated this world is, and how a simple solution of "love" can change it all.

Ebola - it's made me more scared about what can happen very easily in the world.

I don't understand what is happening in Israel and the Gaza Strip. I can't wrap my head around the politics of violence and subjugation. It has made me uneasy, and sad. I also do not know who in my community I can talk with, but I am trying to find out. I feel like my lack of understanding is one of the things that separates me from the Jewish community. I do not want to adopt the "party line," but I would like to feel more comfortable about how I feel and how that fits into my identity as an American Jew today.

This year in California we have had our second year of drought. While I have always been concerned about the environment my concerns about the long range problem of global warming and the immediate local problem of water supply are closer to the front in my Long and looping string of thoughts. I'm trying to be more responsible in my use of resources and to teach my children to do the same.

There has always been violence in the Middle East but this year it sunk deep enough down in me that I have started to form opinions about it. Where previously it was really easy for me to chalk the conflict up to "it's complicated". I read my orthodox cousin's blog about her life in Israel and the Israeli youth who were kidnapped and killed. I skyped with my best friend as she was having anxiety attacks worrying over what happens if she is on the highway when the siren goes off in Tel Aviv. There has been so much back and forth and finger pointing and violence. As ugly as it is I am starting to understand the use of force in the Palestinian settlements. I also understand that because of this many innocents get killed, on both sides. I understand and even accept some of the use of force but I do not like that is has come to that and I do think that some of the Israeli strategy provokes more violence and is not appropriate. In short, yes, it is a complicated issue but I am starting to have that conversation within myself and with others that I have been so afraid to have for years. I am proud to be Jewish and I can have a complicated view on the Middle East and discuss it with others to learn and debate amicably. As much as I would like this to be resolved with a solution that no one gets hurt and for people to magically wake up and live together as neighbors. I know that there are people within the conflict that do not want this to end. Until those people are eradicated this conflict has no hope.

The rise of ISIS. This freaks me out. There is so much hatred, barbarism, viloance against the innocents - kids, women, the elderly. It feels as if we are on the brink of a world war and that freaks me out as well. I cannot take my eyes off the news - it is like watching a train wreck. I wish it would stop and get resolved - i wish we would stop messing this up, I wish we would use the money spent on war here in our homeland for our people

The shooting of a black youth in Ferguson really brought a lot of my activist tendencies to the surface. I feel like it hit home because I realized how racist I have been in the past, without meaning to be, and how institutionalized it is, which allows it to go unnoticed. I also attended a protest at a local Hobby Lobby, because they ruled in favor of a law that says they don't have to cover certain types of birth control due to their religious views. There was the slut walk, too. I have been really proud to show open support for some of my views and values.

War in Israel was a wake up call for me to visit the homeland. At the same time, there is a regional "burn" now in Israel that could fit my schedule nicely!

The Gaza war is the most recent, and so the most prominent in my mind. I was extremely angry at the time – the scenes we were seeing were just intolerable – but since then I have settled down to my usual cynical despair. But, to answer the question why?: because I am really really fed up with being cited as the reason (as a member of The Jewish People) why Gaza fathers should be having to collect the remains of their small children in carrier bags.

Robin Williams killed himself- it's not that important a thing, but I think he had bipolar. We need to remember to not take our medical issues for granted, and it opened up a dialogue, even internal ones, about the trade-offs of being blunted a bit vs. more stable.

gay marriage being legal in illinois and florida! enough said

When people were forced up a mountain and were seen to be walking on a walker through rocky ground to ascend … it seemed so biblical, so like Masada. they had no food or water. Eventually some humanitarian response was taken on their behalf. When Israel destroyed Gaza it felt like an abomination. I wanted to defend their action but had no ability to do so. Even the story of the tunnels that would have reached into southern towns on Rosh Hashanah did not suffice to condone the level of destruction of the build environment and the sacrifice of civilians. Shameful. Yet what do I know? Still I am ashamed.

Mike Brown's death has been really big to me. I think what is happening in Ferguson is starting a dialogue about post-racial America and how we treat people of color. Many people don't realize the prevalence of both micro-aggressions and deep seeded prejudice and how it affects communities of color. It highlights the injustices that people of color experience and in turn stars a dialogue on how to change this. I get to speak of my personal experiences as a person of color as well as tell the story of my students and their struggles. This has really made me proud of being a teacher and fighting to seek equality for my students.

So many people died this year! Marquez, Williams, Hoffman, Rooney, Bacall, Attenborough, Rivers, Shirley Temple, Angelou, Baraka, people who all touched my life in some way, even if only to give me something to think about or dream of. Many of them are people I couldn't imagine dying--transcendent people in my mind who wouldn't die bother to die. None of their deaths disqualifies them from life. I am less afraid of death by the smallest increments. Every person who touches my life, who leaves the moth dust of his or her existence on my memory, and then leaves this life, takes part of me with them into wherever they go. Until at the end of my life there is more of me there than here and going the rest of the way is suddenly do able.

I was in Israel this summer when Tzahal went into Gaza. Operation Protective Edge was a result of the kidnapping and murder of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali. In those 18 days between their capture and their bodies being found, I did not do enough to show my desire for their safe return. I davened and said some extra Tehilim, but I didn't take anything on. I kept telling myself I should learn some Torah each day in their zchut. They were still missing when I was out of school, so I didn't have any shiurim in my daily schedule. I'd heard many times that we shouldn't put off learning to a later time, because there may not be a later time, and unforaunately that is the lesson I learned. This Rosh HaShana when I heard the sound of the Shofar, to me it sounded like the sound of a siren. I sat in bomb shelters multiple times this summer and felt the frailty of my own life in Hashem's hands. It was in those moments that I felt most connected to Him, and that was the feeling I reflected on while listening to the Shofar on Rosh HaShana. Just as my fate was in Hashem's hands in those minutes, so it is on Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, and on every day of the year.

There has been a lot in the news, but none of that has really effected me at all. In my personal life, being able to share the USANA Convention with my brother was the biggest impact this year for me.

The biggest & scariest event that impacted me the most was the discovery of tunnels leading into Israel that were constructed by Hamas. It was terrifying for me. Although I don't follow a huge majority of my religion, it was the impact that a race of people that I am connected to was so severely & methodically targeted for destruction. And then worse yet, Israel had to defend its actions of bombing the West Bank to destroy the multiple dozens of tunnels. It hit home with me even thousands of miles away. (I'd like to think I'd feel the same way if it were any other nation of people that were targeted for such brutality).

I was really touched by Robin Williams' suicide. As someone who has struggled with depression and contemplated suicide myself, it always makes me sad when someone doesn't make it. When I'm feeling that bad, I always tell myself, "In a few days, you will be so grateful for something small, and the way you feel now will seem like a stranger's nightmare." It's always true, too. Sometimes those nights are so dark and so terrible, though, I can see how someone might not make it through. The thought of someone with that loneliness and despair makes me so sorry. I wish we could be better at helping each other through those times.

Turning 40 And looking at where the politics are and what we are doing as a country as far as all the cuts to military funding and social security..makes me afraid for the future and more determined than ever to Make my life mean something besides just another person.

All of the violence in the world this year has hurt me in my soul. It sometimes feels that each violent outburst is worst than the last. Russia invades Ukraine, Hamas in Gaza launches bombs at Israel (again) and Israel responds with force. Syria descends deeper into chaos and ISIS emerges with their beheadings, oppression of women and those who do not subscribe to their brand of "Islam" (though I don't think Mohamed would recognize that they are doing). It leaves me feeling even more insignificant than usual. What can I do to help bring peace to the world in face of all of this violent hate?

The war in Israel. Because they are my people, and I greive for them. My family is there, friends, and other Jews.

I can't answer this question, so I am writing down my favourite poem instead: Someone asked me what home was and all I could think of were the stars on the tip of your tongue the flowers sprouting from your mouth the roots entwined in the gaps between your fingers the ocean echoing inside of your ribcage. (EC)

No world events impacted me this year. Back to the rice paddies.

The world event that impacted this Chinese America Jew most this year was the crisis between Israel and Hamas that "began" with the abduction and murder of three Israeli youths, the revenge killing of a Palestinian boy and the continued killings of Middle East citizens via beating, gunfire, air strikes and cruel words hurled throughout the globe. In the year 5774/2104, I can't stomach "Death to Jews!" any more than I can tolerate Israel's rationale for defense against retaliation. Golda Meir's quote still rings true: "We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us."

The weather mostly. In our part of the country everyone is saying we will be getting some of the worst snow storms we've ever had along with frigid temperatures. There have been billboards, print ads and emails all saying that everyone should have enough food and emergency supplies to last at least three days, preferably seven. So... I've spent the past month buying food, bottled water, a propane heater, gas stove top, house water filtration system, red cross emergency kits, etc... This has been pricey, but I think at the very least we will have something to fall back on in case something does happen.

This year the war in Israel and the reaction in the world to a growing anti-semitism has made me very uncomfortable as a Jew. Why is the answer to every difficult situation, to get rid of the Jews? Why don't non terrorist Muslims speak out against the Radical Muslims? I am worried and concerned for my people. I will not travel to France where the government is not punishing vandals and anti-semites. It is a world now where one person can create great damage as a terrorist and it is scary.

Here's what disturbs and saddens me as a Jew: On the one hand, our community's refusal to discuss Israel’s current direction, and on the other hand, the increasing anti-semitism worldwide. Our support of Israel's increasingly right-wing government - and the fragility of Israel's security in the midst of hostile nations. Israeli capitulation to the ultraorthodox in areas of divorce and other women's rights. And the fact that my grandson, by virtue of his beloved Catholic father, is not Jewish under Israeli Orthodox law. I haven't found a Jewish political organization, other than maybe New Israel Fund, which I’d feel comfortable supporting. Where did all the Jewish liberals go?

Well now I feel really ignorant, damn it. I can't think of a real life issue, but I can think of all the ones that happened around 2010 because of The Newsroom - how fucked is that? I was going to say the Ebola outbreak in Africa, but I change that to Thailand's military coup. I learned a lot about Thai government and it has actually impacted my life because of Loop Abroad as well as that one time at Rush Bar that we got rolled by the military with their guns... and I made jokes about taking the wine home and running to the toilet. Go figure.

Operation Protective Edge in Israel and Gaza has definitely impacted me this year - causing me to lose friends in real life and on Facebook, and choosing how I listen to and receive news.

there is war and rebellion all over the world. i feel like i am constantly reminded how it could be. how fortunate i am that it is not. i am someone who has to limit my intake of the news, as it is just so sad.

The intensification of hostilities in Gaza, along with the rise and militarization of Islamists around the world have been really scary to me. Bizarrely, it has made me want to move *to* Israel, as though one more body would help ensure the country's survival, or perhaps because it seems as though the whole world is becoming a much pricklier place for a Jew to live.

This summer the conflicts in Israel and war in Gaza were very challenging for me to watch from afar. I worried deeply for my Israeli friends, former colleagues and neighbors who feared for their lives every time a siren sounded, and for the young Israeli soldiers putting their lives at risk in Gaza for the security of their country. At the same time I was devastated by the stories of Palestinian houses being bombed, of children and other innocents being killed, and of basic infrastructure being destroyed... having a good friend, whom I respect, defending the rights of the Palestinians made it so much harder for me to take my stance supporting Israel's plight, even though I continued to do so. I really struggled during this time, and broke into tears often. Having lived in Israel, I had a hard time finding others in the US who could empathize with the heartache I felt over this seemingly political conflict.

Robin Williams committed suicide, and even though I work with suicides often, this one really struck a nerve. Last week, one of my coworkers was diagnosed with cancer, and I'm getting to the age where my mortality is much more vibrant than my past.

Where to I begin? Most of the headlines are filled with horror: Crimes people commit against each other, both personal and on the grand scale of genocide; the seemingly irreconcilable political differences that are paralyzing our country; hatred, both deliberate acts and acts done in ignorance; and most distressing - to me at least - the inevitable catastrophe of climate change and the fact of 8 billion humans trying to exist on the planet. My anxiety and depression seem rooted in the daily barrage of news telling these stories; I know this yet am drawn, like an addiction, to the radio news and newspaper; to the internet links where these stories never end. Yet, there ARE some good stories! And I do have moments, perhaps weekly when I read/hear/see inspirational events of all kinds that somehow keep me going each day.

Ferguson? Zimmerman verdict?

The Ebola virus has made me so much more cautious and paranoid of my surroundings and how clean and sanitized my children and I are. I am so much more aware of how close I sit and touch others in public.

No event in the world has impacted me directly. I haven't been paying attention to the world news very much. I was sad when Robin Williams died but was that world news? I felt bad for the family of the men who were beheaded by ISIS (I don't even know what ISIS is - and did they murder these men? I don't know) and I shake my head at the world that would do such a thing. But it didn't impact me directly. What I mean is, I could get all "activated" about it - or at least spew my anger and distrust against the world, but I have been so worried about my little life and my little self that I haven't given the world a second thought. I am powerless to do anything about anything else. There is so much anger out there in other countries and in our country. When a black man dies, people rally. But not, it seems, for anyone else. I don't understand it. Some people thrive on anger. I feel I am diminished by anger. That's just me. For now.

I felt a lot of turmoil and inner conflict about what was going on between Israel and Palenstine over the summer. Ranya and others had stepped up and were sharing information about it over Facebook. I feel like the long term conflict is something that I'm now knowledgeable about, and sometimes I feel like I can't even talk about it for fear of not getting it right or starting a fight over my opinion of it. I feel a lot of empathy for both sides, however I can't condone the senseless killing for political gains. It bothers me that something like this can still exist in the world today.

The Nigerian girls that were kidnapped had an impact on me. This event is tragic. Education and quality healthcare for girls in developing countries is a passion for me. It’s one of the reasons I decided to become a FNP. I hope one day - my work can help prevent tragedies like this. Only with God’s help - of course.

I think that I haven't really given much attention to the things going on in the world. What I remember seeing/reading has been negative and horrible...Ebola, beheadings. planes being shot down or disappearing. It scares me to think that the life I had will not be the same one my children have. I worry that they will be subject to all the different horrors the world can possess and I wont be able to protect them.

There is nothing on the global level that has impacted me, the year. Most on my mind is the continuous dysfunction of our legal system, including law enforcement.

The Boston Marathon Bombing. Though not for reasons many would think. 1. The Rush to Judgment disgusted and scared me. Within minutes of the Tsarnaev Brothers being named as alleged perps, Facebook was alive and sparking with Judgment and conviction (of the Tsarnaevs). 2. Cornering a 19 year old in a small boat...I listened to it on the news, live. Realized that my oldest nephew is just a few years younger than Dzhokhar. Whatever this kid had done, whoever he is, I was awash in feelings of empathy for him. Seeing and feeling through his eyes (my own experiences gave me a script) as I drove down the highway. 3. This last is the hardest to say out loud. The US has become a most arrogant country, butting into other cultures' business with our own agenda. Or, at the very least, with no clear, visceral, HOLISTIC understanding of how this other culture works. I do not want to die, and I do not want to kill others. BUT...I think the US may deserve what it got.

Cannot think of an event that has affected me personally in retirement, although it certainly has been an uncertain world this year.

The trouble with ISIS has spiritually impacted me. I find myself less angry and more concerned with world wide issues and how we as individuals can help. I feel the need to understand that culture and try to work in bringing these two worlds to peace.

Murder of' 3 teens in Israel; I could empathize with the parents who stayed so strong and horrified that such young lives have been taken solely for being Jews. Sent more charity to help those stuck in bomb shelters for war that ensued, and tried to explain to my non Jewish friends why it mattered...they are my brothers and sisters, and to show support for Israel, and provided them with more info. It made me so sad, and felt mostly helpless to do much. I pray in this coming year that Israel will see more peace and quiet, far less rocket fire, no one killed, and a renewed political solution for long term peace.

The Climate Change March in New York recently happened. I was not there but a few people I care about a lot went. It heartened me to see so many people finally creating a public display of concern. I have felt a strange dissonance for the past couple years between how serious the situation seems to be and the near-silence on the topic in day-to-day life, how quiet and/or abstract any mention seems to me. I have not done it yet, but I am feeling more motivated to join a local group and starting doing what I can (in addition to further limiting our family's carbon footprint) to help bring about a larger pattern of change and outcry.

Without a doubt, ISIS. I have been so mad at them I literally wanted to take a gun and fly myself over there to shoot some people in the head. I can't believe how disgustingly cruel these people are. There's a special place in hell for these people. And for once I really truly believe someone needs to go and hunt after these people. I am not a military strategist or aware of the area's history and current political situation, but I think these people need to be stopped.

The war in Gaza impacted us all. My friends were scared and depressed. We got used to jumping at every small sound because we thought it was a siren. Over 70 soldiers - not much more than boys- died from the Israeli army - the funerals televised were heartbreaking. On my summer camp, on the first day, we had to run with the parents who were dropping their kids off the shelter. It was stressful, not just because I was responsible, but to watch how calm and used to it these 10 year olds were. It made me question if I want my own kids to grow up with war, if I want to, if there will ever be peace. I took it less hard than most of my friends but I had the news on 24/7 and it definitely affected me. It made me love Israel more and feel uneasy about it too. Ultimately, I'm sure there is no where else I want to live.

I live such a sheltered like that I don't feel that anything has affected me.

The War in Israel. It challenged my paradigms regarding Israel and I found myself looking at a lot of different perspectives. It's also the first time it affected some of my family. Sadly I don't feel much hope for a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

A few things happened this year that were just flat out weird and creepy - also, sad. First, one Malaysian flight went missing. Seriously, how does that happen in a time where literally EVERYTHING is trackable. So weird. Then, a second Malaysian flight got shot down in the Ukraine. What?! That actually happens?! Thought it was a movie. Lastly, I can't believe Robin Williams is gone. Such happy memories watching his movies growing up. He was a true gem and the world was left shocked and in grief at his passing. Depression is an awful thing.

Ferguson. This event highlighted injustice, inequality, and racism that exists not only on a global and local level- but in our (MY) every day life. It brought to my own conscious awareness some deeply rooted, yet completely unintended beliefs that undeniably existed within me. Generations of injustice have perpetuated these morally wrong thoughts and behaviors- and the Ferguson case was one that hit me like a ton of bricks, and placed a mirror in front of me, so I could see myself clearly. This gave me an opportunity to replace my shame, fear, and guilt with curious exploration, challenge, and truth. I hope to be part of the revolution who fights for justice for people of EVERY race, gender, class, ability, and sexual orientation. I seek to eliminate thoughts and actions that promote or support any type of injustice.

My idea that we would move towards a more peaceful world seems naive-wars are everywhere in the Middle East. The uprising in Syria has made me question if we can ever be at peace. I have found some solace in the work of Pema Chodron, how to find peace in a time of war, but it's not easy.

Thankfully, I am at a place in my life where I don't let the events of the world have a great impact on me personally. That being said the events in Ferguson showed me how much our country has not changed and has deepened in me my resolve to fight racism by living well and being the best me I can be. Being a black woman in a racist society can ruin your spirit if you don't protect it. My goal is to always try to find better ways to fight against racism while maintaining my personal well-being. At times this simply means practicing a little self-care, going to a rally, or signing a petition.

Not quite sure…

I wouldn't call this an event exactly. The water drought in Southern California is very disturbing and depressing. It's affecting my habits and mindfulness. I really hope that things get better soon. This is scary. WE NEED RAIN!!!!

The kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli teens, followed by the murder of a Palestinian and then the war in Gaza had a major impact on me. As a supporter of Israel, I was horrified by the kidnappings and the retaliatory murder of the Palestinian boy, but also shocked at how quickly world opinion turned against Israel as it waged a defensive war against Hamas in Gaza. There were certainly excesses on the part of the IDF, but it is scary to hear about the opinions of people who don't think Israel even has the right to exist. Anyone who thinks anti-Semitism isn't real is simply delusional. Israel and Jews are held to impossibly high standards by everyone else.

The school girls that were kidnapped while they were in school and the kidnappers openly said they would sell to sex trade. The event made me realize how important education is, especially for children. Why did this impact me? Because I believe that being global means we look after all humans/animals/creatures. How we react and educate people in the country we live in effects those people in the rest of the world. Even if I don't realize or know if I make a difference, I must do what I can, keep trying.

I guess this is more local than a world event but it is what comes to mind. About a month ago, a young guy went missing very locally to us. I won't pretend I knew him, but I know people who knew him. I don't really know why it affected me so much - I guess it's because I saw it unravel on Facebook from people just saying they hadn't heard from him since the night before, to people going out on organised searches for him. Unfortunately the very sad news came that his body had been found in a local lake where he had tried walking home after having some drinks. He was only 21. Just so horrendously sad. It makes me listen to other missing people stories differently now I can picture how it happened here.

In the past year (Well since 2010) Common Core Standards for education have been enacted. This affects the work I do at my education-based company.

The ebola virus outbreak in Dallas is the most recent event that has impacted me. One of my best friends is going to school in Dallas and the fact that she is in the vicinity made my fear come to the surface even though it is probably not necessary. I feel sad for the man that contracted it abroad and dissappointed at modern medicine for not researching this issue, along with other pressing diseases as long as its outside of first world countries. It also made me consider how much money and time is going into well researched areas such as breast cancer awareness, but so much less into unknown urgent diseases such as Alzheimer's.

We're all Past That...case of racism and inequality continue to upset me: Ferguson--a black kid is gunned down by cops for NO REASON, a no-knock warrant issue in Texas...cops enter the wrong house, occupant kills a cop accidentally...occupant is black and goes to jail, the list goes on and on and it is just not right.

The deaths of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers one week apart. These were sad events to experience since these were icons whom I appreciated for their humor, struggles, and triumphs during the lives they led. Joan Rivers didn't care what others thought of her. She had a lot more living to do. A medical error took that opportunity from her. Robin Williams couldn't bear to live with Parkinson's and took his own life, taking away the chance to live longer himself. He couldn't bear the thought of it. Both died too soon and both made incredible marks on so many, inside and outside the humor world. Their deaths reinforced for me how short and precious life is and how important it is to live every day to its fullest.

The Ebola virus. Out of control. How the US is full of bravado (foolishly so) for bringing people back in the US for treatment. How we are not taking strong enough action to prevent the spread. All that terrible beheadings and war in the middle east.

All my political friends are going heavy on race equality since the Michael Brown stuff. I feel it, but I have a hard time wanting to mobilize. I've been thinking about ebola this week. Talking to JM & J was pretty amazing. They're really right there in it. They may not be able to go back for a while if it doesn't let up. I think about the people I saw in Guinea 15 years ago and how they're all in a risky place and how they're all as important and more important than the people I can see from my seat at this too-hip coffee shop. It's too much to hold. Mostly I just feel pretty isolated from the world at large. My life is local. It's micro-local. It's just me. Should I be more connected and concerned? Should I be more active or afraid? Or should I just fix what I can right here in my own space? Maybe I'll find out.

I could say Att. G's summoning of journalist, the Israel-Gaza war, Ferguson, MO..but the actions and consequences of these events were things I knew. They affected me, strengthened my values, but they didn't change what I thought of the world. The actions by conservatives against proper healthcare has impacted me the most. It shook my idea that all people are good, that all people care, and that all people want to be on "the right side of history". Several southern states have passed laws that restrict access to abortion. The vote goes up in my state soon. I knew that there was a general consensus against abortion and access to birth control. I knew there was slut-shaming, victim blaming, and too many men controlling what happens to women. But with the Amendment 1 vote happening here in 3 weeks, I've realized it's a personal attack. I couldn't have imagined how gut-wrenching it feels to have a male I personally know tell me he's against woman having a right to control her medical decisions. I don't know if men understand this, but they're telling me, yes me, not some generalization of women, that they know better than I. My heart has been broken over this....

N/A. My father's death and contentious divorce has overshadowed all.

Of course the ebola outbreak is unbelievable. The world has become so small that we have to worry about a deadly disease from Africa is in our own "backyard". We're the most powerful country in the world and one man could us down. It's not a world event, but a dear friend of mine died when hit by a car while out running. It brings our mortality up front and center. She was only 48.

Among all the horrific, violent, devastating, disrespectful events this year; the abduction of the Nigerian girls and the response to it impacted me because I recognized that that both the hateful act and the compassionate call to help them that followed was turned into another hateful and violent act against the women who on behalf of these girls beseeched the world to act. I don't recall anyone mentioning how both the abduction and the name calling of the world's powerful, loving, brilliant, and famous and ordinary women illustrates how misogynistic our culture and the world are and this is another hate crime that isn't acknowledged or spoken of.

Oy- Gaza war, ISIS. Fragility of Israel's survival, proud of her resources and how Jews have come together! Anger at the distortion and anti-semitism in the world and media.

Ebola outbreak in Africa has made me nervous!

Sexual Assault on my campus. I got deeply involved a year ago and began to learn about the task force. I am learning and engaging on this issue on my campus. I hate what has happened, but I am proud to be booming an agent of change on my campus--and hopefully soon--in my community.

As a woman, the increased attention to "feminism" has impacted me this past year. Maybe feminism has always been in my face, but this was the first year I really paid attention and used the label to describe myself. I am the product of yelling out "Girl Power" because of the Spice Girls and singing that "A scrub is guy that can't get no love from me" thanks to TLC. Beyonce's 2014 VMA performance, Emma Watson's UN speech, Lena Dunham's book (Not That Kind of Girl) and TV show (Girls) – all of these have made impacts on who I am continuing to become. I am just incredibly proud to be a woman in the world today. All of this has impacted me to proudly say I am a feminist and to truly believe in the equality of the sexes. I think this has also impacted me because I aim to find a man that labels himself a feminist as well. Joining Junior League this year also helps me practice what I preach as the league is about “empowering women” and I continue to fine other ways to do just that.

The genocide of the people in the Gaza strip has been so heartbreaking. More than once I've thought of quitting my job, selling my things, and joining the PeaceCorp so that I can help the people whose lives are being destroyed by ISIS. To my future self: Did you go back to non-profit work?

I was trying to get my life together so I didn't have the time I would have liked to attend to world events.

I'm embarrassed to say that I don't feel much affected by world events. Am I that oblivious, or that sheltered? Hmmm.

The world is a scary place right now. The terrorism ISIS is inflicting on the American people is distant, in geography and in mind for those of us who have never known any of their victims, but it is real and it's scary. I don't know what else to do day-by-day than to hope that it never gets any closer for me. If I worried about every terror in the world, I would be scared to leave the house. I have to ignore it to make it through the day. There's an Ebola scare in the U.S. right now, too. There were victims inflicted in West Africa that were flown here to Atlanta for treatment. Lots freaked out, but it seemed comforting to most of us that they were flown over in the care of U.S. medical specialists. But then last week was the first case of somebody diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, in Dallas, Texas. He flew here with Ebola. On a plane with a hundred people. So far, so good, but I'm expecting more from this story. And again, I'm just hoping it doesn't get any closer to home for me.

The war in Israel this year hit me incredibly harder, harder than in the past. I found myself moving farther to the right, and more seriously considering aliyah at some point in the future. I don't know why---I think it was actually more the vicious anti-Semitism in the world, which I have tried for so long to pretend doesn't REALLY exist. Except it does.

All of the turmoil in Israel and growing emergence of anti semitsm. It shakes my sense of security.. I feel depressed when there is so much strife there. The suicides of both Robin Williams and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. They remind me how delicate life is and they confirm how serious depression is. Both my husband and I have it and so my others I know. but I wonder, ultimately, does anyone have any effect on whether some one chooses that or not?

The economy, most recently my husband was laid off after 16+ months working for a company and it's been very difficult to find a company where there could be longevity and growth. Not asking for a 6 figure salary, just a solid place to bring home enough money to live on. We have been on food stamps and medicare and realized how lucky were once were & it's has tremendous humbled us and now, just want to be able to buy our groceries.

The deaths of so many black men at the hands of the police, and the general white indifference. I pass as white in the right light, so it's been pretty horrific to be included in racist conversations.

I don't know that there's been an event that has affected me or mine directly. ISIS and all of the unrest in the middle east is scary, but hasn't affected us directly yet. The crazy right wing christian agenda is also terrifying, especially as it relates to the direction the country is going in - but again, not sure it's affected our day to day. The economy seems better and I suppose that affects our day to day, but not in a significantly noticeable way.

I work in news so I feel like world events are constantly impacting me. Nothing has shifted my perspective in a crazy way, but I think overall I'm still compelled to keep working in news because the world needs great journalism and people better explaining issues.

The war in Gaza. I am a Democrat. I agree with a liberal agenda in the United States. I support universal healthcare, a strong social safety, and a woman's absolute right to chose. I think that the Republican party fell off the deep end a long time ago. Zvi's claims that "the left is anti-Israel" and "the media have a liberal bias" did not shift me. Then came this summer's war in Gaza. Oh, my God, they don't get it. The liberal world really does not get it. The only people who understood that Israel has a right to exist and a right to defend itself were the Republicans. Suddenly Upworthy and the New York Times made me want to scream, and the only emails and Facebook posting that I agreed with were the ones posted by my crazy conservative family members and friends. What happened to me?

The war in Israel - has made me feel more of a responsibility to advocate for Israel despite the politics.

Both the attacks on Gaza and the ebola crisis renewed my outrage at how the world is organised and how many people suffer because of that. They gave perspective to my life. I feel sad but not in a way that drains me from energy and unable to do anything.

Though not a singular world event, I think I was strongly impacted by violence against women this year. Specifically when it happened to one of my friends. It opened my eyes to the culture we live in and the fact that it is the responsibility of each and every person to change that. It has really inspired me to live out the quote be the change you wish to see in the world.

Russia (basically) invaded Ukraine - Since I've been alive (or, cognizant), Russia has been a world power that behaved (or, as far as I knew) like other world powers, happy with their borders, not seizing land and killing people to do so, or outright lying about obvious things like that. Shook my confidence in the world order. Similarly - Syria, with so many people murdered, use of chemical weapons - shook my confidence in the world order (I know it sounds naive but you know what I mean) - where were we? Made me feel less safe, like anything could go. Love, me

The conflict in Israel and Gaza has forced me to clarify for myself where I stand in relation to Israel. Even if that relationship is complicated and conflicted

- The war in Israel over the summer- it was really scary to know that my brother and other close family members were potentially within range of the rockets being launched from Gaza. - The prayer gathering/rally in Lower Manhattan "protesting" the proposed new draft laws in Israel- was troubled and torn by how well-intentioned, religious Jews were so divisive about the issue.

Climate change; political crap; more wars; lies about planes disappearing; LIES and hidden agendas from world leaders; genocide. I am deeply sad that greed and lust for power is destroying our earth.

Daniel Tiger has a little sister now. Oh my goodness. Am I going to get one of those? Because I don't think I can handle it. Babies are so annoying. You have no idea.

I have a very hard time watching world events. I cry at the news constantly and feel completely unable to do anything about the sadness I see. The fighting along the Gaza strip saddens me. Not only for the people there, but for the people in this country who let anger and hatred fill their hearts. Condeming an entire religion for the behavior of the zealots is...well...it hurts the entire world to think like that.

Corporatization of healthcare has caused me to give up the employment I had and seek a different position that would allow me to work near where I live and allow me to spend more time with my family.

The death of Robin Williams. Celebrity deaths are always pretty shocking, but the fact that someone who I associate so much with my childhood, especially my father, hit deep. Also, suicide has been a pretty heavy through-line in my last few years, and the reminder that even the brightest personalities can suffer from such darkness struck something inside me. Seeing a number of other friends commit suicide in the following weeks, it's reminded how passionate I am about mental health care, and the empathy required to be there for those people. Over the last few weeks, the idea of volunteering at a suicide hotline has come up and it's something I have given some serious consideration to.

A major war between Israel and gaza made me realize just how precious life is, and how strongly I feel a connection with Israel.

The Israeli invasion of Palestine. So many children killed for no reason, and yet everyone declares victory in the end. We hear endless stories about Michael Brown or the latest beheading victim of ISIS but never one of those children is ever mentioned by name, AFAIK.

The conflict in Israel this past summer has impacted my life tremendously, even from afar. Majority of my family lives in Israel, and I was in constant fear for their safety. Two of my cousins were serving in Gaza, and every morning I would wake up in fear of finding out that they had been injured, killed, or kidnapped. My grandmothers were physically unable to get to a bomb shelter in time, and my brother would have to go down nine flights of stairs with a 1 year old baby to get to the bomb shelter. This event reminded me how much I care about my family, friends, and my country. I couldn't help but feel protective of my country, the place I call home. This has solidified my desire to make aliyah in a few years and return to my family.

Met a joker at the Life Cube project who went on to shoot two cops at point blank range over a pizza. Found out another friend from Colorado has been indicted on a cold case trail for murdering his wife 15 years ago. The skirmish between Hamas & Israel kept me deeply aware of my Jewish Heritage and forced many difficult conversations and helped me recognize that I am far more conservative than I let on. The legalization of pot in CO, while I haven't participated there yet, did show me that the world is changing, slowly but surely.

The war in Gaza seriously impacted me this year (and Ebola). It is so frightening thinking that Israel could be gone at the press of a button. The country is so strong, and it's so hard to make people understand that Israel is simply defending itself. The US would have reacted twice as harshly. I am planning on going on Birthright in December because I love my country and want to be back. It's been way too long, and this war has made me longed for Jerusalem.

The war in Gaza. It overturned the most basic rules of humanity when Palestinian children were killed on a beach and families were bombed in UN shelters. I was horrified by this and by the response of many US Jews and politicians who won't criticize Israel no matter what their government does. And I was horrified by the growing antisemitism around the world -confusing Zionism with Judism.

The beheadings from ISIS shooked me to the core. I am not sure why - but seeing someone so close to death and knowing that what was coming was terrifying. How brave those men were - how astonishing to think that ANYONE is able to carry out such brutality. It makes me wonder, it haunts me.

The Ebola thing freaks the heck out of me.

Nothing yet. However, in the US, the death of Michael Brown in St. Louis was pivotal. It reminded me that there are truly at least 2 Americas, and our economic policies are widening the gulf rather than narrowing it. It feels like we are going backwards and not doing the things that we need to do in order to bring people together. It is no wonder that our young men and women are angry. They don't have access to the trappings of success and even worse, we are actively keeping them from success. They look at "mainstream" America and see no way of possibly being a part of it so why even bother.

The Boston Bombings, the Navy Yard shooting. Mica. Lisa. One degree of seperation. It freaked me out.

Robin William's passing was something that weighed on my mind for weeks after. Knowing that someone who brought joy to so many people could be dealing with such demons was heartbreaking and made me rethink how much I know about anyone. He's brought endless laughter to my life since childhood and I truly feel like the world will never see another person like him.

The Elliot Rogers shooting made me so upset. I read his entire manifesto and it crippled my heart. There is so much hate in the world, especially internalized misogyny, that sometimes I fear to even step outside. When I posted a status about how rape is handled on college campuses, my mom told me to take it down since I work for a university and it could get me fired. I told her that I would be willing to get fired for standing up for what's right.

Tensions and conflict in the middle east, Syria, etc., all have me concerned about my middle guy in the Navy, and whether or not he will be deployed to the Gulf. Same deal - no control over these things causes great anxiety, and I have to trust that it will all be ok, even when it doesn't match my definition of "ok".

An event in the world that has impacted me this year would probably be the Ferguson case involving Mike Brown & a police officer as well as all of this Ebola fear going around. I'll start with Mike Brown. So an unarmed man gets gunned down by a police officer. People feel the officer had no right to kill this man. Boom theres your controversy. No? Wheres the controversy? Oh my fault I forgot to add in it was a black man who was killed and low and behold a white man pulled the trigger. And there you have it folks. The perfect recipe for a news story. Now why has this impacted me. For starters as a black person I was hearing and seeing the conversations and demostrations everywhere I went from the kitchen table, to instagram, to television, etc. What frustrated me was not the case or the event. It was the ignorance that came from it. Many in the community of Ferguson decide to riot and march for the injustice they believe occured. I see nothing wrong with that. But a few decided to loot, steal, etc. Now mind you, one individual never represented all correct? That's why they call it individuals. So why is it when a select few black people act ignorant, I see some of the most racist comments i've ever seen in my life being used to describe a culture. As a black person I do not live in the ghetto (which actually was what they called Jewish concentration camps) not the way blacks acted or lived but the uneducated wouldn't know that. But i've seen comments from animals, to gorillas, to go back to Africa, savages, n*****s, jigaboos, you name it, they said it. And i'm sitting at my computer screen absolutely amazed by what i'm seeing. Yes the acts of few were ignorant, but does that warrant labeling a whole race? I just read today the dad from 7th Heaven was fired from his job because of sexual molestation. Does that mean all older white men are molestors? Statistics (as so many love to point out) prove that , Yes, they are more likely to molest children but I don't hear or seeing anyone generalizing the white race.. I mean I read it regarding Mexicans as well. Or do we just now call them Illegals as i've read over & over again? Ok I digress. Maybe I went on a rant yet still didn't actually get to the problem and explain how this impacted me. Well for me it 1. Angered me that ALL races were commenting on a case when NO ONE had actual evidence to back up their claims. Some say he was surrendering then the cop shot him. Theres witnesses to back up that story too. Then some say 1. He attacked a clerk and stole cigars (there videos to back that up) then he tried to wrestle the gun from the cop & run then boom he was shot. Ok either way all of these yahoo, huffington post, fox, etc, etc, bullshit wannabe lawyers don't have the FACTS because they weren't there. So why the hell do we continue to fight over what we don't actually know. Which also brings me to my issue on media, the portrayl of stereotypes, and how people bite into this shit like it's a juicy burger. Whatever I could go on & on but you get my point. Every race, every individual, everyone just angered me this year because I believe events like Ferguson just created more hate in people's hearts and I hated to see that. Next, Ebola. I'll keep this short and sweet. Stop Ebola. Idk how they'll do it. I actually don't believe what we're being told about how it's spread, how suddenly it's become an epidemic when years ago it seemed to be contained, but again, I digress. I just hope the world can come together and unite instead of divide. But hey, we've been spewing that same slogan for years, never changed anything..But I'll keep hope alive lol.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has really put me in a conflicted place, because I can understand both sides of the conflict, to a certain extent. Israel has a right to protect itself, but at the same time, its offensive strategies are a bit unwarranted. It's a huge, complicated mess of a situation with right and wrong on both sides. It's also a never ending source of conflict and strife for my family, because my dad isn't Jewish. Every time the issue gets brought up, he'll back Palestine and my mom will yell at him and call him antisemitic. Fun, fun, fun.

Definitely being in Israel when there were rockets being fired was an experience I'll never forget. It was a bit scary but I'm surprised at how safe I felt there. I now have a clearer idea of what is really going on in Israel when I hear about it from home. I also gained perspective into the lives of the Israelis who actually live through this. It's amazing how much they love their country.

The G Train shutting down. Had to commute completely differently for a whole month. Ok, ridiculous, I know. I need to read the paper more often. Goal for this next year.

The emergence of IS frightens me beyond belief. The beheading of innocent people in the name of a dangerous, hate filled ideology makes me want to pull back from looking towards others with an open mind and more fearful of the world around me. It also makes me worry about the world my grandchildren will live in.

The ongoing strife in the middle east has impacted me in that I have learned more about what is going on in Israel. I have friends who are Jewish who have taken the side of Israel in the Palestine conflict. I have seen countless takes on Gaza/Hamas...it is quite disturbing. I don't take sides on this issue. I feel like I cannot side with either because some of the reasons on both sides are not love-filled. This has been something I have struggled with. But, I also feel like I am slowly becoming more of a peace maker than I am a ambulance chaser. I feel myself becoming less concerned about material substance and more concerned about spiritual substance. Yes, human life is valuable, but part of my purpose on this earth is to promote human Spirit and radical Spiritual CHANGE. This can only be done by my LOVING everyone and being on a quest to LOVE rather than HATE ANYONE. I must promote Love and Peace and FREEDOM over anything else. I must be liberal in my love and conservative with the value I place on material wealth - and even value I place on other human beings. There is a difference between VALUE and LOVE. I choose LOVE. This has impacted me quite hard.

Robin Williams died. It seems fairly inconsequential- one life in a sea of lives being lost every day, in Syria and Gaza and Iraq and Nigeria- but it shook me. I grew up with him, loved and watched and watched many of his movies, came to him again as an adult with anger for the part he has played in transmisogyny, and still smiled whenever I thought of him. The icons of our childhood are the hardest to lose, I feel- we loved them at a time when we thought nothing would ever change.

War in Gaza. Made me really asses and question how I felt about Israel, what it was doing, the Palestinians, the future of a Palestinian state. I think it really made me aware that there will probably never be an end to this, especially while it's possible to live in Israel without feeling too threatened (or less threatened than the idea of a full Palestinian state) and really showed me that Netanyahu has absolutely no motivation or incentive to help resolve the status quo.

The conflict in Israel over the summer. This is the first year that something has happened over there and that I have been attention, because of my fairly recent reconnection with Judaism. If anything, as someone who had extremely negative views and lack of connection to Israel in the part, I was surprised by how much the conflict touched me. I felt a strong connection to other Jews because of the vilification of Israel, in some cases of all Jews, and vicious comments, that I heard even from my own non-Jewish friends.

Boko Haram kidnapping women and girls. The fact that women and girls are still seen by many people in this world as secondary and chattel.

The war in Israel was wrenching on so many levels. The uncivil discourse, the lies and accusations... it was too much. It got to the point that I couldn't look at my Facebook page anymore because of all the vitriol on both sides.

I've been impacted by the widespread rulings in favor of marriage equality. I'm impacted because it's relevant to me and because I'm in love with someone I want to marry. <3

This is a difficult questions to answer because world events touch many people but haven't exactly impacted my life this last year. I would say the legalization of same sex marriages in 25 states is a huge step in the right direction. It's amazing in this day and age we are still limiting the rights of our people in the US. I hope my daughter grows up in a world where two people that love each other can marry, that an African-American can be president, or a woman can do the same. They're should not be limitations placed on the basic rights of others if what they are doing is not harming anyone.

When Stanislaus Wawrinka won the Australian Open, I was a little disappointed. As a Djokovic fan it had not come as a complete shock that this second ranked Swiss player beat the reigning champion, Djokovic. In fact, the previous year, they had played five tight sets, with Djokivic barely edging Wawrinka for the win. But I was still a little upset that Djokovic had lost. After reflecting a bit following the match, I realized that this match had more significance than ranking points. Stan was now considered among the greats. Unlike other sports fans, who may have fallen into a depression and hated Stan for the rest of their lives, I actually came to admire the guy. He, a little known player in the shadow of Federer for his entire life, had surmounted enough effort to go down in history. After losing and losing and losing, he simply persisted and was rewarded for his effort. Maybe I could be like Stan! I am proud to say that I have a total of about one tournament win in my five years of playing tennis, so Wawrinka's victory gave me some hope. Although this match may not have been a global phenomenon, or even significantly impactful to the global community, a lot of tennis fans and people in general paid attention to the story. It certainly impacted my perspective, and it made me think: why can't I be the big guy for once?

Can't really pick one but the Mike Brown shooting woke me up and others the the racial and socio-economic divide in our community and beyond. Hopeful that it starts to impact relationships to be more aware and understanding.

There was a series of tragic events that involved the lives of many, including a ferry sinking in Korea, a plane being shot down, and the Malaysian flight that went missing. It made me realize how crazy this would can get, and how precious life could be. Any of those things could have happend to me and my family members, and I'm saddened by those who are affected by these events, and those who don't have closure in their lives because of it. I'm thankful to have a relationship with God whom I can depend on and who I can have peace from even when he doesn't provide me with all the answers. I'm thankful to have a husband and a family that, if anything tragic like that happened in our lives - we would not fall apart. After the pain and pushing through it I think we would grow closer because of our dependence on God. It makes me sad to know that people who go through such tragedy don't have God to help them get through it. I don't know how they do it.

Among so many- the Malaysian Airline flight that disappeared. It reminded me that anything can really happen at any time and technology isn't the answer to everything. The Mike Brown case, even though I didn't follow it that closely, just reminded me how much racial inequality still remains in the US. I wish I knew how I could help it more besides being my normal accepting self.

The war in Gaza this summer really bothered me. I don't agree with Israel's actions - I don't think war is ever a good solution, and they have too much strength compared to Hamas. Too many innocent women, children, men were killed. Too much infrastructure was destroyed, which will take years to rebuild. Friends were divided, parroting what they heard from one source or another. It was just sad.

Two big events impacted me this year: 1. The death of Sammy Sommer, whom I've never met but vicariously lived through in Phyllis's blog. She is an amazing writing, and brought me right (and tens of thousands of others) right into her scrupulous, vivacious writing. I cried through every blog post, and admired her ability to articulate the journey as poised and humanly as she did. It made me feel as through I was personally connected to their story, experiencing love and loss along the way. 2 The MH-370 plane crash consumed my world for weeks on end. I remember standing in ORD Delta lounge with a plate of yogurt covered pretzels, watching the news - the same news I had read about minutes before on my phone, footage I'd seen minutes before passing a TV at a bar in the corridor, and listened to on the radio during my drive to the airport. I remember having breakfast at the Taj - by Vivanta in Mumbai watching the news on the project screen in the dining hall as they changed the story of events for the umpteenth time, being completed captivated by the same facts over and over again. It's just incredulous to me that they aren't able to find it. How is it that no one had satellite information? Traceable radar data? Does the US know but not want to say for fear of exposing their powerful surveillance systems? The obsession was driven by the disbelief and anticipation not know the ending. Another aspect was putting myself in the shoes of the families who's relatives were on board, and trying to imagine what they are going through. And a third was my imagination, filling in the gaps of the story with my own abstractions. The absurdity and sadness of the situation has left its mark until further resolved. I hope for a sensible resolution soon.

The war in Gaza, rocket attacks in Israel, and general unrest in the Middle East. I felt like I should have stayed in Israel, like she needed me to be there. I feel like I'm running away. My priorities were really shifted being in Israel this summer. My assumptions and beliefs were all thrown into question, and I had to do very hard soul searching to find where I was at again. I'm still not even sure where that is, I just know that I feel heartbroken from the whole situation.

The summer war in Israel. It was so hard to hear and read all of the negative press about Israel. I've watched our friends age with worry because their kids were on the front line in Gaza. It makes me so fearful about Israel's future.

Right now, it is ebola. I read 'the hot zone' years ago, read about how virulent it is, how the virus has been studied in US labs, et al. Do i trust the powers in charge will contain this? Read my lips...n-o.

The riots in Ferguson, Missouri over the shooting of an unarmed black teenager have really made me think about the privileges I enjoy because I happen to be white. Why should I have less reason to fear the police, actually, why should minorities have MORE reason to fear the police? Also the appalling behavior by the police regarding constitutional, civil rights is beyond my comprehension.

Ferguson happened this year. It made me realize again and more powerfully than ever that we need to fight hard for the rights of every human being. Every person that knows truth and light needs to show (by how they live each day) the light to those who are in darkness. When we live fully as humans that love each other it will call the people who are lost in the shadows back to the light. But it's not easy. It's hard and it means facing the darkness in yourself and becoming a better person each day. It's not about being some righteous perfect person. It's about being a person who faces their own struggles honestly each day as well as helps their friends in their struggles as well.

War in Syria, Israel, Gaza etc x There is no need, but I will never see it from their point of view x Maybe we need the wars to then attain the peace x :)

War war war and more war. Inhumane hateful barbaric behavior on a world wide basis. Hostage taking. Barbaric executions by the ignorant, small minded hateful. Small little murders in the way people treat and speak to others in our every day life. Children in Syria being given deadly contaminated vaccines. Sierra Leon and the surrounding areas becoming worse every day because they haven't the basic medical supplies and the population has been lied to so much that they are not able to trust anyone in authority, all of which is making containment and prevention of the Ebola virus impossible.The missing Malaysia airline among other airline tragedies. I spent hours at home sick assisting in the search using satellite images. Ongoing concerns regarding Fukushima and the invisible damage to people and animals and the world environment that isn't being revealed. too many more brutalities and tragedies to keep listing here. The way congress has managed to block every bit of good legislation and humane legislation that President Obama has created. The attitude that I have been struggling with regarding my fellow human beings, more and more misanthropic....disgusted. That is how it has impacted me. Are we on the Hell planet? We seem determined to make it so...

Fuck this question. I sit privileged, unaffected by the terrors that plague most of mankind. The job market sucks, and that's my biggest concern. My second biggest is dealing with the other privileged assholes who refuse to acknowledge that there is anything wrong with the world besides the laziness of entitled whiners, like rape victims, refugees and protesters. Fuck this question.

I was deeply disturbed by the war between Hamas and Israel -- and extremely distressed that Israel got such horrible press -- unfairly.

What's happening in Syria, yet again. I wonder what happened to the boys we met there on holiday in 2008. I can no more imagine the old part of Aleppo being destroyed than I could imagine my home town being destroyed. Nor could I have ever imagined the atrocities that would happen there. It is heartbreaking.

Honestly, can I pick one? The world is just so awful now. Yes, there are bright stars in a dark sky, but the darkness is overwhelming. Between wars and climate change, I think the possibility of human extinction is very realistic. I'm not some loony tunes conspiracy theorist either. Our society is broken and we are ignorant to our own demise. Long ago I lost my faith, but ironically enough, the more our world becomes a godless one, the worse it becomes. I feel very hopeless for us.

The situation in Israel with Hamas really had me thinking about Israel. I miss being there and felt nervous when the battles were raging. I still miss my friends I met there. Most of them are in the States now. There is a special bond I still have with Israel.

My heart breaks for the family and friends of Michael Brown and the nightmare they are going through. It's sad to think about the young man who was supposed to start college this week and never had a chance to live his dream of owning a business. It's depressing to hear that people rioted and looted local businesses because they are (justly) sick and tired of being profiled and mistreated and that peaceful acts have not led to social change. It's infuriating when the police treats people unjustly and turns to violence rather than law. It's pathetic that the media is focusing more on property damage than the unjustified death of a human being. And it's disappointing, but sadly unsurprising, that most of the people even discussing this event are black. This is OUR problem, everybody's. I'm crushed that our world isn't a better place, but hopeful that this is the start to more dialogue and real change.

The violence in Chicago has really opened my eyes to how lucky I have been and how much harder our communities need to work to achieve peace.

Mike Ferguson's murder. Horrible bombings in Palestine. So much sanctioned force toward people of color. But also really climate change. They are not unrelated. Environmental racism is real. The fear and helplessness I've felt around climate change has been terrible. Yeah.

ISIS Moslem people are being tarnished with the label of the extremists; this is very sad.

I think the biggest "event" is more of a series of small events that have been slowly but steadily changing the landscape of our country: the right for gay and lesbian couples to wed, and for them to have those unions be recognized by all forms of government. I am not gay, but the realization that a portion of this country's citizens were deemed less-than and somehow not worthy of having their most important relationships recognized as equal to anyone/everyone else's made me sad and frustrated. The fact that this has changed significantly in the past year- from state laws being struck down, to the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, and to their refusal to hear additional arguments in favor of banning gay marriage- is heartening to me. Love is love.

Unfortunately I'm lame & don't pay as much attention to world issues as I should. Crime in Indy has escalated this year, & that has definitely impacted my business, but I see the light & believe that it shall pass & brighter days lie ahead.

When I saw the footage on tv of the victims of Isis being scooped away by an American chopper with some family members being accidentally left behind, it made me realize how very lucky I am. I am profoundly blessed. I have my health, I am loved, the people I love are healthy, and my life is exciting and free.

I was most impacted by the death of Robin Williams. It was a bigger loss than expected. It made me think a lot about the state of our world, and how even the most beautifully self-expressed struggle to feel they must fit in among those less enlightened.

The first thing that comes to mind is the War that broke out in Israel. This greatly affected me, my friends, my community, my people and the rest of the human race. At the beginning of the war I was in disbelief, then I was in a state of denial, and after a few weeks I became numb to it all. After spending 10 months in Israel last year, and developing a love/dislike (not hate) relationship with the place, this whole event further confused and complicated my feelings towards Israel. I told Julian on Chazon Sem, that "When I saw the numbers of Palestinian deaths escalate, I felt so embarrassed to be a part of the Jewish people. . . but I more so felt so ashamed to be a part of humanity". Around the same time, lots of fucked up shit was happening all around the world - Syria, Ukraine/Russia warfare, ISIS. . . I don't know what the world had/has come to. I felt a sense of despair overcome me!

Nothing comes to mind. I have not been focused on the world. I have been focused on grief and surviving. As I think longer, there has been war and torture and many horrible things going on but they have only grazed me as I have been is my own cocoon in a way, insulated but suffering and maybe, hopefully healing slowly in some way that I can't quite yet see.

The election in this country. The right returned with an overwhelming victory. I am terrified for this nation, and disgusted with people, and I don't want to be, because people can choose for themselves and that's the foundation of democracy. But: scary.

The scary thing that's happening right now is the ebola virus outbreak in Africa. The first case was just diagnosed in the US, which isn't a huge threat to me really, since in the US we have the resources to be able to support people while they are infected and the facilities to stop it from spreading. What scares me is the idea of thousands of people in Africa, who either don't know any better or are just doing the best they can to take care of their loved ones, not realizing they are sentencing themselves to the same fate. It seems terribly unfair that I should automatically be safe from this issue just because I was born here. It makes me want to help, but I don't quite know where to begin.