Describe a broader event in the world that has impacted you this year? How? Why?

An event that impacted me this year was the upcoming election. I've been focused on many things this year that I normally wouldn't have been concerned. One being health care, money, the economy and the future. Many of my worries were brought on by buying a home, severe health problems Peter encountered and how these things will change our future.

The continuation of the Iraq war! It has broken our military, depleted our Treasury, emboldened Iran, and made the US and Israel less safe!

As a homeowner, landlord and small business owner the current financial problems have made me have to rethink my current plans and be a little more conservative in my estimates for the future.

Both the presidential elections and the economy have weighted heavily on me this year. In both circumstances, I think it's the first time I've been old enough to truly understand the impact that they will have on our future. While I've voted before, I never followed a presidential election as closely, or felt that I had as much at stake as I do this year. And in terms of the economy, I have never been old enough to truly feel the impact when this has occurred before.

Israel's celebration of its 60th year in existence impacted me this year. It made me appreciate the great sacrifices Israelis have made for the survival of the Jewish people and the importance that people need to continue to defend the State of Israel.

Obama running for president has mobilized me... I will be doing my first ever political work (really) and it's scary and minimal but meaningful.

Gas prices lead me to reconsider how I use my car. I used to advocate for increased bicycle usage and actually practiced this when I lived in California. Due to weather conditions (I have trouble riding a bicycle on icy/salted roads), I wimped out over the years and drove my car more.

The decline in the housing market made me realize that national issues really do effect everyone, including my family.

Truthfully, the events in the world exhaust me. I'm working so hard just to hold things together with my little family it is hard for me to care a whole lot about what is happening out there.

The proponents of Prop 8 (to add to the CA constitution a specific clause specifically denying marriage to same-sex couples) have aired ads to aid their cause filled with untruths.

Watching the rise of Sarah Palin confirmed for me what I sensed in 2000 and what I knew for certain in 2004: I don't know shit about millions of my fellow Americans.

Global warming and the impact of humans on the environment. It's happening fast. I want to be a part in a micro and macro way to stop it.

The whole fragility of life that played out time and time again, not only the hurricanes and earthquakes, but also the global issues that have been constantly getting steady media attention, like the wars, poverty, the environmental challenges.

Probably the biggest world event that has impacted my year would have to be Olympics in Beijing. Bolt ran the fastest 400m ever. It reminded me that there are people all over the world that you don't hear about or think about in your day-to-day life but that we all share a similar human condition.

The earthquake in China, and hearing about how it leveled a school and killed preschool children, and then thinking about how in a country where people aren't encouraged to have more than one child, there are parents who have lost their only child.

The world we live in is in turmoil. We are destroying this planet and the community of life around us. We are razing the trees and raping the animals of their freedom to live. We have become so self-centered as to take the world into our own hands, becoming judge and jury to decide who lives and who dies.

I watched a video called The Story of Stuff- I realized how much of an impact one person has on the health of our world. I was to accumulate less, waste less, consume less than my fair share. I don't consider myself green, but it's never silly to recycle and think before you purchase.