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

The appointment of Dr. Francis Collins to direct the National Institutes of Health will propel medical research to new levels!

Having Obama win the election gave me hope and inspiration.

The election of Barak Obama--it was incredibly powerful to see so much optimism in the United States and especially among young people. It reminded me of how amazing it is to be an American and how much good work is happening in this country--how incredibly professing the United States can be and how important is to be part of, well, not to be cliche but change. I remember watching Obama's inaugural speech at my law school, surrounded by other law students, and realizing that we were not only witnessing an amazing piece of history being made, but that we were part of this history; that we could continue it. It was one of the most empowering moments I have had in a long, long time.

The recession has had a major impact, both in my life and the lives of people I know. Many of my friends are looking for jobs and everyone is cutting back.

renewal of hope with Obama

Once again, the economy was a pervasive force that I felt in many different ways. First, the sense of impending doom caused me to buckle down and begin to start saving. As much as I did, I wasn't as aggressive enough as I should have been and this summer I ended up losing my job. It was due to the lack of foresight by senior management. Which was unfortunate. They also screwed me over - no package which was awful. Now it's been incredible hard to find something new and I'm facing the real possibility of draining all of my savings to stay afloat. Not great. First time such a 'macro' concept such as the economy had directly affected me.

I think that the controversy in American politics, the conservatives vs. the liberals, is a terrible thing and something that is tearing my family apart. I get so mad at the blindness and hate spewing from my sister and mother sometimes that I don't even want to talk to them, which makes me sad. I wish that everyone wasn't so angry at each other for stupid reasons all the time.

The passage of Proposition 8 in California, ripping marriage equality away from same-sex couples. I was nearly sick with grief for weeks, first when it passed and then, months later, when it was upheld by the state's Supreme Court. I'm so tired of having the central relationship of my life put to an up-or-down vote by people I've never met in places I've never heard of. I feel so vulnerable, so violated.

The economy has devastated our region. I lost most of my wealth and that terrifies me. But I have been looking for teaching jobs and now coach tennis. That has brought much joy and laughter into my life. And I am meeting many more people than ever before.

Barack Obama became president this year. More than breaking a racial barrier, he broke the long 8 years of fear and anger. In November we found hope and belief in a better future.

Obama becoming president. Because it showed me that what is true today is not true tomorrow... and that everythig is possible, and that tolaranace or rather acceptance and intergration will happen one day

cantthink of one at present

Probably the economy. My business has definitely been affected. I was really slow this summer. With some perspective I remind myself that even though I dont have the cushion i am usually more comfortable with having, I am still able to pay all my bills, I am not in danger of losing my home and really I am fine. It takes a bit of reminding myself though.

Obama, is that an event? I traveled quite a bit during the running and around the time of the election. Talking with Americans young and old, in the forced occupation of an airline seat was fantastic. I shared my "liberal" canadian views of events and they shared their perspectives. I met both sides... wonderful.

Obama became president. I am not really sure about his character, ethics, and morality. Watching people respond was incredible. I am so proud that we have a black president. I hope he is treated as a man an American man. That is my only wish for him as president.

Michael Jackson's death along with Farrah Fawcett and recently Patrick Swayze reminds me to look at the meaning in my life and that time is short here, to make the most of it.

Barack Obama was elected president! After years of being embaressed of being am American, I can finally stand up and say that I love my country and I am proud and in support of my president.

The economic disaster in America has been devastating for the world, although it hasn't impacted me personally, it does impact me indirectly in regards to funding of important services for the poor and infirm. The role of Jewish people in scandals- Madoff/ the rabbis from the Syrian community etc. has not been good for the Jewish community at large.Scandals at large make people so sceptical of the political process and that hampers progress.

Obama's presidency has given me a sense of hope, of pride, of purpose and connectedness that I've never had before with a president. I wish my grandmother could have been alive to see it all. My admiration for Obama reminds me so much of the way she'd speak about FDR.

The war in Gaza had a real impact on me, as I predicted to many friends that the withdrawal from Gaza would bring rockets onto the rest of Israel. It was sad to see that unfortuately no matter what Israel does for peace, it is rewarded with bloodshed. My friends on the left were very shaken during the war, but now are too focused on alleged war crimes, than the true crime of withdrawal.

Seems strange to pick this but I'd say Michael Jackson's death. This event seemed to have the biggest global impact of the events I can think of. It was not only sad but was shared by so many people all over the world that it was a unifying moment. It provided a good opportunity to feel and experience just a hint of the Oneness that is existence.

Dary 4 When I think of this last year I can not help but think of th economic crash last fall, and the rippling effect through out the world. We talked then about how our lives and the lives of our children would be for ever changed. The balloon had burst, banks, insurance companies, car manufacturers, major mutua; fudns and other stocks were tanking. Many of our investments lost 30-40% of thier value over night. So the reitrement that I expected to enjoy, and the college education that I expected we could pay for easily from our earnings vaporized overnight. Still we did not want this to effect our children and we continued to say we wanted to offer them all we could - so their college expenses cme out of home equity instead of savings. We will live differently than we planned, than we hoped - and our leagacy to our children will be their education. Perhaps another positive is that we will begin to live more simply os that we can smiply live.

Netanyahu's election - I'm active in the Jewish community, and proudly so, but I'm finding myself increasingly at a loss over how to relate to Isreal, or the American Jewish community's responses to Israel - I just don't know if there's a place for me.

Inauguration of President Obama has brought to the surface the vestiges of my own prejudices, which I hope to extirpate. I want his administration to succeed in as many ways as possible. His attempts to manage the economic melt-down has brought out the worst of this same malady in some segments of our populace, exposing the sewage-laden aquifer of prejudice against African Americans extant in my beloved country. I pray this does not infect the majority. God help us!

Obama's inauguration was rather huge. I hope that he can dig himself out of this hole and accomplish some great things . . .

The constant demonization of the State of Israel by supposedly mainstream writers and politicians worldwide.

President Barack Obama's election and inauguration was something that I was thrilled to see in my life time. It has given me a new sense of optimism even with his and the country's troubles since his taking office.

Obama getting elected. Finally feeling proud to be American and hopeful about our future. It gave me a feeling of being more in control of how the country was run knowing that my ideals were in line with that of the current president. Hope, positive change, maturity, not perfection.

All of the big global changes in the last year (Obama's election, worldwide economic collapse, growing concerns overseas, etc.) have really helped me appreciate the smaller events in my every day life. That despite the world melting down around me, I can still find peace and happiness in a day in the park with friends.

The murder of the guard at the Holocaust Museum in Wahington DC was a point of transition for me. It somehow helped me to solidify my thoughts and feelings in relation to Judaism. It occured to me that those opposed to Judaism still exist even in this country - they are still not afraid to pull the trigger of hatred - I need to be more committed to pulling the trigger of commitment to justice and consideration of other.

The election of President Barack Obama. I was witnessing history being made. As an activist from the 60s, my hopes for the ideals of those years were revived.

The election of the U.S. president. It has confirmed my opinion of the folly of large numbers of people who are willing to sacrifice freedom for security. It was a milestone marker on the collapse of America, turning from the ideal of a Republic to that of a socialist state. I can look forward to an increase of laws that hem me in, make my life harder, and that do not represent what I want whatsoever.

The economic downturn has led to scrubbed raises, layoffs, and an accelerated decline in magazine publishing.

The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States! I really didn't think it could happen, but became energized and was so excited by all the folks volunteering for him through Move On that i volunteered myself and it was great--renewed my faith in America. I know he/we still face tremendous struggles, but i am happy to have a leader who is trying hard to BE a leader, here and abroad.

There is so much going wrong -- unemployment, the middle east, global weather, Africa, the Maddoff scandal. I love the new president -- I have so much respect for him. I'm so worried about the decline in morals and values in the US, and the vitriol in the country is scary -- I keep thinking about Orson Scott Card's book "Empire".

Probably the election of the first African American president. I think it defined for myself and for many where we are as a nation and where we stand politically as a people. It clarified for me personally how set apart I am from the mainstream and how offended I am by conservative thinking.

I have never really been into politics, and being from Canada, what goes on in the United States does not really affect me directly, so to my surprise, the day the world found out president Obama was getting elected, was the one that impacted me. Being from a multi-faith family and being in an interracial relationship made me see the importance of what was going on in my neighboring country, not really for any political reason, but for the simple fact that this was a step in the right direction...for years people were fighting to see a day like this come. It almost seems like their fighting paid off. That night I got chills down my spine, tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat when i thought that maybe, just maybe this was a sign that better things were coming. That hatred was gone.

Obama's presidency. The election of a man of integrity who can speak English and think.

The voting of Barack Obama as President has had a big impact on me. While he wasn't my first pick, I did vote for him, and I was happy that he won. I believed there could actually be a change from the harsh Bush years. I'm started to see that I was wrong, though. I do like him, but he's really just the other side of the same coin. The two party system is a failure in that neither party seems to have our best interests at heart. We're still going to feed the same Capitalistic greed machine for decades to come. Yes, he is trying, but ultimately there will be no difference. I believe this has made me completely disillusioned with the political process, the economy, and the country in general.

The financial crisis has made me question many assumptions that had previously seemed too obvious to doubt. Though we have remain solvent and employed I do feel as though I am living in very unsteady times.

I feel that there has been a slow, gradual and frightening build-up in anti-Semitism around the world. It takes the guise of anti-Israel sentiment in many places, but is really in truth simply against Jews. Coupled with the horrible idea that people care less about being Jews in the first place, I feel that I hear Hillel's call: "where there is no person and a person is needed, strive to be that person." I hope I can live up to it.

God has given man dominion over the world. Thow shalt have no other gods before me.

The American presidential election: from the rhetoric of election season, through that painfully hopeful and fearful election day, to the news that Barack Hussein Obama is (baruch Hashem) the president of my nation! It was as though an enormous weight had been lifted from my soul. The Bush years were hard for me; not only did I perceive that his policies were destructive, but with him in the White House I felt perennially alienated from and depressed about American political culture. With Obama in that role, I find that I feel completely different about my country and our place in the world.

Election of Barack Obama. Gave me hope.

Obama being elected president. It gives me hope that our country will one day elect a Jewish or woman president. I don't follow politics a lot, but I do think this country needed a change from a Republican run government.

All the threats against Israel - from Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, and international detractors. I feel more worried than ever before for the safety of my Israeli friends and the future of the Jewish homeland.

The election and inauguration of Obama has impacted me the most. I would say the main reason this is the case is that my faith in my country was restored. After electing a bad decision twice, the majority went for a man who was not only qualified but different from the status quo.

Barack Obama was elected the first black president. When the announcement was made, I was sitting on my couch with tears running down my cheeks. I am so happy that it happened in my lifetime.

The election of Barack Obama. Hopefully, things are changing for the better now that we have someone in the White House that wants to at least try to move us in the right (or should I say left?) direction.

the state of the economy. it made my husband's world collapse even more until there was no room for me. i didn't like the approach he was taking, his anger, resentment and inability to keep moving forward.

The recession. I've had to sell my home, I do not have health insurance and I am unemployed. Last year I made $80,000. Luckily I still have my sense of humor and my optimism.

This health care reform business. Oh it makes me so insanely mad. I truly cannot understand why there is even a debate: health care is a civil right. It is not a commodity or a luxury good. Period. We need to start from that truth and adjust our system accordingly. Starting from anywhere else, pretending there is more to this matter than that truth, is scary. I hope that by this time next year we are closer to the path of sanity and humanity in health care.

The recession has affected us all. I am a lucky guy who has a wonderful family and a "stable" job for now. The recession has made me understand that everyone is replaceable and that you have to be prepared for the worst.

president obama being elected and the revival of a feeling that this is my country and my voice does count. the hope for change. the hope that we will stop being so war oriented and focus on helping each other.

The election of Barak Obama. It showed me almost anything is possible in America. The recession hurt many people and I was included. Much worry. Madoff and his ability to hurt so many people-most who were greedy (are we not all?) and felt they had the smartest money guy in the world.

The thought of universal health care. I am worried we are turning into to a socialist society. Now it is a good time to promote healthcare reform since we are in a recession and people are freaking out. People miss the big picture and don't realize how healthcare reform will impact us. They only see it as "free" healthcare. I wish they would ask at what cost?

Honestly, I just feel like any 'bigger' event is a sham. The events are the same everywhere, all the time, at least those reported. The scary events are the ones that do not get coverage, the ones that don't end or begin because they've been going on for so long that they are not news. The scary thing is most people go on about their lives and really dont know what's going on out there. Maybe the horror would make us incapable of moving forward. Maybe we just need to get brave. I dont know. I dont claim to grasp the horror. I guess I wish I knew the way to make happiness part of all work, so we could save the world AND be happy.

The economy. I lost my job and had to take a new one that I dislike.

The election of Barak Obama as POTUS had a huge effect on me. It restored a little bit my faith that the US can act rationally, reject the silliness of the far right, incompetence of Sarah Palin, and complete disappointment of Candidate John McCain. Moreover, the break-through of a mixed-race intellectual blew my mind, made me intensely proud, and at the same time terrified for the Obama family.

what has been termed the "economic crisis" here in the united states. like many, it has hit me with loss of job and reduced financial resources. but i hope that this will shake up our over-consuming society and help people get in touch with what they really need, what is really important. for me, i have simplified my life even more. and, even with less resources, find myself wanting to reach out to do more about worldwide problems concerning the environment and hunger.

This is a hard one for me - since I admittedly am living in somewhat of a bubble at this time in my life- focusing on bettering myself and my world. However, the one thing that comes to mind is President Obama's winning of the Presidential election. The first black man to ever be voted in as president underlines a very strong philosophy which I strongly believe guides me in this life. And that is that over times - values, people, and the world can change to be more accepting, and to look to the bright side of things. Our country was built upon racist values - with slavery being a very important aspect of our countries economy no more than about a century ago. But over time - though intense times, we have learned to accept people as equals, and look at the face value of others. Knowing that this is possible on a nationwide level makes me feel better knowing it's possible on a personal level.

the sad, senseless death of annie le. what a tragedy. a bright young woman is just gone from this world. this has led me to be more mindful of performing daily mitzvot - especially simple mitzvot such as smiling & saying "hello", giving my employer the attention & skills they pay me for, taking in 2 cats who needed homes - to try to repair the universe.

The election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States. It is something I didn't think I'd see in my lifetime: a black man in the white house! Sure, we have a long way to go in terms of race relations in this country and I hope he is not looked upon years from now as just the first African-American president. But it was a sweet victory, an encouraging victory. Maybe we're going in the right direction.

The election of Barack Obama. What an absolutely amazing moment for this country, my country. On the night he was elected I found myself chanting 'USA' and really meaning it for the first time in my life. So far, I don't agree with everything he has done and he probably won't do half of what I had hoped he would, but just knowing that his election was possible gives me faith in people's abilities to rise above when the occasion calls for it.

The nomination and election of Barack Obama has caused me to leave my life time membership in the Democratic party. As an Independent and liberal I am re-evaluating my political focus in the future.

The election of Barak Obama has given me hope that my country can rise above the mire that has enveloped it over the 8 years!

The election of Barack Obama has created a new kind of ugly, dangerous tension in this country. There are a lot of stupid, struggling people across the country who are aiming their frustration and fear at the president, incited by Glenn Beck and others who are leading the charge to unseat him. I'm really scared for Obama's safety, but also fear for our country as a whole. Stupid people can be very dangerous!

Clearly the war in Gaza had a profound impact on all of our Jewish communities and on our family as individually we became aware of virulent anti-semitism that raised its head for the occasion

The Obama presidency: his election an incredible moment in American history. His speech to the Arab world showed unique vision. But the violence of the opposition voice, especially on health care, has been dismaying. And his stimulus plan was underwhelming, a regurgitation of past problems. So many unanswered questions about America's future. And if we can't make change happen now, when will it get better?

Watching the election of Barack Obama from the England was extraordinary. Even though many people in the US feel that he was not the president they wanted, they should know that the rest of the world needed President Obama to restore their good will toward America. The excitement, fervor, heated but respectful political discussions have been amazing. No longer am I harassed by drunken pub patrons about how awful my president (G.W. Bush) is. Now seeing the tea party protests & furor over the perceived threat to the American way of life by talking about healthcare has made me realize that I don't think I can live in the United States again. Paying attention to American politics is like watching a train wreck in slow motion--horrific but you can't tear yourself away. I think I need to for my own sanity.

The global recession has made life at my non-profit much more difficult.

The world wide economy has had a huge impact on our retirement plans which were on the brink of happening. We have had, like so many others, to delay our plans and hopes. We have been holding our breaths to see what happens, and when. Economically, socially and health-wise, we are OK,which is amazing. But everything is being held in abeyance and maybe things will improve faster than expected. I have high hopes for President Obama and wish people would understand that healthy, educated people are productive and pay taxes for the services they are receiving. i don't want unhealthy people (uninsured) handling my food in markets, restaurants. I don't want unhealthy people washing my car and sneezing in it, and I don't want unhealthy people around me, anywhere. People need access to quality health care. What is this, we are #37 in the world? We are No. 1 in arms and soldiers, but low, low, low on health care? We need to check our priorities at the door and get new ones...

The 2008 presidential election — something I presume everyone will be keen to answer. My hopes and fears for him and this country were elevated and educated and my decision to support him in the election and come forward to my family as the only liberal made dinner debates fascinating, engaging and often intense. I can't wait to see how this will have changed over the next year.

As a result of the financial crisis, my boyfriend and I, as well as many of our friends ended up loosing our jobs. My boyfriend, who worked at a still relatively successful hedge fund, had a complete breakdown in February. As a recent law graduate, with only one year's experience I am very worried about my future, and about how long I might have to wait to find a new job. Many of us have significant student debt, and with less jobs and salary freezes, people are deeply concerned about their careers.

The economic crisis has really scared me. I was already in considerable debt and I got scared taht this crisis would make it more difficult to climb out of all the credit card debt for me. But I'm choosing to see it differently now. Every situation is what you make of it. If I save smart and make good decisions with my money, I will be ok.

It has to be Obama. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life. It is because I have seen and felt the struggle of African Americans. Seeing the inauguration with my African American friend who traveled with fear in the South when she was a little girl made me understand just how this represents a shift in our culture. There is a lot to do still, but this marks a beginning. It also showed how things are not fixed, that we can transform. It empowered me. I am also impressed with Obama's mediation skills and how he steps into that role and speaks from that kind of mindset. It gave me hope that we as people will learn to see and respect both sides.

For the first time in many years, I see an honesty in our government. The election of Obama has given me hope that our country will reduce the need for aggressive wars, and possible go back to the need to serve people first. I also see a greater division between groups of people in our country and a lack of willingness to come together. I would hope that this fear between people will diminish as we see positive actions within our country and the world. We cannot lose hope.

OBAMA WON! Enough said. Except it's weird, I thought everything would change. Except the right started making things hard to get any momentum. I forgot they would hate him as much as we hated Bush. There's this weird stasis-quo that has developed. Hope things will actually MOVE soon.

Two things, both Rotary related. Bill Gates gave a total of $355 million to help eradicate polio. Also, Rotary peace scholars are starting to impact the Middle East. Keep your fingers crossed

The recession. Many people I know have been laid off and cannot find work. I worry about being laid off. I worked extra hours and took less vacation days until August 2009 because of fear of being laid off.

The economic downturn. I was laid-off from my job and have had a lot of difficulty finding a new one.

The recession made my job less stable, so that pushed me to move on. The stimulus package, low interest rates, and low property values are why I am about to move.

The election in Iran had an impact on me mostly because at the time of hte elction i was reading a memoir of someone who was living in Iran and going through an election as well just 9 years earlier and I was basically experiencing what was going on in the book. It also had an impact on me because of my tremonduous interest in the Middle East.

The recession impacted my business, my business is a non necessary service and people have pulled back from spending. I think this has made me more effective and will be fine next year but for now it has made borke.

Obama being elected. Finally there's someone who has smart advisers in the white house! It made me think that maybe I should become a lawyer.

The election of President Obama gives me hope that had been almost destroyed by the Republican hate machine. There are good, intelligent people out there in America. You just can't hear them through the cacophony of fear and selfishness.

The election of Barack Obama made the biggest difference in my perception of our country and in my hopefulness for its future. I know this will matter to the way in which the world views us as well.

Obama elected. Inspired me to think about what is possible that seems impossible. To really think about being courageous in how I live and work and love and daven.

The election of Barack Obama made me feel like I'm a little less crazy in the national context, probably for the first time ever.

The economic crisis--reminded me that the world is a fragile place, and I always need to see the positive and be grateful for what I have--my friends, family, gifts and abilities--as so many have so much less.

The economy. It affected everything. It affects where I live and it is the reason I'm no longer employed.

The downturn in the economy has affected me, not only because I lost my own job, but because it resulted in anguish for so many hard-working Americans who suddenly found themselves struggling to get by. Reminds you that we take so much for granted. Also reminds me that there is a lot more that I can do to help ease the suffering of others through volunteer work and charitable contributions.

The recession in the us. Collapse of Lehman brothers, Bear stearns and weakening of the financial markets. I lost my job at a huge financial firm, but I found another one in the healthcare sector.

The recession/economic crisis meant that the jobs I was supposed to take after school (and had spent seven years working toward in graduate school...) suddenly vanished. It was as if all the promise and opportunities that I'd spent years turning down because I was a student suddenly dried up at the exact moment I was free to take them. It was, in a word, devastating. I got lucky, and now have a good position in a nice place, but I'm not exactly where I'd wanted to/hoped to be, and know now, bone deep, something my grandparents (who lived through the depression) always did: there are no guarantees in life, and you should always have a back up plan, and a back up for your back up. Hopefully, this will mean that in the future I'll be more conservative and guarded about money, work, the future, etc. - and not take any degree of success for granted, or think it will stick around just because I've had experienced it in the past.

The campaign of Barak Obama. Suddenly politics featured in more conversations and it wasn't about the positions of the political figures it was about a movement. I was supporting Edwards in the beginning but then it was between Hilary and Obama. It was talked about by friends who didn't fixate on politics, people who didn't generally have opinions. And I was really proud of our country for electing a black man.

The effects of the unusual wet weather in the Northeast, which has resulted in the tomato blight and numerous fungal infestations in the local farm produce. My own tomatoes had to be torn up, my CSA has been adversely affected in many crops, and my local organic raspberry farm lost all its fall berries. I have become even more aware of the interconnectedness of all life and even more concerned about the safety of our food.

I feel much more hopeful for this country with Obama as president. I was so tired of Bush's gaffes and idiocy. I feel a tremendous sense of relief having an intelligent, intellectual thinking caring president in office. I hope we'll get out of this recession, and I hope personally to go beyond the downturn in my business and come out stronger and wiser on the other side.

The downfall in our economy. It has hurt not only my family financially and emotionally but many other of my friends' families and even families I don't know too.

The fall of the economy. People were suddenly as poor as me. And I worried about my job. I still do. Though I half hoped to get laid off and start something new.

I moved to New York right as the recession hit full force in fall 2008. It completely altered and affected my expectations for success, financial stability, and immediate goals. But it also brought people closer, highlighted the simpler pleasures, and taught me more about finance than I ever wanted to know.

Obama election viewed from Italy where stupid people elected once again that criminal of Berlusclown.

Barack Obama was elected president. For me, it seemed like vindication that everything that I quietly believed actually held some credence. I've never felt in line with my leadership -- for me this ushers in a new era.

the economic decline, which forced the closing of a magazine startup i'd worked on for 4 yrs, but that was in dog year time in terms of hours worked so it felt like 17. very abrupt, weirdly personal too. but also a good thing in the long run because i needed it to end in order for something else to begin.

The first black president has taken office in the history of the U.S. While not affecting me because he is black he seems to be a real leader and should affect change in the U.S. that I believe in.

Recession, I would guess. It has seemed to slow down the stream of calls from possible employers. And possibly decreased the size of the opportunities I have had. In the end it was good for me, though. I guess I've needed this time to figure things out.

The election of Barack Obama greatly influenced my job as a Foreign Service Officer. The change in attitude and perception was literally overnight and quite palpable. Living in Kenya was, of course, and made the event even more dramatic, as Kenyans felt like we had elected one of their own. For me it shows the power of human interaction, respect for others, and humility. While Obama's election did not change foreign policy very dramatically, human interaction is important and we ought to remember that in ever aspect of how we live our lives.

This is a touchy question because at the Rosh HaShanah table I ate at someone brought up a news event from this past year and criticized me for not being familiar with it (Bishop Richard Williamson having made a comment denying the Holocaust) (they went further - mocking me when something came up about the singer Mary af Peter and Paul fame passing away; how I knew that and not the other). The landing of the plane on the Hudson in January really touched me. I was listinening to the radio from the start to the end of the story. I blogged about it and have been in touch with one of the survivors. It helped remind me of daily miracles. It also showed the power and importance of age and experience.

The election of Barack Obama changes very little. My idealistic and apparently naive expectations have been dashed on the rocks of realpolitik. The reality that America's ruling corportocracy shall never give up, that it can only be dislodged by epic battle, that American democracy is bound with adamantine chains to the corporations that sponsor its presidents, legislators, and judiciary.

The election of Barak Obama as president. It's given me hope for my future & my child's future.

The economy has impacted me the most. As a self-employed musician, I've had fewer gigs and more places tell me that they've had to cut back on the budgets. So, along with less income, I am unable to charge more to make up the difference. The biggest change has been the loss of any church related income.

We are in The Great Depression II, although the powers that be won't admit this for fear of a further decline. My mother-in-law lost her 25 year tenure with HP directly because of this depression and the corporate cit backs. Burnie Madoff made off with so many Jewish organizations' funds that my beloved CAJE and BabagaNewz is bankrupt. I will forever miss the opportunity CAJE gave me to learn, live, sing, and pray with Jews from all over the world. We truly were Kol Yisrael!

The Iranian Revolution. It shed a lot of light on the Iranian people my age, and I felt like I got to know them better because of their persistence and the exposure they found on the internet. This idea that there's a better life out there for each one of us, and that life is worth fighting for, really resonates with me.

I was in the middle of building a set for a theatrical production of “Brigadoon” when I heard news of the escalation of North Korea’s nuclear weapons testing. At first, I was struck by the futility of our efforts as a human race to create beauty, understanding, and codifications of higher thought—it’s all a vicious, endless cycle, and nothing at all can last. Wars destroy timeless monuments and precious human treasures every day; even our popular movies can’t resist the thrill of, say, blowing up a pyramid or two in the name of action and violence. But then I realized that it is indeed a cycle—creation, destruction, creation—and to give up would be the worst sin of all, especially for the creators of the world. Somehow, the creators and the destroyers need one another. I can’t say that I understand it perfectly, but I feel this to be true, and I’m a little more peaceful now, a little more dedicated, a little less full of hatred.

The Election of Barack Obama is impacting the world, he is working hard and has a strong administration. However, there is an element of resistance here in this country. I voted for him, I was ecstatic that he won. I have been more involved in politics than ever before. I worry that the important changes that we need may never be accomplished because so many are fighting against him. I guess its because he's black, he's liberal, and he intelligent and powerful. People are afraid. People are stupid. I worry about the future more than I ever have before and I want to be more involved in molding that future.

The election of Obama, which was emotional and thrilling for me, having lived through the civil rights movement of the 60's, and remembering Dr. King. Nothing in my lifetime has given me more hope for our country... And the vicious reaction to that election. Nothing in my lifetime has caused me more fear and foreboding for our country.

The election (technically last year) and inauguration of President Obama have renewed my faith and confidence in the U.S.A. We still have problems and I know better than to think that Obama will solve all of our problems in 4 or 8 years. Still, I am proud of the way that people came together to support and embrace change, to get involved on a personal level and to bring about such a positive step forward for our nation. Watching the coverage of the inauguration made me proud to be an American.

It's not an event--it's the LACK of an event--the absence of any real push toward reining in the overblown financial sector It looks now as if the line between ordinary commercial banks (making loans, etc.) and international investment firms with their fancy ways of dangerous wagers will not be redrawn, leaving us open to another new crash--which this time may take E Vderyone down with it. At age 84, I was counting on natural causes to remove me from the scene before the REAL crack-up--but now I'm afraid it will come within the next five years, and I'll still be alive--and this time there will no longer be Social Security and foodstamps--and (with cataclysmic unemployment)there will probably be roving bands of killers, a la Cormac McCarthy.

The shitty economy. A few of my friends have been unemployed for a while now and it's upsetting because I don't like that they're unhappy.

Having just returned from a trip to Israel in August I feel increasingly more tied in to the political situation in Israel. In the past the unity has been personal, cultural, familial and religious, but the political situation is being ever more evident in my life. I am now working on becoming more informed, more involved and a true advocate for Israel in my daily life. The situation is difficult, emotional and at times quite frusturating, but there is much work to be done, and I hope to be a part of that in the coming year.

The economy. The downturn has motivated me to find new ways to grow my business. It has spurred great creativity!

The election of Barack Obama as President. Although initially I was a supporter of Hillary Clinton, once she lost the nomination I became a huge fan of the now President's. I am so happy to have lived long enough to see a black man elected President.

the recession. the unemployment highest in 70 years, and just when I need to find a job. It is a lesson for me in the pitfalls of procrastination, and realize that it is a negative middot of mine I must work on, because there are negative results.

We donated a piece of sculpture to benefit a cause that fights human traffiking in India. The sculpture has generated interest and funds and now shows us how we can have a greater impact through our art.

The recession. It's helped (forced) me and my family to reflect on what we perceive as truly important and to recognize how fortunate we are.

The Gaza massacre reignited my activism. For a long time I've been a "backslider" in my politics, thinking that someone else will step forward. While I still find traditional forms of progressive activism dated and ineffective, I've rededicated myself to speaking out and doing what I can.

THE ECONOMIC MELTDOWN I hate that all of my answers are financially-focussed. The bad news is that financially, my family is at far greater risk than I would have ever imagined possible. The good news is that is has motivated to start a new venture, one that I am deeply committed to and inspired by.

The innauguration of President Obama. As we witness the scathing forces of entrenched interests trying to obstruct his agenda, I still maintain hope (and activism!) that the qualities he exemplifies as a leader will help him prevail; and that people who dismiss oratory and charisma might rethink their positions and place greater value on thoughtfulness and understanding.

I have always been a bit smug about the good living that I earn. When the banks and lenders started to fail last year, I thought it wouldn't affect our household. I thought I was above being affected by the thousands and thousands of people who made bad mortgage decisions. But in the past five months and counting, the country's economic woes have affected me. Books are a discretionary item. When people stop buying books, my clients' royalties are affected. When my clients' royalties are affected, my commission are affected. When my royalty commissions drop by half it deeply affects the economy of this household. The cheese does not stand alone. We're all in this together. What affects my neighbor affects me.

Not only did I make history by voting for President Obama, but I was in Chicago at the Obama Rally the night he was elected. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

The election of President Obama rocked my world. It gave me so much hope and inspiration.

Watching the inauguration this year was pretty intense - a sense of one era ending, the sense of possibility, of change. For me too, it sort of served as a weird bookend - I started doing my work, the work I do now, in this hostile political environment, you had the sense that those collective efforts culminated into this, and that work will always continue, but I suppose it was possible to have a glimpse of what could be possible. I'll never forget watching CNN that Tuesday AM, in my pajamas, seeing that helicopter whisk away the former President and feeling the symbolism of that moment. And at the same time, in the midst of all this possibility - of taking and building on all of this work I'd done over the last eight years, everything came to a standstill because of the larger economic realities of our time. So it was a strange contradiction of sorts. One that forces reflection I suppose.

I think the collapse of both the American and world economic systems have hit me the most. My family has been blessed -- we are all working, none of us have lost our home or our jobs and we are generally okay. But the overwelming dispair of the situation sits in my heart. The number of people who I drive by living on the streets has increased. The greed and avarice that caused the fall not really apologized for nor recognized, I think, by those involved. Very sad.

The inauguration of Barack Obama. I have never before paid much attention to politics, but this past election I became so involved and I actively follow my President to see what he is doing from day-to-day and I am much more interested in all thing political because of Barack Obama. I think it's too early to say how his first term will play out, but I know one thing for sure, his presence has awakened so many people to our political process and when more people are aware of what is going on in this country, we are all better off for it.

The past presidential election got me involved in politics for the first time in my life. I challenged myself to learn more about the issues at hand, and hope to continue this knowledge.

The election. I got to work on it, which made me feel like I was truly capable of doing anything, and that anyone, when they put their mind to it, can achieve anything.

I could say the election of the president that I voted for, or perhaps the recession but the direct impact I have felt has been the constant and gradual downsizing of the ad agency I work for. My first job out of college, after a year I still feel inadequate and amateur but somehow despite the many job losses and company restructuring I have been lucky enough to keep my position. This has led to a growth of faith in myself as well as the people around me appreciating me more than I believe in myself. Jobs come and go, but this first 'adult' experience of earning a living has taught me that I have more to give than I first assumed and that my continued employment is a blessing.

The fact that a black man became the President of the U.S has regained my faith in mankind. Despite not living in the U.S myself, this event changed my life. It made me see that not every one is an idiotic bigot.

Econmic tsunami had me reeling. I've been out of work a year and a month and looking for work. I never had this amount of time with little structure. While I learned that I need 8 hours of sleep instead of the 5-6 I averaged over the last 4o of my adult life, I watched support structures wither. Then saw similar things happen in the lives of friends in similar situations.

Finally electing a black man as the President of the United States. I never would have thought that an African American would be elected before a women. Go figure!

The ongoing famine,starvation,civil and political strife in many parts of Africa is truly sad. My hope and prayer is that the areas that desparely need rain get it, the children and parents that are starving get food and nurishment. Hopefully all the senseless wars and violence can come to an end. Genocide is a sin against God.

Well, the most obvious (and the biggest) is the election of President Obama. I have felt this 'sea change' in the country coming for a while and with his election my heart was lifted and I felt confidence in living in the US. I have been negatively affected by the vocal conservative movement in profound ways.. and with Obama's ascension to the White House.. i have a glimmer of hope -- just a glimmer.

H1N1 flu has changed the way I think about people's reactions and need for comfort.

The passing of prop 8 made me realize that we are not nearly as evolved as I thought we were. It wasn't some state in the bible belt - it was California. I realized that there is still so much discrimination and so much work we need to do to really provide equality to all people.

The election of Barack Obama of course! It has given me hope beyond measure and restored my faith in people to see things from a new perspective, be brave in the face of uncertainty and chose hope over fear.

The election of Barack Obama was a mind-blowing historic event. I remember as a child wondering if a woman or a black person would ever become president, and I was doubtful I'd ever see either one. I think it marks a huge shift in racial relations, and I think Obama will have an incredible impact on your black males in America.

The early actions of the Obama administration are very exciting. A percentage of my salary is being paid by Obama stimulus money. I work in shcools with children who are living in transitional housing. These children are often very impoverished and have experienced loss and trauma. I am so happy the situation is finally gaining attention and more srevices are becoming available! I am privlaged to be a part of it.

Both the current recession, and Obama's election have affected me this year. Up until this past year I felt like we were consistently progressing to a more comfortable standard of living. Now we definitely have less disposable income, and have cut out such "luxuries" as locally roasted coffee, and beverages for adults aside from one glass of juice at breakfast. It is stressful, partially because children mean that the ways we used to cut back are no longer tenable-no skipping meals or eating only crap, no driving a cheap, unreliable and unsafe car. No dropping insurance or skipping doctor appointments. Obama's election has made us hopeful, but the frustration remains with the state of the country. Ignorance abounds, and the need to be inclusive seems to be jeopardizing any chance of real progress.

The worldwide economic dip. I'm a mom who has worked part-time in the arts for years. The recession has led to a lot of cuts in art funding, which means less work for me. I'm trying to find a full-time job in another field, but am having no luck. The broader "financial crisis" has intensified the aura of worry that surrounds our money troubles. It's messing with my hope.

The Obama bailout for home owners. We had counted on the assistance and the help did not come in time. The bank would not help us to refinance for a more reasonable monthly payment. As a result we were forced to leave our home and move into an apartment.

Shannon left. She left in may and never came home. Shes in NY again. She will be coming home for a week or so in April or March. I cant wait til then... I miss my roomie....

I would absolutely say the election. November 4 is my birthday, and it was one of the most revolutionary days for me as an individual and for the United States. We have a man in power who cares about the people of this country. who loves what he does, and who promotes peace. I am so happy to be a member of a country that believes in what he stands for.

Barack Obama was sworn in as the President of the United States of America. I didn't realize until that moment that I had been carrying around such a robust sense of what, as a black person, I could not accomplish. And perhaps as importantly, I didn't realize I had been carrying around the sense that there would never be a time when white people would be so instrumental in making such a profound social change.

The recession has really impacted me this year. It has changed my work in significant ways and has made me more conscious about how I am spending money.

Didn't get caught up in the Obama mania though I felt alienated, and wished I could. Much moved by watching african americans voting, bringing their kids to the polling place for the historic moment of it all, the cheering in my neighborhood, but no way could I vote for him knowing he supported the death penalty and even an expansion of its application, his intention to increase the war against the Afghan people, his telecommunications vote... I'm glad I voted Green instead especially given the corporate and banking giveaways, the drone attacks in Pakistan, etc., since his election. Solidified my leftism.

The surge of horrid conservatism in America - events include Sarah Palin's resignation and subsequent apotheosis by her wingnut followers (including on FB), the Tea Party people, the birther movement, people who are drumming up fear about false "death panels" associated with HC reform, and anyone else who is working against Obama & co because of their inherent tribalism/racism.

The downturn plus Internet have totally altered my professional future and there are no real answers. I am a print journalist. I have changed one job and not sure how well I am doing in my new job either partly because of external environment.

the move to a local farming system. it makes too much sense! we all have lots of property that is either unused, or used for superfluous uses. why not plant a garden yourself or have a company who does local green gardening do it for yoU!

The election of a biracial president in America has affected my life, all for the better. It's pushed me to try to get the facts right before I speak out about social issues. I thought I understood the inequities of HC throughout America but didn't realize how dissatisfied many Americans really are about it. I'm finding that white people are more clueless about race, an issue people need to do a lot more talking about. Why? The election showed me that many people weren't afraid of change, when faced with the alternative (doing the same things all over again). But, many fears remain to be faced and overcome.

The economy going down the tubes has really hurt the world and me. I am stuck in a job because there is nothing else around to do. I don't make nearly as much as I am worth, and people tell me not to rock the boat. I know I am better than this, but the fact that we are spending so much money on usless junk, and giving millions of dollars to people who don't need it is the worst.

It looks like we'll get some form of health care this year - it is something I have needed for a long time, something that will make a tremendous difference in my life and the life of my mother. Health care is one of those things that makes me feel poor, that truly divides me from my peers. I can't take care of my mother. I can't afford to get sick. If the health care bill includes insurance for low income people like me and long term health solutions for low income seniors - then it will materially change our lives to the tune of thousands of dollars a year. A girl can hope. It feels like we've lived so long without this basic, that I forget it should be basic.

The last week in October, first week in November impacted both my world view and hope for the future. First, the Phillies won the world series. As a Philadelphia fan who had suffered through 25 years without a championship it was hard to believe another Philadelphia team would win. As small or mundane as it may seem, a total weight was off my shoulders, and truthfully the shoulders of the whole city. Then, Barack Obama was elected and led me to believe that the country was ready for change and a different US. We shall see.

the green revolution in iran touched me in a way that i really can't describe. these are people who would die for freedom, who believe in something intangible so greatly that they'd give their lives for it. there's a fire in them that i sometimes wish i had in my life. maybe i do, and i just haven't found it yet. either way, those people are kedushah, for fighting for what they believe.

The election of Barack Obama. I have never felt so much hope and pride in our democracy and the American way. It made me realize that our system does work, and that in life, in general, truth prevails. It all comes out in the wash.

I have been struck by the amount of societal introspection caused by a celebrity death. It makes me realize that all greatness comes to an end, and people become enamored by that which is greater than themselves.

Becoming more aware of money and money issues due to the recession. While I've been lucky enough not to worry too much about my situation, it kinda hit home that I should be more aware in case it DOES effect me more later.

Obama. When I read the newspapers I still can't believe he's our President. It feels surreal and almost shocking. After 8 years of Bush, it seems like some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder.

I want to say the election of Pres. Obama, and that would be true, but I think I'm "over" that! I think, moreso the financial crisis. It's affected me because I feel I've lost some of my freedom - to enjoy my savings, to skip from job to job... I feel like we, as a country, were very spoiled, and it kind of serves us right to have our financials fall down on our heads. I just truly worry where we are headed...

My childhood friend was killed in Afghanistan. His death affected me in ways I still don't fully understand. My heart was and continues to be broken for his wife, son, and expected son. His death has led me to be more aware of the current fights our brave men and women are fighting for us.

we have our first black president. he is wonderful, but the country thinks he is magical and can change things fast. i wished that the country would understand that he is just human and let him work things out one problem at a time.

I was in the Vagina Monologues this year and the majority of the money we raised went to help women improve their living situations in the Congo. Throughout our 5 months of practicing we learned all about the kinds of hardships women go through. It made me appreciate my situation more and made me want to get involved to help others.

Barack Obama became president! It sounds like such a cliche, but his election victory made me feel so optimistic and proud. It also made me feel a deeper connection with the African-American majority here in DC. I know he is just a man and these immense expectations everyone has of him are unrealistic, but I do feel hopeful that Washington can become a force for good in the world after 8 years of selfish and misguided policy.

We are headed toward a recession and it is hitting hard on everyone around me. My hours got cut, my parents are broke, my boyfriend is struggling with finding a job. My family is just getting by every month and it's hard to watch.

Going to the inauguration of the first black president really moved me this year. Being able to share that moment with so many other wonderful people was amazing.

The political changes really made a difference in my view of things. Barack Obama gave me real, tangible hope that things might change for the better. Alas, it has not been so. The disappointment is palpable. We are still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The healthcare riddle is still unsolved. And the GOP is completely frightening.

well, the election helped sharpen my analysis of social, political and economic dynamics and refine my understanding of the role of government in a free society. I am not the self-righteous liberal I once was.

The election of Barack Obama. Because it gave me hope. It reminded me that I don't have to be jaded. I'd forgotten what it felt like to be proud of our country.

The shocking death of a young woman in the streets of Iran altered the way I view the tensions in the Middle East. Before I watched Neda Agha Soltan bleed to death June 20, 2009, I saw events in that region primarily from the perspective of a Jew concerned first and foremost with Israel. Now, more than ever, I'm afraid for Jews and Muslims alike. Radical religious fundamentalism is an equal opportunity offender.

The election of Barack Obama to President of the United States! Even now that the "honeymoon" is over, I feel a great sense of pride in this country that we were able to elect such a thoughtful, intelligent, and wise-beyond-his-years statesman. I have great respect for him; I believe in his ability to take his experiences and use the lessons from them to make this country better. I admire his refusal to hold grudges, his desire to seek common ground and listen to others, yet his ability to make decisions when needed. This is what I try to do--as a parent, as a teacher, as a volunteer in my religious community, as a citizen.

Obama's taking office moved me very much. I saw so much evidence of past pain in peoples' faces on TV, and at the same time, an immense, intense joy and hope for the future. I really felt that people across the world were sharing a feeling of incredible joy that change and progress really are possible. At the same time, I couldn't help feeling that we have such a long way to go still (with gay rights for example -- I live in San Francisco)

I am not jaded, but I do need to be able to process events so I can continue to function through the shock of it all. As a FDNY medic at 'Ground Zero,' I walked through the rubble and debris, and looked up at some point to see a lone building standing in the backdrop. I told myself this was just another day on the job in the South Bronx. The city and private owners are allowed to perpetuate the deterioration of acres and acres of viable living spaces. This helped me become aware that whether neighborhoods rot one brick at a time or are destroyed within two hours, there is a loss of quality, and/or actual, life. I never ask, "Why us?" I always think, "Why not us?" Who said that the US should be immune to the same travesties which touch every other nation? Slaughter is slaughter; birth is birth; love is love and loss is loss. I cannot elevate one social event as being greater than another. Kennedy's assasination was no more hurtful than Anwar Sadat's. Not because they had similar or opposing world views, but because at one point they too were little boys playing on a patch of grass and staring at the sky. 'Broader event' implies a circumstance which impacted a greater number of people outside a personal circle. When I learned that air was not sent to Jupiter for recycling or replacement, it dawned upon me that the first beings on earth have breathed the same substance I breathe today. That immediate, 'in your face' link to the past made me realize how closely we are bound together. Nothing can happen in the world without having an impact on all of us. Events illicit emotions. Whether it was Mother Kennedy or Mother Sadat, I grieved the ignorance of man when their sons were killed. When crowds of people across the planet were dancing as they witnessed the inauguration of President Obama, I rejoiced at the hope of man. You are all my family, in my personal circle, and I get to secretly love you in my heart, everyday.

The election of Obama. It made me more hopeful about my country. I wish there were more politicians like him. Unfortunately he has to work with old-style pols. The US lost much of its moral leadership in the world. Hopefully, Obama will get it back. I am tired of the US being the world's military. This seems like a job for a supranational organization, like a United Nations. The US should give up control and other nations take more responsibility.

Obama was elected president. a democrat. who believes in peace who believes in truth who believes in hope. the first african american president. anything is possible

Everything changed on November 4, 2008. The election of Barack Hussein Obama changed everything about the direction the world is headed. Finally, reason has triumphed over passion. Good over evil. Progress over medievalism. Science over religion. For the next few years, at least, we can breathe a little easier knowing that there are plenty of people in the world who want freedom and liberty, equality and tolerance. I am proud of our country. Proud of myself. Proud of my husband. Proud of all of my friends and family members who worked so hard to make this change. YES WE CAN.

the election of Barack Obama to the White House has invigorated my patriotism and given me hope for my children's future. I have two boys and the thought of them going off to war is something I can't even conceive of. I have hope that the new President will bring about an end to the two wars we are fighting now.

A black man is president of the United States - wow. Now he's put some good people in important positions but has not made anticipated changes in policy. And now his green collar jobs czar Van Jones (one of the greatest placements) has been removed due to alleged political affiliations, even though political diversity is what this country fights for around the world. This all has made me see how undemocratic our country really is, and how much work needs to be done.

The Obama election affected me. I attended the rally in Grant park where his presidency was announced. It was a profound experience to be with 250000 people. all diverse, all in anticipation. Usual differences in age, gender, ethnicity, economic status etc didn't matter - there was a strong and delicate hope. It was also a result we had made happen collectively. The change that was registered there wasn't just about the president, but about the people, and about how dynamic a country this is.

The leaking of English paper 2 for the Leaving Cert affected me greatly. The exam was postponed and while I still got my A1,it messed everything else up for me. I had to return to school to repeat the Leaving Cert (which I am in the process of doing now) instead of going to college.

Strange as it is Michael Jackson's death provided a place for my brother and myself to talk more openly and discuss things we normally woulndnt.

The blatant re-emergence of racism and anti-Semitism in this country and around the world by right wing extremists and far right Republicans. They are lighting fuses all over the country - the world - and I fear that tragedy will result. It has affected me deeply - and I feel helpless to stop the natural progression of violence this sort of hatred can provoke. I try to be optimistic..........but I'm too old, have seen too much turmoil and violence over the past decades to be sanguine right now.

The election of President Obama. I never thought I would see a black president. The racists are out right in the open and right where I live. so....Of course there's not many Jews that live here . And they keep a low profile. Quite the opposite of those opposed to anything Obama says or does. However, the most impact from an event I've had this year is that I traveled to Israel for the first time. Now it's much easier , having seen the country, to understand what politically is occuring there and although it was an exhausting trip, I'm very glad I got to go there finally. It has made me very suspicious of anything other countries' leaders say,especially the leaders of the other mid east countries and therefore I watch a lot more carefully to what is happening there in Israel.

To have Obama elected to the Presidential office was and is mind-blowingly hopeful, but the hatred that exists for him and batters him at every turn painfully reminds me that I still live in a country filled with racism and ignorance.

I was really excited that Barack Obama was elected president. I worked hard to get him elected, and I am much more hopeful that the nation will begin to care for its people in a better way. But there has been so much that has disturbed me in the national response to his candidacy and election. It has been difficult for me to watch how bigoted and prejudiced people still are, and how they responded not only to his politics, but also to his race and his perceived religion.

I have to say, though maybe unoriginal, the election of Obama. I was not a supporter at first, saw him as an interloper, prematurely throwing in his hat. However, I have become an ardent supporter and have enormous respect for him in every way, especially his self-development and ability to make himself, when his life could well have gone in a completetly different direction, and his awareness of himself as a person.

The election of Barack Obama inspired me and filled me with hope about the future. It still does in spite of all the challenges the president faces from every quarter --including his own party.

The election of Obama. I think it not only changed this year for me but it changed the way I see a lot of things. I am finding myself challenging the thoughts I was certain, I was "SURE OF" to find out more of how I really feel about things.

The election of Barack Obama has encouraged and emboldened me to speak up and to become more directly politically involved. This is the first time I've EVER given money to a candidate. I loved just the short hour or two I spent on the phonebanks, (even if it was hard). I loved reading his memior, and for the first time, I feel represented in the White House and I understand what it means to have a representation-based government. This makes me want to do more. Even on the local level, which I've never done before. I just think, as the slogan went, "Yes, we can" and "yes we did."

The election of Barack Obama has had a profound impact on me. First of all, Hillary Clinton's loss to him was a huge blow. I was a big fan of hers and really believed (and still do) that she was the right person for the job. But I got on board with Obama immediately and was elated when he won. To think that I was one of those people who thought, "Our country will NEVER elect a black man president," only to see it happen - we are better than I gave us credit for being. But the truth is, now I am afraid. Afraid that Dems will do what we always do, which is win the debate instead of winning the vote; be right instead of be re-elected. And I'm afraid that because the Bush administration indoctrinated us with so much fear for so many years, fear will continue to reign among the people and this fear will continue to drive the overall agenda even if it doesn't drive Obama specifically.

Obama getting elected! It was such a relief to have George Bush out of office.

The economic conditions meant that for the first time I was not going to be able to make a vertical move (financially) with my career. Knowing that my opportunity cost was lower than in prior career transitions, I decided this was the best opportunity to start my own business with a friend in a similar position. While we are not out of the woods yet, the business is making great progress and we become more and more hopeful each day.

The economy plummeting has had an impact on me because I am now learning to live with no savings. It is very humbling.

the work that president obama has undertaken has given me hope for the future. his intelligence, grace and compassion is uplifting. i pray that our country has the courage to make the necessary changes to rebuild our democracy.

Economic downturn has evaporated signficant chunk of my retirement savings so I had to re-think my retirement date and delay it for at least 3-4 more years

Definitely the election of Barack Obama as President. From the first moment I saw him during the 2004 Democratic election, I said aloud "Why is that person not our President?" Through the whole election, I believed so strongly in him, and now as our President I have absolute faith in his ability to lead and intellectually approach the problems of our country and the international community. I feel so strongly about making the world a better place, and was so thrilled, relieved, overjoyed and proud that we were able to elect someone who had those same feelings.

The biggest even that has impacted me and millions of others was the entire economic meltdown. As a victim of cutbacks its had a huge impact on my life. I lost my source of income. I've had to go on unemployment. To say it hasn't changed my immediate life would be a lie. I'm sure a lot of people will tell the same story here this year. It's a sad state of affairs entirely. It's not all sad for me though. It got me out of a job that I felt locked into and very stressed about. I'm back at that job, contracting. And it's just stressful. Almost more stressful. I think my trip to the ER and heart rate are being effected by it. I think that me waking up with my heart pounding and my heart hurting is caused by the stress and anxiety I am feeling. I need to follow up with a doctor but I'm convinced that's what it is. I suppose the stress of not having a set income is stressful as well. A lot of the time I feel helpless and hopeless and alone. I know I need to do my best to make the company I'm starting work. But I get so stuck in the mindset that I can't do it that I defeat myself before I even try. It's a domino effect all of this stuff. It's also like the chicken and the egg. Where did all my stress start. I was stressed at work...but they let me go...that made me feel better...but the stress of not having any money gets to me...I get to contracting at my old work...i'm stressed out. so there it is...economic crisis = job loss = relief from stressful job but different stress from having no job.

Operation "Cast Lead" in Gaza. This operation was more than justified by continuous and unprovoked rocket fire by militants from Gaza on civilians over a period of years. I was initially glad the Israeli went in and it appeared that significant results were achieved. What is most disconcerting, is that the world for the most part sees the Palestinians in Gaza under Hamas as "victims" of Israeli aggression. This is the single great achievement of Hamas. Israeli military actions are being singled out and criticized far more harshly than any other counter insurgency operations in the world including the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the russians in Chechnya. Sure, civilians got killed. This happens in every military operation, and was bound to happen even more frequently in a crowded place like Gaza, where terrorists are hiding behind civilians. The world seems unable to use balanced judgment when it comes to Israel actions against terrorism. Where is the nation who would not do the same or worse in similar circumstances? One would have to say this attitude springs from latent anti-antisemitism, which manifests itself in anti-Israeli feelings. Much of the world, especially the Europeans has not adjusted to the idea of Jews being strong and capable of defending themselves. They are much more comfortable with the historically weak and powerless Jews who were slaughtered by the Nazis.

the increase in unemployment. i haven't had a job since february, and now it may allow me to go to school for free while remaining on unemployment. it also helped me kick start my fitness regiment and my change in diet. all this time without anything to do just gave me the choice: get healthy or get fat. never look back.

Barack Obama becoming president, it completely changed how I feel the United States and being an American. I'd never before felt such pride in my country.

Our recession and economic downturn has made me fear for the future. Despite economic problems in the past, I never felt personally affected. Now I really feel like my financial future is not secure and it terrifies me.

The passing of Prop 8. I am a straight woman, but equal rights for gay people is an issue I am adamantly in favor of. I am increasingly astonished that this has yet to be achieved.

I spent a great deal of last year abroad. Being outside the US and seeing how much it's news permeates other cultures, how much of an affect our governments decisions have on the rest of the world was hugely eye opening. Most of the people I met in Italy, including children, followed our presidential election. Being an American International abroad changed once Obama was elected. The international view of Americans changed dramatically between the Bush and Obama administration. I was also in Italy, during the earthquake and the American response was much more scattered. Some called to make sure I was okay, or to find out what was going on, but many people response to my general - I'm okay, e-mail was 'what happened?' I also spent several weeks in Palestine and learned a lot about the medias role in the Israeli Palestinian conflict. I think I've become a much more worldly and aware global citizen. Increasingly conscious of international news, and aware of the unique position I am in as an American.

The election of Obama. I remember segregated drinking fountains in the South when I was a little girl, and it is heartwarming that this country has taken this step. I feel like we are slowly moving toward greater acceptance of all peoples.

the debate for healthcare. more than almost anything else, it has pathetically polarized our country/communities and revealed some pretty deep selfishness. there's also a layer of good, though, that is people's awakening and engagement in the political/democratic process.

The recession. I believe that professionally and personally it has changed the way people do things. I am amazed that it took a major economic downturn for it to become trendy to be thrifty. Also, the election of President Obama. To me, it marked significant progress.

The Gaza war made me realise that even though Israel isn't always right - people are a bit too quick to hate her for her actions. This has trickled through to the area i live with anti-semitism graffitied on walls - and fundamentalist leaflets being handed out near my workplace.

The campaign, election day, and inauguration was a very exciting time. Being a DC resident, I can say that life is much different with Obama in office. People are working harder because they have hope and know that change will come.

The intense hatred of and opposition to President Obama. I think a lot of this is based on the feeling that a black man can't legitimately hold the office of POTUS. I was so proud of our country when he was elected, but it seems we're not as far along as I previously thought.

The passage of Proposition 8 was a very difficult moment for me. To watch as my neighbors and family members voted and essentially said, "You are less then me" was very hurtful. It has motivated me to continue working for understanding.

In todays political climate and having an african american president has really changed how the world thinks. Its about character and not color of skin.

The events that has gone in Iran has impacted me a lot. This is because I am a Persian Jew and I am happy that the people of Iran are finally stepping up and letting their voices be heard. I hope that they succeed in their overthrowing of the extremist Islamic govt.

the healthcare crisis has affected me greatly. i was denied coverage by 3 different medical insurance companies when i lost my fiance's benefits after our breakup. i have no major health problems or pre-existing conditions, but the medical coverage i was finally able to obtain is very expensive and is almost worthless with regards to copays and deductibles. i become more and more shocked and frustrated at the enormous resistance in our country to resolve this crisis in a logical, rational way; and hope that by next year we'll have made some important steps in the right direction.

The Bernie Madoff scandal reinforced for me the magnitude that one person can have on a global level - and the devastating effects that can transpire from one individual. If only his time, energy and connections were used for something productive, our world and the state of the Jewish Community would be able to focus on other important and timely issues. It is hard to understand how one can live life with such a selfish sourse of motivation, especially at the mercy of his own people.

the inaugaration of barack obama.I feel it is an indication of the maturation of America and a move in the direction of establishing our fundamental ideals as a nation as alluded to in the Declaration of Independence but far from the American reality.As individuals and as a nation we are on the path to our ideals.

I felt so hopeful about the future of our country and its relationship to the world as a result of the election of Barack Obama. More recently I have been saddened and appalled by the degree of racism, unfounded fears and cynical self interest displayed by those who are opposed to his attempts to solve our country's problems.

President Obama being elected is hands down one of the most uplifting moments for me in 2008. It's pretty unreal that we are FINALLY able to elect a black President. We've still got many hurdles to jump, but this was a huge one.

The economic crisis has pushed me to be more engaged in professional community and entrepreneurial than ever before. I've forged new relationships, and am pursuing new possibilities that have deep meaning for me. I don't think I would have invested so much time in myself, made so many new meaningful connections with others and been so brave about starting my own ventures if economic times had been better. I had gotten quite used to making a good salary and having an easy time finding work.

The election of Barak Obama... it has impacted me in a negative way. It showed me that all you need to find political success in this country is the support of the media and a lot of money for marketing. It is amazing to me how Americans could vote for a someone so inexperienced and so radical. It shows how ignorant and naive a lot of people are. Right now his approval rating is steadily dropping because people are realizing that they made a mistake, that he is not doing anything to change America for the better, and he has no real solutions. Obama was elected by a mob-mentality. The same way that a riot can take place (because people are thinking that everyone else is doing it so its ok) that's the same way that Obama got elected. People thought "well, everyone seems to be voting for Obama, and i'm not voting for McCain because he's just like Bush..." People don't consider issues anymore. People take the easier route of having everything considered for them. Just watch TV or talk to a friend and you can "form your opinion" aka adopt someone's opinion. If people are too lazy to form their own opinions -- to think about what they really care about and go after that -- then this is not a democracy anymore!

The Presidential election. It so significantly and abruptly changed the energy of this country. We have challenges continually with how this economy is affecting us all. I know I am. But there is hope now. Something that had been lost for a long time.

The financial collapse has actually been good for me. My job involves shutting banks down. It is terrible to say, but my business has never been better.

Health care reform debate. I have been so excited that we are finally considering real change. However, now that we are getting closer to the end of the debate, I fear that the health insurance industry will be stronger than ever, and Americans will lose out again to the powerful industry lobby. I wish that we could move to a single payer system. Bringing together all Americans into the same pool and distributing health care as needed is the only way that really makes sense for me.

An person of color was elected as president. I feel there is some hope for this ass backward country.

The generalized feeling of insecurity about the economic outlook, which has reduced demand for house renovation, which has reduced offers of work for my husband. The actual reduction in hours of employees at the library where I work, resulting in increased pressure on those of us that remain to complete more work. The direction of more money to war, and less to schools, which has reduced material support at both my daughters' public schools.

The election of Barack Obama has reassured me that my voice matters in this country. I felt an intense need to get involved in the election process over the past year, and I did. Now I am productively involved in the health care debate.

The election of A Black Man to be President of the United States. This was a significant event that proved to the world that anyperso could become anything here in this country. I believe that Barak Obama, and his administration, with the acquiescense of our Congress, will transform our country from the leader of the World to a new member of the third world in less than 4 years.

The economic down-turn. Despite my husband and I having good jobs that at this time are quite stable, secure and viable... I still feel vulnerable. My new boss has been on this campaign to run out those under the former leadership (I'm one of the few remaining legacy employees)--a kind of: "Out with the 'old' and in with the new" scenario. Because of this (among other issues between him and myself) I am unable to progress in our department. And this infuriates me! But I don't leave for some other gig because I like the income, commute, and quite frankly, I don't want to give him the satsfaction. And I can't afford to leave. But I am un-fulfilled at my current job .

Barack Obama being elected President. Something that I did not think I would see in my lifetime.

This year on Sept 12th 2009, i gave up my birthday in order to raise money to build water wells for developing nations in need of clean water. We take clean water for granted here in the states because it is so accessible but there are millions of people dying around the world because they can't get something as simple as clean water. I think our world has lost our sense of selflessness due to the adversity we have to go through during these times.But i hope we can get back to that in the future by understanding that we go up and down together as a people, not separately. I hope this gets posted somewhere so people can support my cause: http://mycharitywater.org/givewater

The fear this crisis would take my job away. I remember watching a NYT slideshow featuring crisis' shoots and it just made me so depressed -- and frightened.

People just need to stop fighting one another...all over the world. I know it sounds cliche but c'mon people

The election of Barack Obama. What a wonderful, historic event! The inauguration was fabulous, but the the real moment that will always live in my mind was on election night, the moment the election was "called." Sitting at the O'Glasser's house with a whole bunch of people, such a cheer when the announcement was made. Watching all the black celebrities and just plain people, all with tears in their eyes. And in the days after, Jewish people everywhere daring to whisper out loud "maybe one day we could actually have a Jewish president." And maybe one day we could actually have a woman president. Maybe.

The financial situation has impacted my life a lot. I am affected, as are most Americans. The way I think about the future has changed dramatically. Debt seems much more frightening now, especially with the prospect of graduate-school loans quickly approaching...

Obama's election, duh. The feeling of elation I got from his election has however been tempered by the months of right wing grassroots hate-propaganda that have gone on since. I thought it would die down, but bible thumping, ni*#er-hating yokels will say anything to smear his name, and sadly, there are a great number of them in powerful positions in media, fanning the fire of hate with hideous, senseless rumors, instead of pushing things forward for America.

The election of Barak Obama. He give us hope because he is really a very intelligent and caring person with great ambitions to get this country out of it's quagmire.

The election of our new President has impacted me this year in several ways. Even though times are still tough, President Obama and his administration do give me hope that brighter days are on the way. Even if things don't get better quickly...things are still DIFFERENT...and I feel good about that. Being someone who travels internationally twice a year, I hope that the rest of the world starts to see the U.S. differently, as well. Specifically, I hope that my conversations with folks around the globe start to change, as well.

The end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. That tiny teardrop country is a spot on Earth I had never paid attention to, until I met researcher Dr. Ken Miller and had the opportunity to plan a project with him to provide psychosocial care and training on the ground to youth who had been affected by the conflict there. The short time I spent reading about the long and troubled history of Sri Lanka opened my heart and reminded me how deep the questions arising from culture and conflict run, no matter how local.

The changing of our government. i suffered a lot during the bush administration. going to was jolted me as i believe was is the barbaric response whereas we are in the twenty-first century and were we not civilized enough to talk about our differences without pulling out a gun. there was more, such as torture, a shocking revelation. i was naive. i thought our country was above those horrific things.

The economic crisis has had a huge impact on my livelihood. The lack of work has forced me to think about my passions and decide, yet again, what I want to do when I grow up. I feel like I have to step out on a ledge in a way I haven't before in order to be successful. My time is now, my new motto is carpe diem.

Our Predidential election. It's amazing what we can do as a country when we are on the same page and want the best for our futures.

Obama. I never dreamed in my life a black man would be president. I have a deep commitment to social, racial, and economic justice, but still was surprised come election day.

The recent 2009 presidential elections in Iran and the protests against its outcome that have segued to popular dissent of the current regime which continue to this day made me think back to 30 years ago, to the Summer of 1979. Thirty years later, I watch videos and blogs posted on the internet of the protests on the streets of Tehran. I'm reminded of a time, 30 years ago, when I was a 17-year old college sophomore on a student visa, attending the University of San Diego. There was no internet at that time. I watched the revolution unfold from thousands of miles away on the TV screen, while my family experienced and witnessed it at first hand. Thinking back to that time, I'm revisited by the variety of emotions that had plagued me thirty years ago. Feelings of anxiety, worry, confusion, and uncertainty. Anxiety and concern about my family's safety, confusion about my own status as an international student in a country that no longer viewed me as a "guest," and uncertaining about my future, as to whether I could continue my studies or return to Iran. As a writer, the only way I've seen fit to reconcile with that time is to write about it with hopes to share my story with others.

This past year America elected an African American as President of the United States. Growing up during the era of segregation and the battles of the early civil rights movement,I never thought it would be possible to elect an African American as President.The election of President Obama proved to me that we truly can overcome our history of discrimination. I am not naive enough to believe that the battle against racism is over. There are too many people in this country who still hold racist views. We must never submit to the hatred of a few.

The election of Obama and the subsequent proof that Americans are indeed racist has really affected me as a gay Jew. Nuff said

The virulent response to the idea of health insurance overhaul affected me deeply and frightened me deeply.

The economic collapse has depressed and terrified me. I had just started building my life back up after years of loss, and now fear that what I was building won't come to be.

The Healthcare Debate. I'm dismayed that people are so rabid in their knee jerk opinions against a public option that when I try to calmly explain that someone like me or my sister, white girls from CT, can't get insurance on our own, instead of listening and saying, "hm, I never thought of that," or, "I need to think about that - I might not end up agreeing with you, but it deserves some thought," they wish us dead. There is no debate, just hate and a wall against any new ideas.

Obama's election was so important. I didn't have the time to help make it happen, but was delighted to witness it. I don't think his assumption of the presidency has actually affected me personally, except in that it makes me proud to be an American.

The election of President Barack Obama was a significant milestone for me. My father was a racist; I remember the signing of the Civil Rights Act; I grew up in South Central Los Angeles (two blocks from the Rodney King incident)and remember the Watts riots; MLK, Jr. is a hero of mine. That I lived to see the day of Mr. Obama's election was deeply rewarding to me personally.

The world recession because people lost their jobs and couldn´t afford me anymore.

The recession made me realise that I couldn't take finding a job for granted, and that in order to get where I want to be, I need to work hard in order to stay in employment. I hope that with the experience I have gotten from working in my current job, I will be better placed to find work again once my current job contract ends.

A real estate investment that I made has taken a serious downturn because of mismanagement of the company and the economic situation in this country, and on a broader sense, the world. I may lose the lion's share of my original investment.... BUT I hope not!

President Obama getting sworn in as president. I had finally taken part in an election where my candidate had won. I see that there are many flaws in the government but will stand behind Obama even if I don't agree with some of his policies.

To be honest, I'm mildly aware of, but not particularly engaged with the huge issues we hear about everyday. I was thrilled that Obama won, I'm scared about the recession, I'd love to have better healthcare, I'm more aware of using local foods and products and reducing my carbon footprint, but I really can't think of a specific example of how any of these events have impacted my life. I think at this point I'm too focused on myself and my immediate community to notice the effects broader systems have on my life. OK, that being said, I just made one important connection. My father has had some serious medical problems this past year and after splitting up with my stepmother, hasn't had access to consistent healthcare. He now tells me he's got more stability, but there were several months where he was in serious trouble. It's hard being a young adult and feeling fortunate that I have a job that will provide me with healthcare and that I can make ends meet with all the craziness going on, but then being powerless to help my ailing father was a huge worry.

Watching the "debates" on health care has left me feeling bereft. I find it hard to have fellow feeling with citizens who seemingly share none of my values. At times I have felt, for the first time in my life, like I don't belong here in the US. I have to fight this feeling and remember that the things I care about (such as health care) are things worth fighting for.

The election of Obama has reinvigorated my activist spirit. I have a corporate job and am now looking into a public interest position. The prospect of taking a pay cut to move into public interest combined with the economic crisis have made me think twice about the importance of a large salary.

Obama's election and Health care initatiaves and reforms. I work for a large pharmacutecial company and am witnessesing the direct negative effects the poorly thought out reforms are going to have on big businesses, the labor force, and the economy. It's unsettling to see how many jobs are going to be lost and how negatively the health care industry is going to be effected.

The death of the grandfather of ashtanga yoga, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, marked the end of an era which saw the ancient eastern practice move west. My teacher may be gone, but his teachings have infused every inch of my life -- and countless others around the world.

Obama's election is an obvious but still true source of impact on my life. It has encouraged me to reconsider my relationship to mainstream electoral politics. Just because something is broken, doesn't mean it isn't interesting, relevant, and worthy of a little attention. Even though it will never be fixed, my participation can help influence a more positive outcome, impacting my community and my neighbors well beyond the scope of the political theater.

Palestinian unrest in the Middle East. In particular, the Palestininan uprising in Neilin and Beilin. We live on the border and hear the rubber bullets, smell the tear gas, and see the Palestinians attacking our chayalim. I just wish it would all stop. But, I do not see an end to this in the near future. The border fence is almost finished, and the Palestinians are outraged. But, we do feel safer living on our yishuv....What is the price of peace?

Seeing Barack Obama win the election was incredible and truly made me hopeful. Regardless of what happens during his administration, it was a milestone of how far we have come as a nation and the fact that people are capable of looking beyond prejudice. I think he is amazing.

the election of barack obama has greatly affected me, in terms of my hopes for the country and world. not only was i highly engaged in the election itself, but have continued to be riveted by every twist and turn of his young administration - rooting for them, trying to be supportive, questioning where appropriate, sharing my thoughts and feelings about it with others, and continuing to hope for the best. i have a deep-seated and defining sense of optimism tempered by years of disappointment in the realm of politics and have internalized it and personalized it to a great extent, connecting it with dreams and disappointments in my own personal life and also with a continued sensitivity to, empathy with, and hope for the best for others as well.

the election of barack obama. i'm more aware, care more, and feel more determined for our country's future and place in this world than ever before.

The recession has impacted my views on what I feel is important to me. I've always said that I'm not inspired by money and I think this has only become one of stronger beliefs. I feel that people that live beyond their means combined with the greed that has completely taken over this nation is the cause of all these problems we are facing today in these tough economic times. Even though I have not been directly affected by it (knock on wood), I have assessed the the way I deal with money and have become more conscious of my spending habits.

The economic downturn has affected us in some major ways - things that I always had taken for granted like job and home security have been threatened or taken away - and it really makes you consider the precariousness of life - and the huge responsibilty of having a family

The global economic recession has affected my own income (through pay cuts at work) and my own approach to personal finance (ie,spending money and using credit cards). It's also inspired me to leave a job I am not happy with and try to change my career by showing me just how easily it can be to lose everything financially, and that there really are no guarantees when it comes to anything.

The debate over healthcare has brought up all kinds of issues that normally simmer just below the surface in our society: racism, classism, xenophobia, stigma around illness in general, and plenty of others. It has made me want to become far more politically and socially aware of how all of these issues relate to each other. It's very hard to be optimistic at the moment.

The financial crisis, and a reasonable offer, has made me a Wall Street Journal reader. I have learned that when it is good, it's great. And when it is bad, it's awful. C'est la vie!

I don't know if this counts as this year, but I would have to say when Barack Obama was elected President. Something happened inside of me that night that I have never felt before. It was a immense feeling of hope, and it was strange because I never thought that I would ever see the day a black man was elected President of the United States. Being a part of this election was empowering for me, and I will never forget the way I felt that night.

The Jan. 2009 War in Gaza definitely impacted me. I was in Israel when the war broke out and had to deal with family members wishing I would end my trip early. While there were fears in the back of my mind, I refused to heed to their requests and remained in Israel until I had planned. If I went home, the terrorists would win and that is something I would never want to let happen.

The organic food movement has been around for many years. I heard about it, but never really understood why organic foods were better for you. A few movies recently came out, along with people lobbying in Washington, that have truly opened my eyes to the way food is produced. It has caused me to be more aware of what is happening in the food industry and has changed my eating habits completely. I try to stay away from foods that contain high fructose corn syrup and only eat kosher or organic meat and dairy products.

The impact of Hurricane Ike on Galveston and Houston made a big impact on me personally. I was in Houston just days after the hurricane hit, and watching the non-stop local news footage of the total destruction of Galveston hit me like a ton of bricks. My childhood vacation town looked like a war zone. I know tons of families whose houses were damaged or destroyed. Driving around my hometown and seeing trees uprooted, windows blown out, signs ripped to shreds, and traffic lights bent like twigs was just surreal. I was sure Houston would be OK, and I'm glad no one I knew was hurt. But still, when a disaster hits close to home, it shakes you up even if you don't live there any more.

The recession. My hopes about finding a job in New York died. I had to move back home and start a new life, which was in fact good to me. My friends who were recent graduates had to move back home as well when they realized there were no jobs out there. The recession made me see the ugly face of capitalism and I'm so much happier to have left my previous job in the finance industry. We already have more than we need and we are unhappy because of that.

The killing and maiming of the media.

Obama election - made me realize some things are way out of my control. his actual election seems so far-fetched in retrospect, and the position of president is something many (even non-Americans) look to as a highly meaningful appointment.

The election and inauguration of President Obama. He has shown he has the staying power to make and do things that he sees as important.

Obama was elected, and I let myself hope again. Now I am willing to think about current affairs, the state of life in America, and America's place in the world. Things aren't fixed, by any stretch, but there are smart, open people doing the right kinds of thinking now.

The Gaza war, I found it so depressing to have the Israeli army involved in an asymmetric war with collateral damage despite it being in my mind a justified military action.

The election of Barack Obama because I think it sends a clear, hopeful signal to the rest of the world that the U.S. will demonstrate conscientious, able leadership.

The election of our first minority president was just awesome to me. To see this country progress from separate water fountains to the election of a black president in only 40ish years really struck me as unbelievable and that maybe my generation really has some power in changing the world!

The election of Barack Obama showed me America can be what it should be.

The inauguration of President Obama was huge. It filled me with pride, and was an excellent opportunity to show my children what this country is capable of.

the election of barack obama since this was my first election. it felt great to be a part of something so huge and reconcivable.

I actually feel that I've been more insular this year that during any in recent memory. I still listen to NPR everyday and am more attuned to daily events and news than almost anyone I know, but on the other hand I feel I've paid far less attention to them than in the past and don't know them inside and out. I've been offline more, which is crazy considering how much I'm actually online. I'm a recovering addict actually, I sort of believe that is the case. I'm a little burned out and I've pulled back, like many people I know from my generation. The big thing right now is healthcare and how that is resolved could have a HUGE effect on my life, no doubt. Obama was elected only about 10 months ago, so that was obviously a massive huge incredible big deal. Unfortunately, less than a year after his inauguration most of the discussion is about whether he's been a let down and has bungled healthcare and the rest of the progressive agenda. How do you have so much trouble when Congress and the White House are Dem? Something has definitely gone wrong. Frankly, the left just never seems to be able to discipline itself like the right. We'll see what happens there. So, that's not even an event outside of the US that I've discussed...kind of lame, but that's what's happening at the moment. Oh, and I'm happy that we seem to be disengaging with the Middle East to some extent, militarily, which is great.

The election of Barak Obama. It was the first election that I voted in, and to be able to say that I helped get him to the White House is an incredible feeling.

Ahmedinajad continues to be a crazy person and say crazy things, but there is a huge opposition to him. Those people are being whisked off to jail. Meanwhile Obama did an incredible speech in Egypt calling everyone out in his imitable eloquent no bullshit style. The islamists for their treatment of women and their violence and Israel for the west bank and the other ludicrous settlements. I am much less pro-Israel than I used to be and starting to feel it is up to me, as much as anyone, to begin to make peace. Starting at the Bluebonnet Food Mart, I guess.

The election of Obama as president of the U.S. It was the first time in my adult life that I felt like the democratic political process worked as it should. I first voted in a national election in 2000 -- not a year to instill confidence in a new voter, or to inspire further political participation. In 2004, the election was "fair," but was so riddled with mudslinging and ugliness that I almost didn't want to take part (though I did, again, by voting and volunteering). This year, even through the mudslinging, the power of the electorate was clear as day.

Proud that I lived long enough to see a black US President after all the civil right activism in which I participated long ago. Frightened that this particular president wants too many of the wrong changes too fast, all on the taxes from my shrinking pay.

The Obama Factor. The elephant in the room. Each day is a surprise and yet not. The virulent far-right reaction is amazing to watch. He is half white and yet, that aspect is never, never as prevelant, as his blackness. And his is so bright! After George Bush.........how can they criticize?

The economic downturn and the attempts by the government to keep those of us in the middle economic bracket from financial ruin. My husband lost a 2nd job in the past 4 years and it has caused us to severely curtail our spending habits. While this has been emotional draining and our anxiety about our future has escalated it has caused us to really reevalute how we spend our money on a day-to-day basis. When we are lcky enough to have come out the other side I think/hope we will be more conscious and less frivolous about how our hard earned dollars are spent.

The war in Israel early this year really forced me to examine my opinions and beliefs of the State. Before this event, I could never understand why my friends were "pro Israel" considering I didn't grow up around this attitude, but after experiencing the support in my city, and seeing the hate that people have for a place, I realized that what Israel is and stands for is extraordinarily important to me as a person.

The people's revolution in Iran gives me such hope that goodness and righteousness can prevail. I hope when I see this next year the current theocracy in Iran will have collapsed under its own weight and Iran is finally a true democracy.

obama. mama would be so proud.

The inauguration of America's first African-American President. It made me proud of our country and it helped me to believe that change IS possible.

The global economic recession has impacted both my personal and business lives. My wife was laid off in May and our clients have spent 50% less this year than last. A nice double-whammy! Luckily, however, we are better off than many people and thus, have NOTHING to complain about.

The election of Obama. First time I really felt moved and excited about a political election in a very long time. It gave me hope that our country could move in a more progressive direction, and that I didn't have to be so cynical about the potential for change.

The economic crisis has forced me to really re-evaluate how I spend, what I spend on and my general relationship to money. As a result I have renewed my love of cooking homemade, and I have been forced to re-align my values and know what is worth spending money on, like farmers market fresh vegetables and what isn't. We have a lot more home cooked meals. I feel good about the compromises that we are making.

The economic recession. I was contemplating leaving my job until people around me told me to hold on to it, because jobs would soon be hard to come by. I listened. Now i am still here, and I am beginning to really enjoy my job. I think my job likes me too - i was just given a raise and positive encouragement toward a big promotion. I'm happy I stayed -- for now.

The post-election upheaval in Iran back in June. I remember watching videos on YouTube for hours and not being able to turn away; constantly checking blog posts for updates... It was inspiring on the one hand that so many citizens were so eager and willing to put up a fight for what they believed was unjust, but the violence the government used against them--and the senseless killings that resulted--was incredibly dispiriting. And the fact that Ahmadinejad continues to have a platform makes me ill.

The bombings at the Ritz and Marriott in Jakarta this past July. I was supposed to have breakfast at the Ritz the morning of the bombing. Had my meeting not been rescheduled, it could have been ugly.

The election of Barack Obama with broad support from the non-African American community gave me great hope that maybe we are getting to the point where we can put aside our differences and just focus on character, which is what matters. I am thrilled to see the ongoing involvement of the first family in promoting good education -- in school and in life in general -- for example through their garden -- for everyone, not just youth. They are very inspiring and I think our country is better for having them in the White House.

There was a plane that crashed in the city where I lived for most of my life. It was pretty shocking and I was relieved to find out that my family was OK. The night it happened many of my friends called me to make sure my family was OK. "Buffalo is not a big place- I am sure you know someone..." one of my friends said. the next morning I found out that my cantor was on the plane. I was shocked and spent the rest of the day staring at my computer screen hitting the refresh button to try to find out more information. I was able to go home and grieve the loss with my community which was really important for me to do. At this time of the year as I think about the person I want to be I think about Susan and how I can be as compassionate and sensitive as she was not just because she was an amazing role model and person but in order for her memory to live on.

The 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama. Watching as the first African American president took the oath of office, learning about the once in a generation leader/orator and assessing his priorities gives me hope. (which is a trite word, considering it is his mantra) But, I have hope he will pass health care reform and help us to fix our broken education system. But, the campaign and election process also got me re-engaged in activism as a part of my community service.

The election of President Obama, particularly because I now live in Atlanta, the capital of the African American South. It was extremely moving to be part of the Obama campaign effort in this state and in this city. As someone old enough to remember the early Civil Rights movement and the passage of the Voting Rights Act, it was moving beyond words to see ginormous lines of people waiting for early voting in Atlanta.

Barack Obama's election as President of the United States. For the first time I actively campaigned for a political candidate, even making phone calls when speaking on the phone is one of the least favorite things I do. But for him to be elected was so important to me, and I felt to the health, safety, and future progress of my children and our community locally, national and globally. I felt the importance viscerally. I feel that it has renewed my hope in my fellow Americans' intelligence and hearts. It has shown the world that all Americans are not the past administration's policies and posturings. And his intelligence, open and frank speech, willingness to listen to all positions, commitment to dialogue, pragmatism approach, and personal story inspire me. I hope those around me to operate according to higher moral, civil and civic standards. I can be a better person. We can be better people and a better country.

Economic crash. Everyone is cozy, happy, grounded, together. I wish it was always like this. I almost fear the incline, it getting better. I hope it stays like this.

Well, it's about the economy, stupid. Not that you are stupid, but isn't that what the quote is? We all have felt the brunt of our country's economic collapse, viewed the inequalities that occur here and have witnessed great greed. The problems with healthcare continue to be immense and one can only pray that both sides of the aisle will come to some agreement for the good of the whole. I believe in Obama, I believe in hope and I mostly pray that partisan politics as usual will lessen and that we will get this country back on its feet and gain respect around the world again. In the meantime, having less has in someway given me more - more time with friends, family, doing quiet things - and this realization has had great impact.

The Financial Crises. I can't find a job to replace the one I lost in June 2008.

The business recession. It halted all in the normal world of business and in my industry (meetings) the President said not to hold meetings all all came to a standstill.

The economy, the economy, the economy. Businesses putting off decisions mean that they also put off planning and hiring consultants. Both of us are freelancers not by choice but because there have been hiring freezes in previous years.

The weather. It makes me realize how big and diverse Earth is.

The election Of Barack Obamam as President of the U.S.

The threat of the Swine Flu and the manner in which the infection patterns reflected the great flu outbreak of 1918 (mild in summer, watch out for the fall) brought on a number of apocalyptic and negative thoughts. I always feel that human beings are a virus on the body of the earth, and, sooner or later, the planet's immune system will fight back by unleashing a true epidemic / disease, something airborne, that will wipe out a large percentage of the population. The Swine Flu gave fuel to these negative thoughts in both a voyeuristic and cynical perspective. It reveals a darkness that lingers within my soul, a desire to avoid my own responsibility for being a human being by focusing on a macrocosm of fear and catastrophe.

Definitely the economic crisis. It put my fiscal behavior in a very harsh light for me. Although I only had credit card debt to deal with, I realized that I was one of "those" people who were living beyond their means which can eventually bring their world crashing down. I felt really stupid and guilty because I make plenty of money and, unlike others, I really didn't have any excuses other than my own personal baggage and lack of impulse control (and a love of shoes!)

the political unrest in iran made me hope for the young people of that country that there could be a change for them. that they could mold their government into a more accepting, more tolerant body so they could have freedom to think, dress, and act the way they would like. the end result was not as i had hoped, but it still impacted me and gave me hope that it could possibly happen in the future.

The financial meltdown really made me realize that I do not want a future in finance, and that eventually I'd like to get out of that and into something concrete, which actually makes me life and others better.

The economy in america has basically collapsed. I didnt realize how perfect life was pre-9/11. Everyone is struggling. It feels like a dark cloud that wont go away. Foreclosures,unemployment....I dont know where this could lead. Socialism?

In 5769, the American and Israeli elections. Obama's election opens a period of hope, transparency, process and renewed service. And I believe his overtures to the Moslem/Arab nations will ultimately have a positive effect on pease in the Middle East. Bibi's election brings a political stance that is worrisome. But looking back at history, it has been the right-wing Israeli PM's who have actually made the biggest strides toward peace, so I remain guardedly optimistic there too.

This year so many wars heightened and there has been so much loss. I realized I didn't want to hear about it, I wanted to see it and leave my condo and talk to people. We are planning to go backpacking and giving up suburban hell, since life and youth are ever fading.

The path our Country is taking is very troublesome . The corruption that is being swept under the carpet is very sad, does Washington think we are all stupid? I became an American Citizen and am very proud but this is not the USA I used to know. The politics are a disgrace no-one cares about our wonderfull USA it's all about corruption and power while we are being flushed down the toilet. However, I have faith in the American people and believe we will band together and let Washington know "they work for us" and they need to listen to what we want not what they want.

i wish i had more time to think on this one......but, i will go with the obama election as a "world event" that i fell may impact me - and a generation to follow - once the celebratory confetti clears. as a lifelong republican, supporter of israel and a general skeptic when it comes to political "rock stars", i am troubled by the age we live in; how desperate are we as americans that we would overwhelming ask for this person to lead the free world? i am at once liberated from the "racial" boundary being shattered and imprisoned by the policies that are coming my (our) way. now, at the prime of my life, i will be shackled with unbearable taxes, a weakened role in the world (due to inferior leadership) and a general lack of recognition that working harder will move me further along. by the time this selection is emailed to me next year, i fear that the liberal hands will be deeper in my pockets and i may need to borrow a computer to receive it!

The inauguration of Barack Obama has impacted me this year because it showed me that, if we work together, we can transcend our differences, in order to overcome common challenges and achieve common goals. To that end, I've worked on health care and arts education advocacy. The former has proven particularly incendiary, but I believe that the sediment it's stirring up may ultimately prove fruitful in dialogues that can advance our country -- not just about health care and race, but also about education and media, the ways in which we disseminate information. We must shoot for accuracy, for depth of knowledge, for healthy civic engagement. My own role in all of these processes has revealed to me capabilities I didn't know I had and inspired me to create avenues for our society to achieve the things we deserve.

The baseball doping scandal rocked my moral view, not of the world, but of me. I thought I was principled enough to write off every cheater out there: "No, you can't be in the hall of fame"; "No, you can't play the game ever again"; "No, I shouldn't be thrilled by your ability to hit or throw a small round ball ever again, you dirty cheat." But then Manny Ramirez came out of the dugout at Dodger Stadium and grand-slammed the first pitch he saw -- on his own bobblehead night. I love baseball because I can imagine a perfect reality and then, once in a while, it happens. Dreams really do come true. I want to feel like my dream-came-true moment was less pure because a known cheater created it. But I can't. I just can't. I am weak! I admit it! I will repent my sins. I promise. But can I wait until after the World Series?

Madoff, huge impact in the world of Jewish philanthropy and in ethics in general.

It sounds ridiculous, but the death of Michael Jackson brought the world together in a way that very few other people could. Seeing the global impact of this one musician, the love and joy that he inspired, no longer made it seem like an impossible thing for one person to make a difference.

The passage and validation of Proposition 8, California's anti-gay Marriage Ban after witnessing beautiful, joyous, deeply spiritual weddings (including my own). The vote demonstrated how easily swayed voters are by advertising - true or false. So long as fear rules the electorate (on marriage, health care, budget reform), we will not answer the call to our best and highest selves.

The War in Gaza. Saw what it is like to be Israel during a war. It made me see how people deal with daily problems and they have to respond to terror. I heard little kids talking about what to do if a katusha rocket would land.

The meltdown of the global economy. Just in terms of forcing a re-assessment of what not only my priorities are but also those of my friends and many of the communities I am a part of. And well - Obama. Change I CAN believe in.

For the first time in my life, I was let go from a job towards the beginning of the recession and spent a good 8 months near-totally unemployed. It forced me to reevaluate my goals and get in touch with my non-professional side, a side that needed a lot of work and attention. I emerged from it a burgeoning freelancer and am now more happy and satisfied than I was in a 9-to-5.

The economic downturn has affected me in several ways. My client base has shrunk, and nobody wants to spend any money on what I sell: custom paint decors. My age is also hampering me because I am sixty and my body is no longer able to do the wall aerobics my craft requires. I think I want to try and write. All the relatives I might offend are dead or have already been offended. My family is hilariously Southern Gothic. I can watch tv without moving my lips, so I am uniquely qualified to describe the history of my family.

The recession. My husband's business could not be funded so he had to take a job he wasn't crazy about and we had to make serious cutbacks...we are in much more debt than we have ever been and it's been a little scary.

The recession, as it's made my real estate work harder but forced me to think about what I really want to do with my life. Of course, what I really want to do is also affected by the recession.

Barack Obama's swearing in was so moving to me, I've never been so engaged by and thrilled about a political candidate. His philosophy of personal responsibility is so inspiring to me, the way he invites us all to do what we can, and thereby feel ownership of whatever it is we want to change. He is a great speaker and a true leader, and in listening to him, my feelings about being an American have changed. I'm definitely more grateful to be a part of this country now than I was a couple of years ago.

the terror attacks in Mumbai were really scary. we were there in those exact places a year earlier and we had such an amazing experience. its so sad to know that people will choose not to go there because of very rare and unfortunate terror events where really it is such an amazing place to see. my thoughts still go out to those who lost their lives and all their loved ones.

The health csre debate has really been on my mind a lot. I listen to TV coverage and think about it all the time. I makes me sad for our country. I hear people who I am sure know what they are talking about telling why it needs to be improved. I don't understand the people who are dead set against it and it amakes me very sad about the future of our country.

The war with Gaza. I am friends with both Jews and Muslims and it breaks my heart to see how both sides suffer because of the tensions and the war. It has made me realize how much we hurt each other, it made me realize that its not just "a war" fought by politcians. There are real people involved. Mothers, Fathers, daughters, sons, families! There is so much sorrow on all sides. It has made me to see all people as human beings not just political entities as so often portrayed in the media.

The death of late-term abortion doctor George Tiller. After a pregnancy scare in college, I have been firmly in favor of a woman's right to abortion, and knowing that many people oppose even medically necessary abortions so strongly they would kill someone really affected me. I would like to be a more material supporter of abortion clinics and their work.

The election of Barack Obama as president of the United States in November, 2008. I felt optimistic and hopeful about the future of our all inhabitants in the US and the world based on the values and experiences of Barack and his wife and those they have brought to Washington as advisors and staff.

Politics- and our fragmented, splintered society---have weighed very heavily on my mind. Between the greed of the past administration, the greed of the mortgage lending/banking industries and the 'sense of entitlement' that permeates our country, I am plagued by the kind of world and the kinds of people our children will be dealing with for generations to come. My hopes for the next year begin with myh family- for good health, happiness and prosperity...but prior to the thought of world peace, I pray for the end of "guerilla tactics" via email and the dangerous inciters who have the audacity to call themselves reporters...I pray for the end of a splintered country- our own- in addition to praying for peace in all war-torn constants of the world. Sometimes it feels as though it is all slipping away...but the sun does rise each day, and with it, the promise of new possibilities. I hope this will be a year filled with innovation and solutions...and where the best and the brightest, regardless of religions, political affiliations, race, culture, sexual orientation, handicaps or any other area of potential discrimination can be overlooked...Let's hope these great minds can come together and discuss...like the rabbis of generations ago...dissecting problems and deliberating with wisdom before putting strong plans on the table. Ki Yehi Ratzon!

I don't know.

Early this month I made a decision to climb Mount Kilimanjaro September 2010. When I am done I will work in a village school, and maybe with beekeepers. Then I read that there is a terrible drought in Kenya and Tanzania. And I wondered what nerve do I have going as a tourist to a land in such want and need. And then it occurred to me that my tourist dollars will help the local economies as well as my volunteering. So I will still go. And maybe carrying this awareness with me - what is going on in a land I visit - will help me appreciate who and what I encounter more mindfully. Thich Naht Hanh is on a U.S. Teaching tour. Saturday I sat for 3 hours listening to him teach on our true agenda. Maybe we are still somehow in an Age of Aquarius - and the souls of good are here - and like the efforts by in people in countries around the world seeking their own brand of freedom and democracy, we are all closer to touching peace in our time. In the meanwhile, stay calm, breathe, smile, carry on.

The recession, in part because it forced me to take more control over my life and how I was spending my time. I am now richer (in money, experience and life satisfaction) and living more fully after being prodded to value my time and my work more.

First, senseless killings. The murder of the Holocaust Museum guard. The murder of the Yale graduate student. Life is short and so difficult to understand. Second, the Madoff scandel. How people can rip off others and affect hundered or thousands of others.

The election of Barak Obama and the overwhelming support he received from Jews. I don't understand my people sometimes, why they support those who favor those out to destroy Israel and the Jewish people. I'm hopeful that perhaps this bad experience will hopefully change some of their minds.

The Election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. As a student of Political Science, Psychology, and Philosophy, I had all but given up on the institutions and ideologies which paint our nation's political landscape. Obama's victory gave me faith that we are not so far gone, after all, and there is a generation of educated and inspired people who are willing and ready to set things back on track. What's more, his victory gives hope that we have an administration that is listening to what citizens want that track to look like and will deliver on a promise to use best methods for getting there.

Barack Obama becoming President... I was so happy to see that there were finally enough people in this country who do not see his color as a negative and that these people all saw what a gift he has and that color should not be a factor in determining one's abilities. It is the first time that I became active in a camapign and really believes in/got behind a presidential candidate.

Barack Obama inaugurated as the 44th, and first African American, President of the United States. This gave me so much hope for the people of the United-States! But then the furor at his proposed Health Insurance Program took much of that hope away. It's made me quite sad to see just how selfish many, many Americans are, seemingly more concerned with the well-being of individuals than with the well-being of society as a whole.

The ongoing debates related to gay marriage have impacted me as a gay man in a relationship. Until our society recognizes equal marriage rights, gay citizens will still experience second class citizen status. Gay jokes that demonstrate our societal fears due to ignorance will continue. We need to do what is right and honor the rights of others. Religious and political views should not be imposed on the freedoms that should be shared by all. What is supposedly said by "God" has no say in our country. Freedom of religion does not mean imposing your views on others.

Obama's election - I have never before felt so good about my country. I am again proud to be an American, and I am proud of the direction our country is headed. The election of our first African-American president also gives me hope and proof that anyone can attain his or her dreams, regardless of color, faith, ethnicity, class, gender, or anything else.

Watching the health care debate unfold has been a lesson in frustration, annoyance, and disgust. I am truly disgusted by how so many people have conducted themselves throughout this discussion, elevating the basic, life- and cost-saving benefit of health care for all, to a sign of the apocolyspe and impending doom for the United States. The rhertoric and discourse - on both sides! - has hit an all time high in fear-mongering. The thing that is most frustrating is that participants in the debate do not truly understand the issues. Instead of going through the documents to truly know what is being proposed, one or two sentences are taken out of context and used to frighten us into believing something totally untrue. By not informing us about the truth, this type of conversation is riling up the fringes to take more radical stances that can only cause rifts in our citizenry.

The G-20 is coming to my area. I am worried and excited at the same time. I am learning about economics and how to live economically responsible.

This year our country's change in leadership has already had a big impact. I love the fact that people (some of us anyway) are beginning to see people for what we stand for rather than color or race. I also like that we can see people disagreeing with each other and trying to reconcile in healthy ways rather than resorting first to violence.

Barak Obama's election as President. I see higher taxes, negative impacts on health care. Significant inflation, and worsening chances that I will be able to retire. I'm somewhat bitter but trying to keep a good attitude, and I know I should lose weight, exercise, etc., because I'll need to be healthy enough to work at least until age 70 or beyond.

Michael Jackson's death... I'm not sure how it affected me. But I was driving through a tornado while I was listening to his radio tributes to see this girl that almost turned my world upside down. I wasn't even supposed to see her, but I was going out because I couldn't wait... funny, my world right now is absorbed by this girl... but i missed 2 out of 3 storms... she ran devastation in my life, but not as bad as a tornado and not as bad as the ELE that would have happened had I pursued her further. I realize that music is such a big part of my life and there are signs out there if you look back and appreciate them...

Though this is "event" in the literal sense of the word, my sister participated in the Maccabi games in Israel this summer. I was extremely proud of her but also unable to go to Israel and support her. This made me aware of the growing chasm between us as we get older. Also, my sister had her first kiss at these games. Luckily, she told me. But her kiss, and the games in general, made her grow up quicker than I wish she had to. I'm proud of her but am slowly realizing that I can't protect her anymore and that we're not the same person. My morals aren't her morals and she's going to have to figure out this stuff for herself while I sit back and hope for the best.

Obama's election. America surprised and impressed me. Change is so hard, but growth is inevitable.

budget cuts throughout california. it has effected my money flow due to taxes, my job since i work in the school system, as well as my little monsters, the students i teach. it affects the main aspects of my life right now and is making everything harder financially, which has negative impacts in other facets.

The election of Barack Obama was incredible- the relief, joy and hope in my own experience and seeing that collective joy and pride in our country as so many others celebrated with laughter and tears the election of this inspirational and electric leader who gives us all hope even in dark times!

I felt really proud and connected with the rest of the world the night President Obama was elected. To see that so much of the world wanted this to happen and was "with us" in this feeling made me so proud.

The world event that had the greatest impact on me had to be the election. I had supported Hillary without even investigating Obama, because I liked her and felt she'd do a good job, and because I thought he was inexperienced. The election turned out to be one of the most moving, and humbling, experiences of my life. I never dared dream someone like him could be our president.

the election of an african american to the presidency and the ridiculousness of politics sometimes. The constant battle between republicans and democrats hinders our ability to get anything done.

the election of barak obama. he won despite my deep cynicism. i won't know how this will impact me. i want him to be a force for progressive change. time will tell.

How broad of an event? Well, I'll conclude that broad is subjective. One of the broader events that impacted me this year is The Matches breaking up. When a band so close to a big break, a band that has been together 12 years by one name or another, instead chooses to go separate ways, it gives the music scene a different feel. It's like losing one of the certainties of life.

ROFL!!!! How about the economy?! I lost my job and started going back to school.

Economic Downturn - Unemployed Woman over 50

Michael Jackson died. Before you think I'm being flippant, this event highlighted how obsessed our culture is with celebrity, and how we value artistic talent over good values. How many people went into debt to buy tickets to his last performances, but don't have a dime to give someone on the street? How many watched his funeral, but don't have time to volunteer? I'm as guilty as anyone else.

The death of Michael Jackson. I wasn't a huge fan, but I was fascinated at how he lived his life, how he survived the scandal of being accused of child sexual abuse, and how the public were divided but made up their own minds about what happened. The real truth is of course known only to a very few people. And Michael's drug dependancy was hardly surprising. I have been the subject of judgement and gossip myself and it can be devastating to deal with even when not famous.

Having Barack Obama win the presidency has made me feel inspired again with our country and its politics.

The fighting in Gaza and constant bombing of nearby Israeli cities affected me in a big way. Because my job required me to look at and analyze reports and pictures of the events taking place, I found it hard to clear it from my mind. I had nightmares about it. The slant in the media along with the lack of concern for peoples' safety and lives were very disturbing to me.

Obama's inauguration. I was watching it in a small room at jury duty surrounded by strangers, and I sobbed thinking how amazing it was to be living in a time when a person of color could be elected President of the United States.

Madoff Madoffgate has impacted me by disillusioning me more than I thought I could ever be. I am very disturbed by what I see as a trend among Jews - that may perhaps be no higher than the general population, but nonetheless - to be involved in egregiously selfish, illegal, unethical, and abhorrent behaviors. I have been simultaneously embarrassed, pained, fearful, angry, and completely at a loss to explain how these individuals have lost their way when they have been brought up in a culture that is supposed to teach values. If this is how we are supposed to repair the world and be a light to the nations, we are doing a lousy job of it. It makes me very nearly unable to go to temple because I look around me and wonder if the people who are mouthing the words are simultaneously planning how to screw the next person. On the other hand, the election of Barack Obama has been a very uplifting experience, in spite of the horrific way that he has been being treated by the Republicans.

i see the collapse of the global economy as the great leveller. the prevailing sentiment in ireland is that 'you are defined by the land you own'. one fell swoop of the market crash and the impact of its negative equity has been nearly biblical in its effect on irish society. the roar of the overinflated celtic tiger has left our shores leaving only the echo of its empty tidings. the first shall be last and the last shall be first. suddenly people are a lot more humble and dare i say - nice again.

Obama's election & inauguration was a true sign of hope for this country.

The election protests in Iran had a strong effect on me. I realized how much people need each other to create positive change, and treasure my rights to free speech and peaceful assembly much more deeply.

the Obama campaign rekindled my activist spirit after a dormant period, during which the "downer" of the Bush years got the best of me. my spirits were elevated, and i stopped "yelling at the television" and got busy organizing carloads of women to go to Pennsylvania to canvass. It was exhilarating.

Wat has impacted my life this year has been the Medical Profession and research fields. I have also been personally touched by things like the "Make aWish" Foundation and the 5k walks and runs done to raise money to wipe out kid's cancer. I now know what these organizations do and plan to spend the rest of my life supporting this cause. It is not abstract any more but real to me. My family and I have been touched by the goodness and kindness of people, friends, relatives, and strangers. Hopefully, I will be able to comfort someone else who is going through a difficult time since I have been helped by so many people this year.

Ted Kennedy's death. It marked the end of an era for me and made me keenly feel the passage of time. He was a great man in many ways and a flawed man in many ways. I met him several times and it dawned on me that people in public life meet so many people in the course of their careers . . . he will be missed.

Obama was elected president of the United States. For the first time in my life I felt patriotic. In fact it seemed surreal, he was rational, a politician who could speak for so many who did not have a voice for so long. I am not one to get emotional and I was so filled with joy tears just ran.

The decline of journalism: reporting that is bad, by people who seem to know neither history nor the English language, people without understanding of what the work of reporting is, what context means, how to express themselves...

Obama's election totally changed the way I related to people and spoke of the US while living abroad. It made me proud to be an American and more invested in what previously seemed to me to be a system dominated by a few select elite that I could not relate to. Seeing that people are invested in our communities has made me realize that every individual has so much potential to make a difference in things that matter to us, when we feel like we are part of the conversation.

The continued statements of Iran to wipe Israel off the map, and the re-election of the President in Iran. It is a very scary thought that no one is willing to step up to him and stop the nuclear program. I fear for the safety of my family with Iran having nuclear weapons.

Natural disasters, mainly related to waste and water pollution. Sadness in the body come with it. Also, the "more developed" countries restricting more and more its borders. Power abuse in relation to immigrants and even potential visitors. What fear can make with us when we are on the automatic pilot, like a dangerous virus.

The travesty of George Bush and our country' failure and the election of Barack Obama. I never thought The US would lose its way so much and that broke my heart and made me ashamed. But I also never thought I'd see a black man elected to office and for that I am incredible proud and hopeful.

I would have to say the Obama election due to the fact that it really changed the course of American politics and that the decisions that he makes regarding the economy, healthcare, as well as the two wars that the US is currently fighting will impact my generation for our entire lifetimes.

The housing crisis. My husband is a Realtor and he hasn't been able to sell a house all year. It's put us in a terrible financial position that I hope we can soon get out of.

Like many people, the election of Obama. It really did prove how things can happen when people unit under a certain idea and by working together anything is possible. It showed that despite so much ignorance we have in this country, there really are so many people that get it. However, with the progression of his presidency and certain groups not only not giving him a chance, but blaming him and being completely disrespect, how vulgar and blind people can be. THerefore i recognized that is important to unite with people who are not necessarily the same as you, but have the same ideals to make things happen and to never let others who fight with you blindly and head on to defeat your aspirations and confidence.

The financial crisis lead to my getting laid off. I spent 8 months being "funemployed". I took the time to take stock, think about where I was in my life and where I want to be 1, 5, 10 years from now. It was the first time I'd really had the time to do something like that. To chronicle my journey I blogged and because of that I was interviewed by several news outlets and even ended up on national TV!

The war in Gaza profoundly impacted the way I view Israel. While in the past I let my passion for Israel and Zionism get in the way of objective analysis of the Middle East the offensive in Gaza and the Israeli establishment's reaction to the war unmasked the brutal and colonial nature of the occupation. I feel that I can no longer defend Israel's actions in the West Bank and Gaza with a clear conscience.

The economic downturn has impacted me this year because it has brought home to me the volatility of the job market, and the reality that finding employment is not just a piece of cake. I see people around me losing jobs left right and centre, and remaining unemployed. Having grown up and moved into the professional world at the time of economic prosperity has previously sheltered me from these realities. At the same time, it has helped me realise that there are other things in life that should be prioritised over work situation. Nevertheless, it has been a good lesson for me.

As conservatives are getting more right and liberals are getting more left, it's becoming very clear to me how central I am. I think the people on the fringe of either side are wackos that have forgotten about compromise and the larger scale. I still lean on the conservative side of the line, and in some aspects I lean more than others, but I can still see clearly. I understand the differences between us, I can appreciate their stance on certain issues and for the most part I can agree to disagree.

I'm sure I won't be the only one to say that the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States has impacted me in ways both tangible and immeasurable this year. It made me feel a wide range of emotions: empowered, proud, scared, and yes, hopeful. I was at his speech at the Democratic National Convention and in Times Square with 20,000 people on Election Day and I just couldn't believe that everyone was so excited...about a politician! I pray for his success as his presidency moves forward.

President Obama becoming the President of the United States...it's pretty amazing. For the first time, I was inspired by the election process and to see people join together. It's truly beautiful. It motivates me to keep trying to make the world a better place even though it can be so frustrating and challenging.

The crash of the housing market has greatly impacted me over the last couple of years, but more so over the last year. Due to the collapse, I was not able to refiinance my home since I had gone from working for a large corporation to being self employed (I had never missed a payment). My parents took over my mortgage. I put the house on the market so that I could move some where that was better conducive to my finding employment. I have not been able to sell my house due to the market. Also, due to several forclosed homes in the area, the comparatives for my home have caused a decrease in value of over $100,000. Finally, the realtor hired by my father (different from mine) wants to sell it for $170,000 less than what it was on the market for originally. All of this has caused me to be stuck in a place where I don't need to or want to be.

The impact of the war in Afghanistan along with the Middle East crisis has now become events on my mind on a daily basis. I now know individuals that are serving our country fighting for freedom in Afghanistan - and I watch how their families have to live each day with a terrible, heavy feeling. I also now have a child studying in Jerusalem - and find myself trying to be quite aware of the daily events there - while trying to have trust and faith that he will be healthy and safe.

The elections in Iran, because it showed me that there many people in Iran against Achmadinijad.

I was at the corner of 125th Street and Broadway at 11:00 pm on November 4th when CNN called the 2008 election for Barack Obama. All at once, the street exploded in cheers. People leaned out of their apartments banging pots and pans, while others streamed into the street as if from nowhere. A few minutes later, some friends and I boarded the M60 headed towards Central Harlem. I have never in my life seen a happier bus, and In New York City no less. People were beaming, crying. The streets past the Apollo Theater were jammed. We got off and walked to the Adam Clayton Powell building where thousands of people were watching the returns, then the speeches. The mood was indescribable-excitement, hope, relief and joy. After Obama's acceptance speech, it was like a riot, but peaceful, like the happiest riot in the world. We were dancing in the streets until 3 am. I don't think I will ever see anything like it again.

The Mumbai attacks last November. I felt more personally affected than I have by any other terrorist act ever, including 9/11 and suicide bombings in parts of Jerusalem I know and love, having lived there and spent lots of time in the areas of the attacks, including Nariman House/Chabad. Speaking publicly about the attacks, specifically the loss of Gaby and Rivki Holzberg, was one of the most challenging things I ever done. Getting closer to the Chabad rabbi of San Francisco was a positive side effect, but it still totally weirds me out when I meet people and they tell me they heard me speak. I felt like I was a circus performer, but I eventually realized that for other people trying to grasp the situation, I could provide a useful service of humanizing and making real who these amazing people were in the world. Grieving for them in the public realm turned out to be more cathartic than I expected. It also showed me how amazing so many of my friends are, for supporting me during that time. It certainly will remain an unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner.

Election of Obama. Great feeling of hope and change from 8 terrible years of Bush

President Obama was elected. This was the first black president, which means that the country is finally writing some of its major wrongs. It also means that racism is going down the tube. I mean, honestly, who's racist anymore? of course, thats what I thought. Until his presidency showed me that people are still racist. People still dont like him because he is "mixed", it makes me work harder to change those people

Obama's election filled me with joy and hope--to be done with Bush, to have worked for his election and found myself with the majority, for this to be the first presidential election for anya and zac. to have intelligence matter...

Barack Obama is our president. This means there is hope for this country and this earth, and so I guess we'll all have to get off our asses and work to save them.

Duh. Obama got elected. I have faith in humanity again.

Obama's election, undoubtedly the largest event that impacted me. I worked harder and worried more about this election than any other....and I'm pretty well a political junkie. Passing progressive legislation for public health care, strengthening our clean air/water standards as well as the economy will change our world.

President Obama's inauguration has impacted my life. I am very concerned about his support of Israel, or lack of, and the desire to dialogue with Iran. I see Iran and Israel on a collision course with no way out of it in the near future. I feel powerless to change what is already in progress.

Barak Obama's election, 50 years ago was unthinkable.

Not one in particular, but oh so many...where to begin? The on-going conflict in the Middle East, the economic recession, the war of words in the health debate, the humanitarian crisis in Africa, and the alarming rate of growth in human trafficking around the world, to name a few. In reponse to human trafficking specifically, I've decided to work with a new grassroots organization called Speak Up for the Poor. We're small now, but we've already been successful at repatriating some trafficking victims in Thailand back to their home countries and hope to do more to offer legal aid, training, and ultimately, hope, to the women and children we come across.

Michael Jackson's Death. Still can't believe it. I guess I could have said Obama, but MJ is on my mind and Barack will be president 4 more years. i cried in both cases.

The Obama Administration. Technically last year he won, but did not take office till this year. I was extremely relieved, elated and invigorated by the victory of Obama. It renewed my sense of pride and wonder at my country and made me truly humbled by what potential is here. Often times I struggle with all that is wrong, and this took me to a place where I can see all that is going right. Progress is being made and as a friend consistently tells me 'change is incremental' I think the post script and really 2009 version is the hard slog that Obama is having. His election has galvanized many. It has brought out hate, defensiveness, brought the open sore of the 'race' question out to the forefront and it is truly scaring those unaccustomed and ill-equipped to handle the challenges of this generation. America has been left bloodied by both the Bush administration and years of neglect. Neglect of our industries, neglect of our cities, of our education system, health care, immigration (to name a few!) However, now the bills are coming due, the world is a more challenging place - other countries are rising, the environmental challenges are growing and the old guard of white privilege is disappearing rapidly. The vested and entrenched power structure is striking back at Obama now, and it will be interesting to see what he can accomplish and which direction my country will take.

The economic downturn in the US has made a huge impact on my life and on the lives of everyone I know. It has made me value things I didn't value much before, and go without things I never thought I could. It has also made me realize my generation needs a wake up call regarding our insatiable desire for change, especially regarding jobs.


The unemplyment rate has effected me personally as my husband has been out of work since last December.

The coming of intelligence to the White House. We have an intelligent, thoughtful, well spoken president who is respected in the world and is willing to listen to more than one kind of opinion before making a decision. He is a moral man, with a strong sense of what is right and wrong. I can only hope that those who are angry at his election will give him the chance to better the world, rather than constantly trying to ensure his policies fail.

Obama's presidency was extremely significant to me in that it renewed my belief in the humanity of US citizens. It truly had seemed that propaganda and the uneducated masses were in the driving seat of our nations agenda, and that was extremely upsetting. I am much more comfortable with the earth's and our global humanity's future under Obama's leadership. This comfort stems from my beliefs in environmentalism, civic responsibility, and a humane foreign policy agenda. I only hope Obama's leadership can reverse a great deal of the negative policy making that has been put in place.

Well, I'm deeply troubled by the lack of peace process in Israel. I think they had every reason to defend themselves from hamas in Gaza, but I think they overdid it. Or did they? I mean, if hamas uses human shields, how can Israel not help but to kill innocent lives. Except if they DID and didn't care. I think Israel gets measured to a higher standard then every other country out there, and I don't know why. Is it fair to say it's bc it's the only Jewish country? I don't know. The whole thing depresses and confuses me. Because I know there are people on both sides of the fence who just want to go about their days and it's those people I feel saddest for. Anyway, this abyss makes me want to find people out there to just talk to and reassure me that not every Arab or Muslim hates Jews and that maybe by talking to an individual and finding common ground somehow makes finding common ground and peace in the universe possible.

The election of Barack Obama was monumental and made me feel hopeful for the future of our country and the problems it faces.

The fear of the pandemic H1N1. For sure we were very scared but afterwords we saw it wasn't reasonable being so frightned.

The election of a black man as President of the United States has been huge. Not only is he a minority, but he's from Chicago! It was amazing witnessing history on election day. That means there may be hope for a Jewish president one day.

The election of Barach Obama. What a privilege to be a part of history. What pride I felt for my country and such hope. I did not realize the amount of daily stress I had been feeling under the previous administration, until our new President was elected. No, he is not perfect, does not have all the answers, will make mistakes, but it has been exciting to see our country ready for change and with a newly found confidence and sense of values.

Barack Obama's election as the first African American President of the United States of America. It was one of the most amazing moments I have ever experienced. The power of this one man to make a difference in our country led me to see that every single voice matters and every single voice, no matter how small can help tilt the world.

The election of Barack Obama. It is so fulfilling to have been a part of electing our first black president. That it happened when my children were teenagers and able to appreciate it is very satisfying for me.

The transition into senior year has made me more concious of what I am doing and its impact on people. I try to do my best not to make a college deny me for admittence.

the u.s. recession. it makes me feel sad for other people and appreciative of the comforts of my own life. not everyone has job security, a home they can afford and discretionary income. plenty of people wish they could say the same. i'm thankful but worried about those other people. and worried about when it'll get better. and worried about our country.

I'm sure some would consider this a stupid answer, but I don't mind. I dare say June 25th, 2009 - the death of the king of pop. It was just one person, sure. But Michael fucking Jackson. I still haven't come to terms with it. I never knew the guy, shit, I never even got to see him in concert. But none of that matters. He defined a lot of my childhood. He defined a significant portion of my mother's childhood as well. And now he's gone. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it now. One man brought so many people together; in life and in death. People from all over the state, country, continent, world. For that day and weeks after, we all had something in common. We lost someone we had loved. You don't need to know someone personally to love them, I'm sure of that. Did I talk about MJ as much as now when he was alive? No, I didn't. I can admit to that. But that doesn't mean I didn't know of him, it doesn't mean I didn't like his music. I took him for granted. I didn't realize the effect he had on me and the rest of the world. I didn't realize until it was too late. I can say the same for the rest of the world. It took us too long, and now he's gone. Our angel with the killer moves is gone.

Wilson's shout out, "Liar" in the middle of Obama's most recent speech on healthcare reform. People are entitled to their own opinions and certainly Wilson is no exception. He should however, as a member of the house, be held at least to a professional level, whereby he can hold his own tongue (emotions aside) in situations where he may disagree. I'm not sure that any of his supporters will look at him in quite the same way. I know I won't.

The election of Barack Obama I think has impacted me the most this year. It has made me feel hopeful and excited for my country. Even though we're in touch economic times right now, I trust my President and I know that he will do great things. He's young and somewhat inexperienced but I think that is a wonderful thing. I was disappointed that Prop 8 passed in California. I felt that by making same-sex marriage illegal in California was taking a huge step backwards for our state and our country. It made me realize that while we may have a Democratic President, House, and Congress, the majority of the country is conservative and close-minded. There is still a lot of work to be done!

The death of Senator Edward Kennedy. I felt the loss of a real champion for the voiceless un-empowered peoples of America. I also felt the loss of my youthful dreams of wanting to help make the world a better place. Whereas I took the path of children and mortgages and management, Senator Kennedy held fast to his hopes and dreams of a better social world through the ups and downs of political powers-that-be. I felt I sold out and I want to get back to thinking about others as well as caring for my own well-being. It's time for me to give back and to lend a helping hand....

Obama being elected. It made me glad that the majority could vote in someone from an ethnic minority (and particularly an ethnic minority with a history of being disadvantaged.)

Stock market plunging has prompted me to get a better grip on my financial situation and start planning for the future.

I guess I would say the economy. I've always needed to be careful with money yet this year although my contract was renewed, I didn't get a pay increase for the first time.

The United States economic crisis has had a huge impact on my life and to many people close to me. I never expected to be truly affected. I always thought of myself as one of the safe middle class. I figured, "my parents have jobs and I'm in school pursuing a secure career. It's not going to affect me." And it didn't- until I couldn't get a student loan for my Junior year of college. Even though I got a loan without any difficulty last year, the current economic situation has changed everything. Apparently I'm not the only one facing these problems. Many of my friends have been forced to transfer to community colleges or leave school altogether. One month past the deadline, I still haven't paid my college tuition for this year. My father is going to have to take out a personal loan just to cover this semester for me. I never wanted to be such a financial burden on my parents, but it seems that at this point in my academic career, I don't really have any other choice.

I learned the gravity of the situation of Restaveks (child slaves) in Haiti. It really touched me because Haiti was the first independent black nation in the West. They traveled by boat and fought for the liberation of slaves all over the Caribbean and US, but Haiti is now the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The glaring silence on this issue in the world is especially poignant when you consider that Haiti is only a 3 1/2 hour plane ride from NYC. The idea that slavery still exists anywhere is horrifying, the idea that children can be bought, sold, abused and treated like animals keeps me up at night.

I find it heartbreaking that the national healthcare debate is dividing our country... I volunteer in Pediatrics at a major cancer hospital and I see how a catastrophic illness can wipe out a family financially... All children's are God's children -- rich or poor.... A mother's tears are a mother's tears whether she is rich or poor... It is wrong that insurance companies should be able to decide who lives and who dies, and who gets an organ... or not. I think we can compromise and at a minimum, provide catastrophic insurance for all. I also think that people who are very wealthy should not be allowed to use medicare... While I completely see the argument about a wealthy family's inheritance issues, I think catastrophic coverage for all will help ease the worries of the wealthy, too.

Of course the Obama election was monumental and gave me a hope for our country and humanity like I had never had before. I canvassed and made phone calls and got to meet people in other parts of the country, we all came together for the greater good. I actually felt patriotic and it was a good feeling.

Obama becoming President. Wonderful. Glorious Fantastic.

hmmm...this is a hard one. i am not sure that there is a broader world event that has impacted me. I think my recent trip to Israel to learn about that country's politics. I came home having learned a lot and enough that i know what gaps I need to fill in and to have an opinion based on something and not just an opinion. I came home with a renewed and continued interest in not only Israel but also with Judaism. Not really a broader world event but more a culmination of world and person events. I assume that Obama's presidency will impact my life especially if national healthcare reform goes through but that hasn't happened yet so we will have to wait and see on that one.

The inauguration of Barack Obama impacted my life almost as much as when he won the election. I am so proud of our country and proud to be an American after 8 years of embarrassment for our last administration's actions.

The election of Barack Obama has been a truly inspiring and optimistic moment in our country. I feel a little bit better about being American with him in the White House. He just looks more American than Bush, and I trust him more than his predecessor to do right by me and my fellow country-folk.

Watching Barak Obama be first a viable presidential candidate and then be voted as President of the United States. It's not even that the event itself was so historic (which it was), but the impact I saw it have on the youth of today...from my teenagers to my young adult kids...watching the enthusiasm that being part of our political system became---and watching people who had previously been so politically apathetic----it was amazing and energizing.

The economic situation has effected my family greatly. It makes things very difficult and puts and awkward cloud over our interactions. My sister and I try to avoid talking about it with our parent but we can't help but worry

This is sort of odd, but this year is the first time I really considered how horrible WWII affected the people of Europe. I studied the reconstruction in Germany through readings and the reconstruction in France through my travels. The pain and the sadness is still there, in the earth, and it made me contemplate how fragile yet resilient people are. It made me think about how lucky I am to be alive, and that I should be grateful for that everyday and try to be a better person and never take my life for granted.

Obama being elected.

Nothing really impacted me very much this year - I suppose I've been so caught up, for a change, in a stuggle with my own problems, demons, and emotions, that I've haven't even had a chance to think of the world in general.

The election of Obama--it gave me hope in this country and I felt extremely grateful for the US to have a new lease on life from the perspective of the rest of the world (this was the most important thing for me). Also, the death of Ted Kennedy made me realize how much I would like to have an impact on the world and how I really need to do more to get there.

The election of Barack Obama as president. Wow. I never thought the US would ever see a black president...let alone in my early lifetime. It reminds me that there is hope for this country/the world given all the ignorance out there.

The "velvet Revolution" in Iran has given me hope that the Muslim world can transcend the reflex to blame every deficiency and failure in their society on the West in general and Israel and the USA in particular. It gives me hope that every society and individual can transcend the impulse to find a scapegoat for their own failings and rather take the more challenging path of personal and societal responsibility. This includes yesterdays persecuted, who when faced with a Madoff do not, as a first response focus on how the anti-Semite will use this as fodder for their hate, but rather reflect on how we Jews many times still operate on within a moral universe of the "other" who is justified in bending the law and morality in order to survive.

The election of Barack Obama . This gives me hope that the tide is changing. People in America are easily fooled by using scare tactics and the telling of untruths by those who want to still run "the world". this election shows we as a people are getting wiser to the hype.This is a ste arting to change, let's treat every human with respect no matter where we are from and how we worship.

This event was actually pretty local for me, but the still had a significant impact on me nonetheless. The flight that was "saved" on the Hudson River was incredible. It's amazing how life is so precious and in an instant everything could change. I'm thinking a lot about these days ever since becoming a mom. I try to live in the moment and appreciate everyday, even the tough times. Life if just too short. I was so moved by that heroic and brilliant pilot and the passengers on that flight. I was so happy that their lives were saved and that their loved ones did not have to lose them.

Barack Obama's election and presidency impacted me greatly. I have taken a greater interest in politics and policy and felt part of changing the world for the better when I worked to get him elected. It also made me wish I had been more invested for more time during his campaign. I felt united with my country and a great pride in America that I carry with me today, and imagine that I will for the rest of my life.

How children and adults are surviving in such poverty and war torn countries. It's made me very sad because we ca do something about it if we stop being selfish and greedy. It's our responsibility to take are of each other, and we are not doing it. :(

Like many others, the 2008 presidential election really moved me this year. For the first time, I followed the candidates and truly felt like I got to know them, their issues and what they stood for. Although Hilary was my first choice for President, when she dropped out of the race, I fully supported Obama. It was moving to see everything about him in action during this election season. After 8 years of being ashamed of the direction this country was heading in, the election of 2008 gave me hope in the open-mindedness, intellect, goodness and potential of our citizens - both young and old. THe fact that an African American was elected president was certainly a milestone. The fact that this person was Barack Obama was a breath of fresh air - an exhilirating sign for good changes to come.

The election of Barack Obama as President. This is truly a moment in time that I'm very proud to witness. I only pray that he can actually achieve some of the goals and objectives he firmly believes is best for this country. He is a refreshing change from the previous 8 years of lies, incompetence, disdain for the American people.

The election of Barack Obama to the office of President of the United States possessed me with an eudaimonia that is at once specifically American and universal. An African American politician - at least, a man that is generally labelled as such, despite a more heterogeneous antecedence - was democratically granted the highest office in our country (and one of the most powerful positions on the international stage). This, in a nation that once supported the kidnapping, abuse, and enslavement of Africans, a sin rationalized by the supposedly inferior status of "the negro." Today, the descendants of those maligned people know that THEY can strive and excel, no matter the color of their skin. The odds are not favorable and the hurdles are many, but Barack Obama disproved our populace's poisonous assumptions. That is no small thing. Moreover, Barack Obama is an optimistic, creative, and thoughtful politician, a deliberative pragmatist that eschews the black-and-white worldview so many American citizens (liberal and conservative alike) have come to favor. That this man was granted the opportunity to serve and lead does not ensure his administration's success or even our national improvement, but, in this era of bitterly divisive politics and back room negotiation, he represents hope for the educated, progressive idealist. Our mongrel experiment might yet be an international beacon that represents the best of human striving! The verdict, of course, is still out...but the hope and optimism, and the relevant energies, remain vivid.

The election of Barack Obama. The night of his victory I was out in the streets of Brooklyn and felt the lifting of a dark curtain, almost a mystical experience, of the light dawning, the evil receding, sparks of hope, everyone on the streets began spontaneously singing the national anthem, people who probably had not sung that song in at least eight years. It was the most moving American political moment in my lifetime.

I've been too ego-centric this year to notice...

The presidential primary, campaign, and election were absolutely galvanizing political events, to which I responded in ways I hadn't in many years, decades in fact. To be able to vote for a woman for president, to be able to vote for a black man for president: just a few years ago, either of these would have been impossible, and the fact that both occurred together was, at times, almost too much to contemplate. Once the primary was decided, I threw myself into campaigning, driving repeatedly to a close-by swing state, hosting calling parties, registering voters, taking days off from work, going door to door to get out the vote. During those months I met so many wonderful people, from those also campaigning to those who were themselves galvanized by the sense of hope and possibility so that they, who had never voted before, were empowered to do so this time. I also met those who were simply unable to encompass something new, someone different, and who expressed that in ways all too old and familiar. But the way the country responded -- the way the world responded -- made it all worthwhile. That the old world is still with us in so many ways, that there's still so much to do, that Obama is struggling in many areas -- none of this mitigates the enormous leap forward taken by this country. That we may be taking one step back for every leap (or two steps forward) is perhaps a natural reaction. But we have taken that leap, and there is simply no going back. I have pride, and I have hope. And for all the faults, both his and ours, I believe our president is a great man.

The collusion and greed of the Madoff affair with the people who turned their heads, pretending it never happened. It is not the condemnation of one man but the condemnation and failure of our culture that depresses me. I am as guilty as they because it is our culture. We must change this kind of attitude and practice

When the economy crashed last fall I wondered whether I would have a job in the year to come, whether my friends would be able to pay off their college debt, and whether my parents would have still have their life savings. My sister and boyfriend had both just graduated from college and I worried for them. I worked at an organization that depended on charitable gifts from community members, and in a community that was hit hard by both the economic crisis and the Madoff scandal, those gifts didn't come in at the rate they had the year before. My job and community were at stake, and required my colleagues and I come together in ways that we never had before. When the organization "made efficiencies" we all held our breaths and sighed in relief when we weren't chosen, though our hearts went out to those who had been. We worked harder than we ever had to complete the same amount and quality of work with fewer resources. I am proud of how the Boston Jewish community came together and did not fall apart as other Federations and communities around the country did; in fact we moved forward with new priorities while sustaining ongoing commitments.

Obama becoming the first Black president impacted me greatly in a few ways. First, it prompted many conversations about race, discrimination, and how people in specific communities cannot let themselves be tied down to that one community otherwise they will never be able to fully succeed. Also, this was my first year voting, and to be able to be part of such an amazing change in terms of how much society has progressed is a great feeling. Finally, participating in the Obama riot at Northeastern was exhilariting! It was so exciting to see how many people participated in the walking around Boston, how the streets were closed off to allow safe walking, and how I jumped into the Reflection pool as part of celebration. It was the best thing to see so many people uniting for one thing, and to be a part of it myself as well.

The War in Iraq is weighing heavy on me. William is being sent back over around Thanksgiving, Brian again around the new year. One of the men who really used and promoted beheadings died in a prison and those images - the screaming, the bleeding, the hopelessness and helplessness all are running through my head. I hope this ends soon.

The Inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama Iranian Revolution

The economy crisis which made the oil price fluctuates terribly, causing instability on our local economy - literally it affects my this years increment and bonus..

Financial crisis (& it's not because I do markets for a living). The problem is that it has given an opportunity to the Cassandras & the jaded older generations to, under the guise of history & experience, pummel our hopes & dreams (with a version of the openenr to American Psycho: "Abandon all hope ye who enter here"). things ARE bad, but we should always look forward & towards the sky.

Financial crisis. Made me want to at least think about leaving the United States for good.

The economic crisis in the world really has created problems since I graduated in terms of finding work. Every one is scaling back at a time when I can't afford to be out of work. It's rough...

I was in Israel for, yet again, a war for her survival.Operation Cast Lead began nearly as I landed. And yet.... it barely affected me. I still rode buses. I still spoke English. I still worried about the deaths and the news and the media and I knew that my worrying wouldn't help. And staying for much of it as I did in Migdal Oz, I couldn't help but crumble knowing that REAL people were at risk. Brothers and boyfriends and sons and neighbors. And I felt my heart pang as I watched it develop, as I watch myself fall more and more solidly on the side of "Israel is perfectly entitled to bomb the shit out of them, and they've forfeited the right to call anyone a civilian".... I was surprised to see that, actually. Always thought I'd be on the "make peace no matter what". I found myself wishing the Israeli government would just cut their losses, admit we should never have given it up and taken it back. And then when I came back, it was to such a positive outpouring from my friends, proud that Israel had kicked some ass, protective of me in a war zone, worrying for me and mine, confident in our ability to win. And I've gotten more comfortable with 'our'. Become more resolved to make it truer, to learn the language, the land, the cities, the people. Because who knows....

The election of President Obama changed the way I felt about being American. Having lived as an ex-pat for years I was used to shrugging my shoulders when asked why Americans did this or that. Now I am proud of what we did in electing Obama and am proud of what he is doing to bring international respect back to this great nation.

I was completely moved when President Bill Clinton brought back the 2 American journalists that were imprisoned in North Korea. It gave me hope that through diplomacy and negotiation, we can work with all types of governments towards world peace.

So many: I feel affected even when direct impact on my life is not evident in any straight, literal sense. The biggest: election of Barack Obama, which gave me huge hope (though not delusion--he's a politician, the lobbies are all-powerful, the Right is out of control, etc.) The other event on my list did the opposite--put me in despair: Israel's war on Gaza in January and the ongoing blockade-- excessive force, collective punihment, human rights abuses... I happened to be in Israel at the time. I visited the rocket-targeted south. Terrible situation; the attacks are indefensible. But pummeling civilians in Gaza is not a legitimate way to stop them. It horrifies me. Effect on me apart from my irrelevant emotions and further disaffection from my community? Joining some activism.

The election of Barack Obama. I never thought it would happen, though as soon as it did, I started to wonder whether sexism is even more deeply ingrained in our society than racism. At first, I was deeply heartened that a non-white could be elected president. But since then, certain events have made me wonder whether we've really progressed all that far. I'm currently deeply disgusted with my fellow Americans, as so many of them seem to have lost all sense of "Judeo-Christian" values.

Hm, I feel like I'm turning this question on its head a bit. A lot of American issues felt impactful here in Taiwan. It was technically last year, but watching the election unfold amongst Taiwanese and other expats was interesting. I was really an AMERICAN to a lot of them. I wasn't sure how to handle that. The Mumbai hotel bombing was close to home given Emily's close conncetion to some of the hostages. The world is a tiny place! I am living in Taiwan and my American co-worker's, Australian boy friend's father is trapped in a hotel in Mumbai we are watching on the news.

There were several this year. The war on Gaza earlier in the year, and then the fallout from that has been difficult. How to talk to people about being Jewish and knowing I must speak out against the atrocities that Israel is perpetrating against the Palestinians, and then have to deal with accusations of antisemitism. Obama was inaugurated in January, with tentative high hopes for a real change in the country, but it hasn't happened the way I wanted it to. LGBT issues are still not being supported fully, we are still waging war in Iraq and are sending more troops to Afghanistan, and the Health Care issue is catering to corporate insurance companies. I want something different!

I have been increasingly disturbed by very biased television news. Recently I have been really upset about one-sided reports and documentaries I have seen on TV about Israel. I have a very ill feeling about how negatively Israel is being viewed by the world population.

The economy crashing - this time last year, I was in Chicago about to do a residency at University of Chicago...I listened as the foreign markets crashed and wondered how that would impact me. Little did I know how deep it would - personally, to my family, to my organization I work for, to my friends, to everyone I knew...

The election and then inauguration of President Obama which brought so much hope - even if it now appears to be drowning in partisan mire and muck. The point of society is not meant to be "every man for himself," it's meant to be each citizen working for the good of the whole and one another. I believe Pres. Obama expresses that. I continue to cling to my optimism for the possiblities that the election promised, even if it is going to take a lot longer to realize the changes in our country which are needed. I think about these issues every day.

Does Barack Obama count? Was that this year? Holy shit, I'm so tired.

Obama's election into office and the recession have both impacted me in major ways - on polar opposite sides of the spectrum. The election of Obama truly did give me the "hope" he aspired to offer during his campaign. I was elated that this country would recognize the need for change and act on it! It made my heart smile. It continues to... The recession on the other hand has been extremely challenging. I run a small business. I am a designer - I do not provide an "essential" service and when people decided to cut back on spending, I had to explore as many options as I could to maintain my business and I worked myself to the bone. I have worked high-paying jobs in the past. Not having a steady paycheck that allowed for a comfortable lifestyle was a very big adjustment from the get-go, but when the recession hit, I found myself struggling harder than I ever had financially. My life changed dramatically - I had to simplify as much as possible and spend only when absolutely necessary. I am still struggling to get back on my feet. I used to be able to get some assistance from my family in hard times, but the recession has effected them too so things have been difficult for all of us in my family. I am trying to keep hopeful and focus on things like the election of our new President :). I am constantly learning. I am learning how to cut costs as much as possible and still allow myself to have fun and "indulge" if I've earned it - though "indulgence" has a very different meaning from what it once had. And that's ok. I need to constantly remind myself that it will all be ok! Because that's true!! We will be just fine! Keep hustlin'!

Obama's election felt like a touchstone moment for my generation - this was the first time I felt that I had worked for a president I didn't have to qualify - I trusted him completely and it's almost impossible to convey the overwhelming optimism that came with his election, even in the midst of an economic crash and two foreign wars.

The terrorist attacks in India made me think of my many friends who work overseas in a variety of occupations that all have some element of education or assistance that is designed to ease the world's disenfranchised people's pain. It really brought home the risks they take and made me look even harder at what I'm doing "where I am" to make my part of the world better.

Although I initially supported Clinton in the Democratic primaries, I ultimately supported Barack Obama enthusiatically. His election and inauguration gave me an excitement about the political process and hope for our country that I hadn't felt in many years. I've put a lot of faith in President Obama. I want so much to believe that a political leader can be intelligent, caring, effective and --above all -- moral and humane. I hope I won't be disappointed again.

My realization to the existence of Peace Day is probably the most impacting event of this year for me. It's quite funny that I should be answering the question today (9.21) as today is the very Peace Day I'm talking about. I have always been a bystander to the world's conflicts. I have never had any passionate opinion on the subject. Every now and then, I wonder what war is for. I wonder what the purpose of it is, and why people continue it. From the third-party point of view, it's easy to see the futility of war, yet at the same time I wonder if I'm missing something in my perspective, the same way the people on the ground are blinded by their agendas. Peace Day made me want a more idyllic world, where essentials are realized, and the ideals of one's own beliefs are put aside for the survival and happiness of everyone on this planet. It made me see things on every scale, from the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan, to uprisings and genocides across the Eastern Hemisphere, and down to each and every one of our own personal relationships. Sometimes we forget to see the reality of what's around us and the beauty of it slips right under our own noses.

The change in power in Washington has filled me with hope and terror at the same time. I periodically am convinced that Barack Obama will be shot, that he will completely lose his sway with Congress/the people, that he will solve all our problems, etc. In short, I'm tuned into Washington with a degree more interest than usual. I'm still repulsed by vast swaths of the place and by the vitriol out there, but at least there's someone I like and, more importantly, respect in charge.

The event that had a large impact on my life, is the continual fighting overseas. It is knowing that our soldiers are fighting in Iraq for a war that should not be fought. It is knowing that countless Israelis are fighting to protect our Holy Land. It is the understanding that these people are our brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, friends, some how everyone's life seems to be related to knowing someone in the military putting their life on the line to serve their country, even if indirectly. When I hear about this, I immediately fill my heart with compassion, and sympathy for those brave ones fighting. When I start to think about it I pray for world peace, and plead with G-d to bring forth justice, and harmony to everyone. It also makes me want to better myself and the world around me by striving to change the world as best I can one action at a time, big or little.

It's the year of Obama. The hopes that were rising a year ago, the election, all got me excited for the world. That's already waning. The simple event of the garden on the south lawn played a thread of the fabric of the year since it was so tied to our visit to DC and our garden.

I permitted myself to experience the process of the US Presidential campaign from a bipartisan perspective to sensitize myself to what issue(s) felt most meaningful for me. The tremendous and complex climate change mitigation sector has become my life work during the campaign process and a career change that nourishes my Jewish soul.

Barack Obama's presidential campaign and election changed my life in a personal and professional way. It restored hope and promise to the otherwise all-too-cynical process of politics, and it gave me a meaningful chance to contribute to history.

The inauguration of President Obama indirectly brought me back to the Old Executive Office Building for more than just a visit for the first time in 17 years. And the second of the two visits was a historic first: grassroots Jewish social entrepreneurs meeting with White House officials as a group. The visits brought back bittersweet memories of the best and the worst moments of my previous political life - and also pride in the work that brought me back so many years later.

I think this is the hardest question so far. If anything it illustrates that I live in a bubble, protected from most outside influences. I am interested in world events, and watch the news and read papers daily, and they certainly affect me, but I feel so far removed from them that they don't really have any kind of impact on me. I suppose if I were to pick one it would be the recession. This has indirectly affected me via the effect it is having on my clients. Also, my brother has been unable to secure and keep the kind of job he wants, although it is impossible to say how much of that is due to the recession, and how much is due to him. Other than that my mortgage is certainly cheaper now.

Obama being elected as president really affected me. It gave the world so much hope and unity and a sense that anything at all was possible. I felt like it was an extraordinary vindication for all the people in this world who have ever been oppressed or suffered or struggled to get to where they are. It felt like a shift in the way the world would be visioned in history.

I can't think of a good answer to this one, as I would of been unemployed anyway the recession hasn't hit me very hard, but I have seen the huge impact it has made on those around me, and the country as a whole.

Election of Obama in the US and the renewal of Hope in general. Tho' not necessarily for the Middle east. More at the level of a politics that I could live with.

The election of President Obama! I felt and still believe that his broad range of sweeping change, especially in healthcare, is very much needed. People are always afraid of change so he is being attacked from all sides. It is rather disappointing how he fell through on his campaign support of gay rights issues...but I understand how the needs of the majority need to be addressed first.

i am seeing the prophesies come to fruition in the world thru Israel. the clock of the world

The election of our new president and the down fall of the economy. These are things that have not taken a big impact on my life but seem to fill the media and so flood my mind with how much our world has changed.

Barack Obama being elected President changed the way I see my country. I now see a hopeful place, instead of a union that was going down in flames. It has made many people more aware of the hatred and intolerance that really exists in our own backyards, but it brought so many people together in getting behind the one candidate that really was more qualified and is setting a good example for the rest of us.

The stock market collapse caused me to begin to worry about my old age. -I know better- I'll be ok unless we have a depression. I have become more frugal. I vote directors off boards where I think they have been too long. I am more selective in the charities I give to.

Barack Obama being elected President definitely impacted everyone. Not only was his election a milestone for America, it gave me an even more clear distinction of what I want to do with my life. Being involved in politics has always been a passion of mine, but being a part of his campaign solidified that passion. It was an amazing time.

President Obama's election was an act of faith and belief in a better world. The death of 1400 Palestinian's by my own people happened too. Isaiah seems to be relevant right now- Do justice and fairness with compassion to the widow and orphan, or the world will not function properly. I must act fairly and justly and compassionately at my individual level to hope that parallel process will exist in the world.

The election of President Obama has really forced me to think about my level of activism with regards to government.

the 2008 election made me believe in the power of the people again and my own power to be a part of it. I will never be the same again I think.

I was involved in my new community and I have learned about Israel and other communities where Jewish people are in need. I realized how my home city was helped by the community where I am leaving now and it gave me a great sense of identity.

Are you kidding? Who ever thought they would live to see a Black man become President of the United States? It gave me hope but now I'm not so sure. He's just another politician I fear.

The election really didn't excite me the way it excited my friends. Last November I liked Obama, but wasn't as overjoyed as most of the people I know. But now, while everyone else's affection seems to be waning, I have to say I find him more charming and wonderful every day. I think he's working hard to make this country a better place, and I'm so proud to have him as our President.

Barack Obama becoming president gave me great hope for the country and the world. I'm sad to see how many people missed their chance for that hope.

Obama winning the presidency. it gave me hope in the greater good of humanity. like we are progressing towards something bigger.

The battle in the US for women's & specifically, reproductive rights has affected me deeply -- it's made me, at different points, furious, depressed, frustrated, grateful & finally, hopeful. Because of my thoughts on this fight, I realize that I am most definitely a feminist, and that giving up our privacy for "security" is not worth the trade-off in many cases...

The wars in Iraq and Afganistan. Previously, these were an intellectual experience for me.. did I agree, what would the global political implciations be. Now, that I am in a relationship with a US Marine I face the fact that these wars will affect me very very directly. It bothers me that I need a tangible issue to make them come home / real for me. I mean, it's war. It is very fucking real.

Barack Obama's election was an incredible experience. I remember watching the election results and just being so emotionally moved. I don't know if I can say that it was his presidency so much that has moved me, but his election allowed me, and so many others, to have hope again after a long period of hopelessness

Those raucous Health Care protesters scared me. We can't let our emotions rule our politics. But at the same time, my reaction is itself emotional: I am unsettled by the ways in which right wing politics seems to channel our worst impulses as humans.

The financial crisis and the election of Barak Obama to the presidency. It is a time of anxiety and hope and the need for change for the better. If only we could be a little more certain that the change we get is better than what we have now. But I guess we will know that in hind sight. For now Im happy to have my family health and my job and secure in the knowledge that Im giving my best.

Obama's election and inauguration as president. It represents that hope and values can still be alive in this country. It means that change can come. I truly hope that everything that Obama stands for can be reflected back in our culture and we can adopt his values, his strength and his character.

Obama! Pride for my country has never been a given for my generation, but now we have a reason. It feels good.

obama's election, of course. i wasn't happy that he beat hillary for the nomination, but watching him speak on the night of the election, and then his inaugural speech, made me believe in him.

The beginning of Barack Obama's presidency was a huge moment for me. Not only did I really think it wouldn't happen, but when it did, I couldn't help but wonder if there was some vast conspiracy allowing it to happen just so they could destroy him and the Democratic party with him. So far - he's doing a whip-smart job of trying to fix what was very, very broken long before him. I don't envy him and wish him all the best!

The deepening financial crisis that impacts the entire world that has led to further poverty, strife, war and a deterioration of social justice in this world. It has impacted my humanity and belief that all human beings deserve better. The greed is overwhelming in this world and we see it everyday. The financial meltdown and loss of jobs homes and healthcare in our our country impacts me directly as we see the number of patients who cannot pay for their healthcare needs go without long periods of time

The economy has decimated the job I thought I had just taken. Working for a Jewish non-profit...the general economy and our friend Bernie Madoff ... the situation has completely changed my day-to-day tasks, the ability to implement the vision, my happiness, and my future.

Mr Obama's election and inauguration triggered something in me - hope has returned, and with it a very strong desire to be a part of anything that will bring positive change. For the first time in my life I feel inspired by a leader, inspired to be my best and to do my best, not simply for my country but for humanity.

The election of Obama made me feel hopeful for our country in a way I haven't felt for a long time.

Obama's inaugauration as president created a wonderful feeling for me and seem to raise our standing in the world. I am in agreement with most of his policies and plans. I am also concerned about this country and its crazed sickness of racism. I cant understand how people are praying for his failure. They are planning for our country's failre. It is tooooooo sick. I am concerned about this impact on Obama's Presidency.

Obama becoming president has made me feel represented and aligned with government in a way I thought I'd never feel. In his acceptance speech, he included "non-believers" when listing types of citizens, to name one symbolic example.

Gay marriage rights -- and the people who stand up for what they believe in, no matter what the cost may be. I respect and honor everyone, and although I don't agree with that lifestyle, I believe everyone deserves respect and love- as Jesus loved every person, regardless of their sin.

The election of Barack Obama in November. For the first time in 8 years, I watched the returns on Election Night with tears of joy, not tears of sadness and frustration, streaming down my face. It is so moving and amazing to have an intelligent, well-spoken, progressive President in office, and it's a true thrill that the US has reached a point at which we can elect a person of color to the nation's highest office.

The recession and the political pundits that were behind it all. It angered me, no it outraged me to know that we have 'leaders' that are so greedy, vile, and utterly repulsive. Not all, obviously but a fair amount and now, we ALL pay for their misdeeds. I pray to not pass judgement on others. And this situation is one of the harder ones for me to be merciful.

The election of Barack Obama into the Oval has impacted me the most by showing me how far we've progressed since the Civil War and Reconstruction. It made me feel that everything is possible and there are no limits that can achieve.

Obama's election and inauguration has reaffirmed both my idealism and my cynicism about electoral politics. Idealism, because I really didn't believe that Americans would elect a black man (or a woman of any color) President any time soon. I believed that our deep national racism would prevent that. I was thrilled to be proven wrong. My cynicism, however, kicks in when I look at the substance of Obama's politics. He is a true centrist -- refusing to fight for such basic tenets of the left like single-payer health care or full equality for gay people. Like Clinton before him, he is more strategic than principled. Unfortunately, as a Democrat, he ends up occupying the field of "left" in this country, thereby crowding out any truly progressive voices. Both because of this and because of the increasingly fascistic (no, it's not too strong a word, for once) tactics of those on the right, I will think of this year as the one in which I truly began to lose hope for the future of our republic, and that loss cuts deep.

The state of the ecomomy is still effecting my family in a huge way. My husband, although employed, is working a job that is far below his ability and is making far less money then he has in the past. I lost most of my day care clients and did not have people waiting to attend so I closed my business and took a job at a much lower level than I am qualified for. I am making an hourly wage of 12.00. I have not had a job where I was paid hourly since I was in my twenties. Life is so much different when you have to think about money every second of every day. It has been humbling and at times humiliating for my husband and I in this regard this past year.

Seeing Barack Obama's election and inauguration rekindled the patriotic feelings I used to have for my country. I had lost faith and was disillusioned with politics during the Bush administration. The ability of our citizens to see beyond race and background was truly an inspiration not only for me but for many in the world. God bless him and our country.

Obama is the president!!!!!!!!! It's impacted me greatly because there's hope around me!

The recession has opened up the curtain on American materialsm, which i am just as guilty of. I hope we, I, learn to live within our means and not yearn for things. Immediate gratification is the wrong approach.

The economic downturn has had some unexpected affects on me personally. I don't love my job, but more and more I realize how lucky I am to have a job at all. It really puts things in perspective when you want to feel that you are the only one who is having hard times and yet, in reality, there are many worse off than you. I find myself donating a lot more to charities, knowing that things could be much worse for my family and I than they are, even though they could be better for us.

I was in Namibia when the election results came back - we had to get up at 4:30 in the morning and go to a friend's house (where there was a TV) to watch the election returns in real time. I felt this incredible sense of hope, happiness, and pride in my country when Obama was elected - I think being overseas intensified this for me, as it made me acutely aware of being an American in a foreign land. It was amazing how much this election resonated with so many non-Americans as well - I was able to share the elation of Obama's election with many of the Africans I work with (as well as complete strangers), and it was heartening to see how much hope, pride, and vindication this election gave to so many people around the world.

So many. Protests in Iran, the continuing struggle for health care reform in the US, continuous edging closer to the abyss of destructive climate change, President Obama defending Bush administration policies of detention and torture, the continuing collapse of world economies mildly obfuscated by wild media optimism... I can't imagine it not impacting me.

The election of Barak Obama deeply impacted me. I am a daughter of an immigrant. To see how far a person can come in this country is inspiring. I believe it takes work and the tenacity to keep going. Where you come from or the color of your skin shouldn't matter.

The crazy conservatives' campaign to discredit President Obama has been so infuriating. It's unfathomable that so many people are so angry they're willing to believe such bald-faced lies. It depresses me, enrages me. Worst of all, it makes me feel like there's nothing we can do to battle it. Meanwhile, though, I am trying to do my part - volunteering with an organization that's working to change people's minds - one by one - about gay marriage. Long- term maybe we can counter the ignorance and hatred. Sigh.

Maybe swine flu will be the next super flu. As Jon would say, "C'mon, Captain Tripps!" Overpopulation is a problem, and for all that I do think the government and media are blowing this flu variant way out of proportion, nature will find a way, and maybe this will be it.

I'm not sure. I know there have been plenty of things - i guess the whole healthcare debate. It really upsets me to see how heartless people can be. Saying they stand for healthcare for all - but then doing everything they can to prevent us from progressing with a plan. It's just beyond my comprehension how these politicians, with excellent healthcare, can be so callous. The whole debate has only motivated me more to become a nurse-midwife - to provide care to those who are going without. And also, to always provide the best care I can.

The election of Obama was overwhelming and amazing and wonderful. And that he won in such a landslide showed me that America is still all about hope and moving forward. I had become so cynical these last 8 years, feeling crazy and silenced for my deeply held beliefs - I felt the country had descended to the lowest common denominator rather than reaching forward towards our awesome potential... and lead by corrupt, dishonest and duplicitous politicians who were clearly looking out for their own best interests rather than the common good. I hope that things have not gone so far down that change is prevented. We have to dismantle so many narrow minded and entrenched ideas about country, government, personal and political responsibility, global affairs and environmental health. I hope for a dialog and not a scream fest.

Unemployment caused by the world wide recession. Mine particularly.

An ongoing broad world event that has continued to impact me is global warming. It has made me more conscious of our powers as human beings to either destroy or promote life. It has made me reflect upon my culture, human nature, and people's general ignorance and disrespect for the precious, life-sustaining, and beautiful earth we depend upon. It has made me continue to reflect upon ways I can make a difference and become a steward and protector of our home (earth) and the well-being of all that rely upon it. Global warming has affected me in this way because of my sadness and fear about the current and future health of the earth and the affects of the earth's health on life on earth and on the universe.

Obama getting elected. I love talking, thinking, reading about race. It is so great to have it in the front headlines all the time now. Easier to have discussions on it, etc.

The nomination, election, and inauguration of Barack Obama made me feel connected and devoted to my country in a way I haven't been in a long time. For those months, I felt incredibly patriotic and proud. Although the feeling has faded somewhat, it gave me the sense that America really is capable of anything it puts its mind to.

Learning more than a quarter of the population is obese and more children are obese. The sedentary lifestyle makes it easy to disregard our health. This year I have become more active to better my health. I am going to be selfish in this one area. To put myself first.

I have seen many people lose their jobs and how it has affected our economy-foreclosures, homelessness, expenses, banking industry, world issues. I am just thankful to be blessed with a job and one that I love!

the voters of san francisco took away my freedom to marry the woman of my choice. we can register as domestic partners in california, but we are not recognized by my federal government, nor many other states. it scares me to think how this will impact my ability to raise my children and provide for my partner.

obama in the white house. need i say more? i am so moved by him, his vision, and for sometime after the election i was so proud to an american. i never thought i'd see the day... i've been moved.

The election of Barak Obama has really given me hope in the people of the United States. I feel there is still much racism and hatred out there, but this is a sign that we as a country are moving forward

The inauguration of Barak Obama as president of the United States. I was just so very proud of my country. I remember watching the inauguration with a group of friends from church and all of us were crying. I felt so hopeful and optimistic that things were finally going to get better.

The recession, new state legislation, and the health insurance business are killing off the psychoanalytic community, our schools, private practice, my friends, and me with it.

The recession has been a strangely affirming time. I went through a personal "recession" period several years ago though which I experienced a lot of anxiety and inner turmoil. Because of my experience surviving the personal financial crisis (among other things since), my attitude and perspective during this time of corporate unease and difficulty has been really positive.

I went to the inauguration and felt the spirit of all of the people there.

A big event that I guess kept me glued to the TV was the death of michael jackson. It made me think about how fleeting life is and boom - this major figure in popular culture is gone - I was a huge fan as a child and so it brought back lots of memories...good and not so good.

Clearly it was the election and inauguration of our new president. I'm shocked at how emotional it all was! Also, I often get wrought with anxiety and a little anger when people spread propaganda and untruths to "wriggle" support for smear campaigns! also I get anxiety when I think about Israel and what the crazy nations of the world want to do to them.

The election of Obama. I have never been so grateful for leadership I could rally behind. And I have never experienced a leader I identified with so much that I can hardly read the news because I feel every bump and grind as though it were my own. I am SO invested in him not failing!!!

Overall there seems to be a move towards good though it will take time to correct the evil that has occurred in the past few years. I think its interesting how perception has changed due to a few major events. Not only did we as a nation elect a black president, but our age bracket actually showed that we cared enough to vote and voice our opinion. The Madoff ponzi scheme scandal gave a poor perception of the Jews which was hard to change especially in the organization that I work for. Despite the economy, the wars and the scandals, there seems to have a sense of not only hope but momentum in this country.

Two events: first, Obama winning. An enormous universal sense of right being accomplished on earth. A feeling that transcended continents and touched the hearts of much of humanity - hope and happiness. I only hope people don't forget the enormous possibilities within that moment. Second: the protests in Iran. Seeing technology play a role in making every citizen a journalist, giving us all a higher calling to be involved, to reach out and effect what changes we can. It has been especially moving to see the dedication of the Iranian community who are still out daily protesting in Westwood, never wavering, keeping the flame burning for those who lost their lives doing the same.

No positive change has been made in the middle east. There has been no real decrease in the violence and I don't see things stabilizing in the next few years. I don't think Obama is going to do anything to help our position or the stability of the middle east and that's definitely going to have an impact on my future.

I think I have been removed from the "broader" scope of things because of what was going on in my personal life. Between my mother-in-law passing in the fall, and myh cancer diagnosis in the spring, I have been focusing on myself and ignoring the world around me.

Certainly, the global financial crisis, fueled by unwise and unsustainable debts, has forced me seriously think about my expenditures and take a more conservative approach to handling money. Also, I look at serious crises like those in Afghanistan or Somalia and they don't necessarily feel distant. I insert myself into those situations knowing that I could very likely wind up in a similarly unstable situation should I choose to pursue a job with AID.

This year, my family has been affected by the economic recession. I couldn't go to camp, or Disney World with Touring Ensemble (yeah, bummer). That made me pretty sad...yah

The economy has affected everyone I know from wealthy to not. I drive through Jenkintown and there is 1 block that only has 2 businesses left! It is terrifying!

The ongoing torure and murder of gays in Iraq and other places where gays live in fear causes me grief, anguish and rage. As a way of coping (protesting?) I continue to blog bulletins on the subject and post/ send out the google video Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.

November 2008 Election of Obama and Democratic Majority to congress. On nearly every issue I care about the government has shifted much closer to my views. I am much more vocal about political issues now.

The recession. there has been a slow down of clients coming for services, and I lost my pt job. I am trying to remain open, trust the universe, not get all tight worrying about the money. I really believe I am doing what I'm called for...

Every time I watch the news, I get more afraid. Sometimes, you would rather not know what's going on.

Obama became president. It impacted me both from the micro and macro perspective. It gave me a sense that our country is moving ahead, it gave me hope that our country is capable of change and it was odd b/c it, at a moment, made me feel like an outsider. That I couldn't possible feel what a African American felt on the day Obama was elected and again sworn into office. At once I was joyous and included but I also felt excluded b/c there was no way I could imagine what African Americans felt. And as I Jewish American, I felt a kinship but I did feel a bit excluded. But joyous and joyful all the same. And a bit over-bombarded by the media that got in the way of me feeling my own feelings without it being manipulated/focused by the media.

British professional groups tried to divest from Israeli companies that provided materials to the IDF to help them win the war in Gaza. I see this not as sympathic to Hamas (who could be sympathetic to Hamas) but rather as Jew-hatred. The explosion of Jew-hatred in England has been shocking to me & has changed the way I feel about England as a place to visit.

the banking scandal etc... greed...the trickle down aspect of this has effected millions... my distaste is palpable

This is hard to speak about because I keep myself a bit closed off to the world affairs because I have just gotten a handle on my recently. When I hear about world events it has overwhelmed me and current does not add to help me it becomes too much weight. I am working up to it. Though. I do like to hear about some things but as I work on my attention maybe i will have more of opinion or want to take an action. I feel enough.

The election of Barak Obama has impacted me. It has given me hope that we're seeing beyond what we're used to seeing. He has his work cut out for him, but I think he will be among the list of great Presidents we've had.

Obama being elected! Potential for change, not having to watch W. on the news, change in my attitude toward the general population. Hopefully by this time next year there will be healthcare reform, more peace, this country earning a better reputation for fixing things instead of messing things up.

The failur eof the current Canadian Government to deal with the challenges of climate change because our nation has not developped a means of dealing and managing it.

Obama getting prez was definitely moving and gave me hope for humanity. The best line I heard this year was "Common sense isn't common" so true

Barack Obama's election gives me some hope for this country and the world, but with all the backlash against him, I am afraid he can not/will not be successful.

The killings in Mumbai were devastating. I chose to honor their deaths by donating to Chabad in Mumbai. This type of event forces me to remind myself that all that happens, happens for a reason and that there is a bigger picture G-d does not want me to know. It also gave me the opportunity to discuss these issues with my children so they can develop their own coping mechanisms in the face of tragedy.

I was deeply disgusted by the vote for Prop 8 in California. It doesn't directly affect me, since I don't live in California, but it doesn't make any sense and I see it has just another indication that I live in a world where who I am isn't accepted by many people and I wish they would just mind their own business. Prejudice is an evil thing - and people who say the vote for Prop 8 isn't prejudice are in lala land.

A broader event in the world that impacted me this year was the death of Michael Jackson. I grew up with his music, and it was so sad to see a global icon pass away.

My position was eliminated at work. It released me from bureaucratic doldrums and now I am re-grouping and entering a new phase of my life.

The recession impacted me in ways I could never have anticipated, mainly because they were positive. I was stuck in a job that I hated, but felt bound to stick with it through some misdirected sense of duty or mobility or plain old inertia -- and of course, a healthy dose of monetary stability. But I was miserable, and I knew it. I felt trapped. I was shocked when they called me in and handed me my pink slip. But it shoved me into a new direction that I might have been too timid to seek otherwise, freed me up to have adventures, and made me realize how blessed I am to have friends and family who will never let me drown.

Definitely the economic recession and high unemployment. It's impacted my business, my income and rocked my vision of what it takes to keep up. I'm in Michigan and my business was largely dependent upon needs of Automotive suppliers. Those days are gone. As a result, I've learned how to deal with undesired, but inevitable change.

In June, the House of Representatives passed the most important piece of environmental legislation...ever. For someone who works on climate and energy policy, this was a truly historic event. But really...it made me realize that I don't want to be a lobbyist/advocate/whatever you want to call it, for the rest of my life. I just didn't feel that sense of 'winning' that is supposed to come with an event like this in my current line of work. I'm never sure a law is really 'right,' and when your job is to convince others to support certain laws, that's a problem! It was fun working on the bill and exciting to be in Washington at such an historic time but pure advocacy is just not right for me. So this is a selfish interpretation of the question, but the passage of the Waxman-Markey bill taught me a lot about myself and what I want to do (and don't want to do) with my life!

My Dad kind of looks like Blago so he was getting a lot of shit and it was the family joke during that whole thing.

Barak Obama was elected as US President. It has not so much impacted me personally but I hope that it impacts society in a way that it shows people of all races that it is possible to reach beyond one's stereotype and that you can achieve what you dream.

Obama becomeing president! It's just getting started!! A small part of me lost hope for this country and I have much worry for Israel. I see complacancy all around me.

The earthquake in Abruzzo was so horrible. Everybody in Rome was woken by the earth shaking, it seemed to last forever and we felt paralyzed with fear and anguish. We spent the whole day couting the deads, looking online for updates, worrying about the ones we knew in L'Aquila... I'm still afraid it could happen all over again someday soon.

Well the broader event in the world that impacted me this year actually occurred last year -- the melt down of the economy. The result of that is that the value of all the savings accounts (401k's, IRA's, and Pensions) were all depleted by more than 50%. Given that my husband died, I now need these monies, but they are worth far less than they were a year prior!!

The downturn in the economy has me worried. We live on the edge anyway, and I worry my partner will lose his job or something. It is also hard to see friends jobless and struggling. However, I try to take things a step at a time and not worry about things that are worries but not realities.

I am saddened by all the bitterness, hatred, and dirty politics between Republicans and Democrats. I've never been a very political minded person but it always seemed to me growing up that during a Presidential election people would debate back and forth and get very passionate about things, but then once it was over and a President was elected, it didn't matter anymore whether you voted for him or not. We all got back to working together towards being the best country that we could be. I was always so proud to be American and so grateful to have been born here. Now it feels as if we are on the brink of our society collapsing. The fighting between the GOP and Democrats has reached new levels of absurdity that not only drags us all down but shows the rest of the world our weaknesses. I am frightened by the frenzied gusto and pride with which our people proclaim their lack of compassion and their vicious hate for everyone and everything. Glance at the comments section online below any news item and watch the freak show unfold. There is no pride there, no love or understanding or willingness to see someone elses point of view. I often wonder if there are no voices of sanity left.

I have become much more concerned about humanity's impact on the natural world. I have drastically changed my spending habits and lifestyle habits as a result.

The election of Barack Obama as President reinvigorated me and for the first time in memory I have felt proud of our country. Eight years of Bush's representation had caused me to be ashamed of the US and it was such a refreshing change to Obama. If only he could unite the House and the Senate now and find his way through to functional healthcare reform. If thats all he did in 4 years it would be a great accomplishment and worthy of reelection.

May 19, 2009 - the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. After years of war, death and human rights violations, the Tamil Tigers were defeated. My dad was there and now I would like to go. This is an amazing example of the realization of peace.

Barack Obama. President of the United States of America. A new symbol of hope, of tolerance, for the entire world to see. When I think of how I first saw Obama on TV in 2006 and followed and supported his campaign for the next 2 years and to see him rise to lead our country toward a greater future, I couldn't be more proud to be an American. I'm not political in the slightest, yet his campaign empowered me to share his story and his journey with my friends and family who tend to sway conservatively.I brought awareness of just how important it was for our country to make a bold statement by breaking several racial/religious/political/cultural barriers simultaneously. I feel like our country can tackle anything now. As if Obama just put everyone on an even playing field. Why should it be any other way?

The economy is not doing well, this has made everything tense and has resulted in me feeling as though my thirst for education is putting my family in financial danger.

The election of President Obama. He brings hope to me and my family that the powerful and greedy will not run things forever.

The impact of the economy has made me realize just how precious the basic things in life are. Like having a job and being able to afford life. So much of what we want is unnecessary details.

The economic downturn has effected every aspect. I just graduated this year in April and it has been so hard to find job with in my Degree.

obama's election as it showed america is definitely open to change

The election and inauguration of Barack Obama were the most joyous political moments I have experienced in a long, long time!

I am fearful of the power of corporations, that they are the ones directing our nation's decisions, not our congress; not only on national and international levels, but affecting people's personal lives. When I worry about people in this country(and others) going bankrupt, not having enough to eat, getting sick from pollution and chemical poisoning, not receiving basic health care, I blame corporate America. It all seems to come back to that. It is basically human greed. (Viz.: Wall St) This also goes back to my daughter's fatal breast cancer. We are poisoning ourselves, but it is so slow, that direct cause and effect is hard to pinpoint.

Obama was elected as President. Hope is back for our country and people. It feels like the best man really won this time. Let's continue to hope that he can fulfil his commitments and desires for our world.

President Obama's election impacted me in a number of good and not so good ways. I am truly inspired by him frequently and that has nothing to do with his race. I just find him so down-to-earth and reasonable and wise, it's hard for me not to agree and be inspired that he can keep working the way he does with the world on his shoulders. It makes me want to do better in my job and with a better attitude. Don't get me wrong, electing a black man to President was inspiring and a welcome relief - being able to see the American people accomplish that. But it is not what inspires me generally. On the down side, my belief in him has in some ways made me more partisan. I am often surprised by how angry I get with people that fight unfairly against the work he is trying to do. I don't mind legitimate arguments, but I'm finding that more and more, i have trouble understanding the point of view of those that disagree with me politically. Sometimes I don't even want to be around them. It's odd, how my utter respect for one person seems to be making it harder for me to respect others...something I definitely need to work on.

I've learned that women in many different countries are affected by war, rape, famine, and other disparties. It has helped me to continually be grateful for my health, freedom, liberty, wealth and opportunities for my life in the U.S. It helps me strive to do more to help women everywhere.

Barack Obama!!!! My entire existence as an American abroad changed over night. I went from having the most unpopular expat nationality to the most popular in one night. Of course none of it has anything to do with me but people are really unfair and they associate you with your home nation's governmental policies. The fact that I don't know a single person who voted for George Bush didn't matter. Yay Barack, the lightning rod!

the recession and economic downturn has impacted me - caused great anxiety because of expenses raising my children, and changed my view of world politics and alliances. history repeats itself. we will come out of this. but everyone has short term memory, and we are bound to live through another recession worse than this one in the coming years as shortages of water, need for energy production, and food become issues.

Barack Obama getting elected President of the US was a big one. I'm no longer ashamed to be American.

The 2009 presidential election has been a great event in the world for me because it was something I actually took part in. I voted for Obama in both the primaries and main election, and I am glad to say that I helped bring a minority to the Presidential office. Even though I do not think the president himself actually makes a difference in the workings of our country, I think it does make a difference in how the world views us. Now that there is a non-white, non-anglican president as our figurehead for America, I hope it alleviates some of the stereotypes of America being a white supremacist nation, full of rich Republicans greedy only for their own selfish promotions.

Obama's election was for me a source of great pride, relief, happiness, and hope. It's reassuring to me to have a person of his values and competence and skills leading the country, and it's reassuring to know that Americans CAN elect such a person.

The state of my former profession has been hit hard by changes in media distribution. The economy made the growth opportunities in that already challenging industry environment even more scarce. These landscape changes filtered down to the culture. The changes motivated me to make the career shift I'd been considering for some time.

the Obama presidency was a profound moment for me because working all those years in the ghetto i think i understood more what it meant for the country to see someone who wasnt white win. And my daughter will grow up in a world where a woman and a black man both have a fighting chance at being president. it makes me cry just thinking about it.

1) The Scottish government's compassion shown to Lockerbie bomber. --That's how the world should be. Because we're all human. 2) Mr. Obama as President. --That's how the world should be. Because color doesn't matter.

I am very distressed about how big insurance and big pharma have coopted the health care debate. I think providing affordable public health care to all Americans is a moral issue, one ofthe biggest moral issues our country faces.

The recession in this country has taught many people, including us, that it is more fulfilling to live simply than to clutter our lives and houses with more 'stuff'. It allows us to focus on what is truly important - family and friends.

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The economic "downturn" has greatly impacted me. I now better recognize the importance of financial stability, my identity as a working (or at the moment not working) professional is more salient, and how this ties into my family and personal relationships is better understood. I have learned, however, how to ride the wave.

I was watching "Gentlemen's Agreement" last night and a scene in the movie reminded me of the conversations I had with my mother surrounding the fall of Bernie Madoff. The Madoff scandal didn't impact me, my friends or my family in any direct sense...but it did bring to the fore a lot of discomfort we felt about the very public (and very shameful) fall of a Jew. I feared that his demise would only stir up bad sentiment toward Jews and reinforce stereotypes.

OBAMA! Seeing young people beginning to believe that they could make a difference was absolutely awe-inspiring - and holy.

Unfortunately for me, I'm not as versed in happenings in the world at large as I would like to be. I'd like to be more aware of current events in the world outside of my immediate surroundings, especially in Israel. Although my body does not live there, my heart and soul do. Most notably, the election of our newest President, Barack Obama, has touched me beyond measure. I've never been prouder of America as a whole, despite all the dissention among portions of this country. We did it. We needed to break away from old traditions and we did. We tried something new. A young newcomer not stuck in the habits and politics of past political generations. Someone with a fresh perspective, whether it comes from a healthy dose of naivete or a refusal to do things the same way they've been done, he is determind to not repeat the same habits and mistakes that put us in the mess we're in in the first place! Oh yea, and he's half black. This is a giant leap in the direction towards that fact no longer mattering in the years to come. This seals the tremendous feeling in my heart that change on a mass scale can and does happen. That the world can come together and lift itself out of the mudd. That we can stand up to what is wrong and do what is right. Is has given me a feeling of comradery with other people, other Americans, that I've never had before. I don't feel it at the forefront of my emotional radar every moment, but it's there to access by me when a reality check is needed whether for myself or another I care about.

The riots in Iran after the news of the election results. It moved me to see an educated and bright people finally take charge of their future, and protest against the human rights abuses they face daily.

The economy has taken its effect on almost everyone I know. I was laid off because of it, my mother was too. I have seen some the hardest working and smartest people I know lose their jobs. It is scary. At the same time, I see how it has encouraged some people to change their path, and go after things that really makes them happy. It is really neat to see people make the best of tough situations, and also to see people follw their heart.

Barack Obama becoming president and Hilary Clinton becoming Secretary of State has given me a new sense of optimism. I do not think they are saints or magicians, but I think they are smart and hard working. I trust them.

The debate on Healthcare Reform. I have 2 adult children without insurance and I am giving the reforms alot of thought. I am a healthcare provider and I believe everyone should have access to healthcare but I don't think socialized medicine is the way to go

The election of Obama has given me hope for the future and inspired me in a way that hasn't happened since Bobby Kennedy's race for President. All the disasters in the world, however, make me feel as if everything we do is useless. In particular, the blindness we have to the behaviors and activities of humans which can precipitate disasters or worsen their effects.

Friends getting laid off in the recession made me feel thankful for the job and situation I have for myself. I feel very fortunate and even lucky because I don't necessarily work harder than these friends.

The deaths of so many pivotal public figures from my childhood, combined with the deaths of the fathers of several close friends. The end of childhood on a variety of levels.

Watching the disappointing army of Obama Supporters dissolve post-campaign only to be out-energized by an angry, but active mob of right wing zealots. 2012 is looking pretty bleak!

With the world economy changing our lives were affected more closely then I ever would have guessed. Who would have thought that the automotive industry was who would take such a hit? America used to be baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet...but that is changing. Detroit, the Motor City, has been cut to the core. Yet we pray that the community comes out stronger then when the recession began.

The recession has definitely hit home in my family. My father has been unemployed for most of the last couple years, and my mother is working full-time again (something she does not normally do!). Everyone seems just a little more frightened, and a little more upset about money- and planning a wedding in the midst of it hasn't helped.

OBAMA. I still am amazed sometimes that we Americans made this possible. It generates huge reservoirs of Hope and power of the people. It makes me feel aligned with a majority. It does not make me want to leave the U.S. or feel ashamed of my president. I feel proud. And I know that the election, the win is not any kind of end or final accomplishment to get lazy and complacent. It is actually just a step in the right direction.

The recession. So many of my friends are out of work and I feel terribly guilty that I got a job.

Like many people, the election of our current president, Barack Obama, had a huge impact on me. I am so proud of how progressive our country has been in just this past year. To me this shows me that we are not a country of bigotry and hate, and that we can overcome racial barriers. I have so many hopes and dreams for my future children, who will be bi-racial, and it is reassuring to know that if Obama can do it, so can they! Doors have been opened once again for our future generations.

The financial meltdown, no question. I am not directly in the finance business, but it has greatly affected my ability to get work and advance my career. Not to mention that my salary has been cut in half. It has also put me on the defensive, which makes me reactive instead of proactive. I don't feel as if I can make decisions that have even a little bit of risk.

Both the recession and the turniong of the tide in the war in Iraq have made me examine what's important to me and what I want to do with my life. I want to go to Iraq and I want to start a business.

Obama and his family came to office. This was to me like lighting a candle in the dark. It speaks to me of the possibility for positive change being effected. It also was something that didn't seem possible at first, but was in fact possible. It has given me hope.

The Israeli invasion of Gaza earlier this year really impacted me...I just don't know how to feel about that country anymore. I'm ashamed, but I love being there with friends and family. I don't know how to reconcile.

The election made me have more faith in folks and the instincts of the populace as a group. This healthcare debate is coming just on the heels of a health care disaster for me, which confirms my sense that the world revolves around me and my personal struggles (just kidding).

Passage of the Same Sex Marriage law in Vermont. confirmation of my deeply held beliefs; reminder that there is a reason to work hard for social justice and change. I had planned on resigning as adviser to the Gay straight Alliance but decided to continue.

The Inaguaration of Barack Obama. The world, not just the U.S., has a leader with a message that we can make our lives better, that we think ahead about making our children's lives better, and that peace is possible. I don't expect miracles from him, but he has patience, perseverence, and exceptionally good judgement. And, he is a good man. On top of all that, every Muslim cab driver I have spoken to ( and I love to hear what my cab drivers think of Obama, among other things) thinks he is a breath of fresh air, and may offer some hope that the U.S. and the Muslim world will come to understand each other.

I think the recession has been unavoidable, undeniable and fairly permeating in everyone's life. For me, it made me feel more tethered to a job that I dislike. Some days I think I've used the economy as a cop-out for staying, though the difficult job market really is something to consider. I waver back and forth between feeling unfulfilled at work and wanting to leave, and being paralyzed with fear of the unknown and not knowing what to do next. I hope I can come to a stronger place soon where I feel empowered, capable and convinced enough of my own underutilized talent to make a change for the better.

The economy of the world has affected me this year the greatest. I worry about the value of my home decreasing and not having enough money to allow my husband and I to travel in our RV full time within the next 5 years. The value of my husbands 401k has also taken a large hit, but seems to be recovering slightly.

The economy. Puts everything more on edge. Thank goodness my partner and I are financially okay, employed, etc. but it doesn't give you much of a sense of security...

I was not a fan of Obama and did not want him to become my president. I was afraid of what having a black president would mean to us and the world. I'm still not certain about his politics, religion & loyalties. But I'm no longer afraid.

i'm embarrassed to say i don't think i felt the impact of so many world events this year! i guess it would be my sister's involvement in the Obama campaign. Watching her passionately spread the message, get involved in her local community's efforts to put on events and get the vote out, and then hearing her descriptions of the energy surrounding the celebrations therein ... the whole thing was very inspiring to me to try to be more politically active and vocal and truly push for change, and it's all because I witnessed it through the personal lens of one of my closest loved ones along with that of the average media consumer.

the economy. it's affecting everyone. i teach ESOL. my students have lost their jobs. their husbands are out of work. i work in a soup kitchen. our numbers are UP. used to be a crowd at the end of the month. now we're crowded every day. we have enough at the soup kitchen, but the food pantry doesn't have enough. i volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. we have a shortage of potential homeowners because laid-off people cant qualify for a house. my neighbor hasnt seen a raise in years. she can hardly get by. i am talking middle class people here. it's very tough.

trip to israel last week i am hit with an israeli bug :)

I guess it would have to be barack obama becoming president. this was the first time I voted, I'm 41.

OBAMA IS PRESIDENT!! I am so inspired, happy, speechless that we have an African-American president. I remember all those history classes where my teachers talked about slavery and African-Americans having nothing, and now we have one for president. It's amazing and awesome!

4 elections in Canada in 5 years. It is absolutely unnecessary! How can a country build and progress with a 25-50-75-150 years vision if it has elections every year!

Barack Obama becoming our President! I felt like past 8 years of aggravation, disappointment, and shame for my country were all lifted.

Oddly enough, my business is booming in this recession. I am making more money than I ever have before. (Not to say I haven't worked very hard for it.

Barak Obama being elected as President. I felt it visiting Spain back in April and being able to be proud to be an American for this first time in my life...

The election of Barack Obama has been monumental for me. The Bush Years were very difficult for me ideologically and I often felt hopeless about the future of the U.S. After I graduated college in 2005, I decided to go into the non-profit sector and start my career working in civil society organizations. During that time, it was hard to feel proud of your choice to work not for salary but for what you believe in. With the election of Barack Obama, I felt like I could be proud of my career path and hopeful for a new direction for the country. There is so much to be done, but I do believe that he and his administration can create the change and has already done so just by being our president.

The inauguration of President Barack Obama was one of the single most inspiring events of my life. I purposely stood in line with the Washington Monument so that, decades from now, when my children and grandchildren see photos of that day, like we do now of MLK's famous speech, I can say, "I was there. Standing right there, somewhere in there." I still choke up when I realize that our nation elected a black man President. I'm proud to have been part of such an historic campaign & such a proud, patriotic day in our nation's history.

The dip in the economy. It has been hard for me, a freelancer to find a steady stream of projects. Budgets just aren't there.

The election of Barack Obama: This event changed my view and understanding of politics in America. Previously, my entire "adult life" had been dominated by the Bush administration- 8 years of it! So this was all i really knew of what it was like to experience being american...Now however, exactly like the campaign slogan: "hope"- I have it. It's a totally different feeling to feel like my ideas and things i care about are in line with what the person in power believes and will work for. It's really exciting, and has changed my understanding of being american, and even, american pride.

The recent tragic death of Annie Le right before her wedding, and the similar killing of a girl I grew up with named Leah. It is frightening just how messed up too many people are in this world, to impose their will on others. I am so lucky to have a girlfriend who I can't get enough of...she cracks me up, and I love when I make her laugh so much that she can't stop, she challenges me to constantly step it up, and has maked me a better person in the process, and she really seems to appreciate who I am. We are a great team, and I get frightened imagining how I would go on should something happen.

The state of the economy has made me profoundly grateful for being employed (I was unemployed for a while last year) and having a family with economic security.

The monitary meltdown caused severe hardship to my financial situation, which was already very precarious because of huge medical bills. I'm still struggling, but I'm sure I will be a better person for it, as it touched what was really inportiant to me... My heritage and my Jewish soul.

My world was rocked by Bernie Madoff and the economy. My job completely changed as I had to reinvent myself or I would be excessed. In so doing I have taken on more responsiblity, but I also have more input into the way things work in my organization and have seen my colleagues work with me with respect and confidence. I think the explosion of Facebook has affected my day-to-day life making it richer and more diverse.

The meltdown of the financial markets. It made me realize that even with the best intentions and trying to do everything right...everyone is vulnerable.

The war in Gaza affected me, but mainly through the way people in my community interacted with it and each other during the escalation. I felt more strongly than ever that my path is not one of polemic but of trying to bring opposing sides closer to one another and create a space where differing opinions can be held.

the election of obama. it was first time in a long time that i felt part of something bigger with americans all over the country. the recession. i lost my business of 26 years.

The 52/48 voter support for Prop 8 in November 2008 and the subsequent court upholding of the initiative was a huge disappointment verging on devastating. That loss only fortified me and rendered our wedding day that much more important to me. My love for my wife and my dedication to her and our daughter was strengthened.

Ted Kennedy and other "big people" dying. It showed me how fleeting life is and how we should enjoy our health and not take it for granted. And to try not to sweat the small stuff!!!

The inauguration of Barack Obama was pretty darn wonderful, on the positive side. On the negative side, there was the recession and its effect on both my 403(b) and on my ability to create successes at work.

The presidential election consumed me. I have never allowed myself to be so involved and care so much. But I allowed myself to truly listen to the other side. It is amazing what makes us decide such important decisions. Most people just want to be heard and then they are willing to discuss and even listen. I am worried about the political climate, its unhealthy. I hope our president can make it work.

The election of President Barack Obama. It has given me hope that the world can be a better place for all. I believe he is in both, the simplest and the most profound way, a good man gifted with intelligence, patience and the ability to work hard.

The sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi to longer imprisonment. It - along with some personal travels to that part of the world - reminded me how many people (the vast majority!) live in countries with limited political and economic freedoms. It reminded me that I want to make a difference, a real difference, in these areas. Still need to work out how...

The Madoff Ponzi scheme. Beyond the financial implications of what happened, it raised issues of trust and responsibility and loyalty and greed and corruption.

Financial crisis. I felt I learned a lot from it, but realized how much I didn't know. I've also gotten really interested in economics from it and have since found Paul Krugman et al fascinating.

A lot of the things in the news are hype and blown out of proportion. I can't think of anything that has affected me in anyway, except the fears I get from time spent reading the papers.

The war in Gaza was scary and I worry how things will progress in Israel. I may be living there in the near future and even today know many people there, including those in the IDF.

The election of a President in whom I have more faith than anyone for whom I've ever voted has made me more interested than I've ever been in how one balances ideals with pragmatism.

We have Obama as president, who we all hoped would lead to a large, positive change for our country. He made a lot of campaign promises for civil rights for gays and lesbians, but so far hasn't followed through on any of them. He's done his best to withdraw from the issue, and act like making sure gays and lesbians have full civil rights is somehow a responsibility for everyone else. It's sad that he's incapable of leading the way for the rest of the country, of showing homophobes and religious zealots that they don't get the right to decide who has certain rights over others when we are all essentially the same. Will I ever have marriage rights, will my love for other men ever be seen as validated and will I ever be given full civil equality regardless of my sexual orientation?

The downfall in the economy and the Madoff scheme affected me greatly. Overall the place I worked was impacted by Madoff, so I lost my job. Instead of being able to easily find a job after that, when the economy crashed, the situation became difficult. I was out of work for a year (finally employed again!)

With Obama's election and his proposed reforms, I've never found myself more energized and political. And it's been so long since anyone has demonstrated his type of eloquence from the presidential podium, every day I'm challenged to not become intellectually or culturally lazy.

Barack Obama's election. Makes me feel like after all the dark and depressing events of the last 8 years, something is finally going right.

The recession has made me appreciate being financially stable and take more pleasure in the money I am able to spend.

Health care reform. My premiums are astoundingly high. I carry two insurances in case I'm laid off. I wish there was aess expensive option since it would truly allow me to pursue a less lucrative career that allowed me more time for my family, writing and helping others.

The financial crisis of this past year was eventful for me. My husband and I are thankfully in a good place and it was very upsetting to watch friends suffer and to know that there are so many people that cannot afford things. We gave a lot of charity, but we always do. I had to work at not feeling guilty for the situation we are in.

The Gaza war in Israel. It brought back so many awful memories from when I was there during the intifada. It made me realize how much I haven't healed from the fear I experienced then. It also made me realize how much my life and ideals have changed in the past 7 years. It gives me hope that I can heal and continue to grow.

The recession. I can see the damage that it has caused to many, I have been lucky in that my family has not lost any jobs, and I myself am in school, but I can still feel the tightening of the belt, so to speak. Even though nothing has changed personally, the broader societal change has resulted in more worry and saving within my family. I think it has changed my spending habits, and this is not something I am likely to forget soon.

I got a bit of a taste for politics via the 2008 Obama campaign. Nothing dramatic, but it was the first time that I committed time and energy and money.

The changes in the global political power are things that are constantly in a state of flux. With the shifts of power taking place, it becomes more apparent that there are things beyond my comprehension and control. It is merely a state that I live in, and I'm not sure that I have the ability or clout to enact any sort of alteration in the course of the world powers.

Continued war, walls and weapons of mass destruction all around the world have made me incredibly sad. I have known for awhile that the way we are doing things is not working. More effort on living peacefully, tolerantly and finding peaceful solutions has to be made. We all want the same things, life, liberty, food, shelter, family, isn't there a way for everyone to have this?!

The economic crisis has impacted me this year. I am living with a man whose house is being foreclosed upon. He is also declaring bankruptcy. Although it is his financial crisis and not mine, it has left me battling feelings of scarcity at a time I was determined to only imagine abundance. Funny how that happens.

Barack Obama was elected on my birthday! I've always felt so strongly about Democratic politics and want to be involved and make a change. Obama winning solidified the idea that we all can make a difference in this world.

The economy slowing really came at a bad time. If I had had the luxury of not having to worry about the business all the time this year, it would have helped me in working on myself and my issues. My personal growth is what has taken the focus this year and perhaps if the company would have been more stable, I could have started my own company sooner than what I think now will be the case.

I think about the protests in Iran after the election and how brave people are to stand up and speak where injustice is happening. I think I take so much for granted - safety, freedom of speech and at times I don't speak up. It has helped me realize how important is is to speak for justice and what is right even if it is risky or unpopular.

The rise of violence in Yemen. It makes me worry about people that I know, and it makes me worry that it will be hard to visit the place I like so much again. And even more importantly, it makes me think that my work project will not have high chances of succeeding, and the nation will fall even deeper into poverty and chaos while I really have no idea how to help. Also, the offer to build radar bases in my country was abruptly withdrawn by the US. Although it wasn't the greatest idea to begin with, it was very humiliating for my country to be rejected and left behind this way.

The legacies of Prop 13 in CA and deregulation generally have changed the country and made it a more treacherous place. So there is the challenge of living in a nation where corporate interests are supreme.

Watching the American debate over gay marriage affected me more than I expected. Even though gay marriage is legal in Canada and therefore technically a non-issue to me, watching people fight so hard for a right that I never took very seriously changed my own approach to my wedding and marriage. I no longer felt comfortable being "too cool" for it all, and it forced me to take the committment I was about to make much more seriously.

Whenever I read about injustices to woman around the world, it drives me crazy. I know how fortunate I am to be an American woman, where I can get all the education I need, I'm free to marry whom I want, I can work, etc. etc. I'm grateful for every single day. I would like to get more involved with that cause.

Our new President. His service inspires me daily. Any excuses for every day people not becoming involved in changing our country will fall on my deaf ears. We DID make a huge change. We can longer say we are powerless.

The recession. It's made me realize that perhaps the world doesn't need to go back to where it was prior to the recession. Maybe the key is to figure out what parts of American lives are truly sustainable and which have been unnecessary and should be eliminated for good. We should focus on the things that are truly important - like healthcare and peace - rather than simply getting every store and business back up and running if these businesses aren't critical to the greater good.

The election of president obama. It's given me some hope that things will change for the better for people -- healthcare, education, the economy.

I was impressed by the elections in the USA, and I was glad that the German majority loved this president. As a white mother of black children in Germany, I am glad that the people admire and love someone with a bicultural or binational background. Even though I am sceptical about the chances of change in the world, it gives me some hope...

A meteor strike impacted me this year. It made me much shorter. Not really.

The election made a huge impact on me. I voted for the other guy. I was deciding up until the moment in the booth. I just was never convinced that Obama would be the best choice. I was worried about our economy and Israel, and now I see that I was right to be worried. This election has made me realize that I need to be more involved in politics and read more about what our government is doing.

The economic crash has made me realize that I've been right this whole time - no one knows what they are doing and the people who are supposed to be taking care of us aren't. I will strive hard to forget that over the next year because I'm not sure how well I am doing living with that knowledge.

The continued harangue by the international press of Israel's protection of its sovereignty. I ask myself, "Why should the actions of Jews continue to be measured with an infinitely variable yardstick?"

It is hard to pick just one: The election of Barack Obama has brought hope to so many that perhaps working together we can all change things for the better in this nation. The economic recession, and my own personal financial situation, has brought new attention to matters of economy for me and has inspired me -- challenging as the process may be along the way -- to regain control of my personal finances. The No on 8 effort marked a milestone in my own life. It was the first time I had been actively involved in actually campaigning for something. Handing out material at Coliseum BART in the pouring rain to people on their way to the Madonna concert, standing shoulder to shoulder with the Yes on 8 people at High and MacArthur, attending the election night party at the St. Francis sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and finally meeting and falling in love with someone I would actually consider marrying--someone who happens to be the same gender as me--all brought new meaning and had an unprecedented impact on my life this past year.

This year we elected Obama. I've been a fan for years but never thought he'd be viable candidate. I think it's shown that people can surprise you and that change is possible.

The economic crisis. Fundraising has been difficult -- in fact, the main progressive foundation in the area lost one-third of their trust and turned us down earlier this year. Individuals aren't giving as much either. The impact goes beyond just my work; it also shakes my personal security; the budget crunch makes my own employment (and health insurance) precarious.

Two things. 1) The election of Obama. The manifestation of change. The realization that things that are seemingly impossible are in fact VERY possible. 2) The economic collapse. Witnessing that the world that I have had to enter as an adult is not the one I had been promised. It's one were the excess of the generations that preceded mine caused massive repercussions. Including: fewer work opportunities,the weakening of what it means to have a college degree, severe climate changes, the end of chivalry and a seeming decline in courtesy and compassion between people. I still have hope though, that life is cyclical, and that humanity is blessed with the incredible capacity for positive change.

such an easy question. This year was the first presidential election where the person I voted for won and the first election where the outcome was so emotional and fulfilling. It was that sort of warm feeling you get when your whole family sits down for thanksgiving and you know everyone made the decision to be there because it was important to them. That's how I felt about this election. I felt like the whole U.S. as a family decided that this thanksgiving we were going to all sit down together as a united front to give thanks and share our ideas for a better and more prosperous tomorrow.

obama's win which felt remarkable and moving coupled with the passing of prop 8 in CA- denying equal rights to glbtq people. the joy and hope of obama's win felt amazing and like we were witnessing real change. but the prop 8 news felt like we were regressing but also like there was a hierarchy of rights -and that change comes in fits and starts and waves. all this impacted how i saw myslef in the wolrd. what change did i want to be a part of? where can i be most useful?

The recession. For some reason despite my own lack of wealth, it's just made me more prone to donate, to give to beggars on the street, to buy stuff from lonely-looking shopkeepers. And it awakened my philanthropic side and got me launching Charitini, which I think could end up being my biggest accomplishment of the past year, if I give it the follow-through it deserves. A good 10Q resolution going forward.

The almost unquestioning Obama-love fest. It made me realize maybe I'm a little more jaded and conservative than I previously thought. And I guess the death of so many awesome people. Like Cronkite and Paul Newman and being inspired to leave some great mark on the world. And the death of Michael Jackson, and made me wonder why can't we as a society just let people be, and appreciate them for being awesome.

While many things have had large impacts in my life, such as the bad economy and the election of Obama, the biggest mental impact on my life has been the increased violence and narcoterrorism in Peru. I think the reason I am most upset by it, is that the people affected are already so vulnerable.

It is hard to look back on this year in terms of world events and their impact on me. Clearly, a lot has happened in world during the past year for better or worse, and only time will really tell. Perhaps the Recession has affected me the most. Some of it has been negative; watching how it affects people in need, the increase in anti-semetism, hurting smaller business'. Yet some of the Recession has affected me positively; many things are cheaper (happy hours, recession busters), DIY is becoming more popular, a lot of unnecessary developments have halted, and it makes me truly happy to watch people realize they don't NEED to consume so much.

I guess the recession has been one of the events that has impacted me this year. My friends dealt with the raging unemployment while I was living pretty comfortably (at least, financially) in India, where I had a job and an apartment and health insurance. Now, being back in the U.S., my health insurance is extremely expensive (since I'm on COBRA), I live with my mother (by choice), and work at a coffeeshop. I don't even pay for my own cell phone bill. I pay $50/month in food money to my mom, but that's it - no rent, no bills, no nothing. I'm incredibly lucky that I don't have to try to make it on my own, because I don't know if I could. The costs are high, and I don't know if I could meet this challenge. Then again, the recession is also reminding me that there are things more important than money: a good beer after a long day, a hard run when the air is crisp, my family and friends... And not a day goes by that I am not grateful for what I have.

I can't really say that anything in particular has impacted what I'm doing or at what pace I'm doing it. Political changes here and the reactive changes in world politics have only strengthened my resolve to continue on my path in hopes that I will finish before too much has changed.

Wow. This makes me realize how inward looking and internal i am. This is not my go to answer at all. I imagine i would say that Barak Obama becoming president. Though it has impacted me a little less than i may have imagined. For sure the conversation and debate on healthcare that he has spearheaded is hugely important, and as someone who currently is uninsured, after eight years of paying for coverage, it's a bizarre and interesting time. And for sure i'm not putting my name to this answer because if my parents saw that i was uninsured, they would kill me!!!

Obviously, the economic downturn - in response we have returned to thinking about what we need, not what we want, and I believe our family has gotten much happier.

The election of Barak Obama as president. The glow of smiles from strangers on the New York subway November 5 brought an intensely joyful feeling of being connected to others and celebrating the human spirit.

The world economy. I think the media plays an important role in this. If they would just shut up and focus on something other than this, I truly believe it would not be as bad as it is.

I've been so out of touch with the world that I don't honestly know how to answer this question. The Presidential election certainly affected me, but not as deeply as it should've. The recession affected me and a lot of my friends, particularly as new graduates from college flung into the work force. However, I think this should mark a resolution that I need to get out of this self-absorbed, pseudo-academic bubble and pay attention and care about the wider world again -- like I used to when I was 12!

The election of President Obama gave me a tremendous sense of hope and collectivism. I really didn't believe that our country was ready for a black president. Maybe we weren't but we are figuring it out as we go. It shows me that hope can be infectious, that people can overlook or even celebrate differences when they have a common cause.

The economy tanked. It changed my perspective and focus on what I really care about. It refined everything and made what is important even more clear.

The job market has made me anxious about my own continued employment. I am also growing disillusioned with President Obama, who I campaigned for.

It's alsmost cliche at this point, but the election of Barack Obama invigorated my sense of hope, that things can improve, that no matter how insignificant or discounted some progress may seem, it's still progress. Even the recession caused me to fight fear with optimisism. Then again, I didn't lose my job.

Global recession made me realise how fragile my job is, and any job i'll have. I can't make without God's help, without learning new things and being more honest with myself, more determined and mature.

The election of President Barack Obama (in 2008) and his inauguration in 2009 have been huge as events in my life go and the memories are still delicious. To have been in the United States for election night (after absentee voting from abroad) and to share in the glow of hope and optimism are unequaled joys.

Like other people on 10Q, I'd have to say the recession. On a surface level, it impacted my ability to find a job after finishing school, put the Fear back into everyone in a way I haven't seen since 9/11, and has (positively) reminded everyone that they don't need so much and don't have to spend so much. But on a deeper level, it swept away any illusions (like so many cobwebs) that this country (the U.S., both governmental and financial leaders) has any clue or control over its destiny. The only control people have over their lives is where they live, who they choose to work with (and in many cases, they don't have control over that), and how they choose to live their lives day to day. To be people of faith, of hard facts, of compassion or cold calculation, to give themselves to the tides of fate or to fashion themselves a sturdy craft and choose the heading themselves. It's opened the door to a fresh age of self-reliance and collaboration with our neighbors, of bootstrapping and innovation, and I'm thankful, because like many others, it was a kick in the pants I sorely needed.

The passage of Proposition 8 on the night I got engaged. It was a moment of such stark contrast between my privilege and the trampling of other people's rights. After we got married on the pier, we went back to the hotel and watched all of the poll results come in. It was almost like stepping on the glass at a wedding. It was just a reminder that in this moment of great joy, there were people who were also experiencing great suffering. We went to the rally the night after, and it compelled me to go to subsequent rallies. I felt accountable, in a way, to fight for other peoples' love to be equal and honored.

Barak Obama was elected president of the United States of America. Anything is possible!!!!

The Iraq and Afghanistan wars are still going on, and they need to stop!!

The economy. Graduating from college and entering the working world when things are crap has given me a better perspective, but I also feel as though it has given me an edge as things can only get better from here. From nothing comes everything. NEW BEGINNINGS!

The 2008 election. It made me feel part of this country - to actually care to be part of it. It made me believe that there are still good people in power that really want to help change things for the better. It made me believe in my generation.

Obama being our President is something I am thankful for every day. It's so wonderful to be proud of the person who is leading our country, rather than cringing with shame.

President Barack Obama. Maybe the world won't fall apart afterall...or maybe it will. Hopefully, this time next year, I'll be far less worried about if I'll have health-care after I turn 25.

The election of Obama, the president I have longed for all my life. The first time I ever voted for someone, instead of merely against the other guy.

The recession and having McCain lose the election. The recession has deeply effected my generation and the lives of many, and I am afraid that it's going to get much worse without McCain being in office.

As a child of this planet, everything in some way affects my life. I hope I learn something and make an impact. Nothing special comes to mind.

Attending the Obama election rally in Grant park was a powerful experience in realizing how dynamic history is and how quickly societies can evolve. It was also an interesting experience to have been a part of a 250,000 person crowd - very diverse, peaceful, and human - where we all anticipated and saw actualized something we participated in bringing about.

Seeing and hearing the deep seated racist and xenophobic thoughts of my fellow citizens is still so disappointing. But it is kinda good to see it manifest so plainly that hopefully some people will recognize the error of their ways as it's reflected in their neighbors. It solidifies me in my understanding about human nature, about white people, about history.

Barack Obama being elected president. I'm really glad he was and I'm more optimistic about America's future than I was under Republican rule. However, I am disappointed that so far he hasn't gotten shit done. But hopefully that will change soon.

Obama won the presidency. I remember crowding onto a bed with 15 other Americans in India to watch his inaguration speech. We all held hands and screamed and cried and jumped on the bed when his speach was over. I've never felt so elated about a national event...except maybe when Phelps won his 8th olympic medal when I was working at that sports bar. I can't really say his presidency has effected me personally so much. I mean, the recession sucks, but thats not really him. Now that he's president i dont really notice him. but its still cool he's there.

Obama getting elected. It opened whole new possibilities for our country that were desperately needed.

the "awakening" of the world to their own freedoms that are possible...this turmoil is scary and yet welcome...

The campaign and election of Barack Obama gave me, and others, so much hope. Finally, an intelligent, straight-forward, open-minded thinker as President. I was riding so high on the prospect of progress, and advancement of those less fortunate.

obahma!!! He scare the crap ouut of me!

Barack Obama! Even though I don't live in the US, I cried like a baby when he was elected. It gives me hope that the world is changing for the better.

I'm displeased with the way that people are objecting to the President's policies and agendas.

I guess the obvious one is Obama's election. While the afterglow is a bit more subdued now, I am still deeply inspired by his presence as the leader of our nation. It's a very novel feeling having the man in the White House embodying so much of the poetic knowledge of what the pursuit of freedom is about.

The election of Barack Obama affected me deeply. His sincerity, strength and steady humility comes at a pivotal time in our country's history. It is strange to think someone I don't even know could be so important to me.

Between the economy, the health care crisis, and all of the other pressing national issues, it has made me step back and realize that these topics transcend party lines and many of these issues are far more complex than I had often thought them to be.

Prop 8 passing. I have several friends that are gay, I know how much prop 8 meant to them. I am not a very political person however, I feel very passionately that the government should NOT be involved in our love lives. As far as the reasoning that Prop 8 should pass because kids are learning about gay marriage in school is completely lame. My question is this... What is wrong with a child learning that they can marry the person they fall in love with, black, white, brown, man or woman.

Barack Obama was elected President and I was honored to be involved in his campaign for change. For one of the first times in my life I was a part of something larger than myself, a movement that I truly believed in. I got to speak with people across the country who felt the same way I do about the state of the world, and I shared laughs and tears with these complete strangers. It was a beautiful thing to be a part of.

Like so many other people, I have to go with the candidacy, campaign, election and presidency of Barack Obama. His candidacy was proof that you don't have to wait your turn: If you have something to say, people will listen. I met some wonderful people through the campaign, and those last couple of weeks provided me with something to do when I needed it. The election reminded me that you don't have to stick with conventional wisdom. So far, his presidency has reminded me that no matter how grand your ideals are, sometimes you have to concede to reality. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though it can be awfully frustrating.

The election of Barack Obama as President of the U.S. has opened up many minds - and slammed a few more shut - but all in all it has made me very proud to be an American. Distressingly, the great recession has increased my worry and concerns about the longer term well-being of our nation, and even the world.

Obama's election to president definitely made me feel more hopeful for this country, and proud again to be an American. I hope that feeling remains. It was amazing to see the joy and excitement on the streets of DC.

The recent activity at the United Nations. It has saddened me greatly that there continues to be an avenue of hate ... where there should be a mandate of peace. I wish the United Nations would stand stronger on issue of human rights for all, and less fearful of political correctness.

USCJ has come under a substantial amount of criticism from both within and without. As a passionate Conservative Jew, I have become actively involved in promoting USCJ and Conservative Judaism.

Working to get out the vote for the election of the mayor of my city. Realizing that even a small active role, has a positive effect.

Obama being elected. I feel that the country is becoming more and more accepting of other people. I think people are looking for the best person to fit the bill

The long list of dissappearences in Colombia. It makes me sad.

God, everyone's gonna be saying this, but the election of Barack Obama. Rather than being of the party who are grumpy about not feeling we have a say in things, I now find myself in the party who face the far more difficult position of having the power to do something and not wanting to screw it up.

The economic downturn has truly affected me. I graduated with my M.A.Ed. and had hoped to find a job in Jewish education, but the number of jobs that normally are out there were not there this year. I am still looking for work.

Obama's presidency has refocused my sense of priorities in terms of politcal and social action. His vision for America is, in my opinion, contrary to what our founders envisioned. Big government, huge spending, more and more federal control, taking over health, auto and financial industries - infectious to the American spirit.

The controversy over Caster Semenya's gender really affected my views on gender and gender perception. I think it's a trial that no one should ever have to undergo to have one's most essential piece of identification questioned, studied, and paraded in front of an audience of vicious and ignorant critics. Caster handled the pressure with grace and just enough (seeming) aloofness to keep her head above the fray and her soul intact. It was at once heart-breaking and inspiring. And it definitely made me question perceptions and what it means to be male or female.

the election of president obama. regardless of whether or not you voted for him or like him, i witnessed and was a part of the first black president. i will be telling my nieces and nephews about this occasion when they are reading about in their textbooks like i read about the civil rights movement and thurgood marshall's appointment to the supreme court.

The financial meltdown. I've lost a fortune this year - 50 years of income, enough to make a huge difference in the world; that money that I lost could have made a real difference to family members and to charity. But it is just gone now - erased, no impact, a lost opportunity.

This sounds bad... but all the celebrity deaths this summer. It's depressing. Along with the economy swirling in the toilet, it's all just a little unsettling.

Obama being elected President. Made me proud to be an American. Felt relieved, hopeful, that things will change, this country will change to a place for the better where we will support each other and do more to provide for the common good. I am also happy that an African American was elected President without much ado or problems - a monumental moment, will only happen once in history!

The most important trend for this year, in my estimation, is the accelerating and expanding of consciousness of all human kind. Many chose to leave this year...they were done. Friends and superstars alike were done with this human experience, reminding us all that we are, indeed spiritual being having a human experience. And the experience is grand, no matter what.

Darfur crisis. I have been active in the local group. I believe that the highest value is life itself of all different ethnicities

It's probably lame to say that not much has impacted my daily life, isn't it? Except that being a Democrat in this last election was especially hard for me, and I know I pissed my family off on many occasions, with my cracks about Sarah Palin. I'm sorry I don't like morons, it's really not my fault.

Shooting at LGBT community centre in Tel Aviv. It made me come out in print.

The election of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli Prime Minister has impacted on me. I love so many things about Israel and its people and country are very dear to my heart, and I always hoped for the day that a moderate government would lead Israel into a two-state solution with Palestine as well as inspire a generation of moderate-thinking Israelis. Unfortunately, Netanyahu's government does not appear to be taking Israel down that path and I fear that the nation will become even more rebuked internationally but worse than that, that Netanyahu's leadership will breed a population that is even less desirous of, and hopeful for, peace with its neighbours, thus perpetuating the region's conflict.

The economic realignment of the United States. At 54 years of age, this meant the lose of my home, all of my credit, and the depletion of all of my accounts. I am moving to a new city, living in a residential hotel, and completely rebuilding my life. This is all about me, but also includes my family.

The death of Michael Jackson. It affected me by realizing knowing that he accomplished what he wanted in life & motivates me to do the same no matter what it is or how impossible it seems.

Election of Barack Obama. It made me feel even more proud to be a US citizen and it made me hopeful for the future.

An event that has affected me is the election of Barack Obama. This affected me because I learned that people really can do anything if they set their mind to it and work hard.

Obama was inaugurated. It was a very emotional time for me, because I had worked very hard on the campaign and I was actually at the inauguration. It affected me because Obama is the future of our nation, and his decisions will affect my family and me for years to come.

The Obama victory ushered in a period of hopefulness for the rejuvenation of a healthy American civil society and a return to our core democratic values. I am much more optimistic about the direction of our nation and feel more a sense of belonging again.