What Was The Moment that Most Changed You in 2013?

No matter how your year went personally, and I can attest to having had one that was nowhere near top- ten best, one can benefit to pause and wonder at some of the strides humanity has made within the boundaries of the last twelve months.

The bombing in Boston held a mirror to the heart and soul of a city. Rallying round Boston, the whole of the nation and much of the world upheld the city’s corporate pain, the individual stories of heroism and the coup de gras of the Red Socks skyrocketing from cellar status to winning the world series.

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Amazing what motivation and support can ignite.

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A Pakistani teenager became the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. The sixteen year old attacked by the Taliban rose to international prominence as a champion of education. “I have the right to education. I have the right to play. I have the right to speak up,” said Malala.  After posing her wish, “I want to become a doctor,” she dropped her head into her hands and wiped away tears of doubt. In her country such a wish may well be met by assassination.

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Her survival has triggered a huge movement around the world. Every girl has the right to an education. Malala speaks with wisdom and courage. “There are many more people that I need to help. I am here to speak up for the right of education for every child. They thought that the bullet would silence me, but they failed. They thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, fervor and courage was born.”

Her father is rightfully proud. “The way she spoke—I think it is amazing. Her life is a miracle. Now I am not the only person who owns her as a daughter. She is a daughter of the world.”

“Life is always dangerous. You must not be afraid. You must move forward.” – Malala

Malala has sent forty young girls to school through her fund (Malalafund.org) and says it is only the beginning. “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”

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What an unlikely choice to ascend to the highest position in the Catholic Church. When Pope Francis stood on Saint Peter’s balcony in humility asking for the people of the world to pray for him, the arc of the largest church, one point two billion Catholics around the world, was shifted by this first ever Jesuit Pope. We are in for a new day at the Vatican. Shattering the caricature from dour and judgmental to welcoming, eight five percent think he is moving the church in the right direction. He is the world’s parish priest, taking selfies and downplaying the church’s focus on social issues. Equality, a church for the poor, and denunciation of money as an end; Francis is drawing criticism. Be careful if the world is saying only good things about you. You just might leave a real positive mark, uplift, inspire and touch hearts.

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Time magazine’s person of the year, Francis shuns being the center of attention. “Who am I to judge?” he said when asked about gay priests.

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Edith Windsor never expected in her lifetime to have the opportunity to have her Canadian marriage to the woman she had loved for forty two years recognized in the United States, so she sued to make it so. “I was terrified,” she said, but when the United States Supreme Court ruled in her favor, she cried. Her partner, Thea Spyer, never lived to see this victory in the arena of the human right to love whom you love and declare it, to have that union protected legally.

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Edith knows her partner would be proud to know she is at the forefront of helping gain broader support for same sex marriage.

Re: knowing you are gay from birth, yet disavowing it: “You see that the sky is blue, but keep having to say that it is red.” – Jason Collins

Full benefits have been extended to same sex military spouses. DOMA has been struck down and state after state is ratifying the right for gay people to marry. Two professional athletes have come out while still in the prime of their careers. Civil rights/ human rights move forward.

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In spite of the glitchy roll out of healthcare.gov, hundreds of thousands of Americans are able to get healthcare coverage who either could not afford it in the past or who had a preexisting condition that precluded coverage. Talk about the fulfillment of a basic human right.

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The FDA will now require trans fats to be phased out of our food supply— “No longer considered to be safe.”

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Increasing reports of people who have been functionally cured of AIDS–hopeful.

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The spotlight on food as medicine is shifting the focus on drugs as the way toward health and a cure to lifestyle as prevention and cure.

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Moving a pill-as-fix society away from this simplistic band-aid mentality and toward a natural cure for most of our modern afflictions such as diabetes, cancer and obesity is in the mass media pipeline via Dr. Mehmat Oz, Dr Mark Hyman and many others who regularly guest spot on Oz and other media avenues.

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A fond and grateful farewell to Nelson Mandella who inspired people around the world to move toward inclusiveness. We had the opportunity to focus again on his life’s efforts and reflect on how very far we have come. The spark of humanity glows brighter.

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No matter what you think of royalty, a young couple in love delivering their first child is a heart-lifting event. No truer than when it happens at a time and in a country that has been in the dredges of a recession far too long. The dawn of new life illumines hope.

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Celebrities got painful reminders that what they say, can and does affect not only their career, but the entire superstructure surrounding them. Moral of the story? If your celebrity does not hinge on politics or opinion, best keep yours to yourself.

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Edward Snowden may be ultimately found guilty or innocent of being a traitor, but his exposure of extensive spying procedures has sparked a long overdue global debate on the needs of the few versus the needs of the many.

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As we move past the triskaidekaphobia-inducing year thirteen and into the even 2014, may we all look toward the sunrise with hope and pride in humanities continuing struggle toward inclusion, tolerance and love.

What was the moment that most changed you this year?

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