So far, 2012 has been a very eventful year that has brought its fair share of natural disasters, foreign conflicts, an outspoken presidential election, and much more. But as the year is coming to a close, it's time to look back and reflect on the lows and the highs. Currently, Time magazine is in the process of choosing their Person of the Year. Here are the contenders. And where I think they weigh in:
1. Malala Yousafzai:
The inspiring story of this Pakistani rights activist has swept the globe. Malala Yousafzai is a 15-year-old activist from Swat, Pakistan, a region that is heavily conflicted and controlled by the Taliban. She gained recognition for her outstanding efforts to promote peace and education for women despite hostile conditions at home. Earlier this year, Yousafzai was attacked by the Taliban on a bus on her way home and was shot in the head. Since the attack, Yousafzai is slowly recovering and her story has inspired a national UN holiday and gained a lot of media attention. She is my top pick for Time’s Person of the Year. Yousafzai’s story is not only inspiring, but it gives the rest of us hope that we can make a difference by simply being passionate and working towards making a better community against all odds. Her courage and generosity at such a young age is a reminder to all of us that we can impact humanity in big ways even with very little at hand.
2. New Media:
New media has revolutionized the world of communication. I am not just talking about our Facebook check-ins at Starbucks or our favorite celeb tweets. I am talking about how interconnected we have all become as a result of social media tools. New media has become the vehicle that reports news first and gives all of us a voice. Remember the Egyptian revolution? The best first hand reporting came from Twitter. How about the presidential election? That’s how big bird became cool again. This constant exchange of information and communication is leading to a better-informed global dialogue. It is going to be interesting to see if at some point it will need to be curated or limited because of the extent it has already impacted our lives.
3. President Barack Obama:
After a much heated and media-frenzied presidential election, President Obama has been reelected for a second term in office. There has been a lot of skepticism about the last four years and what our president has accomplished. I think this is a bunch of malarkey! The presidential election itself has proven that our nation believes in President Obama. Obama has even had pretty good numbers with the youth vote in both elections. Also, President Obama has managed to break records and move mountains in areas of legislation, he keeps up appearances and reminds us he is also human, and four more years will allow him to fully implement all his plans. It will not be an easy ride with divided government, but if anyone can make strides, Obama is the man for the job.
4. "Mother Earth:"
This year, Mother Earth has definitely shown us that she is a force to be reckoned with. At the turn of the century, scientists began to warn us of something called global warming and how we need to conserve the Earth’s natural resources. While efforts have been made in this direction, not enough has been done. As a result, we are now facing unpredictable weather patterns, long periods of droughts, and more natural disasters.
This year, women have been talked about over and over again. We saw a good number of women being elected into office at home and abroad, an increase in women leaders and activists, and the emergence of new feminist movements. All this talk about women clearly means that there is something brewing. Is there still an unsettled score?
While these are great contenders, I really hope Time Magazine picks a person instead of the cop-outs.