So for me the process of New Years Resolutions begins with looking back. And as this year is not just the close of a year, but also the close of a decade I really want to look back and think about where I've been and whether or not I'm the person I thought I would be.
For all of us this decade has brought great tragedy. The terrorist attacks of 9-11, the tsunami, the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina, Chinese earthquake, years long drought in Africa and many more. But it's also been a decade of great advancement. Much progress has been made in the world wide battle against HIV, we have seen the strength of a nation standing together and supporting those families that lost loved ones, we have pulled together to help with international and domestic relief efforts, and we have reached out and helped our neighbors as they have lost jobs and homes. We've started to grow our own produce, and save money, and plan more conservatively for the financial future.
At the end of this decade, I'm proud of us. Proud of us as citizens of America, and proud of us as global citizens. Yes, there are areas for improvement, but I often see my fellow Americans reaching out and doing the right thing. I have been amazed to see activists across the world push for social justice. To see the best and brightest students from my university become teachers in foreign countries, Doctors who practice medicine internationally, provide education and job services to break the cycle of prostitution in India, become lawyers fighting for human rights with International Justice Mission, to work in orphanages in Africa. I feel so honored and so privileged to know such giving people personally, and to be inspired by their choices throughout the years.