1. Malala Yousafzai
This young Pakistani girl was tragically wounded by a Taliban attacker because she was fighting for the right of young women to have an education. In many ways, she has come to represent all the children in the world from the poor to even the young victims of the Newtown shootings. All over the planet children are fighting for their future, to free themselves from slavery, seeking education and teaching us adults bravery and courage.
2. President Barack Obama:
This was the President's finest year from taking a tough stand on marriage equality, to fighting for economic justice. Refusing to bend to the political winds he stuck to his guns and managed an impressive election victory.
3. Senator Elect Tammy Baldwin:
By being the first open LGBT American elected to the United States Senate she symbolizes the huge year of victories for the LGBT community. With four major wins on ballot measures, four new openly LGBT persons elected to Congress and marriage equality going mainstream, Baldwin's historic victory makes her the logical choice for number three.
4. Climate Change:
In a year where the United States was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, an extreme drought, wildfires in the West and floods, the reality of climate change is finally beginning to be taken seriously not only by the American people but by those in government.
5. Queen Elizabeth:
While the world moves forward in seeking answers to complex questions, there was something very special about reminding ourselves of our past and traditions that have survived over the years. Queen Elizabeth with her Jubilee and the Olympics has been a steady and powerful presence in our lives over her years of rule. Here is to tradition and her grace.