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I am sitting here looking through images from the NY Times 2009: The Year in Pictures. And as I reflect on the year past, I am struggling to grasp the frailty of the human condition, how we can be capable of such extraordinary displays of brutality, greed and violence but yet, at the same time, be so capable of benevolence, kindness and bravery. These photos – deforestation in Mato Grosso, Tibetan monks mourning, Iranian protesters, bombings in Afghanistan, destruction in the Gaza strip, thousands lining up for free health care and many more – are gut-wrenching, they break my heart. And in the new year fast approaching, what choices will we make?

[All images credited to the NY Times. Please see 2009: The Year in Pictures and relevant articles]