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Two different polls yield the same results from different perspectives

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There were two polls released this week. The first from Gallup noted that the national pride of Americans has fallen to a record low, and the second from the Associated Press found that Americans are the unhappiest in 50 years.

“American pride has continued its downward trajectory reaching the lowest point in the two decades of Gallup measurement. The new low comes at a time when the U.S. faces public health and economic crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody,” Gallup noted.

In fact, only 42 percent of adults in the United States say they are “extremely proud” or “very proud” (21%) to be American, and both readings are the lowest they have been since Gallup’s initial measurement in 2001.

The Associated Press reported that just 14% of American adults say they’re very happy, down from 31% who said the same in 2018. That year, 23% said they’d often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now, 50% say that.

That survey was conducted a few days before the riots broke out, which undoubtedly left even more people feeling angry, unhappy and alone.

Are the two polls connected?

People who are proud to be Americans should be very happy to be living in this land of immense opportunity and legal freedoms that are not afforded to citizens of many other countries.

Yet, because Americans seem focused on themselves and their wants, concerns, desires, demands and comfort, when those needs aren’t met, it’s easy for them to become depressed.

They also allow themselves to be controlled by an unhealthy obsession with news media and social media. I can only stand to be connected to both for less than 30 minutes a day.

Another key finding reported by the Associated Press was that the public is less optimistic today about the standard of living improving for the next generation than it has been in the past 25 years.

Only 42% of Americans believe that when their children reach their age, their standard of living will be better. A solid 57% said that in 2018. Since the question was asked in 1994, the previous low was 45% in 1994.

There is an old saying that there can be no vision without provision, meaning that if you are worried about money and where your next meal is coming from, it’s hard to have a vision for a better life.

I often wonder what would happen to the national mood if people simply avoided all forms of news media and social media for just 14 days.

In Proverbs 29:18, people are told where there is no revelation (vision), people cast off restraint.

A sense of purpose and diligent pursuit of vision would go a long way toward improving attitudes.

In Matthew 6:22, Jesus himself cautioned that “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

You are what you watch. If your focused on fear and negative news, you will become fearful. If you focus on positive things, you’ll get a different outlook. It really is that simple.

Apostle Paul tells us what to think about in Philippians 4:8-9:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

The choice is clear: Watch the news and get depressed and hopeless, or open God’s word and find peace.

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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