• 63°

Writer: Americans are more unhappy than ever

To the Editor:
Americans are more unhappy than ever. According to www.christianheadlines.com a recent General Social Survey shows only 14 percent of American adults say they’re very happy, down from 31 percent who said the same two years ago in 2018. That year 23 percent said they had often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now in 2020 there are 50 percent saying that. In total, fewer Americans call themselves happy than at any point since the survey began in 1972. The study agrees with research analyzing words on Twitter, which reported Americans’ happiness this summer was the lowest ever recorded. According to a report this summer by the American psychological Association, more than 70 percent of Americans say this is the lowest point in U.S. history they can remember!
COVID-19 has increased isolation and increased online time and decreased happiness. According to Jim Liebelt, “studies show as time online increased teen happiness went down.” COVID-19 increased smartphone use. According to www.christianheadlines.com, studies show depression increased after smartphones became common after 2011. Eating and spending time with family and friends 84 percent say is the happiest part of their day. Spending face to face time with and eating with family and friends has been reduced due to COVID-19. Studies show 74 percent of people who attend church are “very happy.” Church attendance is down because of COVID-19. Wearing a mask is anti-social because you can’t share a smile with family and friends!
The Bible is true when it says in the last days people would be lovers of themselves and unthankful. (2 Timothy 3) The most unhappy are young people under 30 years old. The Bible says in everything give thanks. Dennis Prager said, “You can’t be happy if you aren’t grateful, and you can’t be good if you aren’t grateful. Almost everything good flows from gratitude and almost everything bad flows from ingratitude. Ingratitude guarantees unhappiness!”
More young people than ever aren’t Christians and have only self-love and don’t have self-control and don’t have the attitude of gratitude. Your attitude is the way you think or feel about something or someone. The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes!”
The American Declaration of Independence says all are endowed with certain inalienable rights, among them the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Abraham Lincoln said we are as happy as we decide to be. We can decide to do what the Bible says and we will be happier. The most important thing to do to be happy is as Proverbs 16 says, “… and whoever trusts in the Lord (Jesus), happy is he.” The Bible says in everything give thanks, forgive, and be humble and not think too much about oneself. The Bible says do to others as you would have them do to you. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Jesus) and these other things (happiness) will be added to you. The Bible says act loving regardless of your feelings. C.S. Lewis said the more loving you act the more love you will feel. In the same way the happier we act, the happier we will feel. Christians aren’t controlled by feelings because it’s how we act that affects others not how we feel!
Christians showing joy in every circumstance is a powerful witness to the world. To the world happiness is based on happenings. Christians’ joy comes from within and is a sense of tranquility that’s not affected by circumstances. Joy is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5), a result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. Psalm 16:11 says “..in your (Jesus) presence there is fullness of joy.” The Bible in Philippians 4 says, “rejoice in the Lord (Jesus) always.” Notice the location of our joy: “in the Lord.” Not in social media, popularity, wealth, health, happiness or circumstances. If Jesus is your Savior and coming King you can experience His joy every day. When you choose Jesus, you choose joy and the happiest eternity!

D.D. Nave
Elizabethton