Americans High On Optimism

July 12, 2021

A couple of whimsical, near-nonsensical items this afternoon which in the face of our current reality, should make one feel better, if just for a moment or two.
Hope in the time of the virus:

Despite a shitload of problems nowadays, a big chunk of Americans somehow can take the edge off the cut and feel good about stuff, and oddly the best they’ve felt in years — results from Gallup last week:

The percentage of Americans who evaluate their lives well enough to be considered “thriving” on Gallup’s Live Evaluation Index reached 59.2-percent in June, the highest in over 13 years of ongoing measurement and exceeding the previous high of 57.3-percent from September 2017.
During the initial COVID-19 outbreak and economic shutdown, the thriving percentage plunged nearly 10-percentage points to 46.4-percent by late April 2020, tying the record low last measured during the Great Recession.

For its Life Evaluation Index, Gallup classifies Americans as “thriving,” “struggling” or “suffering” according to how they rate their current and future lives on a ladder scale with steps numbered from 0 to 10, based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale.
Those who rate their current life a 7 or higher and their anticipated life in five years an 8 or higher are classified as thriving.

In a broader context, according to the Gallup State of the Global Workplace: 2021 report, the percentage of U.S. workers considered to be thriving was estimated at 58-percent based on 2018-2020 data collection, which ranks 14th when compared with 18 Western European countries plus Canada.

The percentage of Americans estimated to be “suffering” has remained steadily low throughout the pandemic and in line with pre-COVID estimates.
In June, 3.4-percent of respondents were classified as suffering.

Significant daily enjoyment has also markedly improved, although to a lesser degree than the declines seen in worry and stress.
In 2018-2019, about 80-percent of U.S. adults reported significant enjoyment the day before, which plunged to 61% at the onset of the pandemic.
By June, enjoyment was back up to 73-percent of the adult population.

People always try to have hope, burns eternal, I’m told.
And the idiocy of the time-frame: ‘Donald Trump blasted President Joe Biden’s handling of the border crisis in his remarks at 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference action committee saying he is “bringing the country to the brink of ruin.”

Remember, 47-percent or there-abouts, of Americans voted and will-vote-again for the T-Rump.

And this story has good-feelings all over it. A kind of hope-filled, optimistic view of romantic love, of how it really shoud be — via Psych News Daily today:

A new study published today in Social Psychological and Personality Science finds that two thirds of romantic couples started out in a platonic relationship.
This “friends-first” initiation of romance is often overlooked by researchers.
Examining a sample of previous studies on how relationships begin, the authors found that nearly 75-percent focused on the spark of romance between strangers.
By contrast, only 8-percent centered on romance that develops among friends over time.

“There are a lot of people who would feel very confident saying that we know why and how people choose partners and become a couple and fall in love, but our research suggests that is not the case,” said lead author Danu Anthony Stinson of the University of Victoria in Canada.
“We might have a good understanding of how strangers become attracted to each other and start dating, but that’s simply not how most relationships begin,” she said.

All in all, 68-percent reported that their current or most recent romantic relationship began as a friendship, versus for example meeting at a party or online.
There was little variation across gender, level of education, or ethnic groups. But the rate of friends-first initiation was even higher among 20-somethings and within LGBTQ+ communities.
In those groups 85-percent reported that their relationship began as a friendship.

Meanwhile, back to reality…

(Illustration out front: Salvador Dali’s ‘Hell Canto 2: Giants,’ found here).

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