The second year of the pandemic was tougher for the world as negative experiences of people daily went up while positive experiences went down, a new released survey said.
According to Gallup's latest annual survey entitled 2022 Global Emotions Report, the world just became sadder, more stressed-out, and more worried in the year 2021, despite COVID-19's vaccination rollout and the slow progress of getting back to normal. This gave Gallup's Negative Experience Index a new high of 33% in 2021.
Adults from 122 countries and areas in 2021 were asked if they had five different negative experiences the day before taking the survey. The results were compiled and transformed into an index, where higher scores on the Negative Experience Index indicate that more negative emotions are experienced by the population.
The results stated that individuals had more negative experiences than positive ones, with 4 out of 10 respondents worldwide experienced a lot of worry at 42% of the population, and stress at 41%. Meanwhile, slightly more than 3 out of 10 respondents experienced a lot of physical pain at 31%, and more than 1 out of 4 experienced sadness and anger with 28% and 23% of the population respectively.
The experiences of stress, worry, and sadness went upward in 2021 with worry increasing 2 points and stress and sadness by a point each. However, anger dropped one point, making it one of the "bright spots" of the survey.
The Positive Experience Index, on another note, dropped for the first time to 69% after a few years of the result being stable since 2017, stating that fewer had positive experiences last year. People felt less well-rested with a 3% drop from last year and have gained less enjoyment with a decrease of 2% in the population.
'Wrong Side Of The Loom'
An article by the Christian Post, however, pushed the public to be encouraged instead of losing hope and be alongside the respondents who have positive experiences rather than negative ones.
The author of the written piece narrated a trip to Greece and Turkey, which he and his wife took for a study tour. They were able to visit a Turkish factory of rugs and were given a chance to watch the weavers at work. He described how their fingers moved so fast that it was a bit challenging to follow their hand motions and how they could work for years on a single tapestry.
Yet he said that when he focused on one weaver and on what she was creating, he was unimpressed - fabrics messily knotted, colors clashed, pattern and design not at all pretty. Then he walked around the loom where the weaver sat, and there he saw that everything was intricately beautiful and harmonious.
"You and I are living on the wrong side of the loom," declared the author, only seeing and highlighting the negative news when there is also positive information.
Take the survey, for example, it is true that the Negative Experience Index rose a notch, but it cannot be denied that still, the majority of the world has experienced positive experiences.
The article articulated, "The Negative Experience Index stands at 33, which means 67 percent of respondents are not negative about their lives. While the Positive Experience Index fell, it still stands at 69 percent."
In 2021, while 42% of adults worldwide said they worried a lot, still a majority of 58% did not. While 28% experienced sadness, 72% did not.
Moreover, the survey stated that seven out of 10 people worldwide felt well-rested, which constituted 69% of the population, experienced a lot of enjoyment at 70%, and smiled or laughed a lot at 72%. In fact, another bright spot on the survey is the 2% increase in the number of people who started smiling and laughing again a year after the pandemic struck in 2020. Nine out of 10 felt respected at 86%, while 50% learned something new last year, increasing by 1%.
John Lubbock, a British scholar, once proclaimed, "What we see depends mainly on what we look for." What is the world looking at?
Christians are needed now more than ever. Christians must help by taking away the blinders of the world's eyes so that they may see the positive, bright, hopeful side of things amidst the negativity.
Fix The Eyes And Set The Mind On Jesus
Robert Murray McCheyne, described as a "heavenly-minded man" by Scott Hubbard in his article, defined his morning devotions as a way of "giving the eye the habit of looking upward all the day." Start one's day with eyes fixed and mind set on Jesus and in whatever he/she will do and say, and in whatever he/she will encounter, this person is already looking upward, choosing Jesus and remembering His promises amidst the chaos and the sad and heartbreaking things around.
As Hubbard declared, "Our minds are most full of heaven when they are most full of Christ."
He went on to ask the readers to imagine taking a step back into the world's negativity, the society's dictatorship, and its created truths or simpler, in one's daily busyness or sadness or struggles and look at them all with one eye upward. Then he asked them if there will be any difference at all. How might one's daily personal experiences be a whole lot different if the hope of heaven is brought to the stuff of the world, "if thoughts of things above adorned our waking hours?"
As Colossians 3:2 instructed, "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."
Moreover, Hebrews 12:2 also emphasized that eyes must be fixed on Jesus, the "pioneer and perfecter of faith," which is a very important reminder to not lose sight of God whatever the world places in front of you.
Charles Spurgeon powerfully said, " "If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by 'looking unto Jesus.' Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him."
Everyone lives in the same world, and yet this world is, unfortunately, hugely divided. Author and speaker Wayne W. Dyer expressed, "Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world."