Twenty-eight percent of Americans are satisfied with the direction the country is taking -- a two-year high, says a Gallup poll. But what do individual American stories tell us? Here's one perspective.
FIRST PERSON | The poll shows we're moving in the right direction, but it's still not something to be proud of. To me, that poll proves what I already know by talking to friends, family and coworkers: The vast majority of Americans know we need to change what is happening in this country.
People around me seemed to be a bit more satisfied about the country last month. Their increased satisfaction seemed to be linked to the price of gasoline within my area. When they paid less at the pumps, they were more satisfied. It was an immediate economic change that they could feel good about.
The change from 20 percent to 28 percent satisfaction would be an exciting move in the right direction if other factors that would continue to soothe the people's fears came along with it.
Unfortunately, just like with the volatile nature of gas prices right now, satisfaction is bound to change. Now that the gas prices have come back up, that fleeting satisfaction of my friends, family and coworkers has already begun to wane. The issues of job security, rising health care costs due to policy changes and the economy in general now trump any talk of this country going in a more positive direction at the water cooler.
Right now in my area, I don't see satisfaction increasing for the long term anytime soon.