They are out there. They walk among us, and their numbers have accelerated over the past decade and especially since the beginning of COVID-19. You might even be one. Joy suckers. If you have a locked-in opinion on everything and feel an obligation to share it, you are probably a joy sucker. Here is a quick guide to see if you are a joy sucker.
If you're scrolling through your social media accounts and find an opinion, meme or joke you don't agree with and then take the time to type out a response that was not solicited, you're a joy sucker. Keep scrolling and keep it to yourself.
If you are so wrapped up in your political ideology that you must share it with everyone and you must correct anyone who doesn't think the same or make sure they are canceled, you're a joy sucker. Your willingness to lose family and friends over your self-righteousness is not only sad, but also shameful. What happened to you?
If you must go back hundreds of years to find something to be angry about and make it your "cause," you're a joy sucker. You ignore all the gains that have been made so you can wallow in self-loathing and make sure everyone knows they should be self-loathing, too.
If you think getting a vaccine is some great conspiracy and your internet research can prove it, you're a joy sucker. While I respect your right to choose, your choice is having an impact on lives and commerce. Sometimes we must do what is best for all of us.
If you're driving down the road and accidently cut someone off and don't acknowledge your mistake or if you're the person who got cut off and you yell and give the one-finger salute, you're a joy sucker. Since COVID began, I have seen folks losing their minds in traffic. It isn't worth the anger; it resolves nothing and could escalate into something it should never have been.
If you won't give someone a second chance, you're a joy sucker. This concept of once someone gets canceled by the mob, they must be canceled forever is asinine. Everyone deserves a second chance.
If you are angry because someone has something you think you deserve but don't have, you are a joy sucker. There are some strange thought processes working among generations right now. One generation blaming another for something or for being something.
If you ignore the fact that there is something going on with our climate, you're a joy sucker. Our human population didn't reach 1 billion people until 1804. Now we are at 7.8 billion. Yes, climate change has happened many times over the earth's existence, but in 40 years we have gone from predictions of the next ice age to record hot temperatures year after year.
If you suffer from any of the above, there is good news. You can change, keep an open mind and embrace even those you might disagree with. To start, turn off the national news broadcasts, limit social media exposure and learn to laugh at life and each other again. Life is too short to be a joy sucker. ♦
Michael Allen, a business and entrepreneurship professor at Spokane Community College, is a former associate athletic director at Eastern Washington University. A longtime Republican, he previously served six years on the Spokane City Council.