What does the phrase ‘You Only Live Once’ conjure in your mind? Is it the possibility of being limitless or the adventure associated with brevity or the recklessness?
The expression usually attempts to justify the attempt of things that one wouldn’t normally do. It was catapulted into the social media hotspot by one of the rappers’ songs – ‘The Motto’ and has soon found its way in various magazines, talk shows and social media highlights and hashtags. It made its existence in the official vocabulary after being listed in the Oxford Dictionary in the year 2014. Obama, the former US President used the word in the year 2015 making it a viral trend, encouraging people to enroll in healthcare insurance.
The meaning of YOLO is somewhat similar to the forbears Carpe Diem, Just do it and the phrase C’est La Vie.
YOLO – a 2 syllable and the 4 letter term referred to living a life full of enjoyment and adventure, something that may involve taking risks as well.
The statement that justifies the reckless behavior, brash decisions and celebrates the absence of remorse.
The catchy acronym has been under criticism, notably after the statement by an aspiring rapper Ervin – “Drunk going 120 drifting corners #YOLO”, a few minutes before losing his life in a car accident along with 4 others. An article by the Huffington Post mentioned it as the ‘worst word’ of 2012 and even went forward in asking the readers to help to get it disappeared.
Even if the word may disappear from the lexicon; the ideology and the expression will come forward in a different phrase or in any other clever acronym and may emerge to be popular again, for at the heart of it, YOLO is the perennial belief that this life is all that it, and we can, rather we should, do whatever we want in this life and give no or little thought to the consequences.
Are we being overly jittery about the influence of it?
Even if most of us may treat it as a joke or not-so-serious expression, there may be some value in verifying the assumptions that it may make about life. If we do live only once, is YOLO the right orientation of making the best out of our resources in life, or to simply spend our lives?
That being said, many do believe that we do not usually choose how and when we die just like we didn’t choose when, where and how we were born.
What happens afterward, is even more contentious (reincarnation, annihilation, etc.)