You Only Live Once

Posted: 04-25-2012
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It is true. You only live once. 

Recently, the internet has been flooded with pictures, posts, and videos with the word "YOLO" attached to them. "YOLO" is an acronym that stands for "You Only Live Once," a phrase that has taken on a whole new meaning of late. Most commonly, this phrase is now used to accompany or precede a series of ill-advised actions or behaviors.

College students are the most notorious of "offenders."

You all know what I mean.

A large portion of pop culture's participants are dissecting this phrase, examining its parts, and coming up with a underlying meaning that, when paraphrased, equals something similar to this: "I am only going to live once, so I better cast aside all my inhibitions and do whatever I want!" This mentality might just result in a fun night or a memorable story, but interestingly enough, some of the foremost authorities on the topic of "life" would phrase this slogan in other ways.

Famous motivational speaker and author, Gary Ryan Blair, has some insight on how we should think about our actions and behavior. "Every choice carries a consequence. For better or worse, each choice is the unavoidable consequence of its predecessor. There are no exceptions. If you can accept that a bad choice carries the seed of its own punishment, why not accept the fact that a good choice yields desirable fruit?"

Hmmm. After reading this, I seem to think that maybe "YOLO" should not be all about doing what feels good at a certain time or "living in the moment", but maybe it means something more along the lines of "make goals, strive for lasting accomplishments, and participate in something of worth."

Instead of a selfish view of "YOLO," which asks what someone can do to get attention, might I suggest an additional view of "YOLO" that expresses a desire to live life in a way that not only adds "spice" to one's life, but also adds to others' lives.

Do we really want to be remembered for our impulsive, frivolous, shallow actions? If we truly only get one chance at life, shouldn't we strive to be remembered for something of worth and substantiality?

Maybe we could be making a difference…..not making a scene.

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