Opinions: Politically Correct?: YOLO…?

The phrase “YOLO” (you only live once) seems to be fizzing out. Even though the weird kiosks in the mall still sell neon shirts with YOLO in printed in black, I don’t hear anyone using YOLO as justification for drinking expired milk anymore.

I had almost completely forgotten about the phrase until my half-sister texted me last week telling me of her friend who had just passed away after a life of heavy drinking and smoking. She said that this friend lived by the phrase “Live for today; you might die tomorrow” (perhaps a classier version of YOLO).

My sister left me with one question, should we live for today? And if we do, is the philosophy all-encompassing?  If I’m living for today should I blurt out how much gum chewing bothers me every time poeple put a gum in their mouths? Should I eat my favorite food, a large french fries, for every meal? Should I wear my Hello Kitty footie pajamas to school everyday because I’m too lazy to pick out an outfit?

After stewing over this concept for a week I turned on my Saturday Night Live recording. Turns out that they tackled the idea of YOLO on their Digital Short for the week.

Instead of having YOLO as justification for doing crazy stunts, SNL turned it around and sang about why you shouldn’t do anything because you only live once. They referred to YOLO as “the battle cry of our generation.” And at one point they rapped, “There’s no such thing as too much Purell. It’s a cautionary tale. Ask George Orwell.”

Even though I giggled at the Digital Short, it made me think.

My sister’s friend who passed away was a police officer and probably had seen it all, but even then she apparently felt as if she could live anyway she liked, even self destructively. She viewed each day as its own lifetime.

I’ve seen many people my age also using YOLO as a justification for drinking and acting irresponsibly.

If Amy Winehouse had known she would die at such a young age with such an incredible future ahead of her would she still have lived so recklessly? I’m a big Amy Winehouse fan, and I wish she would have gone to rehab.

On the contrary, YOLO could be taken in terms of SNL’s silly interpretation. Because you only live once, you shouldn’t do anything, people who cherish life so much they risk nothing: never sled down that semi-dangerous hill, never push their creative limits and maybe write a poem and never risk that midnight kiss like in When Harry Met Sally.

I believe that life is a balance. I won’t live like Amy Winehouse because every moment is cause and effect. And I’ll make sure to always take that extra chance.

Every moment that I live will affect my tomorrow; whether it’s good or bad. But even then, the best moments in my life so far have been the spontaneous ones.

Next time someone gets out gum I might ask for a piece and start a conversation. I might eat french fries for a meal next Friday night and be extrememly satisfied. I might wear my footie pajamas until noon on Sunday to keep my comfortable sleepy vibes through out the day.

So I think my new philosophy is Y.S.C.T.B.T.A.T.: you should cherish today but think about tomorrow.