Those who are up to speed with science, the ways of nature and even most religions are fully aware of the fact that we are all given just one life.
How we end up being what we are, who knows. But I think we can all thank our lucky stars that we were born as humans, and not rats, or ants, or fruit flies. I mean, humans live 80 years, often more. Fruit flies are lucky to live 80 seconds. How is that fair? #fruitflyproblems
So therefore, since we have just one life to live, I think it goes without saying that we must embrace it. We must live it up to the fullest. Carpe diem.
Most people should know that. However, just in case they did not — there is now a phrase (or rather an acronym) to remind us.
You. Only. Live. Once.
I have absolutely no clue what the origins of this term are. But a quick Wikipedia search tells me that it was popularized by the Canadian child-actor turned gangster-rapper, Drake, in his 2011 song “The Motto.”
First and foremost, I think it’s fairly obvious why the term became popular. It’s the same reason why Google and Yahoo dominate the Internet. It’s because it’s a catchy and cute sounding word. “YOLO!” is just fun to say. There’s no getting around that.
But as I delve deeper into my further analysis of the word, it becomes more difficult because I have mixed feelings. How can I so openly bash people for embracing a term that send a very positive life message? In the age of “FML,” it’s refreshing to see a trend that actually stands for the exact opposite.
However, it’s become clear that some people are taking it overboard. I’ve seen people wear shirts that don the phrase. Ones like this:
Because just in case you weren’t familiar with the acronym, the shirt kindly spells out it. Side note — what happens when two separate people meet who are both wearing YOLO shirts… AT THE SAME TIME. Does the world keep going?
I’ve seen license plates with the motto on it. However, I suppose if a cop catches you speeding, you can simply defend yourself by shrugging, lowering your sunglasses and shouting, “YOLO!” You’ll probably still get a ticket though. And will have to appear in traffic court. And we all know how much fun it is to wait in line at the DMV in the early morning. YOLO!
Finally — although I have yet to see it in person (thank God) — I have seen Internet images of people who have actually acquired tattoos with the word “YOLO.” That’s right — they’ve thought long and hard about what insignia they wish to desecrate their body with, and will have to live with for the rest of their life, and they settled upon YOLO. Well, I can’t deny that they are certainly abiding by the phrase.
But aside from that, I think YOLO is actually a pretty fun word to incorporate into your regular vernacular, as long as you don’t use it too seriously. Of course, it means nothing if you don’t shout it harmonically and put extra emphasis on each syllable.
And the phrase could also be adjusted to fit accordingly to different people/animals/entities/substances:
YOLA! You only live always! (Those who believe in reincarnation)
YOL9! You only live nine [times]! (Cats)
YOLK! You only live kinda! (Plants)
YOLS!: You only live sometimes! (Sperm)
YOLB! You only live backwards! (Benjamin Button)
Not quite as catchy as YOLO, but it works. It works. And of course, there are those who lose their innate right to say “YOLO,” like those who commit suicide or those who decide to have an abortion. You may maintain the right to choose — but you lose the right to YOLO.
I do understand why people are becoming wearisome of the word, though. I do hear a lot of complaints and I do understand it. But I think that’s also a case of generations despising the generations before them.
A fact of life is that every generation thinks that their generation was the best, without question. They think, “we listened to the best music, we had the best TV shows and cartoons, and we wore the best clothes.” We scoff and shake our heads at what younger people enjoy — Justin Bieber, Twilight, and now, YOLO.
But I don’t know about you guys, I’d take YOLO over Kristen Stewart and the Biebs any day of the week.
Alright, before I go, I should point out that the U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team plays tomorrow against Japan in the gold medal match. The game will air at 2:45 EST on one of the seven thousand NBC channels. (NBCYOLO?)
The U.S. was propelled into the finals after Alex Morgan scored the game-winning goal to defeat Canada the other day. And there is never — NEVER — a bad time to show images of Alex Morgan.
God bless her soul. Her talent and beauty is so overwhelming that it may actually inspire me to watch women’s soccer tomorrow.
But hey, you know what they say. YOLO!