YOLO…You Only Live Once…

I swear I want to punch the next youngun clean in the throat the next time I hear one of them spew that damn saying.  Why?  Because that ridiculous catch phase is doing them more harm than good and sadly, they’ll never truly know, appreciate, or understand the weight of what they’re saying. 

Yes, while it’s true, we only live once; however, the most insightful thing is that it’s the quality of the life we have is what counts and makes a difference.  It’s not the indifference, apathy, and self-appointed societal status that means a damn thing.  I’m sure if forced to write their own obituary, they’d have little really worth writing about save for how many so-called Facebook “friends” they have or how many followers on Twitter or Instagram.  So few actually place value on tangible things and instead favour material possessions to be their life’s value.  The examples they follow teach them nothing about true wealth, values, and aspiring to be someone other than a thug, hoe, groupie, or gold diggers.  So many would rather aspire to be ballers, shot callers, or baby mammas, than something that will have credible worth or merit.  And to further compound this mountain of mess are the many adults they see around them who are not great examples for them to follow. 

Grown men and women are acting much like their juniors and find it acceptable to conduct themselves in such a fashion.  Kids these days are placing their values in (un)reality shows, relationships as disposable as a Bic razor, and images of their worth being no greater than standing in line to purchase a pair of LeBron’s for $315  or Designer Du Jour’s outfit of which will mean nothing once the next “hottest” thing comes on the market. 

While on the campus of my alma mata where I spend time mentoring, I saw many students with the new iPhone and wondered how these broke ass college kids can afford to stay current with such a thing.  Meanwhile, I’m a grown ass woman with a job who is currently using a phone with a couple of cracks in the screen being held at bay from spreading with a screen cover adhered to it.  This is the sort of thing that appalls me, which is the basis of the YOLO generation.

Being the parent of an only child who in truth never wanted for a thing, still had to earn the things she got.  Vacations in and out of the country were traveled resulting from good grades and good behaviour.  Allowance was given not because she did her chores, but because she did them without being forced to.  Coach bags were gifts at Christmas, making the Honour Roll, milestone birthdays, or other such measurable events and/or accomplishments.  Kids these days get the aforementioned ‘just because’.  Where’s the value being taught?

As a parent, mentor, and role model, I strive to educate the importance of having and living a life worthy of being told and shared for years to come and not be the “it” thing of the moment or day.  I encourage those young men and women to want quality not quantity and to place value in themselves and those they call friends.  It’s important that they see there is more to life than material possessions that are easily taken for granted when the novelty wears off or can be lost, repossessed, or stolen as quickly as they were gained.  As a parent, mentor, and role model, want to be an example worth following.  I want to educate our youth to have aspirations that will give then something to show for their lives so when their obituary is read, the dash between their sunrise and sunset to have substance. 

YOLO needs to be more than a catch phase; it needs to be qualitative in every aspect of our lives or what’s the point?  Personally, I feel it’s a slap in God’s face to abuse that which He’s blessed us with and I don’t want to stand in moral judgment of others as I know I’ve done some less than stellar things in my day, but as the sage Maya Angelou said, “when we know better, we do better” and that’s what I’ve done for myself.  It’s on that premise I stand when I speak to our youth about the true meaning of YOLO.  I can only hope and pray they take heed before it’s too late.

That is all!

13 thoughts on “YOLO…You Only Live Once…

  1. Oh yes.

    It’s interesting that you wrote this because earlier this week I asked someone what YOLO means. She laughed and said it’s an excuse for some women to act like whores. The older I get, the more out of touch I sometimes feel……that’s why I downloaded that Urban Dictionary app on my iPhone.

    • LOL@ downloading the Urban Dictionary app. Jokes aside, I definitely understand where you’re coming from Reggie. Given the fact that I have a 20 year old daughter and I mentor on campus, I hear a lot of the current slang or whatever you want to call it and I ask what it means to them since it’s terms of their generation. In some instances, I just laugh; however, in this one, I can’t because their interpretation is lost in translation.

      I’ve been fortunate to have changed the mindset of some who thought YOLO was a good thing in their lifes development, but sadly there are many who will fall into the negative abyss resulting from it.

      I continue to pray for the youth. *sigh* 😕

  2. Reg, I feel ya on that one. When these two are out of the house, I’m gonna age 10 years in 10 seconds. I know the slangs and songs of today because of them.

  3. I’m 29 and if anyone catches me saying some simple simon shit like that please slap me.

    These new terms bug me and I swear I hate when I hear grown people say that. LOL

    I’m with you on this one!!

  4. Bravo. Well said.

    As someone who’s had the same discussion recently I am reminded of the fact that one generation paves the way for the next. But somehow I feel differently about much of the current generation and the things being witnessed on a regular.

    Like you’ve stated, there is an apathy that has quietly settled within the spirits of so many. And it’s gotten to the point where I no longer care to “school young brothers and sistas on how to peep game.” I find myself trying to avoid these “suicide bombers” as much as I can, as often as I can.

    YOLO can only be a mantra to those who’re not planning to live long.

    Good read Blu.

    • Applause to you Don for your comment and I couldn’t agree more; save for my remaining hopeful; at least to and for some youth that they will be and do more for themselves and not continue to fall for the okey doke.

      “Suicide bombers” is deep and REAL!

  5. Blu, what a great and meaningful post. I salute you on your efforts to educate the young minds of this world. Some of them, (most) haven’t learned how valuable their life and freedom is until faced with the possibililty of not having either. They can throw that phase around, but have no idea of what it really means. Take a homeless person, who lives his day in and day out in the street, going place to place to eat. Finding or perhaps not finding shelter in the eve. Worried about whether he/she will face another day. Wishing and praying and possibly working towards a second chance. No YOLO here. Or even the inmate, done wrong or simply accused wrong. Justice in this country doesn’t mean you’ve actually committed a crime, just accused. This young man or woman is sitting in a cell right now, free from every freedom they could have imagined. Wondering where they went wrong and WHY! Hoping and praying for a second or maybe even a third chance. Believe me, there is no YOLO in their life, thoughts or prayers… their aim is to LIVE, LOVE as GOD intended. YOLO is a sad statement of those who feel defeated, but those who place their hearts and beliefs in GOD will LIVE FOREVER!

    • PREACH sis! You have punctuated this post with your insightful comment. Life is lost on a great portion of our youth and it’s sad to think of the legacies they ignore and abuse from their foremothers/fathers.

      As I said to Don, I want to remain hopeful that some will be a positive impact to society and their own futures. I remain hopeful because I think I’ve done well in raising Lil Lady to be something more than just a pretty face and want her future children to have a legacy they can and will appreciate because I’ve remained diligent in striving to do and give of myself and resources. Trust me sis, it isn’t easy, but I have to do something…anything.

      I’d so like to be on a panel discussion with some of the rappers, ballers, proud bitches/hoes, to ask them face to face if they truly believe in the bullshit and hype their selling and if they realize the negative impact they’re behaviour and lyrics are promoting. Better yet, ask if they know, understand, and appreciate what THEIR foremother/fathers have lived, fought, and died for in order for them to be in the positions they are now.


      The best I can do for this generation and sadly; sometimes my own, is to be the best person I can be, show and lead by example, and positively touch their lives.

  6. Kids do use phrases and other excuses to do stupid things. It shows the level of maturity and inteligence of these kids. Kids will make mistakes but when they make up things like this to explain their stupid behavior, then they have lost their way.

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