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!