Are mantras like “you only live once” and songs that suggest “partying like you’re going to die young” healthy ways of viewing our time here on earth? I have recently dubbed millennials, the YOLO Generation, because their leaders, Drake and Lil Wayne, have adopted a lifestyle which seems to shun common sense and praise irresponsibility. In turn, their “disciples” seem to have little regard for their health, well being or their life, in general.
When you say, “You Only Live Once,” what does that really mean? On one hand, I interpret it to mean, “no fear.” But, sometimes fear is healthy. It is necessary to prevent us from behaving foolishly and putting ourselves and others in danger. On the other hand, it can give you the gumption or the wherewithal necessary to be wildly successful and attain your dreams without hangups, feelings of inadequacy or fear of failure.
When I heard Ke$ha’s Die Young lyrics, I cringed. I thought to myself, ‘why would anyone want to die young.’ Does “going hard” now trump longevity? With youngsters like Lil Wayne and Rick Ross suffering seizures and strokes at such young ages, it seems as though it does, at least among the YOLO Generation. When I was growing up, death was something no one looked forward to. We didn’t even talk about it, as simply the thought of it made us realize our own mortality.
Folks my age are all about their health. I know my fair share of vegans, or half-a** vegans I like to call vegatarians, HerbaLifers, Shakeologists and those who won’t even let water touch their lips if it’s not organic. Part of me wonders if my generation would benefit more from having this sort of mentality? After all, living in the moment and throwing caution to the wind makes for an exciting life.
If you say to yourself, ‘you only live once, so go talk to that guy or that girl,’ or ‘start that business,’ that’s fine. But, saying yolo to convince yourself to pop some molly eh…not so much. I want to be successful and enjoy life, but I also want to live long enough to see the fruits of my labor.
What does “living”entail? I suppose the answer is subjective, as people have varying ideas of what it means to be successful and how true happiness is attained. All I know is, I am not working hard so I can pop bottles in a club and drink myself into a coma. I am striving for success for my family, present and future, because ultimately that’s what matters to me in this life.
What is success to you? Do you work hard so you can play hard? Do you think the YOLO Generation is onto something or is their mentality as futile as it seems?