“You only live once”, or YOLO, has been a calling card of the younger generation. But the phrase always confused me. It seemed to be used before doing somethign crazy or dangerous. Let’s go cliff diving….YOLO! It seems to me that if you only live once, you would be more careful, avoding things that could end the single life that you have.
More recently I’ve been thinking about the value of my life. Not in the sense that it’s so much more valuable than anyone else’s, but the value of a particular life. Humans have the capacity for causing huge good, becoming a catalyst for positive change in those around us. Just look at great men like Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, and Winston Churchill. We also have the capacity for huge pain and destruction, causing devestation to generations. Just look at Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
If you have capacity like that, for huge good, or sprawling destruction, take yourself seriously. YOLO! Think about what is most valuable, how you can serve those around you, and leave others better than when you found them. Don’t settle for a mundane existence. Don’t just live for your own comfort. Take the time to learn and grow so you can make the world better than it was before.