The young people are quite innovative these days, at least in terms of coming up with abbreviations and catchy sayings. Every time I go on social media, I discover that there is a new saying trending and since I am often behind, it takes me a while to find out what these sayings or acronyms mean or stand for. Over the years there has been LOL, LMAO, SMH, LO, etc.
The one that particularly got my attention was the YOLO, which has been around for some time and yes it took me a while to find out what it means, but I saw it on every platform of social media. I was later enlightened when I was informed it actually stands for “YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE”. It made me laugh at first but then I thought it is a clever way of stating the obvious. I mean who doesn’t know that you only live once on this earth? We all know death comes to all and the moment you are born you immediately start inching closer to your death.
However, there is a lot more to this phrase than meets the eye. It represents a philosophy of life that has become so common these days with the young and old alike. It is a thinking that is now influencing people’s relationships, the things they pursue in life and their actions. YOLO is the modern day equivalent of “eat, drink be merry for tomorrow we die” I have three problems with this thinking and way of life.
The first is that it assumes there is no life after death. This was the thinking behind the Greek philosophers who coined the old phrase “eat, drink be merry for tomorrow we die”. It basically says life is now and death is the end of everything, therefore don’t waste your time, you should indulge in anything you want now! This cannot be far from the truth; the scripture are ever loud and clear when they say “it is appointed for man to die once, after that judgment” So as we live here on earth we should always bear in mind that will be held accountable by the all righteous and all-knowing God.
The second issue I have with this philosophy of life is that it promotes high levels of self-centerEdness. The focus is me, myself and I. The YOLO way of life invariably leads people to do what they want, when they want, how they want to and in whichever way they want to. As long as it feels good, do it they say. Now if we all operated on how we feel, how many scandals will we have in this world? It is no wonder the levels of immorality, abuse of all forms, indecency and drug abuse have alarmingly increased. Simply because people are doing as they please. You only live once they say.
The third and biggest issue I have with this thinking is it disregards God as the creator. It assumes we just got here on earth and have the right to come up with an agenda for our lives. It’s essence suggests that we are not accountable to anyone and can do as we please while on earth. No do not get me wrong, life has to be enjoyed. In fact those who fear the Lord are the ones who have true satisfaction in life. It is them who enjoy life to the fullest because they pursue the greatest satisfaction in life. YOLO encourages the pursuit of shallow desires that never get satisfied and lives a person empty and craving for more. It is true that we only live once and have to make the most of our lives but that life should be lived with God in mind. Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. (Ecc 11:9).