The Timeless Wisdom of.. YOLO

“You Only Live Once” - YOLO 

So many youths (and adults too) use the phrase above (in fact, it’s past it’s prime and may even be considered by Gen Z to be passé - pretty ironic), usually to justify reckless behavior and risk-taking. LIVE IT UP, they say, as they down additional pints of alcohol or skip work and spend irresponsibly. 

Yet, how many people truly realize the timeless wisdom that is embedded in this statement?? 

It is reminiscent of Memento Morí (Remember you will die), from the action-based philosophical branch of Stoicism that was popular over 2500 years ago with Marcus Aurelius and Plato as famous practitioners; of the Buddhist and Mindfulness principle of Impermanence, of the Confucian saying “We all have 2 lives, the second of which begins when we realize we only have 1”. 

It seems that with YOLO, the media and pop culture machine is doing its job at keeping people more focused on a culture of immediate gratification, consequence-less thinking and blind consumerism. 

YOLO could be so much more - It could remind us all that we, along with our actions and thoughts, are insignificant in the greater scheme of the universe. 

Our worries, our fears of death and illness, our ego, our petty disputes all pale in comparison to the LIFE we’ve been given. A LIFE that can be spent changing the world, finding purpose, building community, channeling awareness and positive action instead. 

How are you utilising the phase YOLO in your lives? 

Memento Mori, 

my sweet Nori. 

Remember you will die, 

my pretty butterfly. 

Born to blossom, 

bloom to perish. 

Why isn’t it life 

but riches 

that we cherish?

#yolo #philosophy #mindfulness


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