The YOLO Effect
by Levi Fox
You only live once.
This twist of carpe diem, coined by Canadian rapper Drake, has become the anthem of our culture.
In the 2013 season debut of: Saturday Night Live, hosted by Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, the comedians of New York’s finest satirically countered this debaucherous message of “YOLO.”
In comparison with this SNL digital short, the idea that “you have only one life to live” can present itself with two reactions:
One–Eat. Drink. Be merry. Repeat.
Two–Don’t waste it.
Pop culture drives you through door number one. Society propagates a worldview contrary to what is healthy and moral. Boys remain boys and do not become men. There’s no drive for uprightness. The desire for respect is lost.
Chastity is replaced by promiscuity. Principle falls to lawlessness. Honor meets humiliation. And obscenity trumps decency.
Have it your way? YOLO. Hook up? YOLO. Higher than a kite? Move to Colorado. YOLO. [in that order]
Here’s the catch: you only live once.
You have one opportunity to make a difference. One chance to succeed. One life to live.
Hedonism is not reality. So, grow up. The thought that ideas and actions bear no consequence can make for great lyrics, but, like most songs, it does not translate to life.
SNL wasn’t making a call for morality to be restored and people to take charge of personal responsibility. They certainly wouldn’t use Adam Levine for that.
In fact, they are probably mocking those who live so “uptight,” who “make no lasting impressions at all.” But, regardless of intent, the message of Epicureanism flows throughout the clip.
It is because we only have one chance to run the marathon called life that we dedicate ourselves, not looking back, but pushing towards the end.
A life without purpose is like a game without rules.
Live for something greater than yourself. Pursue worthy goals and make a difference.
Leave a legacy, not regret.
You only live once.
“It’s easy to slip through life without taking any risks–without making your life count. But life ought not be wasted.” -John Piper ‘Don’t Waste Your Life’
This article was originally published on: Counter Cultured’s: section “Pop Cultured.”
Anna Maria Hoffman