YOLO (you only live once) is the modern-day version of carpe diem (Latin for “seize the day”). To me, “carpe diem” means to take advantage of what life brings and don’t waste time; kind of an anti-procrastination, anti-laziness slogan. It also means to enjoy life, because, yes, you do only live once. We’re not cats, after all.
But YOLO has a different connotation to me. “You only live once” so go and do whatever you can possibly get away with doing, no matter how stupid, dangerous, or foolish it is. It’s like a disclaimer of sorts. “We got drunk and went driving on the interstate, but hey – YOLO.” “I totally banged this girl I only knew for three hours, but it’s whatever – YOLO.”
In a way, it makes me think of the entitlement mentality that I wrote about last week. Because “you only live once,” you are therefore entitled to do all kinds of stupid things. I think that if “you only live once,” you should take extra care to not do things that might potentially screw up your life. But that could just be my old-fashioned “darn kids, get off my lawn” mentality.
In short, seize the day, but don’t grab the day around the neck so hard you choke the life out of it.