By Madison Waldie Posted May 30, 2012
According to rapper, Drake, ‘The Motto’ for people to live their lives by is, YOLO, or you only live once. Recently people have been taking this catchy acronym to a whole new level. Their excuse for using illicit drugs and consuming massive amounts of alcohol is YOLO. Unprotected, unsafe sex, sharing needles, driving recklessly, and living an ‘invincible’ lifestyle are all justified by those four meaningless letters, YOLO.
If young people were using YOLO as an excuse to live a more fulfilling life that would be one thing, but unfortunately YOLO is being used to explain and make sense of the opposite. Deciding to donate to good causes, be more considerate towards others, and always striving to be the best you can be, are ways to live a rewarding life and say, ‘YOLO.’
What do you think would happen if every teenage person in our nation lived these unsafe and unstable lifestyles? This generation would not be prepared for the future that they hold. It might sound cliché or over-used, but our generation is responsible for the next two generations. We hold the future of the United States in our hands.
Sadly, many people have fallen into the tight fist of rappers like Lil’ Wayne, Drake, and Soulja Boy. These men have said things like, “**** the FBI and the Army troops,” and “I don’t do too many [drugs]. I just smoke weed and drink. It’s not about the bad high; it’s just about the acne: Cocaine makes your face break out. I’m a pretty boy,” in their songs and interviews.
Listening to these artists’ music and enjoying it is fine if you can enjoy it, but trying to live the lifestyle that is portrayed is unsafe and dangerous. No one realizes that a life full of ‘Purple Drank’ is not going to end well.
If people like Mother Teresa and Oprah were on our iPods instead of this inane nonsense that beats through the subwoofers in our cars, I know that people would think about their lives and actions differently, but that isn’t realistic. Until Oprah drops her first motivational mix-tape, the line between what happens in the studio and reality needs to be established. The line that establishes the difference between hard work and determination leading to success and not drugs and alcohol.
It is one thing to have fun and live in the moment, but once it becomes unsafe and a threat to your well-being and the lives around you, it’s not okay. No one is invincible, and if you are going to say YOLO, say it in the correct way. Don’t use it as an excuse to throw your life away, but as a reminder that you do only live once, so don’t screw it up.