I know, I know, the whole internet has mocked this “YOLO” thing to death by now. I’m sick of it too. But one of the recent snarky criticisms I saw got me thinking of another kind of snarky criticism I haven’t actually seen anyone make yet … which, of course, is where I come in! (cue superhero music)
Paul thinks he’s being clever by offering this helpful suggestion to Buddhists and Hindus who might be using the catchphrase, “You only live once.” He’s certainly correct in his observation — if you believe reincarnation happens to everyone, you have to be pretty silly and oblivious not to notice the blatant contradiction. However, I’m going to hazard a guess that a pretty small fraction of the people who have ever said “YOLO” (or used it to justify promiscuity, or used it to get detention, or gotten it tattooed on the inside of their lip) are Buddhists or Hindus. In fact, assuming we’re talking primarily about the English-speaking world here, my guess is that a majority of them are Christians.
The thing is, it isn’t any less hypocritical for a Christian to be YOLO-ing all over town. Christians don’t believe you only live once; they believe they each have an infinitely long life after this one (which is why it’s called the afterlife) in either heaven or hell, depending on
how good you are what you believe how good you are and what you believe whether you were baptized oh, who even knows. The point is, living more than once is a big part of what Christianity means, by any sensible definition of the word.
For those of you who actually do believe that this one life is all we have — and I’m with you on this, of course — I’d like to caution you against doing those irresponsible things that most of the YOLO crowd appears to be into. If you only have 100 years, tops, to experience life, don’t waste it harming yourself or others, or harming your/our future prospects for happiness. I recommend you be more like this person. That’s how you YOLO.