Thursday, August 21, 2014

What does #YOLO mean to you?

Our discussion today about the myth of eternal return got me thinking about that God awful acronym "YOLO" (i.e. "you only live once"). I've been having to examine the deep, meaningful philosophy behind this phrase as it is the topic of one of my college essays: "What does #YOLO mean to you?" (Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the kind of education that we will be paying $50,000+ for in a year's time.) Analyzing "YOLO" with Unbearable Lightness in mind, I see two possible interpretations. First, that life is fleeting - light - and, as such, you should take all the chances and risks possible  in your short life. Second, that we have been given the gift of life and must take it seriously, leaving as great a mark on the world as possible - weight. I personally subscribe to the latter way of thinking; however, it seems to me that the former philosophy is a direct result of what Kundera names the "unbearable lightness of being." Does the popularity of YOLO-ideals spring from our inability to deal with our own transience?

So, my fellow classmates, I now ask you, "What does #YOLO mean to you?"

11 comments:

alex Monier said...

It means live by the rules:
1. get money
2. get fudoodlin
3. erryday
4.hyphe

alex Monier said...

In all seriousness though, I think that when the average person says YOLO it is a blend of both lightness and weight. It is done for "light" fun per say; however the underlying theme of #YOLO is that when we are old, we will regret the things we didn't do, and the chances we didn't take and that my friends is actually having a good deal of foresight and seriousness and is thereby weighty.

Bonnie Cash said...

Alex, you forgot:
5. Be dope
6. Roll in the "bushes"

I agree with Alex, in that #YOLO should be a combination of the lightness and weight. Iris, you're correct in that we should take our lives seriously and attempt to make the greatest mark on the world. Excluding the lightness, however, could potentially exclude the risks and chances that come along with #YOLO. Today in class, we said "Chance and chance alone has a message for us" (48). If we don't take those risks and chances, we may not make the BIGGEST mark on the world we could make. #YOLO is maybe more about going with the flow. You can take the risks and chances- light- and also make grand changes in the world and live life to the fullest- weight. That's #YOLO for me. Trusting chances and still making a change. Nietzsche would probably side with #YALA, as Iris mentioned to me today. #YALA (you always live always) stands by his myth of eternal return. Drake and Nietzsche, however, weren't friends and did not share the same motto.

Sri Korrapati said...

Does it complicate things to introduce #YALA? M.I.A. a famous british female rapper of Sri Lankan Tamil origin coined this term in respect to Hinduism. YALA stands for You Always Live Again. This, as well, has two meanings. It could mean that one should be cautious of every action because each decision we make is judged, and we will be either rewarded or reprimanded because of it. One should live life putting meaning in all choices. This is very heavy. On the other hand, the "popular" way to look at it is where we can always try again. Every decision we make doesn't matter because there will be a next life where we can choose a different path; this allows us to live our lives lightly. Neizstche's idea of eternal return does not apply here exactly. In his myth, we would repeat the same life again and again. In #YALA, we would live different lives every time. Now, we can connect our class discussion of fate vs. chance. In Hinduism, we believe our fates are predetermined by the god Brahma. Before we are born, he writes our fate on our soul's forehead. I've been thinking long and hard about what this means to me. Would it be that my choices don't matter because my fate is predetermined? (Thank you Ms. King for mentioning Robert Frost's road less traveled here!) We might think we have a choice, and that makes us feel better. It could also mean that we don't really have a choice at all. We think we have a choice, but our choices are pre-decided. The last possibility I came up with is more favorable for me. It could be possible that the fate he writes on our foreheads are just predictions of what choices we will make. It gives us freedom, and Brahma is just recording what we have chosen to do in the future. When thinking about #YOLO, we like to think that we are making choices that then we can either regret or feel satisfied with. From a secular sense, #YOLO means (in my opinion) to let go of that our fear that holds us back from doing something. We should be light and just do things on whim so that we won't have heavy regret and instead have satisfied lives. #YOLO is not appropriate for any time, but it has very meaningful uses. When at assembly, one should not #YOLO and just word vomit all over the place (guilty). On stage, during a play, however, it would be helpful to let go of the fear holding you back. We are scared of not being good enough (Tereza?) and hold back on creativity. If we let go of our inner demons, as Mr. Kirkpatrick calls them, we can create something beautiful. We can then look back on that moment and feel satisfied with our choices. #YALA, in my opinion, complicates things much more than I initially thought while writing this response. When we do something stupid with respect to #YOLO, you feel regret. When doing something stupid with regret to #YALA, we may either feel extreme regret or passiveness. We either think of it as something that will have grave consequences or think that in the next life we can start over fresh. I prefer to think of life as neither #YOLO or #YALA. I live in the moment and try doing the best I can do. While #YOLO and #YALA are based completely on living in the moment, I feel that they are too much based on retrospect. While retrospect is good in respect to guiding us for our futures, it is not good when we live in the past and focus on could have’s, should have’s and would have’s.

Sri Korrapati said...

I'd just like to point out:
a) I started writing my post before Bonnie had commented
b) I have loved YALA and M.I.A. ever since the super bowl that Madonna, Nicki Minaj, and MIA sang in
c) CHECK OUT #YALA by M.I.A.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4VQoP2_eL4

Bonnie Cash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sri Korrapati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnie Cash said...

Great minds think alike, Sri! This is a no place for hate because #YOLO. So, follow these rules as suggested:
1. get money
2. get fudoodlin
3. erryday
4.hyphe
5. Be dope
6. Roll in the "bushes"

Sri Korrapati said...

Bonnie you just posted the same comment. I deleted my comment because you deleted yours and now people think we're scheming

I love you
"She touched me back!" (Inside AP Bio Jokes)

Joe D said...

Regarding Sri's proposition: "YALA" assumes that we can make different choices in each life we life. What if we subscribe to Nietzsche's myth of eternal return? Then we would indeed be continue living ad infinitum, but we would be stuck in the same life for ever, not a new one. As we discussed in class, this could be a blessing or a curse depending on how you perceive that your life is going. But the question remains: does this theory sound more inviting than the Hindu samsara? Would you pick a monotony of living the same life over and over again (assuming it's a good one, and all of the presumptions of Nietzsche's theory) in place of an opportunity at achieving enlightenment?

Breuna Westry said...

I agree that a person does believe that the saying is supposed to be light and joke like when it is said, and people in older generations think it is a stupid thing created by the teens of today, but to me #yolo is just a means of saying carpe diem. Because in the end we do not live forever and that realization in itself to me is heavy.