One of my pet peeves is the use of the term/hashtag “YOLO”. It stands for You Only Live Once and Millennials like to use this to justify all sorts of actions, particularly those that are morally questionable, albeit oftentimes trivial and inconsequential.
Underpinning YOLO of course is clearly the ethical values of modern times, which values narcissism i.e. taking care of yourself first and foremost. It is a nihilistic way to judge a situation, especially when no other objective good or evil serves as a guide. YOLO looks to maximize personal pleasure and longevity, even at the cost of decency or respect for others.
On the other hand, there are those who get the motivation to step outside themselves, at risk to personal preservation to do something really great for God. The priests and other martyrs kidnapped and killed by ISIS bravely took a stand for their faith and God without seeking to flee or convert in any cowardly manner. Mother Teresa set aside a normal material life to be Christ to the poorest of the poor. Mother Angelica kickstarted the new evangelization with her TV channel with a growth pattern that many tech startups envy. The ethical principle guiding these heroes was not YOLO but rather YOLF – because you only live forever and the choices you make cannot be undone and set your life in a direction that influences the future.
The Resurrection not only puts the lie to YOLO but proposes a better way of living, one motivated not by maximizing personal experience within one’s short time-span on the Earth, but one that challenges us to take bold actions directed towards an eternity in a loving communion with our Lord.
YOLF – because you only live forever
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