I often hear young people saying ridiculous things like “YOLO”, meaning “You Only Live Once”. This, of course, is used as an argument in the justification of why we are so reckless and irresponsible. When we want to party up a storm or drink ourselves to a stupor, we’ll argue that we only live once.
Perhaps the narrative should be changed into “YODO”, meaning “You Only Die Once”. This kind of thinking instills a sense of urgency. It reminds us that life is too short to not make a meaningful impact with our lives. It reminds us that the generation before us had a mission of destroying a repressive system, and our own generation’s mission is to build a new one.
We must live in such a way that we leave footsteps on the sands of the continent. The popular argument that suggests that ours is a “born free generation” of depoliticised and useless youth must be made history. We only die once, but if we die having left something behind for our children to build on, then we would have died on our feet as opposed to only living once but doing so on our knees!
We are not a “born free” generation, we are a born To free generation. And therefore in all we do, let us bear in mind that YODO…you only die once!