The motto 'you only live once' takes on a darker hue

Aussie teens are embracing the catch-cry "you only live once".
Aussie teens are embracing the catch-cry "you only live once". Che Chapman

ONE of the hallmarks of youth is that each generation has had a catchphrase, song or movie that captures the desire for freedom from responsibility and all things serious.

In 2012 "YOLO" has emerged. The Motto by Canadian rapper Drake, a song with a generous serving of foul language, brought this acronym into everyday use for teens and young adults.

"You only live once" is the catch-cry for doing something, that with a bit more thought, you probably wouldn't.

For the offspring of middle-class society, this attitude can be perpetuated without too many detrimental consequences.

Frontal lobes develop alongside the need to take responsibility and off into the sunset of maturity they wander.

Unfortunately, a different tale unfolds for young people caught up in situations where the struggle to get to adulthood is often beyond the reach of some.

For these young people "you only live once" has a darker undertone as it is borne out of hopelessness and pain.

Three children who died in a high speed car crash in Melbourne recently, were the product of circumstances where hope for the future is hard to grasp.

Terri Leticq was 16. Her parents, both heroin addicts, were dead.

The other children, as well as Terri, were known to the Victorian child protection authorities.

When your future doesn't look bright, it becomes more tempting to live just for today.

If you are on a path that seems to be spiralling downwards, the term "you only live once" opens doors to the more dangerous aspects of risk taking.

Responsibility and consequences may not register as priorities, because when you can't imagine a future, the harmful results of your actions are largely meaningless.

The lives of these children mirror the lives of hundreds of other young Australians who are caught in a web that appears too difficult to break free from.

We can help to slowly untangle this web by supporting organisations that are at the coal-face of child homelessness, like the Salvation Army.

When we guide our own children through their "YOLO" period, taking time to encourage them to develop a vision for their futures and to accept responsibility for their actions is important.

The motto of living life to its full requires a little more planning, and it's a mindset that we can all benefit from.


>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  editors picks lifestyle parenting teenagers young adults

Men of league hit the greens for community

Barry Hancock and Kev Embrey of the Fraser Coast at a recent Men of League Bowls Day.

Tweed to gather on Coolangatta greens.

Crowning bowls champions

CHAMPS: Mark Casey, one half of Gold Coast champion bowls pair with Jayden Christie, play on Monday.

Who will it be?

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun to shine bright at festival

Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun is one of the headlining acts at this year's festival.

Main stage set to pump with radiant reggae and dub vibes

Expert's talk on Olley's life is not to be missed

THE ARTIST: Artist Margaret Olley at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in 2006.

RARE insight into the life of one of most cherished hoarders

Miranda Kerr to wed next year

Supermodel Miranda Kerr

Supermodel and Snapchat founder to wed

What's on the small screen this week

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

TWO big reality shows wrap up this week while

Brad Pitt won't file legal response to divorce petition

Brad reportedly refused to send off the paperwork

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Pictures of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped are sealed

They could "complicate jury selection".

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge