Lifestyle

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



Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Tweed house up for grabs

Mark Stapleton, Sharon Styman and Peter Ross from Invest Rent Property Management are offering the chance of a lifetime to one of their members.

Pot of gold for property investors.

‘Kingscliff salute’ angers business owners

Emily Wilson, Nathan Devin, Heather Stewardson and Di Human all work at Kingscliff and are fed up with the poor phone and internet coverage in the town.

Businesses losing thousands over poor internet and phone services.

Funding cuts unfairly hit region

Belinda Robinson.

Cuts "unfairly target" regional universities

Latest deals and offers

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest