Tuesday, 26 January 2016

You Only Live Once

By: Team PenTastic

Written By: Siddharth Samal, IT, 4th Year

You Only Live Once...

Obviously. But… we will get back to that. 

A cursory search at Urban Dictionary for YOLO reveals a rather unflattering resume for the new acronym. “The douche bag mating call“ , “carpe diem for stupid people” and worse. The word has come to be associated as a hash-tag for chronicling foolhardy escapades of the young and dumb. 

And that’s how it goes. You take something innocuous and overuse it in the most mundane of ways… all you are left with is a despised shell of an admirable sentiment. But for the purposes of discussion, lets dial back the history and the public perception of the word. Let’s focus on the original sentiment. You only live once. Life is all there is. Strip away the fickleness of the sound “yolo” and you find an oft ignored mantra of life. In the decorum and structure of society, we always tend to toe the line and forget living. 

And what do I mean by living ? Well, to not limit oneself when you are not harming anybody. To explore your horizons. To stimulate your senses. To realize that you are conscious space dust.

I quote Carl Sagan- “Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.” 

The fact that you breathe, can think and imagine, can feel a thousand hues of the basic emotions, can create and destroy, can connect with marvels just like you… the surreal realities of life are endless. Despite the omnipresent pain and confusion, life is still lived on a very large scale. Billion little stories playing out on this blue green dot in a mysterious ocean. It does not make sense to restrict our innate awesomeness, to deny the default wonders that we are. Sure, we do have a lot of jerks and dumb asses walking on the street but that’s beyond the scope of my discussion.

So. I am asking you, dear reader, to close your eyes and take a deep breath every day. And to think about the day that you are about to start. Another 24 hours of this cerebral experience we call life. About what’s important to you and what is not. About what must be done and what is just another bar of that tiny little cage you have built around yourself. I am not proposing that you try to be all bubble gum happy every minute. 
Life is hard. I know. You know. We are all fighting our own little devils on countless different levels. What I am asking is for you to remember and be aware and be alert. Of the fact that you only live once. During those moments when you must choose roads. During those forks of life. To affirm your existence and the wonder that you are, by default. Just by breathing and thinking and feeling. And, oh, look! Yoda agrees with me.

And sure, Carpe Diem sounds fancy. And elegant. But I would rather go for YOLO. It sounds nuts ! And it affirms my belief that, in the face of all the mysteries of life, I will always be a kid. YOLO!

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