Silver Baron – Playing It Safe

Playing it Safe:

The average life expectancy (Based on a survey taken in 2000) of someone in the United States is over 75 years. People say life is short, but in all honesty it is the longest thing you will ever do.
So why ruin it? Why scar your body or mark it up permanently in a way that can only bring you regret in the years to come as you realize what a horrible mistake you’ve made? Why leave yourself mentally incapable or sterile because you thought drinking and partying as a teenager would be worth it?
The whole philosophy behind “Yolo” (You only live once) is that you should enjoy what little time you have on this planet, because you aren’t going to get a second chance. It’s a fantastic ideology, but the way it’s been interpreted is so skewed it barely has any relation to the actual phrase. People take it to mean they should live hard and fast, as if they won’t ever have to deal with the consequences of their actions, as if living like they’ll die tomorrow means they won’t have to face it.
The reality is, most of them will.
I say most of them, because for a great number of the “Yolo” party animals, life is cut short, rather abruptly. They spend their time ignoring the future and any long term negatives, and forget, in the process, that eight teenagers die each day due to alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, that binge drinking causes 1,300 deaths a year, the third highest killer of teens.
The short term.
But that’s their choice. Say what you will about peer pressure and social norms, at the end of the day, it’s a choice to play it safe or desperately lash out in an attempt to feel alive.
That brings forth another question. Are these teens drinking, partying, and desperately trying to live life while they still can in all the wrong ways, doing it because they truly enjoy it? Because they think it will make them ‘cool’? A lifetime seems an awful lot to throw away for cool, though I don’t doubt that’s the motivation for some. Perhaps there’s more to these teens. Perhaps they’re the broken ones of society, the mentally repressed and the scared, seeking an escape from the “life” they are forced to endure.
It’s not a healthy path to choose. It’s not a proactive way of facing reality, or dealing with whatever personal issues one might be facing. It’s not the sane, the right, choice to make.
“At least I have fun” a Yolo-teen might sneer at you, their florescent ‘SWAG’ t-shirt still covered in Jagger-vomit. But where is it written one can’t play it safe and have fun?
Go to a concert. Or a fair, a festival, a circus. Join a club. Hang with friends. Drink, but do it cautiously. Experiment with drugs, but don’t become an addict. Scuba dive, Paraglide safely, have FUN-
And live to not regret it.

Tie-dye Baron – YOLO

Action vs. inaction. It was the concept at the heart of “To Be or Not to Be,” and it’s on center stage for an equally large debate: YOLO vs. playing it safe.  The concept behind YOLO is clearly the superior way to live. When you YOLO, you can make your decision and even if it doesn’t go the way you planned it, you can learn from it and change your actions the next time, instead of living in a self-created hell of indecision, wondering what would happen if you possessed the confidence or daring to actually make the decision. YOLO means you go out and get experience as opposed to staying in your comfort zone. Performing risky, daring acts just for the sake of doing them inspires, amazes, and attracts us as a culture. Nike built an empire telling people to “Just Do It.” There’s a reason no company will ever make their slogan “Let’s Take a Moment to Think About This.” We are drawn to those who act, and YOLO is all about acting.

Obviously there are some situations where YOLO shouldn’t be your only justification for doing something, like skydiving with homemade parachutes, shaving with an electric can opener or trying parkour because you decided you got enough training from watching a Mission Impossible marathon. Now, cowards who believe in playing it safe may argue that this is where YOLO becomes a fallback justification for idiotic antics. However, YOLO still provides a great service: Thinning out the gene pool. If you cringe at the use of the word just because the astounding acronym recalls images of a drunken college frat boys trying to dive into a pool off the second story of a house. However, don’t associate this idiocy with the true meaning of YOLO, instead, take pleasure in knowing that they will be cleaned out of the gene pool, because of YOLO. Darwin would be proud.
Playing it safe doesn’t get you the girl, it doesn’t close that big deal at work, and it sure as hell doesn’t get you in an Old Spice commercial. I’m sure everyone at the party will act like they love your riveting tale of how you stayed home Friday night and watched the entire third season of Friends, but the truth is constantly playing it safe leaves you inexperienced and dull. Where would the world be if Churchill played it safe? How about FDR and Lincoln? Playing it safe only leads to self-doubt, weakness, and boredom.
So I’ll let the naysayers engage in their mudslinging. They can say YOLO is a justification for idiots to be idiots. I think they oppose YOLO because they are afraid. They are afraid that YOLO goes beyond stupid antics, and those “idiots” are the ones who will have entertaining stories, fruitful memories, and growth and maturity experience. They’re afraid that they would have enjoyed life more had they gone out and acted more spontaneously,  lived in the present and spent less time worrying about all the things that  could go wrong.  Why not just enjoy it? Because you really do only live once.