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8.27.2012

YOLO



“You Only Live Once” seems to be Tio’s new creed. He’s been using the concept as an excuse to do
whatever he wanted thi summer without compunction. His friends would say “YOLO” and he’d leave the skate park, he’d jump off a bridge into what could be shallow water, he’d surf the web for forbidden fruit. What he really lacked is impulse control and YOLO was his excuse to run free.

The concept of living for the moment is a tough one for a kid to understand. The moment is so immediate when you are 13. It can start as skipping classes or defying your parents and lead to reckless, dangerous or even criminal behavior. He doesn’t that living for that kind of moment can lead to paying heavily for it later on.

He asked me if I’d ever lived for the moment. I told him about a couple of brushes with death I’d had that would make surviving cancer seem like a safe bet: experiences in small aircraft and on a motorcycle. But they were hazards I met with experience and squeaked through because I had control of what I was doing, not because I was being reckless or courting trouble. I take risks but I don’t gamble. There’s a big difference and it’s hard to explain, especially to someone who is dying to take a gamble.

The boredom of youth yearning for adventure in a hyped up world where every sales pitch and movie screams of excitement is a hard one to rein in on a kid without impulse control. He’s the perfect subject to sell soda pop and expensive fashions and high tech crap to with promises of excitement and danger which makes it harder to sell him on patience and long term thinking.

The thing about only living once is true. But life is a long adventure and burning out in your teen years will be no way to spend your 30's and 40's and 50's and........