Why It Is Okay To Be Different?

Cyril S. Talusan,
Education Program Specialist II

Life goes on. And on. One cannot control time, nor cannot predict what will happen. “You Only Live Once (YOLO)?” is a popular saying nowadays. Some people are “making the most out of it” or “living life to the fullest” approach in their lives. People must enjoy every moment of their lives on earth, appreciate what they have, and follow their dreams. The term YOLO comes from the Latin phrase Carpe diem which means “seize the day.” Based on the Lexico Dictionaries, the term YOLO is defined as, “stating the opinion that someone should make the most of the current situation and not worrying for the future, and often used as a rationale for impulsive or reckless behavior.” (Freedom, 2019) So, what does this mean? Some people’s interpretation is something to motivate them in taking risks, to make the most out of every opportunity that life presents, to grab opportunities, and to live life with no inhibitions. Doing everything people want in life since they can never tell if this is a one-time experience only. It is their ticket to partying, binge drinking, shopping, trying out different (extreme) activities, spending extravagantly on trips without a care of the future, and eating out with friends. Is it fine? YOLO, right? Well, everyone has their own life and their own decision-making skills.

But this YOLO thing has been associated with another famous phrase, “Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).” When psychologist Goal Saedl analyzed the YOLO-FOMO phenomenon, he said that “It’s because of the want to always be in and never miss out on opportunities for socialization that people feel the fear and find the initiative in themselves to have fun and socialize” (Eriga & Mendoza, 2013) This means that society has a greater impact or influence in their decision. To get acquainted and not missed out, they are following the crowd.

The “Joy of Missing Out (JOMO)” might be the opposite of YOLO. It is when someone finds the pleasure in taking a break from social activity and enjoy their personal time. Yes, some people do that. They feel that when they follow the crowd, they get lost. Some believe that their body needs a downtime or what they call the rest period. After a long day at work, it’s normal to want some downtime. A time when of vegging out, relax, savor, or sleep.

People are different in their own ways. They have unique drives and desires, and that is fine.  There are some people who want to travel to different places and do not want to stay in one place all the time, eat all kinds of food, and try different activities and experience anything offered to them, however, there are also those people who are good and contented doing none of those mentioned. They are just taking a pass on whatever activities are offered to them. Nothing wrong with that, no shame either.  People can hop on the YOLO train or they can let it pass on by.  They should act who they are, and they can let others be who they are.” Isn’t it the same as why one’s favorite color is not like by many? Why do people’s physical features do not look the same as the others? Why do one’s ideas were not entertained by the boss? Because people are born different. They are created by God in His own unique way. The key here is not to compare anyone, do not look at other people’s way of life. Always remember, one might be good at something but the other is not good at it.

According to Friedrich Nietzsche, “Those who cannot hear the music will be thought insane if they saw people dancing.” Since every individual is born and lives differently, they must try to understand each other since there is this what people call perspectivism. It is a way how the world is viewed by seeing or understanding differing perspectives (Maden, 2018). According to Nietzsche, there is no easy way to view or understand the world people are living in since there is a multitude of differing perspectives for every individual. This is subject to societal, cultural, and biological limitations. Accordingly, by combining the different views, people can learn to appreciate a broader understanding of the world they are living in. As they enter a digital age where there is a mortal battle in the online comment section and, where the views and opinions of the society are open and acceptable to the public, they might learn the idea that no one perceives the truth, where the truth may be permanently denied due to their limited perspective. So instead of dismissing or disagreeing with other opinions, people can consider and combine their subjective perspectives rationally and thoughtfully. Who knows, one can learn something new or get along a bit better, too.