The average employee in South Korea works overtime two and a half days per week according to a survey conducted by the employment-related portal JobKorea. A more disheartening fact is that such statistics no longer surprise us. Rather, they come across as another ordinary ordeal for workers and an obvious ordeal-to-come for workers-to-be. All of us are aware of the bleak future ahead: a future where the price to pay to go to work is comprised not only of labor but also life. Yet, we put all our efforts into attaining this employee status even at the expense of losing our life outside of work.
This October, The Argus covers the movement known as ‘YOLO’ which is an acronym for You Only Live Once. The catchphrase implies the prevalence of subjugated lives in our society. It challenges people to rethink their self-sacrificing decisions and encourages them to make decisions worthy of their one-and-only lives. As a result, we can witness people claiming ownership of their lives by living in a satisfactory way today rather than tomorrow.
We often overlook the fact that everyone is equally entitled to one chance at life. It is truly mature of us to put aside pleasure in the present for an uncertain future.
However, the problem is that our career paths may define, but do not determine our post-graduation lives. The right way to prepare for the future does not lie in following such destined paths. Rather, it is highly likely that it lies in a number of other paths that have not been walked. Nevertheless, we are afraid of walking astray because it feels as though it is equivalent to running away from reality. The truth is that running away itself should not be condemned as irresponsible if a plan precedes it. With a map and some direction, we can rightfully and responsibly run forward or backward to find for ourselves what is at the end of the road. After all, you have a right to run because you only live once, not twice.