Her name was Nasim Aghdam.
And earlier this week she walked into Youtube headquarters and shot three people then herself. And who was she and what is really happening here?
The Guardian describes her: “On social media she was more than an Iranian immigrant who lived with her grandmother in southern California but an athlete, a fitness guru, a model, a poet, a vegan advocate, an animal rights warrior and a film-maker. She was glamorous and fought inequity. She was a star.”
Without getting into details she became angry at Youtube for making a corporate policy change that took away her modest income (and that of many others). She let this anger burn away at her, let it create mental health imbalance until the day came she chose to use violence to express herself.
And there is no shortage of violence in the world today but why are people – often in the younger demographics – choosing guns and killing as a course of action?
Because they are choosing to take their power back.
But killing people or violence doesn’t empower anyone. Does it?
Those people who were shot have families and co-workers impacted by this. And I get that corporations and organizations are greedy and often soul-crushing entities (I have direct experience working in such a place where it is a challenge every day to create a healthy life.) But it is people who make up these places. And there is human side to everything.
The recent Parkland school shooting in Florida has created a movement where people are no longer willing to accept the status-quo and they are pushing for change. But incidents like this and the Youtube shooting will continue to happen until we as a society start going a little deeper and talking about things and creating shifts in how we do things.
Nasim Aghdam chose to kill. But she was an intelligent, beautiful, talented, artistic and wonderfully weird and interesting woman who could have chosen to use her negative experience with Youtube as a catalyst to become a political activist or agent for social change empowering herself in the process and helping the world become a better place.
But let’s not be too quick to separate ourselves from her or anyone else who go to extreme places. They started out in the same place as you and I and just let things get out of hand. Their is a killer inside each and every human being. As inside of us is the potential for anything and everything.
And killing is a cry for help but who is listening? Pointing the finger at guns or ideologies or particular individuals (and demonizing them as this or that) is only going to perpetuate or increase the problem. A radical solution is needed. And you probably won’t want to hear it. As the media won’t talk about it in any meaningful way.
On this 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination (also making the news this week) it’s important to note that he was champion of love. He chose love in the face of hate, extremism, conflict and division. He was able to see the bigger picture because he opened himself to it. He was able to see a glimpse of the endgame. And society isn’t ready for love is it? As those who speak of it tend to get killed themselves when enough people start listening.
However, it’s important to look at the full story and understand our humanity as it is only then we can begin see where change is needed and where we need to heal and how we can empower ourselves.
Who was Nasim Aghdam? Who are you?
Find out who you are, beyond the roles you play.
And realize…. you can choose in any direction. There is a choice to contract your existence or a choice to empower yourself and share yourself with the world in any little or large way that you do. In the amazing way that you can.