Yesterday, a woman with a gun entered Youtube headquarters and opened fire, then allegedly took her own life. If know me, or have you've watched my YouTube channel, you know I like to keep things positive and light-hearted, but I feel compelled to say something for a couple of reasons. One, because this woman was part of the YouTube community, and two, because this act of violence happened less than two hours from my home.
Because I do not like to dwell on the negative, I will only say a few things about this tragedy. First, reach out to your loved ones. I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to not really knowing what's going on with my siblings, but I know they are taking care of themselves, they are safe, and they are upstanding citizens in their communities. When we take care of our own, that can make a huge impact on the community as a whole.
Second, stay vigilant. As a motorcycle rider, I always have to be aware of my surroundings. I should always be looking at least 10 seconds ahead of what's in front of me. Apply this to life. If you see something, say something. Make your co-workers aware, too, if something seems awry. Don't keep it to yourself. We're all in this together, and life is easier when it's surrounded by friends and people you can trust.
Which brings me to my last point: don't take on life by yourself. I suffer from depression and anxiety, and I know the dark places that my mind can take me. Luckily, I have a loving and supportive wife, amazing daughters, and parents who I still talk to everyday. I know I'm not alone in my battle with mental health, and if you also struggle with these issues, find a supportive group of people who you can count on. If you haven't already, please check out DanDan the Fireman! He has done a great job to bring awareness to mental health, especially with men. (click the DanDan image below to go to his YouTube mental health playlist)
In a time where so much communication happens over text messages, emails and IM's, it is easy to get lost and feel alone. But, none of us are alone. We all put out an image of our best selves on social media, but we all have problems. The great thing is, that we don't have to face life's problems by ourselves. Sometimes, it's as easy as just letting someone know you are there to listen. So, reach out to someone who may be struggling, and offer an ear. Even if they don't take you up, the gesture can mean a lot.