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The shootings on Aug. 3 made my heart hurt. It’s shocking and sad and maddening and many other emotions.

In the immediate aftermath, everyone looks for where we have gone wrong and what it is we can do to keep this from continually happening. From my perspective, it’s a simple but deep solution: We have to step back into each other.

As a kid in Lincoln, I remember going to our family Christmas party. The whole Weber family attended these parties. I still have great memories of those nights. We haven’t had one of those gatherings in a long time.

I remember hosting a neighborhood ice cream social for all of our neighbors on a summer night. We checked in with everyone and caught up about our family and life challenges. We haven’t had one of those in a long time.

I could give other examples of how we have pulled away from each other in the age of technology, but the picture is clear. As we require less human interaction thanks to the advancement of our devices, we are left more and more isolated. I think we all know that’s a bad thing. The constant social media and 24/7 cable news feed fuels these flames further.

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As I see it, the only way to address this is to step back into each other.

Say hello to the neighbor working outside. Plan an extended family get-together around a holiday. Call up a friend you haven’t checked in with for awhile. Maybe your step is to spend an hour a week mentoring a fatherless boy or a motherless girl. Whatever your political views, faith, beliefs or background, we can step in and show we care for each other better.

Imagine the change that could happen if we all committed to stepping in.

Ethan Weber, Fort Worth, Texas

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