The familiar machine rolls on

Anytime something terrible happens, the machine starts going again. It?s almost tragically comical at this point. You can count down the moments as if they are predetermined and orchestrated by some expert puppet master above us just pulling the strings to lifeless, thoughtless bodies.

When the attacks on Paris occurred, I was late to the news. I was sitting in my home, working on the many projects I have going on, and completely oblivious to the world around me.

When I finally did pull out my phone, it was for a text message?and then it was on to Facebook, like I was programmed to do already.

I saw the tragic events through the lens of my friends on social media who were posting from various sites?some legitimate news sources and some not. But as the events unfolded, I waited, because I knew what was coming next.

Almost immediately there was a show of support and love?not real support or love, but social media support and love, which is really nothing more than some words on a feed that most people mindlessly scroll through.

Then came the political messages. If we know how to do anything, it?s how to turn a tragedy into political gain?and boy, did we.

Both sides came firing shortly afterward with their highly biased opinions and how this affects us back home and why they are the person to fix things.

Generally, depending on if you have an ?R? or a ?D? next to your name, you either blamed President Obama or you blamed former President Bush for creating this mess?but each opinion is colored by typical red or blue normally sported no matter what was said.

Then came the overly biased political blogs that post super-absurd things masked as news to get people riled up. The bloggers share bad information for days, sometimes weeks, depending on how big the tragedy is?until the final step arrives.

The final step: We either move on to a new tragedy or large event, or we just simply forget about what happened, tired of the rhetoric, and move on until something happens that gets the machine cranking again.

Throughout social media history, it?s all the same almost without variation. Every shooting or natural disaster gets the same treatment, making us truly numb to the situation.

I didn?t write anything on social media. I didn?t change my profile picture to the French flag, and I didn?t try to gain politically through someone else?s tragedy.

It isn?t that I didn?t think of those who died in Paris, or have opinions about the situation. Rather, I realized that none of what I think matters in the grand scheme of things. I don?t really matter. Paris doesn?t care that I thought of them or had opinions at all.

What does matter is to really care about our brothers and sisters, whether they look like us or not, which means to give financially to vetted organizations for disaster relief and other emergency situations, to donate blood, and to volunteer when you can.

Likely, most of what you can do won?t help Paris, but it can help your neighbor, friend or fellow who is down on his luck. We all need to start loving more and hating less, and that is more evident every time I log into Face?book and watch the machine at work.

So put the phone down, walk outside and let?s just be nice to each other, no matter what someone may look like, their political affiliation, or whom or where they worship during the week. Let?s start there, and then those who died in Paris, and those who died before them, might be mourned properly.

Joey Young is a majority owner and publisher of the Free Press and Kansas Publishing Ventures.