In the face of - it seems - rising stress, increasing darkness, people going through tough times, I choose to light as many candles as possible.
Thoughts and prayers are just the first step. Lighting metaphorical - or even real - candles is a first step. The next steps are up to each and every one of us.
I try, every day, I try to choose kindness. To encourage. To accept that people are having difficulties I may know nothing about.
As a child I was taught that God helps those who help themselves. So if you believe in a God, pray. But don't pray for God to 'fix' what is broken in this world. Pray for the strength to fix what is broken. Pray for understanding. Pray for those who have things more difficult than they should be. Pray to open your eyes to inequity - and the way to make things better, even for just one person.
The world may be breaking, but we can mend it.
Light a candle. Be kind. Lift up those who are down. Build a bigger table.