Thankfully, many of us are feeling more optimistic about the months to come. But still, life, even more "normal life" is filled with challenges.

The last year and a half has not been an easy one. Between pandemics and political tensions suffice to say we've seen some difficult days. Not to say many lovely things haven't occurred, of course. Even in times way worse than this one, there are always those who seem to be even sweeter when pressed in difficult situations. Some of those people, are our East Texas kids.

While we do our very best to handle what we're facing with courage and purpose, it's important to allow the nice moments along the way to make an impact on our hearts--crucial even--in order to provide a counterbalance to the harsher realities of life.

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Recently while running some errands, I drove a different path than I normally do. Sometimes I do that to listen to music and seek a different perspective than I one through which I'm currently viewing the world and circumstances. I took a drive through a neighborhood that is close to my house and was greeted with a sweet surprise.

Some of the neighborhood kids had been painting signs and sticking them in yards up and down the street. No, they weren't political signs, nor were they advertising an upcoming yard sale. They were brightly colored signs that simply said things like "Be kind always." "Kindness matters." "Love your neighbor," and such.

What a joy. Sometimes kids can be so profound. When we allow their hearts, often less fettered by the complex, to do what they can to make the world a better place, it does. Even if it's just up and down their streets.

What a profound reminder to us all. The world can be complicated and "adulting" requires us to navigate situations that are difficult and fraught with emotional pitfalls. Thank goodness for these young ones who remind us of our hearts. Who remind us of what matters.

My Mom used to always say "kids give ya hope." Yeah mom, they certainly do.

"Be Kind. Always." Thanks kids.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Texas

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Texas using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

30 Things We Love About Living in East Texas


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