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10 of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s most inspiring quotes

A Midwestern farm woman who published her first novel at age 65, Laura Ingalls Wilder transformed her frontier childhood into the best-selling “Little House” series. Wilder’s stories emphasized real life and celebrated stoicism and hard work. They continue to entertain and resonate with millions of readers today. Read through 10 of Wilder’s most inspiring quotes below:

“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.”

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements, let’s be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worthwhile.”

“If enough people think of a thing and work hard enough at it, I guess it’s pretty nearly bound to happen, wind and weather permitting.”

“The future is in our hands to make it what we will.”

“They suffered cold and heat, hard work and privation as did others of their time. Neither they nor their neighbors begged for help. No other person, nor the government, owed them a living. They owed that to themselves and in some way, they paid the debt. And they found their own way. Their old-fashioned character values are worth as much today as they ever were to help us over the rough places. We need today courage, self-reliance and integrity.”

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”

Dedication of Laura Ingalls Wilder Library, Mansfield, Missouri

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common, everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness – just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”

“Persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds.”

“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.”

“As you read my stories of long ago, I hope you will remember that things truly worthwhile and that will give you happiness are the same now as they were then. It is not the things you have that make you happy. It is love and kindness and helping each other and just plain being good.”

New documentary premieres December 29 at 8 p.m. on PBS.

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