Melissa Gilbert Turns 50: 5 Nuggets of Wisdom from Laura Ingalls We Can Use Today

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Forty years ago she brought Laura Ingalls to life as Half-Pint in the TV version of Little House on the Prairie and on May 8th, Melissa Gilbert turns 50. The spunky prairie girl charmed us and taught us lessons about life in the 19th century. Some of those lessons are timeless. Here are 5 nuggets of wisdom we learned from Little Laura Ingalls we can still use today.

 “Hard working folks only smell bad to people who have nothing better than stick their noses in the air!”

No one should judge anyone regardless of what the job is. If it’s a job that puts food on the table and a roof over your head, it’s a job worth doing. We all have different paths, but the goals are basically the same. Pa was a farmer, but at the end of the day, he and Nels Oleson, a shop owner, just wanted to provide for their families.

“Home is the nicest word there is.”

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The word “home” brings up memories of childhood, family and a place where you feel protected. Even when you’re far away, the thought of home gives one a feeling of comfort. That Little House on the Prairie doesn’t have the same amenities we expect today, but it provided the same emotional comfort for Laura as we seek in a big apartment in the city today.

“Suffering passes, while love is eternal. That’s a gift that you have received from God. Don’t waste it.”

Don’t take love for granted. Laura’s love for her family and theirs for her helped them survive the ups and downs of prairie life.

“Nothing bad ever comes from telling people how you really feel about them.”

You have nothing to lose when you tell the truth. Take it from a girl who was incapable of editing herself. Laura’s mouth may have gotten her into trouble, but she always learned a lesson.

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“My Pa says that grades aren’t everything. It’s the learning that counts. Even eggs get graded.”

Pa was such a wise man. If grades were the end-all, be-all of everything, we probably wouldn’t have Microsoft or Facebook or The Great Gatsby or Oprah. All of those things were masterminded by college dropouts. They were college dropouts who also happened to be dedicated, hard-working individuals, but it goes to show “it’s the learning that counts.” Thanks, Pa.

The TV series has come and gone, but the wisdom of the Ingalls family lives on.

8 thoughts on “Melissa Gilbert Turns 50: 5 Nuggets of Wisdom from Laura Ingalls We Can Use Today

  1. I STILL watch Little House reruns! My youngest son even gave me the set of one season’s episodes for Christmas a few years back. There should be more programs like that with good family values for the children of today to watch rather than all the “crap” we see them watching today!

  2. I was fortunate enough to have a great aunt that loved books and every year for Christmas she gave my sister and me wonderful classics. Over several years she gave each of us a “Little House” book until we had all of them. In our family at that time having a hard cover book that wasn’t a Golden Book was exciting in itself.
    When the TV series started, I was in the throngs of getting my masters in education. I was taking a children’s literature course and we were to write a paper on something that surprisingly had an effect on a child’s desire to read. So many people, at that time, never heard of the books. So I wrote about a television program that was promoting reading! I also used the books for read alloweds in my classroom.
    NOW retired from teaching. I got the books out to read with my granddaughters and the 11 year old said, “I didn’t know they wrote books about the TV show!” I think we call that full circle –twice!

  3. I always watched “Little House” when it was on T.V.. I loved the values learned each show. I really wanted to get the set of “Little House” books when Lakeside had them but missed my chance. I hope they become available again soon. I’d love to be able to read the whole set.

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