Laura Ingalls Wilder: 20 quotes on her birthday

Laura Ingalls Wilder has given generations of young readers the gift of discovering what it was like to grow up on the American frontier – on the prairie, in the woods, by a creek, or near a lake. Her stories of life with her parents and sisters Mary, Caroline, and Grace, with adventures in everything from making maple syrup to teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, enthralled readers in a more modern America. And for those growing up in the 1970s and '80s, there was also the TV show – "Little House on the Prarie," which ran from  1974 to 1982 – adapted from Wilder's stories about her own life. To commemorate the 146th birthday of this beloved writer on Feb. 7, 2013, here are 20 of our favorite quotes from the author.

1. Inner strength

"Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small, but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds would make it flicker because it would not give up."

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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