The Cartwright family , were in the series, a slightly imperfect, yet always striving, upstanding bunch. While they were, as I have said, imperfect, they generally did what was right, even of it wasn’t the easy or comfortable way.
Millions of kids grew up watching the moral dilemmas and how the Cartwright family handled the difficulties that life presented them. We all watched the way that they made decisions based (mostly) on what was the Right Thing, rather than the easy or quick thing. Even when it cost them money, or time, or forced them into a fight that really was not theirs, they did the Right Thing. Standing up for those less fortunate or less strong than they were. they and their council were respected throughout the valley as upstanding men.
In the world of the Ponderosa, men were expected to be Men. Stand tall, be strong, do what is right, be honest, respectful to others, keep your own council, and treat women with respect.Women were expected to be (but not always portrayed as) strong, thoughtful, and helpful to their men.
Were that people in real life were as portrayed by the series. Bad men were easily identifiable, good men the same. Moral dilemmas were easily solved, with Right being easily identified and Bad easy to spot. Seldom were there shades of grey, and the path to take was always apparent. Doing what was Right was not always easy, but it was always good in the end.
Think, for a moment, how many children were raised with the Cartwrights as an example of how to act and interact with others. I do not think that there is a modern series today that does as well.
Raise a glass to the actors who portrayed the Cartwrights. The last of them are gone, but the lessons they imparted to millions (hopefully) live on in each and every one of us.
May they live forever in reruns on TVLand.