Life Lessons from Parks and Rec

https://www.flickr.com/photos/watchwithkristin/3429369349/

Parks and Recreation | Flickr User watchwithkristen | Flickr Creative Commons

NBC’s Parks and Recreation had their series finale this week, and I must admit that I will greatly miss this quirky show.  It has everything I could ask for in a TV show: it takes place in a small town in the middle of the U.S., it keeps me constantly laughing, and its characters have taught me all kinds of important life lessons.

Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned from this final season of Parks and Rec.

1. Being weird is great!

April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer are two of the strangest personalities I have ever seen. Both April’s teenage sarcasm and Andy’s infant playfulness are incredibly endearing. They personify everything strange and they show the world what everyone already suspected: being weird is fun and awesome!

2. Ron Swanson

Ron Swanson is a tough nut to crack. His macho attitude can be off-putting and discouraging as a caricature of an old fashioned man. His attitudes are often ridiculous and hilarious because of their extreme nature (they can also be quite vulgar and offensive at times). Once you crack beneath the hard shell you see that he is a person that cares deeply about the people he works with. He says exactly what he thinks and prides himself on never telling lies. He sums himself up nicely when he tells Tom Haverford, “There is no shame in declaring how you feel to a person you cherish.”

3. Treat yo self!

Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle know how to have a good time. They know the importance of relaxing every once in a while and taking care of your own needs. Granted, they spend a ridiculous amount of money during their “treat yo self,” but the principle remains important. Everyone needs a treat every once in a while.

4. Do something you love and no one can stop you.

More than anything else, Leslie Knope shows the world that doing something that you love makes you a force to be reckoned with. She is passionate about her work and about her friends. When she starts a project there is no stopping her because she puts her whole heart and soul into it. In the wonderful words of Andy Dwyer’s character for his children’s television show: “Anything is possible when you follow your dreams” ~Johnny Karate

5. Love yourself for who you are.

Above all, each and every one of the characters shows how important it is to love and accept yourself for who you are. No one on the show is afraid to be themselves and they all support each other no matter what strange things they might do. They are such different people and many of them hold completely different beliefs and values, but at the end of the day they all share the belief that people should never be ashamed of who they are.

Thank you Parks and Rec for the great years of laughter and lessons. If you ever make a comeback it is sure to make as big as splash as Lil’ Sebastian!

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Cover image courtesy Flickr user Kristin Dos Santos, found here.

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