The year was 2009. While I was a late adopter, I soon became paralyzed with love for a show called Parks & Recreation, and eventually changed my religious beliefs on Facebook to “Ron Effin’ Swanson”. You know what they say – when it’s on Facebook, it’s official. (At least, they said that in 2009. Now they’re probably like, “I don’t care what Super Nintendo character you are, stop posting these stupid results!”)
The character of Ron truly touched the hearts of many people, possibly because he was different than the normal male leads you’d see on television. Ron is all man. Ron won’t listen to your rules without complaint, and Ron probably hates you – but you can’t help but love him. Because even if you’re a woman, you want to be more like Ron. You want to survive off of the wilderness, and build your own canoe. (Also, Nick Offerman is pretty darn great, and was totally deserving of a role bigger than Jackson’s brother Beau on Gilmore Girls. Yep – that was Nick.)
In his honor, here are seven valuable lessons that Ron has taught us about life.
1. “Frankness. Cut the B.S.” Sometimes it’s just really tough to get to the point, and you need to stitch together a few creative lies in order to spare feelings. However, Ron is fond of frankness – so much that he included it on his Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. Sure, you don’t want to bum anyone out. But if you stop dancing around issues, you might realize that it’s not even an issue, as much as a complete build-up of fear in your head.
2. Sometimes, the best things in life are simple. Remember when Chris and Ron had the burger cook-off? Sure, Chris made a healthier, more impressive lean burger. Ron used red meat and buns. Ron easily won. So, sure. While the fancy stuff might be impressive, the basic stuff in life is quite often better.
3. Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing. This one is self explanatory. But, I’ll spell it out anyway for continuity. Pour your heart out solely into the projects you believe in, since quality is worth way more than quantity.
4. One should always bring their own share of deviled eggs to a party. Perhaps one of my favorite Ron Swanson moments of all time. Not only did he make sure Leslie had the fridge space to occupy one of his favorite foods during her grand dinner party, but he brought his own, personal share to a group setting. Always bring something when you’re invited to someone else’s house. Not only is it proper and polite, but it’ll also guarantee that there will be food around that you’re into, and not (if it’s an issue) allergic to.
5. True romance starts with knowing what your loved one really needs. Sure, we haven’t heard too much about Ron’s new wife Diane since the two got hitched on the fourth floor, but we did see their relationship pan out between episodes. While you don’t need chocolate, you do need (and keep forgetting to buy) dish detergent. A true love will pick some up for you while he or she is at the grocery store – just to save you a trip.
6. “When a good person does something bad, they own up to it. They try to learn something from it, and move on.” Everyone makes mistakes, so you shouldn’t label yourself as “good” or “bad” after a mistake occurs. If you realize what went wrong, and try not to make the same mistake again, you’re what Ron would consider to be a good person. (And for the record, everyone else will feel the same way.)
7. “One rage every three months is permitted. Try not to hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it.” Despite what you might think, having a bit of a breakdown is actually kind of healthy every once in awhile – especially if you’re the type to bottle in your emotions. Just make sure the breakdown is a productive one. Don’t bring anyone down, don’t cause any type of physical or mental damage, and realize that your flood of emotions is more of a gigantic revelation that you’re unhappy about something. From there, you can work on trying to fix the problem. Ron’s advice here is another key element to the amazing Pyramid of Greatness.
What have you learned from Ron Swanson?