Gina Vaynshteyn
May 16, 2014 6:00 am

As many of you know, Parks and Recreation only has one more season left. But let’s not talk about that, because it’s depressing and sad and horrible and I hate it. Instead, let’s celebrate Parks and Rec for the many ways in which it taught us about friendship, love, and most importantly, mentorship. Since Parks and Rec is ultimately a show that revolves around the workplace, let’s honor the many ways the Director of the Parks and Recreation department of Pawnee, Indiana has taught Leslie –and us—the fundamentals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

So, cheers to you, Ron Swanson. I’m going to miss you and your grumpy, but hyper-patriotic ways. Here are 12 reasons why everyone deserves Ron as a mentor:

1. He knows how to prioritize the food pyramid

Ron doesn’t waste his energy on food that didn’t once breathe and walk. Salads are for rabbits, not humans. Burgers must be comprised of meat, not vegetables. If milk is skim, it’s just water. Oh, and if anyone steals his secret stash of bacon he has in his office, they will most definitely face his wrath. Learn from Ron and take proteins very, very seriously.

2. He’s a loyal friend

Ron may be selective when it comes to tolerating humans, but when he selects you, he’s your friend for life. No matter how many times Leslie has driven him crazy, he still loves her like a sister.

3. Strangely enough, he always gives the best advice

Leslie went through some really rough times this last season, and didn’t always make the right choices. Ron was always there to steer her in the right direction. He also advised her not to put all her faith in people, because let’s face it, sometimes people suck.

4. He is a firm believer in DIY

Why buy something when you’ve got two perfectly capable hands and a tool box? Ron built his cabin from scratch, as well as his baby’s first crib and chairs for Tom’s restaurant. Oh, and he secretly refurbished an entire office, restoring its magnificent mahogany floors.

5. He believes in the freedom to do anything you want because you are an American.

Doing whatever we feel like doing, whether that is eating ten corn dogs in a row or surviving off sugar water is the American way! And don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

6. Ron is fiscally responsible

Ron will teach you that a) you should always save your money, b) you should never place said money in a bank, because they are untrustworthy, and c) if you die, you shouldn’t give all your money to your kids, because that will set a bad example.

7. Ron always has the taxpayer’s back 

Ron has taught us to question government spending (much to Leslie’s chagrin), and while he can be a bit melodramatic, he occasionally has a good point. Why spend the citizen’s dollar on public parks when you could just…not?

8. He believes in the meditative power of fishing

It’s like yoga.

9. Ron knows how to mind his own business

In fact, he would rather not hear about your business at all, even if you’re begging to tell him. Remember, work is for work. Not gossip or…conversations.

10. He appreciates the important things in life

Such as noiseless rooms, bacon, hunting, freedom, bacon, whiskey, fine craftsmanship, bacon.

11. Ron will give you a second chance if he believes in you

Ron wanted to fire Leslie a million times. Her enthusiasm annoyed him, but he kept her as an employee because he believed in her passion for Pawnee. Also, I don’t think he could have legally fired her, so there was that. Also, do you remember the time April scheduled all of Ron’s meetings on a day she thought didn’t exist but totally did? He was LIVID, but she fixed everything and Ron was semi-understanding. Awww.

12. Even though he does mostly nothing, Ron is the best boss, ever.

He’ll pretty much always have your back. Unless you’re a vegetarian.

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