Say Knope to the New Year

People complain all the time about how women are portrayed in the media. In the midst of all of the inaccurate stereotypes and other offensive portrayals, I think there are a few women characters on television who we can all take a cue or two from. My personal favorite is Leslie Knope from Parks & Rec. Leslie Knope is someone I’d like to be like. I’m already partway there; I’m clumsy, I’m well-intentioned but sometimes a little clueless, I’m blonde, and I like whipped cream. But I think in the coming year there are a few pointers I’d like to take from Leslie on being an amazing human being.

Make time for the people in your life that matter.
Leslie is by far the best friend anyone could ever have… ever. There’s the time where she sends her boss, Ron, on a scavenger hunt across the U.K., or the time she buys everyone in the Parks office the perfect Christmas gift while running her political campaign, or the many, many times she goes above and beyond to help her best friend, Ann.

It’s so easy to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget about the people that matter to us. I know I often forget about the huge impact that a small gesture can make. It takes five seconds to send someone a cheery text, but even a small gesture like that can make someone’s day. Leslie’s passion is the Parks and Rec department, but she never falls short of having time for those people she truly cares about.

Never be afraid to tell people how you feel about them.

Leslie is notorious for being super expressive. She compliments her best friend Ann constantly, and she’s always being extremely honest with her boyfriend/now husband Ben about how she feels about him, especially about…well…his butt. Regardless, Leslie isn’t afraid to tell people around her how much she loves them, appreciates them, and is glad they’re part of her life.

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Life is too short to let compliments go unsaid and expressions of love or appreciation go unshared. There are so many amazing people in my life and this year I’d like to be better about truly expressing my feelings of gratitude for knowing them… and their butts.
 
Follow your passions.
Leslie’s passion, if you hadn’t guessed, is Pawnee, Indiana’s Parks and Recreation department. She feels strongly about Pawnee’s welfare and citizens. In one episode, Leslie is suspended from her job for two weeks for having a relationship with Ben, who is her superior at the time. Not easily deterred, she sets up her own citizens’ organization, the Parks Committee of Pawnee, and begins rallying Pawneeans for her cause.
Leslie is also passionate about politics in general, and campaigns to be a city councilwoman.
 
She doesn’t give up on her dream of being one, even when her campaign managers tell her she’s too behind in the polls. And she’ll do just about anything to win, even if it means not sleeping.
 
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Leslie is someone who doesn’t let other dictate what’s possible. If there is a cause she feels passionate about, she wholeheartedly backs it with everything she’s got. I know since I went to college I’ve had trouble finding time for my passions outside of academia, this blog being one of them. This year I’m hoping to make time for those things that I really enjoy.
 
 
In the words of Leslie, “All these things make me think a lot of feelings about myself.” As you go into this new year, think about who you’d like to be like. Would you rather be like yourself, or like someone who can eat waffles and whipped cream for six seasons and still look amazing? I think I’ll start becoming a little more like Leslie Knope.
Media courtesy of:
http://nbcparksandrec.tumblr.com/post/33782783512/happy-national-ass-day
http://www.buzzfeed.com/bookishbelle/100-parks-and-recreation-gifs-to-celebrate-the-s-fm17
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