I have always loved Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreation. From his wisdom, to his relationships with his coworkers, there’s just something about him that inspires me.
1. “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”
This is my all time favorite Ron Swanson quote. It’s one that I definitely hold close to my heart. Ron said this to Leslie while she was running for city council. For those who haven’t watched the show, Leslie Knope is the most passionate, hardworking woman in the city of Pawnee but she doesn’t put herself first.
Leslie continued to work at the parks department while she was running her campaign for city office. Ron suggests a sabbatical as he realizes it’s becoming too much for Leslie but she refuses. Eventually, they have a heart to heart and Ron tells her of a time when he took on too much. He then tells her “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” because he knows how passionate she is. He wants her to put all her energy and passion into her campaign so it can be successful instead of stretching herself thing between both.
We should be putting all of our passion and energy into one thing like Ron said. It’s better than doing two things with half as much energy and passion.
2. “If you don’t believe in love, what’s the point of living?”
Ron states this quote after discussing whether he’d get married again or not. What he’s trying to say is that love is what keeps us going. I know that some people don’t believe in love but for those who do, we know that it’s more than just a word. I am definitely one of those people.
For those who feel the way about love that I do will understand what I’m about to say. Love is what allows us to give meaning to our lives. A life without love is one that’s dull. The ability to love and be loved by someone else is magic alone. Love teaches us about ourselves and the people in our lives. I don’t think that we’d survive without it.
Love is not just about relationships. It is about the the care and affection we choose to give to others. I know that love can be difficult sometimes but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Love is not always going to be easy. It will hurt you but it will also help you grow. So please, don’t give up on love.
3. “One rage every three months is permitted. Try not to hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it.”
In this episode, Ron has created The Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. This pyramid has what Ron considers to be every to key to success. While going over it with, he points at a square titled “Rage”. He then says “One rage every three months is permitted. Try not to hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it.” You can have one big moment of anger when you’re struggling but don’t take it out on the people trying to help you.
I get that sometimes you feel like you have to bottle everything up until it explodes. That doesn’t mean when it finally happens that you can take those feelings out on everyone. Especially if they’re only trying to make things a little better for you. Try not to bottle those emotions up, talk to someone when you need help. I promise whoever it is will do everything that they can to help you feel better.
4. “Don’t start chasing applause and acclaim. That way lies madness.”
During this episode, Leslie is doing everything that she can to save townspeople from themselves with her power in legislation. She worked hard to pass new acts and laws but was driven to the point of quitting. She exclaims this to Ron to which he replies, “You choose a thankless job, you can’t be upset when nobody thanks you. Don’t start chasing applause and acclaim. That way lies madness.”
After hearing this, Leslie realizes that she didn’t want to quit because she didn’t love her job or because she wasn’t passionate about it anymore. She realizes that she was seeking out external affirmation from everyone she was trying to help. While she’s trying to do this for the townspeople, it’s not just about them. She does her job because it’s who she is and she’s passionate about it. She’s not doing it for fame or recognition.
This is definitely one that I think we can all get behind. We don’t do our jobs or the things that we do for other people. We do them because that’s who we are and what we love. And we have to remember that the moment you start doing things for other people’s opinions and approval is the moment you begin to lose yourself. Don’t lose yourself trying to chasing fame and recognition. Stay true to yourself, always.
5. “Live your life how you want, but don’t confuse drama with happiness.”
During a conversation with Donna, Ron is explaining to her that drama isn’t happiness. Donna is used to living a life full of superficial and tumultuous relationships. She finds traditional, stable one on one relationships to be boring.
Ron being in a stable, happy marriage finally sees the world in a different light and just wants to pass that onto Donna. He knows Donna deserves someone who is going to be good to her, not those who bring her drama. Drama might be exciting but it’s not what makes you happy. Ron Swanson is a good friend to everyone.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have struggled with this before. I spent time in a long, unhealthy relationship with someone because I thought the drama and everything was normal. I wasn’t happy but like I said, I just thought it was normal. Over 2 years later, I’ve finally let all the drama go and I’m much happier. Get rid of that unnecessary drama, it is NOT happiness. I promise. You will find it in the right place.
What are some of your favorite Parks & Rec quotes?
Read Why Ron Swanson Is One of the Best TV Characters of the Century—As Explained by Nick Offerman on The Ringer!
Read Kailey’s post 12 More Times “Bojack Horseman” Got Real About Mental Health here on TurningPointCT.org!