10 Reasons To Be Like Leslie Knope In 2016

10 Reasons To Be Like Leslie Knope In 2016

New Year's resolutions for everyone.

Leslie Knope is the main character in the fictional series, "Parks and Recreation". If you haven't binge watched every episode yet, I suggest you head over to Netflix right now. The series offers many realistic characters and there's someone for everyone to relate to. The series centers around Leslie Knope, and not without good reason. Being a "Leslie Knope" is a huge compliment. Here are some reasons we should all be a little more like Leslie Knope:

1. Leslie puts 400% effort into everything she does.

We can all put in more effort in some aspect of our lives. Whether it's work, relationships, friendships, school or being healthy, everyone can improve! People are getting lazier and lazier these days with the increasing technology that's available to us. Give something your all and be proud of the results!

2. She goes out and gets her dreams.

Leslie doesn't let rejection get to her. She probably already has a few back-up plans to help her get what she wants. We all get discouraged sometimes, but we can't let that stop us. Just like Leslie, we should all brush it off and formulate a new plan or a different approach.

3. Leslie is extremely optimistic.

Not only is she the kind of person who keeps going in the face of rejection, but Leslie is also the kind of person that never gives up hope. Even more importantly, she doesn't let the people around her give up hope either. Everyone can't always stay positive in every situation, but having one person around who can brightens the whole group.

4. She is the best kind of feminist.

Feminist comes with many negative connotations, but these don't depict Leslie Knope. She's not the shove it down your throat kind of feminist. Not until someone tells her that girls can't do something boys can. Only when provoked does Leslie put all her efforts into proving them wrong. She is someone who truly believes in gender equality. The best part is that she wants to teach this to young girls. Discriminatory behavior and thought is learned when we are young. By targeting young girls and showing them that they can do anything boys can, we can end these gender stereotypes. (We also need to teach these lessons to young boys, but that's a whole different argument.)

5. She always remembers to give personalized and thoughtful gifts.

Nobody is a perfect friend, but Leslie Knope is pretty darn close. She is the kind of friend that always has a perfect and meaningful gift. I wish I had her talent of knowing exactly what to get people. Leslie is so naturally thoughtful that she even invented her own holiday, Galentine's Day, which is to celebrate your girl friends the day before Valentine's Day. She shows us that gifts aren't about the money and are really about appreciating the receiver. If we all gave meaningful gifts like Leslie Knope did, the world would be a much sun-shinier place!

6. She is an excellent leader.

Leslie Knope is the definition of a great leader. She reads the people around her extremely well, which comes in handy to delegate tasks and motivate others. Although she would love to do everything herself and have it done her way, Leslie knows when it's time to delegate people to tasks based on their strengths. Separation between boss and leader can be difficult sometimes, but Leslie knows how to handle it. Every leader should also be a hard worker, this way their followers feel more equal to them. These are qualities that many people forget sometimes.

7. She is progressive and forward-thinking.

Since Leslie works for the government, taking a political stance can be a dangerous thing. But she stands up for what she believes in--gay rights and feminism especially. Repetition and habit make us feel safe. They give us a sense of security. What we have to remember is that everything was new once. Let's all follow Leslie's example by being open-minded and receptive to things that are new.

8. She loves her work and makes it fun.

Leslie loves what she does and does what she loves. Lots of people these days are concerned with money and getting a job that pays, but I'm taking notes from Knope. I want to find a job that I love doing. I want to have fun while I'm helping people like Leslie Knope. This is a lesson I learned from my mother as well. If you're going to spend your whole life doing something, make it something you're passionate about.

9. Leslie wants to make things better for everyone.

One of my favorite things about Leslie Knope is her kind heart. She wants to do good and make her town of Pawnee, Indiana better. But not just what she wants to fix, she wants to make it better for the good of the community. We need more people like this in politics. Leslie is a great example of someone who was voted by the people to work for the people. Even though most of us don't work for the government, we can all contribute a small effort to make our communities better for everyone.

10. She maintains her sense of humor through everything.

Strict work ethic is usually accompanied by no sense of humor. This is not the case with Leslie Knope. Although she takes her work extremely serious, she still remains lighthearted. Leslie is proof that you can be a super fun person while you work your butt off. We all get stressed out sometimes. By channeling our inner Leslie Knope*, we can all have a super fun time while accomplishing our dreams.

*Eating waffles with whipped cream will definitely help you channel your inner Leslie.

Cover Image Credit: Media Cache

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Will Enough Ever Be Enough?

Yet another school shooting in America, still nothing done. We are dying.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018: We are all heartbroken to hear about another school shooting.

At Great Mills High School in Maryland, a 17-year-old male is pronounced dead at the scene after shooting two other students and a school resource officer. Just before their first period started, at 7:55 am, Austin Rollins shot one male and one female student with a handgun before being shot by the school's resource officer. While the 16-year-old female is in critical condition, the 14-year-old male is currently stable. This is the 17th school shooting in 2018. That's 17 days out of the past 80 that parents have gone to bed with their children in body bags as a result of gun violence.

I don't care what political party you associate with, gun violence is completely out of control. I am a registered Republican and completely agree with stricter gun laws. Learn the difference between a gun ban and sales control. Concerned citizens are not trying to take away your guns, but are trying to take away the rights from those that are risks.

Could you imagine legally having to send your child to school but never coming back? You've packed their lunch, maybe with a special note, and gave them a kiss before they left for school, not knowing that it was their last. No matter where we go, we are not safe. We can't go to malls, movie theaters, schools, or even churches without having to worry if it will be our last trip. Our homes, our places of worship, and our schools are supposed to be the places where we feel safest and, instead, our children are filled with fear. Instead of focusing on the political views that divide these groups, why don't we focus on what unites us? Why don't we focus on protecting our kin?

Everyone has had an opinion on the walkouts that have been happening around the country. Everyone has had an opinion on the 17 minutes of silence for the 17 children lost in the Florida shooting. I've seen people disgusted that Nickelodeon had 17 minutes of broadcast cut because it "interrupted the only program [I] let [my] children watch".

If your child was shot at school, you wouldn't have to worry about what programs they watch, but rather where to bury them and how to afford their memorial.

I've seen people saying that it's no wonder that Millenials are dumb. They "find any excuse to cut class". Have you thought about the fact that they are genuinely worried about going to school?

Personally, I've experienced both a shooting scare at my high school and a bomb threat at my college. I shouldn't have to worry about my life ending. I'm legally forced to go to high school and get an education or I'm putting myself into a lifetime of debt to get a degree.

We are all too young to stress about gun violence. Our school years are supposed to be the times our of lives, but they're being wasted on worrying about dying every day.

Rest in peace to all of those who have lost their lives in shootings, not only this year, but always. Hopes, thoughts, and prayers go out to their loved ones. One day, we will unite and find a solution.

We need to work together and forget the labels of parties and cliques in school and look out for one another instead. There is no kind but mankind.

Cover Image Credit: Boston Herald

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The Republican Versus Democrat Stigma Needs To Slow Down

We Need To Be Individual Again

We as a society have developed an unnecessary need to place people in a specific party based on what could be a single value out of many. This is a letter for those who do not define themselves as one or the other; for those whose values range between conservative and liberal, for those who feel the unfortunate pressure of society to choose one even though your values do not fit just one.

The political parties at one point generally just meant “these are my basic beliefs, so this is the candidate I will vote for because they most closely represent them.” Party affiliation was harmless. Republicans and Democrats could get along fine, differing opinions not getting in the way of relationships and alignment. More importantly, you did not have to be part of a specific political party to be an active member of society. Your opinions and principles were yours.

Over the years following the last two election races, political parties gained a much more significant and defining meaning in our lives as individuals and as members of society. There is a newly developed stigma behind political opinions. You are almost pressured to feel one way or another about every single topic. If a majority of your values are of the conservative agenda, you must be a heart-and-all Republican. In contrast, if you are more liberal-leaning you are docked as a set Democrat. We as citizens are being labeled according to what may be a few hard-values. And dishearteningly enough, can be ridiculed for what we value. Even if you might not value everything the same as your determined party.

There exists those of us that hold values from both parties. It is possible to value women’s rights and also value a traditional marriage. It is possible to be a gun owner and also active in keeping children safe in school. You do not have to just submit to every belief of one party. You can value aspects of different parties and still be a functioning member of the American society. Do not let the looming obligation to declare yourself as strictly one or the other. You do not have to pretend you agree with everything Democratic or everything Republican; you can have your own values. And you should. Our society is messed up in the way that values are pushed on citizens. We are meant to be free individuals with our private values.

It is not fair to those of us who value different things. Not every American is a to-the-bone Democrat or Republican. It is possible to hold liberal beliefs as a conservative person. And Vice-Versa. We need to stop labeling one another as one or the other, conservative or liberal. We need to stop silencing each other because we have differing views. We need to accept not everyone is perfectly one party, and diversity exists. Open mindedness exists in Americans, despite the seemingly growing generalizations. We need to be able to agree to disagree on certain topics.
Cover Image Credit: LexiHanna

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