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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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Melania Trump Introduces Her "Be Best" Agenda

The First Lady's initiative during her husband's term focuses on children and social media.

On May 7, Melania Trump unveiled her platform as First Lady during a speech in the White House Rose Garden. Unlike many First Ladies before her, Mrs. Trump's initiative is not narrowed down to a single issue but focuses broadly on helping children. Her original platform was based on combatting cyberbullying, but after the consideration of her husband's presence on social media, she was advised against it.

The main objective of the First Lady's platform, titled "Be Best", is to promote the social and emotional well-being of children. Mrs. Trump provided an outline of the initiative with three pillars of which included physical and emotional health, the responsible use of social media, and the effects of the opioid crisis on children.

Over the past year, Melania Trump has stayed out of the public eye, making her launch of Be Best her most visible and impactful action in the White House so far. A major part of her initiative contrasts with her husband's presence online. President Trump is known for his rants and controversial posts on Twitter, that have even included phrases such as "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! " and, "If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend! ".

Aside from social media, the First Lady is also focusing on drug abuse. She plans to address the opioid crisis by bringing attention to "neonatal abstinence syndrome, and help educate parents on the importance of healthy pregnancies."

After Melania Trump's speech unveiling how to plans to take action, the President signed a "Be Best" proclamation, establishing May 7 as Be Best Day.

Cover Image Credit: U.S. Department of Defense

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