If you don’t know her already… Leslie Knope is the lead character on a popular television show called “Parks and Recreation” (which completed its final season a few years ago. Tears!) From its first season until its last, I’ve had a remarkable connection with Leslie Knope.
The show as a whole is very therapeutic for me with its quirky humor and unique but loveable characters. So I’ve watched every episode more times than I can count, but we won’t touch on that addiction today.
Leslie’s character has helped me become more aware of my personality and strengths. Same goes for my weaknesses. Watching her has helped me love and laugh at my quirks. There’s something powerful about being able to relate to someone– even if they’re fictional– and feel like there’s at least one other person out there who understands you.
Not only do I feel like Leslie is a lot like me but there are many things about her that I want to imitate. To me, she’s a perfect blend of a serious go-getter and a playful, often idealistic, dreamer. In the show, she is a local government worker, fully committed to impacting her community (which is the town of Pawnee but also the lives of her friends.)
Here are 9 reasons why I want to be like Leslie Knope:
1. She’s an extremely hard worker because she believes in what she does and wants to make a difference. She is also known to be tenacious and sometimes controlling. But that part of her personality leads to constant mishaps and shenanigans that she learns from.
2. She is extremely loyal to her friends.
3. She is not afraid to be who she is or to run after her goals… with almost complete and foolish abandon!
4. Still, she is not so consumed by her goals where she can’t be loving. She’s very kind.
5. She’s renown for her CONSTANT gift-giving and compliments.
She can almost always put a positive spin on things. And she’s got a sweet tooth. How could you NOT love this type of person?!
6. She wants to make EVERYTHING special. Leslie is nostalgic and idealistic when it comes to memories and special moments.
I think my husband would tell me that sounds awfully familiar to him. Moments and memories are very important to me too, because I feel like they’re the very things that make life special.
7. She is enthusiastic! We should all seize each day with at least a 1/4 of her zeal.
8. She supports other women and doesn’t see them as competition.
9. She loves breakfast food. It’s the only thing that rivals her commitment to her work and friendships. She’s particularly obsessed with waffles but they must have lots of whipped cream.
The importance of breakfast time and the food it includes have become an important part of my life too. With most jobs, it’s hard to accomplish taking time to eat your first meal of the day slowly. So when I get to have a good breakfast, it’s symbolic of rest, enjoyment, and quality time with family or friends.
We all Need a Leslie to be a Leslie
In the show, Leslie has many role models, especially female ones. She also admires all of her friends, even those who work under her like April or Donna.
We all need people –and characters– to admire. There are many inspiring people in stories and real life who give us examples of living well and being ourselves. Leslie Knope just happens to also entertain! Thanks, Leslie!
We’re still becoming the people we’re meant to be. We need others to inspire us. And we need community– which is the overarching experience among all the characters on Parks and Rec.
So take a lesson from Leslie and her team and get after it each day. And have some fun while you do it.