Monday, 11 April 2016

Why we should all be more like Ron and Leslie

One of my favourite television shows and the only one that makes me cry over a miniature horse is Parks and Recreation. It is not only immensely funny but touching, thought provoking and loving. The whole show is based around a group of people working in the parks department of Pawnee, Indiana who all have completely different personalities and political views but still respect and love each other.

Leslie and Ron are two of the main characters who both have very strong views on politics, friendship and breakfast food. Leslie on one hand is confident liberal with a portrait of Hilary Clinton in her office and a crush on Joe Biden. Ron believes government is useless and wants to eliminate the post office; his idea of a perfect government is one man in a room who can only decide who to nuke. It would be very easy for these two completely different people to hate each other but the whole point of this post is that they don't. In fact they are friends, or as Ron would say "work proximity associates". They could not disagree more about politics and government and social issues like parenthood and marriage but they are still good people and see each other as good people. This is something we seem to be unable to do in real politics that don't involve parks or town rivalries. It's all too easy to assume that someone of a different political stance to you is wrong or misinformed and that you will never be able to be friends with them because you are so different.

Although Parks and Rec is a comedy show based in a fictional town with fictional issues, perhaps if the way these problems are addressed were applied to the real world, the world of politics would be a much nicer and more appealing place. Whilst Ron and Leslie almost never agree, they respect each other and I think this is something we are missing. Some people are too caught up in mocking David Cameron's forehead or Jeremy Corbyn's suit choice to see that we all (mostly) want the same thing and that is a better society. People disagree on how to reach this goal and are quick to bash anyone with a different idea which is why politics and government have become so dark and uninviting. The only thing Ron and Leslie seem to agree on is that we should all eat more breakfast food but they both also want the best for each other and their friends (work proximity associates).
You never know, you might just meet some really cool people if you just accept we don't all think the same things and that is perfectly okay.

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