Parks and Recreation gave viewers countless memorable moments in its 2009-2015 run. Each character had multiple shining, laugh out loud moments throughout the show. Pyramid mustache.
Among those who had the most was the director of the Pawnee Parks Department, Ron Swanson. One day he could wipe out all of JJ's Diner's eggs in a single sitting, the next he could be seen wooing numerous women under the stage name "Duke Silver."
Among his greatest moments was the time he coached youth basketball in Season 3 Episode 1 "Go Big or Go Home." This unveiled the key to Ron's accomplished life: the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness.
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Whether you're down on your luck or looking for confirmation that you're on the right path in life, everyone could use a reminder, in ascending order, of "Every Key To The Swanson Pyramid Of Greatness."
Nothing wrong with cutting the extra nonsense in life.
(There are nine components to the first tier, which could be viewed as the foundation to what makes Ron, Ron.)
"God's way of determining who smart and who is poor."
Pretty sure capitalism was man-made, not God's doing. Can't imagine that'd matter to Ron either way.
43 Facial Hair
"Full, thick and square. Nothing sculpted. If you have to sculpt it, that probably means you can't grow it."
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This is actually a pretty fair stance. Though, if that means you're growing a bushy mustache like Ron's, or a Hagrid-like beard, then forget about it.
42 Living In The Woods
Do people still do this in the 21st century? Isn't everything processed in a factory now?
"One rage every three months is permitted. Try not to hurt anyone who doesn't deserve it."
Everyone can use a little venting session once in a while. But raging to the point where you can cause physical harm seems a bit rash.
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This sounds a lot like something one of Ron Swanson's least favorite people, Ron Dunn, would say.
"Sting like a bee. Do not float like a butterfly. That's ridiculous."
Ron takes a little shot at Muhammad Ali's world famous quote, "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."
Sorry, Ron, but The Champ probably wins that fight.
Do not gloss over this point!
37 Body Grooming
"Only women shave beneath the neck."
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Hmmm... let's chalk this one up to personal preference.
"One to three is sufficient."
See, now, Ron doesn't even live by this one, if he's being honest with himself. He has at least four friends in the Pawnee Parks Department alone.
(This marks the start of Ron's second level.)
35 Property Rights
"They exist. Do not let them be taken away from you."
Is someone trying to take them away from us?
"Building walls makes you strong. Defending them makes you even stronger."
Something says the Parks and Rec writers would've crafted this a bit differently if this episode had aired a few years after the show concluded.
"A place to rest that is made of logs."
This seems more like an observation than a "key to greatness."
"Only sweat during physical activity or love making. No emotional sweating."
Keep in mind, this is coming from a guy who's seldom nervous, if ever.
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And what about those of us who sweat just sitting down? Didn't think that one through, did you, Ron?
"You are your biggest ally."
"Acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon."
Ron didn't cry when he read the poem Leslie Knope gave him when he visited the Lagavulin distillery in Scotland, but he came pretty darn close. Definitely got choked up. He may want to revise this point.
29 Physical Fitness
You can't go wrong being active. Ron doesn't workout like most people do, but he does plenty enough to stay healthy, despite eating so much garbage -- aside from all the protein he eats, of course.
My mustache is thin
"Give 100%. 110% is impossible. Only idiots recommend that."
He's right. People need to hear nonsense about that extra 10 percent because some don't know how to give full effort. When you go "110%" you're actually giving your 100 percent effort.
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(You are now on the third tier in the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness.)
"Should be thick and impenetrable."
Ron may have overlooked things like knives when crafting this point. It's pretty much impossible to make your body "impenetrable," for those who weren't aware.
26 Old Wooden Sailing Ships
Can't really argue with him there.
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This is another point that seems more like an observation than something pertinent to succeeding in life.
"Cultivating a manly musk puts your opponents on notice."
If you have problems with B.O., here is your way to justify it.
"Don't waste energy moving unless necessary."
What's so weird about this point is Ron won't watch television or anything while remaining still, like most people. He'll just stare off into the abyss, and think about nothing. (It's also why he's excellent at practicing meditation.)
23 Skim Milk
Not his worst piece of advice on this list.
"There's only one bad word: taxes. If any other word is good enough for sailors, it's good enough for you."
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The whole bit about sailors may be a bit far-fetched, but his idea about "taxes" being a bad word is pretty fair.
21 Cow Protein
Whether it be the baby calves he raised as a child or a fattened order from Paunch Burger, Ron always has room for more cow.
(In Ron's fourth level, you'll notice there's a consistent theme, with one rather odd outlier.)
20 Pig Protein
Bacon over everything. You could almost argue he's a bacon activist based on his actions at Grain 'N Simple, where he threw away the free samples of vegan bacon.
Fun fact: Ron has 38 secret locations in the Parks Department office where he stashes bacon.
19 Chicken Protein
The leanest of all the proteins on Ron's list, though probably the one he eats the least over the course of the show.
18 Romantic Love
What should probably be included in this section is, "Avoid this with anyone named Tammy at all costs."
Also, why is this on the same tier as all the food he eats?
This would also be a good time to mention he showed this pyramid to a group of kids.
17 Deer Protein
Probably the one Ron relies on most when he's in seclusion in the wilderness.
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Well, at least there's one animal safe from the jaws of Ron Swanson.
"The ability to repeat a boring thing over and over again."
In this sense of the word, "discipline" is defined by Merriam-Webster as "orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior."
Ron's definition sounds much better.
(This marks the beginning of the fifth tier.)
"Shorts over 6" are capri pants. Shorts under 6" are European."
Surprised there's nothing about polos on here. Maybe Ron feels like the topic of shorts is a major one that needs addressing.
Ron has over 40 keys to greatness on this list. This is one of the few that isn't debatable.
No one else? Really? Not even your own mother?
11 Skim Milk
"That's right. It's on here twice. Avoid it."
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"Work together as if your life depended on DOES!"
Doesn't this contradict his last point on tier five? You can't really work well with others if there isn't some level of trust.
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Unless Ron trusts people to do something, but in reality doesn't trust them and has a fail-safe plan for every outcome.
Let that sink in for a moment.
(Quite the way to start level six.)
This could easily be taken the wrong way. Yes, if it's yours don't let someone steal it. But don't take something from someone else just because you think it should be yours.
That might be a bit too long of a point for Ron, but the clarification seems necessary.
"3 acceptable styles: High and Tight, Crew Cut & Buzz Cut."
So, I take it he wasn't a fan of Sunshine in Remember The Titans.
Didn't Ron have cornrows at one point?
7 Greatness Itself
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This doesn't mean to strive for greatness to get back others...right?
Keep in mind, he was showing this list off to children. Probably not his best move.
(Seventh tier. Almost done.)
5 Wood Working
Certainly can't hurt to do some manual labor here and there. May not want to advise children to work unsupervised, though.
4 Welfare Avoidance
Just good advice for anyone in general.
"The only country that matters. If you want to experience other 'cultures,' use an atlas or a ham radio."
Another one Ron has not lived by. Although it wasn't entirely by choice, Ron took a trip to London. He also went to Scotland, and appeared to have a pretty good time over there.
(Only one tier left after this!)
"Whenever available. Choose quantity over quality."
Ron won't agree with this, but there are probably some buffets you should avoid. Some places aren't so careful about what goes in your food.
"If you need it defined, you don't have it."
As crazy as it sounds, this makes sense.
Among all Ron's keys to greatness, this one encapsulates him the most. He may be a little off-the-wall, but Ron generally wants to do the right thing.
(Or at least what he deems to be the right thing.)
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