9 Reasons Ron Swanson Is The Real Heart Of 'Parks And Recreation,' Because He's The Ultimate Mentor

Parks and Recreation may be over (sniff!), but my love for the show will literally never die. Every single character on the series provided viewers relationships that are enviable in the real world and they each played a part in making Parks and Recreation one of the best comedy series of recent years. Leslie Knope was the strength and spirit of the show, Andy Dwyer the innocence, April the realness, Tom was pure joy and Retta was pure badass-ery. But the character that always proved that the heart and love of a family can come in the most unlikely of places was and forever will be Ron Swanson.

He may have been gruff, he may have been persnickety (a word I've always wanted to use in a post), he may have at times been rude and too harsh, but Ron had so many amazing qualities and so much love for his friends that he could never be cut off from them and he could never be anything but caring and supportive of them, regardless of what he hoped and attempted to make of himself. So how was Ron Swanson the heart of Parks and Recreation ? Oh, let me count the many hilarious and wonderful ways.

1. He Protects His Friends & Family

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Ron has proved time and time again that he will do whatever necessary to protect and care for his friends and family. Plus, punching Jamm was just an added bonus for him and for us all.

2. He Sometimes Makes Decisions Without Using His Head

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Because usually he's making those decisions with his stomach, his ahem... nether regions, or his heart. And that's what makes him so lovable, ridiculous and endearing.

3. He Proved That Love Doesn't Have To Be Overt

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See this? This is beautiful? Simple but loving and honest. Just like Ron Swanson.

4. He Mentored So Many People

Ron gave Leslie and April so much advice and mentorship over the years, especially when April was finding it difficult to forgive Andy when April kissed him. He also provided mentorship and support to Andy by buying his college class and getting the couple a new toolbox among so many other things. But the best thing about Ron was that he also got his fair share of advice as well. He could be really stubborn about realizing when he was wrong or needed to adapt to changes, but he did it because he knew it was the right thing to do. Sometimes showing you can take advice is a way to mentor someone as well.

5. He Supported Everyone He Loved

Ron would do anything for Leslie or any of his other co-worker friends, regardless of what he says. He loves them and has supported them through everything, even if he doesn't show that love all the time in teddy bear-esque soft and cuddly ways.

6. He Loves Harder Than Anyone In His Own Weird Ways

Obviously yes, his relationships with both Tammy's were horrible, but it did prove that when Ron isn't thinking with his head and only his heart and other body parts, he's willing to love harder than anyone else in the world, in the creepiest and weirdest ways ever.

7. He's Unapologetically Himself

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Seriously, who else would ever think of the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness or this "Turf and Turf"? Literally no one because Ron has and always will be himself. And that's an important lesson he taught his friends over and over again. If that's not proof that he's the heart of the show, I don't know what is.

8. He Never Lets Anyone Down

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While Ron has definitely proved time and time and time again that he will only ever be true to himself, he won't let his friends and loved ones down. When Anne finally got to him and told him that if he didn't try to start eating a little healthier every now and then, he would leave his family sooner, he tried his hardest to eat a banana. After many unsuccessful attempts, he finally crushed one into a Paunchburger. Hey, it's the thought that counts, right? He did it for his family.

9. He's Ron F*ing Swanson

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Does anything else need to be said?

Images: Colleen Hayes/NBC; Rebloggy; Giphy (2)