Our Mike Rowe posts usually involve him slapping around some dinkus (see Mike Rowe Challenges Progressive to Defend Their Agenda and Mike Rowe Attacked Over ‘Work Ethic’ Scholarship). “Slapping” in that trademark way. Less with an open hand. More so with a smile. Something like this:
It’ll take you two weeks before you realize how stupid he made you look.
So I’m sure Rowe was just as surprised to share this letter. A letter not attacking Rowe’s message of hard work and blue collars. But praising it.
One semester into a flaccid liberal arts school, with a seminary affiliation, I realized that the path I trod didn’t lead anywhere I wanted to be, or would prepare me for anything I wanted to do. I wound up starting from the ground up, getting in to the technical field, hands on, by working hard and learning from older folks who were all too happy to show me everything they knew.
In my eighth decade of life, I’m not rich, nor famous, but I have loved every minute of my life, learning, teaching, mentoring, coaching, and savoring the words of Ecclesiastes: “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor.” We’ve lost sight of that simple goodness, seeking instead all the vanities that fill the desires of the body, but leave the soul hungry and thirsty. Chop wood, carry water. The essence of day to day life, and done mindfully, exceedingly fulfilling.
The reason this post stood out to me: an apolitical friend of mine shared a Mike Rowe meme this week. The meme was Rowe’s quotation about not waiting for the “right” job but just looking for a job. I’d say about 90% of the comments on the shared meme sounded like they were cut and pasted from Vox. “You shouldn’t work hard for someone else’s profits.” “Don’t kiss ass for a job that you hate.” “Slave wages.” And so on and so forth. Not sure what anyone of them do for a living. More than a few are probably paying off student loans for their [place “marginalized” group here] studies degree. But the comments are a reflection of the common attitude people have against work ethic. Or work in general. In the eyes of too many, taking a job just because you need a job is a bad thing. These losers usually blame others when they can’t provide for their families.
The woeful disrespect of work ethic, regardless of profession, is why Mike Rowe speaks out on the issues he does. This letter from one of his readers perfectly illustrates why.