In Which I Wax Political- Take 2

I’m not really sure if this is political, but given the current state of things, political climate, and discussions of what Americans deserve, it may have political implications. I have spent an unseemly amount of time listening to Mike Rowe of late, and it occurs to me that Mr. Rowe is a fount of a lot of excellent counsel. He’s a whole lot more than just a pretty voice.

This little blog is just a reminder to me that there is someone of note out there offering, in a non-political context, the kind of advice that my father gave us. It’s fallen out of vogue, but it needs to make a comeback.

I swiped Mr. Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. pledge for the edification of my few faithful readers. You can find out more info on his website, S.W.E.A.T, stands for Skill and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo. The pledge:

1.I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.

2. I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, andthe pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.

3. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.

4. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.

5. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.

6. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.

7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.

8. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.

9. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.

10. I believe that I am a product of my choices –not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.

11. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.

12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.

On my honor, I hereby affirm the above statements to be an accurate summation of my personal worldview. I promise to live by them.

Mr. Rowe currently has $650,000 in scholarship money available to train people in jobs that actually exist, pay the much-ballyhooed living wage, and do not require a four-year degree. In order to get access to it, however, applicants must sign the S.W.E.A.T. pledge.

Not everyone appreciates that condition, and some people have accused Mr. Rowe of espousing right-wing dogma by extolling the value of hard work. he categorically denies the charge, and I agree with him.


10 thoughts on “In Which I Wax Political- Take 2

  1. Elspeth says:

    There can be bad work environments, not to be confused with work environments that are inherently dangerous as a part of the job.

    But it’s as Rowe says, attitude really is everything. Our daughter’s office was a pretty toxic place a few months ago. She did a few things. The frst is she refusedto verbally complain about it. Period. The seocnd was that she refusedto listen to herclose friend at work complain about it. Period.Becausethat often bordered on gossip. The thrid thing was that she went to people who could affect change and with whom she had earned a fair hearing. And she never stopped doing her job to the best of her ability, andshe prayed for wisdom and self-government of her own emotions and actions.

    Things got better. Not perfect, but better. She basically took Rowe’s advice -which she got from her dad- without ever having heard of the SWEAT pledge.

    I posted this because there are increasing numbers of Americnas who are so emotionaly driven sans critical thought, and so convinced that everything that is wrong in their lives is because of someone else “out there”. At least that’s how our political discourse is framed.

    I found it interesting that a guy who is not at all political zealot codified what used to be commonly held American beliefs and publicized them this way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robyn says:

    actually, what we’ve discovered is that the same mentality and structures apply. Generally, the same ‘pecking order’ applies to underlings more often than not.

    Perhaps it is different within the pecking order of professionals such as lawyers, accountants, doctors etc; of that I’ve no experience, only supposition.


  3. Robyn says:

    Also, another fun fact. This comes from my experience (years ago i worked in corrections before i started as a homemaker) plus my husband’s experience as well as a friend of ours that has been a fire fighter for many years. With a company (or environment like a firehouse) … it is ALWAYS the women that complain about work environment; rarely men. This makes complete sense because it is women that are externally motivated — they want things outside themselves to change to suit them. Whereas men, consider it apersonal challenge to their masculinity — they’re internally motivated.


  4. Bike Bubba says:

    Having something of a safety mindset myself, I really appreciate #6. I also confess struggling to communicate that to my kids, who for some odd reason seem to have absorbed the idea that because things aren’t blowing up around them all the time, that basic safety rules aren’t really that important.

    I can also commend the notion that we can make a lot of improvements in our workspaces as we do things as simple as refusing to engage in office gossip. There are some “hard nuts to crack”–e.g. “management has short term mindset and tunnel vision”–but there is a tremendous amount of good that can be done while working and over the water cooler/coffee pot.

    Liked by 1 person

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