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Mike Rowe from ‘Dirty Jobs’ talks victimhood and the value of hard work

Mike Rowe from ‘Dirty Jobs’ talks victimhood and the value of hard work

After testing shark suits, cleaning out sewers, and wrangling venomous snakes, Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs” knows firsthand what a hard day’s work looks like.

And he’s grateful for it.

“‘Dirty Jobs,’ in so many ways, reconnected me to some things that I kind of lost sight of in my life — things I'd become disconnected from ... like where my food comes from and where my energy comes from,” he tells Stu Burguiere.

However, the show also taught him about “job satisfaction” and “the dignity of work.”

After a few seasons of the show, Mike began asking himself questions like, “What do [dirty jobs workers] know that I don't? And how come they're having so much fun covered in other people's crap? And why is my idea of success being turned inside out?”

The answer he found was that these “dirty jobbers” just “didn’t [have] a lot of self pity.” Rather, they had “an awareness” of the reality of their jobs, which were “often out of sight ... out of mind and seen by many as nonglamorous.”

“But rather than accept all of those stigmas and stereotypes as victims,” there was a camaraderie among them and a sense of pride in their respective vocations.

They knew what would “happen if [they] all [called] in sick for a week,” says Mike.

This mentality of finding dignity in your work, however, seems to be dying in modern society, as victimhood has become the new "it" label.

“It's not only that people claim victimization all the time,” says Stu. “It's like the pinnacle of our society if you can paint yourself into a victim.”

To hear more of Mike’s take on the value of hard work, the victim mentality, and what he calls “infatuation with innovation vs. imitation,” watch the clip below.

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