Mike Rowe, of “Dirty Jobs” fame, routinely hands out scholarships for students pursuing trade careers, but there are some strings attached. Each student who applies must first sign a “S.W.E.A.T. Pledge,” which includes a commitment to hard work.
One mother apparently had such a problem with the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge that she had to let Rowe know about it.
“Mr. Rowe – I heard about your “work ethic scholarship program,” and suggested my son apply. He wants to be a welder! I was appalled though, when he showed me your ‘sweat pledge,’ and told me that signing it was required of all applicants,” she wrote. “Where did you come up with this nonsense? There are so many things wrong with this document I don’t even know where to begin!! Suffice it to say, we will not be applying!!!”
As is usually the case, Rowe issued a thoughtful and thorough response on his Facebook page.
“If it’s any consolation, you’re not the only one to object to my S.W.E.A.T Pledge, or do so with an over-reliance on exclamation points!! Over the years, it’s been my sad duty to inform lots of angry parents that this particular pile of free money might not be for them, or for their children,” he wrote.
After sincerely wishing her son success in his career, Rowe got blunt and informed the mother he had no interest in giving anyone a scholarship who don’t share his values around work.
“But to be clear, I have absolutely no interest in paying for his training if doesn’t share my opinions on the importance of hard work, a positive attitude, delayed gratification, and personal responsibility,” he added. “Sorry – I made a promise to the people who contribute to this fund, and I can’t bend the rules. Fortunately, lots of scholarship funds will hand out money with no strings attached, and if you poke around, I’m sure you’ll find one that’s more in line with your worldview.”
So what’s the big fuss about Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. pledge? Read the entire thing below:
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, and the 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.