Human beings have this perception that things that are "easier" are almost always better.
It's true, for the most part — you shouldn't waste your time on things that aren't worth it in favor of higher priority concerns. It's like obsessing over the type of cheese you're going to platter for a friendly get-together while you're working a job you hate and your resume's been collecting dust and needed to be updated three years ago.
You should absolutely be willing to get your hands metaphorically "dirty" in order to accomplish your dreams.
Especially if that includes actual dirty work. For some people, being successful isn't defined by sitting in an office or behind a computer all day. Lots of folks like working with their hands and getting the occasional grime on themselves. And enjoying that lifestyle doesn't make them lesser.
This is a vital lesson Andy Ross hopes he imparted on a mother and young girl he encountered at the store when he had some dirt on his face. He shared the message on Facebook, where it's been shared over 163,000 times. Andy writes that the child kept staring at his dirty face, which didn't bother him, until the young girl's mother tried to use him an example of "why you should stay in school."
"So I had a very interesting 'educational' conversation with a woman and her daughter today," he wrote. "As I entered the store before I got home, a little girl kept staring at me. Which is fine. I know that kids are curious when they see someone, especially as dirty as I was."
The author of the post ended up behind the mother-daughter duo at checkout, and the girl continued to stare at his dirt-smudged face. Her mother told her to stop staring, and they finished their transaction.
That could have been the end of the encounter, only Andy overheard a comment he probably wasn't meant to hear. " , "I hear her mom say quietly to the little girl 'that is why you need to stay in school,'" he recalls. "I figured this was a great time to educate this mother and her 7/8-year-old daughter."
Andy decided to relieve the mom of her ignorance. "First," he said, "I happen to be a very educated dirty man. I not only have a high school diploma, I also have a college degree and many medical certifications. So assuming that I am uneducated because of my appearance is actually quite ignorant in itself." Preach!
In addition to pointing out that being dirty from work doesn't necessarily mean his job isn't a skilled one, Andy pointed out that his tattoos aren't any reason to judge him, either. "Secondly, if you are telling your daughter to stay in school because I have tattoos up and down my arms, that will actually suppress her creativity and potentially hinder her imagination as she develops."
He continued by letting this mom know his body art's special significance. "It’s a representation of my pride in my country and my service over multiple combat tours as a special operations medic."
One by one, he pointed out the features about his appearance that led this mother to get the wrong idea about him and teach her impressionable daughter to do the same with strangers she meets.
For example, his wardrobe and dirty face were because of — not in spite of — the fact that Andy is actually a successful business owner.
"I happen to co-own Evergreen State Outdoors and am proud to own an outdoors company and support my rights to hunt and responsibly be a gun owner."
After explaining why his appearance was absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, Andy went on to tell the mother why his choice of profession, while a dirty job, was a source of pride, not shame. "I tried working a desk job when I got out of the service and it wasn’t for me. I enjoy working with my hands and being outdoors. Subsequently, it comes with being dirty some days."
But even if he doesn't put on a suit and tie every morning, Andy is proud that the work he performs every day helps him provide for his family "without issue."
After eloquently explaining why his appearance had nothing to do with his intellect or education, he wished the mom well.
"I left the two with a simple final statement of 'have a good day and try not to judge people before you know anything about them.'"
It's something we all strive to teach our kids — heck, it's sort of a golden rule, right along with "treat others as you wish to be treated."
We all need reminders from time to time, so Andy shared a handy list of takeaways from this exchange.
Today’s lesson for the day:
1- don’t judge people at first glance.
2-do what you love and enjoy and it’s never work.
3-blue collar jobs are the best jobs. They can pay great and it doesn’t always come with a price tag.
4-education is important, but college doesn’t guarantee you anything.
5- experience, hard work, and dedication allow you to be successful in your career path.
6-don’t be an a**hole parent who raises their kids to be an a**hole.
7- when attempting to insult someone’s intelligence and education level, don’t allow yourself to be out educated by said dirty man.
8- I need a shower.
People loved the post and the "lesson" he hopefully taught the young girl and her mother that day.
Equally insulting to people who work "dirty jobs" is the appropriation of "hard work culture," something former Dirty Jobs show host Mike Rowe talked about at length in a Facebook post blasting "fake mud jeans."
Mike really hits the nail on the head by pointing out that many of the people who would pay this kind of money for designer jeans made to look like they were worn while doing hard work are the often same people who mock manual labor.
"If Nordstrom’s wants to carry them, the description would read something like this:
'Finally — a pair of jeans for the hard-working gent who doesn’t want to actually wear them. The Borax Wash is so rugged and so manly, they don’t even need a human to hold them up! So sit back and relax, secure in the knowledge that your work pants can’t be folded or stored like other jeans. Show the world you mean business by owning the only jeans that can’t be worn! The jeans that can stand on their own!'
$600 — only at Nordstrom."
Just goes to show what can become of people who have too much money and not enough sense. Especially, when you could easily save yourself $550 or so and just do what Ryan here suggests:
But I guess that would be too much "dirty" work for some people to handle.