An Open Letter to Mike Rowe. Let’s tear up the white and blue collars and start over.

Dear Mike Rowe,

You don’t know me and I know you. That’s ok, I won’t hold that against you. Nor would you hold that against me. Maybe that is what makes us alike. In fact, when I look at what I do and what you have done, maybe we aren’t far apart as some want us to believe. You see, society wants us to believe that a senior marketing professional and a ‘dirty jobs’ resume represent a great divide possibly as large as the Grand Canyon itself.

I don’t buy it.


The root of these two tracks may begin differently but the success of those who travel both provide an insight into what makes them successful. Passion, knowledge, poise, swagger, inspiration and humility…to name a few. I have seen these characteristics from my humble upbringing in a small city in Vermont all the way to the financial districts of Tokyo. As a result, I appreciate the man slinging trash from our bin as much as I appreciate the young professional writing the 29th press release of the week when it is just Tuesday.

In an ode to dirty professions let us both declare that there are many dirty professionals in which society wants to make a hierarchy of, yet, we know better. Pouring over data can be burdensome and tiring and so can  sifting over hours of unknown recyclables and discarded items forgotten by the many and revisited by the few.

No, I won’t accept that dirty jobs are somehow divided by the color of the collar. White OR Blue. Instead, let’s recognize that the jobs no one else wants to do and the successful measure we weigh them by is about the same common ingredients. Passion, knowledge, poise, swagger, inspiration and humility…again…to name a few.

I love what I do and so should everyone else. I am thankful for the many that help to make my life work in the way it does. There are so many I don’t know; from the person who sprints among the homes reading my electrical meter to the woman who decides that it is time for my taxes to have their audit. These are not people we necessarily hope for, yet, they are people that make our lives turn for the better.

Mike Rowe, thanks for making clarity and purpose out of roles we often dismiss. We appreciate your stories that acknowledge these people. We appreciate you elevating our own, seemingly, meaningless tasks in a world that only reward those on TV. I am glad we acknowledge those who make a difference and serve a purpose.

Keep it up Mike.

~matt gosselin, a purposeful marketing professional


Plant. Water. Grow.


We are co-workers in God’s field each with but one purpose.

One plants the seed. One waters it.

God makes it grow. (1 Cor. 3:7)

There is beauty in understanding that we serve a great purpose in God’s kingdom.  As I read through 1 Corinthians I thought of the small garden boxes we built in our backyard. I made each of the 4-foot boxes out of cedar boards, filled them with soil and each season our family decides what we are going to grow. Occasionally our 5-year-old, Emma Grace, uses a small tin can to help me water them. Aiden and Evan will help to pull weeds.

We are still learning. We tried growing corn and cucumbers with minimal results. Our carrots and any herbs we plant not only thrive but we get great use out of them. Since we began doing this four years ago we have both success and loss. Yet, there is still a sense of accomplishment in it. There is a sense of purpose that compels us to plant the following season.

A farmer I am not, but any farmer will tell you that it takes faith to plant, water and wait. It takes spiritual wisdom to understand that while grains of dirt become stuck under the beds of our fingernails, it is our Creator that makes it grow. We are reminded in Genesis 2 that at one time no plant had sprung up on earth because God had not sent rain to the earth. Once he created Adam,  God planted the great Garden of Eden and the great partnership began.

There are times in my career life when I have been planting and watering and have had great joy in doing so. There have been seasons when the planting and watering simply felt like, well,  just work. Then, there is waiting. Waiting for God to make it grow. This is not only the season I am currently in but its characteristics–patience and faith–need the most growth. In this realization, I have joy in knowing that I am exactly where I need to be.

Many are in this same season right now. We are faced with two choices. We can choose to listen to the world and its direction for us. The world will tell us that we aren’t good enough, we are failing, we aren’t loved and supported. The world will give us reasons to doubt and to show anger in place of love and forgiveness. We are not perfect, so we will experience times of doubt, temptation and loss of purpose. However, I don’t serve a god of doubt, temptation and loss of purpose.

I serve a God of love, hope and purpose so that in Him, we do not have to “grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)  I will choose a path of greater spiritual gain. This path produces perseverance, character and hope. Let our purpose and faith in God guide us into our next season.

Lord, let us find purpose and faith as you guide us into our next season.


Further Reading:

  • Genesis 2:4
  • Isaiah 61:3
  • 1 Corinthians 3:7
  • Galatians 6:9
  • Romans 5:3

#grow #purpose #purposedrivenlife #donotgrowweary #beautyfromashes #transition #transformation