How Mike Rowe Wants to Restore Cultural Values Through Storytelling
By Movieguide® Staff
Whether Mike Rowe is on the screen as the host for his show DIRTY JOBS, or author of his book The Way I Heard It, he honors the stories of hardworking, everyday individuals.
According to Rowe, the ability to share their stories with the general public becomes the gateway into the broader issues in America today.
“I don’t think there’s one specific answer or playbook,” Rowe told Faithwire. “But part of the answer has to be storytelling. We have to do a better job of magnifying people who have prospered or found a measure of happiness by doing the very things that we want to celebrate.
“The problem is nobody wants a sermon and nobody wants a lecture and nobody wants to be scolded,” he added. “And I certainly don’t want to do any of those things, either. So it’s a tricky balance.”
According to Faithwire, Rowe recently practiced this technique when he told a fictionalized story about George Washington and the phrase, “so help me God.”
Rowe stitched together a mythical story about that very phrase. However, he used only real quotes from the Revolutionary War general to weave the narrative. In fact, in a recent podcast episode, the “Dirty Jobs” star interviewed a historian who corroborated the veracity of the Washington quotes he used in his tale.
That is the essence of what Rowe does: He draws in readers, listeners, and viewers with masterfully told stories and, in the process, teaches them valuable lessons — often without them even realizing it.
Rowe, who grew up in Maryland, said that his grandfather inspired his pursuit of truth through storytelling.
“He could build a house without a blueprint,” Rowe recalled. “He only went to the seventh grade, but he was an inspiration to me. [He] went on to become a skilled tradesman. … And ‘Dirty Jobs,’ which most people know me from, was a tribute to him. … So finding ways to tell stories of people like my pop really was the impetus for so much of what I’ve wound up doing.”
“Nobody’s more surprised than me to see how that has caught hold,” he added.
Rowe plans to release yet another project this May through TBN called, THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY.