Living the Code of the West RSS



MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE WORLD

The cowboy culture of the American west continues to have an impact on our current culture. Cowboy hats, boots, poetry, literature, music, and dance. The distinctive clothing, the exciting stories of the wild west, the unique music and western dance are visible reminders of the cowboy. The Code of the West based on fair play, respect, loyalty and pride is still with us today as well, though not obviously visible. In a blessing my son gave at our family’s Christmas dinner, he reminded us to ‘Make an impact on the world, and don’t let the world impact us.’ This is a powerful statement. We live in a fast paced, everchanging world. We witness horrific events, corruption and immoral behavior. By...

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KNOW WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE

Cowboys driving cattle across the open range had no boundaries or fences. However, there were unwritten boundaries where a shared set of standards of right and wrong were honored. The cowboy had his own personal stand and was proud of what he stood for. He valued himself and knew where to draw the line. Every day we hear of political corruption, inappropriate behavior and unethical dealings. We may not be able to change this, but we can make sure we are clear on our personal stand. Have you taken some time to define what you stand for? What are your rock bottom beliefs that stand beyond which you won’t be pushed? Your stand is the expression of your character, which...

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REMEMBER SOME THINGS ARE NOT FOR SALE

 I have read a few interpretations of this Code of the West that imply to the ‘some things not being for sale’, as material objects. True, the few possessions the cowboy owned were of great value to him such as his horse and his saddle. Yet the great lesson we can learn from the cowboy, is that the best things in life are not things. It is the tranquil freedom of riding the open range, being a part of the morning sunrise, the feel of a good horse between his legs and the satisfaction of doing what he loves. We have all heard the old saying, “There are some things money can’t buy.” As a child I was often reminded...

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TALK LESS AND SAY MORE

The stereotypical cowboy is known as the strong silent type. He is a man of few words. The cowboy is a doer not a talker, he gets straight to the point, makes things simple, and says what he means. Characters played by Clint Eastwood and Sam Elliot depict this behavior. When they speak, you listen. They make every word count. Many years ago, as a beginner roper I was at a practice session, getting an overload of advice from a number of more experienced ropers. Each of them going into detail of what I was doing, and what I should be doing. I appreciated all the help yet was overwhelmed with the information. As I was processing the newly acquired...

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RIDE FOR THE BRAND

In the words of the great western writer, Louis L’Amour, “Ride for the Brand was an expression of loyalty to a man’s employer or the particular outfit he rode for. It was considered a compliment of the highest order in an almost feudal society. If a man did not like a ranch or the way they conducted their affairs he was free to quit, and many did, but if he stayed on, he gave loyalty and expected it.” A brand is the mark that identifies the ranch and the owner. It represents pride and duty, and creates a sense of identity for the cowboys who represent the brand. Riding for the Brand inspires loyalty and dedication to the ranch and...

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