When I first read this code, I had visions of cowboys riding out into blizzard conditions to search for stranded cattle or lost calves, risking their lives fighting off cattle rustlers, or any number of the tough duties that comprise being a cowboy.

Though all these jobs had to be done, this code more accurately portrays what you stand for, and how much you will risk to keep it in tact. One of my favorite movies Open Range, is a great example of standing up for what is right. Boss and Charley have been grazing cattle for over 10 years. They have a run-in with a rancher that hates free grazers, and tells them to move on, or they will be killed and the herd scattered. Boss vows to protect the cattle. Charley asks, “You reckon them cows are worth getting killed over?” Boss replies, “The cows is one thing, but one man telling another where he can go in this country is something else.”  After two of Boss and Charley’s men are shot, with one dying and one badly wounded, Boss made the decision to risk it all to do the right thing. They could have gathered the cattle and moved on. But being men of strong character and holding on to their beliefs, they made a stand. A gunfight incurred. Of course, the good guys won but the lesson we can learn is, when we are fully aware of our stand, we can face fear with courage.

We can all face situations that cause us to make a tough decision. Discovering a co-worker is behaving unethically, knowing that a friend is being harassed or bullied, being aware that you must have a difficult conversation, or accepting responsibility and making a sincere apology.

When faced with a tough decision, remember your stand. Ask yourself, “What do I stand for?” Not just the standard rules and principles that your family or society think you should believe. Rather, what are your solid rock-bottom beliefs that stand beyond where you won’t be pushed?

Your stand answers the question, “What would I do?” How do you want to be remembered?


Live the Code