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 that money does not buy happiness. Money also does not buy your character and what you stand for. This is earned. The 9th Code of the West, Remember Some Things Are Not For Sale, refers to the values that shape our character. Honor, dignity, integrity, respect and trust. These should never be sold for any price!

A great example of this, shared by James Owen, is from the movie Monte Walsh, played by Tom Selleck. The story of a turn-of-the-century cowboy that finds his way of life changing due to progress. Not being able to find work, he relinquishes himself to looking for work in town. The proprietor of a wild west show offers Monte a job playing the part of a “real cowboy” for $15.00 a week, which at the time was a lot of money. Reluctantly accepting, Monte puts on the ridiculous cowboy costume and looks in the mirror. He was disgusted by what he had been reduced to. There was no choice for Monte. No amount of money is enough to make him cheapen and dishonor his way of life. He may not be able to hold back progress, but he can hold on to his dignity.


Live the Code,