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Friday, March 26, 2010

Cowboy Up

A few weeks ago an article in the Boston Globe caught my eye. I cut it out and have had it sitting on our counter for a few weeks, and I've been thinking about it a lot. It is about "Cowboy Ethics" and stems from a book by James Owen entitled "Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West." The Wyoming Legislature recently passed a bill instilling this code into state law. While only symbolic with no criminal penalties, it is meant to serve as a reminder of how people should act towards each other.

The Ten Principles of the code are:
1. Live each day with courage
2. Take pride in your work
3. Always finish what you start
4. Do what has to be done
5. Be tough, but fair
6. When you make a promise, keep it
7. Ride for the brand
8. Talk less and say more
9. Remember that some things aren't for sale
10. Know where to draw the line

It all sounds simple enough. But to be loyal, to live with courage, to know the value of friendships, to keep your promises? That takes work, even in the best of times. It's not an easy creed by which to live. No one is perfect (although my 6 year old daughter announced last night at dinner that she is pretty close while the rest of us are struggling). It's always good to be given a reminder like this of what is important, and to let the junk just go. Shoot-outs in the town square are no longer the status quo, so just moving on from the junk is probably the better alternative. Seek out those who embody what you believe to be significant, and learn from them. Kindness. Humor. Consideration. Authenticity. Imagination. Fidelity. Truth. Empathy. Respect. Insert your favorite cowboy quality here. Embrace all those cowboys and cowgirls around you. They are onto something with this code.

Be good. Be strong.


  1. Cowboy Ethics is awesome....especially the LOYALTY part. Thanks.....again....Jen

  2. Jenny, I love this. It's so true. So true. There is nothing like reading something that forces you to reconnect with who you are, where you are and which way you're moving. You summed it up just right.
    We are all behind you as you lace up those shoes to run your tail off for something that has been running the lives of those you love. Thank you for writing, running and inspiring.