A local High School features a class on Cowboy Ethics. It's focus seems to be on learning to do what is right, not always what is fashionable. The teacher asked me to come and present some cowboy poetry to the class and it was quite an eye-opener. A few of the students were aware of cowboy poetry, but most had never heard of it. It reminded me a little of when I performed cowboy poetry in mainland China. They understand the words but don't have the background to make sense of the feelings. But, I digress. This is a new poem I wrote for that class. Well, the part before the break is what I presented to them. (Church and State issues prevented me from reading the last half and I didn't want to possibly get the teacher in hot water)
A cowboy’s code of conduct is a guide to right and wrong
when dealing with the world today so we all get along.
If it isn’t yours, don’t take it. If it isn’t true, don’t say it.
If it isn’t right, don’t do it, but there’s a lot more to it.
Don’t take unfair advantage. Don’t betray a trust.
Always be respectful. Fight only when you must.
Always tell it like it is. Be gentle, kind and fair.
Be helpful when you’re needed; show others that you care.
Be brave but never careless. Be neat and always clean.
Protect the weak and helpless when others treat them mean.
A cowboy’s code of conduct: A western way to live.
The lesson for the rest of us: Less taking and more give.
It’s sort of like the code of conduct we learned as a kid;
Ten rules of interaction that governed all we did
from knowing who created us and all that we hold dear
to how we serve and honor Him. It’s also made real clear
that we’re to treat each other with honesty and grace,
be happy with the things we have and not get in the chase
for temporary treasures that someone else enjoys.
Contentment can’t be measured by more money or more toys.
It’s when you see a sunrise, taste the air after a rain
and know how much God loves you that eases your soul’s pain.
It’s a Godly code of conduct for how the world should live.
We’d get along much better with less taking and more give.
Jeff Hildebrandt © May 17, 2010