When I was a little girl I wanted to be Annie Oakley, a wild west cowgirl. I had the gun and holster, a fringed vest and cowgirl hat. I used to talk into the speaker of the TV hoping she’d talk back. I wanted to be her; she was my hero. If she had a Code of Ethics, I’m convinced would be something like Gene Autry’s. And since my name and Gene’s are similar (you can call me Gene, lots of people do), I like the idea of adopting his Code of Ethics – even though it leans towards a guy’s approach.
- The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man or take unfair advantage.
- He must never go back on his word or a trust confided to him.
- He must always tell the truth.
- He must be gentle with children, the elderly and animals.
- He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
- He must help people in distress.
- He must be a good worker.
- He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits.
- He must respect women, parents and the nation’s laws.
- The Cowboy is a loyal friend and patriot.
Perhaps one more to add to the list would be, “He must be flexible when it comes to the honoring the differences between Cowboys and Cowgirls.”
And then there’s Will Rogers …
Will Rogers was an author, humorist and philosopher, and a cowboy of considerable wry wit and charm. Here is his take on the Cowboy Code:
- Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.
- Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
- There are 2 theories to arguing with a woman … neither works.
- Never miss a good chance to shut up.
- Always drink upstream from the herd.
- If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
- The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.
- There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence.
- Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
- If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.
- Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back.
- After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut!