“A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.” — John Wayne
The other day the Montana State Senate passed SB 216 sponsored by rancher and Senate President Jim Peterson. The bill is simple and direct and it doesn’t cost the taxpayers a dime. SB 216 would adopt The Code of the West from the book “Cowboy Ethics” and make it the official Montana Code.
“Cowboy Ethics” was written by James Owen, an investment professional who after Enron and the other Wall Street scandals of a few years ago, decided it was time to take a good look at what we had become as a society and individuals. Like me he has a great deal of respect and admiration for the iconic American cowboy and the cowboy way of life.
He came up with his “Code of the West” which states some simple common sense principles that not just cowboys but all of us should try to live by.
The code includes admonitions such as “Live each day with courage,” “Be tough, but fair,” “Ride for the brand,” and “Know where to draw the line.”
Montana Governor Schweitzer has said he will veto any frivolous legislation. I guess he consider ethics “frivolous.” He wants the legislature to focus on important things like jobs and a budget shortfall. He’s right that those things are extremely important. But the ethics and values deficit in this country is just as important as the fiscal and financial deficits.– If life is just about dollars and cents then we are in bigger trouble than I thought.
Somewhere along the line we forgot these basic values and replaced them with a self-centered “grab all you can and forget the consequences” attitude and situational ethics.
I agree with these statements. Kudos to Montana Senate for standing up for recognizing what we lack and trying to make a move in the right direction. Maybe we do need to start from the ground up…