Cowboy Ethics – Not just a Code of the West

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Have you read Cowboy Ethics – a book focused on showing the financial world how far they have moved away from the values and principles that some of this country’s greatest heroes lived for? I originally bought the book because I was intrigued by the photography of the American West, but as soon as I opened the book I began reading, and an hour later I finished the book.

It really made me take into consideration the Code of the West that the author presents. True, some of the legendaryness (that may not be a real word, but it sure fits this spot) of the American Cowboy may be stretched or idolized, but the true message of the story comes through loud and clear. The message may be aimed toward the financial leaders of the country, but the story is for all Americans to read and to take into account.

The Code of the West that the author implies is as follows:

Live Each Day with Courage

Take Pride in Your Work

Always Finish What You Start

Do What Has to be Done

Be Tough, But Fair

When You Make a Promise, Keep It

Ride for the Brand

Talk Less and Say More

Remember That Some Things Aren’t for Sale

Know Where to Draw the Line

These may sound like a fantasized lyric from some ole worn out country song, but after reading through the story from the author I got to thinking about where my priorities are set and how I treat myself and those around me. So I strongly recommend this book by author James P. Owen as a good read for those interested in an encouraging read, and not to mention the awe-stirring photos of the American Western Rancher from David R. Stoecklein. I would even consider this as a great gift for those you feel the need to share the message with.

Do you have any Cowboy Ethics that would apply well to the world today?

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  1. Thanks for drawing attention to this! What this country needs is more people willing to do their part and quit worrying about everyone else. Change never started with pointing the finger at someone else…it starts with us.


    Let he who has eyes see the truth in the six words.


  2. I’m gonna have to throw in my favorite John Wayne quote which in my mind is like the golden rule – cowboy style.

    “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them”
    – J.B. Books (John Wayne) in the “Shootist”


  3. Thanks for this blog – I plan to include this “Code of the West” in Sunday’s Adult classe Sunday School Lesson . Didn’t we grow up with this code? It should never go out of style.


  4. Hey Ryan, thanks for the blog. I’m going to crosspost it on the Cowboy Ethics website – I’ll post it to our social networks too. We’ve got lots more where Cowboy Ethics came from, so take a look at our site when you have the chance. Thanks again!


  5. Ryan,
    I found your blog when doing research for a design project I am working on. I am a graphic design student at the University of Wyoming. I am working on a stamp series project focusing on the ten principles from Cowboy Ethics. Thought you would like to see it when I am finished?


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