1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man or take an unfair advantage.
2. A Cowboy must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
3. A Cowboy must always tell the truth.
4. A Cowboy must be gentle with children, the elderly and small animals.
5. A Cowboy must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant views and ideas.
6. A Cowboy must help people in distress.
7. A Cowboy must be a good worker.
8. A Cowboy must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits.
9. A Cowboy must respect women, parents and his nation's views.10. A Cowboy is a patriot.
Something to shoot for, I reckon.
Of course to continue the compare and contrast, I offer you what might be seen as the downside of emulating cowpunchers, via Willie Nelson:
Cowboys ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold
And they'd rather give you a song then diamonds or gold
Lonestar belt buckles and old faded Levi's each night begins a new day
And if you don't understand him and he don't die young
He'll probly just ride away...
Cowboys like smokey old pool rooms and clear mountain mornin's
Little warm puppies and children and girls of the night
And them that don't know him won't like him
And them that do sometimes won't know how to take him
He ain't wrong he's just different
but his pride won't let him do things to make you think he's right
Of course, to quote ol' Willie one more time:
I grew up a-dreamin' of bein' a cowboy,
and Lovin' the cowboy ways.
Pursuin' the life of my high-ridin' heroes,
I burned up my childhood days.
I learned of all the rules of the modern-day drifter,
Don't you hold on to nothin' too long.
Just take what you need from the ladies, then leave them,
With the words of a sad country song.
My heroes have always been cowboys.
And they still are, it seems.
Sadly, in search of, but one step in back of,
Themselves and their slow-movin' dreams.
Till next time, Happy Trails, pardners...