A POEM ABOUT HONOR BY AN HONORABLE MAN
A few days ago I wrote a post about my visit to the Center for American Values. I attended the second of two conferences on integrating the military veterans into civilian society, which were part of the “On Values” program series sponsored by the Center for American Values. See that post: http://kidsethicsbook.com/honor-integrity-patriotism/ The Center’s phone number is .719-543-9502. The Center’s website is www.americanvaluescenter.org.
Jeff Hildebrandt was one of the speakers. He is a ‘cowboy’ poet.
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He read several of his poems. I trust I do not appear too much as a sissy when I write that his words did moisten the old eyes. He has a stunning capacity to capture complex concepts and feelings in straightforward gritty words.
Here is one of his poems.
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