One of my favorites from childhood (WAY back in the 1950s) was Gene Autry. Along with Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers, he embodied much of the Western mythos that was presented to we children. In later life, he contributed heavily to charity, and even owned a baseball team. Obviously, Capitalism was good to him.
But, Mr. Autry wasn’t just a capitalist, film, radio and TV star. He set forth in his radio show a set of rules to live by. The Cowboy Code. Granted, they may seem trite by today’s standards, but in their simplicity and directness really aren’t a bad way to conduct oneself.
A Cowboy Must:
- Never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage;
- Never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him;
- Always tell the truth;
- Be gentle with children, the elderly and animals;
- Not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas;
- Help people in distress;
- Be a good worker;
- Keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits;
- Respect women, parents and his nation’s laws;
- Be a patriot.
I don’t recall having any toys attributed to him (I still have my Hopalong Cassidy watch, somewhere!) but finding these rules in my Internet travels is a better remembrance.
My question is this – what values are being presented to today’s children steeped in popular culture? From the Kardashians to the Octomom…what are their rules to live by?(I DO apologize for mentioning them – Guffaw)