We’ve all known them. The cowboys who wear the jeans and we’re not sure why.
This might warrant tar and feathers, but even some of the rodeo events produce cowboys who sure enough can ride a bull but who wouldn’t cut it in the outside circle of the cowboy lifestyle.
And that’s quite all right. Everyone has their forte’s.
Do you wonder if you have what it takes to be a cowboy?
Mr. Webster shows as plain as day why cowboys generally are honest:
“Simple, unpretentious, and unsophisticated.”
Unpretentious: not attempting to impress others with an appearance of greater importance, talent, or culture than is actually possessed. OK, truthfully, a cowboy will go one way or the other on this one: unpretentious or pretentious.
“Fairly earned, especially through hard work.”
Doesn’t that just about perfectly sum up a cowboy? No one is perfect, however. The cowboy’s ego can and will pop up from time to time. And quite frankly, their frankness can easily open up a can of worms. And to be honest, there are quite a few cowboys who have done some shady deals and could be classified under “sidewinder”.
But for the most part…honest is a good word to start with to know if you have what it takes to be a cowboy.
There is only one way to say it: “Having made a firm (my way or the highway) decision and being resolved (stubborn enough) not to change it.”
Let’s just cut to the chase here. There is no halfway with cowboys. On both ends of the spectrum: the strong, silent type and those on the mouthier end of things, are stubbor…er, determined. They see it black and white and by the skin of their knuckles and the worn-off heals of their boots they will get where they are headed.
“Tending to work with energy and commitment; diligent.”
There is no other way that the job: the never-ending, relentless, 24/7 job would get done. The tasks are endless and the days too short. Time gallops on and the work piles high and settles in.
But the cowboy works on. Day in and day out, early morning after a late night. Whenever the need arises and whatever the task requires, he diligently, with energy and commitment, tends to his work.
“Strong enough to withstand adverse conditions or rough or careless handling.”
“Able to endure hardship or pain; physically robust.”
“Able to protect one’s own interests or maintain one’s own opinions without being intimidated by opposition; confident and determined.”
“Demonstrating a strict and uncompromising attitude or approach.”
Grab a cowboy’s hands and take a look. Most likely you will find rough, calloused, and blistered hands, each crack filled with the dirt and sweat of a horse or the grease from the tractor. And with pride, he’ll show off every scar, and previously broken, now protruding bone.
One thousand pounds of sharp hooves, directly and firmly placed on his big toe won’t stop him.
One large, blackhead quickly and forcefully pinning him to the fence won’t stop him.
One very angry hopped-up bull ready to take him on won’t stop him.
One scary and dramatic dismount on his head in the branding pen, won’t stop him either.
A cowboy has gotta be tough. Ready to take the hits and keep going because there isn’t any time for downtime.
“Ready and able to change so as to adapt to different circumstances.”
Branding? Oh, it’s snowing.
Saddling up to check cows? Nope, cows out in the north pasture, gotta head to fix fence quick!
Headed to town to pick up feed? Pickup blew a tire.
First session in the round pen with the two-year-old filly planned? Not today! Horses ran through the fence and now need mending.
Get the picture? Ready at a moment’s notice for a change of plans. Always. It is the way of the cowboy. It is the way of life.
Ah, heck! These are what it takes to be a HUMAN! Bull riders, secretaries, team ropers, mailmen, each of us on our journey will realize that to move forward we must be honest, determined, hard-working, tough, and flexible.
But maybe especially as a cowboy.
Do you have what it takes?
Read on: So…What IS a Cowboy?
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