Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Code of the West - Part 5

    Ok, here it is, 3EM’ers! The fifth and final chapter of the Code of the West. So far, we’ve talked about:

#1 – Work hard, and do your share.
#2 – Help out.
#3 – Serve God.
#4 – We all screw up.

To which we’ll add…

Principle #5 – Never miss an opportunity to shut up.

     It's very common for some of us (especially those of us who might be getting a little long in the tooth) to tell everyone who will listen that they're a throwback, an atavism. About how they should have been a mountain man in 1825 or a cowboy in 1885. To be honest, I've said that myself a time or two. But the fact is that I'm so nearsighted that the Crows would have killed me before I saw 1826. And while being horseback on the llano has its allure, the truth is that without antibiotics I'd have been dead at about age 30. 
     What I think we’re really wishing for is quiet. Stillness is an endangered species in the 21st century, and it's darn near extinct. Phones, tablets and other devices connect us, but they also imprison us. We're talking, texting and tweeting incessantly, obsessively. I miss the silence. If the West has any one defining characteristic, it is the scope of its silence. Wallace Stegner said that to understand this place, you have to get over the color green. I would add that you have to shut up and listen to the silence. That's the Code of the West. Shoot, that is the West.

-Grandpa

7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Thanks, JIAs. You're awesome!

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  3. Could be my favorite of the Code of the West series! Great post Grandpa. Parts of my family from a big city in the mid-west can't believe where Hillary and I live. They tell us that there are fish there and we should move closer. The really story is that the few that have made the trip to visit, don't tell us that anymore. A quick drive out of town and a walk down a two track into the heart of everything (they think nothing) is all that is needed.

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  4. Thanks, Nick. It's funny how nothing can become everything.

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