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Cowboy ethics lacking cowan kowtow

June 8, 2010

Felon James Anderson “Jimmy” Foster touted “cowboy ethics” as his life code.

The irony of a thrice convicted felon who fraudulently entered the world’s oldest and most revered fraternity possessing even one iota of ethics notwithstanding, indulge briefly; please.

Cowboy ethics practiced rather than plastered on a bulletin board mirror the tenets of Freemasonry:  brotherly love, relief, and truth.

But the convict slipped on the saddle horn.

Hats, boots, and spurs do not a cowboy make just as certain symbols and allegories hardly mark a mastery of Masonry.

So, just how do cowboy acts and Masonic facts stack up?

1.  Live each day with courage.

Courage generally separates the weak from the strong.  Masonically, it distinguishes brothers from cowans.

Allow fear of the unknown to propel rather than paralyze; stand tall for the right thing even if that means standing alone.  

2.  Take pride in your work.

If you want nice, clean oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you are satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes a little cheaper.

While any job worth doing is worth doing well, eschew false pride; of which felon Foster’s decade of deceit is a prime example.

3.  Always finish what you start.

Freemasonry should be a way of life:  do you practice what you preach and finish what you start?

Are you honest, kind, courteous, and helpful to all, not just a select few?

Is your example what to do or what not to do?

4.  Do what has to be done.

See a mess?  Clean it.  Chores await?  Do them.  Felons to be removed from the fraternity?  Follow the rule book.

5.  Be tough but fair.

Masonry is for those of worthy character and reputation.  Accepting less fosters (pun not intended) a defeatist attitude from which none benefit.

Standards, rules, and regulations are purposely in place; remember and exercise them as necessary.

6.  When you make a promise, keep it.

You are only as good as your word and if your words are untrue, so are you.

7.  Ride for the brand.

This could explain Foster’s gloriously over-gilded, gold-plated, gaudy, worldwide wrestling quality, pie plate belt buckle.

That, or it means applying Freemasonry’s tenets in all aspects of life.  As with karma, live brotherly love and it will revisit you.

8.  Talk less and say more.

Some toot their own horns even when out of tune.  Whether falling flat or poking sharp, all must concertedly learn the music, face it, and carry the tune in clarity and harmony.

9.  Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

Foster’s fraud harkens to selling of one’s soul to the devil; as are most instances of cashing in any degree of integrity, respect, and honesty for illicit gain.

A less refined, dressed in a duster Bernie Madoff, perhaps.

10.  Know where to draw the line.

Had felon Foster behaved and approached Masonry with a true heart instead of ego driven aspirations, this discussion would be moot.

The arrogance with which he entered the Order is what renders him expulsion worthy.

Learn from his mistakes, brothers.

Truth is vital to and for the Craft lest another “top hat lodge” be lassoed and spurred by a rodeo clown.

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