When you give a boy a cowboy hat, his eyes will light up with the innocence he has within and a smile will greet you as he exclaims, "It looks just like Dad's!" He will imagine a world where the sky is the limit and dream of the day he can ride his horse along his father's to bring in cattle from pasture and tag newborn calves. He will grow in confidence and believe anything is possible and will begin to see the days ahead of becoming the next professional bull rider, taking over his father's farm, and being an old western cowboy. He will dream and know no limits and set goals with unstoppable obstacles.
He will go out and practice roping in the yard and will saddle his pony and play outdoors letting his imagination run wild. He will take pride in getting dirty and wearing his boots on his feet and his pliers on his belt etched with his name in the leather. He will look forward to family meals and trips to cattle auctions and rodeos and sit on his father's lap and hold his mother's hand as he cheers on his favorite rider to make it just five more seconds of the eight. You will give him goals beyond belief, an imagination as wild as the old west, and a respect for the outdoors and a best friend in the family cow dog.
When you give a boy a cowboy hat, you give him hope in the world and all that is agriculture. You give him knowledge of the soil and the crops it produces through hard work and tillage and months of planning. You give him an understanding of the circle of life with each birth of a calf and death of another- a fate he begged to be explained when he lost his favorite steer to scours. He will learn to have a keen eye for perfect weather and strong, callused hands for fixing fences.
As he grows older, you will give him the capability to see the world in its purest form and a sense of accomplishment and self-worth from hours spent driving cattle and hauling hay with his hat still shading his eyes from the heat of the sun. You give him a hundred jobs within the one and desire to succeed. You give him a respect for the animals providing for him and his family and the ground that nourishes the crops he worked months in providing. You give him the stubborn never quit mentality and the drive to pursue his dream he's had since the day that hat was placed upon his head.
If you give a boy a cowboy hat, you will give him a life complete with dreams and goals waiting to be chased and a sense of hard work and discipline so scarcely found in today's world of youth. You give him the mindset to succeed and values that won't be forgotten. You give him a life of choosing from endless possibilities complete with family traditions and respect for his elders.
Give a boy a cowboy hat, and you give the world a southern grace and advocate for all things agriculture. You give him, and the world, a better future.