All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
One of the biggest challenges a Gentleman, a Noble Man, must overcome is the idea that what you do and how you do it is right, therefore everything else is wrong. If our code of conduct has lead us to become better men, then that is the only way. Right?
I will admit, at one time I thought like that. I believed that what made me the good man I aspire to be was determined exclusively by what defined me. And I will also admit it was a blow to my vanity when I realized I was wrong. You see, there are good men and bad men everywhere. The same code that lead to the Ideal Knight, also lead to religious wars. Too many Good Men have fought and killed other Good Men because of this vanity.
The problem is not the code, or the belief, or even the ideal. It’s the execution. Righteous Men come from all over, from all walks of life, from all cultures and religions. So do Petty Men. Throughout history, codes have been developed, philosophies have been established, and religions have taken ground all as a guide to becoming a Righteous Man. Be it the Chivalry, Destreza, Furusiyya, Bushido, Do, Se-Sok, the Path, the Way, or whatever other name you want to give it, the goal is still the same; to become a better man.
You can’t blindly follow any road, but rather be willing to look at all roads. Learn from all of them. Take what works from one, learn what to avoid from another. And forge your own road, because every man walks his own road.
Yet within all those different roads, the path of the Gentle Man is only one. Do good, be good, and teach by example. How you do this, is up to you, just as long as you never hurt other in the process and never stand tall on the shoulders of others.
You will meet many people, each with different beliefs. The fact that they are different does not make them less than you, or make you more than them. Always remember that.