2/13/15

Chivalry, Far From Dead.



The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.
Keanu Reeves
Usually I am careful when I use the word Chivalry in a post because this specific word carries a lot of preconceived weight from the reader. When I use the term chivalry, the reader’s own prejudice, based mostly on misunderstandings the concept by some who executed it or by someone who observed it, tend to overwhelm their capacity to view things with an open mind. This becomes evident with men “acting” chivalrous expecting something in return or due to their own sexist attitude. We also see this prejudice present in both women or men who assume these acts, even when done for the right reason, carry a sense of “benevolent sexism” where each gender blames the other for the causes and results of such acts. To both groups I just have one thing to say:

Get over yourself.

It isn’t that chivalry is now a rare thing. You have to understand that it never was that common to begin with. Knightly Chivalry was a thing left only to the knights, the elite warrior class. Noble Chivalry was left only to the nobility. And now Gentlemen Chivalry is something done by Gentlemen. Not everyone is willing to be a Gentleman, so not everyone should be expected to be chivalrous. And that’s ok, because not everyone is really willing to put the effort in leading a less than ordinary life. This is a choice people have to make on their own. 

But there are those who still do expect more from themselves. You see this every day in the random event done without making a big deal about them. There is no bowing, no “milady”, no drama. Just a simple act done in a simple way. And this is the true sign of a Gentleman, those who’s acts of chivalry are as natural to them as breathing is to other men. You see it in the man holding a door open for others simply for no other reason than because he can. You see it in the man who unconsciously walks on the outside of the sidewalk. And you see it in the man who offers his seat in a train, no matter how well known and influential he is.