Let it be you
Is chivalry dead?
I think one must first define what one means by chivalry.
Do you mean the chivalry of the fighter whose most important job was to fight for his lord/king/country?
Or, religious chivalry, whose aim was to serve God and protect the innocent?
Or, courtly love chivalry where one's duty was to one's lady? (Interestingly, this aspect grew out of the Middle Ages' veneration of the Virgin Mary - ordinary women were actually disparaged then, with the exception, perhaps, of aristocratic women.)
Did chivalry ever actually exist - beyond the pages of European poets and troubadours? Christian tomes? Books of courtesy that allowed the rising bourgeois class to imitate aristocratic manners? Did it live outside the minds of romantic young European girls (in manors and castles) who dreamed of armor clad knights falling to their knees before them, whispering words of love? Or romantic young European boys (in manors and castles) who dreamed of bravely slaying enemies while garbed in spine crunching armor with a bit of lace from a lovely lady tucked into the sleeve? (Outside the manors and castles there was little time for dreaming.)
Did the average, the ordinary, the non-aristocratic European woman or man (read: peasant) actually ever experience any of these personally? (Remember: at that time and place there were three classes: the nobles, the religious, and the peasants/serfs-the majority.)
However, if we think of "chivalry" simply as a series of qualities codified and literarily associated with European medieval knights (whether or not the average blood and bones sort lived up to said qualities), that is, "...courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak," then yes, it probably exists in the same proportions that it did then - all over the world. Or even more so given that, on the whole, women are in a better place than they were then (depending on one's economic status and location on the globe, of course). And it is not merely one class of men on one continent who might aspire to be courageous, honorable, courteous, just and kind to the weak. Nor is it just men who can be any and all of these things. Or who fail to exhbit even one.
I am happy to say that in a world that often makes me sad, I have had the joy of knowing many men and women who endeavor to be or to embody several or all of these characteristics.
If you ponder the people you know or have met, I suspect you have encountered at least one chivalrous person.
It might even be you.
Was it ever alive?
I mean, let's question this for a moment shall we?
We lament gentlemen no longer having common decency/manners for things like holding open doors, or offering a coat on a cold evening, or I don't know using "please" and "thank you" while listening attentively to a conversation like any common sense polite adult.
Whilst they were supposedly doing these things at one point in time though they also apparently felt they did not need to give women things like the ability to have their own bank account, the right to vote, equal pay/wages, the right to hold public office, the right to advance to the higher ranks of priesthood/power in a religious organization that literally preached to my best friend from high school that women existed solely for the purpose of ensuring their men got to heaven (women apparently got in only by proxy - and yes, those were Christians).
Then when these things slowly changed over a snail's pace of time (American women couldn't open their own bank accounts without a male's permission until 1974, kids!) men apparently couldn't be bothered to keep up the old good manners because they were too grumpy at having their sexism checked, damn.
So....truly? Is chilvary dead or have we been allowing polite adulthood to hold us back from being actual civilized decent fucking human beings who treat each other with some actual fucking respect?
Thank you for reading.
They say one day the concepts fought, and feminism won,
Which left the maidens some distraught. Egads! What had we done?
Where were all the stalwart gents to laud our pantaloons?
Must we settle now for dorks? Cheap flings with punks and goons?
Nay sweet ladies, never fear! It has not perished yet.
For all who long to shed a tear or don a nice corset
May chance upon a genteel chap who’ll treat a’body kind,
Who’ll nod to you, or tip a cap, or thrill you with his mind.
Oh yes they’re there; the knights of old, to catch you when you swoon...
Though only, if truth must be told, once in a bold blue moon.
You know the moment, that one crazy euphoric moment, when you think, this is it, you’ve been waiting for this, this is the start of the rest of your life.
It could have happened anywhere, anytime, doing something absurdly insignificant, like eating chinese food straight from the carton, chuckling along a laugh track of a sitcom rerun, ratty pajamas and strewn socks on the floor. It didn’t matter. The moment came because it was with that one person, the one girl that changed everything, that changed you.
Suddenly you knew that nothing could be the same anymore.
Her name was Lena.
Raven haired with big brown doe eyes that felt like a warm cozy blanket on a rainy day. She was brilliant, too, and kind. You could barely keep up with her. Because of her you turned into a different man, a better man. All of a sudden you were seeing independently released movies literally only five people have heard of and reading Sartre and volunteering at the animal shelter.
You were the best version of yourself around her. You couldn’t remember the last time you pulled out a seat for another person in your life, and yet, with Lena, it came naturally, like a primal instinct almost forgotten. You had this insatiable need to be her provider and protector, and there was nothing wrong with that, was there?
In short order she became your everything, and you tried your best to be everything for her. You should have seen the signs, but you were too busy loving her. Nobody ever warned you about that kind of love. The dangerous kind. The stuff of tragedies, recorded for posterity, an omen for future lovers and naive dreamers.
You couldn’t believe it when she stopped answering your calls, your number blocked, her friends stonewalling you, a girl army of sharp tongues and quick wits, preventing you from even talking to her.
You just needed a few minutes, that’s all. A few minutes to explain. After all, eventually she would see that you were the only man for her, the only one who understands her, who will love and protect her no matter what.
You were prepared for this, you were prepared to fight for her. You weren't the type of man who quit when the going gets tough.
That restraining order really was a bit overboard on her part, though.
she met a man who held open doors.
she had no idea
that he could open any door
shattering the false notion
she met a man who knelt and kissed hands.
she had no idea
that he would make her kneel
and force kisses upon her lips.
she met a man who showered her with compliments
but she had no idea
that he would destroy
any sense of self worth she had.
she met a man who was full of chivalry,
but only until
he got what he wanted.
then he was gone.
Is Chivalry Dead?
In days of lore, the gentleman cared for his lady, and in most cases any lady. However for a period of time, these courtesies have been viewed as a blow to feminine independence. Really ladies? What have you done?
To reject the caring nature and the respect for your womanhood because it demeans your ability was a misinterpretation of manners and a display of complete lack of self esteem.
Not a popular view, I know.
And now our world celebrates acts of kindness, which used to be manners, as unusual. When someone stops to pick up a book that has been dropped, or help when a person is injured, it is observed with wonder and celebration. Where jumping in to help by taking on a burden or saying a kind word is considered surprising, it is a cry for a human’s need to know that someone cares.
How about we bring back the simple act of lending a hand, even if it’s only to hold a door for the next person behind you? How about we hold that elevator door open for the co-worker who is going to be late? How about we tell someone they look spectacular, because it’s nice to know someone noticed?
Chivalry shouldn’t be dead, it should be extended to all, by all. There is no need to keep it one sided, or specific to only one segment of your world. Extend that care to everyone.
The world will be better for us all.
I Named Myself Icarus
Fallen angels, it’s written, can’t shed tears,
Wandering, sullen, for long, lonely years.
Grieving’s for mortals, and reasons to weep,
When all of life’s hardships are solemn and steep.
No longer an angel, you could say I fell,
Gravity gripped me; I stopped short of Hell.
Heaven’s forgotten, eroded by time,
I’ve forgotten His love, I’ve forgotten my crime.
When I fell, it was through blackest night,
Scorched by the swift Borealic lights.
My fiery feet streaked a splintering tail,
I named myself Icarus when my wings failed.
I named myself Pain, on the shattered ground,
I named myself Pity when I was found.
I named myself Hunger, when my pangs were worst,
And when I was parched, I named myself Thirst.
I named myself Wander, with no purpose planned,
I named myself Beggar, outstretching my hand.
I named myself Swan, for my lingering grace,
I named myself Crow, for my charred, ruined face.
My name was Tempted. I found a dropped pack,
My name became Honor when I gave it back.
The owner was flustered, I thought that he’d chide
But he smiled and thanked me; I named myself Pride.
I built a house, named it Home, found a wife,
A human celestial; I named us both Life.
I laughed at her wit and I named myself Mirth,
I named myself Father, for our child’s birth.
I named myself Mortal, but it failed to take,
I named myself Grief for my wretched mistake.
I buried them both side-by-side on a hill,
I named myself Grateful, and think of them, still.
Time soothed my scars, took the limp from my lame,
Meanwhile, I stole for myself many names.
They helped me remember where I had once flown,
And I cried a river, when I was alone.
Wind heard. He came, and I spared him a glance,
As he whispered to me of a second chance.
“Return your names properly, quiet what clings,
If you wish to be granted a new set of wings.”
I turned my face skyward, and thought of the stars,
I thought of the heat, and I thought of the scars.
I thought of the hand and the heart, and the love
Casting me from all I had known, up above.
No longer wandering, hollow inside,
I know of Temptation, and I know of Pride.
I know that on new wings I might never fly,
But I’ll never again be forbidden to cry.
Wind didn’t argue. I think that he’d known,
Long before coming, he’d fly back alone.
One stubborn enough to be cast out at all
Probably would double down, on a fall.
My name was Peace, and my name was Tranquil.
My name was Poem, and then it was Quill.
I returned what I’d borrowed, like fish to the sea,
But I took one, and kept it: I named myself Free.
Come Help Inamoratos Virtually Approach Lovely Romantic Younger ladies
Chivalry could be defined as:
Holding (a door open)
Inviting (on a date)
Assisting (with heavy items)
Looks (lingering, but not staring)
Is Chivalry realy dead?
Yesterday I watched a guy, probably about 50, offer to walk an older man to the train station. They are not related, he had no reason to do it other than courtesy. Roadworks have changed the town layout and the older guy was not a local and would have found getting across town a challenge.
I saw an old woman slip a young mum a fifty pence piece, the young mother was trying to buy her three children an ice cream each and had come up a few pence short, she had no reason to do this except a little sympathy for an embarrest person.
I smiled as I saw a lass, not much out of her teens hold a gate wide open so the courier on a cycle could manoeuver his steel steed down a narrow alleyway.
This is modern chivalry, shorn of its fancy cloak and obsession with archaic language, this is chivalry adhereing to its professed standards of honour, justice and caring for the less able in society. It is honourable to help those who are lost, even if it did mean a half mile walk in the other direction and to see that the child didn’t end up feeling picked on because it had to choose a lesser treat than it’s siblings did. It is always good manners to help those who’s burdens are greater than ours, even if it is mearly holding a gate open.
This is chivalry, yes it’s changed it’s clothes, some may simply call it ‘ paying it forward’, but this is the root and branch of it, some may think it lesser as they can no longer use it to demean women, to put them in their place and make them reliant on menfolk, let’s face it no one likes being made to feel grateful for something they didn’t want.
This is the modern chivalry we should all practice regardless of age or gender a little consideration for others and a little kindness makes the world a nicer place and costs the giver very little.
Is Chivalry Dead?
I was surprised when a guy opened the door for me.
I was shocked when a guy said sorry for bumping into me.
I was just plain flabbergasted when a guy let me cut in front of him in a line for food.
I have 7 brothers.
Therefore, for me, chivalry has been dead since I was born.