As an author that loves the romantic ideal of the legends from the medieval period, I routinely scope out various words in Twitter that illicit a response from those that engage in this social media. This process allows me to get a glimpse of what our current society is all about. I posted a tweet on #Chivalry and then reviewed the comments from this hashtag. Honestly, there is hope. Some people want a change in the way we behave as mature men and women. Many women believe chivalry is about being a gentleman, which is a knightly quality, but they miss out on some other aspects of a chivalrous man.
I am posting the contents of a wikipedia narrative and highlight the key traits of a knight:
Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is the traditional code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood. Chivalry arose from an idealized German custom. It was originally conceived of as an aristocratic warrior code — the term derives from the French term chevalerie, meaning horse soldiery — involving, gallantry, and individual training and service to others. Over time its meaning has been refined to emphasize more ideals such as the knightly virtues of honor, courtly love, courtesy, and less martial aspects of the tradition.
The Knight’s Code of Chivalry was a moral system that stated all knights should protect others who can not protect themselves, such as widows, children, and elders. All knights needed to have the strength and skills to fight wars in the Middle Ages; they not only had to be strong but they were also extremely disciplined and were expected to use their power to protect the weak and defenseless.
Knights vowed to be loyal, generous, and “of noble bearing”. Knights were required to tell the truth at all times and always respect the honor of women. Knights not only vowed to protect the weak but also vowed to guard the honor of all fellow knights. They always had to obey those who were placed in authority and were never allowed to refuse a challenge from an equal. Knights lived by honor and for glory. Knights were to fear God and maintain His Church. Knights always kept their faith and never turned their back on a foe. Knights despised pecuniary reward. They persevered to the end in any enterprise begun.
It appears knights were virtuous men, whose value in life wasn’t determined by fame or material possession, but by deeds and the expectation of a higher glory than that found in life.
A reader of my stories once commented that she had issue with my hero, because he wasn’t completely focused on his love for the lead female character. My hero, Arimar – The Chosen One of Allivar, carries an oath to the highest of authorities, his creator. He knows not of the reward for his loyalty, but he faithfully executes in every respect; to honor and protect women, children, elderly, the powerless, and the enslaved. My trilogy is an idyllic and allegorical story of that which humans stand to lose, where sometimes reason and science, too, can lead to the extinction of mortals.
Here is where the conversation should begin. Chivalrous behavior will only return when father’s must teach the code and mother’s demand their son’s honor it. Mother’s must teach the ways of the damsel and their father’s demonstrate how a knight treats a damsel, by the way they honor their wife. Both men and women should look beyond the physical appearance and “court” one another long enough to discover the inner qualities of those they intend to vow for life.
It is said that the age of chivalry is dead and the age of enlightenment (reason and science) took its place. I cannot speak for others, nor condemn their beliefs, I can only speak for my values. I’d rather live by the code of chivalry, than by the code of science and individualism, where it is said that our natural behavior is primarily governed by self-interest, where we first seek to ensure survival, and then we seek to dominate.
Does this mean the revival of chauvinism and the loss of women’s rights? Of course not, it means the revival of romanticism and the striving for human perfection, both in mature men and mature women.
We hear and read it all the time – “Man Up!“
Well, I say it is high time to “Knight Up,” and become the men we were born to be. In this process we may discover that damsels still exist in this realm. They are just waiting on you.
Just a thought – a daily thought. What are your thoughts?