The motto of chivalry is also the motto of wisdom; to serve all, but love only one.
Honore de Balzac
Chivalry is defined as behaving courteously, especially towards women. To some it is a value that seems outdated and old fashioned, but is courteous behaviour a bad thing? Not in our book, in fact we wrote about it not being dead here. We believe that the respect and courtesy a gentleman shows someone, female or not, is an exceptional thing. The modern gentleman shows chivalry to all.
“Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth.”
It has become linked, wrongly, to a sense of superiority and misogyny on the part of men. Let’s change it back to its true meaning of esteem. That of holding all people, in the highest regard and showing respect.
Chivalry is courteous behaviour that goes that step beyond the Common Manners. These actions, such as holding a door open, offering your seat, rising to greet someone who enters the room and walking on the road-side of the pavement, show regard and appreciation for those people; Male or Female. Though some elements are there for one gender and not the other, but then so are many things in life designed that way.
We have forgotten that the core of chivalry was about respecting people, especially ladies, and by these actions showing respect and humility to help others.
“If you’re walking with your lady on the sidewalk, I still like to see a man walking street-side, to protect the lady from traffic. I grew up with that, and I hate to see something like that get lost. I still like to see that a man opens the door. I like those touches of chivalry that are fast disappearing.”
The History of Chivalry is a large part of the History of the Gentleman and they go back almost a 1000 years. If it has endured that long, it has done so for a reason. Therefore we should re-embrace this value with gusto.
A Gentleman’s Hint:
Why not each week, engage in a Random Act of Chivalry #RAOC – help a lady with her pram up the steps; let people get on the bus in front of you, give a bunch of flowers to someone who needs a boost, write a poem for your loved one – Go On Do it!
And see what happens, your life might change!