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Long Live Chivalry!.

In days gone by, acts such as opening a door for a lady, walking on the outside when on the road, or giving up your seat on the bus were considered common courtesy to be extended to women. Now such chivalrous deeds are an exception, rather than the norm. I think the reason for this is two fold.
 
The first and perhaps the most serious problem is the absence of fathers in the lives of young men. Chivalry is handed down from father to son in the same way that values are - directly through instruction, and indirectly by example. The problem in our country is that we have a generation of men who grew up without fathers, many of whom in turn became absentee fathers themselves. Like a spoken language with no one to pass it along, chivalry is a critically endangered practice.
 
The second issue lies squarely at the feet of women who have lowered their standards. Perhaps responding to the decline of gallant acts, they have grown accustomed to their absence and have come not to expect them. When something is not expected, it is less likely to be given.
 
Worse yet are women who either don't understand or don't care for chivalrous acts. I will never forget one experience I had in high school. I grew up in Montego Bay, and back in those days (I feel so old saying that) the city didn't have buses, but were served by ubiquitous route taxis. I was one of two passengers on the back seat of on taxi on the stand. A woman approached the taxi and so I opened the door and got out to put her in. This woman not only refused to get into the vehicle, but proceeded to cuss and chastise me for wanting to put her to sit in the middle. Not wanting to sit in the middle is fine as a personal preference, but the crass behavior was uncalled for, and absurdly I was the one that was embarrassed.
 
In hindsight, that experience had an unconscious effect on me. I find that I hesitate to do chivalrous things because I am uncertain of whether the recipient will be accepting or offended. While this is perhaps an irrational reaction, is it also not a conscious one. And I will assert that one may be considered anachronistic at best, and in extreme cases "soft" or quaint when one persists in socially uncommon acts. Sadly, changing views on what is considered manly have also left chivalry marginalized.
 
Having realized the forces that have unknowingly moulded me, I have now resolved to be counted among those who form the last bastion of chivalry. I will hold the line; I will stand my ground! I will not allow women who do not appreciate courtesy, nor unsophisticated miscreants who scoff, nor my own desire to blend in to curtail my gallantry.
 
To women I sound a call to arms: insist on valour, and train the uninitiated. When a man misses an opportunity to be chivalrous, call him on it. Most importantly, allow a man to be a man! Accept offers of assistance. It doesn't undermine your ability to take care of yourself, it only means that he wants to take care of you too. Let him open the door, don't race him for the handle. Allow him the opportunity to pull out your chair. Give pause so that he may open the car door. And never forget to acknowledge such acts; they are rare and to be appreciated.
 
What chivalrous acts would you like to see more often? Please share your thoughts below. And share this article with others!
 
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