Chivalry is dead
By Melissa Sabile
October 3, 2010
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I was walking out of class the other day when the guy in front of me with a skateboard got to the door before I did.
Seeing that he was going to hold the door open until I got there, I hurried my steps to keep him from waiting too long.
As I walked through the door, I smiled and said thank you.
“Oh, you didn’t have to rush,” he replied. “I would have waited, and you’re welcome.”
He then hopped on his skateboard and went on his way, not giving it a second thought.
After processing what he had said, the wheels in my head started turning.
This guy was simply going about his day, but was courteous enough to hold the door open for me with no expectation of anything in return.
Chivalrous acts, like holding a door open for a girl, seem to be a dying art.
Dictionary.com defines chivalry as the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor and dexterity in arms.
Though the men of today certainly don’t have to endure the things knights went though to prove their worth, it wouldn’t kill them to show some of these characteristics on a regular basis.
Sure, maybe “dexterity in arms” doesn’t quite apply in today’s world, but courtesy, generosity and valor most definitely do.
A man shouldn’t defend a woman’s honor because he has to, but because it’s the right thing to do.
More often than not, we rush around life and are completely self-absorbed, never really taking the time to consider what other people need.
I hardly ever see guys my own age making an effort to help a girl out without trying to get something else out of it.
The question that comes to mind is, why are the young men of today acting like this?
It doesn’t seem to be the issue with the generations before us, and the younger kids of today aren’t at that mentality yet, so why is our generation full so full of ill-mannered guys?
Did their parents never teach them about chivalry when they were younger?
Or perhaps they did, and our generation is choosing not to apply these principles because we think they are outdated.
Does it have anything to do with the way pop culture has changed the way we see things today, to where the words “please,” “thank you,” “sir” and “ma’am” are no longer common in everyday conversation?
Maybe it’s something entirely different, but regardless of the reason, it’s a sad thought.
In a perfect world, women would be smart enough not to put themselves in compromising situations to where men would have to defend their honor — yet men would take on the challenge no matter what the circumstances.
But alas, we live in a world where chivalry is dying and no one seems to realize or care.
So think about it sometime — not just men, but women too — because courtesy, generosity and valor are qualities that we all should embrace.
Take some time, slow down and realize what is going on around you, because you never know when one tiny chivalrous act will make someone else’s day.
One Response to “Chivalry is dead”
Ted Rudow III,MA says:
October 4, 2010
Almost everybody needs encouragement. Most people are not really conceited, but feel a certain amount of inferiority complex and tend to get a little discouraged with themselves. Therefore, encouragement is a very important thing.There is much experience and input that the older generation of this day and age has, which the current generations are passing up. Lessons of love, of enduring through hardship, of chivalry and civility are being replaced by barbarism, anarchy, selfishness, and lust instead of love. It’s sad, but the world has to become much worse so that man can realize he can’t make it on his own.
“The whole of heraldry and chivalry,” wrote Emerson, “is in courtesy.” There is no characteristic of human nature that is as exchangeable as courtesy. You give it–it is returned to you–and the other person feels good. In contrast, to treat a person with disregard and discourtesy is to kindle their belligerence and hostility.