you believe in the dream called Camelot?"
question was asked in various ways throughout the movie Merlin's
Apprentice. The characters remained committed to the dream,
even as their collapsed world continued to ignore them. Arthur was
dead some 50 years. The Holy Grail had vanished, leaving a city
of desperate dreamers hoping to resurrect Arthur's short-lived creation.
A cute fiction, filled with hope and confused idealism. It wisely
concludes that the dream of Camelot cannot succeed until it includes
The image of Camelot evokes a golden
city on a hill, where peace and harmony thrive, and people are happy.
It is a community that resonates with high aspirations, filled with
hope and grace. For a while, the United States thought itself the
new Camelot, as the presidency of John Kennedy inspired new optimism,
foresight and a refined vision of possibility.
But the dream of Camelot remained
just that a dream. A Utopia of colorful banners, noble knights
and ladies, and the security of impregnable walls. It inspired us,
just a little, because we thought we had it, rather than having
to build it. We had glimpses of who we could be in the hands of
inspiring, untainted leadership and the confidence that it brings.
We live in a very different world
today. A world where the mightiest city can be crippled by a handful
of ill-fated passenger jets, where power vents its rage thousands
of miles away, leading to the deaths of countless innocents and
the escalating madness of civil war. We see and even expect religious
conflicts that blind people to their own humanity, not unlike the
Dark Age when chivalry was first born.
We live in a world of illusions,
where money and pride and the insatiable thirst for power and celebrity
choke us to the vision of something more real and perfect. We see
churches emulating rock and roll concerts, leaders betraying their
trusts in every way imaginable, and a divided people who balk at
reconciliation, even as all we cherish crumbles down around us.
We view in horror as the hubris of a government refused and belittled
the sage advice of proven allies, and pressed us into a conflict
that fuels the very terrorism we hoped to end. We equate Jesus with
personal wealth and gun ownership and the same kind of fundamentalism
that his example was supposed to end. We watch impotently as genocides
burst on the scene, and global warming measures the cost of our
With all that going on, a voice calls
out over the Internet, seeking to know if you believe in the dream
called Camelot, a world where ethical choices make all the difference.
Do you? Or is it all
too hopeless to even try?
It is easy
to conclude that idealism has no place in today's cynical world,
where everything tells us that greed is good, and the lure of power
even better. It is easy to fall in line and endear ourselves to
meaningless distractions. Those who would profit from us hope that
we do, no matter what the cost.
But that means surrendering to the
dragon of despair. It means that human beings are truly hopeless,
and the experiment of democracy failed due to the meagerness of
our aspirations. It means that failure is our collective choice.
never as dark as they seem.
In a survey on chivalry that
we conducted, over half the respondents stated that
Camelot is a valuable ideal that can be used for cultural, social
and political improvement. Extrapolated across the population, this
represents a lot of people who still believe in the dream called
Camelot. Almost all the remaining surveys concluded that the dream
had nostalgic value, or was nice idea, or regretted that, as a symbol
for change, it was probably too late to make a difference.
Only 2% said they liked things
the way they are, and don't want change.
A glaring 0% told us that
it was ridiculous to even try.
Approximately 80% (men and
women) said that they would interested in joining something similar
to the Round Table if they were invited to today. That's quite a
In light of these survey results,
the dream of Camelot no longer seems so unreasonable. Most people
want a new and more perfect idealism to influence our society. They
long for something better, believing, like most of us, that the
majority of people do not share their beliefs, or not enough to
make a difference.
The survey shows that women are not
exempt from this longing. In fact, they responded more positively
then men. Only 1 ½% of women said that they did not
want men to act more chivalrous than they do now. Men seemed more
hesitant, scribbling concern about political correctness that most
of the women were not at all concerned about.
The truth is that the only hope the
world has can be found in what we choose. We are responsible
for all our actions, and for their social and global ramifications.
We are the ones who decide if freedom is a blessing to the
world, or the great moral threat that Islamo-terrorists believe.
Freedom is what we make of it.
like the ideal of Camelot from which it was born, invites you to
transform the entire world by taking a grasp of more abundant life.
The War of Terror is actually a War of Ideologies. Until we face
that single, all-determining fact, we will continue to lose that
war, no matter how many terrorists we kill.
We will succeed when we willingly
clean our house of corruption and vice, and regain the personal
nobility that Camelot would have all of us own.