The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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Is Chivalry Dead?

The question haunts us. The most popular reference we hear about Chivalry is that it's dead. While the tone is usually more glib than serious, the bleakness it conveys, about who we are and the world we live in, is serious indeed.
     And so we ask ourselves, is Chivalry really dead, as the skeptics claim? Do we long for something lost that cannot be resurrected? Can it exist in a world based on commerce and "what's in it for me?"
     Or is it sleeping, waiting for us to wake it?
     If Chivalry is dead, then an important part of our soul is dead too. Chivalry, in its many forms, has always been an expression of the soul. We might describe it as our spiritual integrity, that which provides our moral inspiration. It is the soul that tells us, in its own desire to flourish, that complacency and greed do not define who we really are. We are more, if we choose to be.
     The much proclaimed demise of Chivalry really depends upon our choice at every moment. Yours and mine.
     Each of us is a repository of personal thoughts, beliefs and values. Pretty much a hodgepodge of accumulated knowledge. Sometimes our values are incomplete or not well thought out. They may actually conflict with one another. This becomes a source of disharmony in our lives that leads to bad choices. In many ways it defines who we are
     Building a Code of Chivalry helps us sift through this miasma and examine our own beliefs.
     Chivalry tells us, quite realistically, that we each need our own personal code of behavior. We need to know exactly what we believe, what values and virtues are important to us, and then use that information as a reference for the way we live. Chivalry-Now makes time-honored suggestions as to what those virtues might be, but the choice is ultimately ours. We are called to make our own code of behavior.
     Asking if Chivalry is dead misses the point. The important question is this: is Chivalry alive in you? Is there a place in your heart that burns for the passion of meaningful commitment? Do you own a "hunger and thirst for justice?" Does your strength long to be dedicated to something greater than your daily needs? Do you sense the hero who lives inside you, who does not base his moral values on greed or pleasure or the avoidance of pain?
     Chivalry is not a thing, not something outside us. It is the reclaiming of your soul, and bringing it to life.
     Chivalry lives as long as there are people who respond to its calling, who shape and strengthen themselves according to their own quest for truth. And we find many such people-people of the Quest. Far more than the media would have us believe. These people don't wear morality on their sleeves, like some walking, talking lobbyist commercial. Instead, they reflect it in their day-to-day lives with steadfast commitment.
     I proudly include my Companions in the Chivalry-Now movement among them.
     You don't need books or beliefs or an image of some heroic knight. All you have to do is listen to that small, idealistic voice calling out from the depth of your soul. It summons you to greater things. To truth. To deeper love. To justice and honor and courteous relationships. It summons you to the Quest, which is nothing more than authentic living.
     Is Chivalry dead in you?
     Ask your conscience.



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