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
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
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.
proudly include my Companions in the Chivalry-Now
movement among them.
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
Chivalry dead in you?