The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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Extraordinary Deeds

Chivalry inspires us to perform extraordinary deeds: Acts of bravery. Fighting dragons. Rescuing innocent people against tremendous odds. Confounding evil in its many disguises.
     What does that mean for us in today's world? We see no dragons, other than those in the movies. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors who professionally deal with crime. Politicians represent our interests so we don't have to. The opportunities for bold, decisive action just aren't as plentiful as they used to be.
     If we take the idea of extraordinary deeds and open our hearts to the possibilities, its relevancy soon becomes apparent.
     Simply put, we are being called to surpass normal expectations in our daily lives. That means not surrendering when we fight for a worthy cause, even when others do. It means being more honest in our integrity. Being persistent . Not following the inclinations of the crowd. Always seeking the inner depth of things. Forging a more complete commitment to love. Having the strength to be gentle and courteous, and yet firm when appropriate. All these actions and attitudes are extraordinary.
     We can confront dragons on a personal level-dragons such as drug or alcohol addiction, antisocial behavior, or being a inattentive dad.
     We can boldly challenge something wrong even when public supports the other side.
     We can be patient with others when everything inside us wants to scream or run away.
     We can increase our self-control.
     We can resist the lure of illusion that tries to twist our values by masking immorality as virtue.
     In the musical Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote sings about the Impossible Dream. He then describes that dream as a purposeful meeting of challenges, conquering them when possible, but never surrendering even when it leads to death. Chivalry gives us the moral capacity for that same dream of heroic purpose. It tells us that true moral action cannot be dependent on reward or punishment, but on the pure and simple premise that the "world will be better for this…" This is where we find the highest purpose and meaning in life.
     We also learn that most challenges are not as impossible as they seem.
     When chivalry calls us to perform extraordinary deeds, what it is really calling for is to live an extraordinary life. A life filled with authenticity, that makes a difference in the world.
     The truth is, life never hands us purpose and meaning. We have acquire that ourselves—a willful choice. And therein lies the secret.
     We cannot believe, as the insanity around us would have us, that the man of chivalry is a fool out of touch with reality. We are not like Don Quixote, as Cervantes portrayed him. What we see in the world is not illusion, but an inspiring clarity that others miss. We might confuse or even frighten the others by refusing to follow the herd, or rejecting the labels they would have us wear. But that's okay. In certain respects, it validates everything we do.
     Men of chivalry must always be, first and foremost, the conquerors of lies. Not followers. Not consumers. Not the huddled masses. Certainly not sheep. We are men confronting the world we live in. We are alive, a force to be reckoned with, and not afraid to show it.
     Chivalry is not some romanticized code from the distant past. It is a personal transformation into abundant life, a new autonomy based on values that comprise the very core of your being.
     To live the chivalrous life in today's world of Madison Avenue values means to open your eyes to the truth beyond illusion. See things as if for the first time. Evaluate them, not with stale preferences from the past, but with the freshness of a new encounter and with love.
     Be open!. Be enthralled by the uniqueness of every moment!
     And then apply yourself constantly as a force for good.

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