Life Worth Living
is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live."
of our readers sent me that quote, saying that it helped him be
true to his personal quest.
I can think of no clearer words to explain
why chivalry, the quest especially, is so important to each and
every one of us.
We instinctively know that Norman Cousins
is right. Unless life is embraced wholeheartedly, and with fervent
reflection, something dies within us or rather the deepest
part of us fails to come alive. There is profound tragedy in this
failure. We want to experience the fullness of life, the authenticity
of every moment. Why else are we alive?
Many of us are drawn to chivalry as a response
to this incompleteness.
We see it everywhere. Children are tamed
to the point of acquiescence. Parents and laborers toil mindlessly.
We consider it our duty to sit in front of the television for our
daily ration of commercials. Celebrities are paraded in front of
us as if their phony lives made them somehow more important than
us and we believe it.
The herd mentality pushes us to fit-in
whenever possible. (Millions of people can't be wrong. Or can they?)
Newscasters shape our values by deciding what's important and then
drilling it into our subconscious. Pundits do our thinking for us.
Television preachers act as if they were God's emissaries so we
can forego the direct experience of spirituality.
Everything is set to make life easy. Less
and less is required. We scarcely have to think for ourselves at
all. The message? Buy into the system, consume as many products
as possible and don't make waves!
It's all so easy, yet something nags in
the pit of our stomachs. Time slips through our fingers, leaving
a personal emptiness that clever television commercials can't satisfy.
We are so bombarded by illusion that the resulting unreality seems
to close around us.
We die a little every day, and are poorly
rewarded for the sacrifice. The result is a discontent that smolders
deep inside. We try to ignore it, but the message is clear. There
is more to life than we are being told.
And then chivalry comes along and that
tells us that life is an adventure that if we live it well,
it can even be heroic. Something inside us responds with a resounding
Oddly enough, what appeals to us most are
the simple ideals that chivalry speaks of: truth, justice, doing
good deeds, giving ourselves to noble causes, and to commitments
Today's commercialism, in contrast, focuses
on other things. It tries hard to convince us that satisfaction
can be found in the right car or pair of sneakers. It tells us what
matters most is what other people think, not the quality of who
we are and what we believe.
Chivalry teaches something altogether different.
Authentic life means living authentically. It means
you and me, here and now. The ideals we embrace make
that happen. We cannot be heroic or even real without them.
Morality is not something outside us. It
is the essence of who we are. When fail to live our highest impulses,
something inside us dies, just as Norman Cousins said.
is the purpose of Chivalry-Now, to reconnect us to the fount
of truth that exists in us as men already, begging for liberation.
search for truth is nothing less than a direct experience
with moral ambiguities is where heroism is born.
to the well-being of humanity gives us purpose and meaning.
who we are with our own inner blueprint defines what character
is all about.
purifies our vision.
enlightens our perspective.
completes us like nothing else can.
draws it all together, while brotherhood unites us all.
qualities are what pull our lives together and completes
who we are.
Inevitable death is not
the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is failing to fully
live before we die. The greatest sin is wasting our lives to the
numbness of consumerism, even for one irreplaceable moment.
calls to what is inside us already, struggling to live. It is not
something imposed from outside. It is the awakening of who we are
It tells us that what we need is ours already.
we need is to open our eyes and live it.