Arthur had no idea how good he had it.
certainly faced many dangers. Foreign armies, traitors, giants,
dragons, the occasional magician. The risks never ended, but he
overcame them all.
He enjoyed certain advantages.
- First of
all, Arthur earned the love of his people through the goodness
of his heart and generosity. His reputation attracted the finest
warriors into service. His mercy regularly turned fallen enemies
- On top of
those personal attributes, he had Merlin's sage advice,
an enchanted sword and a magic scabbard that protected him from
- He had the
elite Companions of the Round Table, strong and true and
devoted to chivalry. Each was his own man, following his personal
quest, yet dedicated to justice and the creation of a better world.
- He had Camelot,
a golden city that flourished under his rule, and was the envy
of the world.
- For spiritual
inspiration, he had nothing less than the Holy Grail.
an ensemble! Where does that leave us, as twenty-first century
champions of Chivalry-Now?
We have no Arthur to lead us. But
we have his inspiration.
We have no Merlin. But we have knowledge
at our disposal that dwarfs the sum of knowledge from all previous
centuries combined. We not only have some of Merlin's legacy, we
have that of Freud and Einstein and Jung and
thousands of others. We don't need a crystal ball. The Internet
has replaced it.
We have no magical sword or scabbard. But
we have the pen, which is reckoned mightier than the sword. We also
have millions of people hungry for change, despite the never-ending
promises of the status quo.
Arthur had some of the greatest heroes
that chivalry ever produced. We have Companions as well,
summoned not by the reputation of some hero-king, but by the light
of chivalry radiating from their own souls.
We have no Camelot, but neither
did Arthur when he started. The new Camelot is something
we can build, something greater than the original, because our combined
potential is as great as our dream.
In certain respects, we are inspired by
the same Holy Grail.
is that possible?
The Grail we search for, the Grail we follow,
the Grail we see in glimpses everywhere we go, is the same attraction
to Goodness, Life and Truth that Arthur's Grail represented.
The absence of Arthur himself presents
a huge deficit. How much greater our chivalry would be if he were
leading the charge.
But what if his grandeur and leadership
were ill-matched for the democratic challenges we face today? What
if the answers we seek have to come not from a leader, but from
us, as individuals, facing personal and global challenges
on our own? A new age brings new challenges. The challenges of today
cannot be met with a sword and shield and shirt of mail.
Our enemies are not other men, but the
illusions that most of us buy into. The magicians we face deal more
with marketing and political strategy than herbs and incantations.
Dragons are nothing more than false ideals that push aside what
Whereas Arthur held the line against hordes
of invaders, our challenges are different. We need to learn why
a young man rampages through a college campus and kills over 30
innocent people. Could a world built on more consistent ideals have
prevented this tragedy?
The gravest threats we face have to do
with a clash of ideologies, failed political systems, ethics based
on greed, business and entertainment industries that will do anything
to dominate our values, and a culture that fails to teach us anything
Bombs and bullets and economic pressures
will not heal these wounds. Only the energies and best intentions
of us all can really change things for the better.
There is an insanity we face almost everywhere
we look, an insanity trying to convince us that good is bad, and
bad is good and being a man means very little other than
being a gullible consumer.
Brothers and sisters of Chivalry-Now,
we are all Knights-in-Training, building ourselves to challenge
those who would rob us of our autonomy. Chivalry does not call us
from over that hill, or from the speech at some podium, but irresistibly
from inside our hearts. Our numbers may yet be small, but the courage
in our hearts is immense. The odds don't matter, so much as our
tenacity and dedication. That's what provides the raw material of
We have no Arthur to lead us and
yet we march in step to the same beat. That's because the cadence
of chivalry springs from the commonality of our souls.
So live rightly. Follow your informed conscience.
Learn and study. When the time comes, speak the truth and let it
be heard. Let all our voices be heard. Softly. Firmly. Convincingly.
Unafraid. Let compassion for all people and the world we live in
guide our every word and step. Let's raise our children to be honorable
men and women.
we do this, King Arthur and the Round Table Knights will truly live
again, through us.