of us approaches the call to chivalry carrying a past that might
not be conducive with chivalry's ideals.
was true for me, as I tried grafting together cultural slices from
the past to find something meaningful.
is true for others who come as curious Pilgrims, and suddenly find
themselves draw to a lifelong Quest.
can't speak for every man's situationonly for my own. Nevertheless,
we all carry baggage from our earlier lives. Some of us may be plagued
by feelings of guilt or unworthiness that painfully stop us in our
- You might
have had numerous failed relationships, or did not treat women
properly, or cheated on a spouse.
- You might
have failed your parents, or never got along with siblings.
- You might
not have been the father that your children needed and deserved.
- Perhaps you
delved into the darker side of human nature. Crime. Drugs. Placing
profit before people.
- Perhaps confusion
led to experimentation you now regret.
- Like most
of us, you may have acted like a jerk because you just didn't
any form of guilt that leads to self-reproach can inhibit your
response to chivalry. You can feel so unworthy or trapped by the
past, that it paralyzes you from taking even that first step forward.
There's another way of looking at this,
howevera very real perspective that doesn't gloss over your
past or deny the validity of your guilt. In fact, it assures that
you possess the kind of conscience that makes chivalry
real, and not just a momentary fad.
When thoughts of the past cause you to
hesitate, it means that your sense of justice and fairness is alive
and well. It means you are approaching Chivalry-Now with
appropriate seriousness. This is not a barrier to moving forward.
It is tangible proof that you are worthy to go onyour first
The past means little to Chivalry-Now.
What matters is who you are at this moment in time, and from this
day forward. Pangs of conscience mean that your soul is alive with
a suitable perspective. This is where the integrity for change begins.
The beauty of chivalry is that it points
to high ideals while not expecting perfection. The characters from
Arthurian literature illustrate this plainly. Each knight had his
faults, while struggling to be his best.
No one hears about chivalry and is suddenly
transformed into the perfect man. That's not how it works. Chivalry
reminds us of what is in our souls. It calls us to embrace male
virtues as best we can in every day
By nature and definition, ideals are goals
that are in some ways unreachable. They are "idealized."
Unrealistically perfect. They serve only as guideposts to better
living. Chivalry calls us to these ideals knowing full well that
we are all fallible.
Do not confuse embracing an ideal and failing
to achieve it perfectly as hypocrisy. It is a human
being doing his best in an imperfect worldand that's all we
can hope for. What counts is not our past failures or shortcomings,
but the brave intent, the personal commitment, the energy we generate
and whatever good that results, no matter how finite.
When you think of it, what's the
alternative? Trying nothing at all?
Who says that you and I, all of us and
any of us, cannot rise above who we were yesterday? Or that past
sins define us forever? Such mistaken ideas support the cultural
despondency upon which all our problems flourish.
Only you know the motivation
of your heart. Only you can judge that. And it's time
Let's say, in response to Chivalry-Now,
you look inside the dark recesses of your heart and discover a spark
of purity long ignored. What could possibly be wrong with nurturing
that spark into a greater flame, breathing new energy into your
I cannot speak for others. Every man faces
his own challenges, his own potential. As the author of Chivalry-Now,
my approach should not be viewed as typical.
I'll tell you this, once I connected there was no turning back.
No doubts. No self-reproach. In fact, I still find it difficult
to look back while truth keeps staring me in the face. I never made
a conscious choice to end one life and begin another. I found myself
too busy responding to what is. I didn't realize it at the time,
but a door had opened that allowed a truer version of myself to
Am I a better person because of it? WHOLEHEARTEDLY
Have I attained anything close to chivalrous
perfection? WHOLEHEARTEDLY NO! That was never my expectation.
Chivalry is not about feeling good about
yourself. That's too passive and self-centered. It's about having
the inspiration of an immediate moral foundation on which to live.
It's about vision and determination, and claiming a life worth living.
Are you worthy of that? Am I?
Worth has nothing to do with it.
It is better to skip that question entirely, and get on with living.
words of our trusted Companion, Sir Steven Forgette, give
us insight into chivalry that shows how the moral dynamics neatly
sidestep our guilt and insecurities:
all true Knights not look at the world as it is, but as it should
and can be. Of what good is a Knight, who does not try to make
the world a better place in which to live."