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The Glory of Knighthood

Today's Knight is charged to follow his own ideals before all else. He tries to pluck the beam from his own eye before removing someone else's splinter. He condemns others only reluctantly, for he knows that in other circumstances, this person might very well be him. "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right," are not just empty words, but a chivalric mandate. A knight's humility comes from the knowledge that he is only human, like everyone else, which is also the source of his inspiration, strength and honor.
    On our online Forum, we talk about what needs to be mended in the world. We talk about high ideals — the worthiest of all discourses.
    But then we step away from our fellowship into a world that expects something different. Quite simply, it expects that we will not strive to live up to our ideals. It expects us to be greedy and given to "innocent vice." All of a sudden, we face this challenge alone, and high ideals seem distant. We return to the fellowship to find them in the words and support of others.
    Knighthood requires more from us.
    Forget the pageantry of old. Knighthood requires us to walk and speak and act like Knights — people dedicated to the Quest. Accept the mantle and grave responsibility comes with it.
    No one knows your inner thoughts, your dark side, your habits, vices and history. Only you know them. It's up to you to find, evaluate and challenge them. That's why the first of the 12 Trusts focuses on self-development. If the status of glorious Knighthood is what fills your mind, you will fail in this charge. The quest humbles as much as it enlightens.
    Brothers and sisters, not a day goes by that I don't struggle with inner contradictions, with a persona that wants to fit in with the crowd, against a truer self that wants the kind of abundant life that comes from unfettered integrity.
    There are times when I want to be judgmental. It seems so simple and natural, almost instinctive. There are times when I merely turn away from evil with moral fatigue, instead of meeting it head-on. Little vices seem so innocent, almost virtuous according to some.
    No one is perfect, and none of us ever will be. Nevertheless, as Knights, as spiritual warriors, we commit ourselves to fighting those dragons that pull us in every direction, knowing full well that we may never win completely.
That we continue the fight despite our mistakes, failures, and occasional lapses, is the truest glory of Knighthood, and humblest as well.

Dean Jacques, KCN


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