The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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The Good Fight

The most distinguishing feature of chivalry is fighting for what is right. This, more than anything, makes it a warrior tradition with a strong moral directive. Defeating evil by upholding justice, truth and fair play is its core belief. This requires the strength and courage to heroically put oneself on the line.
    Defending equal rights means that we rise for the sake of justice. Courtesy fosters relationships based on respect, which leads to peace and progress. Helping those who suffer from disadvantage is a moral obligation that benefits individuals and communities alike. In these ways, chivalry fights to promote what is best in human nature. Performing good deeds and contending with injustice is how we do that.
    We must not forget, however, to do this wisely. Many people believe that they fight for a good cause, for all the right reasons, but get so caught up in scoring points that they lose touch with their final aim. They identify one side as completely right, and the other completely wrong. Once that happens, they fail to see when their efforts contribute to pointless animosities that never end.
    This is not how problems are solved. This is how they escalate.
    When advocates suffer from a sense of tunnel vision righteousness, alternatives are lost along with the bigger picture. The original goal is replaced by a sense of fighting for the sake of fighting, which leads to blind fanaticism. Once that happens, truth no longer guides our efforts. We contribute to the overarching problem instead.
    Chivalry calls us to fight the good fight - not a bad fight. Not a dirty fight. Not a fight for the sake of fighting, or to fuel senseless anger. Not to annoy opponents or make them feel stupid, but to win new allies.
Today's Knight must resist that endless spiral of animosity. The ability to listen, understand and engage in gentle reasoning is always the most effective means to resolution. Recognition of someone's value and good intent not only opens hearts, but opens minds as well.
    We cannot replace long held opinions with the insult of fierce contempt. We only invite defeat by hardening the resolve of those who hold them.
    Chivalry does not demand hatred of those who hold contrary views. It invites the kind of honest persuasion that comes from trust and mutual respect. It dares to make calculated progress one step at a time.
    Today's Knight has to have patience and the skill of choosing one's battles strategically, and learn how to make allies from those who disagree. This is how we will change the world for the better.


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