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
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
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.
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
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