all know that courage is a knightly virtue.
But what does
it mean to have courage in today's western society? How does it
apply to a reality no longer based on tribal wars and judicial combat?
What enemy in our midst should we confront?
has taken appropriate steps to promote and safeguard a civilized
way of life. We have laws, professional police and soldiers to protect
us and keep order. Vigilantism is not condoned.
So, what about
courage? Is it still a virtue still worth cultivating? Does it have
a purpose in differentiating a Knight from others?
Indeed it does.
an important part in all aspects of our lives. While today's good
and evil are not so obviously defined as in Arthurian literature,
they are nevertheless real. In fact, evil has become more insidious
in its subtlety and power to deceive and persuade. It disguises
itself with a civilized veneer. Greed cloaks itself under the benign
aegis of a free market. Bigotry feeds itself with a justification
of victimhood. Leaders dehumanize and portray our supposed enemies
as being far worse than they are. People twist religious mandates
to satisfy less godly preferences.
of evil are such that we can even agree with the above comments
while thinking they apply to others and not ourselves.
Nothing is more important to achieving the authenticity of Knighthood
than looking into the mirror of truth and learning from it. It takes
far more strength and integrity than just going around looking tough
or standing up to bullies.
of a lie is far more destructive on the inside than a well-armed
enemy from without. Once believed, the enemy wins by default, even
when they lose in battle. That's because we lose the better part of who we are.
The power of
such lies depends on their not being recognized as lies at all.
They attach or portray themselves to what seems to be virtuous,
but actually is not. This is how evil works in today's world of
strategic distractions - finding ways to prevent us from looking
closer, distracting us from the dictates of conscience, patting
us on the back when we support what is wrong.
Evil knows that
it is easier to follow the crowd, or agree with friends when they
are wrong, repeating the lie again and again until it seems
It takes incredible
amounts of courage, strength of mind, self-discipline,
and unshakable integrity to reject a popular lie and answer it with
uninvited truth. It takes a selfless warrior, a Knight in the truest sense
of the word, willing to stand alone if need be for the cause of
does not go around welding a sword or otherwise threatening people
in order to prove their worth. All that would do is prove their
insecurities, which is anything but courageous.
is to fight for the survival, advancement and flourishing of civilization
so that all may benefit.
Our words must
be carefully articulated to reflect the profundity of Knighthood.
Our cause must
be just, and not some superficial cause du jour l that ends up hiding and propagating what is wrong.
find the virtues and pageantry of chivalry attractive, but it all
comes to naught if we fail to cultivate the courage to liberate
the authenotic Knight within. Only then do we acquire the strength
to become true warriors of chivalry in the depths of our souls -
which is what Knighthood is all about.