There are other ways to serve your country that may not be as noticeable or glamorous but are just as important—perhaps more so in a fundamental way.
Simply put, we serve our country when we are good citizens, because the people who comprise a country make it what it is.
Good citizenship does not require boot camp training, a term of service, or a specific career. It requires no uniform, or obedience to a hierarchy of command.
What it requires is living up to our everyday responsibilities to ourselves and others. It means nurturing those human qualities that make a nation worthy of being loved and protected. It means aligning oneself to truth and reason and conscience. It means respect for law and civilized, courteous behavior. It means taking the effort to make a positive difference in people’s lives—not just now and then, but whenever possible.
The schooling for good citizenship is not for two weeks or six months or even a year. It is a life-long commitment. It is learning and honing one’s personal skills every day. It is constantly adjusting one’s words and actions to accommodate new experiences. It occasionally demands great strength and courage to do what is right when the tide of public opinion demands otherwise.
The good citizen defends our Enlightenment ideals not just with words or traditions but by living them. Our ideals are just great words otherwise. They help nobody. Indeed, empty promises would make our country a land of hypocrites, which is how the world sees us when we say one thing and do another.
You see, in a very real sense, everything depends on us and how we live our lives. We constantly encounter opportunities to serve our nation by serving humanity itself.
This is what Chivalry-Now’s Knighthood is all about.