“Acts of violence are often the result of an exchange of acts of rudeness that spiral out of control. Disrespect can lead to bloodshed. By keeping the levels of incivility down we keep our levels of violence down.”
While many associate chivalry with bloody pictures of medieval warriors at war, it is more rightly associated today with an adherence to civility and polite behavior.
Chivalrous people know how to properly act in a variety of situations. They model positive and even noble conduct while making others feel valued and comfortable at the same time. Today’s Knight believes in truth, freedom and equality under the law, and civility plays a prominent role in expressing that. It is the personal and social glue that holds these ideals together, making chivalry attractive and without guile.
Jesus said that “he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” He obviously did not mean that literally. (Not all people with swords die from them.) What he meant is that something humane dies inside a person where rudeness or violence take hold or outright reigns. Without a healthy conscience and knowledge of how to act with generosity and love, we are dead already and in need of rebirth.
Civility provides the semi-formal expression of conscience, reason, generosity and love. What chivalry does is carry this into a complete way of life.