It’s up to us, you and me, to carry our ideals forward. That requires a plan—a serious plan indeed.
Our best intentions have to compete with entrenched hindrances at every turn. We have allowed greed to infiltrate and twist our values. We are told in a thousand ways to think only about ourselves, while fear and anger are used by those who try to exploit us.
To counter this, we need a plan of action:
We start, at the prompting of the 1st Trust, with self-development. We must firmly educate ourselves about the ideals we believe in. That provides us with the metaphorical shields and armor that today’s Knighthood represents. Once firmly grasped, we then carry our values in our stride.
We must then develop our unique skills on chivalry’s behalf as volunteers, writers, educators, activists, parents, civil servants, political leaders, managers, workers, neighbors and friends—whatever we do and wherever we go. Communication is our weapon of choice, be it spoken, written or modeling our ideals in everything we do. It is the sword we must sharpen through dedicated self-discipline.
We need to know what we are up against. Today’s enemies are not flesh and blood, so much as they are ideas, often posing as good, that eat away at our democratic values—and even our humanity. They are derived from various manifestations of greed and ego that constantly work to exploit us. They are bigotry ravaging the ideals of freedom and equality. They are the prevalence of lies subverting the primacy of truth upon which everything depends. They are ideologies, media propagandists and think-tanks constantly working to separate us from the influence of conscience.
We are not called to destroy those who disagree with us or batter them into submission. Our purpose is to awaken moral insights based on common ideals that come down to us through our Western legacy. To do this, we must move away from ignorance, deceit and bigotry and toward the light of truth. In the name of chivalry, that means starting with ourselves.
Becoming a knightly warrior in today’s world is far more difficult than it was a thousand years ago. It demands a new paradigm of thinking that we need to find and develop for ourselves. That is the purpose of the life-quest—that and freeing ourselves from the shackles of past errors. No accolade or bloodline can replace the kind of inner work that leads to personal autonomy. Bigotry is an example of bad faith in this regard.
The world will not recognize us as Knights or warriors of Chivalry-Now until we prove ourselves as such through words and deeds.
If the world won’t, why should we?
We are what we plan to be. Time to get to work.