The 1st Trust tells us to develop our lives for the greater good. That means purposely improving who we are, our skills, talents, intellects, and moral intuition.
This doesn’t just happen because we wish it. To reach our goal as aspiring Knights, we have to do it ourselves. We have to create our own expectations and form a curriculum of life to achieve them. This is the first challenge of serious Knighthood.
There are plenty of resources. Purposely learning from the challenges of everyday life provides us with the dynamics of a knightly quest. We partake in that quest when we consistently examine the moral issues of life, when we look for the deeper meaning in everything we do, and take efforts to assist those in need. Doing our best in school and on the job helps. There are many excellent resources available from which to learn. Examine a variety of them. Chivalry-Now alone offers books, hundreds of website articles, and social media pages. It’s up the aspiring Knight to pull everything together for his or her own unique development, which continues throughout life.
While the 12 Trusts provide a code, we must also develop a code within that code that belongs to us alone—our unique expression of what being a Knight means. For each of us, it will be different, but nevertheless recognizable in purpose and substance.
For example, part of my personal code is not smoking, drinking alcohol, or participating in recreational drugs. While some may say that they can safely use these substances in moderation, I prefer to live in sympathy with those who suffer from them. To my mind, doing otherwise would be turning my back on untold amounts of unnecessary suffering. (I have seen this suffering firsthand in both my family and in my social services career.) This, to my mind, is something that seriously differentiates an aspiring Knight from those who are not. It also promotes the serious public message that you don’t have to engage in addictive habits that either hurt you or victimize others. Living the message means so much more than talk.
While entering my 70th year of life, I want to maintain the persistence and vitality of Knighthood as best I can, physically, intellectually, spiritually. My personal code includes talking less and listening more. Maintaining independent thought in a sea of ideological conflict. Being more compassionate to others dissipates anxiety and cleanses the mind. Regular exercise, including flexibility training, calisthenics (pushups, crunches, etc.), weightlifting, isometrics, seasonal swimming, and martial art basics—while exercising my mind as well. Searching for truth through reading and contemplative reflection keeps the quest alive and vital and constantly invigorating. (Remember, the CN concept of Aletheia, the Greek word for truth? It includes the idea of a “not-death experience.” Why? Because the search for truth enhances every aspect of life.) I also seek to inspire others through my writing (not manipulate or coerce).
I don’t present this for others to copy, but to show one person’s commitment to chivalry’s inspiration.
I know others who serve their communities and those in need through civic and/or religious organizations. Another works as an ambassador. Others serve as mentors to children. The list goes on. Each brings Chivalry-Now to life in exceptional ways, which is how it should be. They are the real heroes who exemplify “chivalry in action” far more than my poor efforts.
It is up to us to show and prove what today’s Knighthood means in the way we live our lives.WE shape our training. WE decide our curriculum. WE create our own personal codes. WE form our beliefs, develop our conscience, and choose our careers or how we spend our retirements. Never doubt that we all have lessons of values to share.
Others will judge us accordingly—and that’s just how it should be. Chivalry-Now lives or dies by our hands.