take a moment to listen
to the song that best expresses what chivalry is all about. You
can hear it on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AijRBQf-ato.
You may want to play it as you read on.
The Impossible Dream, taken from the play
Man of La Mancha, reflects the soul of chivalry better than
anything I have ever heard or read on the subject. Its words, its
tune, its musical accompaniment, are truly incomparable.
It was this song that first introduced me to
chivalry when I was in my late teens. I chanced to hear it playing
at the pharmacy I was shopping in and the words held me in my tracks.
(That's right, the seeds of Chivalry-Now were planted in
that chance encounter.) To this day it remains a powerful inspiration
for me. In quiet moments, it still brings tears to my eyes and a
longing to be the man I should be. When I get discouraged, it has
the power to motivate me onward. When the enemies we face, and they
are legion, seem too strong and our efforts too weak, it reminds
me that the fight itself is worthy of everything we can give it,
whether we win or lose. What we do with our mortality decides if
our lives are worth living, or worth remembering.
The song has power, but it is just a song if
we fail to recognize how it expresses the moral urgings within us.
Such power comes from nowhere else. What we experience is our own
moral awakening. The words call to what is already there, giving
us ownership of their intent. It remains for us to understand that,
claim chivalry as our own, and then honor it at the center of our
Nietzsche once said that the noble soul has reverence
for itself. We must find that reverence in order to be who
we truly are. The Impossible Dream reminds us of that. We need such
the mantle of chivalry means that we willingly face impossible dreams,
unbeatable foes, and unbearable sorrows. We do this in reverence
to the miraculous life that quickens us, and to life itself.
quest is ours. It defines us, whether we recognize it or not. How
it defines us, depends upon our desire to respond.
listen to the song carefully. Feel the sincerity and energy that
it expresses that leads us to our quest. I hope you find it as inspirational
as I do.