The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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The Answer to Violence

The Boston Marathon bombing. Newtown. Aurora. The Twin Towers. Columbine. The Oklahoma Federal Building. The list sadly goes on, defining the times in which we live.
    How should we respond to these terrible events? There doesn’t seem much we can do. We see our leaders looking to control the access of guns (and failing), and stronger means to combat terrorism. For the most part, we leave it in their knowledgeable hands. Unfortunately, the problems that underlie these killings, their actual causes, are more or less ignored. We label the perpetrators as ideological or religious fanatics, or just insane. When easy answers are not forthcoming, we blame liberals or conservatives, or the economy, or the media. It seems that there is plenty of blame to go around – as long as we don’t have to blame ourselves. After all, we’re just law-abiding citizens, minding our own business. We’re not fanatics, or terrorists, or violently insane.
    That being true, we may be surprised when the requirements of democracy and freedom drop serious questions at our feet that our leaders ignore. Can we ever impose enough security to prevent these senseless killings? What would life be like? Armor-wearing guards on every street corner? Mandatory frisking at the entrance of every building? Curtailments of freedom? Armed escorts for every man woman and child? Video surveillance everywhere? Drones fitted with cameras and sensors crisscrossing the sky? Life sentences for every crime? Such answers cross into the absurd.
    The sad truth is, and we have to face it, there are too many ways to kill people to cover every possibility. In this respect, the terrorists and madmen have won in their objectives. We adjust our lives to the fear they generate. The patients are officially in control of the asylum.
    But it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve been so caught up responding with superficial remedies, that we fail to examine what we really need.
    There was a tagline against gun control that makes a serious point. “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”
    That’s true. People do kill people – with guns and knives and bombs – sometimes with their own hands, or with poison. People are killed because of anger, revenge, greed, ego, fear, war, political oppression, and whatever else sparks the insane mind to act violently. In the end, it all boils down to decisions based on personal values, what we call life principles, which brings us to the realm of Chivalry-Now.
    As a philosophy and as a movement, the nurturing of life principles are what we are all about. We understand that our culture no longer supports the ideals upon which it was made. That results in a cultural deficit that makes all kinds of bad things possible. Democracies don’t work if they are not based on truth, cooperation and a sense of unity and purpose. A philosophy of greed cannot fill the void. As we see every day, it only makes things worse.
    If we ever hope to find a solution to violence, we need to repair our culture so that violence is not glorified. Instead, our culture should be propagating virtue and purpose in every person’s life, thus contributing to the greater good.
    That’s what Chivalry-Now is all about.
    With careful regard toward personal freedom and living each day as a quest, we make available the means toward sanity and unity without trying to indoctrinate anyone. We serve as a catalyst to what is already inside us, encouraging free thought instead.
    We have no charismatic leader or paid propagandists who use fear or anger to win converts and feed popular division. We are led by our own intellect and conscience, with the autonomy of thought granted by Areté and Nature’s Law, contributing to the universe the very best of what it means to be human.
    In order to do this, we are advised not to fall into the trap of thinking as others think. We learn not to limit ourselves to the shallow, set parameters of partisan debate, or to moral stances that are crippled by hypocrisy. Yes, it is good to learn from others, and we should do so constantly, but not blindly, and never at the expense of losing our unique perceptions and informed opinions.
    We, who are called to develop our lives for the greater good and defend those in need… who are dedicated to truth and justice… who are liberated to personal authenticity by the quest… we are the natural soldiers in this war against deception and apathy. Our ideals transcend the divisions brought about politics and religion and regional biases. We go to the source of virtue itself for our answers, to Nature’s Law, which we relate to as individuals. Although our movement reaches back to the earliest days of Western civilization, its relevance is as vital today as it ever was.
    Perhaps it is difficult to imagine a world where people are more concerned about personal virtue than greed, more enthralled by truth than ideological purity or political one-upmanship. That's because we live in a world that has lost its way, and have experienced nothing better. To most people, Camelot is a dream, an ideal, a romantic illusion, instead of a possibility tha just might be in our collective reach.
    We need to put cynicism aside if we hope to improve the world we live in. It is time to take hold of dreams and ideals and be inspired by them. We cannot change things for the better when all we do is put our efforts into making a failed system or ideology adjust to its own deficiencies. We have been jerry-rigging this engine far beyond its usefulness. When it finally breaks down completely, what will we have? With luck, we will rediscover the inspiration of our dreams and the promise of our ideals.
    If we did that now, think of all the problems we could avoid. Reclaiming that vision, developing ourselves into people who reflect high ideals instead of coarse mediocrity, is our primary goal.

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