important premise of Chivalry-Now is that the longing for
chivalric principles is innate in men, at least those of Western
Is this is true? Or just wishful thinking?
I believe it's true because that's how I
experienced it in my own life. In my years working in social services,
I had the opportunity to see both sides of the issue. This was bolstered
by listening to the stories of other men as well, especially from
those in our Companionship.
Chivalry had to come from somewhere. Why
not directly from ourselves? When we hear the Twelve
Trusts, or similar codes, something seems to click inside, affirming
a readymade connection we might otherwise not have noticed. This
is too common to be an accident. Our feelings are real. The connection
is so direct, our response so spontaneous, how else can we explain
Our culture certainly feeds this to an extent.
Elements of chivalry can be found in literature, film, myth, religion
and cultural ideals despite their lack of prominence in today's
world. They usually reside suppressed, just beneath the surface,
waiting to make themselves known.
We see it in others too, in the honor and
loyalty that boys display among their friends from a very young
age. In soldiers risking their lives for their comrades, or anyone
who stands up for heroic causes.
On the other side, we've all seen men for
whom chivalry has no appeal. I've seen young boys, already unrepentant,
who act like bullies from the start. There are prisons filled with
men who have no concern for law or justice or fair play, who abuse
women without conscience, and fathers who don't care enough to support
their children. The television screen shows us two-dimensional images
strutting around as if the definition of man was nothing more than
I see angry men blaming others for their
own deficiencies, buying into ideologies that lead nowhere positive.
I see men who lie to get what they want, no matter who gets hurt.
Is chivalry innate in them as well?
I can't answer that. On the surface, it
would seem that chivalry is completely foreign to these men, and
could never make an impact on their lives. Without conscience or
compassion, chivalry has no soil to extend its roots.
All I can say is this: What kind of world
were they born into? One in which chivalric principles were recognized,
honored and encouraged? Or just the opposite? What shaped their
discontent, their spiritually bereft vision of life? What messages
did they hear from their broken culture? What did their parents
teach them? What music formed the rhythm of their souls? What values
did television instill in their lives?
Was there ever a time when they might have
chosen a different path? As children, did they ever look into the
eyes of a good man and see the nobility that could
It's easy to throw blame at fathers, mothers
and television producers. Nothing comes of it except a warning for
Until we devise some test to determine what
is morally innate in men, I think our theory serves us well. The
culture we know, the history that shaped it, the principles and
passions embodied in our Companions, all confirm that there is more
to our spiritual DNA than meets the eye.
final proof, for me at least, is looking at a world where chivalry
has been suppressed by values less noble and less humane. My heart
informa me what words cannot express. The anguish is visceral, almost
are being called by every fiber of our being to reclaim what was
or Evil to continue this topic.)