Every chivalry-based group has its own interpretation of today’s Knighthood.
That’s true of Chivalry-Now as well. In fact, our interpretation has changed over the years.
In the early days, our online fellowship had Knights, Companions and members, and an online Council of Knights that helped make decisions. The title of Knight was conferred after the invited candidate passed a process of Q&As, essays and a dissertation. All that ended, including our original sense of group cohesion, when we lost our Open Forum and Facebook connected us as our social medium. Facebook did not provide the structure for deep discussions, learning, and developing friendships.
Our concept of Knighthood evolved over time. We no longer provide a Path to Knighthood Program or certificates of title. Some may bemoan that, but in the end it made Chivalry-Now more grounded in reality.
If Knighthood is to have any significant meaning, it depends on the quality of Knights who represent it. They have to be trustworthy, strong in character, loyal to the cause, dedicated to truth and helping those in need. Such people do not view Knighthood as a game or dream or fantasy roleplay or even a lifestyle. They see it as a state of being that is morally and intellectually brought to life by an inner transformation.
They are no longer “liberals” or “conservatives.” They are Knights whose relationship to truth and moral dignity rejects such artificial separations. Their loyalty is aimed at something higher, and this is reflective in the way they live.
In other words, Knighthood is not a title to be gained or earned or purchased as a badge of honor. In today’s world, that would have little meaning. To be real, it must serve an ideal and higher purpose which constantly inspires it.
If being recognized as a Knight is your goal, have you considered what happens when you become one?
You look at your life, which probably has changed very little, if at all, and feel somewhat unfulfilled. This is why it is common for people to seek titles from several groups, hoping that each new accolade will produce something more tangible. It probably won’t, despite sounding very impressive and backed by numerous claims of authenticity. Deep inside, you are the same old you, flattering yourself to bolster self-esteem. A real Knight, confident in his or her state of being, wouldn’t need to do that. They would go out in the world to make a difference. Worrying about self-esteem is not strength, but weakness.
Don’t blame the group intent or process. It’s almost impossible to evaluate someone online as a candidate for Knighthood whom you probably never meet. That makes the certificate questionable from the start. Having a certificate without committed action is meaningless.
Chivalry-Now utilizes Knighthood is an ideal to spark inspiration. We encourage people to aspire toward that ideal by becoming “aspiring Knights.” Through that inspiration, you either perform the work of becoming a Knight, on your own, or you don’t. No one can do that for you, much less joining a mutual admiration society.
If you adequately respond to the inspiration of Knighthood, go out and make the world a better place to live in. Put aside those prejudices that tend to lurk in the background of your intent. Be a champion for justice. What good is a Knight who doesn’t speak out for good causes, or allows civilization to crumble in the hands of thieves and liars? Such “knights” (notice small “k”) are false. Some would say cowards. I would call them distracted.
All that said, reality demands that I humbly call myself an aspiring Knight, and nothing more.