Why Is Chivalry Dead?
I’ve heard all my life that the days of Chivalry are over and manners and kindness are closely on their way out of the door. Why is chivalry dead? Well, if you’re asking me… which you’re not, because I wrote this first and then you read it second… but if you’re curious to know what I think; I would say it falls into the old saying of “Sour Grapes”. What do I think the solution is? “More selfishness”. Stick with me as I ramble off course, my point will become clear as I go.
So I fall off of a roof and break my foot. That’s another story for another time. The way the parking works where I live is there are two days a week I have to move my car to the other side of the street. If I do it too soon or too late I get ticketed. After about eighty dollars worth of parking tickets, I decided to start moving the car. Yes, I could have had people do it for me, but being the wonderful genius artist I am I was absolutely awful at coordinating the task. Anyway, the bottom line is a group of six women, count that again, SIX women walk past me as I’m trying to clean two feet of snow off my car while balancing on crutches. They’re dressed up like little Kardashian clones. All they do is stare at me as they pass by.
They stare at me and they flip their hair and they puff their chests out and get quiet. I fall over into a snow bank. They watch me fall, they don’t laugh or anything, but they just keep watching and walking and not saying anything. No offer to help me or with the snow.
I struggle back to my feet which was tricky having one foot out of commission. I start scraping the giant hunks of snow off the car and I again lose my balance. I don’t fall over this time, but now I’m hopping around trying desperately to get myself situated. Finally, I turn into a big ball of rage and start the car, speed off and slam on the breaks and all the snow flies forward. I’m not recommending the method, it’s just what I did. The girls turn and watch, then walk away.
A few hours later a friend swings through to rescue me from cabin fever and we’re out and about. This is the first time I’ve ever been seriously injured, so he’s not used to having to hold doors and stuff like that. He forgets to hold a door in the middle of a conversation as he’s explaining something and I stick the rubber pad of the crutch between the door and the ground to stop it so I can walk through. A woman, also dressed like a super star, bumps into me and almost knocks me over and walks through the door without so much as apologizing or even acknowledging it happened. My friend holds the door for her, she doesn’t thank him.
A month or so later, this same friend sees a fellow classmate walking through the rain to college. He’s seen him before and they’ve done the whole “head nod” thing. He pulls over and tells him to hop in, he’ll give him a ride. The guy says something to the effect of “get the f**k outta here yo.” Yes, you’re thinking it, I’ll say, he’s dressed like a wannabe thug “gyangsta” mo fo. I’m terrified. My friend’s pretty thick skinned. It’s not like he really cared all that much. If the guy doesn’t want a ride, so be it. But not only did the guy cut off his own nose to spite his face he was rude in the process.
Talk about lame.
In Aesop’s fable “Sour Grapes” a wolf sees a bunch of grapes hanging off of a vine that is very high above the ground. He tries everything he can to get to them, but he can’t. When he walks away, he says to himself “Those grapes are probably sour anyway.”
If you feel like people are better than you, why not act like a super star and make them feel like they’re less than you? If you feel abandoned by the world, why not tell everybody to shove it in their time of need, they’d do it to you right? If you don’t think people could ever love you, why not just act like you’re too good for them anyway? Ask someone what they think of themselves and most will clam up pretty quick and not know what to say. Ask someone what they think of someone else and guess what? There was a study done that said the minimum needed for the average human being to draw a conclusion about another person’s character was two seconds spent looking at their photo.
We’re not psychic, and as much as our instincts help us to read minute facial features, you don’t ever really know somebody, even after years of being close with them. So what really happens in two seconds of staring at someone’s picture? It’s mostly spent thinking about how we compare to the person in the picture. Perhaps by nature, we don’t spend much time thinking about what we think of ourselves. However, most of our day is sadly spent wondering what others think of us. How many times has someone said they didn’t like you… because they thought you didn’t like them? Every time it’s happened to me I had no negative feelings toward those people at all, yet still they drew the conclusion. People who feel the world doesn’t approve of them often search for proof of their belief. When they think they’ve found it, they act out in spite towards this “proof”. It results in rude behavior. It’s a lot like Professor Chaos from the South Park cartoon, running around doing stupid little things to try and destroy the people around him. The kid’s angry, but he’s also too afraid to just come out and say it, so instead he adorns this persona that allows him to be cruel without having to face any consequences for it. It’s weakness incarnate.
So we cut back to our hair flipping hot steppers and what do we see? People so small, they have to be the ones to make themselves look like they’re too good because no one else will do it for them. For a second, you may be thinking- well, maybe they’re just lazy. Very true, but lazy people still do stuff throughout the day. My guess is it’s more that a person appears lazy because they don’t want to do anything if they’re not going to get something return for it. Think about that though, if they were worried about being cheated and used before you tipped over and fell into a snow bank, what do you think they feel like all day long? Cheated and used and insignificant. How do they cope? Well, ask any woman who goes out on a date with a guy because it’s a free meal. Ask any guy why he’s friends with the smart ugly chick he knows has a crush on him right as his next term paper needs to be written.
Almost always, you look in a bad person’s eyes and you see regret. You even see it in the eyes of some of the clinically insane ones. It’s not that people enjoy being horrible to others. It’s that they enjoy the idea that they did it to you before you could do it to them. Weak people do weak things to gain their power. They take little “jabs” at you, maybe they say something ambiguous to try and put a tiny chip in your confidence. I’ve seen people open a door so slightly that they only have enough time to scoot through themselves and the next person behind them jams their finger trying to catch the door. They did it to you before you could do it to them. Ha, showed you.
Chivalry is dead because it dies when strong people with values and morals and a personal code of honor are the only ones to step up and fight the good fight and die good deaths. Meanwhile the weak cower in corners and dark holes and survive. They live on and they procreate and they teach their children to be weak as well. Reaching for grapes that seem unreachable, the weakest of us walk away, never to know the sweet taste of life.
So what should polite people do? Be aware of the fact that you’re a dying breed and procreate your species dang it! The strongest of us spend their lives searching for ladders or foot holds to climb higher and higher. Even if your lives end with them still out of our grasp, you drink in the sight of them with your eyes and find wholeness in your hearts that you never had a doubt of where you were going. You are envied for that kind of certainty.
As far as kindness being weakness. I personally think there are two kinds of nice people. There are people who are nice for others and people who are nice for themselves. Believe it or not it’s the selfish people who have the better character. People who are nice for others only do it because they want something in return. They compliment you because they want to be complimented back. They hold the door because they want a thank-you. People who are kind for their own satisfaction don’t allow themselves to be walked on because they don’t need anything from anyone. They simply do it as a small pleasure in life. You know how to assert yourself and probably already do so.
So, to the strongest of the world, my advice is to simply continue being strong. Take it a step further and work towards spreading that. Revel in the times you encounter a chivalrous person because they are your brother or sister in this world. Let it be a conversation starter. While the rest of the world waits to be seen, acknowledge each other and talk and who knows; become friends. Grow your social circle using decency as your common ground. Deal with the pansies as you have to and get the chance to do what you want to do when you spend time with your true friends. Not to mention there are plenty of freaks and wild partiers that are also decent and respectful, you’re not going to miss out anything from the “bad” crowd except a WHOLE lot of mommy and daddy issues.
As my opinion is concerned, Chivalry isn’t truly dead, it simply never existed in people who weren’t worth your time in the first place. This fact, albeit bothersome, can be a warm welcome to your daily life as it makes it easier to pick out good genuine people from the heard as they are easy to spot. An independent thinker will be able to discern between people who are nice because they want something and people who are nice because they have self respect. Of that small group of people that is left you will find true friends, fun and memories as sweet as the ripest grapes the rest of the world can’t even dream of tasting. Look at that, the world really is what you make of it.
That sums it up, what do you think as far as the subject of Chivalry? Got any stories you’re dying to vent? Comment, I’ll respond.
Thanks for reading,
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