Where’s the Knight in Shining Armour?

A friend of mine recently shared a story with me.  She was visiting a sister company to her organization and was asked to sit in the break-room while her next appointment arrived.  For about five minutes she sat there and noticed everyone around her saw she was there. They noticed she was a new face they hadn’t yet met, yet no one stopped in to greet her or say hello.  

After about five minutes of looking up and smiling at people, she took it upon herself to be the one to stand up and introduce herself when someone walked by.  

What was the result?  Conversations started, connections were made, and an opportunity to collaborate on a business opportunity was born.  Please hear me when I say this… it simply starts with the chivalrous act of saying hello! 

Chivalry can be defined as a combination of qualities such as courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help.  

How would you define your acts of chivalry?  While the origin of this came from knights at the round table, it also became known throughout time as a display of manners. 

We now frequently hear, “chivalry is gone.”  I read an article a while back by Suzanne Venker: “Chivalry is Dead Because Women Killed It.”  In this article, she stated, “Men only changed because women did. That’s because men are born to please women. 

Modern women do not know this, for they’ve been conditioned to think of men as oppressors.” Her article goes on to share this concept because it reinforces this idea that women need to be helped or saved by a stronger man.  Now, while we know this is not true, this is not to say, in my opinion, chivalry is dead.  

However, what variables  diminish our knights in shining armour?  We should all be asking ourselves, how we are displaying our manners towards others?  How can we expand the definition of being chivalrous to being kind, respectful, heartfelt, and human? 

I teach my boys to hold the door open for anyone.  It’s a sign of respect and care for those around you.  It is also a way to begin communicating with others and making eye contact.  We live in an environment with our faces down in our phone or computer, and the side effect is that communicating gets to be more and more challenging. 

So let’s take this concept of chivalry and begin putting this traditional concept into today’s world.   What might this allow? Open the door for others. Surprise the person behind you and buy them their coffee!  Help an elderly person with their groceries. Smile and acknowledge those around you… Don’t underestimate the power of energy and noticing someone… You might just save their life.  

“Chivalry is not just a fancy word with a neat meaning; it’s a way of life.” ~ Vaughn Ripley

Natalie Iannone

12 Comments

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