Monday, December 12, 2005

Where has Chivalry gone?

I have received lately several compliments regarding my qualities as a person, a human being, a co-worker, a manager, a friend, a cousin, and most of all, a man.

Anyone that knows me would assert that I do not suffer from insecurities. If anything, I can toe the fine line between 'cockiness' and confidence. I have nothing to be cocky about, or would like to be. That attribute is fun when is used temporarily, spontaneously and among good friends. Otherwise, I do not have to boast about what I can do, and/or do good. But, bottom line is that it feels good to have those qualities recognized by other people; specially, when they are just mere observers in your life. And the reason why it feels good to have these positive qualities recognized is because, to me, they are just my values; the code of ethics I try to live my life by. A set of invisible self-imposed guidelines if you will. Socrates said that "the unexamined life is not worth living". Let me add that it would not be worth it for me to me to wake up and live my life without these set of tools.

I have heard the questions many times; where has chivalry gone? Well, it lives within me. Let me refer to
Wikipedia to make it a little bit more clear what chivalry is: Chivalry1 refers to the medieval institution of knighthood and, most especially, the ideals that were/have become associated with it throughout literature. It was also often associated with ideals of knightly virtues, honor and of courtly love. ..the chivalrous knight was idealized as brave in battle, loyal to his king and God, and willing to sacrifice himself. Towards his fellow Christians and countrymen, the knight was to be merciful, humble, and courteous. Towards noble ladies above all, the knight was to be gracious and gentle. The idealized relationship between knight and lady was that of courtly love. Boy do I love those last two sentences. Here is another secret about me; My favorite song from the Rolling Stones is not any of their classics; is Emotional Rescue; where Mike Jagger utters the words, " I will be your knight and shinning armour; coming to your emotional rescue".

If you go click on the words Knightly Virtues above, you will find a whole list of characterstics which you can add to the list which I live for; nobility, generosity, hope, courage, justice, faith, being beautiful in spirit, good cheer, courtesy, determination, selflessness, forgiveness, friendliness, helpfulness, happiness, honour, humillity, justice, kindness, mercy, loyalty, patience, perseverance, prudence, sincerity, sympathy, tenderness, truthfulness, and wisdom. After the medieval times, men living by these set of rules were given a name; in France, Chevalier, in Spain,Caballero. These translate into the word Gentleman in english.

But do not make a mistake here. These were alpha men, whose attraction for the best female specimen was always present. And they would not shy away from romantic possibilities, If anything, they were passionate and intense, for they understood that love was not a half-way given gift. A man like this could only give love or mate in only one way; all out. As the times evolved, french and spanish literature told of men like these and their stories. Their triumphs, their struggles, their loves. The tales of battles fought to defend honor and dignity. The loss of lives, justified or unjustified for corresponding or un-corresponding passions. Stories about sacrifice to always elevate the one they love.

The spirit that lives in me belongs to those knights, for I have never made a concious effort to posses those qualities. If anything, I had recognize those attributes in me, and the conscious effort was to make use of them, to honor and defend the values. And like those valiant, spade wielding, armored covered man, when the values were pierced by those close to us, the weapon would cut throught all the metal, and make incisions next to the heart. And while not mortal, the wounds take longer to heal.

While knights carry a spade an armour, today in the modern world I carry a simple handkerchief. And will tell you in my second post how do I translate that chivalry into today's world.

6 Comments:

Blogger Cheri said...

Damn! Are you trying to swoon all those ladies out there T?!? Such a posting sends tingles down my spine (and other places-lol)

You certainly got a way with words! Some girl is going to be a very lucky lady...

9:17 AM  
Blogger Whisper said...

I found your blog and thought it very interesting. I love the way you write. You seem to be very warm and a real gentleman. I love that song by nickelback also. I am still learning how to set up my page. It looks so boring compared to yours and others...take care...Whisper

1:13 PM  
Blogger Sweetmiss said...

T....
These days when I think of chivalry I think of the small things like: opening doors, him preceding me down the stairs and following me back up them(in case I fall), standing up for me if my name is besmirched, protecting me from physical harm.

There are other things that show chivalry also that many men don't think of. Things that I see my father in law do day in and day out without a second thought or complaint.
He puts gas in his wife's car if it goes below quarter of a tank, makes sure all the maintenance is kept up on both their vehicles, he takes out the trash as soon as he sees the need, takes care of the dog when it needs to go outside, he drives them wherever they need to go because he knows driving scares her. He does so many little things, things that we women wish men would do, but never expect them to do.

I think chivalry takes many forms, it just shows more when you do those things and don't expect to be noticed. That is when you will be appreciated.

Sweet

6:24 PM  
Blogger angrygrrface said...

Hey, I just surfed in and thought I'd say that I thought that was beautiful. Also, kind of annoying to copy and paste, but mostly beautiful.

7:33 PM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

Wow..

Thank you all!!

C - Hopefully I will be hte lucky one someday..

Whisper; thank you .. good luck with your blog..I promise to visit it.

Sweet.. youre completely right.. when I started writing this I went all over the place with it.. so, after your comment, I have to be true to myself and write a second part. The things you mentioned were part of this.. but I had to edit it and stick to one focus.
PS - WOw to the new image!

Angry, thanks! Anytime I can make anyone happy is a good day.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Cheri said...

Sweet, you are so right! My dad does those things for my mom and until I got married, he did it for me. I had never taken care of my car and how great that a feeling that was! Chivalry? respect? true love? Whatever it is, more men should do it! Kudos to you T-!

You are a certinly a rare, unique gem... I look forward to your next post!!

5:52 PM  

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