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Men of Honor - Just What is Chivalry?

Almost every organization or group has some kind of a "Code of Conduct". Each branch of the US Military has its version. During my 12 years in the military, our "Code of Conduct" was 2nd nature. It was not exactly military law like the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice), it was a "code" that we would live and many would die by.  That Military Code of Conduct looked something like this...

(1) I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense

(2) I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to  resist

(3) If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

(4) If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners.  I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me, and will back them up in every way

(5) When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give  only my name, rank, service number, and date of birth.  I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability.  I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to  their cause.

(6) I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

In the era of the Knights, also a trained fighting force, they too had a "Code of Conduct", this "code" was known as "Chivalry".

Chivalry was found in the...  "Knightly class of feudal Europe", it represented "especially the gallantry and honor  expected of medieval knights." It was the "ideal of courteous knightly conduct ... and stressed loyalty and obediance by a knight to his God, his lord, and his lady, thus melding Christian and military virtues."

"In addition to loyalty and honor, the chivalric virtues included valor, piety, courtesy, and chastity. Questions of love and honor were combined in the ethos of courtly love. The knight's lady was meant to be unobtainable, ensuring chastity; the feminine ideal thus became melded with the Virgin Mary."  (merriam-webster.com)

In our society today, this idea or concept of chivalry has almost disappeared. When was the last time you opened the door for your spouse, girlfriend, mother, sister, daughter, female friend? How about offered to help or assist a lady who was struggeling with carrying somthing or trying to lift an item that appeared to heavy for her. Or maybe offered to help a lady you saw looking at the top shelf in a grocery store at something that she was obviously too short to reach?

How about just noticing these things? Have we as men become so numb to chivalry that we do not even notice these things?

These basic forms of modern day chivalry have been practically erased from our men's character today. "Knights of Grace" is going to continue to build on this understanding of chivalry and reintroduce this "Code of Conduct" to modern men... You and I.

 

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