Apparently the age of chivalry is forever dead and gone.
In case you do not know what the word chivalry means, the dictionary lists gallantry, politeness, courtesy, graciousness and good manners among its synonyms. Unless you are over the age of 50 you are probably unaware that chivalry ever existed in our culture and society.
When you think of chivalry the image of a knight in shining armor might very well pop into your head. Classic fairy tales once told stories about gallant knights who rescued fair maidens in distress. They treated young ladies with respect, eventually married them and lived happily ever after.
Once upon a time and not so long ago, parents taught their young men to respect the fairer and gentler sex. Before attending any social function, a young gentleman was taught to open doors, including car doors, and to politely and properly seat his date at the table before sitting down himself. He would kneel to pick up a dropped handkerchief or even place his own coat over a mud puddle so she wouldn't have to step there.
A gentleman also would remove his hat in the presence of a lady and he certainly would never use any vulgar or profane language while she was around. In most instances, he would apologize for the boorish behavior of others while he was with her.
In this day and time, I have personally witnessed men rudely step in front of women in lunch lines and curse like a sailor in front of them.
Over the years relationships between men and women have changed – some might say evolved. Equality movements have changed women's role in the business world. Today, many women are the breadwinners of the family and I speak that to the shame of some of the men who have forced a lot of women into that role by their own lack of responsibility.
I am not opposed to women's rights. We have come a long way in terms of equality. Women deserve equal pay for an equal job done. However at the same time it has created some strain in the workplace. Today, things that were once meant to be compliments are sometimes misconstrued as sexual harassment and I am not referring to unwanted advances by supervisors.
This really intended to be a finger-pointing sermon at my own gender. For far too long, generations have forgotten what it truly means to respect a lady. I will be the first to admit that I do not always treat my wife with the respect she so richly deserves. After all, she is truly a gift from God.
However, I truly do try to follow my own advice when physically possible.
Gallantry, politeness, courtesy, graciousness and good manners, or chivalry, should never go out of style. There are not many ladies who would not appreciate a door being opened for them or being properly seated at a restaurant.