In the days of old, people lived by a code that promoted kindness and respect. However, over time, people began to become selfish and rude, placing themselves and their own needs before those of the people around them.
Chivalry began to disappear, prompting the age old question, is chivalry dead? The word “chivalry” by definition means “the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, and a readiness to help…”
It’s the 21st century – knights started to disappear in the 13th century – so why am I bringing them up? I’m not bringing up the knights themselves but rather what they stood for, the chivalric code was a moral system that knights and members of the society abided by.
There may not be any dragons for you to fight, princesses to rescue, or castles to defend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a knight. Nothing prevents you from being courageous, if you have something to say don’t sit silent and let things pass you by. Take courage and be brave. Honor means to respect someone. Show honor to those around you, treat them with respect. To be courteous is to show politeness in one’s behavior and attitude. You were taught in elementary school to say please and thank you. You might be the student body president or top of your class, but none of those things give you a reason to be rude; you don’t know what people are going through. A simple smile can make somebody’s day. Smile, be kind.
The last part of chivalry is a readiness to help. If you see somebody struggling with something, let’s say, for example, that they dropped their books in the hall – don’t just walk past them, offer to help pick up their books. If you’re sitting at your lunch table, turn to the person beside you and offer to take up their tray. From where I sit, I see people taking up trays left and right at lunch, but some of their reasons for doing so are misplaced. People will take up somebody’s tray if they get something from it, usually food. You don’t need a reason to be kind, you shouldn’t have to get something in return for kindness.
There’s 1440 minutes in a day, it won’t kill you to give up a few of them making somebody’s day by being kind. You do not need to be smart, athletic, short, or tall in order to be kind to somebody else, everyone can do it.
These random acts of kindness, portrayed by the individual students, creates a better school atmosphere, which studies have shown to increase attendance and acceptance among students (according to an Edutopia article entitled “Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reduce Bullying”).
So, I ask you again, is chivalry dead?
No matter what you answered, we should all do at least one chivalrous thing a day. Be a knight.