Chivalry is defines as the combination of qualities expected of an Ideal Knight, especially Courage, Honor, Courtesy, Justice & a Readiness to Help the Weak. The words that caught my attention were, ‘Readiness to Help the Weak’. I would however tweak that to ‘A Readiness to Help’.
I have read quite a few articles which talk about chivalry & how it is dead, how it should be brought back & how women should choose chivalry or equality. I am not saying that I don’t agree with these articles. The authors in the articles voice their opinion on the topic to which they are entitled. However, my views differ.
To me, Chivalry is all about Kindness and respect to each other , be it a woman or a man. It is not something that is purely expected of and applied to men alone; it is and should be applied to women too! And why not? When we scream equality it is only fair that it be in the true sense of the word.
Allow me to explain my concept with an example from this small true life incident.
Recently I was at a mall on a shopping trip with a couple of my friends. After an eventful and splurging shopping trip, we were on our way out. As we approached the exit, my friend remembered that she needed some cash from the ATM, she headed to the ATM while the rest of us waited for her near the exit. I was as usual observing the people around me when I noticed a young man walking to the exit door, he reached the door, opened it & walked out & held the door open. Why? Because he saw there was a young girl who was on her way out as well. He held the door open anticipating her to walk out right behind him probably. But the young lady was not walking, she was strolling, then she stood there looking into her cell phone, then searching for something in her purse for a good 5 to 10 minutes.
Now this exit is pretty narrow and constructed in a manner that only one person can exit at a time, so by this time there were quite a few people behind her to go. All this while that she was stalling the young man continued to hold the door . What made the young lady feel that she deserved such kindness without having the courtesy to acknowledge it? Chivalry? The young lady should have seen the fact that there was someone holding the door open for her and walking out all she had to do was smile and say thank you!
The scene I witnessed would then have been an act of Chivalry or Kindness from both the man and the woman.
In my view, everyone should be treated with the same deference, regardless of the gender. Instead of focusing on treating only women with respect, men & women should focus on treating everyone with respect.
In my view, Chivalry is all about making sure someone’s okay when they have fallen, or standing up for someone who is being bullied or holding the door open for the person walking behind you be it a man or a woman, or splitting the bill on the first date, giving each other little gifts, or about something as simple as smiling at a stranger.
In my view, the act of Chivalry goes both ways! And as long as there is still some good and kindness left in this world, Chivalry can exist among all of us.
More on Rashmi,
Rashmi is a single mom with a zest for life! The experience she gained from her life’s journey & her work as a Woman empowerment & Child rights advocate led her to blogging. Top it off with her passion for writing and you have her blog ‘Mind and Life Matters’ . to know more about Rashmi and her work, check out her blog here. You can also connect with Rashmi on Twitter – @impulsivecookie or her Facebook page Mindandlifematters .