Is Chivalry Dead?

Is Chivalry Dead?

When my niece Jessica (just call her my muse) talked about a discussion she’d had with friends about chivalry being dead or alive and kicking, I decided to research it and see what the general buzz was about chivalry today.

The first thing I learned was how the meaning of the word has evolved. It doesn’t mean what we think it means. Historically, according to Wikipedia, chivalry…

“…is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour. It is often associated with ideals of knightly virtues, honour and courtly love.”

Of course that’s not what we’re talking about today. In this article entitled The Changing Face of Chivalry the author attributes a modern meaning to the word. But I’d like to take it even further than that.

I’m interested in the spirit of chivalry; what goes beyond it in a meaningful way. The kind of chivalry I’m intrigued with is the kind you can’t teach; the kind that comes from the heart. For instance…

…the kind of chivalry that has my son removing and bunching up his jacket to put it on the hard ceramic floor where I’m about to kneel in church on a day when there are so many people at mass we are sitting in the foyer – with no kneelers.

…the kind of chivalry that has my husband returning his smooth peppermint patty to the box to take instead the last one – the crushed one – leaving the smooth one for me.

There should be a different word for this kind of thought/action. Or maybe together we can give new meaning to the word chivalry.

What’s your take on chivalry? Are you impressed by it, insulted by it? Is chivalry dead?

photo credit: Jeff Kubina

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About The Author


I am passionate about writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age, now available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. I never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?