What is Chivalry?
Chivalry has fallen so far out of practice that the very meaning has become clouded and fragmented to most. Is it a set of rules? A prescription for social etiquette? Is it a Code of Conduct no longer relevant to today’s world? Or is it simply being polite?
The Merlin/Arthur Legend
According to this Legend, Merlin taught Arthur to live the natural life. On their many long walks out in nature, he taught the boy to honor all of life. Arthur learned to be loyal; to have dreams and visions; and then to build the strength—the virtue, so as to hold to the principles he developed out of these qualities. This allowed Arthur to discover his grace and out of that his truth. Although not his by birth, Arthur was raised in a strong and loving family and there discovered the value of being a courteous friend. He was taught not to settle for less than his best and to be willing to be wrong in the pursuit of what was right. He mastered the value of standing up for the truth even when others would not or could not do so. Merlin then showed him how to be the author of his life—how to take responsibility in his service to self and others without an attitude of superiority or insignificance, knowing that each new experience was uniquely its own.
There is a myth, that when a man opens a door for a woman, for example, he is being chivalrous. It might be an act of courtesy, but it could also be an insult depending on the intention of the person opening the door. If the person opening the door does so out of love, care and/or kindness, he or she is being courteous. Opening the door for someone loaded down with packages that make opening the door difficult or even impossible, that is an act of Service. When one opens the door for a firefighter loaded down with fire-fighting equipment, knowing that the flames are just inside the closed door thereby putting ones safety in jeopardy... that’s an act of Gallantry. If all 12 qualities are present for the one who opens the door, only then it could accurately be described as an act of chivalry.
Chivalry is much more than a set of rules for good etiquette or a polite gesture. Merlin's Code of Chivalry is the synergy—the working together—of The 12 Qualities of Chivalry that comprise it. Mastering these qualities can help shape and empower your life. Chivalry is a way of living your life that features your inherent goodness, and it is also a blueprint for personal mastery and individual excellence. Let us show you how.