Thursday, January 25, 2018

What We Lack

God Speed! - Edmund Leighton
As I was reading this over at Grim's Hall today, I started thinking about our modern society, and just how raucous, discourteous, and uncivil it is. (Read this as well.)

While Grim has a nice take on what is and isn't a "gentleman," he leans towards the courteousness required when everyone is armed and being rude might get you shot/stabbed/bludgeoned, I had to dig a bit further. After all, in Japan one is polite because of hundreds of years of tradition, which in olden times kept you from getting beheaded by a samurai because you looked askance at him.

Yes, everyone was polite to avoid that. Especially if you were not a samurai.

While being armed does enforce politeness and courtesy (to avoid being shot/stabbed/bludgeoned), there is more to being a "gentleman," if you will. As I pondered all that, this word popped into my head -


the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code.
  • historical
knights, noblemen, and horsemen collectively.
"I fought against the cream of French chivalry"
  • the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.
synonyms: knight errantry, courtly manners, knightliness, courtliness, nobility; bravery, courage, boldness, valor, heroism, daring, intrepidity; bushido
"the values of chivalry"
  • courteous behavior, especially that of a man toward women.
"their relations with women were models of chivalry and restraint"
synonyms: gallantry, gentlemanliness, courtesy, courteousness, politeness, graciousness, mannerliness, good manners
"acts of chivalry"
antonyms: rudeness
The word itself comes from Middle English: from Old French chevalerie, from medieval Latin caballerius, from late Latin caballarius‘ horseman’ (see chevalier). (Source)

We usually associate the term chivalry with the medieval knight, it was the concept they were supposed to embody, to live up to. Often, they did not. Many knights were coarse brutes, so troublesome that the Crusades were allegedly dreamed up to get them to go recover the Holy Land from the infidel. And take their troublesome ways with them.

Then there are the rules which supposedly define chivalry -

The Ten Commandments of the Medieval Code of Chivalry:

  • Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches, and shalt observe all its directions.
  • Thou shalt defend the Church.
  • Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them.
  • Thou shalt love the country in the which thou wast born.
  • Thou shalt not recoil before the enemy.
  • Thou shalt make war against the Infidel without cessation, and without mercy.
  • Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God.
  • Thou shalt never lie, and shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word.
  • Thou shalt be generous, and give largesse to everyone.
  • Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil. (Source)
If you look through those "commandments," you can see that there is good stuff contained therein. You're supposed to be a Believer and follow and defend the Church. Defend the weak, love thy country, no cowardice in the face of an enemy, etc., etc.

Modern society says that "if it feels good, do it," that there are no moral absolutes, and what is wrong for some is right for others. It's all how one identifies. (What the Hell is up with pronouns anyway?)


We need (and used to have) a religious, moral, and social code.

Most of the problem with the world today is a lack of morality, a lack of civility.

Damn it, good manners are lacking.

I'd be interested in your thoughts on the subject.

Fire away.


  1. A lack of manners and civility are the basis of all our problems. I quite concur.

  2. One of the posted traits I don't see much anymore is courage. It's very rare. No one stands up for the unpopular ideas or stands true to their word if it's gonna cost them anything. That is something that disgusts me to no end (especially if I see it creeping up in me).

    The other is defending the weak. That, in my readings (especially the Bible), is the duty of the strong. Strength protects and defends the weak. In our current culture, strength preys on the weak. The knock-out game comes to mind. Our culture is descending into madness...

    I know of no group that used to develop boys into good men, that is still true to their original goals.... Even churches are turning out marsh-mellows now.

    My room always had a small framed quote hanging in it, "A boy is the only thing God can use to make a Man", Cal Farley. That was pivotal in my raising. I wanted to be a MAN, and I had multiple great "tutors" (mostly combat veterans from WW2). My parents were Okies whose families rode out the dust bowl and were great folks.

    I guess I need to be more involved in passing what I know, than griping about the state of things.... Dang it! I see what you did now... Thanks for that!

  3. Still hold the door open for others coming through, say "please" and "thank you" , and try to treat others as I'd like to be treated. I think there was decline all through the last century but was accelerated during the "let it all hang out, anti-establishment" era of the sixties and political corruption of the early seventies. A good number of those lacking manners and civility don't even know it.

    1. Indeed, they have no idea.

      I'm a firm believer in "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I like to play nice, I smile at folks, I say "Hi" to passers-by. Sometimes I get a smile in return and a nice "hello," all too often I get ignored or grimaced at. Some people's kids...

    2. I love chance encounters with well raised men. I always smile and say thank you when a door is held open for me. I never want to be a part of the decline of chivalry in the well mannered men who still abide.

    3. A gentleman always holds the door for a lady.

  4. My 93-year-old mother, whose formative years were during World War II, says it’s the me generation. Makes your very contention.

    And I reply that not everyone is like that. One of my pet peaves is how our English language is being diluted. News broadcasters will refer to a man charged with rape as the “gentleman“. Or a woman killing her children as the lady.

    I think being a gentleman, or a lady, simply means a consideration for others and outward manifestation of that.

    Of course that all comes down to the “golden rule“, which in various words is in all of the major religions.

    Treat others as you would want to be treated.

    And to my mothers can change and I am ambivalent. People have always been people. Is it a numbers game with an increased population the bad ones are more evident? Or are people becoming more self-centered?

    That is an open question.

  5. Interesting, but, why would we, as Buffoon monkies follow such rules, a fair fight? No, he with the better armour, usually won. How did he have the better armour? Better training, sponsorship. So, he was generally trained into the position. Like a first son. Second son, usually kept the books, or was educated into the priesthood. This was to protect an aging "king".
    Ooh, the bit about Kings and God choosing, biggest brute, best eliminator of the competition. But, a most interesting argument. God take sides, which God? Odin?

    1. All good observations on medieval times. In some ways we've devolved since then...

  6. I see politeness and good manners frequently in the small towns I pass through.

    1. Civility is still a thing in small town America.

  7. None of the virtues suggested are in the least bit 'progressive'.

  8. I thought of an alternate caption for the opening picture. "Here, take my red scarf with you into battle. It's soaked with the blood of my previous boyfriend, but I'm sure you'll do much better." Yeah, I'm a little twisted sometimes.

    As for the chivalry, I hope I never come across someone who doesn't appreciate my chivalry as I would probably make some snarky comment regarding their worthiness of it.

    1. Like "I usually only hold doors open for ladies, but for you I made an exception."

    2. Heh, "exceptions."

      We love your snark Tuna, you know we do.

    3. I’m miffed that car manufacturers have eliminated all but the driver side lock.
      They make it impossible to open the passenger door first when the remote has stopped working.

      I won’t even start on how some folks feel they’re entitled to coattail on the largesse one has afforded another.
      Me firsters really torque my jaw.

  9. You keep raising the bar with your blog posts. My comment of a day or two ago stands.

    As to WSF's comment, it's one of the reasons that my wife and I now enjoy living in a small town.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

  10. Just got to say that knight is rockin' the porn star 'stache! More serious thoughts elude me, though I was raised with thoughts of knighthood and southern gentlemen. I confess that chivalry is part of my DNA.

    1. The same mustache is seen on many a fighter pilot mid-cruise.

      Folks raised in the South seem to get it quicker (chivalry that is) than we Yankees.

    2. Did Erika have a false one to glue on, mid-cruise, so as to fit in better?

    3. No, but around the mid-cruise point the squadron wives have a party. At least in my son-in-law's squadron they did, all the wives wore fake mustaches. I've seen the pictures and yes, they're hysterical.

  11. Don't be a dick! Well maybe I should say, "Try not to be a dick!"

    1. Works for me, Joe. Simple enough that even today's ne'er-do-wells can understand.

  12. Just off the top of my head--I'll need to look more into it--but Bushido, at least the 20th Century version of it, does not deserve equal mention with Western chivalry....

    1. I was thinking of doing that myself Jenk. The bushido of WWII was a corrupted version, but as with all things, the reality seldom matches the ideal.

  13. 100%, my friend. I especially deplore the lack of defense of the weak. Some of today's young men seem to find their supposed manhood in jumping on people when they are down already. That doesn't take courage. Stepping into the fight when the odds are against you is true bravery. Also, you're spot on concerning morality. Without any absolute truths, morality dies.

  14. Sorry, sick, brain dead, not able to make coherent thought, but...

    Originally, Chivalry was armored thug on horse, armor and such paid by 'da boss.'

    But, it got better with the whole 'Courtly Love' thingy.

    Now, Chivalry is expressed by how much you respect yourself. Do you respect yourself to defend the weak? To help people in need (includes opening doors, rescuing kittens etal.)?) To be polite and treat your equals as better than you (especially the fairer sex, who do need protection from bad stuff (biologically)?)

    That is modern Chivalry. Being true to yourself. That's what God and women respect and admire.

    And when some bimbo yells at me for opening the door, I just tell them my mother taught me to do it. Usually pisses them off.

    Brain shutting down now. Daisy, Daaaaiiiissssyyyyyyyyyyy.......

    1. Goodnight HAL.

      (Before you nod off, I'm gonna need those pod-bay doors opened. HAL? HAL...)

  15. You need to start with men. I understand they're in short supply these days.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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