The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women.
I’m not really sure how my ManDay Advisor will feel about this post. He suggested GI Joe or HeMan for this week’s topic. But something happened recently that brought the topic of chivalry to mind. So, I’m going to run with it. And save action figures and heroes for another post.
Let me preface this by saying, I don’t fall neatly into most categories. I’m a single, independent woman. I do a lot of stuff for myself. But primarily because I often just do what needs to be done. I am far from a feminist. I actually believe men and women were created differently and some, not all, gender roles come from that. I’ve read the books about women desiring to be treated like a princess. And I’m not quite sure that I’m on that exact same page. But I will fully admit that I desire to be taken care of.
Just a little preface.
Anyway, back to the story. This past weekend, I went on a trip to visit some friends in Portland. I flew Southwest, so after I knocked some people out of the way to get a window seat, I got all settled in. It was a full flight, so soon I was joined by a guy a few years younger than me. I never got his name, so we’ll call him John, for the sake of story-telling. John and I talked for the majority of the flight–he shared with me about his construction job in Denver, and I told him about some of the things I do at Compassion.
John was friendly and personable. I’m usually pretty hit and miss with conversations on planes, and this was definitely one of the more pleasant ones. He told me fun things to do in Oregon, and seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say. When we landed, he got down my bag and handed it to me.
But the story doesn’t end there. Because John and I ended up on the same flight back. He sat next to me again, and we chatted a bit more. When it was obvious that we were both ready to nap, he asked the airline attendant for a blanket, which he handed to me. When we hit turbulence, he asked if I was okay. And when we landed, he got my bag and carried it off the plane. And then carried it down an escalator so we wouldn’t miss the train.
And then…he was gone. He headed off to baggage claim, and I went to catch a shuttle. No good-bye. No names. But I will never forget the five hours we spent sitting together on a cramped plane.
I know fully that some women would have not been as flattered by John’s actions. Some would have felt he was doing things for them they could have done for themselves. That he was being presumptuous. But I never once felt that way. To me, it felt really nice. It felt especially nice because he doesn’t even know me. I have guy friends who will carry a bag for me when I come to their house. But this was different.
I wonder if John’s mother influenced the actions I saw. Or maybe his sisters. Or maybe it’s just his personality. Maybe chivalry is ingrained in him.
Whatever the case, I was blessed by it. I would encourage my guy friends to consider taking chivalry to another level. You may encounter situations where chivalry is dead. But I can tell you that for some, chivalry, or at the very least kindess, is very much alive.
I’d love to hear the thoughts of both my male and female readers on this topic!