Monday, June 11, 2007

Chivalry - is it dead ?

I've been having a lot of time to sit down and watch people lately and as I sat and watched them I start to wonder and notice their actions and behaviours and just the other night as I was telling some friends about an experience I had while I was studying overseas about a boyfriend and his girlfriend and a roast chicken I started questioning myself as to what exactly was chivalry and if it's as extinct as the dinosaurs or is it just a dying breed waiting to be extinct ?

We were brought up believing fairy tales of a knight in shining armour riding a white horse going through swamps and slaying dragons in the process of rescuing the fair damsel in distress locked up in a tower in some castle somewhere. He finds his way to her and whisks her off her feet and sits her on his horse and they gallop into the sunset living life happily ever after.

*kapowwwwwwwwwwwwwww* reality check please. No where in the fairy tale did the princess turn around and say "I didn't need you rescuing me. I could have done it on my own" or even turning around and saying "I got my own horse damn it why must I ride yours ?". Welcome to the reality of today's world where in this modern day and age when the opposite sex demands equality and fairness in how they are treated.

With the current splurge of women icon figures and pop artists who keep singing and preaching about how they are independent women and that they can survive without a men by their side is it any wonder that chivalry is something that is not commonly seen ?

What is chivalry in the first place ? Does chivalry just mean the guy being nice to the girl ? Is chivalry among men something that should be practised as well ? According to chivalry is

1. The medieval system, principles, and customs of knighthood.
2. The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women.

Well to me chivalry is just the act of being kind to other people and putting their thoughts and feelings before yours. Is holding the lift for a lady any different for holding a lift for a guy ? What about holding the door open for both sexes ? It would be considered okay and normal but yet we seldom see that happening. I know it still does but just rarely. On so many occasions I've seen people purposely closing lift doors even when they know someone is rushing to get on it but I guess not everything can be applied to both gender. If a girl says she's feeling cold and you offer her your jacket it's considered okay but if you did the same when a guy said that it will send alarm bells ringing off his head.

I know some people who are such a gentleman and hold the door, pay for bills and are suddenly so courteous in every single way possible but only to someone they are interested in. Is it so hard to do it everyday ? I've had such a bad experience before that it scares me but I know that's like a rare occasion but still makes you realise why chivalry is such an extinct thing.

I was in a meeting the other day and there was refreshments served and some people just poured a cup of coffee for themselves without asking the person next to them if they wanted any since they were already holding the flask anyway. Me being me obviously took the coffee flask and poured some for myself and asked my colleague next to me if he wanted some. Was that so hard ? Just simple things that no one seems to bother doing anymore.

Another thing I noticed is that there's only a select few who know how to appreciate and are grateful for those little things you do hence I guess the biggest problem for guys would be believing that their attempts at being courteous are not futile and go unnoticed. I just had an experience today as I was walking back from lunch and as I got into the lift and pressed the close button I noticed a guy walking towards to lift so I pressed the open button and waited for him to get in, when he got in he smiled and said thanks. Left me with a happy feeling knowing that someone appreciates such simple gestures.

Got off at my level and another lady got off with me and was heading to my office as well and I opened the door for her and she just marched right in as though it was my duty to open the door without even looking back and smiling or saying thanks. Even a doorman has feelings okay and it would be nice to receive a smile once in a while. Try it and see the different reactions you get from people. I love to do stuff like this and see the different responses I get sometimes it's good to know that there are still good people out there but most of the time I'm left wondering what's happening to today's community and where we're heading.

Imagine if you opened the door for a total stranger be it guy or gal but in this case more often than not is the guy opening for girls and as you reach out and open the door waiting for her to pass by and she just stops there and stares at you and says "I can get my own door thank you very much" I have no idea what I would do but most likely I would probably die of embarrassment hahahahahah

On one hand you have some women who expect men to be all courteous and gentlemanly but on the other hand you have those that turns around and snap at you for treating them any lesser than an equal. So then is there a need for chivalry or will she even appreciate it ?

Don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with chivalry and in fact I would consider myself guilty for being chivalrous and doing kind things. In fact I've been accused on more than one occasion for caring too much about other people especially strangers who couldn't give a damn about my existence. Chivalry is not just being kind and generous to someone who you are romantically interested in but in general to anyone and everyone. It's just saying hi good morning to that stranger in the lift early in the morning or saying thank you to your newspaper man as he hands you your paper well at least that's what I think anyway but sometimes you just sit back and wonder what's the point and it gets kinda tiring to keep giving and giving and in the end you feel empty inside seeing everyone just pushing their way through everything without bothering about anyone or anything other then themselves.

What makes it even more sad is when your kindness is received with doubt and immediately people assume that you have an ulterior motive behind your actions. Another thing that gets me wondering is how chivalry is often a one way thing, as in guys are usually suppose to be the chivalrous type and often we are taken for a ride. Maybe it's time for a change ?? hahahahaah but it would be weird if a lady suddenly offered to open the door for me but at the same time it would be a nice change right ?? LOL

I guess at the end of the day for us chivalrous type it's not so much as what we get in return but more on how we are recognised for that little things that everyone seems to be taking for granted nowadays. I guess I will continue on with the way I am now because that's who I am and I'm comfortable with the way I am until that is the kindness is beaten out of me and I join everyone else only doing things which are profitable to me, myself and I. Chivalry certainly is not dead but it is dying, that's for sure.


lilxcute said...

You forgot about me =(

I'd gladly open doors for anyone in my office. In the morning I say good morning to the guards and they have a shocked look on their faces as if noone has said good morning before. lolz


changeiam said...

pokes pokes how can I forget bout you ? Yes it surprises me how such simple things are taken for granted nowadays