Monday 22 April 2013

Chivalry is Not Dead

I was raised middle class, and that means I was raised old school.

We were taught to respect (read fear) our elders, to be polite to everyone (except your really good friends), that we should be thoughtful of others, pay attention in school (meh), the ten commandments are a good guideline for living, hard work would be rewarded and good will always win out over evil. That just seems right to me now and has for most of my life. Sure I have put my own spin on some of these, but for the most part this is how I have lived my life and so far I have no complaints.
I have always gotten up when someone needed a seat on the bus or subway. That is just the right thing to do. In fact, I rarely will take a seat unless there are plenty to go around. I suppose that I am getting to the age when people will begin to offer me their seats. I’m not there yet, but I do look my age. I would like to think there are those young people out there who have the same basic beliefs that I have and would be willing to give up a seat to someone that needs it more than they do.
I will always hold a door for someone when entering a bank, store or apartment building, whether they are young, old, male or female. It is just the right thing to do. I have been noticing lately that even though you make a point of holding the door, they will almost always put a hand on the door, just in case. I find that really odd. Have all of these people had situations where someone pretended to hold the door and then slammed it shut on them? Just how many of these door slamming bastards are there out in the world? It bothers me that people feel I will slam the door on them. Maybe they think I will let go when they are just half way through the door.

This happened to me today. I was coming out of the second hand store and there were three women coming in. I held the door as is my way, and the first woman starts through and puts out her hand. I say “Don’t worry, I have it.” But she still puts her hand on the door.  She says “Thanks”. The second woman comes to the door and I smile and nod my head as she puts her hand out. I say “I’ve got the door.” Still, the hand stays there, but she smiled back at me. Woman number three comes up, puts her hand on the door and doesn’t even acknowledge that I am there. It kind of makes me want to slam the door on them!

Maybe that is why this peculiar behaviour happens. Those of us that are chivalrous get to the breaking point and slam the door crushing fingers and breaking bones. The poor victim, ignorant though she might be, tells all of their friends not to trust old guys holding the door.

Maybe they think that I have an ulterior motive in being nice. Lull them into a false sense of security so that the next time I can woo them and have my way with them. Uh-huh!
I guess we just don’t trust in our society anymore. It is a shame, and we are the poorer for it I think. I will go on giving my seat to those who need a seat, and I will continue to hold doors for people, even though they don’t trust me. I will try to be polite and thoughtful to everyone and I still believe that good will eventually triumph over evil. I believe that the Ten Commandments are a good guideline for living ones life, without the preachy stuff. I have to behave the way that mom and dad taught me to and I hope that I managed to pass some of it on to my kids.

Chivalry is not dead, but it sure has taken a beating in recent years.

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