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Is Chivalry Dead?

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Is Chivalry Dead?

Being that I have two sons, this is an important topic for me. I want my boys to grow up holding doors open for people. I want them to see a woman carrying something heavy or trying to balance something and I want them to offer to help. This is a blog topic that a friend of mine asked me to do and lo and behold, I have a few of my own examples as well. I, as well as friends of mine, have encountered less than chivalrous acts and sometimes by men that we know. The first was that two good friends were in charge of concessions for our baseball tournament last weekend. It is a crappy job and the powers that be don't make it something that anyone wants to volunteer to do. Luckily, I have a good friend who has a teenage boy that is always looking for ways to earn money. Anyway, arrived at the field to get several cases of Gatorade. They trucked a ways away to get them and tried carrying several of them back to the parking lot. This field is set up so that the parking lot is FAR from the concession stand. There were a bunch of dads sitting and watching the game while these two women struggled with the cases. Not one of the men offered to help. One of the moms (KN) jumped up to help and another mom (KW) grabbed her son to help. What the Hell? Have we become that desensitized to being kind that we are now sitting by watching others have a hard time?

For my own examples, I have two. While the power was out, many friends and neighbors offered to help or were more than chivalrous and maybe I was just crabby from not having slept in my own house and being out in public in my pajamas but there were at least two high school kids that looked at me and blew me off when I needed help. I had to park far from the mayhem at the drop off door. I had Gia with me as well as my purse just in case there was a problem checking Tommy in.  My purse could rival George Costanza's wallet and Gia is in the stage where everything is interesting to her including receipts and the game of "Dropped my binky." She dropped both, I bent down and got them. I put them in my purse, she found them and did it again...and again. A few high school boys there for football watched it happen, saw me sweating and huffing and puffing and did nothing! They didn't once offer to help or pick up the binky or chase the receipt. They were standing right next to me...not on the other side of the parking lot, not a ways away but well within binky reaching distance. The other was when I was going into Baskin Robbins, again holding Gia, and a rather large man walked through the heavy door and instead of holding it open, it slammed in our faces. When I gasped at his rudeness he gave ME a dirty look. I do have hope that Nico and Tommy see this and see how rude it is and never do that. I once had a neighbor tell me that Nico held the door open for her and her stroller full of young boys so all hope is not lost. I just hope they keep doing that when they are lazy men or self-absorbed teenagers (not that all men are lazy and all teenagers self-absorbed).


At July 15, 2011 at 6:21 AM , Blogger Kendra Mareva said...

I think chivalry, or the lack thereof, is related to where one lives. Based on my personal experience I would have to say that you'll find far more chivalrous folk in some southern states than say, the east coast. I was staggered by how differently, and in this case better, people treated one another in Austin compared to South Florida. There's still a rude or un-chivalrous person here and there, of course, but they are definitely the minority.

It all starts at home. Southern folk put a lot of stock in manners and yes, chivalry. So young men learn early on from their fathers to hold the door open, help with heavy lifting etc. It boils down to having an awareness of your surroundings and when presented with an opportunity to help someone, to do so. It's kind of like paying it forward, too, you know. An act of kindness serving as an investment in the community's overall good vibe.

Have I mentioned how much I love living in Texas? ;)


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