Home   Code of Chivalry   Women in Chivalry   Ren Faires & Reenactments   Hands On History

21st Century Chivalry


How do we as modern people live a life of Chivalry?  It is a learned behavior and value system.
Unfortunately today's society doesn't do a very good job of instilling it,
today's parents don't seem to know how to teach it.  Therefore, we as people, whatever our age or
background, must choose it for ourselves.  And to make it a part of us and to begin to live our lives according to it,
we must practice, like we would practice a musical instrument or a new skill at our job.

The good thing is, practice is easy.  Simply study the Code of Chivalry below.  Commit these principles to
memory.  Begin the first day by doing or saying one thing which fulfills one of these principles.  Speak a truth
where you were tempted to speak a lie.  Show some valor in standing up for another person where you were tempted
to stay out of it.  Be generous to a stranger whom you were tempted to ignore.  Keep silent when you were tempted
to brag.  If you are a decent human being, you are already doing many of these things.  The difference is, now you will notice
when you are doing them, assign a name to those actions ("that was truthful of me" or "that was valorous of me").
Notice also when other people in your life do chivalrous things, even let them know you noticed.
This reenforces the behavior in them, and also trains your eyes and ears to Chivalric Awareness.

As the days go by, increase your awareness of Chivalry.  If you want, print this page and carry it
with you to refer to during the day.  Focus on fulfilling each chivalric principle at least once a day.
In word or action, exersize Truth, Honor, Justice, Valor, Prowess, Loyalty, Largesse, Courtesy, Noblesse, Humility
at least once a day, at work, at play, with your family, with strangers.  Notice when you do so and assign the name
to the deed.  Congratulate yourself for your Chivalric behavior, recognize your newly developed prowess.  If you
are not proud of your accomplishments, how can you improve?

Gradually, increase the number of times a day that you fulfill each of the principles, recognize them, name them.
Realize that every single thought, word or action you make falls within one of these catagories, either by fulfilling
it or by breaking it.  The goal, of course, is to fulfill these principles each and every time, make them a guiding force in
our relationships with all the people in our lives, from the most intimate to the complete stranger.

Finally, as chivalrous behavior and thought becomes as second nature to you, take the Vow of
Chivalry.  Make a promise to yourself, to the world, to the God of your belief that you will live a life of Chivalry
no matter what the 21st Century throws at you!  And that you will spread the Code of Chivalry through example
 and through teaching, especially in teaching the next generation...


TRUTH--to speak the truth, to seek the truth in every situation
before making  judgments, to value the truth over personal agendas 
or the immediate benefits which falsehoods may offer.

HONOR--to keep your word, to know yourself, to uphold your beliefs,
to act with keen moral judgment, to maintain high standards of conduct.

JUSTICE--to defend the helpless, to challenge evil whereever you
encounter it, and to come to the aid of those who are so doing.

VALOR--to have not the lack of fear but the ability to set aside
self-interest when faced with evil, to be willing to fight
for what is right, regardless of what other
people may say or do to you.

PROWESS--to have the discipline to train body, mind and spirit
for the work of a knight and to aschew the self-destructive behaviors 
which tear down physical and spiritual health.

LOYALTY--to choose for yourself the Worthy One or Ones,
whether they be your God, your loved ones, your country, your leader
or your cause and to dedicate yourself to the protection and fulfilment of those Ones.

LARGESSE--to give freely of what you have without
impoverishing yourself, to show generosity to friend and stranger alike,
to be merciful and fair in all your dealings. 

COURTESY--to be polite and mannerly in dress, speech and carriage,
to treat all people as equals, to be kind to animals, and in war
or competition to follow the rules, lose with grace
and win with humbleness.

NOBLESSE--to be diligent in study, enhance your
knowledge of the world, practice your skills, use
your natural gifts to generate goodness, thereby enriching your life
and the lives of those around you.

HUMILITY--to have all the above qualities without ever proclaiming
them, to bear the heavy burden of Chivalry without so
much as a breath of exertion, to be a silent strength
which supports and sustains us all. 
Humility is the most difficult principle to master.  
Only the very best knights do.

Home   Code of Chivalry   Women in Chivalry   Ren Faires & Reenactments   Hands On History

email: armsmere@21stcenturychivalry.com

Copyright, Amy Farrell 2007