Sir Walter Raleigh laying his cloak across a puddle for Queen Elizabeth I will forever be debated. The concept, however, echoes in modern times a distant reminder of chivalry, itself an outdated word.
Have men forgotten the art of standing up as a member of the fairer sex approaches the table?
Has the art of opening a car door for a lady or holding a door for someone else gone?
It seems that we have had a generation or two of men who have not been taught the basics; assisting a sister, mother, or girlfriend to don her coat before donning one’s own or gracing the lady by waiting for her to be comfortably seated before taking one’s seat.
Dare I mention the forgotten art of proffering a lighter for the lighting of a lady’s cigarette before lighting one’s own. Not that smoking is a good thing, of course.
To serve not to be served. It sounds Shakespearean and yet the sentiment remains.
Has the fairy-tale ended?
Has feministic independence, coyness or suspicion of men quelled vain attempts of being a knight in our modern era?
Has Hollywood or society skewed ladies into harsh judgement on the few well-meaning men – even if they have ulterior motives.
Perhaps, the fault lies at no one’s feet, we have all had a part to play.
We are viewing society in high definition and three dimension. Gone is Black and White. Gone is technicolour. Yet the morals, mischief and masculinity we remember came from these older formats.
Perhaps a combination of living in the present yet bringing the goodness of the past is too fanciful, but imagine having doors opened once again.
Imagine being assisted with your coat, not because these simple tasks can’t be done alone but because it is an act of respect and of being a gentleman; a chivalrous gesture recreated in a new generation.
It is not all doom and gloom. I silently applaud on the rare occasion I see young men display chivalry. If we continue to encourage our young people hopefully we can reclaim some of the old romantic characteristics back into our society.
History has shown that we can change our generational habits.
Next step: How do encourage these qualities?
I think we could start with our generation by being good role models.
[author image=”http://www.woman.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/JohnB.jpg” ]John has worked as a Teacher, Chef, Waiter, Writer and Actor. With qualifications in Teaching and Hospitality, John is passionate about embedding literacy in the workplace. Having travelled to over 20 countries and worked in 11 he believes in making the most of every opportunity. With a penchant for old jazz and cars from yesteryear he enjoys settling down to write in front of an open fire. [/author]