EDITORIAL: The Not-So-Chivalrous Tale of the Knight Who Didn’t Slay the Alligator

I was sitting on the couch one morning scrolling through my news feed when I came across a video that read “Chivalry is Dead.” Being interested by that bold statement, I proceeded to watch the video which happened to be of a fully grown man carelessly saving himself and leaving his date to fend for herself when an alligator jumped into the pool that they were both swimming in.

 

Of course my first reaction was utter disbelief by the amount of brains that that man was lacking. To my disbelief, an hour or so after my encounter with that video, I was walking into a building when a boy, maybe the age of 12 or so, went out of his way to open and hold the door for me. Now how can that be? A middle school boy has better manners than a grown man!

This video would have never happened if we pressed the rewind button all the way back to the 1950’s, when men were on top of their etiquette game. Never would you see a man arriving late to a dinner date, because lateness was rude, period. You would never see a woman walking on the traffic side of the sidewalk while the man walked on her left because the man was supposed to protect her from the oncoming cars. It’s things like these that make me think that chivalry is dead because I don’t see it happening nowadays.

I know chivalry sounds outdated because it dates back to medieval times with knights in shining armor, but that doesn’t mean it should be disregarded. A chivalrous knight was expected to have a combination of qualities including honor, courtesy, and readiness to help the weak. However, all chivalry really means is being polite and having good manners. I guess this shouldn’t have to just apply to men.

I recently heard that October is bullying prevention month, and there’s no better way to continue this month other than being polite to others around you. It’s not that hard. Say your pleases and thank yous, don’t interrupt people, make eye contact as you speak, and hold the door open for anyone, especially if their hands are full.

We can’t all have the qualities of knights in shining armor, but next time an alligator jumps in your pool, be polite and don’t make your date have to fend for herself.

–BY SAMANTHA MILLER