During a recent visit to the post office, I saw a woman holding several packages in her arms as she approached the front entry doors. Without thinking, I quickly opened the door for her and said, “There you go ma’am.” She looked me with a shocked and stated, “Why thank you young man. People just don’t do those things anymore.”
I went away from that experience thinking about the lady’s response to what I thought was a common chivalrous gesture. However, the more I thought about it, I realized the lady may indeed be correct. Have we (as men) forgotten chivalry? Have we in effect ‘killed it’ by not making it the norm?
Listen, chivalry isn’t dead unless YOU decide to kill it. Here are some simple, though apparently now uncommon, acts of chivalry that can be modeled and taught to children:
- Open doors – whether someone has a load in their hands or not, it is still polite to open doors for ladies.
- Return calls when you say you will – Be a person of honor. Call when you say you will, or you better have an important reason (that you can explain) why you did not.
- Make a habit to say “yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, no sir” to elders – This is so uncommon. Please utilize these words of respect often. They will carry you far.
- Make sure your friends/spouse make it home OK – after you part ways with someone, make sure they make it home OK. It shows you are responsible and that you care.
- Offer a coat if it’s cold – don’t be a blanket or coat hog. If someone with you is cold, lend your coat.
- Get the car if it is raining – don’t let someone get soaked. This is elementary, but unfortunately, some can be so selfish they totally ignore another’s hard work on their hair and makeup. They went to a lot of trouble to look pretty for YOU.
- Make your friends/spouse feel safe – Step in politely in an awkward situation. Show some courage and your protective side while still being polite and professional. You are trying to reduce conflict, not start it.
- Don’t be flaky or undependable – Be predictable. It is very important that people know what to expect.
- Show interest in him/her – ask questions and LISTEN. Pay attention to the response and make sure your body language shows interest.
- Show respect – Always value the other person. You will not agree with everyone about everything. Listen to others opinions, give your own if requested, and always show respect.
There you have it; 10 easy to follow acts of chivalry. Put these on your wall in your home or office. Utilize them, and I guarantee you will generate a constant flow of joy. Don’t kill chivalry! Let’s give it a fresh rebirth and start a chivalrous generation.