A few months ago, I hopped aboard a crowded UGA Orbit bus (for those that attend(ed) UGA, you'll understand my pain) in which hot breath, elbows in your back, and strangers close enough to read your texts are the norm. At a mere 5' 3", I'd become accustomed to reaching for the closest vertical pole and standing until I reached my destination. As the doors closed and the jerk of the bus nearly sat me in the lap of a young lady, I felt a tap on my bookbag. When I turned around, a handsome guy politely asked, "would you like to sit down?".....
The topic of chivalry has been on my heart to write about for some time now. Finding the right words were a bit of a hassle so naturally, I shelved it. However, a few personal situations arose that make the timing of this post appropriate. Many often ask "Is chivalry dead?" To answer that, I guess you'd have to ask yourself what your definition of chivalry is.
I've been very privileged to have very thoughtful men in my life ranging from uncles that open car doors to guy friends that simply ask if I need help carrying groceries from my car. I think I'd classify myself as a young woman that can appreciate when kind gestures are done but careful not to demand or expect such gestures. Some hate the idea of "chivalry" and others love it. I prefer to think of with Phil 2:3 in mind – "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others." Let's use that verse as the definition.
Back to my story. I found myself saying "No, thank you!" to that kind gentleman who without thinking twice, asked "Are you sure? It's completely cool." As much as resting my size 9 feet before walking another 10 minutes to class would've made me happy, I declined again. Immediately, I began to ask myself WHY and all I could do was chuckle. I was too busy trying to...
...To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what I was trying to accomplish lollll. I wasn't trying to prove I was strong or anything... But the Holy Spirit promptly did a heart scan and found pride hidden in the depths of my answer.
Fast Forward to last week when I took a trip to Maryland and rented a car with some friends. As I was ready to leave one location to head to the next, a male friend offered to drive seeing as though it was pretty late. Again, my mouth spoke up before my brain processed that chivalry was playing out right before my eyes. I gave a response (...and look) that I was not proud of and felt terrible about it later.. To that guy, I hope this serves as my public apology.
Of course this got me thinking about that infamous question.. Is chivalry dead or was my pride getting in the way of seeing kind acts performed by men? One thing I've learned since is that every gentleman has their own way of being chivalrous. For some that's opening doors and for others, it's letting you have the last slice of pizza. It's simply Phil. 2: 3 in the works – putting the interests of others before yours. I charge every woman that has ever posed that question to take a step back and assess the situation.
One could say that our generation has (some) ladies fixated on chivalry and what we can receive. However, I'd be remiss if I didn't add that the Bible verse makes no distinction between man and woman. From a Christian perspective, one should endeavor to always be kind by putting the needs of others first (Matt. 7:12, 1 Cor. 13:4a).
Did pride make me blind? Most definitely. But do I think chivalry is dead? Oh nahhh. It's alive and well. It's thriving even in today's generation; Even though it looks different from guy to guy, I can appreciate that.
So to my ladies, is chivalry really dead? or are we blindsided by our own will (sometimes fačade) to prove that "it's all good"? Do we set standards of kindness and helpfulness that we ourselves could never stand up against? Guys, do you remember to step out of what is normal and treat the women you come across with love? Do you reciprocate the same helpfulness that a mother, sister, or aunt has shown you? Whatever your answer may be, let's all find ways to share and spread love... even in the tiniest of ways. The world could use a little more love..