Friday, January 16, 2009
The Lost Art of Chivalry is Found!
Yesterday I made a quick run to the grocery store. After loading my bags in my car, I turned to take the empty cart to the cart return. Just then, a good looking guy walked by, took hold of my cart, and said "Let me take that for you." At first I thought he meant that he was just going to use the cart. But when he turned it around and steered it over to the cart return, I was stunned that he was simply being chivalrous. When he turned, I quickly smiled, and thanked him as he went on his way.
This small act of kindness was huge to me. My mood instantly lifted and it felt great to be a woman. I've always found chivalry to be a very attractive and important quality in a man. While I don't claim my husband to be a stellar example of chivalry, he puts in a good effort and I do my best to keep him on his toes. I've made sure that Bret has a copy of Emily Post's "The Etiquette Advantage in Business," although it has dust on the cover. I have given the book "How to Raise a Gentleman" to mothers with new son's, though I never feel like they are very excited to read it!
I'm a fairly independent woman and have strong feelings about equal rights. Therefore, I definitely agree that chivalry is a two-way street. Men and women alike must be courteous and respectful to each other, particularly to our partners. Acts of chivalry should be based on the desire to show kindness, not simply based on gender.
Many of you that read my blog have young sons. While I'm sure that you will all raise your sons to be respectful of women, in my counseling practice I see a lot of male teenage clients who fail to understand how to express their respect. Let's make an extra effort to bring chivalry back by teaching our sons, and husbands alike, to be polite and show respect and kindness through simple, day-to-day acts. As women, we can teach our daughters, as well as commit ourselves, to show kindness in return.