Gems of Gratitude, Reflections

Today’s Gem of Gratitude #215

chivalry-4

Today I am thankful for chivalry. I know, it probably sounds like an antiquated topic to discuss in the twenty-first century, but here I am bringing it up nonetheless. And why am I bringing it up? I am bringing it up because no matter how “old fashioned” and “old school” being chivalrous may seem it is still necessary. And, unfortunately, it appears that a great many of us have forgotten that.

Why exactly have we forgotten that? I am glad that you asked that question. We have forgotten the importance of chivalry because males are being taught that they should not open the door for a female when she needs to get into a car, not hold the door open for a female when she is about to enter a building or a room, and not offer to pay for dinner and a movie while on a date with a female.  And when they have asked why they should behave that way, they have been told things like “real men do not do that kind of stuff; women are supposed to be independent, well let them be independent.”

And females, unfortunately, are not faring any better because they are being taught that they have to absolutely do everything for themselves, including open their open car doors, as well as doors to buildings and rooms, and pay for their own dinner and movies. And when they ask why that is the case, they are told things like “women have to do everything for themselves; they should never ever count on a man to do anything for them, because he will not.”

Now, I am all for men respecting the fact that women are independent, because many of us are independent. And we can handle ourselves and do the things that we need to have done. I am also all for women owning their independence and not depending on a man to do everything. But by no means do I support the idea that doing so means that men should no longer exhibit good manners and women should be okay with men no longer exhibiting good manners.

The truth of the matter is that people will do what they think is right for them. And how do people determine what is right for them exactly? Generally, they determine what is right for them by looking at society and learning from the examples that they see there. Those are the lessons that tend to stick with people. And those lessons remain with people even more so than the things that they are told by family members and other people who are in a position of authority. So, if society is teaching males that they do not need to open doors for females, offer to pay for things when they take females out on dates, and other things of that nature, and society is teaching females that they have to always do everything for themselves, and that they cannot and should not ever try to count on males to do anything, then how do we expect males and females to learn what it means to have good manners as well as to exhibit those good manners.

Now by no means am I saying that men should pay for everything and that a woman should never have to open a door. That would be an extreme. And that is entirely unrealistic. What I am saying, though, is that this world could use a quick resurgence of lessons on etiquette and what it means and looks like to respectfully and considerately interact with someone of the opposite sex.

Thankfully, there are some men and women in my life who seem to have a pretty good hold on etiquette and what it means and looks like to treat people with respect and consideration, especially people of the opposite sex. And when I interact with them it is both a refreshing and positive experience that deposits within me little glimmers of hope that the rest of us will wake up and get our acts together someday, preferably soon. #lovebythedrop

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