Photo Credit: Tiffany Johnson
I read an article yesterday talking about the decline of chivalry in our day and age.
You and I both know this argument has been going on for some time now and I must agree, chivalry looks as though it's dying out, but I have news to tell you. It's not dead.
In the article, it talks about how a majority of men choose not to open a door for a lady or help her with her luggage at the airport because they feel as though she would be offended by the very act. And not just that, but that they would be insinuating that she is 'less than' in some way. With that said, many men have opted to play it safe in hopes of not rocking the boat in their daily encounters with women.
If you are a man and reading this, first, I want to say thank you. You're a brave one. Next, I want you to know that being chivalrous is probably one of thee sexiest and most honorable things you could ever do for a woman. I mean that. You are in no way being patronizing. In fact, you are tangibly expressing your heartfelt honor for a woman in an often small, yet profound way.
And you're not simply saying something about how you are discerning the value of the woman in your company, you are blatantly showing the woman something about your own heart and character. That you are a man that understands the ways of kindness, of honor, and the power and beauty of simplicity. Plus, you'll reap what you sow, eventually. Because even if the one woman you hold the door open for gives you stank face, 10 other women after her will give you a smile that'll make your day, and you'll find yourself reaping some other unexpected blessings in other areas of your life.
Now let me make a quick distinction between being Chivalrous and being Pompous.
Chivalry protects // Pompous disregards
Chivalry is giving // Pompous is about personal ego
Chivalry is attractive // Pompous is revolting
Point Blank: True Chivalry is selfless and Pompous is selfish.
Yes, women disdain men that are simply doing nice things for them to reap some sort of benefit. No one wants to be used. But see, that's the beauty of real chivalry, it's not about what you can gain, but rather, what you can give.
Our culture has lost the ability to truly trust. Everyone is a potential perp. Thanks C.S.I. and Law and Order. And yes, I find myself under this spell often. I often think every guy walking the streets is a potential cray-cray stalker, and I flash a quick suspicious eye if a man tries to help me do something, even if I do need the help.
But there are still men out there that know things....
They pay attention.
These men already see the single mom struggling to come down the small plane aisle with 2 oversized bags in her hand and a toddler on her hip. And instead of trying to avoid eye contact with the woman, they immediately (without waiting for someone else to do it) stand up to help get the woman and her bags to her seat.
And there's the man that is walking into your favorite coffee shop and holds the door open for you and he then goes about his business.
And then there's the young man that is nervous about his first date with the girl of his dreams. He gets to her house, gets out of the car (Doesn't just honk for her or text her he's outside), greets her at the door, walks her back to the car and opens the door for her, waits until she's comfortably seated and then closes her door.
And then there's your solid guy friend that somehow when you guys are walking the streets of the city, he always makes sure that he's on the outer edge of the sidewalk as you both stroll, to simply protect you from the dangers of the cars on the street.
Now ladies, let me share with you our role in all of this.
Stop pretending that you don't need help with anything, ever. Seriously. I.mean.it.
It's okay to admit that you need help.
And I love my independent women. Seriously. But a prideful passive aggressive woman--well that's another story. Because in the end, these women end up resenting men for not being men in their lives. But these women never gave them a chance to be the man in their lives. Go figure.
I know you might have trust issues. I'm the same way.
But real talk, ask God to help you with your trust issues. He will.
Let that man help you, let the man give of his time, his kindness, and himself to you if you're so lucky.
Our other response ladies, in all of this, should be gratitude. If it's not gratitude, and you find yourself getting offended when a man tries to do something nice for you, please just take a beat, and ask yourself "Why did I just get offended?" The answer might surprise you.
In any act of chivalry, big or small, please never forget to smile and say thank you. He has just put himself on the line. And as a small token of honor and respect back to the man, it's always lovely to say thank you.
With all of that shared, I'm convinced that there's going to be a revival of chivalry in our day and age. So many men and women are tired of the current trend of things. And with good reason. We were never meant to live lives of sterile self-preservation. But instead we were meant to partake in a type of kindness that validates the human experience and points to something Greater. Including an exchange, where both the giver and the receiver get to reap the benefits.
“His attentive treatment of her had nothing to do with the presumption that she was weak, and everything to do with the conviction that she was valuable.”
--From "Once Upon a Road Trip" by Angela N. Bloun