[Bonwicke] Fw: [ChivalryToday] Noble Sip of Chivalry
simonemu at gmail.com
Wed Sep 7 19:42:17 PDT 2005
A Noble Sip of Chivalry
By Scott Farrell
(c)2005, Shining Armor Enterpriseswww.ChivalryToday.comIn the middle of the 14th century, the Spanish author Gutierre Diazde Gamez wrote a book on the principles of chivalry called "TheUnconquered Knight." Gamez, himself a knight and a seasoned warrior,wanted to promote the values of honor and faith in a time he felt wasbecoming increasingly savage and lawless.
In this book, Gamez relates a parable describing how the firstknights were chosen in ancient times by the Biblical warrior Gideon,who was preparing to fight a battle against the Madianites. Accordingto Gamez, Gideon was told in a divine vision that his army would cometo a river before the battle, and that when they did, he shouldobserve the actions of his soldiers. Those who bent down and slurpeddirectly from the stream, Gideon understood, should be dismissed andsent home; those who scooped up water with their hands were brave andtrue, and would not falter in battle. According to Gamez, thewarriors who dipped water with their hands were selected as history'sfirst knights.
Initially, this seems fairly silly, even petty. After all, who reallycares how you drink water from a river, especially when you'remarching through the desert preparing for battle? Shouldn't knightsbe chosen for bravery, strength and ferocity rather than riversidedrinking etiquette?
Yet perhaps there's more to Gamez's fable than meets the eye. Thisoccurred to me recently when I was in the gym — a place where prettymuch everyone drops the façade of formality and gets down to thesimple task of working up a sweat. Not far from where I was, a coupleof middle-aged fellows were having a conversation during theirworkout. One was loudly telling the other his latest theories aboutphysical fitness, and their discourse was punctuated by a liberalsprinkling of four-letter expletives.
Ironically, after a while, their talk moved on to professionalmatters and one of them began to loudly (and with plenty ofexpletives) speculate why he'd been passed over for a recentpromotion. According to him, his "F-ing" supervisor didn't appreciatehim, and one of his associates made claims that were "total B.S."After about five minutes of this I began to wonder if maybe thereason this fellow didn't get his promotion was not so much hisunappreciated talents as it was an underlying attitude of bitternessand disrespect — an attitude that he probably thought was cleverlyconcealed when he was in the office. I'll bet it didn't go unnoticedby his boss, however.
Whether it's in an overheard conversation in the gym or at anunguarded moment at a river's edge, our actions when we think nobodyis watching reveals a lot about who we really are. Some people merelywear a façade of honor, courtesy and dignity; others maintain theirsense of nobility regardless of whether or not they are underobservation.
In explaining Gideon's selection of knights on the river bank, Gamezsays: "Those who had drunk from their hands, as being men guided byreason, went into battle and conquered (their enemies). These wereset aside to become princes and knights, who do fair and mightydeeds, enduring great fear and knowing how to restrain it by honor …as they had restrained their appetites even when they were athirst."
Whether this tale is divinely inspired or simply a colorful literarymetaphor, it's a pretty astute observation of human behavior. How wespeak, act and conduct ourselves in our most unguarded momentsreveals the values we hold at our core. As Gamez so aptly describes,a real knight never stoops to vulgar behavior, and a true champion isthe one who is unstained when all others have sunk into the mud.
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At the Chivalry Today website, we're always working to bring you newthoughts, observations and explorations of chivalry in the modernworld. Our latest updates include:
- An examination of the U.S. Army's "11 Leadership Principles" andwhat they reveal about the Code of Chivalry;
- Two guest essays exploring chivalry in Islamic and African-Americancultures;
- New resources for students (and teachers) looking for readingmaterial and class project ideas that focus on chivalry and medievalhistory.
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Readers are permitted and encouraged to share this article withothers as a way of furthering the understanding of the Code ofChivalry in the modern world. Scott Farrell's seminars on chivalryand the knightly virtues are available to businesses, schools andcivic organizations throughout the Southern California area; moreinformation can be found on our website. Please include all copyrightstatements and attributions when forwarding Chivalry Today articles.Copyright 2005 Scott Farrell and Shining Armor Enterprises. Visit ourwebsite at www.ChivalryToday.com .
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-- Simone Ui'Dunlaingh---------------------------------http://kyiare.bebo.com---------------------------------Good Orderly Direction:is the thought or Idea; Which is not based on Ego.
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