KNIGHTS IN MODERN TIMES
Sadly, knights no
longer exist, at least in the mythical sense that
most of us know from movies and stories. I'm not sure if they ever
truly existed in that fashion, but even back in the middle ages, the rules of chivalry,
and some of the heroic deeds performed by knights, were inspired by
the popular stories of their day, which included the Arthurian
Today, knighthood is an honor that continues to be bestowed. However,
many of the more well-known cases can be nothing more than an honorous title given by vestigial
royalty (though there are certainly other systems of knighthood still in
existence today). It's not meaningless, but it doesn't necessarily speak to the
constitution of those who receive it. They may simply be famous or well
accomplished people. Success does not equal virtue. Renown does not
imply character, spirit, and heart. There are far more
unsung heroes than decorated ones, and it's not the official accolade
that makes the man.
Modern knighthood in the European countries that still award it is treated
much the same way as Nobel Prizes, medals, and other awards are granted.
These knighthoods are granted to honor achievements and successes that are
recognized to contribute to the world in a positive measure. While such
accomplishments should indeed be rewarded and recognized, as such recognition
will inspire a social pressure towards such goals, other awards exist to
recognize these merits. Knighthood should retain its connection with the
virtuous and chivalrous underpinnings that defined the knightly class of the
medieval period, as that code of conduct is highly responsible for lifting
society out of more brutal and savage times. One's daily conduct and moral
fiber, and desire to uphold these ideals is what knighthood should recognize,
and so it is up to us, as everyday people with a desire to reawaken these
virtues, to reclaim it as our own.
In our modern age of technology, being bombarded with highly commercialized
media and entertainment, and a high standard of living that doesn't require
the same social constructs that our ancestors had, it's easy for people to
get lost in the day-to-day. We find ourselves constantly focused on what
we did yesterday, and what we're doing tomorrow, and can easily overlook today.
We find ourselves busily hurrying along, and can often neglect to take
into consideration what is immediately around us.
Cultural ideals and social structure have evolved over time, and Chivalric
traits such as Honor, Truth, and Loyalty have begun to be viewed as almost
archaic. But deep down inside, we know these to be timeless and crucial
qualities; traits that we silently admire in others when we encounter them.
So why is it that so few of us make an active effort to uphold such ideals?
Are we really afraid of being seen as a "goody goody" or dweeb for standing
up for what is right and good?
Being a modern-day knight can be as simple as waking up one day and deciding
that Chivalry and virtue are important enough to work for. To make the world
around you a better place, and have fun at the same time.
Here at Modern Chivalry, we present a forum where our members can
feel free to relive the aspects of historical Chivalry in the modern day,
with or without the historical trappings of arms and armor. We're sword
enthusiasts, historical fencers, collectors, amateur historians, or
even re-enactors. But one thing we all have in common is that we live
in the modern age.
Membership here does not imply any sort of official knighthood, beyond what you
already have or consider yourself to be. Since we can not tell you when or if
you are worthy, and when you can be a knight, it is entirely up to you.
Spend time in introspection, or prayer if that suits you. Spend time with the
tools of your trade, whether it is a pen, sword, computer, etc. Assemble your
armor or uniform, and clean your sword. When you feel that you are ready to
bear the title of Knight, do so with humilty and honor, and bear it well.
Come and join us, if you hear the calling.
-- Sir Edward