I Beg Your Pardon - Is Chivalry Dead?

By: Audrey Valeriani

I Beg Your Pardon!? Is Chivalry Dead?

The other day I thanked a well-dressed, older man for holding the door open for me and he replied, “You sound so surprised.? It’s my pleasure."?? Evidently, after so frequently having doors close in my face, my voice revealed my enthusiasm along with my disbelief!? We then began chatting about men and women and manners, and he told me that a few weeks ago he opened the door for a woman who made a point of telling him she was perfectly capable of doing it herself.? To her comment, in my opinion, he gave a fabulous reply.? He said, “I didn’t hold the door for you because you’re a lady, I did it because I’m a gentleman."

So what gives?? Is it now considered degrading for a woman to be on the receiving end of a kind gesture by a man??? And do men feel this change and react accordingly?? Are these acts really “gentlemanly" or just good manners, and whom do they actually benefit?

As a child, I was taught to be polite and help out whenever possible by, say, holding the door for the person behind me, giving up my seat on the bus to a pregnant woman or the elderly, assisting people who drop their bundles, and saying “please" and “thank you."? Those simple gestures became part of me, and I felt a boost in my self-esteem as a result.

Today, I still enjoy exhibiting courteousness and having the same extended to me, even though those occasions seem to be verging on extinction!? I continue to jump up for expecting mothers and the handicapped, but I also have no problem helping out a grown man, a child, or an animal in need.? I think most of us notice when the “good" folks offer their help to others, and those who don’t reciprocate these usual and customary kindnesses are silently scorned by the members of the Good Manners Club and labeled as “rude" and “selfish."

Although years ago it was more expected that a man assist a woman, these days I think we need to go beyond those boundaries and establish a new, revolutionary, state-of-the-art guideline that will be acceptable to both men and women, despite their individual philosophies, expectations, and capabilities, like -- every able body should be considerate of and helpful to one another despite age, gender, physicalityPsychology Articles, and occupation.? How’s that for radical?

Kindness to one another ?– a brief respite from the harshness of the human condition.? And something that I believe would go a long way in helping solve a lot of the world’s problems.?

Motivation
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