I stood there, just kind of holding the door ajar. The older lady passed through as I motioned to her to go first, as I held the door open for her. As
she passed me, she muttered a thankyou. Then she paused.
“You know, you can get into trouble for doing that today.” I instantly got her meaning, and smiled in reply.
“And yet a hundred years ago I would have been scolded or frowned on for not doing it.”
This was the simple play that happened at Sydney airport a couple of weeks ago, waiting to board my plane. The elder lady did make a point though, and
a good one at that.
“Thou hast sullied the honour of my lady!”
Perhaps a term best left for another time. In this day and age of rampant feminism, metrosexuality, and generally poor manners toward each other, the
idea of chivalry is something well and truly being left in the dust.
And perhaps it is not really a bad thing. I’ve always said to female friends if you want equal rights, then act equally. Don’t get in my face
about how you are the smarter sex and deserve everything a man has because you have been oppressed for centuries by men. Don’t try to equate to me
the tale of Mary Magdelene and how the “evil men” of the world painted her as a whore and that’s why you act the way you do, to get some back
for the fairer sex.
Honestly? Good for you if you can grow a set and stand on your own. But don’t ask me to fix your car for you, to lift that heavy box you can’t
manage or come and hide behind me when that arrogant pig of a customer loses his proverbial and sees you as a convenient target. And yes, all three
have happened to me at different points, at which time it is exceedingly difficult for me not to blurt out “independent woman what?”
But I do digress somewhat. Did I hold the door open for this lady as an act of chivalry? That I was somehow reliving a lost past of kind deeds and
gentler ways? Sadly, no. I held the door open because of something else, another slipping facet of society I feel should not
die a horrible
death. Tied in a way to chivalry, but much more open and not as gender-specific as the former.
Yes, it really is just that simple. I held the door open out of common courtesy. I say thankyou to those who help me, who are nice to me, who
generally come off as wanting that spark of humanity we all have but are beginning to forget in this “me first and me only” world. When you stand
from your seat to offer an older person who obviously has more pains and more aches than you, again, common courtesy. When you help a woman that has
two young children and is obviously struggling with her trolley load of groceries to her car, again, it is common courtesy. If you’re standing in
line at the local supermarket with a full trolley of groceries and the young man behind you has a few items, again, let him go first. Common courtesy
rears its brilliant head once again.
It’s not something we do or should do with a thought of reward in mind, it is really just a simple duty of being human. What makes me shake my
head, is as we careen further into the future of humanity, such gestures are met with mistrust, or even outright hostility.
I am aware you can open the door for yourself. Believe me when I say I’m not about to tip my hat with a “milady” out of some outdated concept of
chivalry. I would like to think that if next time I am the one lugging a heavy bag onto a plane, you would be the one who would hold the door for me,
as I am now the one struggling. That if I happen to be that man standing behind you in the queue behind your pyramidal pile of groceries that you
would let me go first.
Is common courtesy headed the way of chivalry? I hope not, and I hope this little rant clearly separates the two for those of you out there. Because I
may hold the door for you at some point in the future, hell I may even help you when you need it, mainly just because I can. But don’t think for a
second I’m about to lay down my jacket so as not get your feet wet in a puddle.
Those things cost money man....
edit on 27-8-2012 by 74Templar because: typos
edit on 27-8-2012 by 74Templar because: (no reason given)