Sometimes I will receive just a few emails from a column and sometimes the community responds vigorously as was the case a couple of months ago when …
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Sometimes I will receive just a few emails from a column and
sometimes the community responds vigorously as was the case a
couple of months ago when I wrote a column about the perceived lack
of chivalry in our society.
Let me tell you, it has been awesome. As a whole, the community
has been sending in reports of observed chivalry in action since I
wrote that column, but more importantly folks have been sharing
their own stories, stories of how they have made it a priority to
be aware of opportunities to act with chivalry and how good it
feels to be a difference maker, regardless of how large or small
Men, women, and teens are giving up their seats on buses,
shuttles, and the light rail. People are holding doors open for one
another and husbands and boyfriends are opening car doors for their
wives and girlfriends. Businessmen have sent emails recognizing
their oblivious poor behavior and promised change. Wives and moms
are sending thankful messages as they, too, are witnessing their
spouses and children acting in ways that they have been longing
Here’s the point, many of us act with a sense of self-diagnosed
urgency and forget those in our path, we believe our task at hand
is more important than the courtesy and politeness we owe the
elderly, the women, the children, and the handicapped.
There is no question that there are people of all ages, sexes,
and races who have taken advantage of the kindness and generosity
of those of us who have practiced chivalry all or most of our
lives. So maybe, just maybe some of us have allowed those who
haven’t appreciated the good of our motives, our chivalrous
intentions to alter the way we act or behave in some cases. In any
given situation where we could have demonstrated our true hearts
and intentions, we quite possibly have given life to our jaded
opinions that drive how we now respond.
Some of the respondents to my column pointed to the lack of
chivalry having a direct correlation to an absence or lack of
parenting. Several believe that recent generations have grown up
with a sense of entitlement and so of course they would be
oblivious to any opportunities to demonstrate or even experience
chivalry. They operate purely from a “what’s in it for me”
Whether we choose to point the finger of blame at urgency, or
people who have taken advantage of the system, or the kindness and
generosity of others, or the absence of parenting, one thing is for
certain, time compression and the need for speed have become the
norm and a significant part of the everyday stresses we all face.
So we need to acknowledge that we are all pressed for time and
moving rapidly through each day, through life. And if we can
elevate our own awareness while keeping our chivalry radar turned
on, we will pick up on opportunities to do the right thing. We will
put chivalry into action.
Jana Stanfield in her song “All the Good” shares a lyric, “I
cannot do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the
good I can do.” And Zig Ziglar says it this way, “You have
everything in life that you want, just as long as you help enough
other people get what they want.”
Do some of the good that the world needs, help someone else get
what they want and need, put chivalry back in action, and I promise
you will have a better than good week. As always I would love to
hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former
president of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and founder of
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