"I have asked myself about the values of modern chivalry and at first I have contemplated on what might be the actual transposition of a medieval knight to modern times.
The first idea that came to me: it's obvious that the knight of modern times could only be a soldier who defends, at the risk of his life, causes being asked him to defend. In this way he gives proof of courage and loyalty but also of dedication and selflessness.
This was a response overly simplistic for my taste. Certainly the knights were soldiers but not only that. They were also nurses and doctors, because they were able to alleviate suffering. They were at the bedside of the sick, demonstrating a strong commitment. Yes indeed, but what about the religious who provide help, support and comfort without judging? Besides, the Knights Templar were originally soldier monks.
As that thought did not not satisfy me completely, I pushed it away. Perhaps I was on the wrong track trying to transpose to our time the image of the Knight. So I leaned on the values it embodies, but the task has proven difficult.The values of chivalry are in my opinion loyalty and fidelity, the awareness of a common interest above self-interest, commitment and not renunciation but selflessness and humility. Because it can be difficult to continue a task of which oe we knows that undoubtedly it will be doomed to faile. But it would be cowardly to give up because one lacks courage to continue anyway.
A knight is also someone who has a keen sense of honor, ethics and morality. A person who always does his best even if this is not enough. So someone who can stand tall in all circumstances and never has to be ashamed of his actions or his words.
A knight does not judge, he has empathy. I prefer empathy above compassion because for me a Knight is in action. The search for a solution and for compassion in my opinion would be an obstacle to action. Tears and sentimentality are not doing well with the action. But to empathize with others requires an open mind and a good dose of sensitivity. The knight is, above all, a human being with strengths and weaknesses, his beliefs and doubts. The first quality of a Knight is to accept this human condition and to seek to overcome it.
Finally, the values of a modern knight are not just reserved for our soldiers, doctors or priests. They are in all of us if we take the trouble to look for them.
This blog is a (slightly edited) French-English translation of a contribution to the Facebook-page Les Noveaux Templiers. . Illustration from the same source