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The 12th Trust: I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward.

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The 12th Trust: I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward.

Post by dean jacques on Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:33 am

The 12th Trust: I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward.

Courtesy by itself is not necessarily a virtue. It is possible for acts of courtesy to be deceptive, manipulative, or completely void of meaning.

At its best, however, courteous behavior represents a convergence of all other virtues combined.

When this happens, courtesy refines and expresses the heart of chivalric principles. Here we find the distinguishing characteristics of conscience and personal refinement, put into action, that today’s knighthood represents. Achieving this is no small accomplishment. It requires the courage and tenacity of not only being true to one’s principles, but having principles worthy of our loyalty.

This stands in stark contrast to many of today’s values. It reflects an evolution of the soul rather than the stale, egocentric disinterest of “it’s not my problem; why should I care?” Chivalry encourages and facilitates the personal evolution that comes from living one’s life as a quest. In light of its principles we find ourselves asking: “Why would anyone prefer a life that is less authentic and fulfilling?”

Remove courtesy and you inhibit the proper expression of the preceding 11 Trusts. Think about it. Justice is a form of courtesy. Helping someone in need is a courtesy. Respecting others is also a courtesy. So are generosity, forgiveness and refusing to deceive others, speaking only the truth instead.

In many ways, the advancement of civilization depends upon constant exchanges of civility that allow us to cooperatively get things done. We tend to forget how important that is.

Courtesy helps in other ways as well. It helps check pride and builds humility. It allows us countless opportunities to exercise and put our beliefs into practice on a daily basis. Furthermore, it differentiates today’s Knight as both a model and leader of our cause by making courtesy a way of life.

Remember. Chivalry is not just about serving, but the way one serves.
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