The other day I went to the movies with my older sister, her 2 children (girl,12 and boy,5) and my younger sister. When we were leaving we noticed our car was blocked by two huge cars. So the five of us started to push the two cars out of the way. Just before we started pushing, another car had come to a stop just before us, I presume to enter our about to be empty slot. The person, we can call them Owl*, did not bother getting out of the car to help us (3 women and 2 children) move the two vehicles blocking our way. Yes it is our responsibility to move the cars ourselves, but seeing that Owl will be occupying the slot we are emptying out – the least Owl could have done is get their lazy behind out of the car to help us. Just a lending hand and we would have been so impressed and grateful. Nonetheless Owl didn’t help, we sorted ourselves out and when we left Owl did enter the empty slot as we presumed. So when I saw that I just casually said out loud ‘Chivalry is dead,’ and with this my nephew asked ‘who is chivalry masi**?’
Being the aunty that I am I proceeded to explain that chivalry is when you go out of your way to help someone out, giving the most traditional example I can think of; to open the door for a lady when she enters any car, whether it is your mother, friend or wife. With this my niece (currently learning about gender equality) chimed in and said but that can be sexist and women can open the doors themselves. So I said yes some people may take it that way, but there is a fine line between being sexist and being chivalrous. So I continued and said, ‘chivalry is when you are kinder to someone who is in a position that is weaker than you be it a girl or a boy. Even women can be chivalrous. Owl saw two children with us and could have offered to help but in today’s world, we have become so self oriented we forget how our behaviour may affect others and chivalry is dying.’
After 4 days my younger sister had hurt her finger and within seconds my nephew came running with an icepack. So pleasantly surprised, we told him he was being very sweet and that’s when he corrected us and said ‘it’s chivalry.’ When we told this story to his mother, she said he has been doing lovely things all week, to the point where she had to say ‘I would rather you get your little self in the car than waste time opening the door for me, we are late.’ He continues to do chivalrous things everyday and with that I hope there are many more little kids out there doing the same because I haven’t had a chance to encounter genuine acts of chivalry in a very long time. So here’s to the possible little chivalrous rascals out there and an early start to the weekend.
Owl: I chose a random name because I didn’t want the person in the car to have a gender.
Masi: An Indian title for your mother’s sisters.