I know a young man who is a true knight, although he doesn’t look like one. His story of chivalry isn’t a very “nice” one, but it is a story of courage, honor, humility and generosity.
The young man is my son. At 25, he is still unfocused and, some would say, unproductive. Unlike his brothers, who are outstanding students and citizens, he is still working at minimum wage jobs and has no ambition. He was raised with the tenets of chivalry, however, and he displays them when the need arises.
Earlier this year he received a call from a female co-worker. She needed help, she said. She and a friend had gone to a party at a local college fraternity house. There had been a lot of drinking, and under the influence of alcohol, the two young ladies had wound up wearing very little clothing amidst a lot of eager college boys with cameras. When morning came and my son’s co-worker sobered up, she realized how bad their situation was. She did not want those pictures being passed around campus, or, worse yet, being posted on the Internet.
A more sensible person would likely have told her to call the police, or simply explained that this was a consequence of her actions and those of her friend. But not my chivalrous son. He accompanied his co-worker to the fraternity house where her friend was still passed out on the couch. My son retrieved the unconscious girl, then proceeded through the house until he found the disposable camera the students had been using. At one point, a shotgun was leveled at his face, but he continued unperturbed and completed the rescue.
He hasn’t seen or heard from the co-worker’s friend since, although the co-worker at least was grateful.
Is a drunken stranger’s reputation worth risking one’s life for? Certainly not by today’s standards, but as much as it terrified me, I am proud that my son was willing to take on this quest, without hesitation or expectation of reward — simply because he was called upon. By the standards of chivalry which are an integral part of him, it was the right thing to do. Certainly I wish he kept “better company,” but, if he did, who would have saved that young woman? And who knows how the course of her life might have been altered as a result of my son’s courage? I’m glad that shabby knights with unkempt hair and ear-rings are still occasionally available to rescue the meanest and least deserving of us.
— Syler Womack, Texas
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