Is “Chivalry” a Thing of The Past?

Maybe this isn’t the case when it comes to dating or “courtship,” where opening car doors or lending a jacket can score major points on relational report cards, but what about every day situations? We just got back from our trip to Alaska, and as a new parent, I found myself wiped out by the challenges of traveling with a one-year-old.  It’s not that our son wasn’t well behaved. It’s the extra packing, the baggage, the diapers, snacks, the stroller, etc. Trying to juggle these things through security along with your own stuff while passing the baby back and fourth is indeed a feat worthy of applause.

Now it used to be that when boarding a plane, they would call for early boarding for parents of young children needing extra time to get settled.  Not any more.  MVP members? Yes, but not parents.  Our seats were in the back of the plane, so our section was called upon to board first.  It was a full flight, so there were plenty of people watching us wrestle our belongings to the line, which was already completely full by the time we got to it.  Did anyone make way for the family caravan?  No.  In fact, most of them took one look and then raced to jump in front of us.  On top of that, we heard several travelers in front of us jokingly admit that their rows hadn’t even been called yet.

Was it a big deal?  No.  Did we survive?  Yes.  But I find myself curious as to whether this was an isolated event, or does it perhaps indicate something about trends in our culture?  Am I wrong to assume that in that past, people held values such as chivalry to a higher standard than they do today?  Why is that?  Does it even matter?  Finally, how does this topic fit in with a Biblical worldview?  As Christians, are we called to go out of our way in extending acts of kindness to those we don’t even know?  I think so.  What about you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

– Mike Rauwolf.

<image borrowed from esquire.com via google images>