Tuesday, December 2, 2008

chivalry is not dead...yet.

I read a maddening and discouraging news story the other day. It was about a person being trampled to death by Black Friday shoppers. An employee at a Long Island WalMart was trampled to death, and four additional persons were injured, when a crowd of shoppers tore the doors off the hinges and pushed their way into the store... all to 'get a great deal.' Well, it wasn't such a great deal for the man who was killed--a man who was killed by pure self-centered greed of others.

To me, it is unbelievable that people could actually be so caught up in shopping frenzy that they could walk over a fallen person, trampling him to death--just so they can get into a store and take advantage of a sale.

A sale.

Not trampled in a rush for shelter in a war-torn country or for food in a famine-devastated nation or for water in a drought-ravaged village.

But for a discount.

On material possessions.

That, my friends, is a tragedy. The death itself is a tragedy, but to me, the real tragedy is that it happened for the reason that it did.

Sometimes I cannot believe that our supposedly 'civilized' society behaves like this.

Today, however, I was reminded that there are also good people in our world--that there are still people who are considerate and who treat others with respect and kindness.

I was stopping by a little local take-out food-place to pick up lunch for a friend and me. As I approached the store, two working-men got to the door just before me. Though I was clearly several steps behind them, one of the men stepped aside and the other opened the door for me, ushering me into the store in front of them. I, with a big smile and sincere appreciation, said a very warm and heart-felt thank-you.

By letting me in ahead of them, they also allowed me to the counter first to place my order and get my food. Since they were obviously on their lunch hour as well, this, to me, was a very generous and kind gesture.

When I turned away from the counter and headed to the door with my food in hand, I met their eyes and told them "thank you" once again. As I was still getting the words out of my mouth, the man who had opened the door for me to come in stepped in front of me and once again opened the door for me. Here he was in jeans and work boots, and he was behaving like a gentleman in a tuxedo!

I know it may sound silly to be so impressed by this simple act of respect and courtesy, but in the light of the story preceding it, it's not so simple or silly after all. I was touched today by a generous heart and a kind action... something small but so very heart-warming. It not only made MY day but I shared it with my friend as well, and we both sang the praises of these good-hearted men.

It is good to know that chivalry is, indeed, not quite dead yet...

And, it is a good reminder that our every action, no matter how small, can make a world of difference in someone else's day.

Thank you, gentlemen, for being gentlemen...you touched my heart today.


  1. That Wal-Mart thing truly was awful, wasn't it?

    And I'm sure those two gentlemen were equally thankful for you. I got yelled at once for holding the door for a woman. Chivalry takes two--a gentleman on one end, and an appreciative lady on the other.

  2. ah, billy, that makes me so very sad...but i know it is true! i think we all need to be 'chivalrous,' as it were, to each other no matter our genders. it's just good behavior and also it's an easy way to be kind to others. i do so miss those genteel behaviors that make us feel good about ourselves and others!

  3. "our every action, no matter how small, can make a world of difference in someone else's day."

    Thanks for making a difference in MY day! Carol

  4. Oh dear, this is so horrible. I'm so sorry to hear about the Wal Mart incident...

    Hey! Could those guys be smitten or something? =P

    Oops, I hope I've not demeaned the gentlemen, I think they are amazing people!! And you've been great to return with an appreciative heart.

    Where I live, the mode of interaction is very different from where I am from. People here are unbelievably cold. A gesture of kindness could end up being misunderstood as 'careless intervention' or 'up to no good'. Being 'civilized' means ' mind your own business'. Can you believe it? It's horrible!! I hope that I'll not tranformed into their likeness as my stay prolongs... It's sad. =(


I'm so glad you've stopped by! I love hearing from you and can't wait to read your comments! Let me know what's on your mind and your heart today...