Gallantry. Honor. Have these words lost their meaning? I was raised in the South, I was given history books with pictures like these. They bring back the gentle charm of Charleston and Savannah, in times long past, and also in times like today, where Southern things are a bit different than the rest of the fast-paced world. I was taught by Daddy that honor meant saying yes ma'am to a woman, protecting her, treating her as the genteel sex, asking her if she needs help, opening doors, and even doffing your cap was a requirement when I was a kid. Have we lost this in the feminist movement?
I remember opening the door for a model in Los Angeles one time, she got a sour look on her face and said that she didn't need a man to open the door for her and refused to walk through that door. Something in me wanted to slam it in her face and say ok b****. But I simply said yes ma'am and kept going.
The only way to bring back a lost art, is simply to do it. And to teach it to your sons and the men around you.
I haven't always been that guy. It's been tempered with brutal and harsh things that I was taught later in life. But the longer I live in the South the more I want to hearken back to that. Women and children first, we call them honey and sweetie. We offer to help people, we never pass an old white haired lady on the side of the road, we help her load groceries into her trunk from the cart, we offer to take the cart. We help the mom of the screaming toddler load up her stroller and groceries too. We stop to help at accidents, change tires for strangers, pay the extra dollar for the person in line ahead of us when they come up short, and say God bless you.
This is honor. This is gallantry. This is being a man. And if daddy didn't teach you, take this lesson from me and apply it. When they try to give you $5 in return, refuse it with a gentle word. The smile on that person's face, the blessing they give you when they say God bless you, the little bit of kindness it costs you, will let you know you are honorable, gallant, a man of substance, even if you have nothing else, that's Something. And God will repay it.
James Disciple Johnson
Natl President and Founder
Disciple Christian Motorcycle Club