When we think of chivalry it is usually associated with King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and days of yore. It seems that those days are long gone, and that chivalry is dead, but it isn’t. Just ask Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Bono, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Julie Andrews, Judi Dench, Tom Jones, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Sean Connery, Tom Courtney, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, Maggie Smith, Ian McKellen and Kate Winslet, all of whom have been knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

At first glance, I thought it was just a British affair, but as I dug deeper, I learned that Bill Gates, Bob Hope and Ronald Reagan along with hundreds of others got tapped on the shoulder by the mighty sword.

As I read through the list of those who received knighthood, I noticed it included some of my favorite musicians. I also noticed the footnote that said that they received an honorary knighthood. I started to think, “did we dilute the true meaning of chivalry by creating the honorary knighthood system?” It seems like the UK has been giving them out like popcorn!

What is chivalry?

The English and American Dictionaries describe chivalry as a noun whose meaning is the medieval institution of knighthood. Chivalry was developed as an early standard of professional ethics for knights. The ceremony usually meant an all-night prayer vigil on the altar before the oath was taken in the morning to:

  • Be brave
  • Always speak the truth
  • Always defend a lady
  • Be loyal to his lord
  • Be devoted to his church
  • Be charitable
  • Defend the poor and helpless

It really was a social code of the times. It could be argued that the musicians and actors mentioned above, especially Bono, have given of their time and money to help the poor, and are therefore covered under the knighthood umbrella, but the general consensus is these celebrities are being honored for their contribution to the arts.

Static Clean and knighthood

How about a company that contributes to solving process problems, improves yields, improves lives, and makes the world a better place for its global citizens? Do these people or companies meet the litmus test of knighthood? Recently Static Clean International started a Going Green campaign, and our first initiative is to move to a paperless system. Maybe we won’t attain knighthood, but our deeds are certainly chivalrous under a code of ethics of professional responsibility.

Contact Static Clean to learn more about our Going Green campaign, and the products and services Static Clean provides.