Lessons Learned From Medieval Knights: Ignore Medieval Knights

There’s a new program in Britain for unruly youths called “knight school,” where hoodlums learn lessons on life inspired by medieval knights. In response to this apparently successful program, a BBC reporter “canvassed opinion among medieval experts” to divine what lessons we today could learn from the medieval knight. He manage to scrape together a list of 10 lessons, half of which are best summarized as “don’t do what knights did.” Once again, I’ve done the work of reading the article for you, so that you don’t have to.

  1. Generosity was important to knights, so this means kids today should share.
  2. Mercy is chivalric, which means so go easy on people you beat up.
  3. Loyalty to the king means respect your elders.
  4. Exercise power responsibly means don’t get into fights.
  5. Protect the weak means stand up to bullies.
  6. Seek justice means fight for what’s right.
  7. Be humble means give credit to your pals.
  8. Crusading teaches us to tolerate religions.
  9. Carrying a sword means don’t carry knives.
  10. Courtly love means girls will likely find you unimpressive.

It really is that trippy in the original. Kids! Be like knights! Don’t get into fights. But in the fights you do get into, be merciful! Also, beat up bullies! But tell people your friends did it!

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  • .

    I think that if the school would utilize what the knightly virtues as such that it would be very successful.

    * Courage
    More than bravado or bluster, today’s knight in shining armor must have the courage of the heart necessary to undertake tasks which are difficult, tedious or unglamorous, and to graciously accept the sacrifices involved.

    * Justice
    A knight in shining armor holds him- or herself to the highest standard of behavior, and knows that “fudging” on the little rules weakens the fabric of society for everyone.

    * Mercy
    Words and attitudes can be painful weapons in the modern world, which is why a knight in shining armor exercises mercy in his dealings with others, creating a sense of peace and community, rather than engendering hostility and antagonism.

    * Generosity
    Sharing what’s valuable in life means not just giving away material goods, but also time, attention, wisdom and energy — the things that create a strong, rich and diverse community.

    * Faith
    In the code of chivalry, “faith” means trust and integrity, and a knight in shining armor is always faithful to his promises especially to God, no matter how big or small they may be.

    * Nobility
    Although this word is sometimes confused with “entitlement” or “snobbishness,” in the code of chivalry it conveys the importance of upholding one’s convictions at all times, especially when no one else is watching.

    * Hope
    More than just a safety net in times of tragedy, hope is present every day in a modern knight’s positive outlook and cheerful demeanor — the shining armor that shields him , and inspires people all around.

    Also the essay “The Necessity of Chivalry” / “The Importance of an Ideal” by C.S. Lewis needs to be incorporated into the ciriculum.

    Lewis believed that without the knight, we have two types of people: those who are fierce in battle but cannot be gentle elsewhere, and those who are gentle in their real lives, but completely useless. The knight is the person who can be both fierce and gentle, but such behavior is learned.

    In his own words:

    The man who combines both characters – the knight – is a work not of nature but of art; of that art which has human beings, instead of canvas or marble, for its medium.

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