CNN ‘Modern Day Hero’ Says Chivalry is Not Dead
Zach Hunter was named a "modern day hero" by CNN as a teenager. At 21, he's calling people of faith to discover the lost art of chivalry. Hunter's first three book addressed modern day slavery, compassion and activism, but his recent one sounds less modern and more ancient: Chivalry: The Quest for a Personal Code of Honor in an Unjust World. In it, Hunter invites readers who are already passionate about issues of justice to develop a personal code of civility and integrity. Here, we discuss what chivalry is, why young people today have a hard time living it, and how we can recover it.
JM: Do young men and women in your generation even know what chivalry is? Is it a man opening a door for a woman? What’s your definition?
ZH: I think a lot of people have this concept that chivalry is a bunch of outmoded rules for romantic relationships. My definition of chivalry is not gender-specific or male-dominated--though I understand the historical context. I believe anyone can choose to be chivalrous. It’s not about rules or regulations; it’s about internal transformation. Chivalry is a lifestyle of civility and kindness. None of us is perfect, but I think that we can transcend our selfishness to a certain extent and live in a counter-cultural manner. I don’t have this figured out, but that’s a big part of my thinking on chivalry--it is a journey--I will likely be learning my whole life how to be kinder, have more integrity, and act with civility in difficult situations.
JM: In Chivalry, you draw from principles in something called the “knight’s code.” Say some more about this, for those who aren't familiar.