C.S. Lewis on Nobility

Nobility and character are seriously outmoded concepts, but one king in the Narnian world had the right idea.

“And that’s truer than thy brother knows, Cor,” said King Lune. “For this is what it means to be a king: to be first in every desperate attack and last in every desperate retreat, and when there’s hunger in the land (as must be now and then in bad years) to wear finer clothes and laugh louder over a scantier meal than any man in your land.” (from C.S. Lewis’ THE HORSE AND HIS BOY)

Blue-blood, rather than true-blue character; that’s the problem with the popular idea of nobility. Most everyone wants to be the head honcho, able to tell others where to get off, or “Off with their heads!”

We give little thought to the responsibilities that accompany privilege and rights. In the USA, we love our right to do nearly anything we want whenever we want. Trouble is, more often than not we fail to think about the impact our actions have on others.

Life is all about “Me.” Want a rush? Drive like a demon, and let the devil take the hindmost. Want to feel the music? Crank it up! “If my music is too loud, you’re too old.” Need a little sexual titillation? Just click on the porn site, or better still, promise some girl your undying love for sexual favors. Your gratification doesn’t hurt anybody. Right?

Wrong! The saying goes, “Your right to swing your fist ends at my jaw.” That’s called civil behavior. You know, as in “civilization?” If you want to be un-civilized, move to the wilds of Borneo, or someplace where everyone is as crude and rude as you. If you consider civil behavior to be an imposition, you most certainly qualify as crude and rude.

A sign of the times is most people insisting on their own rights and pleasures, while taking umbrage when imposed upon by others. You don’t have to be religious to give deference to those who share your space.


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