Not Every Knight Is A White Knight

One of the more frustrating aspects of the contemporary world is the way that behavior which is at least partially laudable is twisted and viewed in a highly negative light. It is not merely that we celebrate bad behavior that makes the contemporary world such a hellhole but that we also condemn that which is praiseworthy and good, and thus make it more difficult for people to choose that which is right, and to do so in a way that avoids excessive contempt for others, because of the way that the right way is viewed in such a negative light.

I am fond of the game of chess, although my own skill at the game is modest enough to keep me from being extremely proficient at it, largely due to lack of practice and occasional lapses of attention. One of the notable aspects of chess is that the white pieces have a built-in tempo advantage because white moves first and black has to respond to what moves white makes, and unless white makes an inaccuracy or a blunder that causes him (or her) to lose tempo, black tends to be placed on the back foot as a general rule, unable to set the tone without a high degree of risk. To be sure, if there is a notable skill gap between the white and black players, the player in black will often be able to pull out a victory, but a solid and competent white player should be able to at least ensure a draw through accurate play. I mention this to point out that in chess, as well as in other aspects of life, one has both white and black knights, and it pays to learn the difference between the two.

One of the legal channels I frequently watch has a rather degenerate chat which contains a great many people who simp for various women judged to be attractive who are lawyers or judges or the like. It is typically viewed as a negative thing for people to speak kindly or affectionately towards someone that they have no expectations of sexual favors from. What was once viewed as being gentlemanly behavior is now viewed as being some sort of loathsome and corrupt behavior. A great deal of behavior that people profess to be gentlemanly, to be sure, has hidden movies, but those people who honestly have no ulterior motives and are simply kind and decent people ought to be praised, and emulated, since they have no desire to use their kindness as a way of manipulating people to do what they wish, as is the case with a lot of the nice guy shtick that one sees around.

If we see people in light of the game of chess, we can differentiate white knights from black knights in a very important metric, and that is in light of tempo. A white knight is a knight whose conduct proceeds from their own character. They move and behave freely, without ulterior motive, simply because that is what they do. A black knight, on the other hand, is moving in response to others. It is telling and somewhat strange that we tend to confuse the lack of success that being kind and nice is as a strategy most of the time when dealing with the contemporary social scene with the idea that people are being kind as a tactic or strategy. Some people could just be living out their character, without necessarily any expectation that people will respond positively to it but just deciding to be who they are rather than try to be something that they are not. How to properly know others and ourselves is a challenging but worthwhile task, as is knowing the times in which we happen to live.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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2 Responses to Not Every Knight Is A White Knight

  1. Catharine Martin says:

    It’s interesting how chess mimics mankind’s history as well. I wonder if this game will be modified in the future to reflect a completely level playing board?

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