The White Knight

The White Knight is the character who rescues those unfairly oppressed. In business the white knight rescues from the hostile takeover. Some suggest the White Knight rescues women expecting a romantic reward, and Urban Dictionary says the female equivalent is the mother figure. I like rescuing, but get warned off. “You’re not helping”, the critics say, “he is beyond help,” or that I should only help those who deserve it.

I get an immediate good feeling from attempting to help. Perhaps I am even altruistic, but also I get something from it. I am interested in people, and applying my mind to “Who is this person? What makes them tick?” increases my knowledge and understanding of others- which clearly benefits me. I like to see myself as a good person, and part of that self-image is that I am a helper.

Then, everyone is interesting for at least an hour. I met a man whose OCD took the form of doing things alphabetically. His weird escape from reality into a tedious obsession would pall, quickly, but exploring it for an hour passed the time. Eventually the mental health team found something to motivate him. He was interested, took action, and achieved something. I was not paid to rescue, exactly, but to give a particular kind of useful assistance.

Merely paying attention makes people feel better. Face to face, I put my listening face on and they open up, and I can see the relief. It is not much effort.

Getting people to turn their lives around is of course far more difficult. In the past I have come up with all sorts of Good Advice, the person has not taken it, and I have become frustrated and angry with them. Now, I disengage. Possibly, they have taken it in: I found in my early twenties that I would react angrily to my father’s good advice, and find myself following it six months later.

I don’t generally find I am repaid. The good feeling I get has to be an end in itself.

He saved others, but he cannot save himself! gloated the bystanders at the crucifixion. My own life is a mess. I can come up with Good Advice for me, too, but do not take it.

You thought I should start submitting articles, and this seems a possibility: general interest with a particular perspective. It seems to me it needs developing: how, do you think?

Monet, The stroller (Suzanne Hoschedé)

6 thoughts on “The White Knight

  1. Your post reminds me of an incident with my daughter some thirty years ago, when she wanted something to happen and was patiently explaining why I wouldn’t allow it. Before I had finished, she stormed off, and as she left the room she turned and in an exasperated voice exclaimed “Oh! You’re too reasonable!” We both get a chuckle over the recollection.

    Often-times, advice is only recognised as good after some reflection, but regardless of the immediate outcome, it’s always worthwhile making the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My male alter-ego got himself into quite a few scrapes in the past playing the White Knight, or Knight in Shining Armour – and as you say, people said he did it for reward. Bollocks. He did it through a strong sense of honour, and being a little chap, often got himself into situations where he ended up being on the receiving end of some quite brutal guys. No matter. He did it to protect women, and those less able to defend themselves without excpecting any reward. That they were safe was reward enough for him.

    I remember one instance where a local lad with learning difficulties was standing at a bus stop with me, and some thug came along and called him a “daftie”. Before I could stop myself, said thug was slammed into the bus shelter, me holding him by his lapels and telling him, “If you speak to a special needs person like that, there’s only one daftie around here, and I’m looking straight at him.” I cannot and never have been able to stomach bullies.

    And perhaps I am somewhat naive that I believe that the majority of human beings are like that – it is in our nature to help and protect others, even if sometimes that is from themselves. I have actually in the past in these forums lost patience with one trans woman who stated she was thinking of ‘burying’ her female self and attempting to go back to being a man. Even with my limited knowledge, I explained that she could not possibly ‘kill’ her female self – because that WAS her. I am pleased to say that she is stronger today than ever, and despite me telling her straight what I thought, she remains an online friend.

    And of course, who is the last and worst person to listen to good advice? Who else but me? And I don’t reckon I’m alone in that. Most people are the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am reliably informed that whenever we act with love as the prime mover, we always help ourselves, whether we notice it or not. (Which reminds me of the opposite statement, that when we do something because we feel compelled through duty, because we ought to, the benefit of the action is lost).

    Jesus was demonstrating, through the crucifixion, the primacy of the spirit, and the power of spirit to overcome even death. He returned others from the dead – as did some of the disciples – and then resurrected himself, in order to demonstrate what Humankind is capable of.

    Do we not offer advice in order to try to persuade ourselves….?

    As to your last question, I suggest you look for publications on line and in print, that you can write for. Then see yourself writing similar or similar-but-different material. 🙂

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