5. Cooperation

Each one of us is walking our own road. We are born at specific times, in specific places, and our challenges are unique. As knights, understanding and respecting our distinctiveness is vital to our ability to harness our collective strength. The use of force may be necessary to protect in an emergency, but only justice, fairness, and cooperation can truly succeed in leading men. We must live and work together as brothers or perish together as fools.

6. Friendship

The quality of your life will, to a large extent, be decided by with whom you elect to spend your time.

7. Forgiveness

Those who cannot easily forgive will not collect many friends. Look for the best in others.

8. Honesty

A dishonest tongue and a dishonest mind waste time, and therefore waste our lives. We are here to grow and the truth is the water, the light, and the soil from which we rise. The armor of falsehood is subtly wrought out of the darkness and hides us not only from others but from our own soul.

9. Courage

Anything that gives light must endure burning.

10. Grace

Grace is the ability to accept change. Be open and supple; the brittle break.

11. Patience

There is no such thing as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A hurried mind is an addled mind; it cannot see clearly or hear precisely; it sees what it wants to see, or hears what it is afraid to hear, and misses much. A knight makes time his ally. There is a moment for action, and with a clear mind that moment is obvious.

12. Justice

There is only one thing for which a knight has no patience: injustice. Every true knight fights for human dignity at all times.

13. Generosity

You were born owning nothing and with nothing you will pass out of this life. Be frugal and you can be generous.

From Ethan Hawke’s Rules for a Knight a fictional (sort of) treatise on what it means to be a knight. Or, really, how to be good human being. This came out a few years ago and I passed it over but having read a bit more about it I’m now pretty keen to read it. I’ve got a bit of a reading backlog, though not for want of reading! I’m just not very good at adding books to the list at a slower rate than I read them.

I’m about two thirds of the way through Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant. I find the style a bit odd but I’m sticking with it though I’m scared of how it might end. One of my biggest fears is losing my memory and a major plot driver is that the Britons and Saxons are forgetting everything (for reasons I won’t reveal here). I’ve also had the Liveship Traders sitting on my shelves for far too long. The Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies are outstanding, some of my favourite fantasy novels, I’m keen to get back to that world. I’ve also got the first Wizard Scout book and the Haunting of Fabian Grey (thanks Signal Boost!), so… yeah. Lots to read.

Before we go, the last two rules:

19. Love

Love is the end goal. It is the music of our lives. There is no obstacle that enough love cannot move.

20. Death

Life is a long series of farewells; only the circumstances should surprise us. A knight concerns himself with gratitude for the life he has been given. He does not fear death, for the work one knight begins, others may finish.