6 Lessons From Ethan Hawke's Book: Rules for a Knight
A Charming Book of Life Lessons for Knights of all Ages
Photo by Ember Navarro on Unsplash
In 2015, acclaimed actor Ethan Hawke authored Rules for a Knight, a guide for purposeful living. The content is crafted as a series of letters from a fictional knight from the age of chivalry, Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke, to his children. While at first the plot implies a teen audience, imparting wisdom as they transition to adulthood, this entertaining book will satisfy seekers of all ages striving to untangle life’s meaning and purpose.
After a brief introduction, the book presents twenty themes to navigate towards fulfillment and harmony. Each chapter begins with a brief summary of its theme, which is then followed by a parable to illustrate it. The lessons draw from both Western and Eastern philosophical traditions, including Zen Buddhism and Stoicism.
Here are six of my favorite rules for Knights of the Realm, and those who aspire to be one.
“Never announce that you are a knight, simply behave as one. You are better than no one, and no one is better than you.”
It is behavior, not armor or fine clothes that make a knight. Treating friends and strangers with respect is the surest way to be respected in return.
“The only intelligent response to the ongoing gift of life is gratitude. For all that has been, the knight says, "Thank you." For all that is to come, a knight says, "Yes!"”
A knight is grateful for the experiences of their past, the moments of their present, and the potential of their future.
“The quality of your life will, to a large extent, be decided by with whom you elect to spend your time.”
A knight is defined by both their actions and the company that they keep. Put another way, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” (Jim Rohn). Positive characters will inspire and uplift, negative ones will bring you down to their level.
“A dishonest tongue and a dishonest mind waste time, and therefore waste our lives.”
Dishonesty and gossip waste precious moments of our lives. The dishonest individual among friends will eventually find themselves alone.
“There is no such thing as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Beware the rush of urgency. The most important decisions in life should be made after careful consideration.
“In the field of battle, as in all things, you will perform as you practice; so practice hard.”
Knights train regularly, expanding their mind and expertise over the course of their lives. It is this discipline that allows them to perform at their best during challenging times.
Photo by author. Get your copy of the book here... Affiliate link disclosure, purchasing via this link supports our writing at no extra cost to you!
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