How do nobles get noble?
How did nobles get noble? That's the question young William Thatcher asks in A Knight's Tale. The answer he comes up with is a refreshingly 21st century one (not surprising; the movie was made in 2001!): nobility is in the heart, not in the bloodline.
Watching this fun, well-made movie last night made me wonder: just how did the 'nobility' of the past earn their status? From what little I know (and believe me, I'll be finding out more) they were entrepreneurs on a grand scale.
There is little difference between the geopolitical maneouvres of kings and dukes in the 1100s and the same activities of large corporates today. Except the large corporates are probably larger than many of the kingdoms and duchies of yesteryear. And although people now are theoretically better informed than our forbears in the dark ages and middle ages, really, are we?
This all doesn't sound very noble. Instead, it sounds Machiavellian. But perhaps anyone who finds themselves in a position of power - like that enjoyed by the nobles of old - would do well to remember the meaning of true nobility. Courage. Dedication. Selflessness.
And perhaps we, whatever our level of power or influence, should do the same.