From Wikipedia: "Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood. It is usually associated with ideals of knightly virtues, honour and courtly love. Today, the terms chivalry and chivalrous are used to describe courteous behavior, especially that of men towards women."
And to that last point, I must say I see this everyday on the bus and on the train - men giving their seats up to women. I see all races, all ages, doing this and it is honestly quite refreshing to see that we CAN be courteous to one another.
This morning there were six folks standing in the aisle because all the seats were taken. In the beginning, three of those folks were women. I closed my eyes for a moment and looked back up and the women had sat and were replaced by men. Nice, really nice!
The buses and trains are experiencing an increase in ridership, more than they've ever seen in the past. Obviously this can be directly attributed to the rise in gas prices (average in Atlanta area is $4.29 a gallon) and also to the fact that, well, some of us can't find gas at all!
And the governer had the audacity to say the other day that the gas panic was "self-induced". Yup, read it here, http://www.ajc.com/search/content/metro/stories/2008/09/24/atlanta_gas_governor.html. He says there is ample fuel in the Atlanta area. Well that was on September 24th. Folks are stalking gas stations waiting for deliveries. They're following tanker trucks to their next destination. They're stealing gas from parked vehicles. They're sitting in lines for hours on end just for a chance to put in $20-$25 worth, whatever limit that gas station might have implemented.
Now, on September 30th, news is that Governor Perdue is asking President Bush to release some crude oil from the nation's reserves. Go figure. Unfortunately that won't help the immediate problem because releasing any crude oil from the reserves will still take 4-5 days (or more) to reach the Atlanta area - after it hits the refinery, after it hits the pipeline, after it hits the gas tanker truck delivering it to the gas station, etc. It's not that there isn't any crude oil to refine, it's that the refineries were shut down due to the hurricane. They are now up to par and operating at full capacity. The pipeline is also flowing at full capacity. It will just take some time for everyone in the metro area to realize the next tanker of gas at their neighborhood gas station won't be the last. It will just take a bit of time and patience.
In the interim, I will continue to enjoy my daily commute via the GRTA bus system and the MARTA rail system, all the while using little to no gas on a daily basis. Oh, by using the word "enjoy", by no means am I implying that I really "enjoy" the commute (I could do without getting up before the roosters), but I do appreciate the fact that it truly is a safe mode of travel, the fact that I am lucky enough to be able to get from Point A to Point B via public transportation, and the fact that my fellow riders are usually courteous to one another. It certainly does help to restore your faith in the human race!