The well-known adage that “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” has a special meaning when you put it in the context of the Old Money culture.
Why? Because if you want to become, and remain, financially independent, you’ve to to watch your expenditures, be mindful of opportunities to increase your income, and keep a keen eye on your investments.
And that’s not all: you’ve to to keep it between the lines, as I like to say, when it comes to your behavior and your values. Drinking and driving is a bad idea because, not only do you put lives at risk, you put your personal freedom and your financial freedom at risk. So you don’t do it. The same thing applies to unsafe sex. Or reckless gambling. Or substance abuse. Or abuse of any kind. These are things are simply not an option to an OMG.
I’m sitting at a laptop here, not preaching from a pulpit: if you want to wake up in the morning, make your own schedule, be your own boss, and be free, you’ve got to get your ducks in a row and keep them there. You’ve got to be mindful of your habits, your weaknesses, and your goals.
People think OMG’s are boring. They’re not. They’re mindful. They’ve got a great thing going and they want to keep it going. So they’re private. They’re financially conservative. They cherish habits and traditions that have served them (and their ancestors) well over the years. They think long term. They’re circumspect about their choices and how these choices could affect their freedom. And for OMG’s with families, the stakes are even higher. They have their spouses and children to consider.
This doesn’t mean you live in fear. Quite the opposite. You live with passion: about your work, about your relationships, about your future, about your evolution as a person, and about what you can give back to the world as you prosper.
So be vigilant. It’s a small price to pay.
3 thoughts on “The Price of Freedom”
Well said! Live smartly. Live passionately. Live in private.
My grandfather took my children and me to lunch today before we drove him to a doctor’s appointment. (He gave up his license about 3 years ago.) He wore his cooler weather sport coat, (a navy corduroy) an OCBD, black trousers, his watch, class ring, and a cross around his neck under his shirt. (I only know it’s there because I’m the granddaughter who takes him to appointments.) He lamented to me that his brain is growing tired and so he no longer looks at his investments every day. He tucked the receipt from lunch into his checkbook like he always does, for his records; and left our waiter a “nickel” (otherwise known as %20.)
He’s not OM since he is self made from the ground up but I see many of the values from your book and blog lived out in his life. He drove the same Cadillac from before my birth until he gave up his license, he splurges by taking his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to the beach every summer, and more than half the furniture in my house was his, and given to me as a wedding present.
This post reminded me of his attention to detail. I am continuing to enjoy your writing. Thank you much for sharing with us!
Thank you, Kathleen. And congratulations: sounds like you’ve got a great family. – BGT