In recent months, I’ve noticed that ‘traditional American values’ and ‘the preservation of our culture’ are being referred to in political discussions more often than I think is appropriate. I’m sensitive to it because the focus of this blog revolves around the Core Values of Old Money that I talk about in The Old Money Book. I also explore (and advocate) the ‘culture’ of Old Money: living below your means, dressing and behaving modestly…my long-suffering readers have heard it all before, and will probably hear it again.
But I need to insert some clarity here, as I received an email from a young man in South America. English was, I believe, his second (or third) language, and understandably the nuances and more complex meanings of phrases and words confused him a little.
He wanted to know if the culture of Old Money was a part of the ‘culture wars’ that were going on in the United States. He also wanted to know if the ‘traditional values’ I talked about were code words for segregation, racism, and hatred that he’d seen in the news.
I responded via email, using my trusty Google Translate page in lieu of my rusty Spanish: I wanted nothing lost in translation. He received and read the email, and responded with relief and gratitude.
Now, I’ll share with you what I shared with him. And it’s typically blunt: I don’t use code. I don’t dabble in euphemisms. I don’t tolerate racism. I don’t tolerate sexism. And the only elitism that really interests me is how hard somebody can work, how much they can elevate the quality of their life, how much of that they can pass on to their children, and how much good they can do for their community and their country.
I’ve travelled a little, and I know Old Money people from Asia, South America, Africa, and France, as well as my brethren here in the United States. Despite different languages and skin colors, they all think, act, dress, and behave in much the same way. That’s why I call it a ‘culture’. It’s not code for American White People With Daddy’s Money.
Secondly, the Core Values that I promote are good for the goose and good for the gander: rich, poor, Latino, Lebanese, it matters not. These principles benefit (and challenge) everyone alike. They are equal opportunity elevators. They are not politically correct hate-speech for saying that people of different backgrounds can’t share the same values. They can and they often do.
So don’t let others’ use of similar words or phrases create confusion. While you may have to try to interpret and decipher their code words and hidden meanings elsewhere, you won’t have to do that here.
Old Money speaks plainly. And so do I.