Old Money: In Their Own Words

This way of life has at its core the idea that you don’t do anything or say anything that can’t stand up to the light of day. If everybody you know gets to hear and see everything you do and say, will you be alright with that? That’s the question.

As a woman working in a male-dominated industry, I hold my tongue a lot.  But when I say something, everybody who hears it knows I’ll stand behind it, regardless of who’s in the room. When I do something, I’m okay to put my name on it. I don’t want credit necessarily, but if I did it, I have no problem saying so.

I was on the fast track at a firm, but I wouldn’t be party to some of the clients and transactions they were doing. The work wasn’t above board. I saw the direction they were going and I left. I explained why very clearly. Two years later, after an investigation and mass resignations, they wanted me back. I declined. If you’ve gone that way once before, you’ll go that way again. I want no part of it.

‘Transparency’ is a big word these days, like somebody just discovered it in the dictionary and applied to to conducting business. Politicians say anything they want, and then go back a week later and say they ‘misspoke’, whatever that is. People sign documents which they swear are accurate and true, then they go back and amend them when there’s a red flag.

That doesn’t cut the mustard. Reputation is an unforgiving concept where I come from. If you work undercover as a cop or for the intelligence services, you might not be able to come home and explain to your kids what you did that day at work and why. Otherwise, that’s exactly what you should be able to do.

I haven’t made all the money I could have, but I sleep at night. I don’t have to explain anything. I don’t need a lawyer for anything other than a will. The people I know will never be tainted because they associated with me. To me, that’s currency.  – R.P. J.

 


15 thoughts on “Old Money: In Their Own Words

  1. Absolutely – another word that comes to mind is integrity – available to all to choose to live this way regardless of background, won’t cost a cent but requires old fashioned values on which a gentlemans’ handshake was based – meaning what you say, saying what you mean and the steady discipline to follow through. It involves behaving in an honest manner, knowing that you did right and being able to live with yourself regardless of fleeting popularity. Perhaps the best way to contribute to the good of others and oneself – maybe a wordless example of living that would impact our needy world today?

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    1. Absolutely – another word that comes to mind is integrity – available to all to choose to live this way regardless of background, won’t cost a cent but requires old fashioned values on which a gentlemans’ handshake was based – meaning what you say, saying what you mean and the steady discipline to follow through. It involves behaving in an honest manner, knowing that you did right and being able to live with yourself regardless of fleeting popularity. Perhaps the best way to contribute to the good of others and oneself – maybe a wordless example of living that would impact our needy world today?

      Like

  2. That last paragraph should be on a plaque placed where all can see it. True wisdom. This is a post that I will copy and carry with me. Thank you for such a well-written (and much needed) essay. We need this now more than ever.

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  3. Very well put. I recall two similar ‘maxims’:

    ‘If you tell the truth, you only have to tell it once.’

    The other by the late Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls: ‘There’s one thing that stands up in court, on its own, and unsupported – the truth ! ‘

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  4. A praiseworthy contribution. However, it is good to remember that the choice to be virtuous is independent of one’s financial or sociocultural condition.

    One could say that “Old Money obliges”, but an ordinary existence obliges even more. Common people may have nothing to lose, but they have everything to prove. Which is why the poorest are often charmingly good-hearted.

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