In the past six plus years that I’ve been posting–and you’ve been commenting–on this blog, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Starting out with articulating and discussing Old Money characteristics and the Old Money philosophy, we’ve branched off of that theme more than occasionally.
We’ve discussed having cash on hand and renting vs. putting a down payment on a house and making mortgage payments. We’ve discussed the fundamentals of Old Money Style and what one needs in terms of a clothing inventory in order to dress with timeless, understated elegance…comfortably. We’ve bounced around ideas about how to teach children about money.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time detailing the ins and outs of life in Paris. Many of you have, in one way or another, been very supportive of each other as we’ve tried to navigate and negotiate the pandemic and its ramifications.
But, as we have many new readers joining our community every week, I think it might be a good idea to circle back and reaffirm the basics of this way of life we call Old Money.
So let me pin down a few fundamentals to remind ourselves…and inform our new members.
Doing The Right Thing.
This is a term often tossed about in today’s society. It’s easy to talk the talk. It’s not so easy sometimes to walk the walk.
This primary concept harkens back to age-old precepts of honor, which is holding yourself to a standard regardless of whether or not someone else is looking, what it will cost you, regardless to the behavior of those around you.
It also overlaps into chivalry. In this context, not so much the idea of a stronger man protecting a woman (though it does include that, in extreme circumstances). It’s more about protecting and advocating for the rights of the the less fortunate, the vulnerable, those who’ve been dealt not quite the good hand of cards some of us have.
Being Modest And Discreet.
It’s easy for Doing The Right Thing to bleed into Being Modest and Discreet. The last thing people who may be struggling in life need is affluent people flashing the bling, rubbing their noses in the reality of income inequality.
It should be enough for us to simply know that we can afford luxuries. When we do enjoy them, we should be circumspect in the way we do so–and grateful that we have options.
This attitude informs our clothing choices and our manners. We treat everyone with respect.
Thinking For The Long Term.
Thinking about next month, next year, ten years from now, the next generation, and the generation after that changes our behavior. We aren’t thinking exclusively about ourselves. We make better decisions in the present moment that have better outcomes in the future. And our decisions impact us as individuals, our families, and our society.
We see our life as a gift that we should make the most of. We accept our position as one of caretakers who take custody of a legacy, preserve it and nourish it, and then pass it on. We limit our greed. We restrain our less than noble impulses. We plant now, knowing that we may not be around for the harvest.
The legacy we care for could be one we inherited from our family. It could be a responsibility we have to our community. It is most certainly a debt we owe our country.
All of these platitudes feel good to consider. We nod eagerly and easily when we think of them or discuss them. Adhering to them in uncomfortable situations is quite another matter. Many times, only we will know if each of us took the high road under difficult circumstances.
For we are each our most accurate analyst, our most informed critic, and the only audience from which we need approval.
I’d welcome comments from you: what are some other principles you follow? And what does following those mean in your daily lives?