A recent comment by George prompted me consider an important point about Old Money culture. He inquired about how Old Money should respond as the middle class begins to imitate its style and behaviors.
My though is that there should always be an Open Door Policy.
That is to say, anyone who wants to embrace the values, priorities, and habits of Old Money should receive a warm welcome from those of us who already do. Not that the doors of the Somerset Club will soon be thrown open to the newly-minted.
That’s not what I’m talking about. There are social aspects to Old Money culture and there are philosophical aspects to it. The philosophical–namely ideas–is much more important.
We all should endeavor to be inclusive and generous when it comes to sharing worthwhile ideas. Exposure to ideas changes lives permanently and often for the better. Education is one of the avenues in which this happens, and education takes many forms. Sometimes it’s a classroom. Sometimes it’s a book or blog.
So when someone unfamiliar with Old Money Core Values learns of them, we should be supportive as they learn about them. Of course, there is a limit to how much proselytizing one can do on the subject: if people embrace a new philosophy for any length of time, they do so on their own terms, in their own time, and for their own reasons.
It is impossible to convert them, but it is unfair to exclude them. When someone expresses an interest or has a question about something Old Money, I think we’re obligated to provide a measure of direction or information with a well-considered response. We must strive for a balanced hospitality.
And I must say, over the years that we’ve had this blog, so many of you have done just that. Readers have inquired, and the responses to their questions have been thoughtful, insightful, and polite.
I really appreciate it, and I hope it continues. We are, I’m proud to say, a sanctuary of civility and moderation in a blog world full of acrimony and dogma.
As it should be. We will never persuade others through bombast, accusation, or insult. We simply have to set a good example and keep a light on in the window.
There will always be a weary traveler eager to find a philosophy that resonates with them and a community that welcomes them.
So let’s keep it Old…and keep it Open.