I have recently encountered people and situations (at close quarters, too) which prompt me into asking a few vital questions.
What is classy?
Is it that bag from Fendi? A BMW in the driveway? The classicists must be shaking their heads in disapproval.
Maybe it's tied to the phenomenon of the 'nouveau riche' (people who come to amass wealth within their own generations, making them prone to being 'flashy', given their sudden exposure and access to 'upmarket' goodies)
But this ties class and finesse closely with economics. So what about accomplished masters of the arts (dance, music, the works) who always seem to be impeccably turned out and live modest, tasteful, simple lives? What about men in uniform; the Armyman with his evening peg of blended Scotch, and his tastefulness reflecting in the clink of the ice with the glass? He's not loaded. But oh my, he's classy. Maybe discipline and principle entail class.
Then again, perhaps it's in the ancestry. The history of your 'purakhs'. But how long do you ride on that lineage wave before the good breeding trickles out of the bloodline and is quickly replaced by money and misplaced arrogance?
I give it 1.5 generations from when the bloodline peaked. (!!)
Crap. We seem to be at crossroads with this deconstruction.
In my view, I closely associate with a number of people who I consider 'classy' and it has precious little to do with their money. Some are classy and financially 'humble' and others classy in spite of the crores they sit on.
An eclectic mix.
Taste, and finesse don't show because of money. They show in spite of it, my loves.
Call me elitist but ostentatious displays of wealth (and how much we, as a people, put by them) strike me as vulgar.
Money is but an essential commodity. A rationalization of the barter system. Of course, it augments aspiration. And aspirations are a must to keep people from stagnating. The goal however, is to rise above your purchasing power and enrich yourself with experiences. Broaden your horizons. Put your money into books, drama, travel, the likes. Try and absorb what's happening around you. It's the first crucial step to breaking free. Un-shackle your mindset, without abusing your upbringing and values.
Personally speaking, there's great perspective to be gained in knowing that you have access to 1st A/C train tickets but find yourself in the Sleeper compartment by a strange twist of fate. And it doesn't bruise your sense of self. You grow.
Over time, your experience, adaptability and dexterity in dealing with situations across a spectrum of possibilities become the ultimate exhibit of your class.
And your varied exposure will manifest in a refined, selective, personalized expression- your home, your get-up, the friends you make, but most most most importantly in how you carry yourself.
In other words:
Money may buy love (in stating that, a hopeless romantic just conceded defeat. :( )
Money may perhaps even buy class (though I'm a strong detractor of that statement).
But money will never buy that deadly cocktail of confidence, humility and dignity.
Stay classy, bitches.