Can money buy class?

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Well, you will know the answer to that question by the time you finish reading my humble article.

I was stepping out of a petrol station with both my hands carrying bags of bottled water when I came face to face with two men at the front glass door.

One an obvious motorcycle rider with the helmet still on his head and the other, dressed in what seemed to be a branded tailored suit and who had just stepped out of his luxurious car.

Guess which of the two held the door for me.

Would you be surprised if I told you that it was the motorcycle rider which held the door back for me whilst the so-called rich guy was busy making sure his nose was high up in the air.

I wasn’t too surprised but that episode left a huge impression, once again, on people.

It reminded me of the amount of people whom I have come across over the years who have acquired wealth but not class.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t envy their millions of dollars. Good for them, I say.

But it does make me laugh when some of these people think that the money they have has brought them class automatically.

Well, I have news for them.

Class is how you behave, not what you own.

It’s difficult to tell the difference.

So, let me tell you.

Difference between class and money

Have you ever attended a meeting with a so-called “somebody” and they proceeded to tell you how much this and that costs?

Have you ever been out with someone who orders the most expensive mains on the menu or, even worse, asks “Bring me you most expensive steak, waiter”?

Doesn’t that just ooze class?

Those are the same people who jump in a cab and call the driver “eh driver” in the most patronising manner rather than ask their name.

They are also the type to tell you how much their underwear cost, to which one would reply, “Really, maybe you should wear them over the top of your clothes so people know what great taste you have”.

The same “classy people” who deck themselves with at least 7 pieces of visually present jewelry.

Or who wear their belts and shirts with the visible “Ralph Lauren” and “Gucci” label.

The day will come when they start wearing their bottle of perfume around their necks so that we all know how much it costs.

Now, can you tell the difference between being rich and being classy? Take the former first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy for example.

Photo: HuffPost

You’ll notice that you can’t see any brand names, she wears shoes that are comfortable, clothing that has a simple and clean cut that fits her and tasteful jewellery.

How should you behave

Most importantly, being classy means being respectful and polite.

Helping others when they’re in need.

Holding doors, waiting for the person in the elevator to step out first before getting in, don’t jump queue, always say, “please”, “thank you” and “excuse me”.

Maybe an old person can’t read the price tag of an item in the supermarket, offer to help. Be a good person. No amount of expensive clothes and jewelry will make you classy if you’re rotten on the inside.

According to Sunshine Coast Daily’s Ashley Robinson: As they say, money can’t buy class and it certainly can’t buy happiness and this is my favourite Chinese proverb that says it all – “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody”.

In my opinion that’s first class!

Meantime, in case you have a short memory, here’s something very much related to class: 10 forgotten courtesies shared by StarMetro Online:

1. Return borrowed money promptly.

Whether intentional or not, we may sometimes find ourselves short on cash.

It could be an honest mistake, such as forgetting to bring your wallet to work.

Sometimes, life’s events, such as caring for an ill family member, has left you strapped for cash.

It is nice to have friends or family members who are willing to loan us some money but remember to return it as soon as you can without having the lender ask for it.

It doesn’t matter how small the amount is, you may never know how urgently they may need it.

2. Park appropriately

From parking between two parking lots to using disabled spots despite being able-bodied, these selfish acts often cause tempers to flare.

In non-emergency situations, one can only peg such individuals as selfish and obnoxious.

Equally bad are those who double-park without leaving their mobile number for others to call, or those who refuse to pick up the call when the blocked driver is trying to reach you. It becomes a massive inconvenience for those whose vehicles are blocked, especially during an emergency.

3. Don’t invade other people’s privacy

Need to borrow a friend’s cellphone because yours has run out of battery?

Or has your phone run out of data when you desperately need to look something up online?

When borrowing someone’s gadget, such as their cellphone, laptop or tablet, use it for the original purpose you intended.

Don’t take advantage of the situation by browsing through their stuff without permission.

After all, would you like it if someone scrolled through your personal messages and pictures without your knowledge?

4. Give others their personal space

It is annoying when the person standing behind you at the cashier in a supermarket is continuously bumping into you.

Or if a person stands too close for comfort while you are withdrawing cash from the ATM.

The concept of personal space can vary greatly between cultures.

Generally, it is understandable if the situation does not permit much personal space such as in a crowded train.

However, no one wants a complete stranger to be standing close enough to sniff their hair when space is not an issue.

5. Be punctual

Sometimes, unexpected events such as an accident on the highway causes a crawl in our usually traffic-free route.

While one-off situations are easily pardoned, being notoriously late can be seen as a mark of disrespect for the individual waiting on you.

Adding salt to the wound is when no apology is given for your extreme tardiness, or if it happens too often.

Other people’s time is just as precious as yours.

6. Return phone calls and messages

Unless someone is harassing you, your friends, family members and business acquaintances will appreciate it if you can return their phone calls or messages.

If you cannot pick up a call, drop the person a message that you cannot speak at the moment.

Unreturned calls or messages can make one seem unimportant.

Should you need to contact the person in the future, they may not return your call either.

7. Clean up after yourself when using public restrooms

No one likes to be confronted with dirty toilet seats – or worse with shoeprints on them – when using public washrooms.

It is common courtesy to clean up after yourself or your child if either of you make a mess.

If you would not leave your toilets at home in such conditions, why should you do so when using public washrooms?

8. Ask before taking a chair at a restaurant

Have you ever found yourself waiting for a friend at a restaurant, only to have another patron take away the empty chair beside you without asking?

Or maybe you were keen on dining alone but was abruptly joined by an acquaintance without checking if it is fine to join you?

Social norms dictate that we ask a person permission before removing a chair from their table, or ask one’s friend or acquaintance if it would be alright to join them at their table.

Never assume that those dining alone are up for company or that they are not waiting for others.

9. Be a good guest

If you are staying at a friend’s or family member’s home, make the bed and tidy the room before leaving.

Never take advantage just because someone is a close friend or a family member.

Additionally, if someone has invited you to their home for a meal, gestures such as offering to wash the dishes is a nice thank you to the host.

10. Pay your dues

When borrowing a friend’s car, you can help them refuel and to top up their Touch ‘n Go card or SmartTag if you have used them.

Be responsible when driving other people’s vehicle – if you were caught speeding, settle the traffic summonses or you may risk turning a good relationship sour.


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  1. The Star Online
  2. Quora
  3. Sunshine Coast Daily




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