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#53 - Saving Africa

#53 - Saving Africa

Saving Africa
Price: Modest Knowledge

Rich people love to support noble causes and a favorite cause is to save Africa. Don’t confuse this with caring as it is socially important that every rich person show a compassionate side. The way that rich people save is different than the way that the rest of the world saves. Many people will give a year of their life volunteering or make monthly donations in return for a photograph and signed Christmas card. Rich people use causes as the raison d’être to host lavish fundraising galas with an annual flight to Africa for a safari and photo ops during a tour of schools or hospitals supported by their foundation. Ironically, a major reason that Africa needs help is the 19th century colonization of the continent by rich people.

Historically, the pillaging of Africa was fueled by an insatiable desire for copper, rubber, diamonds, tea and more recently oil. In return for stripping the continent of its riches, Europeans provided limited education, frowned upon mixed marriages, enlisted Africans to fight in World Wars, implemented enforced labor and planted cash crops while neglecting food crops. The result, this doesn’t make for good conversation when befriending the rich. Instead, use this as an opportunity to flatter their generosity and learn more about their benevolent nature.

Rich people like devoting their philanthropic efforts to saving the Dark Continent because it is easy to explain. Medical research or environmental work can be confusing but conjuring images of impoverished orphans in the sub-Saharan is effortless. It is also simple for the wealthy to explain how much good they are doing. Measuring the number of hospitals, patients, schools, students and textbooks is superior to scientific jargon or tonnes of CO2 eliminated. They would spend more time explaining the metric system than proving what generous people they are. Remember, it isn’t about making a difference, it’s about being recognized for the difference rich people make. Ensure you fawn over and embellish their efforts and you are well on your way to a black tie affair. If you are lucky they may invite a real live African whose life they have enriched, the wealthy are so wonderful.

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Hand Kissing

#21 - Hand Kissing

Hand Kissing
Priceless

Rich people love uncommon greetings. Hand kissing is a rare gesture among uncouth, lower classes and a distinguishing trademark of the wealthy. The simple gesture of bowing to a downward facing hand speaks volumes about one’s stature and while the upper crust will rarely actually kiss the hand, there are certainly situations where lips will grace the skin. To integrate fully with the rich, comfort with hand kissing is essential.

Most associate hand kissing with The Godfather, religious figures and romance but for the rich it is a gesture of chivalry although charm does play a role. Important figures make hand kissing a calling card of sorts. Jacques Chirac, former president of France, was well known as a hand kisser. In England, a newly minted prime minister will kiss the Queen’s hand as an expression of the monarch’s trust in her subject. This gesture of course is not reserved for high-ranking political figures; it abounds in social circles.

Like the air kiss, a hand kiss is an excellent vehicle to express your class and charm but bestows an air of individuality within your social circle. While I wouldn’t recommend pulling this out of the toolkit in business circles, kissing the hand of a new acquaintance at the amfAR New York Gala, as an example, is fitting. A well-placed hand kiss can appear as opulent and as high brow as arriving in a Rolls Royce Phantom. Despite your elevated stature among elegant women, expect a healthy dose of mocking from the gentlemen in your next foursome at Sebonack but if it is good enough for the King of Spain it is good enough for you.

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