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AGEIST CULTURE

ageist EDITORS | september 6, 2017

championing elitism
Last week, David Tang died from a battle with cancer. We know Tang from his weekly column in the Financial Times, where he wrote a column as Agony Uncle. Tang was an elitist — a concept he famously and humorously defended. It’s a word much maligned today, except oddly in situations of military force. Being at the top of your field after decades of work and study  — how can “elite” be an insult? This is exactly the position so many of us find ourselves in: after years of work, we have earned the title of elite, senior, most experienced, etc in whatever area we are in. We, along with Tang, stand in favor of knowledge, experience, discernment, and a sense of history. Yes, AGEIST is elitist. We are about showing people who are living in a new way, who are the vanguard of what mid- and advanced-life is. We are not, however, exclusionary, as we go to great lengths to show the human commonality of feeling that runs through all people. Be they highly successful or more modest, we learn from everyone we speak with. Tang explained that in the human pyramid, the people at the top, by pushing upward, cause the entire pyramid to rise. They show us what is possible and thus give us permission to go further. This is our mission: to show people who are pushing upward so that all of us may benefit. To be at the top is something that is earned, not given.  We will miss his humor, his quickness of mind, and his great sense of history. “Humor is the most precious quality in life, without humor there is nothing.”