Elitism dilemma

20. Oct, 2019

I feel good when I am around people who inspire me. And usually, but definitely not always, that means people who have success in some form.

Success is a positive thing, and I understand people who strive for it. It feels familiar.

But at the same time I have a really big problem with elitism. I can't stand it.

My humble upbringing and family values has to be the reason. We certainly had heroes and applauded succes, but people who avoided the masses and showed off their superiority were the bad guys.

If you had plenty of money, which my family had, you were supposed to save that money and certainly not spend it on fancy cars or other luxuries.

And now that I look at my own heroes, I see that very few of them could be called elitist, even though they are tremendously succesful.

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Tony Hsieh are examples of heroes who are definitely rooted and humble.

Maybe the values from my upbringing are exaggerated and pessimistic and I should let go on the speeder on this one.

Especially since I end up in situations with total dilemma. Goes like this:

I'd like to spend time on people and activities that stimulates me

Suddenly I end up in very elitist circles and places, and feel like A) I don't belong B) People are fake and C) why do the majority of interesting people have to be in the cool spots??!

Using a city as an example makes it easy to explain.

Copenhagen is total love/hate for me.

I can meet some of the smartest people in the country there.

At the same time I hate this big city syndrome where the people arrogantly think they are so much better and so much more connected.

To think that, actually shows how ignorant some big city people are. They are in a bubble.

Fact is the internet is here and no city can match it's intellectual power or connectedness. It is the smartest and coolest place on the planet where you get to hang out with all the true elite of the world.

So when people ask me "why are you not in Copenhagen?" there are certainly a lot of arguments they could make for me to move there. But then where does it end?

Why Copenhagen when I can move to Berlin? ANd why Berlin When I can move to New York?

For my work (IT) I need access to talent, but I could easily attract some of that talent remotely.

And you will be suprised to find how much talent are in smaller towns as well with much less competition for them.

In the end there is one argument I would accept, and that is physical access to interesting people and events on a bigger scale. Sometimes small city syndrome hits me as well, and it certainly is also not the nicest feeling.

It's a dilemma...

And then I could tell you the story of how life on the countryside just feels so much more real and deep. But that is a story for another time I guess.

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Karsten Madsen

This is my public diary. My passion is building stuff for the future and giving joy to others.

Check my about.me profile if you want the full elevator speech ;)

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