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Edmiston Charity Chukka

On Being Noble

Written by Helene Munson

Saturday, August 17th, was a perfect summer day in The Hamptons. The air was warm but not overly hot, and the magnificent Ashkenazy Estate in Water Mill was the perfect backdrop for the event that everybody eagerly awaited. Nacho Figueras, the Argentinian Polo player, was about to lead a group of top players into a friendly game of polo that would raise funds for the first annual Edmiston Charity Chukka. Willowy, blond waitresses with faint European accents were tirelessly refilling champagne glasses from orange-labeled bottles of ‘Veuve Cliquot.’

Feeling like I had been dropped into the middle of a carefully designed lifestyle staging scene, I took another nibble from the Beluga caviar pancake as an attractive, self-assured woman in a kobold blue cocktail dress approached me. Her emerald green eyes were directed straight at me when she asked:


“Would you mind telling me three things you associate with being noble?”

“Yes, but would you mind telling me who you are,” I questioned her.

“I am Iliana Such, founder of Noble Magazine. We are building our pre-launch audience and compiling information about subjects that epitomize the noble spirit of the 21st century,” she answered before giving me one of her fashionably square business cards with an iconic geometric black and white N logo on the top side.

As I marveled at the neat, modern design of the business card, she added:

“Getting everything lined up has been a long process already. I am very proud that our logo was designed by Caselli Strategic Design, an award-winning, international brand consultancy headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland.”

“Good, because a logo that has integrity is a very good start” I paused for a moment before answering her original question: “ You know I am European, and our first association with noble is that of noble birth. I admit it is a somewhat elitist, outdated concept in today’s world. Nevertheless, there was such a thing as ‘Noblesse Oblige,’ which denotes that nobility extends beyond mere entitlements and requires a person fortunate to have inherited privilege to fulfill social responsibilities. For example, a primary obligation of a nobleman would be to demonstrate generosity towards those around him, especially those less fortunate.

“It’s a good beginning,” Iliana interrupted, gently nudging me to focus on the other two ways of being noble.

“I guess the general definition of a noble person is somebody who has high morals and is always honest and charitable. He does not have to be born into privilege, but his hard work puts him in a position of advantage that can be used to act nobly.” I added.

“Are only people noble to you?” Iliana probed.

Thinking about what she was asking, I responded:

“I guess there are noble deeds and noble things.”

My gaze went over the polo field, where the players warmed up their horses. Observing their perfect physique, their chiseled muscles, and their tails being artfully tied up, I marveled:

“And there are noble animals.”

By now, there was palpable excitement among the spectators. Nacho had gotten off his horse and to have some photographs taken for the press. My eyes followed his elegant movements walking around with an effortless grace and a simple humility as he embraced friends. His expression showed the same warmth when shaking the hands of his fans. I could see why he was made the face of the World of Polo fragrances of the Ralph Lauren brand. Following my gaze, Iliana gushed:

“In June 2009, he was voted the second most handsome man in the world by the readers of Vanity Fair magazine.”

I turned to Iliana:

“It seems this man has some noble qualities that your magazine is writing about. Why don’t you ask him the same questions you asked me?”

“Yes, that has occurred to me! My goal in attending this event was to ask Nacho, “What does it mean to be Noble in the 21st century? My attendance here is mission-driven. I asked him this question before the start of the event. I also asked Mr. Edward Kahlily, a philanthropist who believes that being noble is giving back to society by building schools and empowering others to have a chance at success. Nacho believes that to be Noble is to be a good citizen, be a truth seeker and always be honest, “ she said with a happy smile.

“Iliana, before you leave, get another photo with Nacho in his polo attire; he looks dashing! … Go, go before he gets back on his horse”, I urged her. She got up and approached him, and he posed with her for a snapshot. He made it look as though standing next to this lovely woman was the most important thing in the world for him.

‘Now there is the beginning of a ‘noble concept,’ I thought, ‘if we could all make each other feel special for the time that we have the privilege to be in each other’s presence, the world would be a better place.’

Iliana returned, and as though she had read my mind, she went on to explain her vision in more detail:

“It is about not feeling superior to another human being. But about having a spiritual connection, a meeting, and an understanding of minds, hearts, and souls in sync with a noble essence. It is about equality and respect for all of God’s creation. Noble expresses an understanding of the human condition, working with the imperfect, but there is forgiveness and, above all, love. I believe it is of great value to bring this vision to reality and not to squander one’s human potential. Noble is a piece of the world puzzle that deserves acknowledgment.”

I was impressed:

”Iliana, that is very spiritual. You have it all worked out, and I am sure you will inspire many people to join you in shaping the future of Noble. It is a much-needed concept in today’s world.”

Edmiston Charity Chukka
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