Skip to main content

20m/1t - Palatine Hill and How Time Flies

I promised myself I'd start blogging again in 20 minute chunks with a singular focus for each post... here goes!

I had the amazing opportunity to visit Rome with my family a few weeks ago, and while visiting was a dream come true, I had an odd experience while we were there. Amidst the ruins, columns and amazing statues I began to feel displaced somehow from myself. I first felt it when we were standing under the Arch of Titus, reading from a tour book about how Jewish slaves were forced to build structure after structure in constructing the city. Aside from learning just now while writing this post that Romans Jews refuse to walk under it (oops "When in Rome"), I had an oddly disconnected/connected feeling to Rome.

I started to think about time. Some 2,000 years ago, ancient Romans most certainly felt as we do today, that our society and civilization could not and would not crumble. Yet it happened to them, as it has happened with other societies and people across time. I asked my kids to think about what New York City might be like 2,000 years from now, in the year 4011. It's impossible to even hazard a guess - but if you forced me to, I might suggest that it will probably look a bit like ancient Rome - in some sort of ruins, with a future people wondering what the heck happened.

As we moved on to Palatine Hill the feeling got more powerful. We ended up sitting for a while under a tree to rest in the center of the palace and again, my brain started working on the notion of time. I wondered who may have sat in that same spot (or close enough to it) 2,000 years ago. I wondered what they thought out on a beautiful day as they pondered their own life. I presume that none of us think about ourselves as "ancient" people from a past society's glory days, but perhaps that is just what we are. It's a maddening, silly thought.

That's where Caesar was burned, buried or something else. I can't remember and only have 20 minutes to write this post!
We ended up taking goofy photos where the throne used to be - the throne of anicent Rome, now a very flat, smooth rock on which modern day idiots from CT can take goofy photos. Will one day people stand where the White House used to be, raise their hands in the air and proclaim "I am not a crook" or some other silly, salacious or funny imitation? If history has any say in things, the chances are pretty good, right? I'm no historian, but this thing about everlasting societies hasn't held up so well so far, eh?

I feel insignificant in the face of powerful forces like the clock and the calendar and wonder what it means I ought to be spending my life doing. One thing I know I'll do more of is spending time with my amazing family.

Used to be a throne room for the world's first superpower. Now it's a place to take goofy photos and pretend to be an Emperor. 


Popular posts from this blog

What Would Google Do: Non-Profit Edition

I've been tweeting and yapping to friends about Jeff Jarvis's terrific book " What Would Google Do " even before I've properly finishing the thing. I sat myself down tonight and plowed through the last 100 pages where Jarvis examines different industries including automotive, manufacturing, telcom, healthcare and more to see what Google would do if they were in those businesses. On one hand, I was really hoping that Jarvis had taken a look at the non-profit sector given my personal history in the sector and my ongoing interest in how non-profits operate. I'll also note that I used to write a fairly well read non-profit marketing blog . Unfortunately, the book doesn't delve into this much, if at all. I thought, instead of a basic set of notes or a book review as I usually do that I'd jump back in time and take a look at the sector with fresh, and "Googley" eyes. If you haven't yet read the book, the basic premise is that Google fundamen


I wrote a short piece on my LinkedIn page about transitioning to a startup called " Run !" Cross posting it here for archiving sake... I'm a huge fan of Zombie shows like The Walking Dead and it's new spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead. Running is a big part of being in a zombie apocalypse.  It turns out, running is also a bit part of working for a startup. After many years and several industries (non-profit, tech, consulting), I find myself back in what I call "startup land' - that magical place where chaos reigns and everyday brings a new set of challenges, each of which feels more important than the next. As it turns out, I thrive on that sort of chaos. Even when I was at PwC working as a consultant, the most interesting projects were the ones where there was total chaos. I'd look around and see everyone scrambling for cover and I'd just revel in the madness.  Now that I'm back in the thick of things working for a very small technology c

Betty Crocker

I was fortunate to be in Seattle this week and to get an invite to a Social Media Club meeting from my good friend Filiberto Selvas . Filiberto and I recently traded comments on SocialCRM blog and on Twitter about the idea of agencies running/managing online communities for brands. As per my usual, I started with a very strong opinion that brands who want to start customer communities should not use an agency for hands on community management. My entire concept of online communities revolves around creating open and honest conversations. The thought of hiring an agency to manage it to me at first seemed ludicrous. I felt strongly that any brand that would outsource that function ought to reconsider their strategy and perhaps hold off on building customer communities until they were more ready to commit. At the SMC meeting of course, I met someone with a different opinion (surprise, he's an agency guy!). Thing is, he mentioned Betty Crocker. According to Wikipedia, Betty Crocke