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 fundamenta

The Future of Non-Profit Fundraising is Already Here, and You Are Not Ready

This blog post is loosely transcribed from a talk I gave as part of a Future of Non-profits meet up hosted by my buddy  David Neff . I was asked to do no more than 5 minutes and came up with the following. I'm also posting my hand scribbled notes I used to plan the talk, may as well show you my doctor like scribble. The notes were written on my iPad mini using Penultimate in case you were wondering. And now... the talk... Hi everyone and good morning (In my head there is awesome music playing!). My name is Marc Sirkin and I'm currently a Director with PwC, focused on helping organizations transform their digital marketing and social media. I spent 10 years in the non-profit sector, with large health charities such as March of Dimes, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Autism Speaks. Most recently, I've been volunteering and doing pro-bono work for much smaller organizations focused on mentoring and youth. Before I jump in, let me warn you, I'm extremely enam

Disconnect - 3 keys to disconnecting while on vacation

Previously posted on Medium , reposted here. I blog so infrequently, I figure I need to repurpose as much content as I can! (Photo by Marc Sirkin, Utah Mountains 2013) Even before mobile/smartphones I was bad; sneaking away to check email, reading business books or memos while on the beach, working on proposals or ideas at the pool. All behaviors of someone who would rather lose himself in work, instead of being present with family, focusing on clearing the mind and having a good time. Over the past few years I’ve improved my efforts to disconnect. I did however notice that it would take 2 or 3 days to fully disconnect. Similar to an addict, I’d have dreams about work, fanatically check in and have to almost physically restrain myself from replying to emails. It was bad, very bad. I’d come back from work up to date, but feeling like I hadn’t even had time off. As my kids grew older, it became more and more important to disconnect from work and get focused on my family and fri