Recently there as been a lot of talk about public figures and politicians building a legacy.
Something to be remembered by, you know, get your name in the next set of textbooks for the education of our children.
A good example can be heard on most of the American news channels regarding the desperate attempt by President Obama to get something, anything that would make him memorable in this way. He only has a few months left to get this done!
This made me think of the past again. Being a person of the past it makes sense that I would compare this attitude to great men who have gone before. Men who served others in some capacity. Since Obama loved to compare himself with Lincoln I thought that was a good place to start.
Somehow I could not imagine honest Abe sitting at his desk pondering what he could do to build a legacy! He simply did his duty.
Then there are the military greats such as Napoleon. Maybe that is why he is pictured with his hand placed inside his uniform. Was he about to present his legacy to the French citizens for publication?
I could go on and on, but one man in particular stands out as someone who presents a negative legacy. Nero the Great.
I believe he would still qualify as a subject of school textbooks but not as someone we admire. When a great fire raged through the city of Rome, it is said Nero played a fiddle while flames destroyed much of the city.
Nowadays, when a leader engages in frivolous activities instead of taking care of business it is described as “Fiddling while Rome burns”.
Of course most of you must know what this Alberta/Canadian citizen is referring to. Selfies, climate change conferences, White House gala affairs and now UN Security Council membership.
Building a legacy or taking care of business?
Have you just got a whiff of smoke and is that a fiddle I hear?