When Rome burns
When Rome was burning, Nero was fiddling on the roof. Why was that so? Why did Nero have all the time to play his fiddle when Rome was burning? He had too much time on his hand. He had appointed a cabinet of very talented ministers to run the empire for him. They were the best the empire could find. He was happy and at ease that he had all the able men in his team. And he spent his time in his favourite past time, fiddling on the roof.
Nero presumed that all his ministers were hard at work. So there was nothing to worry about. And that was why he was alone at the top, on the roof. Unfortunately he did not know that his ministers were either busy making themselves richer or on holiday with all the wealth they had accumulated. But aren’t they supposed to do their parts. These were very able and talented men. They knew that they could not do their jobs. They were not trained for them. Some were experts in deciphering the Dead Sea Scroll. How on earth would they be able to know what was happening in defence, in finance, in education? Or how much would a physician know about engineering, trade, building the country’s infrastructure. Because they were smart enough to know of their limitations, they outsourced their jobs to super talents, even imported talents. They had the money to buy the best talents.
So all the ministers needed to do was to buy talents to do their jobs. And they could sing song all day long or go on vacation. The super talents were supposed to know their stuff. Did they? Or were they snake oil sellers? Very likely, for Rome was burning under their charge. Did Nero know, or did the ministers know that Rome was burning? Nero did not. The ministers either did not know, or did want to know, or hoping that the super talents knew their stuff and the fire was temporary. But most chose not to know, making more money was their main preoccupation.
But the citizens knew that Rome was buring. So were the firefighters. Why didn’t the firefighters fight the fire? They were waiting for orders. They were waiting for someone to raise the alarm. No orders, no alarms, no action. And they all sat on their fat arses watching Rome burnt. They were paid handsomely and no need to sweat or work or think, if no one asked them do.
And Rome continued to burn while Nero played his fiddle on the roof, oblivious to what was happening. Everything must be fine as no one was there to tell him.
Would Nero wake up in time to save Rome, to put out the fire? According to history, he did not and Rome was burnt to the ground. Could he have save Rome if he knew that Rome was burning? He might, if he started to ask a few relevant questions, called up his ministers who would question his super talents about what was going on, about the fire. But these might not happen as the ministers knew nothing about what was happening and were fully dependent on the experts who turned out to be snake oil sellers, and who actually started the fire and did not know how to put it out.
Raising the alarm was useless for many reasons. For one, no one was listening, or no one wanted to listen. Everyone chose to hide their heads in the sand, didn’t want to hear, didn’t want to see, didn’t want to know. They all had options to move out of Rome with their wealth, or to rebuild a new Rome after the fire.
There was a fire, and the fire was burning. And everyone was looking the other way, with Nero on the roof top having a blissful time.
PS. Many would be guessing what is this all about? That is a good sign. Those who know will know what I am talking about. Those who don't, never mind, ignorance is bliss. Just hope that Nero knows, or at least interested enough to want to know before it is too late.