over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of
triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange
animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured
armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in
chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or
rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and
whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”
– Gen. George C. Patton

Secretary of State James Baker once said, “Someone asked me what was the most
important thing I had learned since being in Washington. I replied that it was the fact
that temporal power is fleeting.” Baker went on to observe that once driving through
the White House gates he saw a man walking alone on Pennsylvania Avenue and recognized him
as having been Secretary of State in a previous administration. “There he was alone –
no reporters, no security, no adoring public, no trappings of power. Just one solitary man
alone with his thoughts. And that mental picture continually serves to remind me of the
impermanence of power and the impermanence of place.”


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