Life’s Expiry dates




Every student of LIFE will always acknowledge its diverse nature, varied forms and complexities as well as the fact that, no matter which angle you look at it, it is always beyond human comprehension.

LIFE has, amongst others, been defined to stand for a particular aspect of existence; the course of existence or sum of experiences and actions that constitute a person’s existence; or resilience; or the force that makes or keeps something alive; the vivifying or quickening principle for increased mutual understanding and respect; and anything or anyone considered to be as precious as life itself.

All the definitions and elucidations have expiry dates or moments, as one minute you are alive and the next, you are pronounced dead without notice or excuse to show the fleetingness of life – passing swiftly; vanishing quickly like a fleeting beauty or fleeting glance.

It is amazing how TRANSIENT OUR LIFE here on earth, with set expiry dates on all facets. This makes nonsense of those who think and act as ‘gods’ in any public, civil or private positions. Those who always think ‘they have reached’ with their appointments or elections into public positions of trust, do not understand LIFE itself at all, otherwise why would any human change everything about themselves with appointments into the public space.

Have you ever wondered why some people only die at birth, others – a day, a week, a month, a year after birth with no record of their sojourns here on earth?

It beats my imagination when people get appointed or elected into public office, like a President, a Minister of State, a Chief Executive Officer of a public institution, a Chairman or Member of a Board of Directors of a public body and suddenly want all of us to forget their past and upbringing to hero-worship them as mini-gods? Why do they always forget their own humble upbringings, to want us to believe their new narratives or worse, turn abusive against others to justify these positions?

Why do they always forget the cardinal principle of life’s expiry dates?

Why boast of any human position, showing no kindness at all to any, not even your worst enemy or political opponent?

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I will always doff my hat for the memory of the late Prof. J. E. A. Mills, a former President of the Republic, who against all the obscene insults that sometimes could pierce his heart into near-tears, would rather against all humiliation choose to pray for his abusers, saying it is only politics, partisan politics.

Sincerely, he still has all my respects even in death.

Against the admonishing from his party faithfuls, he will always impress upon all, the need for tolerance because we are all ‘Ghanaians’, being as humble unto death, his expiry date. Funny that when one of the loud voices, who led the insults on the late President Mills, met her match during the last General Elections 2020 during her own Parliamentary campaign in her constituency with some pockets of crowd hurling insults at her, she stopped her V8 Land Cruiser and in tears asked ‘WHY ARE YOU INSULTING ME AFTER ALL THAT I HAVE DONE FOR YOU?’ – such is life.

It is for the same reasons that I abhor plain insults in our current body-politick, where personal insults have taken center stage in all discussions against the sitting Head of State, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. It is still my position that we could conduct our local, regional and national politics without these insults, knowing we are only teaching our own children and the youth as future leaders of tomorrow to adopt these insults as the norm in our politics.

You see our sojourns here on earth is never ONE STRAIGHT LINE from birth to death, definitely not as a simple as that, as this line from birth to death has other side journeys with their own semi-expiry dates, making it ONE LIFE OF SEVERAL SIDE JOURNEYS, and that it is the collective summary of all these that sum up a person’s life here on earth. Indeed, all relationships, in any form, with others add up to this LIFE here-on-earth.

That’s life, as Frank Sinatra will state in his song of same title, to mean – something unpleasant or difficult is a normal part of life; sometimes you try your hardest and still you don’t succeed. Frank Sinatra’s song relates not only to the final destination of birth-to-death but also all other relationships and mini-journeys like jobs, education, politics, and social, including church,

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THAT’S LIFE by Frank Sinatra

That’s life

(That’s life)

That’s what all the people say

You’re riding high in April, shot down in May

But I know I’m gonna change that tune

When I’m back on top, back on top in June

I said that’s life

(That’s life)

And as funny as it may seem

Some people get their kicks

Stomping on a dream

But I don’t let it, let it get me down

Cause this fine old world, it keeps spinnin’ around

I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet

A pawn and a king

I’ve been up and down and over and out

And I know one thing

Each time I find myself

Flat on my face

I pick myself up and get

Back in the race

That’s life

(That’s life)

I tell you, I can’t deny it

I thought of quitting, baby

But my heart just ain’t gonna buy it

And if I didn’t think it was worth one single try

I’d jump right on a big bird and then I’d fly

I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet

A pawn and a king

I’ve been up and down and over and out

And I know one thing

Each time I find myself layin’

Flat on my face

I pick myself up and get

Back in the race

That’s life

(That’s life)

That’s life and I can’t deny it

Many times I thought of cutting out but my heart won’t buy it

But if there’s nothing shaking come this here July

I’m gonna roll myself up

In a big ball and die

My, my

Presidents of the Republic of Ghana come and go; Ministers of State come and go; Metropolitan, Municipal, District Chief Executive Officers get elected and leave after term of office, including those who use ‘brown envelopes’ to get elected, come and go plus other appointees but the Republic and the State remains, knowing every position and every aspect of our lives, all have expiry dates; not forgetting that even wealth itself has an expiry date.

You know, people say ‘That’s life’ after an unlucky, unpleasant, or surprising event to show that they realize such events happen occasionally and must be accepted, no matter how unfortunate and unexpected, but such is life’s expiry dates or moments.

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People always say ‘That’s life’ to admit ‘it is fated’; ‘que sera sera’; ‘such is life’; ‘that’s reality’; ‘that’s how the cookies crumbles’; ‘oh well’; and ‘it’s in the cards’.

We all need to recognize that WE WILL ALL PASS THIS EARTH BUT ONCE and even if we reincarnate, we will definitely come with different names from different parentages, so it is imperative that we stay focused on how or the state in which we leave this country: much better than we came to meet it, for our children and children’s children. That’s the reality that we cannot run away from and that should be the measurement of our collective legacies as a people and as a nation.

We have all, individually, played various and several roles over this journey called ‘LIFE’, not mindful of how our final exit would be like at our own expiry date but never let it be said that we never tried to make this nation a better place than how we met it; never let it be said that we left the economy, the educational system, our culture, our traditions, our healthcare systems, our transportation systems, our environment and our people in a worse state than we inherited. That way, we would have failed our ancestors and descendants because this LIFE IS MOST FLEETING, one day you are on top, another day you are down; be mindful that – “Each time I find myself layin’, Flat on my face, I pick myself up and get, Back in the race” – because that’s life with all its expiry dates and moments to make us appreciate how fleeting everything is whilst we have life.

The only CONSTANT we all have as a people and as a nation is GHANA, OUR MOTHERLAND and for me, it is worth everything including a LIFETIME to play our part in its development and growth than to let partisanship and pride derail every effort.

Need I say more?

By Magnus Naabe RexDanquah, the Ghanaian – is a Land Economist & Appraiser,

Events Architect & Planner, SportBusiness Consultant, Social Commentator and an Author