The Price We Pay.

It is said that if you hold a sea shell to your ear, you can hear the sounds of the sea, the crash of waves and the flow of tide.

It is also said that, in Africa, if you hold the barrel of an AK47 rifle to your ear, you will hear the sounds of all the mournful souls murdered by that firearm. And if you hold the empty shell casings to your ear, you hear the cries of all the children, unborn through the depravity of man.

And this, this is what we, as leaders of our troubled nations have to live with all the time. These visions, these thoughts and fears. They stalk us as we move through our waking hours, slip like silent ghosts into our dreams at night and hold fast to the most inner parts of our stomachs, with fists of poisoned iron.

I am sure, that as Samuel K Doe, in those final moments before he joined all the other tortured souls, surrounded by an angry mob, knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he had it coming, that his dreams did not lie.

I wonder if Idi Amin, in his last days in a coma pleaded for forgiveness for his actions, or understood that the mad decisions he had made led him on his journey to death, in the company of those who were killed by the words falling from his mouth.

We are all going to die someday, son. Some of us may go violently, some in our sleep, some of us Big Men of Africa may die whilst alighting from a bus in a foreign country, stupid enough to accept us into exile.

But, if you can accept your fate, if you can accept that fear and anxiety will follow you all your life, if you can accept these things and put them behind you, if you can accept that you are already dead, then you will go far in life.

This is the irony of life.

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