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The RUBICON is a shallow river in northeastern Italy, just south of Ravenna. Its significance is grounded with the ancient river Rubicon, famously crossed by Julius Caesar in 49 BC.


The phrase RUBICON MOMENT alludes to Julius Caesar’s crossing the Rubicon River (between Italy and Gaul), thereby starting a war against Pompey and the Roman Senate, which ultimately led to his death.


It is the moment in time when we commit to a course of action, make a fateful and final decision to cross the Rubicon.


An ancient Roman law forbade any army general from crossing the River Rubicon and entering Italy proper with a standing army. To do so was to be considered an act of treason, punishable by tortuous and agonizing death; the purpose of the Roman law was to protect the Republic from internal military threats.


When Julius Caesar was about to cross the Rubicon, he was quoted to have said: “anerriphto kybos” or “LET THE DIE BE CAST’, with no turning back.


For each one of us, what do we consider as our RUBICON MOMENTS with no turning back, once we cross that fateful river, and how many times in our individual lives or even in our national collective lives as a people, have we come to these moments without thinking of the consequences before, especially as some of these transcend space and time and generations?


The phrase: RUBICON MOMENT is also that definitely short period of time or instant or present time or any other particular time, usually preceded by an ACTION that invariably changes a course as it is that definite period in history or stage, as in a course of events, noted for its importance or consequences. It could also be a decision of great import, a defining moment, instance or spark of success, excellence, litigation, revolution, genocide, bloodbath, mayhem or massacres and indeed, the most memorable occurrence recorded in history.


Truth be told, it is also that moment in time, when we commit to a course of action, make a fateful and final decision to cross the Rubicon.


In all human history, crossing the Rubicon is also the MOMENT that we invariably always regret, the HAD I KNOWN MOMENT, that leads to the death of someone, an arrest for prosecution, attracting the pointing of fingers wherever we pass, becoming part of folklore and sometimes so shameful to wish not to have been born or the earth would open up and swallow us up; that one slip of tongue, instance of insanity or madness, when we are so full of ourselves to make us think that it is better to let it stand, damn the consequences than to APOLOGIZE for the damage or hurts done by our actions or utterances.


Over the last fifty years of my life here on earth, I have witnessed RUBICON MOMENTS destroy friendships, families, nations, treaties, alliances, siblings, even twins, marriages, political parties, institutions, governments, generations and civilizations because of one moment of careless talk or joke or misconstrued phrase in a language; a very insignificant utterance, misplaced by time and space to provide the spark to inflamed emotions, a raging inferno that end up destroying the very best of everything.


We have all seen what happened during Elections 2020 and as we walk towards Elections 2024, desiring to ‘Break The Eight’ or ‘Do Or Die’ to stop the ‘eight’, what we should all be mindful of is particularly with our utterances, public discourses, participation in radio and TV discussion programmes, social media postings, deliberate posting of FAKE NEWS, we should know that at the RUBICON MOMENTS something should prompt us to have second thoughts to back down, knowing that once we cross those moments, there would be no turning back.


We ought to remember always that such moments in time require some higher levels of soberness, deep introspections or reflections of the future consequences of the decisions, including impact on our families and their future, including even those yet unborn and funnily sometimes, our pets and innocent bystanders or neighbourhoods. They are always not reversible, once we cross the moments, there will be no turning back.


There are three human institutions, which over the ages since creation have suffered variously as well as severally as VICTIMS of Rubicon Moments, namely Marriages, Families and Friendships because we are all easily prone to falling victims to our own moments, that split fleeting instances that we think we have been so hurt to damn any consequences of our actions and or inactions. Indeed, we become so incensed not to mind what we say to each other at such moments of brief INSANITIES, to make us drop that bombshell to change the course of personal or institutional history.


You know, beautiful, envious, publicly admired marriages have collapsed beyond redemption, leading to divorces because of WORDS SPOKEN in those moments, for the river Rubicon to be crossed.


Life-long friendships have been destroyed beyond redemption for a simple wrong-turn of sad commentary or misplaced opinion, which will so hurt the ego of the other that could require an instant APOLOGY but pride as always will have the centre-stage and the Rubicon Moment sets in to destroy such friendship.


Families have also been so devastated and broken with such bitterness to affect their pets and even the very air they both breath or to the extremities of refusing a seat in church because the seat offered is next to his or hers. Such absurdities can only be possible, even in the Church because of a Rubicon Moment, either between siblings or twins and worse, it is expected that other offsprings would of necessity take a side in the conflict, including friends and domestic animals such as pets.


So I dare ask: how on earth can an animal appreciate such conflict between humans and take a side?


Accommodation of each other with all our imperfections, wrong sense of humour and timings, many times not seeing beyond our noses, always missing the bigger pictures of life and thereby falling victims of occasions with dire consequences.


We have become as base as to even say: “AS FOR YOU, I WILL NEVER TALK TO YOU AGAIN TILL MY DEATH”. 


Remember, almost all of us are guilty of such ‘misdemeanors’, which we see as JOKES but in the long run defeats the real reasons why we are here on earth, at such a time as this, not before nor after, for specific assignments that we have to perform to expand the FRONTIERS OF LIFE, making life much better for the next or future generations than to allow such moments to deny us of such accomplishments.


We should never, ever forget that like atoms and molecules in the space of time, whatever we say or do in time, will always come back to haunt us, as consequences for every action or inaction.


If you know me, it’s never been my intention to court controversies ever in my life but then there are moments in this life that plain innocent comments by their very nature can rake up such issues as Julius Caesar faced at that Rubicon Moment; and by some twist of fate these special instances happen in one place that it’s least expected.


The Church has always been so reflective of the kind of societies various civilizations have molded for themselves, even to their eventual collapses because of human influences – our fears, our anxieties, our wickednesses, our apprehensions, our constant desires and or quests for absolutions for various omissions and commissions we commit, our show of opulence and ultimately, our cry for penitence after our Rubicon Moments.


The Church has always reflected the decadence of the kind of society we collectively build for ourselves, to the extent of seeing two sworn enemies refusing seats offered in the church because it will force them to hold hands should the priest call for that; and where whole families stop fellowshipping at a particular church because someone their father or mother hates just joined the church.


You know, this life here on earth is a whole different ballgame, considering the impact of the RUBICON MOMENTS, we take for granted variously in our lives, requiring some higher levels of soberness, deep reflections of the future consequences of the decisions, including impact on our families and their future, even those yet unborn; and funnily sometimes, our pets and innocent bystanders or neighbourhoods, making it imperative for us to make haste slowly at such moments. 


Indeed, it might even be better if we could sleep over these decisions for days, before going back or reverting as they are always NOT REVERSIBLE, once you cross there would be no turning back.


It is for these RUBICON MOMENTS that I am beginning to be worried about the language of our political class as we walk towards ELECTIONS 2024 with all the show of MACHOISM – assertive or aggressive manliness or machismo; an assertively virile, dominating, or domineering show of force, always forgetting that it is the children of ordinary Ghanaians, who would suffer. You remember, those who died during Elections 2020 were not the children of the political class.


Even with the polling station registrations and pending elections for the executives, just check the language and show of force, how much more when we get to the Constituency, Regional and finally, the National level before the Presidential Candidates over the next year, and before ELECTIONS 2024, need I say more?


We should all endeavour to MIND OUR LANGUAGES before we get into the RUBICON MOMENTS with more than dire consequences, even as some of us worry about the state we will leave this nation, Ghana for our children, children’s children and rest of our descendants.


This is why, we will continue to call for a CHANGE, preach for a CHANGE and continue to write about CHANGES in our body-politick because a CHANGE IS GONNA COME, sooner than later.



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

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

(The Daily Searchlight appears every day on the newsstands and for sale 24 hours every day and all week on www.ghananewsstand.com. Visit www.ghananewsstand.com for a wide variety of newspapers published in Ghana and from across the world.)

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