“I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.” — Muhammad Ali
This one stings…a lot actually.
It sort of felt like he was going to be around forever…even though we knew he wasn’t…
…and because he seemed to love almost everyone he met, it didn’t seem entirely implausible that you would somehow someway get to meet him someday.
Ali was always my favorite boxer. He was the best, the “greatest of all time,” but really, the greatest of all time. Just re-watching some of those fights on YouTube, you realize that how good his footwork was, how quick and yet powerful he was.
But you can also see how funny he was. And smart. I literally smile every time I hear him speak. How could you not be charmed by him? He just seemed like a beautiful human being.
“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”
There’s just certain people whose presence makes the world a bit better and Ali was definitely one of them.
The greatest heroes inspire you because they lift you up to the place where you want to be. And he wanted to lift people up.
Just a great model for living well: treating people with decency, connecting with any person he came across, and standing up for what’s right: not just for himself, but to be an example to others.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”