The Legacy of Mohamed Ali

To be a legend you first need the courage to declare it. Nobody knows you better than yourself. No one can decide your destiny but you. Could someone borrow your shoes, and wear it better than you? You know your strengths and weaknesses. You know when you’re right and when you’re wrong. You know where you came from and where you want to go. People who are not courageous enough to take this first step often remain unheard of.

In clarification, to be right you should know what is right. You have an emerging, transcendent brilliance that allows you to be aware of the truth. Some call it God | Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Jah |, some say it’s the Goddess. Some call it the universe, nature, divine consciousness or the Almighty. I refer to it as an influence from the Grand Geometer of the universe, the overseer of us benevolent craftsmen and women. Ali was also a clever rhyme spitter.

I done handcuffed lightning. And throw thunder in jail.
You know I’m bad. Just last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.”

Ages ago, a system of morality was put into place. A system that our society was built upon. One that calls on all mankind to, put nothing above the one true God, to never keep idols, to never use the name of God in vain, to remember the Sabbath, to honor our parents, to never commit murder, to avoid adultery, to steal nothing, to never tell lies on other people and never be envious or sweet eyed of the things other people have |be content with what you have|. It’s frequently difficult to follow these rubrics. Through our personal feebleness, we may be weak in one or two of these capacities. But a human with a heart to honor the majority of these moral principles is one who is often referred to as a good person. Someone who lives their truth in humanity. Someone who is imperfect yet, great in their time.

Mohammed Ali was an exceptional man. First, he had the vision to see himself as the greatest, even when there were so many greats in his time. He professed it. There are other heavyweight boxers with absolute records. Floyd Mayweather has never been defeated. Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman, Joe Frazier etc. Mohamed Ali suffered 5 losses in the ring. And yet, the world revered him as the greatest of all time. This is a testimony of an excellence that goes beyond boxing record. This is when one is covered with grace when one is blessed and chosen by omnipotence.

As a young Cassius at a time when racism was worse, a police officer invited him to become a boxer after expressing a desire to whoop the person who stole his bike. What if that cop chose to be racist against him? Mohamed Ali spoke his truth even when it was not politically correct to utter it. He stood up against the United States government at the expense of his legacy, his career, his reputation, risking imprisonment after having tasted the spoils of fame. With a fortune in sight, the boxer refused to be victimized by a racist system that aimed to remove the unbeatable black boxer from the ring by drafting him in the army.

When they could not beat him in the ring they tried to send him off to war. But the champ refused to have anyone dictate his path. His respect for humanity led him to value the lives of the innocent being murdered at war so he refused to put a dog in that race. How many athletes today, have such a courage to stand up for the God given truth? For their religious belief, their cultural tradition, their civil right? *

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