Every one of us, I mean you. Whoever is reading this piece of article, is referred to as ‘I’ and Ali his ‘Thou’. There’ is a little bit of him in all of us. The making of ‘Thou’ who everyone of us knows as Mohammed Ali. Everyone becomes a model of people we adore and respect. By replicating our Idols, we acquire our skills and choose our path in life by the footprint of the generation before us. Great boxers like George Dixon, Sam Langford, Jack Johnson, Louis Phal, Rocky Marciano, Jack Dempsey, Willie Pep, Sugar Ray Robinson, amongst many great things for the sports of boxing. There is in Ali an element of all the great boxers that raised the profile of the sports of boxing. The competitive edge of any sport brings out the best in any participant. Being in a competition requires hard work, dedication, belief, persistence, perseverance and myriads of attribute. There’s also a competitive edge to life itself; the need to improve and better oneself requires quality akin to what an athlete must have. A boxing ring for him represented the world he grew up in. A world of struggle, pain, uncertainty and suffering just like everybody else. He gave his all in the boxing arena, every fight he fought, every punch and every training session depicted his desire to be the best in whatever he did.
Martin Luther King Jr had a dream; Ali made it a reality. The status quo of the world brings out the politician in all of us at some stage. Learning how to haggle with reality, maybe the best way to survive any economic situation we find ourselves in. In his words ‘he who is not courageous enough to take risk will accomplish nothing in life’, his refusal to be inducted into the army of the United States of America and fight in the Vietnam War, led him to being stripped of his world heavyweight title. His boxing license was suspended, he was sentenced to 5 years in jail and fined $10,000, even though he remained out on bail. He prevailed in the midst of adversaries, he lost his world heavyweight title and won the whole world with his belief, charisma, and policy. Think of your favourite Civil Right activists such as Mahatma Gandhi, Kwame Nkrumah, and so on. He is a blend of all Civil Right activists merged, a brave man with a big heart that wasn’t afraid to stand up for his right when his pairs did the opposite. He lost everything financially for what he believed in, and gained a legacy that will live forever. As a philosopher, his trash talking about his opponent before and after a fight, took boxing to a worldwide audience. Confucius, Gautama Buddha and Socrates would have been proud of some of the famous quotes he left us with, ‘A man that has no imagination as no wings’. A quote that reflects his thought on creativity, dreams and aspiration, a motto that we can all live by. A student of politics, philosophy and a philanthropist.
HOPE: A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen- According to Oxford Dictionary-. Most of us place our hope on something/one thing or the other, whatever that is, it is (may be) just to get by or survive. Mohammed Ali put his hopes on his religion. His principle, character and view about life was a reflection of his religion to an extent. The renouncing of his birth name from Cassius Clay to Mohammed Ali showed his dedication to Islam as well as his renouncement to his slave name. Over the course of his life, he lived his life guarded by is religious belief which most people may not agree with. His involvement in politics was mainly due to his conversion to Islam, with the help of the human right activist and close friend Malcolm X. A well learnt and courageous man, he was proud of his religion and his origins. A Fighter, warrior, fearless, friend, lover, brother, sister, father, mother, leader, educator, student, poor, rich, tall, short, fat, slim, bald, hairy, up’s, down’s, employed, unemployed, there’s a little bit of Mohammed Ali in all of us .