Peace, love, and light to all on this gloriously beautiful and seasonally warm morning. As always, I hope this message finds you well. I am sure by this time you are well aware that another hero has transitioned, our fighter, our warrior Muhammad Ali. I just wanted to take a few moments to reflect on Ali’s impact on my life. I am sure my sentiments are held by many but as with anything else, each person’s experience in unique.
Muhammad Ali fought his last fight in the year I was born, 1981. It was a loss on the record books to Trevor Berbick. However, Ali’s life was triumphant and will always be celebrated. As a child, I would watch various programs and see Ali all over the place. He was larger than life. There was something in his eyes that I could not explain. His smile was contagious. I am not quite sure of when I began to truly understand the enormity of what he had accomplished but I do vaguely remember family members praising him. These praises sparked my interest and I began to research Ali to find out what was so special about this retired boxer.
The thing you have to realize is that I came up in an era that was enthralled with “Iron” Mike Tyson. But, no matter how great Tyson was, Ali’s name was always mentioned. What had Muhammad Ali done to make such an impact that even years after his retirement, he was still praised. More recently, Floyd Mayweather has been at the apex of the boxing forte and still Ali is mentioned. Over the years, I have come to find that Ali was not great because of his boxing skills, Ali was great because of his heart for the people. Ali was funny, confident, unwavering, and steadfast. He was great because he believed with every ounce of himself that he was great. He once said that he was calling himself “the greatest” before he knew he was.
Several years ago, I began to listen to old videos and recordings of Ali. He was unapologetic about his blackness and was outspoken against the injustices in this country and abroad. He laid everything he had on the line for what he felt was right. His moral convictions and unwavering stance on social issues are inspiring. His sacrifices are the stuff that legends are made of. Ali was a champion of the people and it showed.
I used to post quotes on my Facebook page each morning before I would leave for work each day. It was my way of inspiring my followers and friends and most people (I hope anyway) appreciated it. I began to post quotes by Muhammad Ali. Although I love many of them, I want to leave you with one in particular. Ali once said, “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in a world they‘ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” Ali helped me to realize that in this fight for justice and for freedom, no sacrifice is too big. He helped me to see that each of us has the ability to change the world and be “the greatest”—if we only BELIEVE.
Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali
Photo Cred: YouTube