Muhammed Ali was an influential figure inside and outside the squared circle. Inside the boxing ring, Ali declared himself to be the “The Greatest” an unorthodox stance to take for an elite athlete at the time but a clever one, as it turned out that more people paid to see him lose rather than win.
Ali was even more polarizing outside of the boxing ring, sharing his opinions on social, political and religious issues which stirred public opinion and outraged many at the time.
It is well documented that a younger Ali shared some radical views, however, it is the words of an older and much wiser Ali whose views changed over time that has made me pause and reflect on my own life:
“The Man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life” – Muhammed Ali.
I often look back at some of the choices I have made in my life, especially in my youth, and lament at how much time I have wasted by drawing a line in the sand and refusing to be moved from my ignorant position of understanding.
I have moved from a life that revolved around sport; I’ve delved in scholastic pursuits; been lost in hedonistic escapades; spent a sizable chunk of time in a religious organisation; spent almost as much time trying to disconnect from that organisation; and have now arrived at a scientific, spiritual, and philosophical understanding of the world. But too often I kick myself for wasting time at each juncture.
However as the world mourns the loss of “The Greatest” I find solace in one of the many pearls that he has left us with. According to Muhammed, it was not a waste of time as the person tapping away at this keyboard is not the same ignorant 20 something-year-old who knew everything there was to know in this life.
Thank you for your wisdom and your legacy, Rest Easy Champ 👊