Advertisement

The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

The Greatest

I was born to a father who was a Golden Gloves boxer in the Navy and when my younger sister and I would fight, he would have us don boxing gloves, mouth pieces and head gear and have us go at it in the living room. We would swat at each other and laugh instead. I joke that it was a good thing that even then,  I was a pacifist, since I could have developed a mean right hook. As a mentor of sorts, who ran a Sunday morning breakfast club, he would also teach boxing to the kids at our synagogue. That being said, I’m not a big boxing fan, but I do admire the athleticism, endurance and discipline it takes to step into the ring and then step out of it  in one piece.  One of the most notable fighters of the modern era is Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. His entry into the sport began when, as a 12 year old, his bike was stolen. He was told by a local police officer that if he wanted to face whoever took it, he’d better learn how to fight. I don’t know if he ever got his wheels back, but that one pivotal event set him on a trajectory that gave him world wide notoriety, not only as a boxer, but as a social and political activist and philanthropist. He was a conscientious objector during the Viet Nam war which cost him his title and kept him out the ring for three years. His conversion to Islam, bringing about the name change, made waves.

Advertisement

His current battle is with Parkinsons Disease, but he keeps on keepin’ on.

One thing that always impressed me about Ali was his steadfast belief in himself and his abilities. His line “I am the greatest!” initially sounded like arrogance to me when I heard him utter it while in my teens. Now, as an adult who coaches, counsels and encourages people to see their own greatness, it is a rallying cry. See, if Ali had said or even thought “Hey, maybe someday, I could sorta, kinda be a halfway decent boxer….”, what do you think the chances are that he could have stood up to Frazier, Liston, Foreman and Holmes? The thing is, not only did he have the bravado and the words, he had the skills to back them up. He acted ‘as if’ it were true and it became his chosen reality.

Advertisement

Since retiring from boxing, he remains an active philanthropist, opening the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky and has also been an advocate for the Special Olympics and the Make a Wish Foundation. In 1998, he was chosen to be a United Nations Messenger of Peace because of his work in developing countries. In 2005, Ali received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He says:  “I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given,” he said. “I believed in myself and I believe in the goodness of others,” said Ali. “Many fans wanted to build a museum to acknowledge my achievements. I wanted more than a building to house my memorabilia. I wanted a place that would inspire people to be the best that they could be at whatever they chose to do, and to encourage them to be respectful of one another.”

What greatness are you willing to proclaim to a waiting world?

http://youtu.be/nuJUulfBb8s Born For Greatness by Jana Stanfield

Previous Posts

The Event Will Go As The Event Will Go
  Rolling the clock back to the spring of 2005 and I find myself in the 5th floor walk up apartment in Manhattan of Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski. Surrounded by blankets, pillows and pj clad strangers, save my brave friend who ...

posted 10:47:25pm Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Make Every Day Earth Day
I am an earnest Earth advocate since it is the only planet we have and I want it to continue to sustain life for a long time to come. I also honor what Gaia- the Greek name for the Goddess as embodied by the Earth,  does for us each day. She ...

posted 1:36:35pm Apr. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Life Is Lumpy
This morning, I was reading a newsletter sent by my friend Kurt Koontz. In it he was described his latest adventures in the Big Apple. He had taken a few forays to the 9/11 memorial and was deeply moved by what he saw there. Although I have not ...

posted 3:54:58pm Apr. 21, 2015 | read full post »

It's A Beautiful Morning
The peeking in sun woke me up before my intended arising time. Clearly, the day had other ideas for how I should be spending its first few hours. I so wanted to tumble back into slumber, but it wasn't gonna happen. Rolled over, turned on the ...

posted 8:32:31am Apr. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Professional Reader
It's clear that I am a professional writer. It is my right livelihood work that brings me such joy that it is sometimes overwhelming. I'm grateful that The Muse sees fit to shower me with ideas at all hours of the day and night. As I mentioned ...

posted 8:35:05am Apr. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.