Once in a while a generation experiences people who defy great odds and achieve more than what is humanly possible. We are lucky to have experienced someone like Muhammad Ali in our lifetime.
Your legacy will continue to torch a light on the lives of many people, especially those who are still oppressed one way or another, those who need the courage to overcome obstacles.
You taught us the following:
- “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t.
- “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it—then I can achieve it.”
- “I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I’m in a world of my own.”
- “A man who is not courageous enough to take risks will never accomplish anything in life.”
- “Don’t count the days, make the days count”
- “The man who has no imagination has no wings.”
- “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”
- Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the 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.”
- “I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
- “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
- “Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”
- “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”
- “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”
- “I’m the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”
You life was more than just quotes, you contribution was so much greater.
You have taught us that if you don’t require the journey to be easy or comfortable or safe, you can influence the world.
In his great epic work, “The Rise of Shaka”, the late Mazisi Kunene says:
“Those who feast on the grounds of others
Often are forced into gestures of friendship they do not desire.
But we are the generation that cannot be bypassed.
We shall not be blinded by gifts from feasts.
With our own fire we shall stand above the mountains, as the sun.”
You refused to feast on the grounds of those who oppressed you, you refused to be forced into gestures of friendship you do not desire, and like the sun you stood above the mountains, as the sun.
Today the sun that stood above the mountains is now setting down.
You were more than a boxer, you were a humanitarian, an true shining ambassador of the human race.
We take a bow, we salute you.
Rest in peace to a fearless trailblazer, the greatest, a revolutionary, a linchpin, a round peg in a square hole. You refused to fit in, instead you chose stood out.
Impossible is truly nothing.