Thoughts on Muhammad Ali
In my 61st year I’ve come to some major conclusions and changes in my thinking, shocking my friends and family with my discoveries and observations of life (even more than usual).
Last week it was declaring my highest weight. Then the other day while using the solar clothes dryer in the back yard, I discovered a better way to hang up socks. Not earth-shattering news, but after hanging up clothes for 50-some years, it’s a huge change.
There have been other changes for me, such as the reason for this entry; I have started to read the sports page in the Inquirer. OK, OK, not every single word, but sometimes a piece will catch my eye, like the article titled “Muhammad Ali sends letter to Norwegian people.”
I’m not a big sports fan, everyone who knows me would agree, even though I graduated from The Ohio State University. Don’t roll your eyes! Boxing in particular, has always repelled and sickened me. But there is something about Muhammad Ali, (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.) that has fascinated me all these years, apart from his chosen sport.
Perhaps it’s the poet in him. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” “The man who has no imagination has no wings.” What gentle and clever notions from a man who made his fame and fortune beating other men to a pulp.
And now he has said, after the attacks against multiculturalism in Norway, “People have the same ideals no matter what religion or race they are. I see the same wishes for our children to have happy, healthy lives; I see the same concerns for others less fortunate than ourselves; I see the same desire for peace and dignity.”
Ali announced that he had Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological condition, in 1984. Since his retirement from the ring he has devoted much of his time to philanthropy, raising funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and has supported Special Olympics and the Make A Wish Foundation, among others.
I wish him well, and I totally agree with his words, “A man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20, has not lived.” It’s true for me too; I have truly lived.
Beth Sinden, Galion