[TRIBUTE] Muhammad Ali: Builder of People & Bridges Between People!

This article is based on excerpts from a message I recently sent to a friend, in which I shared my feelings about how Muhammad Ali influenced me. It’s a short piece – especially by my standards – but it’s just right for the personal tribute I’ve been meaning to publish on this blog in commemoration his recent passing :-)


Like many people around the world who’ve watched the video of the popular “15 Rounds” tribute done by Billy Crystal 36 years ago to Muhammad Ali, I also found it very moving and inspirational.


Click here to read one of several articles featuring the video version of that tribute.


Like many have noted since his burial, that tribute (which Billy Crystal released on social media after Ali’s death was announced) reflected, among other things, the fact that Ali brought out the best in everbody – regardless of their differences.


He was a builder of people and bridges between people.


Ali didn’t stop at just being good at what he did. Instead he went further to act as a Social Change Agent against problems he identified in his society.


Politics did not interest him. So being politically correct was never something he tried to be


Instead he said whatever he felt needed to be said, no matter whose Ox was gored. And he neither played favourites, nor allowed narrow or irrational sentiments to influence his expressed views.


Quite often Ali was practical and realistic in making his points on issues.


Racial discrimination was one subject he really spoke passionately about. His personal experience of getting thrown out of a white owned restaurant (where they told him “we don’t serve blacks here”) in his home town of Louisville just after he returned from winning the gold medal in boxing at the 1960 Rome Olympics, fueled his drive and passion to influence a change in society!


There is no doubt that because of the way he used his fame to speak against racial discrimination in the USA for instance, changes in segregation practices happened faster in that society than they would have, if he’d chosen to keep quiet and focus on the profession at which he was exceptionally gifted and successful.


I’ve long followed Ali as he spoke against racism etc despite the risks/pains it cost him.


His life story is a testimony to the power of faith and self-belief. Despite being just one man, he succeeded in unifying people across racial, religious, language and other socio-cultural barriers.


The Muhammad Ali Centre he founded has helped many thousands of disadvantaged people while he lived, and continues to do so.


Incidentally that centre was setup to fulfil the dream he described when he answered a little boy’s question: “What will you do when you retire from boxing?”


See the video in which he gives his answer to that question – click here.


That video and the one for the earlier mentioned tribute, as well as those in which he spoke in interviews against racism and his views of how society should be run without discrimination, are why I made him one of my role models in life.


Muhammad Ali set a great example for how to excel professionally/personally and then use one’s success to make a useful impact socially in people’s lives.


Our respective societies will be much better off if we can EACH emulate this man’s wonderful qualities in the way we live our lives and relate with one another.


Rest In Peace Champ: You are truly the Greatest Of All Time!

You’re reading [TRIBUTE] Muhammad Ali: Builder of People & Bridges Between People! by Tayo Solagbade, originally posted on his Daily Self-Development (SD) Nuggets™ blog. If you loved reading this post, be sure to follow Tayo on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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Succeed by Emerging from Adversity Like a Phoenix (TayoSolagbade.com launches extra Hosting plan with FREE Web Marketing!)

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