I regret to report on the passing of a real icon, a real legend, the type of individual that the psuedo-famous people of these times wish they had just an iota of his credibility.... Muhammad Ali has passed on to the next reality.
in a world full of people famous for being naked, arrogant, or rich, here is a man who is world renowned for all of the right reasons. principled, dedicated and a living example of the pursuit of excellence; in his craft, in his life, and in his community.
in this age of the 'do for me-ers', Ali NEVER strayed away from his sense of duty to his community. he never acted as if his success and pursuits were disassociated from the plight of those who were not able to achieve or earn as he did. he often demonstrated that he understood that he was an image important for others to see, in the flesh and not just on tv. little kids living in poverty in oppressive conditions world wide understood that one of them had ascended the same condition as they and that one day they could too. from Olympic gold to world titles, he was always the same man, never putting on airs, never presenting himself to be above the people because of his celebrity. he never turned his back on the tradition that raised him. or the people that birthed him. he never claimed he was the people's champion. the PEOPLE anointed him that.
in these times when so many are grieving his passing, i feel a sense of happiness. i know he once said that he believed the Most High gave him his illness to remind him that GOD is the greatest. while i can understand the humbleness attached to the statement, i can also detect the undercurrent of tragedy associated with it as well. and i am happy that the man is now divorced from his affliction, altho my prayers are reserved for his family, in the hope that comfort rules the day. im sure its a day they were prepared for, just like my dad prepared us.
but it still wont mean that they wont miss him. or grieve him. so for them, i pray for strength. and with an unselfish sense, i release one of my childhood heroes to always reside among the constellations of our collective consciousness. he now resides in the halls of world history, among the Ghandi's and Malcolm X's and King's of our century, as one who with personal sacrifice stood by his principles and stood for an idea, an ideal and his community. he who belonged to us now belongs to world.. to eternity... to all... as The Greatest... of all time...