Normally, I don't make public my thoughts on someone as public as Muhammad Ali, nor about some event as public as Muhammad Ali's passing. Who I am to say whatever? Whatever that has to be said and written would have already been said and written many many many times more eloquently than the nobody that I am am going to say or write. What does my words matter anyway? Who reads them anyway, right?
Not this time. Whether you want to read them or not, I am writing this.
Those who don't like what he said still had to admire his courage for saying what he had said and respect him for the person that he was.
Once in a while, a man like Muhammad Ali comes along who created so much impact on us that those of us touched by him will want to be better people.
If there is one thing Muhammad Ali has taught me it is this.
A great man is great for what he does for people 'smaller' than him; not for what he does for people 'above' him. That is why he is such a great role model to us all.
He said he had to be a world heavyweight champion so that he can speak for and do for those to whom he needed to lend support whereas most people are preoccupied with what they need to do in order to become a world heavyweight champion!
How many heavyweight champions had actually risked their careers and jail term for refusing to go fight in a war they believed to be unjust?
How many heavyweight champions had actually talked a suicidal stranger out of not jumping from the ninth floor of a building and a week later invited him to meet his parents just to prove to the man that he was not a 'nobody'?
How many heavyweight champions had actually gone to a soon-to-go-to-war country to talked its leader out of releasing 15 hostages the leader had planned to use as human shields against missiles and bombs?
How many... how many... how many..? The list is sure going to be long. There sure are many things he did for humanity that I am not even aware of unless I read an entire book on him.
But let me share this little 'secret' with you, to show you how well-loved he was (and still is now of course) worldwide. As a kid in the seventies growing up in Malaysia, I actually thought Muhammad Ali was one of us, a Malaysian!
Muhammad Ali, a man I cannot let him leave us without making my personal thoughts on him public and sharing them with whoever that cares to read.
Here is what I will tell my son who Muhammad Ali was - a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him and yet was never afraid of those 'above' him because he knew that before his Maker/Universe all human beings are equal and are all brothers and sisters.
Ali taught us not to big shot anyone and of course not let anyone big shot us as well.
Ali also taught us that we don't have to be the greatest but we should at least try try try!
Ali also taught us that being great means being able to deeply appreciate how small we actually are in this world and universe.
Ali - the truly one and only.
Ali - the fearless and peerless.
Ali - the man who makes you want to be a better person
Ali - may your soul rest in peace.
With lots of love and respect, from a guy named Ken