Passing the torch onto you - celebrating the life of a champion, hero, and human
MUHAMMAD ALI, a man of many passions, the champion of champions, a global legend and icon, and humanitarian. His legacy was not only confined to the ring. It radiated throughout the globe. His life embodied one of the most incredible human stories worthy of being told, followed, and deeply loved.
He has touched and inspired many people around the world. I was one of these people whose life has been personally and profoundly transcended by such a great role model. His incredible legacy made us all believe that we can achieve greatness and become larger than life itself. What inspired me is not just his legendary accomplishment in the ring, but the way in which he navigated his life despite pain outside the ring. How he believed in himself to be the greatest fighter, which in turn gave him the power to be just that. How he turned challenges into inspirational fire that fueled his ambition and guided his journey towards greatness. How he had the courage to stand strong in his beliefs and principles of freedom and peace for all. How he left an indelible mark on the lives of many people who adored him as he penned his name among the most unforgettable stories of all time.
As a Palestinian growing up in Gaza during the Intifada (uprising), I very much related to his story of struggle in the face of adversity. There is something profoundly human about it. I saw his story as the ultimate feat – to be able to rise above one’s own suffering to become a champion for humanity. I felt that his story spoke to me on a very personal level. It helped kindle my passion for sport, knowledge, and excellence. It motivated me throughout my entire life as a child, an athlete, a father, and even in my professional career. There are important lessons to be learned here. What makes a champion? A hero? And a human?
As we are saddened by the passing of Ali, we pay homage and respect to our hero. We are also grateful for the opportunity to witness his incredible life, celebrate and learn from his legacy, and embody the principles and values by which he was able to inspire the whole world as a champion, a hero, and a human.
Be a champion – belief is a powerful virtue. It is the difference between the possible and impossible, success and failure. Do not ever doubt your abilities. Aspire to be the best in whatever you do. Remember that life is a test and a journey in which you are going to be pushed beyond your limit. But also know that failure is not a permanent state and that there is no limit to success. So do not be afraid of failure and commit yourself to a life of learning. Challenge yourself to land on your feet. And trust at the end that you will have a pretty good shot at the title. You have all you need to be a champion. It is only you who can define your destiny – so make it a great one.
Be a hero – you are a hero in the making and your life is a testament to that. Stand tall and live up to the principles that Ali embodied and that can bring the hero out in you: courage and humility in the face of adversity … unshakable conviction despite peril … and above all humanity, compassion and kindness in the face of injustice. There is a hero inside of you ... unleash him ... unleash your greatness.
Be human – life is short and our departure is certain. What are you going to leave behind? In your pursuit of greatness do not lose sight of what’s important. You are human after all. When the dust settles, you want to be able to look back and live peacefully with your choices, knowing that have done the right thing for your family, community, and yourself. Cherish every moment with your family and loved ones. Nourish and share your humanity and love. Stay connected with your spirit and live life as the human you are meant to be. Make it count!
A tribute of our champion, hero, and legend.
“ Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.” - Muhammad Ali
Find me @AhmedAbukhater