Friday, June 10, 2016

Ali’s Legacy is more than the boxing ring by Jan Scarbrough

Living in Louisville, Kentucky, I can’t escape the hoopla surrounding the death and funeral of native son, Muhammad Ali. It’s taking place downtown where I work. The Muhammad Ali Center is three blocks from my office building.

On Monday when I went to my favorite spot for lunch, a crew from ABC was picking up lunch. It was a beautiful, bright shiny day, so I walked to the Center and snapped pictures of the memorial to the champ outside. Reporters and cameramen surrounded the area. On Wednesday, I crossed the lines of devoted fans waiting to pick up free tickets to Friday’s memorial service. I park in the garage below the KFC YUM! Center where the funeral will be held.

I remember Muhammad Ali as a kid. I was impressed when he took pictures with the Beatles in 1964. I was a Beatlemaniac, you see. I remember when Ali lit the Olympic Cauldron at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games

Others can speak more eloquently about Ali’s legacy than I. What I want to leave you with are some of his quotes that I find inspirational.

  • He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
  • The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.
  • Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
  • The man who has no imagination has no wings.
  • It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe.
  • Don’t count the days; make the days count.

Ali was a man who believed in God and doing good for others. I found an article about his spiritual path that talks about his legacy. Once asked about his preferred legacy, Ali said: “I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him … who stood up for his beliefs … who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love.”


  1. A nice post, Jan. He left a lasting legacy.

  2. Going home a final time is the best anyone can ask in life. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love the quotes you chose. The one about being the same at 50 as 20 really says something.

  4. I think his legacy is exactly what he hoped for. He was a great man.


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