Tonight I was at my son’s game and my phone alerts just started blowing up to tell that Muhammad Ali has died at age 74.
I am so glad I had a chance to grow up and at least know a little of the Muhammad Ali experience. To know what it is like to hear everyone go to school the next day and talk about his fight the night before. To know about his relationship with Howard Cosell, George Foreman, and Joe Frazier. To have a chance to learn more about his life and the impact he had on the Black community and the world at large.
Then a few months ago on a plane, I had a chance to see the documentary below and hear the tapes he made for his children. I thought about how I had just left my kids to travel to another country and how cool it would be for me to make short videos for them as well when I’m on the road. Tomorrow, you’ll read why I think oral tradition is even more important, but we can certainly use technology to our advantage now as a way to connect with our kids.
I know a lot has been said and written about Ali’s family life, and it has not always been positive, but today I’d like to focus on something he did do very well with them that we could all learn from. I surely hope that through these later years, that Ali had a chance to mend some fences and I have to assume that he would give all of us fathers some good advice on what not to do, as he grew older in his life.
But as the world remembers him this weekend, we could also learn from his confidence, his bravery and his commitment to define who he was as a man.