There are so many reasons why I am inspired by Muhammad Ali: his strength, his courage, character. What I admire about him most is how he has always been bold and brave, and believed in himself in such a huge way where he believed with all of his heart, body, and mind that he can do anything—not only inside of the boxing ring, but outside as well.
.Muhammad Ali ESPN film
This is no more demonstrated than in his decision and willingness to go head-to-head with one of the world’s most feared dictators, even at the risk of jeopardizing his own health and safety.
Muhammad Ali ESPN film
Muhammad Ali did not do this to boost his fame or popularity, but rather the opposite. In seeing injustice, he put everything that he had on the table in order to do what is right.
In 1990, the boxing legend traveled to Iraq to press a plea for peace and negotiate with Saddam Hussein for the release of U.S. civilians taken hostage after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Ali risked his reputation, health and safety for the freedom of prisoners held by Hussein as “human shields” to deter U.S. military strikes. Only six weeks after Ali brought 15 hostages back home to their relieved families, Operation Desert Storm bombarded Iraq.
According to film Director Amani Martin, this was “perhaps one of the most important, but least known, feats of Muhammad Ali’s remarkable life.”
Now in time for Ali’s 71st birthday today, ESPN has created a short film that recaptures the spirit, highs and lows of his journey to Iraq. The film, “Ali: The Mission” is narrated by R&B singer John Legend and debuted last night on ESPN networks.
In watching the film, I was in awe of Ali the entire time. How he faced disapproval and criticism for his actions; and how his motives were questioned by his own country. Nevertheless, he did not let the negativity stop him from continuing the mission that he set out to complete. I particularly love how he made it clear he simply wanted to do what he could to help right a social wrong—nothing else.
“I do need publicity, but not for what I do for good. I need publicity for my book, I need publicity for my fights, I need publicity for my movie—but not for helping people. Then it is no longer sincere.”
In that one statement, Ali proves why he is ‘The Greatest Of All Time.’
How many people in 2013 can say that they would be willing to help people—strangers even—at the risk of jeopardizing their health and well-being? How many are willing to use their status, connections, and resources to help others in need without receiving any fame or monetary gain from it, but rather instead at the risk of losing everything they already have? How many can you find that will help others without expecting anything in return?
How often do people give up on their goals or dreams because of negativity and criticism from others? How often do you find someone who is strong enough in their self-belief to ignore when others question their motives when working towards their goals?
Muhammad Ali epitomizes the above—and that is why he is this month’s Source Inspiration.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Ali – May you be blessed with many more to come!
Take a look at the ESPN film, “Ali: The Mission” below.
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I had no idea that he played a role in protecting human lives. That is awe inspiring indeed! May we all learn that we are great!
Arelis Cintron @DjRelAt7 latest inspiration..[Palabra de Dios] Corintios 12, 4-11
Greetings Arelis! This was something that was new to me too! I’m so glad that more awareness is raising about his important and gracious act. ~Thank you so much for sharing here with me!