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On Muhammed Ali|
(from: http://epolicy.blogspot.com/2016/06/muhammad-ali.html )
He made a living using his fists and carved his brand using his mouth but it was his shuffling feet more than his left hook which had kept him from being floored until age and disease caught up with his momentum of success in the calculus of life where everything will tend to zero as if carrying the message that life is made of constantly drawing from a fixed balance until emptied of the last reserves in the final throes.
So too with development economics. The potential well may be full in the beginning but if not tapped wisely it will soon be exhausted beyond which any further extraction will deplete the last reserves unless replenished with new stock from better ideas and harder work. Problems cannot be solved using only the same sources of their creation.
Seduced by his success, his advisors and funders let him down. Otherwise they would have warned him not to taunt his opponents in the ring to hit him in the head which he did in order to raise the emotional frenzy of the crowd who themselves had a psycho-pathological wish to overcome their own limitations by seeing in him the alpha-male embodied in that primal blood sport.
The head contains a jelly brain encased in a hard-shell skull. Harsh hits on the head transmits uninvited vibrations onto the brain, disrupting its cellular operations, breaking their dopamine transmitter pathways which control neuro-muscular mechanisms, causing cellular death and Parkinson's disease.
In projecting himself a champion of anti-racial civil rights and a gutsy if physical inspiration of the downtrodden, he paid the ultimate price of a demise-drawing pained gain.
He was fearless. In fact, Finley had teased out the Essential Laws of Fearless embodied as:
'Real success is a creative state of being that comes with living in conscious relationship with an intelligence that never fears because it never fails to achieve its ends - in spite of changing conditions - and that because success born of anything less than hard work comes with the fear of losing what was never rightfully gained in the first place.'
But now that he is gone, would his leaving behind a transient memory of him in millions be any acceptable consolation for a life gained but by pain in a ring no different from the blood-letting, life-snuffing, yonder days of the roman gladiatorial sacrificial pit?
His very factor of success - those dancing feet - became exactly the same factor of failure later when he gained weight and became sluggish so that the thrilla of manila with Frazier was a fight that felt like death. To no credit of the audience worldwide, it was.
He might have lived longer if only he had instead gone into middleweight wrestling whose practitioners can easily give Hollywood actors a run for their money. Wrestling is a match where everyone pretends - from the wrestlers to the referee to the managers to the crowd to the TV commentators and viewers.
Success in life comes from 'doing the right thing in the right way the first right time'. Addendum....'even if what it achieves is less if not nothing of what was originally desired'.
One posits the real success in anything is just The Lesson, lived.
Compassion polishes the journey. If we can be kind to animals and birds, we should also ask whether fish have feelings. In the process of doing so, we return to our origins, to wit posing to ourselves the painful thought that we die the moment we live by consuming other living things, whether these be animal or vegetable. In the limits, even if we live on just seeds, we start to die - for the process of growth is just a manifestation of our dependency on other living and non-living things for the brief if not trivial lifespans we have.
If this doesn't bring humility into our respective equations of life, what does?
If all men are brothers, we should not exult his example bought with his life but instead grief the world's system of living champions ending in dead ones.
Life is mostly trivial, and therefore its greatest art is the art of pretending it's not.
However, there seems to be a silver lining. A nebular sensation that there is something out there who responds with a compassion we can associate with from our respective Lessons, lived - if we painstakingly nurture some humility.