June 9, 2016: Muhammad Ali

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. Mark Twain

I’m no pundit, but I do think there is something to be learned from Ali’s life: It seems to me for all the rights and wrongs surrounding him, we, and he, would’ve done a lot better to not parade our opinions as knowledge. The Louisville Lip was surrounded by a tanker-load of controversy in his youth, brought on in part by his braggadocio. But he persevered and wound up leaving a mostly positive legacy that seems to have transcended race and religion and politics. Nonetheless, I wonder just how much his silence, due to Parkinson’s, helped his legacy. I wonder if the lesson could be that we’d all do better to keep quiet sometimes.

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