“The Greatest” has died. The nickname coined by the three-time world heavyweight-boxing champion Muhammad Ali passed away on 3 June at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.
There is no end to the tributes paid to this man since his death. They came from former and current US Presidents as well as many other prominent figures.
Even though he is dead yet the boxing fraternity still remembers his saying, “fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
He has died but the American people could not forget his defiant voice against the Vietnam War and the draft.
Though dead, the world recounts his conviction that led to him being stripped of his boxing titles and barred from matches for four years at the peak of his boxing career. He was willing to sacrifice the crown and money for the principles he stood. The memory of his courage lingers on.
Even though he is dead yet the world recalls even his less known deeds. He once coaxed a suicidal man down from a ninth-story ledge in Los Angeles.
The man had climbed out from a window and was shouting, “I’m no good … I’m going to jump.”
“Police, a psychologist and a minister had all but given up,” the CBS anchor said that day in January 1981, “When Mohammad Ali, who happened to be nearby, volunteered to talk to him.”
The report said that Ali, from a nearby window, told the man, “I’m your brother, I want to help you.”
Even though he is dead, this man still speaks.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:4
“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.”
And it is true that the dead though silent in the grave still speak.
The quality and character of their lives linger long after they have gone. Their death is not the end of them. They still speak.
And this is the way to live, that after you are gone, family members, loved ones, colleagues, friends and people whose lives you touched, still remember your faith, your convictions, your hopes, your beliefs and the principles and values you hold dear.
It is true, the dead still speaks!