"The man who views the world at 50 the same way as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life"
I grew up with Muhammad Ali and so he has been part of my life from the Thrilla in Manilla to the lighting of the Olympic Flame in Atlanta in 1996 and to his recent appearances in charity events around the country.
In my youth, the world was bifurcated, you were either for Joe Frazier or Muhammad Ali and there was no middle ground, no safe corner to go to in the ring. I stood with Ali through it all and it was not just because of his incredible boxing skills but because he challenged me at a young age to think about war, faith, and service to country in new and profound ways. I remember being so amazed that he was willing to go to jail rather than relinquish his faith. Religious leaders did that not boxers. How did he do that? Muhammad Ali not only had the hands of a champion but also the heart of one. The lesson I took away from Ali's life was to never repudiate your deepest values and never give in. He was the courage of his convictions.