Not one for celebrity sentimentality, except for the few in my lifetime who have, with their brand of magic, charisma and humility, moved me deeply.

I cried when Julia Child died; pulled off the road and sobbed at the radio broadcast; cried on and off the rest of that day.

Today, for Muhammad Ali, the same bummed-out ache and tearful pangs.

Can’t explain why. Maybe it is bittersweet gratitude for their lessons on how to be an exemplary human.

Maybe I am reminded of standing in front of the den television, next to my very tall father, as we watched Ali in a bout or use his spotlight in meaningful, selfless ways.

Are you familiar with his Six Core Principles?
I think this is why we love these sorts of people, and why their loss greatly felt.

Be good : Do good things.

It’s no wonder they give Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards.


Confidence: Belief in oneself, one’s abilities, and one’s future.

Conviction: A firm belief that gives one the courage to stand behind that belief, despite pressure to do otherwise.

Dedication: The act of devoting all of one’s energy, effort, and abilities to a certain task.

Giving: To present voluntarily without expecting something in return.

Respect: Esteem for, or a sense of the worth or excellence of, oneself and others.

Spirituality: A sense of awe, reverence, and inner peace inspired by a connection to all of creation and/or that which is greater than oneself.


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