Muhammad Ali Speech Reminds Us Life is Short

Muhamad Ali giving inspirational speechThis Muhammad Ali speech really makes you think about the fleeting nature of life.  It's interesting that a young man so on top of the world (Ali was the reigning Heavyweight Champion of the World at the time of this speech) was able to have such perspective on life.  Most think of boxing champions as being rather quite and brutish, but Muhamad Ali was nothing like that.

Ali's speech outside the ring was just as compelling as his dancing inside the ring.  The boxing world hadn't seen such charisma from a champion before or since. 

The topic of this video is the shortness of life.  Ali points out that we spend so much time sleeping, commuting, and sitting at desks (in school and later at our jobs) that we actually experience far less quality time on Earth than we think.  Life is just a fleeting blip, Ali argues, so we need to focus on preparing for the afterlife.

What poise and perspective must he have had to come to this conclusion while he was at the top of his fame. 

Muhammad Ali Inspirational Video on Life

Ali Speech Transcript:

"When I retire from boxing, I really don't know.  I'm gonna say something here that might make you all think.  Life is not really long.  Let's say the average person is 30 years old.  If you're 30 years old, you're not but about 7 years old."

How can I prove it?  Add up all the 7, 8, 9 hours you slept each night for 30 years.  Last night when you went to bed and woke up this morning, you don't remember a thing.  You've been unconscious for about 8 years if you're 30 years old.

How much traveling have you done in 30 years? You've probably spent two years of your life just traveling to get back and forth from where you're going.  So there's 8 years of sleeping, two years of traveling, out of your 30 years of life before you accomplish anything. 

How long do you sit in school?  In America we sit in school from the 1st grade to the 12th grade, 6 hours per day.  Break it down.  You sit in a class room for about 3 years of your life without leaving. 

So two years of traveling, 8 years of sleeping, 3 years of school, and how many movies have you gone to?  How much entertainment?  Probably two years of entertainment.  And by the time you have children, by the time you've made a way for your children and you have a home, you're pushing 60 years old.  So, life is real short.  Add up all your sleeping, all your traveling, all your entertainment, all your school, and you've probably spent half your life doing nothing.

I'm 35 right now.  In 30 years I'll be 65.  We don't have much influence and can't do much of nothing at 65.  Your wife will tell you that.  And out of my next 30 years, I might have 16 years to be productive.   So what am I going to do over the next 16 years?  What's the most productive thing for me to do?  Get ready to meet God.

Owning real estate.  Getting rich in business.  Teaching boxers.  That won't get me to heaven.  How many here believe there is a God that made the sun, the moon and the stars? So, what I'm gonna do when I get out of boxing, is to get myself ready to meet God.

It's a scary thing to think that I might be going to Hell and burn eternally forever.  So when I get out of boxing, I'm going to do everything I can to help people.  God doesn't praise me because I beat Joe Frazier.  God don't give no care about England or America as far as our wealth.  He wants to know how do we treat each other and how we help each other.

So, I'm going to dedicate my life to using my name and popularity to helping charities, helping people, uniting people.  People are bombing each other because of religious beliefs.  We need somebody in the world to help make peace.  So when I die, if there's a Heaven, I want to see it."

Other Great Ali Videos

Muhammad Ali on Black and White

Ali Predicts Obama Presidency

Never Feel Bad for Me - Ali's Rivals


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