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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles

Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles
  • 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.

Like many American’s today I am immensely proud of Muhammad Ali.  He illustrates the American Idea almost perfectly.  He demanded and commanded respect because he had mutual respect for the intrinsic value of himself and others. He was a man of principle in the genuine sense that he was willing to sacrifice all for his beliefs.

His Six Core Principles encompass the American Dream:

Confidence: Woebegone citizens hiding beneath tables with their tails beneath their legs are challenged by the American dream to have confidence–wag that tail and believe in oneself, one’s abilities, and one’s future.  When people (as with dogs) have such confidence, not only do they prosper, but they help others to prosper.

Conviction: Without firm conviction, integrity is impossible.  I like the saying of Stephen C. Paul: “When you give up your own truth to win at someone else's game, everyone loses.”  One must stand with integrity out of fidelity to oneself as well as for the opposition.

Dedication: Dedication comes from having the sustaining power of confidence and conviction. Focus and passion are embodied forces that help bring forth the fruits of dedication.

Giving: When one has confidence, conviction, and dedication; it can be turned to entirely selfish ends.  Then, every philanthropic act embraces the rationale of self-gain (getting not giving).  The richly blessed embrace the paradox that the more one gives, the more one receives. 

Respect: The Bill of Rights basically is a document about mutual respect, worth, and esteem.  When I say that Ali lived the American Idea, I mean in part that he embodied these values.

Spirituality: When I hear people affirm the American motto of “In God we trust,” I do not receive it with uniform equanimity. For I know that what should be the crowning attitude and tone of American life is sometimes misused and abused.  It is quite possible to say “In God we trust” and go out and slaughter innocents.  That is, the motto can be twisted by hubris and lust rather than spoken with humility before the awesome spiritual principles and powers much greater than we.  We sometimes forget it is more important to serve than to rule.

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