I think about the Man every now and then, I even wear a few t-shirts with reminders of His influence. He is the same age as my father, and as I watch my own Dad mature, I wonder how much longer We will continue to live in a world blessed with such Men.
He was a child of a poor minority race, and witnessed firsthand the inequalities of man's ways. He used His emotions to fuel and propel His drive to become a World Champion.
He used His accomplishments to "awaken" people who were conditioned to think as they were programmed to believe. In other words, He dared to be "Great" and encouraged others to do so as well. In doing so, He made himself a target of the authorities in power, who tried to strip Him of his glory and accomplishments. He refused submission to political powers while remaining loyal to His beliefs and His fans took notice. Eventually, the authorities had to relinquish their grasp as He was found both innocent and righteous...
He became a symbol of peace for humans everywhere in the world.
Ali used the violence and brutality of Boxing to catapult his celebrity onto the world's stage, where he took a stand against War and Inequality.
He turned social programming on its head, and "shook up the world!"
Although I haven't met or seen Muhammad Ali in person, I'm pretty sure He is Real and His Spirit will still exist long after He has left this world. To have existed concurrently with human beings of this greatness it becomes more understandable that our ancestors walked with the ancient Prophets and Holy Men who affected the world so long ago, that their Spirit continues to change and shape the World Now.