"The Greatest" boxer, known equally for his wit and outspoken nature as his agility and skill, gave a sobering speech on life when a young child asked him, simply: "What are you going to do when you retire?"
An old video of Muhammad Ali, who passed away Friday at 74, answering this question resurfaced online following his death, and his response reflecting on life and religion is as stunning as it was at the time.
A child asked Muhammad Ali what he would do when he retired. His long, beautiful answer stunned the crowd.https://t.co/qAuYcJUmv1— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) June 3, 2016
The champion boxer starts jokingly saying: "Sleep, that's all I want to do," pretending to doze and snoring loudly on stage. Quickly, Ali straightened up and answered the question more seriously.
"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 seven years old."
The boxer continued, tallying just where the other 23 years are lost.
He estimated all the hours spent sleeping -- seven, eight, nine hours a night -- mean a 30-year-old has spent about eight years unconscious.
Travelling time between school, home, work, other countries cost you another two years, Ali goes on.
"Out of 30 years, I might have 16 years to be productive."
He averages out 12 years of school six hours a day to equal three years of your life and counts time spent on entertainment, like movies and such, as two years of your life.
"Out of 30 years, I might have 16 years to be productive," the then 35-year-old athlete and activist says.
He added, "By the time you have children, by the time you've made way for your children, by the time you pay for your home, you're pushing 60 years old."
Circling back to the original question, he says, "What am I going to do for the next 16 years — what's the best thing I'm going to do? Get ready to meet God."
"Owning real estate, going into business, teaching boxers, that won't get me to heaven," Ali said. "When I get out of boxing, what I'm going to do, I'm going to do all I can to help people."
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