Monday, April 14, 2014

The Wisdom of Children

There's a documentary on public television tonight about Muhammad Ali. When I was a child in the 1970's, he was a hero of mine, even though I hated violence and fighting.

I loved how clever he was, how brash and funny, and how confident he was, but I wonder if I would have liked him as much if I had been an adult back then. 

Everyone would like to think they would have been on the right side of history, against the Vietnam War, pro civil rights, but history allows us to make those choices ex post facto, and I'm not sure what I would have thought of this follower of Elijah Mohammed who tweaked the establishment, and stood up for himself with his mouth and his fists, if I had been just another white suburban liberal back in 1971, scared of something I didn't totally understand.

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