“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is one of the most celebrated icons of all time. As a boxer, he dominated his competition for over 15 years, he broke every record in the book, and was named the greatest athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated. But it’s a combination of his brutal skill inside the ring and his deep compassion for humankind outside the ring that made him a truly transcendent figure. And the roots of this unique dynamic can be traced back to his Human Design. Specifically, his Human Design 1/4 Profile.
Born Cassius Clay on January 17th, 1942, the man who would become “The Greatest” came into the world with a Triple-Split Manifesting Generator Design, and a rare 1/4 Profile.
AN EARLY EDUCATION IN INJUSTICE
Anyone born with a Human Design 1/4 Profile is constantly balancing personal security with the love and appreciation they give and receive with the people around them. This means that Muhammed Ali had an instinctual ability to draw an appreciative audience toward him, while at the same time learning how to look after himself. In other words, his Human Design empowered him to learn and use the lessons that life was about to teach him.
As a dyslexic kid growing up in the racially segregated South, Ali was forced to reckon with frustration and injustice from the get-go. His mother recalled one occasion when he was denied service at a drugstore, “They wouldn’t give him a drink because of his color. That really affected him.” And after the murder of Emmett Till in 1955, Ali had his first outburst against injustice when he and a friend took out their frustration by vandalizing a local rail yard. According to his daughter, Hana, Ali once said, “Nothing would ever shake me up (more) than the story of Emmett Till.”
This sort of anger at injustice and pent-up frustration has sent many young men down destructive paths. But luckily for Ali (and all those who got to watch him), he found an outlet in boxing. He was first steered toward the ring by Louisville police officer and boxing coach, Joe Martin, who encountered a 12-year-old Ali after his bicycle had been stolen. Ali told officer Martin he was going to “whup” the bike thief, so officer Martin told Ali he’d better learn to box first …and the rest is history.
A CHAMPION IN AND OUT OF THE RING
His Triple-split Design brought many people into his life, from trainers to admirers, both black and white, all of whom found a person with whom they could relate. Part of this is explained by his single Undefined Self Center, which mirrored everyone back to themselves. He quickly came to realize that everyone saw whatever they wanted to see in him. For himself, he was clear that people all over the world needed to see The Champion!
A CHAMPION OF A DIFFERENT SORT
The champion is exactly what he showed them. But not just the boxing champion. His Sacral Center is connected through Channels that indicate a deeply caring person (27-50), as well as an extraordinarily sensitive one (19-49), whose life was guaranteed to be transformational (3-60). And we see this in his role as a champion of a different sort. Still deeply affected by the ongoing injustices he had witnessed throughout his life, Ali rose up to become a champion for those who didn’t have a voice.
His Defined Mind (47-64) gave him access to a philosophical attribute in which he clearly outlined his thoughts concerning the Vietnam War, and his absolute reluctance to contribute to it in any way, even if it meant going to jail as a conscientious objector. Ali famously railed against the hypocrisy and injustice of his conscription and the war itself:
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”
This sentiment illustrates a delicate balance between his deeply felt empathy for humanity and a fully realized (and justified) anger at his own mistreatment. It’s the very balance at the heart of those born with the Human Design 1/4 Profile. And the very balance that allowed him to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee—both inside and outside of the ring.
Every now and again, the world is blessed with a truly graceful man, and we are sorely missing Muhammed Ali, the World Champion, in these sadly divisive times.
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