What Thomas Merton and Muhammad Ali Had in Common

The article What Thomas Merton and Muhammad Ali Had in Common by Lonnie Ali was published January 17th, 2017 by the New York Times. I had never heard of Thomas Merton before I read this article so just in case others are in the same boat as me, Merton was a Catholic monk, writer, social activist, and more. Throughout this article written by Ali’s wife, Lonnie, she speaks of the similarities between Merton and her late husband, commencing with a short paragraph detailing that in 2008, the intersection between Muhammed Ali Boulevard and Fourth Street (in Louisville Kentucky) would now be home to Thomas Merton Square. Lonnie goes on to describe the like-mindedness of these two characters, writing “[b]ut by the 1960s, their voices in support of peace and justice began to merge. Both men had been shaken from their respective sanctuaries of literary and athletic attainment by the harsh realities of a nation deeply divided by war, race and social inequality.” This portion of the article did a great job in showing that people of all backgrounds and walks of life can come together with the same message of peace for our nation. Lonnie also touched on the similarities between what Ali and Morton were fighting for then and what the people in our current-day divided nation are fighting for now, “[a]s America stands divided once again in the aftermath of a polarizing election, we would do well to follow the example of Thomas Merton and Muhammad Ali in their approach to diversity, pluralism and faith. Regardless of our differences, we share a common humanity, something that will always bind us to each other.”