Many people today in the Western capitalist world take for granted the basic things that many around the world do not have. Manny Pacquiao while speaking at Oxford University in the UK this week has reminded us all why we should be grateful for what we have in one particular tale involving him and his brother growing up.
The eight-weight division world champion is not only a boxing legend but a Filipino icon in his home country.
His tale from rags to riches is perhaps the biggest jump from the poorest someone can be in the world to the most famed and richest one can become, of its particular kind.
Despite this, his kindness outside the ring and warrior spirit within it still endure.
Speaking to Oxford University, Pacquiao recounted one memory early on in his life that he never forgot about:
“When I received your gracious invitation I thought about what I could say that would interest you. What could Manny Pacquiao say that would be of any impact or utility to the women and men who enjoy the highest of instruction at Oxford. The answer came fast. I know what I should speak about. Something very few of you can claim to know about. My education was certainly non traditional, non formal, largely unstructured. I will call it my education in the open University of life. It is a matter of record that I only had traditional formal schooling until secondary school grade 12. It was only recently that I reached the University level through the alternative education program. We were dirt poor. I had to work since the age of 7 to help my mother feed my three siblings and me. Many days I was lucky to have one full meal. On days where we had no food I would drink lots of water just to fill my stomach. I remember when we were young my younger brother crying asking for food to my mother and my mother told us just drink a lot of water to survive and maybe tomorrow we will have food. That’s the experience I experienced when we were young. But my mind and spirit was never hungry.”
Indeed it was not.
His determination and will to not quit and to ignore the odds put against him saw him become one of the great boxers of his time.
And, indeed one of the most inspirational human beings of the 21st century.
In terms of his boxing career Pacquiao will face Adrien Broner next up expected to take place on January 19th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.