In Aaron Pryor’s obituary, journalist Sam Roberts discusses some of the consequences of Pryor’s career as a boxer. He was raised by a single mother of 7 who drove a school bus to take care of her children. At age 13 he started boxing his way out of this poverty. He spent all of his time exercising or training and quickly elevated his ability in the sport. He won the world championship in the 140-pound division in 1980 against a boxer named Antonio Cervantes from Columbia. A few years later, he had a grueling match against Alexis Arguello from Nicaragua. It was brutal but Pryor won in the 14th round. Many questioned his victory over the liquid given by his cornerman, whether or not it contained illegal drugs. He later won a rematch which decimated and lingering doubts. The controversy from that fight, however, sent him spiraling into a cocaine addiction. Many years later he beat the addiction and became a very strong advocate against illegal drug use.

I think we all need to be more careful about the scrutiny we place on other people. Sometimes we care a little too much about the lives of famous people and we make judgments without knowing all of the information pertaining to their lives. It’s so easy to sit back and try to pick on the “lesser” aspects of their lives, however, we should focus on improving our own lives before demanding perfection in others.

New York Times, Oct 12, 2016 issue, page B15

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