I recently came across an interview that Mike Tyson gave and found it to be candid and moving. Most of us are aware of Mike Tyson. We know of his spectacular rise to stardom as a boxing champion. We also know how he lost it all when his life unravelled due to his personal problems. The media covered much of Tyson’s struggles from his failed marriages to drugs and a whole host of public embarrassments. It seemed like Tyson would never get out of the deep dark pit he was in.
Yet today, at the ripe old age of 44, Mike Tyson is a changed man. He has tasted almost all that life has to offer. He has known poverty and wealth, success and failure, love and loss. These experiences have humbled him. Although his inner struggles still plague him, Tyson is making a persistent effort to turn his life around this time for good. Considering all that the man has been through and continues to struggle against, I cannot help but be moved and inspired by his determination. Read on to find out why.
Starting Over at 44
One of the things that I respect Mike Tyson for today is his ability to start over. I mean how many of us can make a comeback after losing everything we have? Yet this is not all that Tyson has to overcome. He has to live with all his public embarrassments and the problems that his past actions and choices caused. He has to live with the fact that he wasted his life because he got his priorities wrong. Yet, he doesn’t sit around wallowing in self-pity. He accepts these facts and makes an effort to right his life once and for all at 44. If Tyson has the guts to turn things around at this age, it is never too late for anyone.
One of the changes that you can see in Tyson is the willingness to take responsibility for his life. No longer does he run from problems or indulge in substance abuse to avoid facing life. To this end, “the most medicated boxer in the history of the sport” has sought help for his drug problems. But that’s not all. He works hard to pay off his debts. In the past he used to shun endorsements. But today, not only does he endorse websites and companies; he also puts on exhibitions to earn money. This is a far cry from the badass heavyweight champion that he was. Yet Tyson has matured and is willing to do what he must to survive. This courage and humility deserves respect.
Much of Tyson’s problems stemmed from a lack of self-control amongst other things. What I admire about him today is his heroic effort to keep himself in check. It is easy to say that one must learn to control themselves. But this is far less easy to put into practice. Tyson readily admits it is a great struggle to control his impulses. But this “damaged human being” is determined to “fight to the end this time.”
Despite being bankrupt, Tyson seems to be leading a very happy life today. In fact, he is happier today than when he was years ago with lots of money. After all his experiences, he realizes his family is all that matters. He talks about how grateful he is for his wife and her support through thick and thin. He talks about how much he loves his children. Even though he feels that he does not deserve his family, it is moving to see how they have changed and grounded him.
Today Tyson lives from pay check to pay check. He knows that for the sake of his family, he has to “boot up and suit up and come to work and make the situation better somehow.” He knows he has to “try to be a man.” If he keeps on being grateful for the family he has, I believe that Tyson will be a great husband, father and a man.
A mistake or mistakes should not define a life unless that person went to his or her grave unrepentant. A life is the sum of its parts; therefore we must consider it as a whole; good and bad. While I do not condone Tyson’s mistakes, I respect his desire to take responsibility and change for the better. It takes a real man to admit his mistakes and clean up his mess. If Tyson can change, then anyone who has made a mistake can change and clean up their mess. This is why Tyson’s example gives me the strength and the courage to face my own struggles and press on.