The Greatest Love of All by Michael Masser and Linda Creed - An Anthem to Be Your Own Hero


                                                         Love courtesy of

May 2024

Living an inspired life is an acceptance that you are ultimately responsible for your own happiness. Our family and friends love us as much as their capacity, but they also have their own life to live. It is not fair or realistic to expect others to love us more than we are willing to love ourselves. What are ways that we can cultivate self-love? One way is to listen to inspirational music. One of my favorite inspirational songs is 'The Greatest Love of All' by Michael Masser (music) and Linda Creed (lyrics) because it is a reminder that loving yourself is a gift. Let's discuss... 

As a public figure, Muhammad Ali was respected as a boxer and as a man who exhibited a high level of self-love. Self-love is defined by Merriam-Webster as 'an appreciation for one's own worth or virtue.' Muhammad Ali made choices that were in alignment with his values, even if it meant disappointing other people. He was not a people-pleaser. Ali was criticized for converting to Islam from Christianity. He lost friends when he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. He lost his boxing title when he refused to be drafted to the military citing his religious beliefs. Why did he make these choices even though he knew the consequences? The simple answer is self-love. 

"The Greatest Love of All" was written specifically for Ali's Theme in the "The Greatest", a 1977 biographical sports film about Muhammad Ali, which starred the boxer in the title role. Michael Masser said he was inspired to write the music based on the life of Muhammad Ali, as well as his own life. Masser was an attorney, but he gave up his legal career to write music.  Before he reached success as a composer, his marriage ended and he also suffered financial strains. Linda Creed, a successful songwriter and producer, was diagnosed with breast cancer at 26 years old.  Their life stories, two Jews and a Muslim, were the foundation for writing an inspirational song about self-love with universal appeal. 

           "Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all" Linda Creed

What Does It Mean to Be Your Own Hero?

In the Hero's Journey of popular movies, there is a protagonist who desires to achieve a particular goal. The goal is also known as the boon.  The antagonist, for various reasons, either desires the boon for him/herself or does not want the hero to be successful.  The hero must face and overcome a series of trials to achieve the boon. The culmination of the Hero's Journey is for the hero to achieve the boon and share the resources and lessons with the world. 

The Hero's Journey is not limited to characters in movies or the arts.  Your life is a Hero's Journey, and you are the hero of your own story.  Being your own hero is an acknowledgement that you are responsible for your own choices and consequences.  It is not a quest for perfection, because making mistakes and learning from them is a part of the process.  It is also an understanding that mentors and role models teach you, but only the hero is tested and must face the trials. Like in education, the teachers teach the lesson, but the students take the tests and are graded on what was learned. Putting too much faith and trust in the wrong people, who do not truly have your best interest at heart, can be dangerous. Per the song's lyrics- "Everybody's searching for a hero. People need someone to look up to. I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs. A lonely place to be. And so I learned to depend on me."

Whatever you accomplish is enough. Be your own hero, and share your boon with the world. Only you can be you. Be the best you that you can be.  When you write down the names of your heroes, don't forget to include your own name.

Be Thankful for Being A Hero and Overcoming Your Trials

Snoop Dogg said in his speech at his Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, "I want to thank me for believing in me....." 

We all face trials.  Most people have experienced betrayal and disappointment, but they were able to learn from the experience.  Be thankful for overcoming what you have been through. Be thankful that you are still here because life is not easy.  Everybody has had to deal with something major to get to where they are today. Love yourself enough to keep going and achieve your goals. 

When Love Ends, Find Love Within

The ending of the song speaks to people who have yet to find lasting romantic love. 

            "And, if by chance, that special place, that you've been dreaming of, leads you to a lonely place, find your strength in love."

The "that special place" is the comfort and security desired in healthy romantic relationships. The love that is "dreamed of" is usually romantic love. If the love eventually "leads you to a lonely place", which means the love is not fulfilling or has ended, then find your strength in internal love. This is a refrain to a verse earlier in the song where the narrator "never found anyone to fulfill my needs."  

Every relationship has a beginning, a middle and an end. Not all endings are bad.  Some relationships end naturally through death, people moving to different places or other circumstances.  So, when these relationships end, for whatever reason, focus on what you learned and the love you cultivate within.

The Greatest Love of All was recorded by both George Benson and Whitney Houston. 

The Greatest Movie Soundtrack 
                                                                    George Benson-1977

                                                                    Whitney Houston-1986
#GreatestLoveofAll #GeorgeBenson #WhitneyHouston


The Greatest, courtesy of Wikipedia

The Greatest Love of All, courtesy of Wikipedia,

The Greatest Love of All, lyrics