Bill Cosby Is Glad He Was Born, and So Are We

Beliefnet sits down with the charismatic comedian for a life lesson in Twitter, beating the odds, and above all else, thankfulness.



Bill Cosby’s latest book, I Didn’t Ask to Be Born (But I’m Glad I Was) is typical Cosby, which is to say, a very atypical book. Told in short memorable bursts, it’s an easy read with something for everyone. He moves from stories of the Bible, to the awkwardness of erectile dysfunction ads in a way that only a true doctor of comedy can. The book is filled with curiously located QR Codes that link to clever videos of Cosby opining on subjects related to the surrounding pages. It’s a unique presentation from a man so passionate about helping young people, he’s willing to embrace any and all technology.

Beliefnet: You seem to really get in to technology? Is that something strategic on your part?

Cosby: It’s business, if you don’t do it, you sit with the prehistoric animals. I’m old, not dead. Social networking helps reach people easier and quicker. People can make a choice right there.

Beliefnet: You are very active on Twitter. What do you think about how it has changed communication?

Cosby: I love Twitter, but some people use profanity so much that at some point it’s like saying, “pass the salt.” When I was a kid, there was a time when profanity became a part of the slang and punctuation. It was a light sprinkling of spice. However, there was that part of you that knew there were certain people you wouldn’t say it around, women, elders, children, but that’s not the case in social media. I remember being in the car with my daughter and she was maybe 4 and on the radio station they were playing James Brown and he says, “Good God” and she repeated it. Kids don’t know stuff is bad and they see too much of it. Kids need to remember that when you put something on Twitter, it’s not like whispering to your friend, you’ve put it on a billboard that the whole world, including your own kids someday, can see.

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Beliefnet: You seem to be at your best when talking about family issues, is this book more comedy or parenting/life lessons? As an author, how do you approach writing?

Cosby: Listen young man, in September of 1960, I was blessed, and I’m not saying blessed in the every day religious way, when Temple University accepted me after scoring 500 on the SAT. I was 23 years old and they put me in remedial, I was the happiest remedial person on earth. The teacher gave us an assignment, it was the first time I ever put an effort into anything, I turned it in on time, again for the first time ever. When he passed out the papers, he did not return mine, he read it out loud. It was about pulling my tooth when I was 6, it made me so happy to have done something someone else was proud of. “Procrastination (the Perfect Point)” was my second paper and I wrote about how hard it was to write the paper, because, the second I wrote something down, it was no longer perfect, as long as I did nothing, it remained flawless. That was the beginning of my career. My inspiration was just to know that I could connect with people. Later when I read Mark Twain essays, I realized that he was not trying to show off, he was hilarious and a great American writer. I thought to myself, “I can do that.”

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Ash Greyson
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Related Topics: Bill Cosby, Interview, Bible, Twitter

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