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.
Beliefnet: In the author notes you refer to your youth and say, “I was pitiful” what do you mean by that?
Cosby: I managed my life to the point that at age 19 I was still in high school. I decided I was too old to be walking down those hallways. When all my peers graduated and went to college or got married, I was left with nothing in the neighborhood so I joined the Navy. I did not manage my life well at all. I was not arrogant, just pitiful.
Beliefnet: Is that why you are so passionate about helping young people?
Cosby: When I decided that I wanted to go to college, I wanted to be a school teacher for 7th and 8th grade boys because I felt that was an important time for them. I had gone astray at that point in my life and really wanted to help keep them from making the same mistake I had made.
Beliefnet: You say you picture hell as a place with a lot of laughing but nobody is having fun, what do you mean by that?
Cosby: You can hear the laughter but there’s nothing funny. When you don’t understand something, you often laugh. It’s not fun, it’s awkward, it makes you feel terrible, “are these people laughing at me?” To me, that is hell.
Beliefnet: You have a long section in the book about the Bible called “Missing Pages?” It’s humorous but addresses some real issues, how do you resolve those missing pages in the Bible?
Cosby: I have to respect the faithful, I have to respect that you believe something, I’m not here to challenge you on that but if I can connect with you and you can say, “yeah, I did wonder about that…” then it makes us all better. Faith, in many ways, is what fills in those missing pages. I don’t understand women, they can unload on you some stuff that has nothing to do with fact, “because I said so, that’s why!” talk about faith! They got that from Eve.
Beliefnet: You are often attributed to the quote, “I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Was that really---?
Cosby: That is not my quote! I saw it on the wall of a tennis pro’s office, it was on a plaque. I do love that quote though, it’s so true. I often try to tell kids to think about all the people who love you, don’t cry over the one person who doesn’t. Kids need to focus on the people who support them, we can’t ruin the privilege of God putting us the earth by focusing on the few people who don’t get us.