Yesterday I saw a note posted by a young friend on Facebook. It was an article, supposedly written by Bill Cosby. As I read it, I was sure that there was no way that Mr. Cosby had written it, and so I looked it up, and lo and behold, it’s a viral post that’s been going around for several years now, with differing variations. You can find the full diatribe here. I’ve posted an excerpt below, to give you an idea.
Bill Cosby “I’m 83 and Tired”
I’ve worked hard since I was 17. Except for when I was doing my National Service, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn’t call in sick in nearly 40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as though retirement was a bad idea, and I’m tired. Very tired.
I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.
I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t “believers”; Muslims burning schools for girls; Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.
Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 83. Because, mostly, I’m not going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for my granddaughter and their children. Thank God I’m on the way out and not on the way in.
There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on! This is your chance to make a difference.
“I’m 83 and I’m tired. If you don’t agree you are part of the problem!
On September 9, 2011, Bill Cosby put out a statement in regards to the post, saying, “There’s an email floating around – entitled “I’m 76 and tired” – purportedly sent by me. I did not write the email, I did not send the email, I’m not 76, and I don’t subscribe to the ugly views expressed in the email. We are coming up to an important anniversary on Sunday, which is a day when we should all come together. Whoever wrote this email is not thinking about our country, or what is important. If you get the email, it’s time to hit DELETE.”
When I pointed out to my young friend that Bill Cosby did NOT, in fact, write the post, she declared that she didn’t care who wrote it (in fact, a former state senator from Massachusetts, Robert A. Hall, was the author) because it made sense.
I didn’t know whether to be angry, or sad, that she felt that way. Instead, I decided to write a response to the letter. Perhaps someone will find some “sense” in it.
Cynthia Hill I’m 37 and I’m Tired
I work hard 24/7 raising four children. I don’t get sick days, so even if I wanted one, I’d be out of luck. I don’t get a salary. I write books, and sometimes people buy them. I’m nowhere near retirement, and thank God for that, because if we were to retire anytime soon my husband and I would be screwed. I’m tired. Very tired.
I’m tired of hearing people say that they earned their money without help from anyone, ever, and that they should be able to do anything they want with it. If you went to school, drove on a public road, used a flush toilet, called the police or the fire department, or ever received a “baby bonus” cheque, you did NOT do everything yourself, so get off your high horse. There are a lot more people who would like to be earning a REAL living, but are being stalled by the current economic climate of “the rich get richer” than there are people who are “too lazy” to get off the couch.
I’m tired of people using a few isolated incidents to condemn an entire race. If we don’t judge all Christians by the Westboro Baptist Church, why the hell should we judge all Muslims by the acts of THEIR extremists who have twisted the meaning of their religion? The media shows the extremes. They don’t show you law-abiding citizens who only want to live in peace. That doesn’t sell newspapers and magazines, and doesn’t get eyeballs on newscasts. After all, “if it bleeds, it leads.”
I’m tired of the fact that those who preach that all Muslims are violent can’t see that the irony that their actions are no better than the Nazis in Germany, condemning an entire group of people over propaganda and lies. How long until we start building work camps, all in the name of “public safety?”
I’m tired of hearing that showing some respect for the planet that gave you life is “lowering your standard of living.”
I’m tired of hearing what a scourge on society drug addicts are. How about, instead of complaining, looking at the reasons behind drug addiction, and trying to do something about it. No, a giant germ didn’t rush out in a dark alley, and stick a needle in their arm, or shove white powder up their noses, but they may have an untreated mental illness for which they are unknowingly self-medicating, they may have had something terrible happen to them as a child, and without access to proper counselling, they are simply trying to find a way to get the memories out of their heads. Perhaps drug addiction is the only life they know, having seen their own parents struggle with it. I don’t know, but the point is, neither do you.
I’m tired of the fact that we all seem to think we have a right to judge others’ mistakes, as if we had never made any ourselves. I’m tired of the fact that every time an athlete, musician, or actor – especially young ones – make a mistake, it’s broadcast as entertainment for the masses. How many of us would have wanted our youthful indiscretions broadcast around the world so that everyone could make them into a joke, or talk about how disgusting we are? Money can buy a lot, but it can’t buy self-respect. I’m really tired of people throwing around the word “entitlement.” It is simply a way to scorn those who dare to want more out of life. Not everyone expects something for nothing, but it’s not wrong to expect that roadblocks won’t be put in your way purely out of spite and greed.
I’m also tired and fed up with seeing people discriminated against because of how they look. Tattoos and face studs do not make a person “unemployable”: intolerance does. That person could be brilliant at their chosen profession, and you’ve just lost out on a potentially fantastic employee, just because you can’t see past the surface.
Yes, I’m damned tired. But I’m also glad to be 37, because I sure wouldn’t want to be fresh out of university these days, where you need 2-3 years experience for an “entry level” job, are only offered unpaid “internships,” and have hundreds of dollars of student loans to pay every month.
Here is your real chance to make a difference: trade the hate and anger in your heart for some love and kindness. Maybe you’ll see a brighter future after all.