As a child growing up in North America, I remember back to my elementary school days when my evenings pretty much consisted of 4 things: sports, family dinner, homework, and of course…the only television show we could watch before bed: The Cosby Show.
Encouraged by my father, myself and my brother would find ourselves excited to be entertained by Bill Cosby ‘Mr. Huxtable’ (and the rest of the cast), as they showcased the dynamics of a middle to upper class African American family – and what it takes to create the home many are after! And although we were only 6, 7, and 8 years old…there was something about The Cosby Show that was more than just entertainment. I’m sure my dad knew this but we were too young to really appreciate the messages that were impacting families across the globe.
Looking back, The Cosby Show engaged people of all ages, races, genders, socioeconomic levels, etc. And through profiling a group of unique, yet ordinary characters, we were inspired to laugh through the hard times, appreciate what we have, and respect other people. We learned the importance of education, respect, honesty, hard work, financial responsibility, social justice, racial harmony, self-respect, and pride. And most of all, we were taught some unbelievable principles around the value of our family and friends.
As an example, to this day I remember when Dr. Huxtable would look at his kids and tell them… “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
Wow. Isn’t that the truth!
If we haven’t figured it out yet, the people around us directly impact, affect, and shape us. To some degree, everyone exerts some influence on us. Just look at how we let dress styles change. Also note how some areas of the world are more fit than others. But great influence is reserved for our closest relationships. Many people around us can create a little effect, but our friends, parents, and family, those we choose to associate with, have a tremendous impact on us. We need to remember that.
As kids, our dad’s impact & influence was significant. And although he wasn’t a doctor, nor was he African American…he instilled similar principles that Dr. Huxtable did with Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudi – with us!
On that note, this past weekend I had the opportunity to take my dad (and mom) to go see (and meet) Bill Cosby. They were over the moon. My old man was like a kid in a candy store. To watch his smile explode as he grinned from ear to ear…and his eyes light up…as he instantly filled his mind with what he was going to ask Bill, I knew it was a way I could pay it forward and indirectly thank him for everything he provided for us.
What a great evening. Thanks Dad!