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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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When you get really old and start breaking down, you haven't got the energy anymore, but I still have all of the energy that I had as a boy. Letting things go is mighty hard but growing old happens to everybody and you've got to be philosophical about it.


Do you fear death?


No, I don't fear death. I don't believe in organized religion. I believe in being good. If there is a God, he'll approve of your being a decent fellow. You don't have to go through all of these formalities, which to me have always been artificial. That goes for every form of religion. I think that the Catholic religion is the most appealing because it is beautiful, and if I had to be religious--if I had to--I think that I would embrace Catholicism just for the pageantry of it. But its philosophy, especially the philosophy of reactionaries like Cardinal Spellman, I have no use for. That goes for Orthodox Jewry, too. These stylized rituals don't seem to be part of today's world.

To sum up, my philosophy is to try to bring joy into the world. Then you're being a good person. As I said, if you can leave people just a little bit happier after they leave you than they were when they met you, you are my idea of a valuable citizen. Especially today, anybody that can cheer people up a little and not indulge in this undermining handwringing that we're all doing. The news--especially from

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