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卫斯理高中毕业演讲:千万不要以为你很特别 因为你并不特别

kira86 于2019-03-22发布 l 已有人浏览
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卫斯理高中的英文老师David McCullough Jr.毕业典礼演讲:教育的真谛在于获得学习的乐趣,而非物质上的收获。攀上高峰是为了看世界,而不是为了让世界看到你。
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2  David McCullough Jr.jpg
You're Not Special

你并不特别

Commencement is life's great ceremonial beginning, with its own attendant and highly appropriate symbolism. Fitting, for example, for this auspicious rite of passage , is where we find ourselves this afternoon, the venue. Normally, I avoid clichés like the plague, but there we are on a literal level playing field. That matters. That says something. And your ceremonial costume ... shapeless, uniform, one-size-fits-all. Whether male or female, tall or short, scholar or slacker , each of you is dressed, you'll notice, exactly the same. And your diploma ... but for your name, exactly the same.

毕业典礼是人生伟大的开端仪式,有其自身的附加值以及恰如其分的象征意义。比方说,与这个美好的人生庆典相匹配的,就是今天下午我们身处的这个地方——这个会场。我通常对陈词滥调如瘟疫一般避之唯恐不及,但今天却是一个要比拼文字的场合,用词自然就要注意了,用什么词就要说明点儿什么。看看各位的礼服……没型没样、千篇一律,还都是一个尺寸。不论男女、不分高矮、也不管学习用不用功,你们会发现你们每个人穿得都一模一样。还有你们的毕业证书,除了你们的名字以外,其他的完全一样。

All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special.

这一切本就应该如此,因为你们没有一个人是特别的。

You are not special. You are not exceptional.

你并不特别,也不出众。

Yes, you've been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble- wrapped. Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again. You've been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored. You've been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie. Yes, you have. And, certainly, we've been to your games, your plays, your recitals, your science fairs. Absolutely, smiles ignite when you walk into a room, and hundreds gasp with delight at your every tweet. Why,maybe you've even had your picture in the Townsman ! And now you've conquered high school ... and, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building....

没错,你一直是大人们宠爱、溺爱、娇纵的对象,享受百般呵护和无微不至的照料。没错,无所不能的大人们再忙也要拥抱你,亲吻你,喂养你,给你擦嘴、擦屁股,训练你,教育你,教导你,指引你,听你说话,给你忠告,鼓励你,安慰你,然后再鼓励你。他们对你费尽唇舌、好话说尽,或哄骗,或祈求,苦口婆心。他们赞美你、恭维你,叫你乖乖小甜心。没错,你拥有这一切。当然,你的运动会、你的比赛、你的朗诵会、你的科学展我们都会去参加。毫无疑问,当你走进教室,每个人都为你展露笑容。你发的每一条推特都会赢得数百声惊叹。哇,你的照片甚至可能还上过《同城人》报纸!而现在,你已经拿下了高中……毫无疑问,我们今天相聚在此全是为了你们——你们是这所一流学校的荣耀和喜悦,是从那幢雄伟的新教学楼里走出来的第一批学子……

But do not get the idea you're anything special, because you're not.

但是,千万不要以为你很特别,因为你并不特别。

The empirical evidence is everywhere; numbers even an English teacher can't ignore. Newton, Natnick, Nee ... I am allowed to say Needham , yes? ... that has to be two thousand high school graduates right here, give or take, and that's just the neighborhood N's. Across the country no fewer than 3.2 million seniors are graduating about now from more than 37,000 high schools. That's 37,000 valedictorians . That's 37,000 class presidents.... But why limit ourselves to high school? After all, you're leaving it. So think about this: even if you're one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you.

实证比比皆是,即使是一个英语老师也无法忽视这些数字。牛顿中学、内蒂克中学,还有李——我可以提李约瑟中学的名字吗?——那里或多或少应该有2000名高中毕业生吧,而这才仅仅是附近以N开头的几所高中的毕业人数。在整个美国,目前至少应该有320万名高中生正从3.7万多所高中毕业。也就是说,有3.7万名致告别辞的学生代表,有3.7万名学生会主席……但是,为什么我们只局限在高中范围呢?毕竟,你马上就要告别高中了。所以这样想想看:即使你是百万人中挑一的,但地球上有68亿人口,那就意味着世界上有近7000个像你这样的人。

But, Dave, you cry, "Walt Whitman tells me I'm my own version of perfect! Epictetus tells me I have the spark of Zeus!" And I don't disagree. So that makes 6.8 billion sparks of Zeus. You see, if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless. In our unspoken but not so subtle Darwinian competition with one another - which springs, I think, from our fear of our own insignificance, a subset of our dread of mortality - we have of late, we Americans, to our detriment ,come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. We have come to see them as the point - and we're happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that's the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece, something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem pole . No longer is it even whether you win or lose, or learn or grow, or enjoy yourself doing it.... Now it's "So what does this get me?" As a consequence, we cheapen worthy endeavors. It's an epidemic - and in its way, not even dear old Wellesley High is immune - one of the best of the 37,000 nationwide, Wellesley High School - where good is no longer good enough, where a B is the new C, and the midlevel curriculum is called Advanced College Placement . And I hope you caught me when I said "one of the best". I said "one of the best" so we can feel better about ourselves,so we can bask in a little easy distinction, however vague and unverifiable, and count ourselves among the elite, whoever they might be, and enjoy a perceived leg-up on the perceived competition. But the phrase defies logic. By definition there can be only one best. You're it or you're not.

“可是,戴夫,”你大声喊道,“诗人沃尔特·惠特曼告诉我,我就是我自己的完美版本!哲学家爱比克泰德告诉我,我有宙斯的才智!”我并不否认,但这样一来,就有68亿个有才智的宙斯。你瞧,如果人人都是特别的,那么谁都不特别。如果人人都能得到奖杯,那么奖杯也就变得毫无意义。我认为,我们对自身平庸的恐惧——这也是怕死的部分表现——引发了彼此之间达尔文式的适者生存竞争。在这种尽管我们嘴上不说但却显而易见的竞争中,我们美国人近来变得越来越喜欢荣誉和赞美之辞,而不是真正的成就,这对我们有害无益。于是我们把这些东西看得无比重要。我们乐于降低标准,或者无视现实,如果我们认定这是最简便的或是唯一的方法,能让我们得到某个可以放在壁炉架上炫耀的东西,某个可以拿来一起拍照合影、自吹自擂的东西,某个可以提携我们、让我们在社会等级中获得更高地位的东西。我们看重的甚至再是输赢,不是学到了什么、成长了多少,或者是否乐在其中……现在我们看重的是“这东西能给我带来什么好处”。其结果就是,我们不再看重奋斗的价值。这种风气具有传染性,在它传播肆的过程中,就连悠久古老的韦尔斯利高中也无法幸免——韦尔斯利高中算是全国3.7万所高中里最优秀的之一。在这里,“好”已经不算足够好,成绩良好不过是成绩合格的新叫法,中级水平课程被称作大学先修课程。刚才我说“最优秀的之一”,希望各位能明白我的意思。我说“最优秀的之一”,这样我们就可以自我感觉更加良好;这样我们就可以悠然自得地沉浸于微不足道的优越感中,尽管它含糊不清、无从查证;这样我们就能把自己划入精英的行列,也不管这个行列中都有些什么人;这样我们就能在自我想象的竞争中,想象自己处于领先的地位。但“最优秀的之一”这一说法却并不合逻辑,就其定义来说,最优秀的只能有一个。要么是你,要么不是你。

If you've learned anything in your four years here I hope it's that education should be for, rather than material advantage, the exhilaration of learning. You've learned, too, I hope, as Sophocles assured us, that wisdom is the chief element of happiness. Second is ice cream ... just an FYI . I also hope you've learned enough to recognize how little you know, how little you know now, at the moment, for today is just the beginning. It's where you go from here that matters.

如果你们在这里的四年生活中学到了什么,我希望是你们明白了教育的真谛在于获得学习的乐趣,而非物质上的收获。我希望你们还能明白,正如古希腊悲剧诗人索福克莱斯告诉我们的:智慧是幸福的主要元素。其次是冰淇淋……这仅供参考。我还希望你们学到的知识足以让你们意识到自己所知甚少,认识到现在、此时此刻你们所知甚少,因为今天仅仅是个开始。你们从这里走向哪里才是至关重要的。

As you commence, then, and before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance. Don't bother with work you don't believe in any more than you would, a spouse you're not crazy about. Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction. Be worthy of your advantages. And read ... read all the time ... read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life. Develop and protect a moral sensibility and demonstrate the character to apply it. Dream big. Work hard. Think for yourself. Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might. And do so, please, with a sense of urgency, for every tick of the clock subtracts from fewer and fewer; and as surely as there are commencements,there are cessations , and you'll be in no condition to enjoy the ceremony attendant to that eventuality no matter how delightful the afternoon.

那么,在你们毕业的此刻,在你们即将乘风飞翔前,我敦促各位无论做什么事,都要只是因为自己喜爱并且相信其重要性才去做的。不要在你不相信的事上浪费时间,正如不要去找一个你根本不爱的伴侣一样。不要贪图享受、沾沾自喜,不要追逐耀眼却华而不实的物质享受,不要自我麻痹、自鸣得意。要发挥自己的优势。还有读书,一直都要读书。把读书当作一个行为准则,当作关乎自尊的一件事。把读书当作人生的营养食粮。要培养并保持道德感,展现道德品质并付诸实践。志存高远,勤奋努力,独立思考。对自己所爱之事、所爱之人,要全心全意地去爱。而这一切,都请带着紧迫感去做,因为时钟每走一秒,就意味着所剩的时间越来越少。正如凡事有始必有终,不管今天下午多么令人愉快,各位都不可能无休止地享受这一盛典,总有曲终人散的时候。

The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you're a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer . You'll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - quite an active verb, "pursuit" - which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on Youtube. The first President Roosevelt, the old Rough Rider , advocated the strenuous life. Mr. Thoreau wanted to drive life into a corner , to live deep and suck out all the marrow . The poet Mary Oliver tells us to row, row into the swirl and roil. Locally, someone ... I forget who ... from time to time encourages young scholars to carpe the heck out of the diem . The point is the same: get busy, have at it. Don't wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands. Now before you dash off and get your YOLO (You Only Live Once) tattoo, let me point out the illogic of that trendy little expression - because you can and should live not merely once, but every day of your life. Rather than You Only Live Once (YOLO), it should be You Live Only Once (YLOO) ... but because YLOO doesn't have the same ring, we shrug and decide it doesn't matter.

充实的人生、独特的人生、有意义的人生是一项成就,不会因为你是好人就会从天而降,也不会因为你妈妈可以包办就能得到。你会发现开国元勋们费尽周折才保障了你不可剥夺的生存权利、自由权利以及追求幸福的权利——“追求”,一个相当主动的动词——我认为它没有给你留什么空闲,让你能躺在那儿上Youtube网站看鹦鹉溜旱冰。我们的第一位罗斯福总统是位勇猛的老骑兵,他倡导我们过艰苦奋斗的生活。梭罗先生想过简单的生活,希望活得深刻,汲取生命所有的精髓。诗人玛丽·奥利弗要我们划着小船,去中流击水,浪遏飞舟。在这里,有人——我忘了是谁——时常鼓励年轻的学者们要把握时机,活在当下。其核心思想一样:行动起来,主动出击。不要等着灵感或者激情来找你。站起来,走出去,去探索,靠自己的力量去发现,然后牢牢把握、全力以赴。现在,趁着你还没有冲出去在身上刺个YOLO文身,请允许我指出这句小小的时髦表达的不合逻辑之处——因为你的人生可以而且应该不止就过那么一次,而应该每天都是一个新的人生。与其说“人生只有一次(YOLO)”,倒不如说“人生无法重来(YLOO)”……但因为YLOO给人的感受不太一样,我们只好耸耸肩,觉得不改也没什么大不了。

None of this day-seizing, though, this YLOOing, should be interpreted as license for self-indulgence. Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying by-product. It's what happens when you're thinking about more important things.

然而,所谓时不我待,或者人生无法重来,都不应拿来作为自我放纵的借口。正如荣誉本身一样,充实的人生是一个结果,一个带给人成就感的副产品。它是你在思考更为重要的事情时自然而然的结果。

Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion - and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetness joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you're not special.

攀登高峰不是为了插上自己的旗帜,而是为了迎接挑战,享受清新的空气,饱览美丽的风景。攀上高峰是为了看世界,而不是为了让世界看到你。去巴黎是为了领略巴黎的风情,而不是为了在旅游清单上划掉巴黎的名字,然后为自己见了世面感到欣喜。运用自由意志、进行创新独立的思考并不是为了自身的满足,而是为了他人的福祉,为了68亿人以及他们子孙后代的福祉。那时,你也会发现人类经验中伟大而又不同寻常的真理——无私是你能为自己做的最了不起的事!只有当你意识到自己并不特别时,才能真正领略到人生最甜美的快乐。

Because everyone is.

因为每个人都是如此。

(By David McCullough Jr.)

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