國外名人演講

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論文標簽:名人演講稿
上傳時間:2013/11/10 22:58:00

Looking back at the 21-year-old that I was at graduation, is a slightly uncomfortable experience for the 42-year-old that she has become. Half my lifetime ago, I was striking an uneasy balance between the ambition I had for myself, and what those closest to me expected of me.

對於一個42歲的婦女來說,回想自己21歲畢業時的情景,是一種稍稍令人不安的經歷。回到21年之前,我正遭受煎熬,不知道在自己內心的追求與父母對我的期望之間,應該如何平衡。

I was convinced that the only thing I wanted to do, ever, was to write novels. However, my parents, both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing personal quirk that would never pay a mortgage, or secure a pension. I know that the irony strikes with the force of a cartoon anvil, now.

當時,我確信自己一生中唯一想做的事情,就是去寫小說。但是,我的父母出身貧寒,沒有受過大學教育。他們認為,我那些不安分的想象力只是一種怪癖,根本不能用來還房貸,或者掙來養老金。我現在知道,這種人生的反諷,有著卡-通片裏大鐵砧般的巨大打擊力。

So they hoped that I would take a vocational degree; I wanted to study English Literature. A compromise was reached that in retrospect satisfied nobody, and I went up to study Modern Languages. Hardly had my parents' car rounded the corner at the end of the road than I ditched German and scuttled off down the Classics corridor.

他們希望我再去讀個職業學位,而我想去研究英國文學。最後,達成了一個雙方都不甚滿意的妥協:我改學語言學。可是等到父母的車消失在公路的轉角,我就立刻拋掉了德語,奔向古典文學的道路。

I cannot remember telling my parents that I was studying Classics; they might well have found out for the first time on graduation day. Of all the subjects on this planet, I think they would have been hard put to name one leuseful than Greek mythology when it came to securing the keys to an executive bathroom.

我不記得將這事告訴了父母。他們可能是在畢業典禮那一天才發現的。我想,在全世界的所有專業中,他們也許認為,不會有比研究希臘神話更沒用的專業了,根本無法換來一間獨立的寬敞衛生間。

I would like to make it clear, in parenthesis, that I do not blame my parents for their point of view. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. What is more, I cannot criticise my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor, and I quite agree with them that it is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools.

我要申明,我並不責怪父母有這種看法。父母只在一段時間內,對你的人生方向負責;當你長大以後,你自己就控制了人生方向,必須自己承擔責任。而且,他們只是希望我不要過窮日子,我不能批評他們。他們自己很窮,我後來一度也很窮,所以我很理解他們,貧窮是一種悲慘的經歷。它帶來恐懼、壓力、有時還有抑郁。它意味著許許多多的羞辱和艱辛。靠自己的努力擺脫貧窮,確實讓人自豪,但是只有傻瓜才會將貧窮本身浪漫化。

接著,她談到了自己那些最悲慘的日子:

A mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale.

我畢業後只過了7年,就失敗得一塌糊塗。

An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.

短命的婚姻閃電般地破裂,我還失業了,成了一個艱難的單身母親。除了流浪漢,我是當代英國最窮的人之一,真的一無所有。我父母對我的擔憂,我對自己的擔憂,都變成了現實。用平常人的標準,我是我所知道的最失敗的人。

That period of my life was a dark one. I had no idea how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.

那段日子是我生命中的黑暗歲月。我不知道還要在黑暗中走多久,很長一段時間中,我有的只是希望,而不是現實。

但是,J.K. 羅琳認為,沒有那段日子的失敗,就不會有後來的她。

So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.

什麽我說失敗是有好處的?因為失敗將那些非本質的東西都剝離了。我不再偽裝自己,我找到了真正的我,我將自己所有的精力,投入完成對我最重要的唯一一項工作。

Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.

要是我以前在其他地方成功了,那麽我也許永遠不會有這樣的決心,投身於這個我自信真正屬於我的領域。

I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

我自由了,因為我最大的恐懼已經成為現實,而我卻還依然活著,依然有一個深著的女兒,我還有一臺舊打字機和一個大大的夢想。我生命中最低的低點,成為我重建生活的堅實基矗

Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies.

失敗使我的內心產生一種安全感,以前通過考試也沒有的安全感。失敗讓我看清自己,以前我從沒認識到自己是這樣的。我發現,我比自己以為的,有更強的意誌和決心。我還發現,我有一些比寶石更珍貴的朋友。

You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned.

只有到逆境來臨的那一天,你才會真正了解你自己,了解你結識的人。這種了解是真正的財富,雖然是用痛苦換來的,但是它比我以前得到的任何證書都有用。

在演說的下半部分,她還談了畢業後在大*赦*國*際(Amnesty International)倫敦總部的第一份工作。這部分內容也很精彩,不過我就不翻譯了,大家可以去看原文。

三、

我要重點談的,是演說的結尾部分。

一般來說,在演講結束時,嘉賓將對畢業生提出期望。我們可以看到,在這種場合,幾乎所有嘉賓,都沒有說"祝願同學們取得個人成功",而是說"希望同學們努力去減輕人類的苦難"。

比爾·蓋茨去年說:

Should Harvard encourage its faculty to take on the world's worst inequities? Should Harvard students learn about the depth of global poverty ... the prevalence of world hunger ... the scarcity of clean water ...the girls kept out of school ... the children who die from diseases we can cure?

哈佛是否鼓勵她的老師去研究解決世界上最嚴重的不平等?哈佛的學生是否從全球那些極端的貧窮中學到了什麽......世界性的饑荒......清潔的水資源的缺乏......無法上學的女童......死於非惡性疾病的兒童......哈佛的學生有沒有從中學到東西?

Should the world's most privileged people learn about the lives of the world's least privileged?

那些世界上過著最優越生活的人們,有沒有從那些最困難的人們身上學到東西?

These are not rhetorical questions - you will answer with your policies.

這些問題並非語言上的修辭。你必須用自己的行動來回答它們。

When you consider what those of us here in this Yard have been given - in talent, privilege, and opportunity - there is almost no limit to what the world has a right to expect from us.

想一想吧,我們在這個院子裏的這些人,被給予過什麽----天賦、特權、機遇----那麽可以這樣說,全世界的人們幾乎有無限的權力,期待我們做出貢獻。

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