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英文欣赏:自由思想与心灵的作用

我相信人类。

我相信热诚的心。

我相信人们的正直与诚实。

我相信自由社会中的美德。

我相信只要我们愿意为之奋斗,愿意与所存在的缺陷抗争到底,这个社会就能永远美好。

Free Minds and Hearts at Work

by Jackie Robinson

At the beginning of the World Series of 1947, I experienced a completely new emotion, when the National Anthem was played.

This time, I thought, it is being played for me, as much as for anyone else. This is organized major league baseball, and I am standing here with all the others; and everything that takes place includes me.

About a year later, I went to Atlanta, Georgia, to play in an exhibition game. On the field, for the first time in Atlanta, there were Negroes and whites. Other Negroes, besides me. And I thought: What I have always believed has come to be.

And what is it that I have always believed? First, that imperfections are human. But that wherever human beings were given room to breathe and time to think, those imperfections would disappear, no matter how slowly. I do not believe that we have found or even approached perfection. That is not necessarily in the scheme of human events. Handicaps, stumbling blocks, prejudices — all of these are imperfect. Yet, they have to be reckoned with because they are in the scheme of human events.

Whatever obstacles I found made me fight all the harder. But it would have been impossible for me to fight at all, except that I was sustained by the personal and deep-rooted belief that my fight had a chance. It had a chance because it took place in a free society. Not once was I forced to face and fight an immovable object. Not once was the situation so cast-iron rigid that I had no chance at all. Free minds and human hearts were at work all around me; and so there was the probability of improvement. I look at my children now, and know that I must still prepare them to meet obstacles and prejudices.

But I can tell them, too, that they will never face some of these prejudices because other people have gone before them. And to myself I can say that, because progress is unalterable, many of today’s dogmas will have vanished by the time they grow into adults. I can say to my children: There is a chance for you. No guarantee, but a chance.

And this chance has come to be, because there is nothing static with free people. There is no Middle Ages logic so strong that it can stop the human tide from flowing forward. I do not believe that every person, in every walk of life, can succeed in spite of any handicap. That would be perfection. But I do believe — and with every fiber in me — that what I was able to attain came to be because we put behind us (no matter how slowly) the dogmas of the past: to discover the truth of today; and perhaps find the greatness of tomorrow.

I believe in the human race. I believe in the warm heart. I believe in man’s integrity. I believe in the goodness of a free society. And I believe that the society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it — and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist.

My fight was against the barriers that kept Negroes out of baseball. This was the area where I found imperfection, and where

I was best able to fight. And I fought because I knew it was not doomed to be a losing fight. It couldn’t be a losing fight-not when it took place in a free society.

And in the largest sense, I believe that what I did was done for me — that it was my faith in God that sustained me in my fight. And that what was done for me must and will be done for others.

自由思想与心灵的作用

杰基·罗宾逊

1947年的世界职业棒球大赛开赛那天,当美国国歌奏响的那一刻,我产生了一种全新的情感。这一次,国歌是为我而奏,就像为其他人奏一样。我终于能和其他人一样,站在职业棒球大联盟球赛的赛场上,成为这一切的一部分。

大约一年以后,我参加了在乔治亚州首府亚特兰大举办的一次棒球表演赛。这是亚特兰大的赛场上第一次同时出现白人和黑人运动员。除我之外,还有其他黑人选手。那一刻,我一直坚守的信念终于实现了。

我一直坚守的信念是什么呢?首先,我知道人类不可避免会有缺陷。但只要人类有一息尚存,只要人类还能思考,这些缺陷一定会逐渐消失,无论过程会多么漫长。我并不认为我们已经到达或正在接近完美无缺的境界。完美无缺的境界并非人类社会不可或缺的一部分。有些缺陷,例如残疾、障碍和偏见,在人类社会中都存在,也就需要我们勇敢地去面对。

我一路上遇到的阻碍都促使我更加努力地去抗争、去奋斗。然而,如果不是我内心深处坚信我的奋斗有希望,我就根本无法坚持。我的奋斗有希望,因为这是一个自由的社会。在这里,我不止一次遇到过无法逾越的障碍,也不止一次经历过令人绝望的境况。但那时,思想与心灵的自由便能起作用,让我摆脱困境。如今我看着自己的孩子们,我知道我仍需要他们准备面对困难与歧视。

然而,我可以告诉他们,正因为前人的努力奋斗,他们今后不必再经受我们现在承受的某些偏见。我也告诉自己,社会进步是必然的,当我的孩子们长大成人时,现在社会上的许多教条一定会消失。因此,我可以告诉我的孩子们:你们有希望——我不敢保证什么,但肯定有希望。有自由思想的人决不会停滞不前,所以你们有希望。再也没有中世纪强大荒谬的逻辑能阻挡人类历史的潮流滚滚向前。我并不认为从事任何职业的任何人都能排除一切障碍获得成功——这样的完美不现实。但我的确有一条坚定不疑的信念——我现在所做到的一切是因为我们能够抛开从前的教条(无论多么缓慢),能探寻当下的真理,也许还能发现未来的美好。

我相信人类。

我相信热诚的心。

我相信人们的正直与诚实。

我相信自由社会中的美德。

我相信只要我们愿意为之奋斗,愿意与所存在的缺陷抗争到底,这个社会就能永远美好。

棒球比赛将黑人拒之门外就是人类社会的一种缺陷。既然我有这个能力,我就要和这种现象抗争到底。我抗争,因为我知道这场战斗并非注定以失败告终。

这场战斗不会失败——在一个自由社会中这场战斗不可能失败。

大而言之,我所做到的一切都市上苍的眷顾——正是我对上帝的信仰支撑着我,给我抗争的勇气。我相信被眷顾的不仅仅是我一个人,而应是、也将是我们所有人。

附注:杰基·罗宾逊:是一位了不起的黑人棒球运动员。


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《英文欣赏:自由思想与心灵的作用》

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