SD冠军锦标赛|美国藤校演讲与辩论赛中国选拔赛

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英国作家J K罗琳2008年毕业典礼上的演讲:人生就像一部小说

Actually, I have wracked my mind and heart for what I ought to say to you today. I have asked myself what I wish I had known at my own graduation, and what important lessons I have learned in the 21 years that have expired between that day and this. I have come up with two answers. On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure. And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called “real life”,I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination.

其实,为了考虑今天该跟你们讲些什么,我已经绞尽脑汁。我曾问自己,从毕 业到现在的21年里,我学会和知道了哪些重要的教训,收获了什么重要的教训。我 现在已经得出了两个答案。在这样一个美好的日子,我们汇聚一堂,庆祝你们学业 上的成功,而我却决定与你们谈谈失败的好处;因为你们正站在“现实生活”的门 檻上,我要赞扬一下发挥重要作用的想象力。

What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure.

我向你们这么大的时候,最害怕的不是贫穷,而是失败。

However, the fact that you are graduating from Harvard suggests that you are not very well-acquainted with failure. You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for success. Indeed, your conception of failure might not be too far from the average person’s idea of success, so high have you already flown.

然而,你们是哈佛大学的毕业生,这个事实意味着你们可能不是很熟悉失败。你们对失败的恐惧可能像你们对成功的渴望一样强烈。你们的失败可能在一般人眼 里就是成功,因为你们巳经站在一个如此高的起点。

Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. 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 that 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.

最终,我们所有人都必须自己判断什么才算是失败,但是,如果你愿意的话, 这个世界可以给你提供一套评判标准。所以我认为,以任何传统的标准来看,说我 在毕业后的七年里失败得一塌糊涂一点也不为过。我经历了一段非常短暂的婚姻, 失去了工作,成了一个单亲妈妈,除了还没到无家可归之外,我成了现代英国社会 穷得不能再穷的人。父母对我的担心和我对自己的担心,接踵而至。无论以何种标 准来进行衡量,我都是我所知道的最彻底的失败者。

Now,I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea then how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.

现在,我不打算在这里告诉你们失败多么有趣。那段时间我的生活暗无天日, 当时我也并不知道日后自己会写出被新闻界称为“童话故事界的革命”的东西。那 时,我不知道这样暗无天日的日子还会持续多久。在很长一段时间里,所有的希望 都是虚无飘渺的。

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. 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- I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized,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.

既然如此,我为什么要谈论失败的好处呢?理由很简单,因为失败就意味着丢弃那些不必要的东西。我们不用再自我伪装,我就是我。我将自己全部的精力都 用在完成一件对我来说很重要的工作上。假如我真的在其他方面有所造诣,那我可 能永远也不会下定决心在自己真正喜欢的领域奋斗并获得成功。我得到了解脱,因 为最让我恐惧的事情已经发生过了,而我依然在这里,我仍然拥有一个我深爱的女 儿,一台旧打字机和一个宏伟的想法。在人生的低谷,这些为我重新开始自己的生 活打下了坚实的基础。

You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all~in which case, you fail by default.

你们也许永远不会体验我所遭受过的失败,但在人生中或多或少的失败是不可 避免的。人生中不可能没有失败,除非你活得足够小心谨慎,但那样你可能都不算 是在生活——如果真的如此,那你从一开始就已经失败了。

Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations.

失败赋予我们一种来自内心的安全感,这是我在通过学校考试时从未得到过的 感觉。

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 the price of rubies. The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. 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 than any qualification I ever earned.

失败让我学会很多,而这些不能通过其他任何途径了解到。通过失败,我发现 自己拥有了坚强的意志,并且比我想象的要更加严于律己。同时,因为失败我还发 现我有一些比宝石更为珍贵的朋友。一旦你意识到自己已经在挫折中变得更加明智 和坚强,那么从此之后,你就获得了保证自己生存下去的能力。如果不在逆境中接 受考验,你可能永远都无法真正了解自己或者了解你跟朋友间友情的稳定程度。这些认都是真正的馈赠,因为这都是在我们经历了痛苦之后才获得的,并且对我来 说这些比曾经获得的任何证书都要弥足珍贵。

So given a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV,are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.

如果我有一台时光机的话,我会告诉21岁的自己,一个人的幸福在于知道人生 并非是一张写着索取和成就目录的清单。证书和简历并非你们的人生,尽管你们将 遇到很多跟我年纪相仿或是比我年长的人,他们往往将这两者混为一谈。生活是复 杂而艰难的,同时也是不受任何人掌控的,虚心地了解这些,你才能坦然面对人生 变化的无常。

Every day of my working week in my early 20s I was reminded how incredibly fortunate I was, to live in a country with a democratically elected government, where legal representation and a public trial were the rights of everyone.

在我20岁出头的时候,每一个工作日我都提醒自己是如何的幸运,能够生活在 一个民主选举政府的国家里,在这个国家里合法地表达公民诉求是每个人的权利。

Every day, I saw more evidence about the evils humankind will inflict on their fellow humans, to gain or maintain power. I began to have nightmares, literal nightmares, about some of the things I saw, heard, and read. And yet I also learned more about human goodness at Amnesty International than I had ever known before.

每一天,我都看到很多心肠恶毒的人加害于他们的同伴以获得或维护自己的权 利。我开始作噩梦,一些逼真的噩梦,关于一些我看到、听到读到的事。我还在国 际特赦组织更多地了解了人心之善,这都是我之前所不知的。

Amnesty mobilises thousands of people who have never been tortured or imprisoned for their beliefs to act on behalf of those who have.

特赦组织动员了上千名从未因自身信仰而遭受折磨或牢狱之苦的人为那些正在 遭受这些的人们贡献一己之力。

The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees prisoners. Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never meet. My small participation in that process was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life.

人们感同身受的力量,引导着统一的行动,拯救生命、释放囚徒。个人幸福和 安全得到保障的普通人,以惊人的数量聚集起来去拯救那些他们从未相识,也不会 相识的人。我在那个行动中的小小作用已经成为我人生中最谦恭也最鼓舞人心的一 段经历。

Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places. Of course, this is a power, like my brand of fictional magic that is morally neutral. One might use such an ability to manipulate, or control, just as much as to understand or sympathise.

不同于这个星球上的其他生物,有些事就算没有亲身经历过,人类也能够去理解 和领悟。人们可以设身处地的去体会别人的感受和处境。当然,就像我小说中虚构的 魔法一样,它是一股在道德上保持中立的力量,并没有所谓正邪之分。人可能会利用 这样一种力量去操纵或控制他人,或者也可能用这种力量去理解或者同情他人。

And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.

许多人根本不喜欢运用自己的想象力。他们选择舒适地生活在自己经验所及 的范围内,从来不想知道其他人的感受。他们拒绝听到尖叫声,不愿朝牢笼看上一 眼;对于跟自己无关的苦难,他们会视若无睹,不闻不问;他们拒绝知道这一切。

I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.

我难免有些羡慕能够如此生活的人,但是我想他们的噩梦也不会比我的少。生 活在狭窄的空间里会使人患上某种“陌生环境恐惧症”,还要承受这种恐惧症带来的恐惧感。我想那些可以逃避想象的人可能会见到更多的鬼怪。他们通常比我们更加害怕 恐惧。

What is more, those who choose not to empathise enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy.

更可怕的是,那些没有同情心的人可能会成为真正的恶魔。因为尽管他们自身 不曾犯下滔天的罪行,但是他们对罪行的漠视已经足以使他们成为罪犯的帮凶。

If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to change the world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better. So today, I wish you nothing better than similar friendships. And tomorrow, I hope that even if you remember not a single word of mine, you remember those of Seneca, another of those old Romans I met when I fled down the Classics corridor,in retreat from career ladders, in search of ancient wisdom: As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.

如果你们选择凭借自己拥有的地位和影响力为那些没有发言权的弱势群体争取 利益;如果你们不仅支持有权势的人,也同样支持那些无权无势的人们;如果你们能 持续地切身感受那些劣势群体的人生,那么不仅你们自己的家人会以你为傲,数以 百万受益于你帮助而获得更好生活的人们也会为你们喝彩。我们不需要用魔法来 改变这个世界,我们本身就拥有了改变世界的力量:我们拥有憧憬更美好明天的能 力。所以今天,我祝愿你们也拥有这样的友谊。而将来,我希望你们即便不记得我 今天的演讲,至少还能记得我为了寻找古代智慧而放弃职业学位的学习。改学古典 文学时学到古罗马哲学家塞内加所说的一句话:人生就像是一部小说,重要的不是有 多长,而在于是否有意义。

I wish you all very good lives. Thank you very much.

祝你们生活幸福,谢谢。

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