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艾丽斯·汤普森:我的四种生活(双语)

爱词霸 三峡海 已阅次         ★★★

I live a life of four dimensions—a wife, a mother, a worker, an individual in society. Diversified roles, yes; but they are well knit by two major forces: an attempt to discover, understand, and accept other human beings; and a belief in my responsibility toward others. The first began in my childhood when my father and I acted out Shakespeare.

我在生活中有着四重身份——既为人妻,又为人母;既有自己的事业,又是社会的一分子。是的,角色不同,但配合得很好,因为它们都受两种主要力量的支配:一是努力观察、理解和接受他人,二是对他人尽职尽责。第一种努力早在孩童时代我和父亲一起“出演”莎剧时就开始了。

He refused to let me merely parrot Hamlet’s brooding soliloquy, Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene, or Cardinal Woolsey’s self-analysis. He made a fascinating game of helping me understand the motivations behind the poetic words.

无论是哈姆雷特深沉的独白、麦克白夫人的梦呓,还是伍思里主教的自我剖析,父亲都不让我机械地背诵,而是通过有趣的游戏帮我揣摩诗句中隐含的角色内心活动。

In college, a professor further sparked this passionate curiosity about the essence of others and, by his example, transmuted it into a deep concern, a sense of responsibility that sprang not from stern Calvinistic principles, but from an awareness of all I received—and must repay with gladness.

在大学时代,一位教授的言传身教进一步引发了我理解他人本质的热忱与好奇,从他身上,我学到了如何将这种热忱与好奇转化为对他人深切的关爱、对他人应负的责任。这种责任心绝非源自卡尔文教派严格的教义,而是源自对我所获得一切的欣然回报。

I believe this acceptance, this tenderness one has for others, is impossible without an acceptance of self. Just when or where I learned that the full quota of human weakness and strength was the common property of each of us, I don’t know. But somewhere in my late twenties, I grew able to admit my own drives—and, rid of the anguished necessity of re-costuming them, I was free to face them, and recognize that they were neither unique nor uncontrollable.

我相信人若不能接受自己,便不可能接受和善待他人。不知从何时何地开始,我意识到每个人都有优点和缺点。在我快满三十岁的时候,我学会了承认内心的冲动,而非痛苦地将其掩饰,我泰然自若地应付它们,因为它们乃人之共性,只需善于驾驭。

The rich and happy life I lead every day brings new witness to the validity of my own philosophy, for me. Certainly it works in marriage. Any real marriage is a constant understanding and acceptance, coupled with mutual responsibility for one another’s happiness. Each day I go out strengthened by the knowledge that I am loved and love.

我想我的人生哲学是正确的——我度过的充实而快乐的每一天便是明证。我的人生哲学也适用于婚姻生活,因为真正幸福的婚姻都建立在夫妻之间彼此不断理解和相互接受的基础之上,双方应尽职尽责,让对方幸福。每天我外出工作,知道我的爱得到了回报,便浑身有了力量。

In the mother-child relationship, those same two forces apply. Words are useless to describe my efforts to know my own children. But my great debt to them for their understanding of me is one I have often failed to repay. How can I overvalue a youngster with the thoughtfulness, the imagination to always phone when a late arrival might cause worry? To always know how to reassure. How can I repay the one who dashed into adulthood far too young but has carried all of its burden with a firm, joyous spirit?

这两种力量在母子关系之间也发挥了效用。我为了解孩子们所做出的努力远非文字所能形容,而孩子们对我的理解更让我无以为报。是怎样的想象力、心灵相通和体贴,让一个孩子在母亲迟迟未归时总是打电话确认她的行踪与安危?他用稚嫩的双肩快乐而坚定地担起成人的责任,我要怎样做才能报答这位早熟懂事的孩子?!

My job itself is a reaffirmation of that by which I live. Very early in my working life, I was a small cog in a big firm. Emerging from a tiny job, I found a strange frightening world. Superficially, everyone was friendly. But beneath the surface were raging suspicion, distrust; the hand ever ready to ward off—or deliver—the knife in the back. For years I thought I was in a world of monstrous people. Then I began to know the company’s president.

我的人生信条在工作中也得到了印证。从业之初,我只是一家大公司的无名小卒。我从低微的职位慢慢晋升,发现公司是个十分古怪而可怕的世界。每个人表面上和和气气,暗中却相互猜忌,人人自危,既怕自己背后射来暗箭,又想伺机捅人一刀。几年下来,我觉得公司里每个人都是魔鬼,后来才发现这一切都是总裁一手造成的。

What he had been I have no way of knowing. But at seventy, he was suspicious, distrusting, sure that no one was telling him the truth. He had developed a technique of pitting all of us against each other. Able to see the distortion he caused, I youthfully declared that if I every ran a business, it would be on the reverse principle.

他从前为人如何我无从得知,但年已七旬的他满腹狐疑,不相信任何人,觉得所有人都在欺骗他,便运用手段挑起员工之间的争斗。明白了他何以能使人心扭曲,年轻的我暗下决心,他年我若自行创业,一定运用完全相反的原则。

For the last two years, I have had that opportunity, and had the joy of watching people—widely different people, too—learn to understand each other, accept each other, feel mutually responsible.

两年前我终于有机会自立门户,有了观察人的工作。我看到各种不同的人如何学会相互理解和接受,对彼此尽责。

My trials and errors have really synthesized into one great belief, which is that I am not alone in my desire to reach my fellow man. I believe the human race is inherently cooperative and concerned about its brother.

我的尝试和成败得失熔铸成一个坚定的信念——绝非仅我一人试图理解与尊重他人。我相信合作与相互关爱正是人类的本性。

人物简介:

艾丽斯·汤普森夫人:是《十七岁》杂志的发行人及总编,她是美国国家级杂志发行人中第一位、也是唯一的一位女性。

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