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2017年7月16日

美國真正的可怕的地方在哪兒(五)?

    

每逢學校畢業季,同學們都會被各種名人的畢業演講激勵到熱血沸騰。美國首席大法官(Chief Justice of the US) John G. Roberts, Jr.的畢業演講,和別的演講嘉賓不同,他直面人性的弱點發表了一次最佳畢業演講:「I Wish You Bad Luck.」 連《Washington Post》評論都說:「Roberts大法官本年度最好的作品,不是某個案子的判決書,而是在兒子畢業典禮上的致辭。」
每逢學校畢業季,同學們都會被各種名人的畢業演講激勵到熱血沸騰。美國首席大法官(Chief Justice of the US) John G. Roberts, Jr.的畢業演講,和別的演講嘉賓不同,他直面人性的弱點發表了一次最佳畢業演講:「I Wish You Bad Luck.

連《Washington Post》評論都說:「Roberts大法官本年度最好的作品,不是某個案子的判決書,而是在兒子畢業典禮上的致辭。」

美國最高法院首席大法官John G. Roberts, Jr.是何許人也? 1955年生於紐約州水牛城,在印第安那州長大。父親是一家鐵廠的小職員,家中共有4個孩子,童年時家境拮据。知識改變命運,1971年考入Harvard,曾擔任《哈佛法律評論》的執行總編。



1976年,Roberts以第一名的成績從哈佛法學院畢業。1979年,獲得哈佛法學院法學博士學位。曾多年在白宮、司法系統工作。在列根政府中,他擔任總統助理顧問職務,同時兼司法部長特別助理。他強硬的保守立場,認為同性婚姻的合法不是美國憲法的進步。他最突出的政治觀點,體現為反對墮胎。

20059月,由布殊總統提名,參議院批准通過,Roberts就任美國聯邦最高法院第17任首席大法官。當時他僅有50歲,也是自1801年起兩個世紀以來,美國最年輕的首席大法官。

他與妻子Jane,膝下育有一子一女。雖然都是他們領養的,但如同親生骨肉。如今,12年過去了,這位昔日的調皮少年即將從 Cardigan Mountain School 畢業。63日,學校的畢業典禮請來了他老爸,首席大法官致辭。畢業典禮的一席致辭,總是蘊藏著許多前輩們的人生智慧,和發自肺腑的諄諄教導。每一次精彩的致辭,猶如畢業前的最後一堂課,常常能夠發人深省。

作為美國最高法院最年輕的首席大法官,到底有怎樣的經驗和歷練,造就了他如此沁人心脾,毫無造作的演講呢?句句窩心,卻深得人心,美國FB洗版。

Rain, somebody said, is like confetti from heaven. So even the heavens are celebrating this morning, joining the rest of us at this wonderful commencement ceremony.

Before we go any further, graduates, you have an important task to perform because behind you are your parents and guardians. Two or three or four years ago, they drove into Cardigan, dropped you off, helped you get settled and then turned around and drove back out the gates. It was an extraordinary sacrifice for them.

They drove down the trail of tears back to an emptier and lonelier house. They did that because the decision about your education, they knew, was about you. It was not about them. That sacrifice and others they made have brought you to this point. But this morning is not just about you. It is also about them, so I hope you will stand up and turn around and give them a great round of applause. Please. 

人們說,雨就像天上來的五彩紙屑。今天早上,天堂的天使們也正在我們這個精彩的畢業慶典中。同學們,在我們進一步演講之前,有一個重要的任務需要完成,在你的身後是你們的父母和監護人。兩年、三年、或四年之前,他們送你們來 Cardigan學校,幫助你安頓下來,然後轉身又默默離開了大門。

對家人而言,意味著莫大的犧牲。他們或許沿著淚的痕跡,回到空洞和孤獨的房子。這樣做是因為,他們知道你的教育,最終是關乎你的。並不是關乎他們的。為了幫你實現這一點,他們願意做出犧牲,以及其他任何的幫助。然而今天早上不只是關於你,也關於他們,所以我希望你能站起來,轉過身來,並請給他們一個熱烈的掌聲。

Now when somebody asks me how the remarks at Cardigan went, I will be able to say they were interrupted by applause. Congratulations, class of 2017. You’ve reached an important milestone. An important stage of your life is behind you. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you it is the easiest stage of your life, but it is in the books. While you’ve been at Cardigan, you have all been a part of an important international community as well. And I think that needs to be particularly recognized.

當有人問我對 Cardigan 學校的評價如何時,我可以說他們會被掌聲打斷(大家自覺地笑了,並鼓掌)。祝賀你們,2017屆的畢業生。這是你們人生的一個重要里程碑。人生重要的階段,其實還在你們身後。我很抱歉地告訴你,書本其實是你生命中最容易的階段。當你們在 Cardigan 的時候,同時也是國際社會的重要組成部分。我認為這需要特別認知。

Now around the country today at colleges, high schools, middle schools, commencement speakers are standing before impatient graduates. And they are almost always saying the same things. They will say that today is a commencement exercise. ‘It is a beginning, not an end. You should look forward.’ And I think that is true enough, however, I think if you’re going to look forward to figure out where you’re going, it’s good to know where you’ve been and to look back as well.

And I think if you look back to your first afternoon here at Cardigan, perhaps you will recall that you were lonely. Perhaps you will recall that you were a little scared, a little anxious. And now look at you. You are surrounded by friends that you call brothers, and you are confident in facing the next step in your education.

現在全國各地,在大學/高中/中學,畢業典禮的嘉賓們站在不耐煩的畢業生面前,幾乎總是說同樣的話。他們會說,「今天的畢業只是一個開始,而不是結束。你們應該向前看。」我認為這也足夠真實,但是,如果你想弄清楚往哪裡去,最好回頭看看在哪一步了,然後決定哪裡才是你要去的。回想一下當你來到  Cardigan 的第一個下午,也許你曾感到孤獨。或許你還會記得,曾有過一點害怕和焦慮。現在看看你自己,身邊有很多稱兄道弟的朋友,你也有了信心面對下一階段的教育。



It is worth trying to think why that is so. And when you do, I think you may appreciate that it was because of the support of your classmates in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the dorms. And as far as the confidence goes, I think you will appreciate that it is not because you succeeded at everything you did, but because with the help of your friends, you were not afraid to fail. And if you did fail, you got up and tried again. And if you failed again, you got up and tried again. And if you failed again, it might be time to think about doing something else. But it was not just success, but not being afraid to fail that brought you to this point.

值得去思考為什麼會這樣?當你這樣做的時候,我想你可能會理解,這是因為同學們在教室裡、運動場上、和宿舍裡給予的支持。就信心而言,我想你會明白,並不是因為你做的每件事都成功了,而是因為在朋友的幫助下,你便不再害怕失敗。如果你失敗了,你站起來再試一次。如果你又失敗了,你站起來再試一次。如果你再次又失敗了,也許是時候考慮做別的事情了。你們之所以走到今天,不僅是因為你們的成功,而是因為你們不害怕失敗。

Now the commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. 

通常,畢業典禮的演講嘉賓都會向你們表示祝賀,並向你們致以真摯的祝願。我不會這麼做,讓我來告訴你為什麼。在未來的歲月裡,我希望你會遭遇不公正的對待,這樣你才會明白正義的價值。我希望你會被背叛,那樣你才會懂得忠誠的重要。很抱歉我這麼說。我還希望你會時常有孤獨感,如此你才不會把良朋益友視為理所當然的。

I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes. 

我再次地祝願你繼續不幸,這樣你才會意識到機遇在人生中的角色,並能明白你們的成功並非命中註定,別人的失敗也非天經地義。當你偶爾遭遇失敗時,希望你的對手會因為你的失敗而幸災樂禍,如此你才能意識到有風度的競爭精神的重要性。希望你會被別人忽視,這樣你才能意識到傾聽別人的重要性,同時希望你有足夠的同情心去學習同情。不論我願不願意,這些遲早都會發生。而你是否從中受益,取決於你能否參透人生苦難所帶來的價值。

Now commencement speakers are also expected to give some advice. They give grand advice, and they give some useful tips. The most common grand advice they give is for you to be yourself. It is an odd piece of advice to give people dressed identically, but you should — you should be yourself. But you should understand what that means.

Unless you are perfect, it does not mean don’t make any changes. In a certain sense, you should not be yourself. You should try to become something better. People say ‘be yourself’ because they want you to resist the impulse to conform to what others want you to be. But you can’t be yourself if you don't learn who are, and you can’t learn who you are unless you think about it.

如今,畢業典禮嘉賓們也會提出一些建議。有些建議很宏大,有些建議很實用。他們給你最普遍的忠告,就是「做你自己」。給你們都是一樣的建議,是一個很奇怪的建議。除了你必須做你自己外,更需要知道其中的真意。從某種意義上說,你不應該是你自己,而是你應該努力成為更好的自己。除非你是完美的,否則不需要做出任何改變。人們常說「做你自己」,是因為他們希望你抵制按他人意願隨波逐流的衝動。如果你都不知道自己想成為什麼樣的人,你是不可能「做你自己」的。如果不好好思考,你也不可能知道自己想成為什麼樣的人。

The Greek philosopher Socrates said, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ And while ‘just do it’ might be a good motto for some things, it’s not a good motto when it’s trying to figure out how to live your life that is before you. And one important clue to living a good life is to not to try to live the good life. The best way to lose the values that are central to who you are is frankly not to think about them at all.

希臘哲學家蘇格拉底曾說,「未經審視的人生是沒有意義的」。對某些事而言,「Just do it」,或許是一個不錯的座右銘,但在你還未想明白要過怎樣的人生之前,這個座右銘其實並不怎麼樣。擁有美好人生的一個最好的路徑,就是不要試圖過輕鬆的人生。如果你們不思考,就會丟掉對自己至關重要的價值觀。

So that’s the deep advice. Now some tips as you get ready to go to your new school. Other the last couple of years, I have gotten to know many of you young men pretty well, and I know you are good guys. But you are also privileged young men. And if you weren’t privileged when you came here, you are privileged now because you have been here. My advice is: Don’t act like it. 


這便是深刻的建議。現在給一些你們準備去新學校的建議。在過去的幾年裡,我很瞭解你們其中的年輕人,我知道你們都做得非常棒。你們是非常幸運的年輕人。如果你們來這裡時還沒有特權,現在已擁有了某種特權。正是因為來到了這裡,便擁有了某種特權。我的忠告是:請不要表現出有特權的樣子。

When you get to your new school, walk up and introduce yourself to the person who is raking the leaves, shoveling the snow or emptying the trash. Learn their name and call them by their name during your time at the school. Another piece of advice: When you pass by people you don’t recognize on the walks, smile, look them in the eye and say hello. The worst thing that will happen is that you will become known as the young man who smiles and says hello, and that is not a bad thing to start with.

當你來到新學校時,請走上前向那個正在掃樹葉、鏟雪或倒垃圾的人介紹自己。學習他們的名字,在學校的時候叫他們的名字。另一條忠告:當你走過那些你不認識的人的時候,微笑著看著他們的眼睛,向他們問好。最糟糕的情況無外乎,你會成為一個微笑著向別人打招呼的年輕人,這並不是一件壞事。

You’ve been at a school with just boys. Most of you will be going to a school with girls. I have no advice for you.

目前你們在一所男校,很多人未來將會去一間有女生的學校。在此,我無法給你們建議(全場爆笑,並熱烈鼓掌)。

The last bit of advice I’ll give you is very simple, but I think it could make a big difference in your life. Once a week, you should write a note to someone. Not an email. A note on a piece of paper. It will take you exactly 10 minutes. Talk to an adult, let them tell you what a stamp is. You can put the stamp on the envelope. Again, 10 minutes, once a week. I will help you, right now. 

I will dictate to you the first note you should write. It will say, ‘Dearfill in the name of a teacher at Cardigan Mountain School.’ Say: ‘I have started at this new school. We are reading blank in English. Football or soccer practice is hard, but I’m enjoying it. Thank you for teaching me.’ Put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it and send it. It will mean a great deal to people who — for reasons most of us cannot contemplate — have dedicated themselves to teaching middle school boys. As I said, that will take you exactly 10 minutes a week. By the end of the school year, you will have sent notes to 40 people. Forty people will feel a little more special because you did, and they will think you are very special because of what you did. No one else is going to carry that dividend during your time at school.

我給你們的最後一點建議很簡單,但我認為它會給你的生活帶來很大的改變。一週一次,你應該給某人寫封信。不是電子郵件。一張寫在紙上的便條。你只需要10分鐘。學會跟大人說話,讓他們告訴你郵票是什麼。你可以把郵票貼在信封上。10分鐘,每週一次。

我現在就教你,應該寫的第一張便條。譬如:親愛的「填上學校老師的名字」:從這所新學校開始。我們正在用英語閱讀「空白處填寫」。足球和足球訓練都很難,但我很享受。謝謝您教我。把它放在信封裡,貼上郵票寄出去。這些對於為了獻身中學教育的人來說意義重大(爆笑)。就像我說的,你每週只需要10分鐘。到學年結束的時候,你會給40個人寄信條。40個人會因為你做到了,覺得你很特別。在你上學的時候,沒有人會帶著這種紅利。

Enough advice. I would like to end by reading some important lyrics. I cited the Greek philosopher Socrates earlier. These lyrics are from the great American philosopher, Bob Dylan. They’re almost 50 years old. He wrote them for his son, Jesse, who he was missing while he was on tour. It lists the hopes that a parent might have for a son and for a daughter. They’re also good goals for a son and a daughter. The wishes are beautiful, they’re timeless. They’re universal. They’re good and true, except for one: It is the wish that gives the song its title and its refrain. That wish is a parent’s lament. It’s not a good wish. 

最後,我想用一段歌詞來結束今天的致辭。之前,我引用了希臘哲學家蘇格拉底的名言。下面,則來自偉大的美國音樂哲人Bob Dylan的歌詞。這些歌詞,都快超過50年的歷史了。在當年巡演期間,他為失蹤的兒子傑西寫了這些信,歌詞呈現了父母對子女的深切期盼。這些期盼是美好,是永恆的,也是普世的。

So these are the lyrics from Forever Young by Bob Dylan: 

May God bless you and keep you always


May your wishes all come true

May you always do for others

And let others do for you

May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
And may you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous


May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth

And see the lights surrounding you

May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy


May your feet always be swift

May you have a strong foundation

When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young


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