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行胜于言

2006-06-03 10:39

  I teach economics at UNLV three times per week. Last Monday, at the beginning of class, I cheerfully asked my students how their weekend had been. One young man said that his weekend had not been so good. He had his wisdom teeth removed. The young man then proceeded to ask me why I always seemed to be so cheerful.

  我在内华达大学拉斯维加斯分校教经济学,每周上三次课。上周一,在刚开始上课的时候,我兴致勃勃地问学生们周末过得怎么样。一个男生说,他的周末不太愉快,因为他的智齿被拔掉了,结果让他痛了一整天。然后,他又问我为何我总能保持那么快乐的心情。

  His question reminded me of something I'd read somewhere before: “Every morning when you get up, you have a choice about how you want to approach life that day,” I said. “I choose to be cheerful.”

  他的问题使我想起了一句不知出处的话:“每天早上,当你起床的时候,你可以选择如何面对一天的生活”,我说:“我选择快乐。”

  “Let me give you an example,” I continued, addressing all sixty students in the class. “In addition to teaching here at UNLV, I also teach out at the community college in Henderson, 17 miles down the freeway from where I live. One day a few weeks ago I drove those 17 miles to Henderson. I exited the freeway and turned onto College Drive. I only had to drive another quarter mile down the road to the college. But just then my car died. I tried to start it again, but the engine wouldn't turn over. So I put my flashers on, grabbed my books, and marched down the road to the college.

  “我给你们举个例子吧,”我对着全班六十个学生继续说道,“除了在这儿上课,我还在一所社区大学任教,那儿离我家17英里。几周前的一天,我驾车前往那所学校,驶离高速公路后,我转入了校园区。在只差400多米就到学校的时候,我的汽车抛锚了。我努力重新发动引擎,但就是不行。我只好把指示灯打亮,然后抓起课本直奔学校。”

  “As soon as I got there I called AAA and arranged for a tow truck to meet me at my car after class. The secretary in the Provost's office asked me what has happened. 'This is my lucky day,' I replied, smiling.

  我一到学校就马上打电话给汽车协会,让他们在我下课后开辆拖车过来。院长办公室的秘书问我发生了什么事。“今天我真走运。”我笑着答道。

  “'Your car breaks down and today is your lucky day?' She was puzzled. 'What do you mean?'

  “你的车坏了,你还说今天走运?”她一脸的困惑。“你什么意思啊?”

  “'I live 17 miles from here.' I replied. 'My car could have broken down anywhere along the freeway. It didn't. Instead, it broke down in the perfect place: off the freeway, within walking distance of here. I'm still able to teach my class, and I've been able to arrange for the tow truck to meet me after class. If my car was meant to break down today, it couldn't have been arranged in a more convenient fashion.'

  我回答到:“我住在离这儿17英里的地方。其实我的车有可能在高速公路上的什么地方就坏掉了的,但庆幸的是,没有。相反,汽车是在离开了高速公路后才抛锚,而且距离学校很近。我还赶得及上课,还能够安排拖车在课后来处理。如果我的汽车是注定了要在今天抛锚的,那在这个位置抛锚已经是非常幸运了。”

  The secretary's eyes opened wide, and then she smiled. I smiled back and headed for class.“ So ended my story.

  “那个秘书听得目瞪口呆地,然后她笑了。我也冲她笑了一下,便上课去了。”这就是我的故事。

  I scanned the sixty faces in my economics class at UNLV. Despite the early hour, no one seemed to be asleep. Somehow, my story had touched them. Or maybe it wasn't the story at all. In fact, it had all started with a student's observation that I was cheerful.

  我扫视了一下全班六十张脸。虽然是在大清早,但没有一个学生在打盹儿。不知道为什么,他们好像被我的故事触动了。也许触动他们的并不是故事本身。其实,从一开始有学生发现我兴致高昂的时候,他们便已经被我的快乐感染了。

  Deepak Chopra has quoted an Indian wise man as saying, “Who you are speaks louder to me than anything you can say.” I suppose it must be so.

  著名的印度作家乔布拉,曾经引述过一位印度智者的名言:“你为人行事的本身,比你的语言更具说服力。”我认为这的确是真理。

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