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双语·有声︱The Antidote to Envy 嫉妒的解药

2017-01-05 那角落 >>新东方英语



培根曾在《论嫉妒》中谈到“无德之人常嫉他人之有德;多事好问之人每善嫉;族中人对新进之人当其腾达之时常露嫉妒之情;残疾人、宦官、老人与私生子均善妒……”很多时候,善妒之人是那些喜欢与别人比较,认为别人拥有一切的人。可是,要知道谁的人生都不完美,既然如此我们何不着眼于自己拥有的东西,用它有所成就呢?

If I had a choice when it comes to vice, I’d pick any of theseven classics (指天主教的七宗罪)save the vice of envy. At least the other six have a connection to goodness, at least some of the time. Just think of the delicious indulgence of a lazy weekend or surrender to a decadent dessert; the satisfaction of a lustful fantasy or the thrill of pride. Even a passionate fight has something good to recommend it. But to my mind, envy is thedeadliest (最致命的)of the seven deadlies, and in a category all its own. Envy turns us against ourselves and others. It disturbs peace of mind, fueling shame and guilt. At its root, envy is felt to be so fundamentally bad because it highlights what is lacking and hates goodness itself.

说到恶行,如果可以选择,我会选七宗罪里除嫉妒外的任意一个。至少其他六宗罪和善还沾得上边,至少有些时候是这样。想想放纵自己美美地度过一个慵懒的周末或者向让人大快朵颐的甜点缴械投降;想想性幻想带来的满足或傲慢带来的兴奋;甚至充满激情的打斗也有值得称道的好处。但是在我看来,嫉妒是七宗罪里最致命的,并且自成一类。嫉妒让我们与自己为敌,与他人为敌。它扰乱了我们内心的宁静,加剧了我们的羞耻和内疚。寻根究底,嫉妒被认为从根本上就是恶的,因为它强调了缺失的东西,对善本身也心怀恨意。

Consciously, envy is so painful because it is based in a feeling of deprivation. We look at our neighbors and long for what they have, imagining their lives to be so much more beautiful, happy, and satisfying than our own. While an age-old phantom, Shakespeare’sgreen-eyed monster(指嫉妒) has been unleashed on steroids in our modern culture. Capitalism has cleverly engineered longing and desire, saysEve Ensler (伊芙·恩斯勒,美国剧作家,表演艺术家,女性主义者和社会活动家),tantalizing (逗引)us with offers of what we might have or who we might become in the future rather than embracing the good of what we have and are today. It is no surprise, then, that envy leaves a trail of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor body image, and perfectionism.

从意识层面上来说,嫉妒让人感到非常痛苦,因为它建立在剥夺感之上。我们看着街坊领居,渴望着他们拥有的东西,想象着他们的生活比我们的要美好、幸福、美满得多。莎翁笔下的绿眼怪物,那个古老的幽灵,就像打了兴奋剂,已经被释放到了我们现代文明中。伊芙·恩斯勒说,资本主义巧妙地策划了渴望和欲望,它告诉我们,将来我们或许会拥有什么,或许会成为什么样的人,以此来逗引我们,而不是让我们接受当下的美好:我们拥有的东西以及当下的自己。这样,嫉妒留下沮丧、焦虑、不自信、身体形象糟糕、追求完美等系列问题,倒也不足为奇。

At root, envy spoils our sense of goodness about ourselves. We feel inadequate. We feel small. We feel unworthy. For women judging ourselves by the ideals of modern society, we find ourselves longing for a better figure, a nicer house, a more appealing partner, more money, more professional success, more talented children, and the list goes on. To make matters worse,under the sway of(在……影响下) envy, we feel surrounded by those who seem to have it all and the happiness that we imagine goes with it. Faced with the pressure of such comparisons, what are we to do?

从根本上来说,嫉妒让我们感觉不到自己好的一面。我们感觉自己能力不足。我们感到自己渺小。我们感到自己没有价值。女性用现代社会的完美典范来评判自己,因此我们发现自己渴望更曼妙的身材、更精美的房子、更有魅力的伴侣、更多的金钱、更多专业上的成就、更有天赋的孩子,还有很多很多。更糟糕的是,受嫉妒的影响,我们感觉周围的人似乎拥有一切以及我们以为随着这一切而来的快乐。面对这些对比带来的压力,我们要做些什么呢?

To be honest, most of us take the easy way out: We try to feel better about ourselves by spoiling the good in others. I think this is the real reason why envy is felt to be so deadly. It is one thing to long for what we do not have, but it is something far worse to attack the goodness in others. Thisdark underbelly(阴暗面)of envy is the source of gossip, pettiness, complaining, and all manner of mean-girlmaneuvers(花招). The quick and easy way out of the pain of envy is to attack what is good even if it means ruining it for everyone.

说句老实话,我们大多数人都选择了容易的办法:我们试图毁掉别人的好以此来让自己感觉好一点。我想嫉妒被认为如此致命的真正原因就在于此。渴望我们没有的东西也就罢了,攻击别人的好那就恶劣得多。嫉妒的这个阴暗面成了谣言、卑鄙、抱怨和坏女孩所有花招的源头。摆脱嫉妒之苦最快、最容易的方法就是抨击美好的东西,即使这意味着毁掉每个人的好。

Tearing down is so much easier than building up. It takes years for a business to build a good reputation and one badYelp(美国最大的商户点评网站)review to tarnish it. Building a house takes grit, perseverance, resources and time. A single match can destroy it in a matter of minutes. The same is true for people. A rumor can ruin a career or a marriage; an unflattering photo on Facebook, someone’s good name. Negativity is very powerful, and envious attacks make swift work.

拆毁要比建造简单得多。一家公司建立良好的声誉需要花费很多年, 而毁掉声誉只需要Yelp上一条负面评论。建造房子需要勇气、毅力、资源和时间,但一根小小的火柴在几分钟之内就可以摧毁它。对人来说也是如此。一条谣言可以毁掉一份事业或一段婚姻;Facebook上一张不讨喜的照片可以毁掉一个人的好名声。消极性的力量非常强大,所以嫉妒的侵袭总是立竿见影。

But, of course, no one wins with this way of managing envy. No one feels good; nothing constructive is accomplished, and the vicious cycle of deprivation turning tospite(伤害,怨恨)keeps going round and round. The antidote to envy can only be found in playing the long game: you must grow yourself by building on the good you already have.

不过,当然了,用这种方法控制嫉妒,没人成为赢家。没有人感觉良好,也没有任何建设性的成就。剥夺感转向伤害,形成恶性循环,无休无止。只有放眼长远,我们才能找到嫉妒的解药:你必须依赖自己已有的好,自己成长。

Here, I share a story told about the world-famous violinist,Itzhak Perlman(伊扎克·帕尔曼,以色列著名小提琴家). Stricken with polio as a child, Perlman wears braces on both legs and walks with twocrutches(拐杖). At a concert, hetenaciously(坚持地)made his stage entrance without any assistance. The audience sat in awe and sympathy, watching him painfully enter and then cross the stage to his chair. One had the sense that the man had overcome enormous odds.

在这里,我要分享一个故事,讲的是享誉全球的小提琴家伊扎克·帕尔曼。帕尔曼从小患有骨髓灰质炎,双腿一直带着支架,拄着两条拐杖走路。在一场音乐会上,他坚持不要任何帮助,自己走上舞台。看着他艰难地走上台,之后穿过舞台坐上自己的椅子,坐在台下的观众充满敬畏,也心生同情。人们可以感受到这个人克服了巨大的困难。

That night like all other concert nights, Perlman tucked his violin under his chin and nodded at the conductor to begin. As he got into the piece one of the strings of his violin broke. It was a snap so obvious that it couldn’t be missed. Everyone thought that, surely, themomentum (势头)of the piece would be ruined, as he would have to stop to replace the string or borrow another violin, no easy task for even an able bodied man.

和其他所有的音乐会之夜一样,这一晚,帕尔曼把小提琴夹在下巴下,对着指挥点了点头,表示可以开始了。他刚进入一首曲子,小提琴的一根弦就断了。弦断的声音很明显,所有人都听见了。每个人都以为这首曲子的气势肯定是毁了,因为他必须停下来换弦或借琴,而这甚至对四肢健全的人来说都不是一件简单的事。

After stopping the orchestra, the conductor looked over to see what Perlman wished to do. To everyone’s surprise, Perlman raised a single finger to the conductor, a sign to wait just a moment. He closed his eyes, clearly gathering his thoughts. Then he opened them, looked at the conductor, and signaled him to go on. The orchestra took the conductor’s cue, and off they went again as if they hadn’t missed a beat. Only now, Perlman was playing on three strings.

指挥让乐队停下来,朝帕尔曼看去,看他希望怎么做。让所有人惊讶的是,帕尔曼朝指挥举起一根手指,意思是稍等一下。他闭上眼睛,很显然在整理思绪。之后他睁开眼睛,看着指挥,示意他继续。乐队得到了指挥的提示,又开始演奏起来,好像他们从没错过一个节拍。只是这时帕尔曼在用三根弦演奏。

ne can imagine him working his way through the music around the missing string, compensating, adjusting, andimprovising (即兴创作). It couldn’t have been the same piece, of course. But it was brilliant, passionate, and beautiful.

可以想象他用断了弦的小提琴演奏完整段乐曲,弥补、调整,还要即兴创作。当然演奏出来的曲子不可能和原来一样,但却是精彩的、充满激情的美妙乐曲。

A local newspaper reported that when Perlman finished playing, the audience sat in stunned silence before leaping to their feet with an extraordinary outburst of applause. It was also reported that after the audience quieted down, Perlman wiped the sweat from his brow and said, “You know, sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.”

一家当地的报纸报道说,帕尔曼完成演奏后,台下观众们非常震惊,一言不发,而后全体起立,爆发出雷鸣般的掌声。据报道,观众安静下来后,帕尔曼擦了擦额头的汗说:“要知道,有时艺术家的任务就是弄清楚用你手中的东西能奏出多少音乐。”

I don’t know whether or not this story actually happened, but I know that, in the psychological sense, it is true. The truth of the story is that Itzhak Perlman is showing us more than his attitude toward music; he is showing us his attitude toward life. He knows the undeniable truth that no matter how hard he may work, he will never have it all. There will always be something missing—whether it is a string on the violin or the ability to walk with ease. But just as there always will be something missing, there always will be something left. Perlman decided to take the attitude that what is left is good and it is enough.

我不知道这个故事是不是真的,但是我知道在心理层面上,这是真的。这个故事的真实性体现在伊扎克·帕尔曼向我们展示的不只是他对音乐的态度,更是他对生活的态度。他知道这样一个不可否认的事实:不管怎么努力,他都不会拥有一切,生活总会有所欠缺——不管是小提琴上的那根弦,还是正常行走的能力。但是正如有些东西会失去,有些东西也会留下来。帕尔曼决定采取的态度是留下来的就是好的,留下来的就足够了。

Like a parable, this story can have a big impact if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. We will all face adversities in life of one kind or another, some big and some small. And we all know what it means to be lacking something, because that is the human condition. Envy tells us that someone, somewhere has it all—but it just isn’t true. It is everyone’s challenge in life to do something with whatever they have, and the best way to do that is to see the good, be thankful for it, and do something useful with it.

如果我们的眼睛能够洞察,耳朵能够倾听,这个故事就会像寓言一样产生巨大的影响。我们一生中总会面临这样那样、或大或小的逆境。我们都知道有所欠缺意味着什么,因为人生在世面临的就是这种情形。而嫉妒却告诉我们某些地方的某些人拥有一切——但是这不是真的。用自己拥有的东西有所成就,这是每个人的人生中都面临的挑战,而最好的方法就是看到好的一面,因这好的一面而心存感激,并用它做一些有用的事情。

By Jennifer Kunst 译 / 杨瑞


本文选自即将出版的《新东方英语》2017年1月号,了解本刊详情,可点击“阅读原文”了解更多。

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