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【双语】做自己,为什么那么难?

“Be yourself!” This is a common piece of advice, often given before an interview or a date or some other occasion when we need to impress. Sounds like a strange piece of advice, though. How could you not be yourself?

“做你自己!”在面试、约会前或是其他需要给人以深刻印象的场合,我们常常听到这一司空见惯的忠告。不过,这个忠告听起来怪怪的。你怎么能不是你自己呢?

Strange as it seems, we have been conditioned all our lives to behave according to other people’s expectations, to dance to their tune, to let them pull our strings (在幕后操纵). The truth is that most of us—unless we have really thought about it and made an effort to change—are puppets, controlled by the world around us. We crave (渴望) approval. We need to fit in. In many ways, this is just a characteristic of being human—we are social animals and need to fit into the group to survive. But this natural and healthy tendency has taken over our lives to such an extent that we are often paralyzed (使瘫痪) by a fear of the outside world and obsessed by how others see us.

虽然听起来有点怪,但我们一生的确受制于各种约束,按照他人的期望行事,随着他人的节奏起舞,任由他人在幕后操纵。事实上,我们大多数的人都是傀儡,受周围世界的操控——除非我们真正认真思考过这个问题,并尝试去改变。我们渴望社会认可。我们需要融入社会。从很大程度上说,这正是人类的特性——我们是社会性的动物,需要融入群体才能生存下去。但这种自然、健康的特性却牢牢控制了我们的生活,以至于我们时时诚惶诚恐,害怕面对外部的世界,为别人对自己的看法而烦恼不已。

But what would things look life if you could really “be yourself”?

但假如我们真的能够“做自己”,事情又会怎样呢?

Don’t give away your power







“The King is angry. See, he gnaws his lip.”——Shakespeare, Richard III





不要放弃自己的力量“国王生气了。看,他在咬自己的嘴唇。”——莎士比亚:《理查三世》



It is impossible to really be yourself when you are worried about how other people perceive you. We all care (at least a little bit) what other people think—we have been raised to believe that the approval of others is important. And in some ways it is—other people do have power over us. But the truth is that it doesn’t matter as much as you think; usually it doesn’t matter at all. Sometimes you’ll be flavor (香味) of the month; other times you might be public enemy number one. But you cannot control what other people think of you, so why even try?

如果你总是为他人如何看待你而烦恼不已,那就不可能真正做自己。我们都在乎(至少有一点点)他人的看法——从小到大,我们都被灌输这样的信条:他人的认可非常重要。在某些方面确实如此——他人对我们的确有影响力。但事实是,这影响力并不像你想的那么重要;通常情况下它根本无关紧要。有时你可能是红极一时的宠儿,有时又可能成为千夫所指的公敌。但既然你无法控制别人对你的看法,又何必在乎呢?

Let them think what they will. To give the opinions and thoughts of others so much importance is to make your own life a misery. When you stop giving your power away to other people like this, your life will be so much lighter and easier.

别人爱怎么想就怎么想吧。过于看重他人的意见和想法只会把自己的生活搞得一团糟。当你不再放弃自己的力量而倚重他人,你就能生活得更加轻松、自在。


Live with integrity (诚实)







“The great majority of us are required to live a life of constant duplicity (口是心非). Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel (低声下气) before what you dislike, and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune.”——Boris Pasternak





正直地生活

“我们大多数人都不得不过着一种口是心非的生活。如果你日复一日地说着口不对心的话,委曲求全地做自己不喜欢的事,在那些只能带给你灾难的事面前故作欢颜,那么你的健康必将受损。”——鲍里斯•帕斯特纳克

Living with integrity means being an open, honest person. It means saying what you think, not in an arrogant, conceited way, which is usually a sign of an inferiority complex (自卑感), but because you shouldn’t hide what you believe. If you are not true to yourself—if you are dishonest, if you hide part of yourself, either as a defense mechanism or to get a promotion or make money, you will create what I have heard called an “inner darkness”, and this will haunt (困扰) you.

正直地生活就是要做一个开朗、诚实的人。这就意味着要说出自己真正想说的话——这不是要你目中无人、傲慢自负,这样通常只能表明自己具有自卑情结——而是因为你不应该隐藏自己的真正想法。如果你对自己都不真诚——如果你不诚实,或者部分地隐藏自己,无论是作为一种自卫方式,还是为了得到升职或是得到金钱——你都会将自己带入某种所谓的“内心的黑暗”,而这种黑暗会像幽灵般对你纠缠不休。

You might be able to succeed in some senses by being dishonest and duplicitous, but in the end you will be unable to face yourself, and if you cannot look in the mirror with a clear conscience, how can you be yourself?

也许,凭借自欺欺人、口是心非,你可以获得某种意义上的成功,但你最终将无法面对自己。如果你不能问心无愧地面对镜中的自己,又怎么能做真实的自己呢?

Don’t take yourself so seriously







“When you can laugh at yourself, you are free.”——Ted Loder





别把自己太当回事儿“一旦你学会自嘲,你就获得了自由。”

——特德•洛德



Will the world stop turning if you screw up (把事情弄糟)? Believe it or not, the world got along fine without you for millions of years, and will do so long after you’re gone. So keep things in perspective. Will any of this matter in a year, ten year, 100 years? In many ways, the world is a ridiculous place, full of crazy things that make no sense at all. You can’t make sense of it all however hard you try. It is what it is, and so are you, with all your contradictions and faults and failings. Remember the old saying: ‘Laugh and the world laughs with you.’ So relax, lighten up; don’t get things out of proportion.

你把事情办砸,世界就会因此停止运转吗?信不信由你,这个世界没有你也已经顺利地运转亿万年了,而且在你消失之后还将依然如此。因此,凡事都要放眼长远。在一年、十年或是一百年之后,所有这些烦恼还有意义吗?在很多方面,这个世界荒诞无稽,充满疯狂可笑、毫无意义之事,无论你如何努力都无法赋予它任何意义。世界原本如此,你也一样——总是有你的矛盾、缺点和失败。记住这句老话吧:“笑对世界,世界便会同你一起欢笑。”所以,放松自己,轻松面对吧;不要小题大做,自寻烦恼。

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Don’t worry: accept things as they are







“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”——Buddha





别担心:凡事顺其自然“身心健康的诀窍在于:不为过去懊恼,不为将来担心,不去自寻烦恼,而是睿智、热忱地活在当下。”——佛陀



We have a tendency to think we are in control. But the truth is that there are surprisingly few things we can influence directly. I read somewhere recently that life is no about avoiding the storm but about learning to dance in the rain, and I think this is a wonderful truth. We spend so much time trying to change our world, but in reality we can only change ourselves. If the rain is coming, it will come; if the sun is setting, it will set. Accept these many, many things which are outside our control and, whatever comes along, learn not only to live with it, but to embrace it, to love it—to live any other way is madness.

我们往往倾向于认为我们控制着一切。但事实上我们可以直接影响的事物少之又少。最近我在某本书里读到这样一句话,“生活不是要躲避风雨,而是要学会在雨中起舞”,我觉得这真是句至理明言。我们花了那么多时间想要改变这个世界,但事实上我们只能改变自己。天要下雨就让它下吧;太阳要落就让它落吧。我们无法控制的事物何其之多,学会接受它们吧。无论遇到什么事情,要学会忍受它,不仅如此,还要学着接受它,喜爱它——换成其他任何方式都是愚蠢的。

Do what you love







“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”——Eleanor Roosevelt





做自己爱做的事“未来属于那些坚信自己美丽梦想的人。”

——埃莉诺•罗斯福



Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t let other people tell you what to do and how to live. In the end, you are responsible for your experience of life, and if you don’t follow your dreams, you only have yourself to blame.“You’re a long time dead” as the saying goes, so don’t waste time with worry or regret. Don’t be a puppet—don’t let the world around you pull your strings. You cannot control it, so don’t let it control you either. If you are true to yourself and live with integrity, honesty and without fear, then you will, perhaps, begin to see the answer to that most perplexing of questions: “Who am I?”

最后,或许也是最重要的一点,不要让他人告诉你该做什么,该如何生活。你有什么样的生活经历,最终要由你自己来负责。如果你不能追随自己的梦想,那么你能够责备的只有自己。俗话说,“人终有一死”,因此何必为担忧或是遗憾而浪费时间呢?不要做傀儡——不要让周围的世界操控你。你无法控制世界,那也不要让世界控制你。如果你能够忠实于自己,正直地生活,诚实无畏,也许,你就能看到那个最令人困惑的问题的答案:“我是谁?”

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