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布什于2001年在耶鲁大学毕业典礼上的演讲

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2018年06月11日

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布什于2001年在耶鲁大学毕业典礼上的演讲 英文版

President Levin, thank you very much. Dean Brodhead, fellows of the Yale Corporation, fellow Yale parents, families, and graduates:

It’s a special privilege to receive this honorary degree. I was proud 33 years ago to receive my first Yale degree. I’m even prouder that in your eyes I’ve earned this one.

I congratulate my fellow honorees. I’m pleased to share this honor with such a distinguished group. I’m particularly pleased to be here with my friend, the former of Mexico. Senor Presidente, usted es un verdadero lider, y un gran amigo.(Bush addresses former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo in Spanish)

I congratulate all the parents who are here. It’s a glorious day when your child graduates from college. It’s a great day for you; it’s a great day for your wallet.

Most important, congratulations to the class of 2001. To those of you who received honors, awards, and distinctions, I say, well done. And to the C students—I say, you, too, can be President of the United States. A Yale degree is worth a lot, as I often remind Dick Cheney—who studied here, but left a little early. So now we know—if you graduate from Yale, you become President. If you drop out, you get to be Vice President.

I appreciate so very much the chance to say a few words on this occasion. I know Yale has a tradition of having no commencement speaker. I also know that you’ve carved out a single exception. Most people think that to speak at Yale’s commencement, you have to be President. But over the years, the specifications have become far more demanding. Now you have to be a Yale graduate, you have to be President, and you have had to have lost the Yale vote to Ralph Nader.

This is my first time back here in quite a while. I’m sure that each of you will make your own journey back at least a few times in your life. If you’re like me, you won’t remember everything you did here. That can be a good thing. But there will be some people, and some moments, you will never forget.

Take, for example, my old classmate, Dick Brodhead, the accomplished dean of this great university. I remember him as a young scholar, a bright lad—a hard worker. We both put a lot of time in at the Sterling Library, in the reading room, where they have those big leather couches. We had a mutual understanding—Dick wouldn’t read aloud, and I wouldn’t snore.

Our course selections were different, as we followed our own path to academic discovery. Dick was an English major, and loved the classics. I loved history, and pursued a diversified course of study. I like to think of it as the academic road less traveled. For example, I took a class that studied Japanese Haiku. Haiku, for the uninitiated, is a 15th century form of poetry, each poem having 17 syllables. Haiku is fully understood only by the Zen masters. As I recall, one of my academic advisers was worried about my selection of such a specialized course. He said I should focus on English. I still hear that quite often. But my critics don’t realize I don’t make verbal gaffes. I’m speaking in the perfect forms and rhythms of ancient Haiku.

I did take English here, and I took a class called“The History and Practice of American Oratory,”taught by Rollin G. Osterweis. And, President Levin, I want to give credit where credit is due. I want the entire world to know this—everything I know about the spoken word, I learned right here at Yale.

As a student, I tried to keep a low profile. It worked. Last year the New York Times interviewed John Morton Blum because the record showed I had taken one of his courses. Casting his mind’s eye over the parade of young faces down through the years, Professor Blum said, and I quote,“I don’t have the foggiest recollection of him.”

But I remember Professor Blum. And I still recall his dedication and high standards of learning. In my time there were many great professors at Yale. And there still are. They’re the ones who keep Yale going after the commencements, after we have all gone our separate ways. I’m not sure I remembered to thank them the last time I was here, but now that I have a second chance, I thank the professors of Yale University.

That’s how I’ve come to feel about the Yale experience—grateful. I studied hard, I played hard, and I made a lot of lifelong friends. What stays with you from college is the part of your education you hardly ever notice at the time. It’s the expectations and examples around you, the ideals you believe in, and the friends you make.

In my time, they spoke of the“Yale man”. I was really never sure what that was. But I do think that I’m a better man because of Yale. All universities, at their best, teach that degrees and honors are far from the full measure of life. Nor is that measure taken in wealth or in titles. What matters most are the standards you live by, the consideration you show others, and the way you use the gifts you are given.

Now you leave Yale behind, carrying the written proof of your success here, at a college older than America. When I left here, I didn’t have much in the way of a life plan. I knew some people who thought they did. But it turned out that we were all in for ups and downs, most of them unexpected. Life takes its own turns, makes its own demands, writes its own story. And along the way, we start to realize we are not the author.

We begin to understand that life is ours to live, but not to waste, and that the greatest rewards are found in the commitments we make with our whole hearts—to the people we love and to the causes that earn our sacrifice. I hope that each of you will know these rewards. I hope you will find them in your own way and your own time.

For some, that might mean some time in public service. And if you hear that calling, I hope you answer. Each of you has unique gifts and you were given them for a reason. Use them and share them. Public service is one way—an honorable way—to mark your life with meaning.

Today I visit not only my alma mater, but the city of my birth. My life began just a few blocks from here, but I was raised in West Texas. From there, Yale always seemed a world away, maybe a part of my future. Now it’s part of my past, and Yale for me is a source of great pride.

I hope that there will come a time for you to return to Yale to say that, and feel as I do today. And I hope you won’t wait as long.

Congratulations and God bless.

布什于2001年在耶鲁大学毕业典礼上的演讲 中文版

雷文校长,非常感谢。布罗德黑德主任,耶鲁大学的董事们,耶鲁大学学子的家长们、家人们,毕业生们:

能获此荣誉学位,我感到不胜荣幸。三十三年前我骄傲地获得了我的第一个耶鲁学位,这次我更为能在你们面前获此荣誉学位而骄傲。

祝贺你们,与我同获殊荣的人们。我很高兴能和如此杰出的团体共享这份荣誉,尤其是能和墨西哥前总统一起在这里分享。总统先生,您是一位真正的领袖和伟大的朋友。(布什用西班牙语对墨西哥前总统埃内斯托·塞迪略说)

祝贺你们,在场的所有家长们。今天是你们的孩子大学毕业光辉灿烂的日子,对你们来说是难得的日子,对你们的钱袋也是不同寻常的一天。

最重要的是,祝贺2001级。祝贺你们中曾获得过荣誉、奖金和荣衔的人,你们的确非常出色。同时也祝贺成绩C等的同学们,你们也能成为美国总统。耶鲁学位价值不菲。我时常这么提醒切尼,他在早年也短暂就读于此。所以,我想提醒正就读于耶鲁的莘莘学子,如果你们从耶鲁顺利毕业,你们也许可以当上总统;如果你们中途辍学,那么你们只能当副总统了。

能有机会在这个盛会上发言真是荣幸之至,我知道耶鲁的传统是学位颁授典礼上没有演讲者的。我也知道你们开创了一个例外。多数人认为要在耶鲁学位颁授典礼上演讲必须是总统,但是这么多年来规格要求越来越高。现在必须是耶鲁毕业的,必须是总统,必须是曾与拉尔夫·内德竞选时丧失过耶鲁选票的。

许久以来,这是我第一次返回母校,我相信你们每个人一生中都会回来几次。如果你们像我一样,你们在这儿经历的事就不会样样记得。这也许是一件好事,但是有些人和事你们永远不会忘记。

比如,我的老同学迪克·布罗德黑德,这位学识渊博、才华横溢的主任。我记得他那时是一位年轻学者,聪明的年轻人,一位学习很努力的人。我们俩倾注了大量时间在斯特灵图书馆和阅览室,记得那里有张大长皮沙发。我们有个君子协定,迪克不会大声朗读干扰我,我不会打呼噜影响他。

我们选择的课程不同,因为我们各自按照自己的道路进行学术探索。迪克主修英语,他喜欢经典名著。我喜欢历史,寻求多样化的学习课程,并愿意将其视为较少有人涉足的学术道路。比如,当时我选修了日本俳句课。俳句对外行人来说,只是15世纪的一种诗歌形式,每首有17个音节。俳句只有禅学大师才能完全领会。在我的记忆中,就有一位学术顾问对我选择这么一门专业课感到担忧。他说我应该集中精力学习英语,这个建议现在仍然经常听到。但是我的批评者们没有注意到我并非经常口误失言,我只是在以古老俳句的完美形式和节奏演讲。

我的确是在这里掌握了英语,并选修了由罗林·G.奥斯特维斯执教的被称为“美国演讲的历史与实践”的课程。雷文校长,我认为该赞美的就要赞美。我想让全世界知道,我在演讲方面所掌握的一切都是在耶鲁这里学到的。

做学生时,我尽力保持低姿态,果然有效。去年《纽约时报》采访了约翰·莫顿·布卢姆,因为有记载表明,我曾经选修过他的课。这么多年过去了,布卢姆教授在记忆中搜寻这群年轻人的面孔,但他的回答是:“我一点儿也记不起他。”

不过,我记得布卢姆教授,我仍然记得他的奉献精神和高深的学识。在我就读期间,耶鲁大学有许多伟大的教授,当然现在仍然拥有。在学位颁授典礼之后,我们各奔前程,是他们使耶鲁继续充满活力。我记不清上次来这里时是否向他们表达过谢意,但现在既然我又有一次机会,我要说谢谢耶鲁大学的教授们。

这就是我对耶鲁生活经历的感受——感激。我努力学习,尽情玩耍,交了许多终生的朋友。大学生活给予你们并使你们受益终生的,是你们当时几乎不曾注意到的那部分教育,是期望,是你们周围的榜样,是你们信仰的理想和你们所交的朋友。

我们那时人们常说“耶鲁人”,我真的不知道那意味着什么。但我确实认为正是因为耶鲁,我才更加杰出。所有大学最好的教育是使我们懂得学位和荣誉远不是衡量生活的全部标准,财富和头衔也不是标准。至关重要的是你生活的标准,你对他人的关爱和你对天赋才能的使用方式。

现在你们将离耶鲁而去,带着记载你在一所比美国还要悠久的大学里获得成功的证书离去。当我离开这里的时候,对未来生活道路没有太多的计划。我知道有些人自认为是有的,但结果是我们都会遇到坎坷不平,幸运和不幸,其中多数是始料未及的。生活总是变幻莫测,不断提出要求,书写自己的故事。在这条道路上,我们开始认识到我们不是作者。

我们开始懂得生命是让我们用来生活的,而不是用来浪费的,懂得最大的奖赏在于我们全身心的付出——对我们所爱的人和值得我们为之牺牲的事业的付出。我希望你们都能领会这种奖赏。我希望你们能在自己的一生中,以你们的方式获得这种奖赏。

对于有些人也许意味着在公共部门工作一段时日。一旦听到号召,我希望你们能够响应。你们每个人都有独特的才能,而才能赋予你们是有原由的。使用它们并与人分享,公共服务只是一种方式——一种光荣的方式——使你们的生命富有意义。

今天我不仅参观了我的母校,而且参观了我出生的城市。我的生命开始于离这里仅几个街区的地方,但我成长于西得克萨斯。从那里看,耶鲁一直恍若隔世之遥,也许只能成为我的未来。而现在它成为了我的过去,耶鲁对我来说是骄傲的源泉。

我希望有一天你们回到耶鲁时,会和我说同样的话,并且和我今天有同样的感受。我希望这一天你们不会等得太久。

祝贺你们,愿上帝保佑你们。


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