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每天读一点英文 那些激励我前行的身影 11 迈向成功之路-哈佛第一任女校长在毕业典礼上的讲话

所属教程:每天读一点英文 那些激励我前行的身影



11 Baccalaureate Address to Class of 2008 迈向成功之路


In the curious custom of this venerable institution, I find myself standing before you expected to impart words of lasting wisdom. Here I am in a pulpit, dressed like a Puritan minister — an apparition that would have horrified many of my distinguished forebears and perhaps rededicated some of them to the extirpation of witches. This momentwould have propelled Increase and Cotton into a true “Mather lather.”But here I am and there you are and it is the moment of and for Veritas.


You have been undergraduatesfor four years. I have been president for not quite one. You have knownthree presidents; I one senior class. Where then lies the voice ofexperience? Maybe you should be offering the wisdom. Perhaps our rolescould be reversed and I could, in Harvard Law School style, do coldcalls for the next hour or so.


We all do seem to have made itto this point — more or less in one piece. Though I recently learnedthat we have not provided you with dinner since May 22. I know we needto wean you from Harvard in a figurative sense. I never knew we took itquite so literally.


But let’s return to that notion of cold calls for a moment. Let’s imaginethis were a baccalaureate service in the form of Q & A, and youwere asking the questions. “What is the meaning of life, PresidentFaust? What were these four years at Harvard for? President Faust, youmust have learned something since you graduated from college exactly 40years ago?” (Forty years. I’ll say it out loud since every detail of mylife — and certainly the year of my Bryn Mawr degree — now seems to bepublicly available. But please remember I was young for my class.)


In away, you have been engaging me in this Q & A for the past year. Onjust these questions, although you have phrased them a bit morenarrowly. And I have been trying to figure out how I might answer and,perhaps more intriguingly, why you were asking.


Let me explain. It actually began when I met with the UC just after myappointment was announced in the winter of 2007. Then the questionscontinued when I had lunch at Kirkland House, dinner at Leverett, whenI met with students in my office hours, even with some recent graduatesI encountered abroad.


The first thing you asked me about wasn’t thecurriculum or advising or faculty contact or even student space. Infact, it wasn’t even alcohol policy. Instead, you repeatedly asked me:Why are so many of us going to Wall Street? Why are we going in suchnumbers from Harvard to finance, consulting, i-banking?


There are anumber of ways to think about this question and how to answer it. Thereis the Willie Sutton approach. You may know that when he was asked whyhe robbed banks, he replied, “Because that’s where the money is.”Professors Claudia Goldin and Larry Katz, whom many of you haveencountered in your economics concentration, offer a not dissimilaranswer based on their study of student career choices since theseventies.

对于这个问题有多种思考和回答方式。有一种解释就是如Willie Sutton所说的,一切向“钱”看。(WillieSutton是个抢银行犯,被逮住后当被问到为什么去抢银行时,他说:“Because that is where the moneyis!”)你们中很多人见过的普通经济学教授Claudia Goldin 和LarryKatz,基于对上世纪70年代以来的学生的职业选择的研究,作出了差不多的回答。

They find it notable that, given the very high pecuniaryrewards in finance, many students nonetheless still choose to dosomething else. Indeed, 37 of you have signed on with Teach forAmerica; one of you will dance tango and work in dance therapy inArgentina; another will be engaged in agricultural development inKenya; another, with an honors degree in math, will study poetry;another will train as a pilot with the USAF; another will work tocombat breast cancer.

他们发现了值得注意的一点:即使从事金融业可以得到很高的金钱回报,很多学生仍然选择做其它的事情。实事上,你们中间有37人签到了“教育美国人”(Teach forAmerica,美国的一个组织,其作用类似于中国的“希望工程”);1人将去跳探戈舞蹈并在阿根廷从事舞蹈疗法;1人将致力于肯尼亚的农业发展;另有1人获得了数学的荣誉学位,却转而去研究诗歌;1人将去美国空军接受飞行员训练;还有1人将加入到与乳癌抗战当中。

Numbers of you will go to law school, medicalschool, and graduate school. But, consistent with the pattern Goldinand Katz have documented, a considerable number of you are selectingfinance and consulting. The Crimson’s survey of last year’s classreported that 58 percent of men and 43 percent of women entering theworkforce made this choice. This year, even in challenging economictimes, the figure is 39 percent.


High salaries, the all butirresistible recruiting juggernaut, the reassurance for many of youthat you will be in New York working and living and enjoying lifealongside your friends, the promise of interesting work — there arelots of ways to explain these choices. For some of you, it is acommitment for only a year or two in any case. Others believe they willbest be able to do good by first doing well. Yet, you ask me why youare following this path.


I find myselfin some ways less interested in answering your question than infiguring out why you are posing it. If Professors Goldin and Katz haveit right; if finance is indeed the “rational choice,” why do you keepraising this issue with me? Why does this seemingly rational choicestrike a number of you as not understandable, as not entirely rational,as in some sense less a free choice than a compulsion or necessity? Whydoes this seem to be troubling so many of you?


You are asking me, I think, about the meaning of life,though you have posed your question in code — in terms of theobservable and measurable phenomenon of senior career choice ratherthan the abstract, unfathomable and almost embarrassing realm ofmetaphysics. The Meaning of Life — capital M, capital L — is a cliché —easier to deal with as the ironic title of a Monty Python movie or thesubject of a Simpsons episode than as a matter about which one woulddare admit to harboring serious concern.


But let’s for a momentabandon our Harvard savoir faire, our imperturbability, our pretense ofinvulnerability, and try to find the beginnings of some answers to yourquestion.


I think you are worried because you want your lives not just to beconventionally successful, but to be meaningful, and you are not surehow those two goals fit together. You are not sure if agenerous starting salary at a prestigious brand name organizationtogether with the promise of future wealth will feed your soul.


Why are you worried? Partly it is our fault. We have told you from themoment you arrived here that you will be the leaders responsible forthe future, that you are the best and the brightest on whom we will alldepend, that you will change the world. We have burdened you with nosmall expectations. And you have already done remarkable thingsto fulfill them: your dedication to service demonstrated in yourextracurricular engagements, your concern about the future of theplanet expressed in your vigorous championing of sustainability, yourreinvigoration of American politics through engagement in this year’spresidential contests.


But many of you are now wondering how these commitments fit with a career choice. Isit necessary to decide between remunerative work and meaningful work?If it were to be either/or, which would you choose? Is there a way tohave both?


You are asking me and yourselves fundamental questions about values, about trying to reconcile potentially competing goods, about recognizing that it may not be possible to have it all. You are at a moment of transition that requires making choices. And selecting one option — a job, a career, a graduate program — means not selecting others. Every decision means loss as well as gain —possibilities foregone as well as possibilities embraced. Your questionto me is partly about that — about loss of roads not taken.


Finance,Wall Street, “recruiting” have become the symbol of this dilemma,representing a set of issues that is much broader and deeper than justone career path. These are issues that in one way or another will atsome point face you all — as you graduate from medical school andchoose a specialty — family practice or dermatology, as you decidewhether to use your law degree to work for a corporate firm or as apublic defender, as you decide whether to stay in teaching after yourtwo years with TFA.

金融、华尔街,“招聘”一词已经成了这种博弈的符号,代表着比仅仅选择一条职业道路更广更深的一系列问题。这些问题早晚将面临着你们每个人——如果你是从医学院毕业,你将选择一个具体从医方向——做私人医生还是专攻皮肤病,如果你学的是法律,你将决定是用你的法律知识为一个公司法人卖命还是成为公众的正义化身,或是在 “教育美国人”两年后你决定是否继续从教。

You are worried because you want to have both a meaningful life and a successful one;you know you were educated to make a difference not just for yourself,for your own comfort and satisfaction, but for the world around you. And now you have to figure out the way to make that possible.


I think there is a second reason you are worried — related to but not entirely distinct from the first. You want to be happy.You have flocked to courses like “Positive Psychology” — Psych 1504 —and “The Science of Happiness” in search of tips. But how do we findhappiness? I can offer one encouraging answer: get older. Turns outthat survey data show older people — that is, my age — reportthemselves happier than do younger ones. But perhaps you don’t want towait.


As I have listened to you talk about the choices aheadof you, I have heard you articulate your worries about the relationshipof success and happiness — perhaps, more accurately, how to definesuccess so that it yields and encompasses real happiness, not justmoney and prestige.


The most remunerative choice, you fear, may not bethe most meaningful and the most satisfying. But you wonder how youwould ever survive as an artist or an actor or a public servant or ahigh school teacher? Howwould you ever figure out a path by which to make your way injournalism? Would you ever find a job as an English professor after youfinished who knows how many years of graduate school and dissertationwriting?


Theanswer is: you won’t know till you try. But if you don’t try to do whatyou love — whether it is painting or biology or finance; if you don’tpursue what you think will be most meaningful, you will regret it. Lifeis long. There is always time for Plan B. But don’t begin with it.


I think of this as my parking space theory of career choice, and I have been sharing it with students for decades. Don’tpark 20 blocks from your destination because you think you’ll neverfind a space. Go where you want to be and then circle back to where youhave to be.


Youmay love investment banking or finance or consulting. It might be justright for you. Or, you might be like the senior I met at lunch atKirkland who had just returned from an interview on the West Coast witha prestigious consulting firm. “Why am I doing this?” she asked. “Ihate flying, I hate hotels, I won’t like this job.” Find work you love.It is hard to be happy if you spend more than half your waking hoursdoing something you don’t.


But what is ultimately most important here is that you are asking the question — not just of me but of yourselves. You are choosing roads and at the same time challenging your own choices.


You have a notion of what you want your life to be and you are not sure the road you are taking is going to get you there.This is the best news.


And it is also, I hope, to some degree, ourfault. Noticing your life, reflecting upon it, considering how you canlive it well, wondering how you can do good:


These are perhaps the mostvaluable things that a liberal arts education has equipped you to do. Aliberal education demands that you live self-consciously.


It preparesyou to seek and define the meaning inherent in all you do. It has madeyou an analyst and critic of yourself, a person in this way supremelyequipped to take charge of your life and how it unfolds. It isin this sense that the liberal arts are liberal — as in liberare — tofree.

它让你成为一个经常分析和反省自己的人。而这样的人完全能够掌控自己的人生或未来。从这个道理上讲,文科——照它的字面意思——才使你们自由。(英语里文科是Liberal Art,照字面解释是自由的艺术)学文科可以让你有机会去进行理论的实践,去发现你所做的选择的价值。

They empower you with the possibility of exercising agency, ofdiscovering meaning, of making choices. The surest way to have ameaningful, happy life is to commit yourself to striving for it.Don’t settle.


Be prepared to change routes. Remember the impossibleexpectations we have of you, and even as you recognize they areimpossible, remember how important they are as a lodestar guiding youtoward something that matters to you and to the world. The meaning ofyour life is for you to make.


I can’t wait to see how you all turn out. Do come back, from time to time, and let us know.




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