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名人演讲:Ten Ways to Live Happily 快乐生活十则[拉塞尔·韦恩·贝克]

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2018年05月06日

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Ten Ways to Live Happily 快乐生活十则

——Russell Wayne Baker 拉塞尔·韦恩·贝克

Ten Ways to Live Happily 快乐生活十则 Russell Wayne Baker 拉塞尔·韦恩·贝克

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[00:01.89]In a sensible world

[00:04.11]I would now congratulate the Class of 1995

[00:06.77]and sit down without further comment.

[00:09.25]I am sure the Class of 1995 wishes I would do so.

[00:13.57]Unfortunately for the Class of 1995

[00:16.61]we do not live in a sensible world.

[00:19.94]We live in a world far more slavish in its obedience to ancient custom

[00:24.75]than we like to admit.

[00:26.68]And ancient commencement-day custom demands

[00:28.93]that somebody stand up here and harangue the poor graduates

[00:32.88]until they beg for mercy.

[00:35.81]The ancient rule has been:

[00:38.03]make them suffer.

[00:40.23]I still remember the agony of my own graduation

[00:43.71]at The John Hopkins University.

[00:46.25]They had imported some heat from the Sahara Desert

[00:48.59]especially for the occasion,

[00:50.91]and the commencement orator spoke for two and a half days.

[00:54.85]That was in 1947.

[00:57.84]Luckily, the forces of mercy have made big gains since then.

[01:03.36]The authorities of Connecticut College

[01:05.39]have suggested that for me to speak longer than 20 minutes

[01:08.68]would be regarded as cruel and inhuman punishment

[01:12.41]and that if I go as long as 30 minutes

[01:14.80]several strong men will mount this platform and forcibly remove me.

[01:19.10]But if I can finish in 15 minutes!

[01:22.60]They will let me stay for lunch.

[01:25.28]They know their man, ladies and gentleman.

[01:27.86]When I smell a free lunch, I go for it.

[01:31.98]So if I can do this right,

[01:33.78]you'll see the back of me before we get to minute 16.

[01:37.45]This will not be easy.

[01:39.77]Condensing a graduation speech into 15 minutes

[01:42.45]is like trying to squeeze a Wagnerian opera into a telephone booth.

[01:47.43]To do it I had to strip away all the frills.

[01:51.04]This means you don't even get any warm-up jokes.

[01:54.69]So those of you who came just for the jokes

[01:56.92]might as well leave now.

[02:00.18]All right, let's plunge right ahead into the dull part.

[02:03.97]That's the part where the commencement speaker

[02:06.40]tells the graduates to go forth into the world,

[02:09.55]then gives advice on what to do when they get out there.

[02:12.99]This is a ridiculous waste of time.

[02:15.78]The graduates never take the advice,

[02:18.51]as I have learned from long experience.

[02:20.96]The best advice I can give anybody about going out into the world is this:

[02:25.26]Don't do it.

[02:26.87]I have been out there. It is a mess.

[02:29.95]I have been giving graduates this advice

[02:32.49]ever since 1967 when I spoke to a batch of them over at Bennington.

[02:37.84]That was 28 years ago.

[02:39.51]Some of your parent were probably graduating there that day

[02:43.09]and went on to ignore my advice.

[02:45.37]Thanks to the genius of my generation, I told them,

[02:48.67]it was a pretty good world out there

[02:50.42]they went forth into it, they would mess it up.

[02:53.97]So I urged them not to go.

[02:56.76]I might as well have been shouting down a rain barrel.

[03:00.37]They didn't listen.

[03:02.34]They went forth anyhow.

[03:04.06]And look what happened.

[03:05.75]Within a year Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were murdered.

[03:09.33]Then Nixon took us all to the Watergate.

[03:12.32]Draft riots. Defeat in Vietnam. John Lennon killed.

[03:16.74]Ronald Reagan and his trillion-dollar deficit.

[03:20.55]Over the years I spoke to many graduating classes,

[03:24.00]always pleading with them:

[03:25.46]Whatever you do, do not go forth.

[03:28.65]Nobody listened.

[03:30.28]They kept right on going forth anyhow.

[03:32.66]And look what we have today:

[03:34.68]Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton.

[03:37.33]So I will not waste my breath today

[03:40.33]pleading with you not to go forth.

[03:42.71]Instead I limit myself to a simple plea:

[03:45.19]When you get out there in the world

[03:48.27]try not to make it any worse than it already is.

[03:51.77]I thought it might help to give you a list of

[03:54.19]the most important things you can do

[03:56.85]to avoid making the world any worse.

[03:59.88]Since I'm shooting for 15 minutes,

[04:02.57]however, there is no time to give you all 100.

[04:06.47]You will have to make do with 10.

[04:09.00]Short as the public attention span is these days,

[04:11.94]nobody could remember 100 anyhow.

[04:14.95]Even 10 may be asking too much.

[04:18.84]Here is my list:

[04:20.30]10 things to help you avoid making the world worse than it already is:

[04:25.62]One: Bend down once in a while and smell a flower.

[04:31.29]Two: Don't go around in clothes that talk.

[04:37.17]There is already too much talk in the world.

[04:39.80]We've got so many talking people

[04:41.80]there's hardly anybody left to listen.

[04:44.77]With radio and television and telephones

[04:47.52]we've got talking furniture.

[04:49.70]With bumper stickers we've got talking cars.

[04:52.86]Talking clothes just add to the uproar.

[04:55.61]If you simply cannot resist being an incompetent klutz,

[05:00.51]don't boast about it by wearing a T-shirt that says

[05:03.44]'underachiever and proud of it.'

[05:06.72]Being dumb is not the worst thing in the world,

[05:09.87]but letting your clothes shout it out loud

[05:11.78]depresses the neighbors and embarrasses your parents.

[05:16.49]Point three follows from point two,

[05:19.67]and it's this:

[05:21.08]Listen once in a while.

[05:24.02]It's amazing what you can hear.

[05:25.62]On a hot summer day in the country

[05:28.45]you can hear the corn growing,

[05:30.21]the crack of a tin roof buckling under the power of the sun.

[05:34.47]In a real old-fashioned parlor silence so deep

[05:37.75]you can hear the dust settling on the velveteen settee,

[05:41.49]you might hear the footsteps of

[05:43.46]something sinister gaining on you,

[05:45.84]or a heart-stoppingly beautiful phrase from Mozart

[05:48.77]you haven't heard since childhood,

[05:50.86]or the voice of somebody - now gone - whom you loved.

[05:55.37]Or sometime when you're talking up a storm so brilliant,

[05:59.06]so charming that you can hardly believe how wonderful you are,

[06:02.42]pause just a moment

[06:04.03]and listen to yourself.

[06:05.81]It's good for the soul to hear yourself as others hear you,

[06:09.54]and next time maybe, just maybe,

[06:12.24]you will not talk so much,

[06:14.26]so loudly, so brilliantly, so charmingly,

[06:17.65]so utterly shamefully foolishly.

[06:21.34]Point four: Sleep in the nude.

[06:25.09]In an old age when people don't even get dressed

[06:28.07]to go to the theater anymore,

[06:29.65]it's silly getting dressed up to go to bed.

[06:32.13]What's more,

[06:33.81]now that you can no longer smoke,

[06:35.74]drink gin or eat bacon and eggs

[06:38.07]without somebody trying

[06:39.41]to make you feel ashamed of yourself,

[06:40.87]sleeping in the nude is one deliciously sinful pleasure

[06:45.17]you can commit without being caught by

[06:47.19]the Puritan police squads that patrol the nation.

[06:51.86]Point five: Turn off the TV once or twice a month and pick up a book.

[06:58.65]It will ease your blood pressure.

[07:01.13]It might even wake up your mind,

[07:03.35]but if it puts you to sleep you're still a winner.

[07:06.80]Better to sleep than have to watch

[07:08.92]that endless parade of body bags

[07:10.74]the local news channel marches through your parlor.

[07:14.78]Six: don't take your gun to town.

[07:18.29]Don't even leave it home

[07:20.10]unless you lock all your bullets

[07:21.92]in a safe deposit box in a faraway bank.

[07:23.39]The surest way to get shot

[07:26.27]is not to drop by the nearest convenience store

[07:28.90]for a bottle of milk at midnight,

[07:30.71]but to keep a loaded pistol in you own house.

[07:34.75]What about your constitutional right to bear arms,

[07:37.34]you say.

[07:39.36]I would simply point out

[07:40.68]that you don't have to exercise a constitutional right

[07:43.21]just because you have it.

[07:45.33]You have the constitutional right

[07:47.61]to run for president of the United States,

[07:49.65]but most people have too much sense to insist on exercising it.

[07:55.30]Seven: learn to fear the automobile.

[07:58.65]It is not the trillion-dollar deficit

[08:01.19]that will finally destroy America.

[08:03.73]It is the automobile.

[08:05.75]Congressional studies of future highway needs are terrifying.

[08:09.55]A typical projection shows that when your generation is middle-aged,

[08:13.75]interstate 95 between Miami and Fort Lauderdale

[08:16.98]will have to be 22 lanes wide

[08:18.82]to avert total paralysis of south Florida.

[08:23.32]Imagine an entire country covered with asphalt.

[08:26.77]My grandfather's generation shot horses.

[08:30.00]Yours had better learn to shoot automobiles.

[08:33.90]Eight: Have some children.

[08:36.87]Children add texture to your life.

[08:39.30]They will save you from turning into old fogies

[08:42.23]before you're middle-aged.

[08:43.85]They will teach you humility.

[08:45.58]When old age overtakes you,

[08:48.18]as it inevitably will,

[08:49.40]I'm sorry to say,

[08:54.20]having a few children will provide you with people

[08:55.56]who will feel guilty when they're accused of

[08:56.23]being ungrateful for all you've done for them.

[08:59.37]It's almost impossible nowadays to find anybody

[09:02.61]who will feel guilty about anything,

[09:04.89]including mass murder.

[09:07.22]When you reach the golden years,

[09:08.74]your best bet is children, the ingrates.

[09:14.77]Nine: Get married.

[09:17.21]I know you don't want to hear this,

[09:19.38]but getting married will give you a lot more satisfaction

[09:22.13]in the long run than your BMW.

[09:24.71]It provides a standard set of parent

[09:26.67]for your children and gives you that second income

[09:29.36]you will need when it's time

[09:30.88]to send those children to Connecticut College.

[09:33.47]What's more, without marriage

[09:36.70]you will have practically no material at all

[09:39.74]to work with when you decide to write a book

[09:42.11]or hire a psychiatrist.

[09:43.80]When you get married,

[09:45.06]whatever you do,

[09:46.32]do not ask a lawyer to draw up a marriage contract

[09:49.40]spelling out how your lives will be divvied up

[09:51.94]when you get divorced.

[09:54.01]It's hard enough making a marriage work

[09:56.49]without having a blueprint for its destruction

[09:58.96]drawn up before you go to the altar.

[10:01.85]Speaking of lawyers brings me to point nine and a half,

[10:05.28]which is: Avoid lawyers

[10:07.61]unless you have nothing to do with the rest of your life

[10:10.00]but kill time.

[10:11.87]And finally, point 10: smile.

[10:16.43]You're one of the luckiest people in the world.

[10:18.90]You're living in America.

[10:20.68]Enjoy it.

[10:22.64]I feel obliged to give you this banal advice

[10:25.63]because, although I've lived through the Great Depression,

[10:28.92]World War II, terrible wars in Korea and Vietnam,

[10:32.72]and half a century of cold war,

[10:35.24]I have never seen a time

[10:36.76]when there were so many Americans so angry

[10:39.55]or so mean-spirited or so sour about the country as there are today.

[10:44.90]Anger has become the national habit.

[10:48.36]You see it on the sullen faces of fashion models

[10:51.44]scowling out of magazines.

[10:52.70]it pours out of the radio.

[10:55.42]Washington television hams snarl and shout at each other on television.

[11:00.30]Ordinary people abuse politicians

[11:03.08]and their wives with shockingly coarse insults.

[11:06.67]Rudeness has become an acceptable way

[11:08.95]of announcing you are sick and tired of it all

[11:11.99]and are not going to take it anymore.

[11:14.58]Vile speech is justified on the same ground and is inescapable.

[11:19.79]America is angry at Washington,

[11:23.34]angry at the press, angry at immigrants,

[11:26.32]angry at television, angry at traffic,

[11:29.75]angry at people who are well off

[11:32.14]and angry at people who are poor,

[11:34.20]angry at blacks and angry at whites.

[11:37.36]The old are angry at the young,

[11:39.83]the young angry at the old.

[11:42.51]Suburbs are angry at the cities,

[11:44.68]cities are angry at the suburbs.

[11:47.16]Rustic America is angry at both

[11:49.64]whenever urban and suburban invaders

[11:51.81]threaten the rustic sense of having escaped

[11:53.83] from God's angry land.

[11:56.78]A complete catalog of the varieties of bile

[11:59.15]poisoning the American soul would fill a library.

[12:02.99]The question is: why?

[12:05.17]Why has anger become the common response

[12:07.69]to the inevitable ups and down of nation?

[12:11.34]The question is not just because the American habit

[12:13.77]even in the worst of times

[12:15.08]has traditionally been mindless optimism,

[12:17.46]but also because there is so little for Americans

[12:20.35]to be angry about nowadays.

[12:22.89]We are the planet's undisputed super power.

[12:25.41]For the first time in 60 years

[12:27.49]we enjoy something very much like real peace.

[12:30.26]We are by all odds the wealthiest nation on earth,

[12:33.80]though admittedly our vast treasure is not evenly shared.

[12:37.85]Forgive me the geezer's sin of talking about "the bad old days",

[12:41.90]but the country is still full of people

[12:43.98]who remember when 35 dollars a week

[12:46.20]was considered a living wage for a whole family.

[12:49.76]People whine about being overtaxed,

[12:52.39]yet in the 1950s the top income-tax rate was 91 percent,

[12:56.83]universal military service was the law of the land,

[13:00.44]and racial segregation was legally enforced

[13:03.87]in large parts of the country.

[13:06.05]So what explains the fury and dyspepsia?

[13:10.21]I suspect it's the famous American ignorance of history.

[13:13.69]People who know nothing of even the most recent past

[13:16.88]are easily gulled by slick operators

[13:19.36]who prosper by exploiting the ignorant.

[13:21.89]Among these rascals are our politicians.

[13:24.83]Politicians flourish by sowing discontent.

[13:27.61]They triumph by churning is content into anger.

[13:30.91]Press, television and radio also have a big financial stake

[13:35.05]in keeping the county boiling mad

[13:38.40]Good news, as you know, does not sell papers

[13:42.60]or keep millions glued to radios and TV screens.

[13:45.94]So when you get out there in the world,

[13:47.76]ladies and gentlemen,

[13:49.07]you're going to find yourself surrounded by shouting,

[13:51.35]red-in-the-face, stomping-mad politicians, radio yakmeisters

[13:56.19]and, yes sad to say, newspaper columnists,

[13:59.69]telling you 'you never had it so bad'

[14:02.71]and otherwise trying to spoil your day.

[14:06.16]When they come at you with that,

[14:07.58]ladies and gentlemen,

[14:08.80]give them a wink and a smile

[14:11.03]and a good view of your departing back.

[14:14.06]And as you stroll away, bend down to smell a flower.

[14:18.61]Now it seems I have run past the 15-minute limit

[14:22.25]and will have to buy my own lunch.

[14:25.08]That's life Class of 1995.

[14:27.51]No free lunch.

[14:30.19]My sermon is done.

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