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散文佳作108篇 第45期:生命的三分之一 One Third of Our Lifetime

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生命的三分之一

One Third of Our Lifetime

邓拓

Deng Tuo

一个人的生命究竟有多大的意义,这有什么标准可以衡量吗?提出一个绝对的标准当然很困难;但是,大体上看一个人对待生命的态度是否严肃认真,看他对待劳动、工作等等的态度如何,也就不难对这个人的存在意义做出适当的估计了。

What is the significance of life? Is there any gauge to measure it? It would be very difficult, ofcourse, trying to advance an absolute standard. However, the significance of one's existencecan more or less be rated by examining his attitude toward life and work.

古来一切有成就的人,都很严肃的对待自己的生命,当他活着一天,总要尽量多劳动、多工作、多学习,不肯虚度年华,不让时间白白的浪费掉。我国历代的劳动人民以及大政治家、大思想家等等都莫不如此。

Since ancient times all people of accomplishment are very serious about their lives. While theyare alive, even if there is only one day left to live, they try to work as hard as they can and learnas much as possible, never letting a single day slip by without any gain. This is true of theworking people as well as of the great statesmen and great thinkers in our history.

班固写的《汉书·食货志》上有下面的记载:“冬,民既人;妇人同巷相从夜绩,女工一月得四十五日。”

In the chapter “Foods and Goods" of The Chronicles of the Han Dynasty, the great historianBan Gu states:"In winter people stay indoors. Women get together to spin hemp threads atnight. They manage to work forty-five days in a month."

这几句读起来很奇怪,怎么一月能有四十五天呢?再看原文底下颜师古做了注解,他说:“一月之中,又得夜半为十五日,共四十五日。

生命的三分之一

”It sounds strange. How come there are forty-five days in a month? Let us look at itsannotations given by Yanshigu:"They gain half a day 's time every night and, they have forty-five days in a month."

这就很清楚了。原来我国的古人不但比西方各国的人更早地懂得科学地、合理地计算劳动日;而且我们的古人老早就知道对于日班和夜班的计算方法。

Now it’s clear. Our ancestors had, earlier than the westerners, learned how to calculateworkdays accurately and reasonably. They had also learned how calculate day shift and nightshift as well.

一个月本来只有三十天,古人把每个夜晚的时间算作半天,就多了十五天。从这个意义张说来,夜晚的时间实际上不就等于生命的三分之一吗?

It is common knowledge that there are only thirty days in a month. Counting the time of onenight for half a day, our forefathers managed to expend the month by fifteen days. In thissense the night time gained amounts to one third of our lives, doesn't it?

对于这三分之一的生命,不但历代的劳动者如此重视,而且有许多大政治家也十分重视。班固在《汉书?刑法志》里还写道:

This one third of life is not only treasured by the working people but also by the greatstatesmen in our history. In the chapter "Criminal Law" of The Chronicles of the Han Dynasty,Ban Gu also states:

“秦始皇躬操文墨,昼断狱,夜理书。”

"The First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty set a good example in being industrious, disposing oflawsuits during the day and reading at night ,"This is about how he tried to find time to read atnight.

有的人一听说秦始皇就不喜欢他,其实秦始皇毕竟是中国历史上的一个伟大的人物,班固对他也还有一些公平的评价。这里写的是秦始皇在夜间看书学习的情形。

To some people the The First Emperor of the Qin isn’t a pleasant name to recall but there is nodenying that he was a great figure in the history of China. Even BanGu has an impartialopinion of him.

据刘向的《说苑》所载,春秋战国时有许多国君都很注意学习。

Liu Xiang, the great scholar of the Han Dynasty ,cites in his historical Anecdotes many princesof the Spring and Autumn period and Warring States period who paid great attention tolearning.

为什么古人对于夜晚的时间都这样重视,不肯轻易放过呢?我认为这就是他们对待自己生命的三分之一的严肃认真的态度,这正是我们所应该学习的。

Why did the people in the set such great store by the night time? I think this is positive proofof their attitude toward the one third of their lives. This is exactly what we should learn fromthem.

我之所以想利用夜晚的时间,向读者同志们做这样的谈话,目的也不过是要大家引起注意珍惜这三分之一的生命,是大家在整天的劳动,工作以后,以轻松的心情,领略一些古今有用的知识而已。

My intention of writing this little essay tonight is to call the readers’ attention to the one thirdof his lifetime so that , after working for a whole day, he can sit relaxed at home, browsingthrough and appreciating the useful knowledge of the past and of the present.


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