What Are People Good For ?–Share with you

What Are People Good For ?

人们行善是为了什么?

One’s beliefs are revealed not so much in words or in formal creeds as in the assumptions on which one habitually acts and in the basic values by which all choices are tested.

人类的信仰并非全是通过言辞或形式的教条,以及对一个人行为习惯的设想或其做出选择所依据的价值观所体现出来的。

The cornerstone of my own value system was laid in childhood with parents who believed that personal integrity came first. They never asked, ”What will people think?” The question was,“What will you think of yourself, if you do this or fail to do that?” Thus, living up to one’s own conception of one’s self became a basic value, and the question, “What will people think,” took a subordinate place.

孩提时,父母的教诲正是我个人基本价值观的来源,他们相信人格是一切之首。他们从不问:“人们会怎么想?”而是问:“如果你做这件事而不做那件,你会怎么想?”因此,按自己的意愿生活便成为了最基本的价值观,而“人们会怎么想?”这个问题则退居二线。

A second basic value, in some ways an extension of the first, I owe to an old college professor, who had suffered more than his share of grief and trouble. Over and over he said to us, “The one thing that really matters is to be bigger than the things that can happen to you. Nothing that can happen to you is half so important that the way in which you end it.”

从某种程度上来说,第二条基础价值观就是对第一条的延伸,这是我从一位大学老教授那里了解到的。他所遭受的不幸与痛苦比常人要多得多。他不止一次地告诉我们:“你要比发生在你身上的苦难更为强大;面对不幸的态度比你所遭受的不幸更为重要。这一点很重要。”

Gradually I realized that here was the basis of the only really security and peace of mind that a human being can have. Nobody can be sure when disaster, disappointment, injustice, or humiliation, may come to him through no fault of his own. Nor can one be guaranteed against one’s own mistakes and failures. But the way we meet life is ours to choose. And when integrity, fortitude, dignity, and compassion are our choice, the things that can happen to us lose their power over us.

慢慢地,我了解到,这正是人类拥有真正安全感与平和心态的基础。即使自己并无任何过错,也没有人确切地知道,灾难、失望、不公或羞辱何时会降临到自己的头上,而且也没人敢保证自己不会犯错、不会失败。但是,我们可以选择面对生活的方式。当我们选择正直、坚韧、尊严与同情时,任何不幸的威胁都无法影响到我们。

The acceptance of these two basic values led to a third. If what one is and how one meets life are of first importance, one is not impressed by another’s money, status, or power, nor does one judge people by their race, color, or social position. This opens up a whole new world of relationships, for when friendships are based on qualities of mind and character, one can have friends among old and young, rich and poor, famous and unknown, educated and unlettered, and among people of all races and all nations.

当你接受了前两条基本的价值观,也就能够接受这第三条。如果一个人坚持自我以及自己的生活方式,那他就不会为他人的金钱、地位与权利所动,也不会以人们的种族、肤色或社会地位来评价他们。全新的人际关系世界就此开启了。因为,当友谊基于思想与人品时,老人与青年、富人与穷人、名人与普通人、受过良好教育的人、目不识丁者,以及不同种族、不同民族的人们都能够成为你的朋友。

Given these three basic values, a fourth became inevitable. It is one’s duty and obligation to help create a social order in which persons are more important than things, ideas more precious than gadgets, and in which individuals are judged on the basis of personal worth. Moreover, for this judgment to be fair, human beings must have an opportunity for the fullest development of which they are capable. One is thus led to work for a world of freedom and justice through those social agencies and institutions which make it possible for people everywhere to realize their highest potentialities.

有了上面三条基本的价值观,第四条自然就无法避免。它是一个人协助创造社会秩序的责任与义务。在这个社会秩序中,人比物重要,思想比精巧的器具重要,个人的价值是以人的基本原则为基础的。此外,为保证这个评判的公正,人类必须有机会全面发展自身的能力。于是,社会组织与机构便致力于使世界各地的人们认识到他们最大的潜能,并引导人们为创造一个自由公平的世界而工作。

Perhaps all this adds up to a belief in what has been called the human use of human beings. We are set off from the rest of the animal world by our capacity consciously to transcend our physical needs and desires. Men must concern themselves with food and with other physical needs, and they must protect themselves and their own from bodily harm, but these activities are not exclusively human. Many animals concern themselves with these things. When we worship, pray, or feel compassion, when we enjoy a painting, a sunset or a sonata, when we think and reason, pursue ideas, seek truth, or read a book, when we protect the weak and helpless, when we honor the noble and cherish the good, when we cooperate with our fellow men to build a better world, our behavior is worthy of our status as human beings.

也许,所有这一切加起来就形成了一种信仰,那就是人类如何实现自我价值。我们人类之所以优于动物,是因为人拥有自觉控制自身需求与欲望的能力。人类必须考虑食物与自身的需求,必须保护自身与亲人不受伤害,但是这些行为并不只限于人类。很多动物都拥有这方面的本能。当我们膜拜、祈祷或感动时;当我们欣赏画作、夕阳或奏鸣曲时;当我们思考推理、追随灵感、寻求真相或阅读一本书时;当我们保护弱者与无助的人时;当我们尊敬高尚的人、心怀行善的愿望时;当我们为建设更美好的世界与他人合作时;我们的行为才使我们无愧于“人类”这个称呼。


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