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      The Secret to a Happy Life – Courtesy of Tolstoy
      發布時間:2018年03月01日     彭蘊博、賀鶯 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
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      The Secret to a Happy Life

       – Courtesy of Tolstoy

      幸福生活的秘訣

      ——來自托爾斯泰的啟示


      Tolstoy, who was born in 1828 and died in 1910, was a member of the Russian nobility, from a family that owned an estate and hundreds of serfs. The early life of the young count was raucous, debauched and violent.


      托爾斯泰(1828—1910)出身于俄國貴族,家里有莊園和數百名農奴。這位青年伯爵早年狂放不羈,耽于聲色,且好勇斗狠。


      “I killed men in wars and challenged men to duels in order to kill them,” he wrote. “I lost at cards, consumed the labor of the peasants, sentenced them to punishments, lived loosely, and deceived people... so I lived for ten years.”


      “我在戰爭中殺人,挑戰別人,與他們決斗好殺死他們,”他寫道,“打牌上癮,剝削農民,濫用私刑,生活放浪,欺騙他人……我就這么過了10年?!?


      But he gradually weaned himself off his decadent, racy lifestyle and rejected the received beliefs of his aristocratic background, adopting a radical, unconventional worldview that shocked his peers. So how exactly might his personal journey help us rethink our own philosophies of life?


      但是他逐漸告別了自己墮落不羈的生活方式,棄絕了貴族出身所帶來的觀念,選擇了一種激進的、違背傳統的世界觀,震撼了同輩中人。那么他的個人經歷可以怎樣幫助我們反思自己的人生哲學呢?


      1. Keep an open mind

      1. 開放心態


      One of Tolstoy’s greatest gifts was his ability and willingness to change his mind based on new experiences. The horrific bloodshed he witnessed while fighting in the Crimean War in the 1850s turned him into a lifelong pacifist. In 1857, after seeing a public execution by guillotine in Paris – he never forgot the thump of the severed head as it fell into the box below – he became a convinced opponent of the state and its laws, believing that governments were not only brutal, but essentially served the interests of the rich and powerful. “The State is a conspiracy,” he wrote to a friend. “Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.” Tolstoy was on the road to becoming an anarchist.


      托爾斯泰能夠也愿意基于新的經歷轉變自己的思想,這是他最偉大的稟賦之一。他曾參加過19世紀50年代的克里米亞戰爭,血雨腥風的戰爭恐怖場面使他終生成為一名反戰主義者。1857年,托爾斯泰在巴黎目睹了一場公開處決,他無法忘記斷頭臺上人頭掉入盒子的聲音。這使得他開始堅決反對政府和法律,認為政府無異于洪水猛獸,專為有錢有勢的人謀利益?!皣揖褪且粓鲫幹\,”他在寫給一位朋友的信中寫道,“故此,我絕不會為任何國家、任何政府賣命?!蓖袪査固┳呱狭藷o政府主義者的道路。


      2. Practise empathy

      2. 換位思考


      Tolstoy displayed an unusual capacity to empathise by stepping into the shoes of people whose lives were vastly different from his own. In the 1860s, he not only adopted peasant dress but began working alongside the newly emancipated labourers on his estate, ploughing the fields and repairing their homes with his own hands. For a blue-blooded[1] count, such actions were nothing short of remarkable. Although no doubt tinged with paternalism, he enjoyed the company of peasants and consciously shunned the literary and aristocratic elite in the cities. Tolstoy believed you could never understand the reality of other people’s lives unless you had a taste of it yourself.


      托爾斯泰深入體驗他人截然不同的生活,展現出非同尋常的同理心。19世紀60年代,他不但穿上農人的衣服,而且與剛解放的勞力們一起在自家莊園里干活,親手犁田,修繕房屋。作為一個血統高貴的伯爵,這些舉動真是特立獨行。雖然無疑帶點專制,但他喜歡和農人們待在一起,并且有意躲避城市中的其他文豪和貴族精英。托爾斯泰認為,非親身體驗無法理解他人的生活。


      [1] blue-blooded 具有貴族血統的,出身名門的。


      3. Make a difference

      3. 與眾不同


      He also distinguished himself from his upper class peers by taking practical action to alleviate other people’s suffering, most evident in his famine relief work. After the crop failure of 1873, Tolstoy stopped writing Anna Karenina for a year to organise aid for the starving, remarking to a relative: “I cannot tear myself away from living creatures to bother about imaginary ones.” His friends and family thought it was crazy for one of the world’s finest novelists to put one of his works of genius on the backburner. He did it again following the famine in 1891, spending two years working in soup kitchens and fundraising. Can you imagine a bestselling author today setting aside their latest book to do humanitarian relief work for two years?


      與上流社會的其他人相比,托爾斯泰的過人之處還在于能夠采取實際行動扶危濟困,尤其是在賑濟饑民方面。1873年糧食歉收,托爾斯泰暫停撰寫《安娜·卡列尼娜》,花了一年的時間為賑濟饑民奔走呼號。他對一位親戚說:“我無法扔下活著的人們去為虛幻的角色操心?!迸笥押图胰硕加X得他瘋了,無法理解世界上最偉大的小說家居然會把他的天才之作放到次要位置。1891年饑荒爆發,他再次輟筆,花了整整兩年時間奔走于施粥站和籌款的路上。你能想象當今哪位暢銷書作家放下他的新作,花兩年時間忙于人道主義援助嗎?

       

      4. Master the art of simple living

      4. 簡約生活


      Following a mental breakdown in the late 1870s, Tolstoy rejected all organised religion, including the Orthodox Church[2] he had grown up in. He adopted a revolutionary brand of Christianity based on spiritual and material austerity. He gave up drinking, smoking, and became a vegetarian. He also inspired the creation of utopian communities of simple, self-sufficient living, where property was held in common. These “Tolstoyan” communities spread around the world and led Gandhi to found an ashram in 1910 named the Tolstoy Farm.


      19世紀70年代末,托爾斯泰經歷了一次精神崩潰。病愈之后,托爾斯泰拒絕任何有組織的宗教,包括他從小到大信奉的東正教。他轉信了一個革命性的基督教派別,在精神和物質上奉行節儉。他戒煙戒酒,開始吃素,甚至鼓勵創造一種簡單純凈、自給自足、財產公有的烏托邦社區。這種“托爾斯泰式”的社區在世界范圍內傳播,印度民族解放運動領導人圣雄甘地受此影響,在1910年將自己的靜修處命名為“托氏農場”。


      [2] 1054年,東西兩派教會徹底分裂。東派教會以正統自居,故稱“正教”,因地處歐洲東部,又稱為東正教。


      5. Beware your contradictions

      5. 謹防矛盾


      This new, simpler life was not without its struggles and contradictions. Tolstoy famously preached universal love yet was constantly fighting with his wife. Moreover, the apostle of equality was never able to fully abandon his wealth and privileged lifestyle. He lived until old age in a grand house with servants. But in the early 1890s he managed – against his family’s wishes – to relinquish copyright to a huge portion of his literary works, in effect sacrificing a fortune. Given the privileged position in which Tolstoy started his life, his personal transformation, if not complete, still deserves our admiration.


      托爾斯泰新式的簡約生活并非沒有矛盾和掙扎。他一面以廣布仁愛而著稱,一面與妻子戰火不斷;一面宣揚平等,一面從未完全放棄財富和優越的生活方式。直到暮年,他一直生活在有仆人伺候的豪宅里。不過,19世紀90年代初,他不顧家人反對,放棄了很大一部分文學作品的版權,相當于捐出了大筆財產??紤]到托爾斯泰從小養尊處優,他的個人轉變即使不夠徹底,也同樣值得我們敬佩。


      6. Become a craftsman

      6. 做個手藝人


      Tolstoy recognised that striking a balance between mind and body was an essential part of his creative process. He not only regularly put down his pen to guide a horse-drawn plough across the fields, but kept a scythe and saw leaning up against the wall next to his writing desk. In his last years, when writers and journalists came to pay homage to the bearded sage, they were always surprised to find one of the world’s most famous authors huddled over his cobbling tools making a pair of boots. If Tolstoy were here today he would no doubt suggest we get some craft into our lives rather than grant so much of our leisure time to tweeting and texting.


      托爾斯泰認識到,保持身心平衡是創作過程的必要一環。他經常放下筆,在田地里牽馬拉犁,書案旁邊的墻上也時常倚著鐮刀和鋸。在他生命最后的幾年里,作家和記者們前來拜謁這位大胡子智者時,常常不無驚訝地發現這位世界知名的作家正躬身在各種工具之間制作一雙靴子。如果托爾斯泰今天還活著,他肯定會勸我們多參與手工勞動,不要將大把空余時間花在發信息和推特上面。


      7. Expand your social circle

      7. 擴大社交圈


      The most essential life lesson to take away from Tolstoy is to follow his lead and recognise that the best way to challenge our assumptions and prejudices, and develop new ways of looking at the world, is to surround ourselves with people whose views and lifestyles differ from our own. In Resurrection, he pointed out that most people – whether they are politicians, businessmen or thieves – “instinctively keep to the circle of those people who share their views of life and their own place in it”. Cosseted within our peer group, we may think it perfectly normal and justifiable to own two homes, or to oppose same-sex marriage, or to bomb countries in the Middle East. We cannot see that such views may be perverse, unjust, or untrue, because we are inside circles of our own making. The challenge is to spread our conversational wings and spend time with those whose values and experiences contrast with our own. Our ultimate task, Tolstoy would advise us, is to journey beyond the perimeters of the circle.


      從托爾斯泰身上學到最重要的人生一課,是在他的引領下認識到:要想克服臆想和偏見,建立全新的世界觀,最好的方法就是與思想和生活方式迥然不同的人共處。在《復活》一書中,托爾斯泰指出,無論政客、商人還是竊賊,多數人“只會本能地待在自己的圈子里,與那些有相同人生觀和身份的人在一起”。在這樣的圈子里,我們可能會認為,擁有兩處房產、反對同性婚姻、轟炸中東國家,是再正常不過、合理不過的事情。因為我們一直待在自己的圈子里,所以意識不到這些觀點有悖常情、缺乏公正、異想天開。我們需要挑戰自己,擴大談話的圈子,花時間和那些價值觀、生活經歷迥異的人在一起。托爾斯泰會建議我們,人生的終級目標,就是要超越自己的生活半徑。


      (譯者單位:西安外國語大學)

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