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思想的历史 - 失败

HISTORY OF IDEAS - Failure

历史
失败
Humans have always seriously messed up their lives,
人啊总是认认真真地过得一塌糊涂
but the way in which failure has been viewed
但人们对失败的看法
has a long and fascinating history
有着悠久且迷人的历史
that it may help us to know about.
了解这段历史或许能对我们有所裨益
Athens, 429 BC
公元前429年 雅典
It’s the premiere of a tragedy called “Oedipus the King”,
悲剧《俄狄浦斯王》首次上演
written by the great playwright, Sophocles.
这部戏剧是伟大的剧作家索福克勒斯所作
It’s the story of an honorable, capable
故事的主人公虽然品德高尚 有才华
and highly resourceful man who,
还非常足智多谋
nevertheless messes up his life in a catastrophic way
但他还是毁掉了自己的一生
but the audience doesn’t leave the theater thinking of Oedipus as a loser.
尽管如此 观众看完后并不当他是失败者
Greek tragedy was designed to show audiences
希腊悲剧想向观众表达的就是
that terrible things can and very often do happen to good people,
坏事很有可能 甚至经常会发生在好人身上
and therefore we must remain sympathetic and kind in the face of failure.
因此面对失败时 我们要保持同情和宽容
The Greeks force this message upon themselves
希腊人在久负盛名的年度节日上
again and again at prestigious annual festivals.
反复传播着这个价值观
The Greeks also love the story of the Spartan army at Thermopylae,
希腊人也很喜欢一个关于斯巴达军队的故事
where a small contingent of warriors held out to the last man
在塞莫皮莱 面对远强于他们的波斯军队
against a vastly larger Persian force.
斯巴达战士们顽强抵抗 无人退缩
The Spartans were utterly defeated,
最后斯巴达完败
but their failure was seen as profoundly noble.
但人们觉得他们虽败犹荣
You can lose and be good. That was the moral.
失败者也可能是好人 这就是其中寓意
Rome, 46 AD
公元46年 罗马
Julius Caesar celebrates yet another triumph over the enemies of Rome.
再一次打败了罗马的敌人后 尤利乌斯·凯撒正在欢庆
The Romans worship success.
罗马人崇尚成功
They believed that success in the here and now is all that counts,
他们认为当下的成功是最重要的
and that success means three things: money, fame, and military glory,
成功意味着拥有:金钱 名望 军勋
which creates a lot of anxiety around failure.
于是失败便使人异常焦虑
Germany, 9 AD
公元9年 德国
The Roman general, Varus, kills himself after losing a battle in the Teutoburg forest,
罗马将领瓦卢斯在条顿堡森林战役失败后自杀
not far from modern-day Hanover in the north of Germany.
这个地点在现在德国北部的汉诺威附近
He’s made some major strategic errors in deploying his troops.
瓦卢斯在军队部署上有几次重要的战略失误
His suicide is an expected consequence;
他会自杀 完全是在意料之中的
Failure is so humiliating and shameful
因为失败如此耻辱
that it shows one doesn’t deserve to go on living.
失败者不配苟活于世
The Romans represent a society
罗马代表了一种
where failure is thought of as naturally accompanied by shame.
失败即耻辱的社会典型
When big things go wrong you just kill yourself.
把大事搞砸了就去自杀吧
There’s no excuse.
没得商量
A small hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee, 30 AD
公元30年 俯瞰加利利海的一座小山上
A former carpenter and itinerant preacher
曾经当过木匠的一位流动布道者
delivers a tender speech,
发表了一场温和的演讲
which has since become known as the Sermon on the Mount.
这场演讲被后世称为“山上宝训”
Jesus Christ tells his followers
耶稣基督告诉他的信众
“blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”.
“温和知足的人有福了 因为他们将继承这片土地”
In other words, the unsuccessful are, in a way,
换言之 在上帝看来
more successful than the successful in the eyes of God,
失败者在某种意义上比成功者更成功
because their failures erode arrogance
因为失败可洗涤傲慢自大
and invite dependence on the divine.
指引人们对上帝产生信赖
For hundreds of years Christianity lends glamour and prestige to failure,
数百年来 基督教精神为失败增添了魅力和影响力
and challenges the worldly values of Rome.
也向罗马的世俗价值提出了质疑
privileging poverty, obscurity and weakness
比起名利双收的大人物
over wealth, fame and strength.
贫穷的无名小辈将得到更多庇佑
Not simply you’re not meant to commit suicide when you fail,
失败了不仅不必负罪自杀
failing is a sign of being blessed.
失败还象征着你是有福之人
Eastern India, sometime in the fifth century BC
约公元前五世纪 印度东部
A wealthy young Indian prince, Siddhartha Gautama,
悉达多·乔达摩是一位年轻富裕的印度王子
later known as The Buddha, The Enlightened One,
他就是后人所知的“佛陀” “醒悟的人”
comes to a key realization about human beings:
他悟出了一个很重要的人生道理:
all of us are deeply maladjusted, unhappy creatures.
我们都是心理失调 不快乐的生物
Worldly success, power, riches, love can mean nothing
权力 财富 爱情 世俗的成功都没有意义
and will never satisfy us.
这些永远不会让我们满足
We must learn to renounce our desires,
我们必须学会放弃欲望
and escape from constant cycles of craving and wanting.
从欲求的往复循环中逃离
In Buddhist eyes, true success means
佛教徒认为 真正的成功
utter failure in the eyes of a Roman soldier or a modern American.
是罗马战士或现代美国人眼中的彻底失败
It means living under a fruit tree,
也就是居于果树下
owning nothing but a loincloth, and begging from passers-by.
除一条缠腰带再无所有 向路人乞讨
Paris 1799
巴黎 1799年
Napoleon Bonaparte inaugurates a new social order,
拿破仑·波拿巴开创了一项新的社会制度
which will begin to be known as a meritocracy.
也就是著名的“精英政治”
No longer will success go only to members of the old corrupt aristocracy;
成功不再只属于老朽腐败的贵族成员
he wants to launch a meritocracy
他想启动“精英政治”
marked by what he terms “la carrière ouverte aux talents”
也就是他口中的“向人才开放的职业”
careers open to the talented rather than just the privileged.
即职业也向人才开放 而不是只给特权阶层
France requires a new honest system based on merit,
法国需要一个新的以功绩为基础的诚信体制
the Légion d’honneur,
即“荣誉军团”
which is given to people of all classes,
任何阶层的人都有机会获得“荣誉军团”勋章
who were judged not by ancestry or wealth
其评判标准不是血统或财富
but by military scientific or artistic prowess.
而是军事 科学或艺术上的卓越成就
Suddenly, success comes to seem a lot more fair and deserved,
突然间 成功似乎变得更公平 更合理了
which is very advantageous in many ways,
这在很多方面都是件好事
but it also means that failure starts to be re-categorized as
但这也意味着失败开始被重新归类
not merely accidental or morally neutral,
此后 它不仅暗含基督教理念中
as the Christian ideal had implied,
“偶然且道德中性”的含义
but also in some ways, deserved.
在某种意义上还是应得的
Paris, 1863
巴黎 1863年
The French government sponsors its annual artistic salon,
法国政府举办了一场年度艺术沙龙
where the most successful painters exhibited and celebrated.
最成功的画家们欢聚一堂 展示自己的作品
The jury, headed by the Comte de Nieuwerkerke, the head of the Academy of Fine Arts,
以美术学院院长尼维尔克伯爵为首的评委团
is that year, extremely conservative
在那个年代是极保守的
and rejects two-thirds of the paintings presented,
三分之二的提交画作都被他们拒之门外
including those of Courbet, Édouard Manet, Camille Pissaro, and Whistler.
其中包括库尔贝 爱德华·马奈 卡米耶·毕沙罗和惠斯勒的作品
The rejected artists and their friends are outraged and protest.
这些艺术家和他们的朋友们感到愤怒并提出抗议
The Emperor, Napoleon lll, eventually relents
国王拿破仑三世最终让步了
and allows the rejected artists to set up their own rival exhibition.
允许那些被拒的艺术家们办自己的竞争对手展
Gradually the public and critics recognize that
渐渐地大众和评论家们意识到
the officially successful artists,
那些官方认可的艺术家都很糟糕
people like Alexandre Cabanel and Franz Winterhalter, are terrible painters,
比如亚历山大·卡巴内尔 弗朗茨·温特哈尔特
and that the unsuccessful ones are, in fact, the true geniuses.
而事实上那些不算成功的画家才是真正的天才
This will be a theme throughout the history of 19th and 20th century art,
这是贯穿于19和20世纪
and society more broadly.
艺术与社会历史中的主旋律
The genius is at first rejected by a stupid, blinkered world,
天才先是被愚蠢狭隘的世界拒绝
but eventually comes to be accepted and celebrated
然后最终得到接纳和赞美
This is what happens to, among others,
其他人也有过这样的际遇 比如
John Keats, Vincent van Gogh, Marcel Proust, Janis Joplin and Steve Jobs.
约翰·济慈 文森特·梵高 马赛尔·普鲁斯特 詹尼斯·乔普林以及史蒂夫·乔布斯
“Real successes aren’t successes immediately” goes the story.
他们的故事说明“真正的成功不是一蹴而就的”
they might need to wait for a long time,
成功可能要经历漫长的等待
perhaps until after their dead,
甚至可能要等到过世后
a consoling story with echoes of the Christian idea of redemption.
这种安慰人心的故事与基督教的救赎思想相呼应
New York, October 5, 1987
纽约 1987年10月5日
The right wing economics magazine, Forbes,
右翼经济学杂志《福布斯》
publishes its first list of the richest people on the planet.
发表了第一个全球富豪榜
The richest man is Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, who is at that point worth 20 billion dollars.
堤义明以当时两百亿美元的身价位居榜首
The tone of the magazine is celebratory, and un-nuanced,
杂志一边倒的欢呼赞美论调
reflecting an uncritical acceptance of the idea of the American dream:
反映出他们对美国梦有很高的认可度
“he who is richest finishes first”.
“最富有的人是最先成功的人”
It’s a small irony, therefore,
而接下来的事就有些讽刺了
that two weeks later, on October 19th, the world stock markets collapse,
两周后的10月19日 全球股市崩溃
destroying wealth on an enormous scale,
大家都亏了很多钱
and shaking everyone’s confidence in the merit and sanity of the economic system.
每个人都开始怀疑这个经济体系的价值和健全性
New York, September 2011
纽约 2011年9月
Following yet another global economic meltdown,
接着又是一次全球经济崩溃
a group of protesters occupy Zuccotti Park in the financial district of Manhattan.
一群抗议者占据了曼哈顿金融区的祖可蒂公园
Their protest is, in a narrow sense,
从狭义上看 他们抗议的是
about the corruption and blindness of America’s financial institutions,
美国金融机构的腐败和盲目
but more broadly, the protesters are arguing that
更宽泛地来说 抗议者提出的观点是
a narrow elite, the 1%, as they call them,
被他们称为“1%阶层”的极少的精英
have twisted our ideas of success and the good life.
已经扭曲了我们对于成功和幸福生活的理念
The so called “heroes”, people like Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan,
那些所谓的“英雄” 比如年薪两百亿美元的
who’s paid around 20 billion dollars a year, are in fact the villains.
摩根大通掌门人嘉敏·迪蒙 其实才是反派
Being a decent person doesn’t necessarily mean making a lot of money,
做一个体面的人不意味着必须会赚很多钱
it means acting wisely and kindly towards others and the planet.
而是意味着对待他人和世界都明智而友善
The protesters have a good few months in which to make their case,
抗议者演讲了数月 以证明他们这些观点
which sounds remarkably like that made by Jesus in The Sermon on the Mount,
那些演讲听起来非常像耶稣的山上宝训
before the forces of contemporary capitalism hose them down and shut them up.
直到被当时的资本力量强制镇压
Slowly, the economy recovers, which also means that
慢慢地 经济复苏了 这就意味着
the battered American dream, equating mobility with financial success,
那个流动能力就等于财富亨通的美国梦
becomes dominant once more.
曾经垮掉 而今却再次成了主流价值
Most of us are going to endure horrific failures
我们大部分人都得忍受
in some area or other of our lives.
生活中这样或那样的可怕失败
We’re an extremely success-focused world,
我们生活在极度关注成功的世界里
and define success by some very narrow,
人们用非常狭隘的标准去定义成功
normally financial criteria.
这个标准往往是财富
There’s endless talk about opportunity, and well-meaning efforts
人们不停地谈论机会和善意的努力
to make sure that everyone can have a chance,
想确保每个人都有机会
but there is a deep silence about what happens when you fail.
但对于失败了当如何却缄口不言
To weaken the power of the narratives of success,
为了降低成功故事的影响力
we used to have religion, and we used to have art.
我们过去还有宗教信仰和艺术的力量
We have less of that now.
但现在这些力量也越来越弱了
The very idea that failure could be noble has entirely disappeared.
“失败可以是高尚的”这种观念已完全消失
We need to go back in history
我们需要回顾历史
and fetch some ideas
并撷取一些观点
that could stop us from being fatally hard on ourselves
就算从《福布斯》杂志和美国梦的角度来看
when we mess up in the eyes of Forbes magazine
我们过得一团糟
and the American Dream in general.
我们也能放过自己

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视频概述

视频讲述了人们如何对待失败的漫长历史。回顾这段历史帮我们在搞砸自己的生活时用更多视角去思考和理解这种失败。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Joanna.J

审核员

审核员VV

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IUj6jyoTl0

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