It is maddening to be reminded to appreciate what we have:
for someone to tell us we shouldn’t forget to be grateful.
It’s in conflict with our times, and their emphasis on constant ambition and striving.
The idea of pausing to take stock of what has gone well, to be content with many things
as they are – this feels strange and dangerous, like some kind of a loser’s counsel – or
the consolation prize.
然而事实上 情况要复杂的多 如果我们已经知道自己也许会在夜幕降临前死去
But in truth, there is so much that, if we learnt we might be dead by nightfall, we would
promptly remember to value:
the summer night sky
the taste of cold milk
old brick walls
deserted railway stations
the presence of our partners beside us in the stillness of dawn.
We are ungrateful partly out of a fear; a fear of accepting what we have – as if to
pause to appreciate things as they are might make us ‘soft’, complacent, without the
will-power to take on new challenges.
Anxiety feels so much more natural.
It’s been with us from the start.
然而最终 总是不知满足 会让你既不英勇 也不明智
But ultimately, it’s not heroic or sensible always to be dissatisfied; relentlessly to
focus on everything that’s gone wrong and to obsess about our humiliations and rejections.
There’s in truth far more courage and skill in being able to identify a hopeful perspective:
in knowing how to train and keep our eyes on what’s been – more or less – OK.
奇怪的 能帮助我们的最有效办法是 思考我们自己的死亡
What can best help us in this is – oddly – is the thought of our own death: how soon and how
unexpectedly it may come, and how much we’ll miss about life when it does.
We are constantly undermined by our failure to retain the purity and drama of this helpfully
有助的病态的洞察力 – 这会至少每日打击我们一次
morbid insight – which should strike us once every day at least
and to put it to powerful use in the ordinary course of life.
感激是我们应得的奖金 几分钟间 我们开始评定
Gratitude is the dividend due to us when, for a few moments, we begin to assess our
lives with a truer sense of all our small but significant advantages – and with a frank,
humble recognition of all we have to lose – and one day will.