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过于顺从的危险 – 译学馆
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The Dangers Of Being Dutiful

我们一出生就对乐趣很感兴趣 在我们起初的几年里
We start off in life being very interested in pleasure and fun. In our earliest years,
在小水涡 蜡笔 皮球 泰迪熊 电脑以及我们在厨房橱柜里找到的小物件的帮助下
we do little but hunt out situations that will amuse us, pursuing our hedonistic goals
我们不用去做太多就能发觉它们可以逗乐我们 并实现我们快乐的目标
with the help of puddles, crayons, balls, teddies, computers and bits and pieces we
一旦任何事情开始让我们沮丧或者无聊 我们可以轻易的放弃并且去寻找一些新的乐趣源泉
find in the kitchen drawers. As soon as anything gets frustrating or boring, we simply give
up and go in search of new sources of enjoyment – and no one appears to mind very much.
突然 在我们五六岁时 我们不得不接受一个新的可怕的现实
Then, all of a sudden at the age of 5 or 6, we are introduced to a terrifying new reality:
那就是职责 这就意味着的确有很多事情我们必须去做
the Rule of Duty. This states that there are some things, indeed many things, that we must
并不是因为我们喜欢或者理解了其中的要点 只是因为那些可能差不多体形大我们很多倍的人
do not because we like or see the point of them, but because other people, very intimidating
他们可能是很可怕或者很权威的人 期待着我们秩序井然的完成这些职责
authoritative people who may be almost three times our size, expect us to do them – in
因此那些“大人”们总是严厉的告诉我们 我们将来要拥有赚钱的能力
order, so the big people sternly explain, that we’ll be able to earn money, buy a
买一座房子并且从现在开始有长达三十年的度假 从某种程度上说 这听起来很重要
house and go on holiday about 30 years from now. It sounds pretty important – sort of.
甚至当我们在家痛哭并告诉我们的父母们 我们不想做明天的作业
Even when we’re home and start crying and tell our parents that we just don’t want
他们可能会站在职责的角度上 愤怒又急躁的告诫着我们
to do the essay for tomorrow, they may take the side of Duty; and speak to us with anger
这种情绪之下不过是非常害怕 对于那些无法完成一项简单的关于火山的家庭作业的人
and impatience – beneath which there is simply a lot of fear – about how people
who can’t complete a simple homework assignment on volcanoes (and want to build a treehouse
将永远不会在成人的世界里存活 什么是我们真正乐意做的
instead) will never survive in the adult world. Questions of what we actually enjoy doing,
什么让我们开心 这些问题在童年里偶然要紧 但也只是有一点而已
what gives us pleasure, still occasionally matter in childhood, but only a bit. They
这些问题从我们日复一日的学习世界里 变的越来越重要 留给了周末和假期
become matters increasingly set aside from the day-to-day world of study, reserved for
一个基本的区别就是 爱好是快乐的 工作是痛苦的
holidays and weekends. A basic distinction takes hold: pleasure is for hobbies, pain
难怪在我们完成大学之前 这种分歧是根深蒂固的
is for work. It’s no wonder that by the time we finish university, this dichotomy
我们通常不会不断的扪心自问 在我们内心里 我们可能会想要在生活里做什么
is so entrenched, we usually can’t conceive of asking ourselves too vigorously what we
在剩下的岁月 做什么才能很开心
might in our hearts want to do with our lives; what it might be fun to do with the years
这不是我们学习的思考方式 职责终究已经统治了我们的意识长达我们生命的百分之八十
that remain. It’s not the way we’ve learnt to think. The rule of duty has been the governing
并且成为了我们的第二本性 我们相信一个好的工作都大体上意味着无趣,厌倦和恼人
ideology for 80% of our time on earth – and it’s become our second nature. We are convinced
that a good job is meant to be substantially dull, irksome and annoying. Why else would
本分的思考方式有如此高的威望 因为在这个竞争激烈且极度昂贵的世界里 它听起来像是一条通向安全的路
someone pay us to do it? The dutiful way of thinking has such high prestige, because it
sounds like a road to safety in a competitive and alarmingly expensive world. But the Rule
一旦我们已经完成了我们的教育 事实上它
of Duty is actually no guarantee of true security. Once we’ve finished our education, it in
逐渐成为和美德一样的纯粹的伪善 职责变得十分危险
fact emerges as a sheer liability masquerading as a virtue. Duty grows positively dangerous.
原因是两方面的 首先 因为大体上现代经济的成功仅仅只是对于那些
The reasons are two-fold. Firstly, because success in the modern economy will generally
only go to those who can bring extraordinary dedication and imagination to their labours
并且这只有当一个人 很大程度上 享受其中乐趣的时候才会实现
– and this is only possible when one is, to a large extent, having fun.
Only when we are intrinsically
motivated and we are capable of generating the very high levels of energy and brainpower
那些仅仅是出于职责已经完成的工作将是无力的 同时对接下来所做的事情缺乏热爱
necessary to stand out from the competition. Work that has been produced merely out of duty will be limp and
lacking next to that done out of love. The other thing that happens when our work is
informed by our own sense of pleasure is that we get more insightful about the pleasures
也就是说 一场生意里 买卖双方都是基于快乐之上的
of others – that is, of the clients and customers a business relies upon. We can best
当我们已经调动我们自己的乐趣感时 我们可以最大程度的讨好我们观众的开心
please our audiences when we have mobilised our own feelings of enjoyment. In other words,
换句话说 乐趣不是工作的反义词 而是成功的工作的秘诀
pleasure isn’t the opposite of work; it’s a key ingredient of successful work. Yet we
我们已经认识到问我们自己真正想要干什么 并不是出于任何对于钱财的直接或最初的考虑或者名誉
have to recognise that asking ourselves what we might really want to do – without any
immediate or primary consideration for money or reputation – goes against our every
教育嵌入式的设想 同时也因此更可怕
educationally-embedded assumption about what could possibly keep us safe – and is therefore
rather scary. It takes immense insight and maturity to stick with the truth: that we
will best serve others – and can make our own greatest contribution to society – when
we bring the most imaginative and most authentically personal sides of our nature into our work.
职责可以保证我们的基础收入 只有真诚 乐趣所引导的工作可以带来巨大成功
Duty can guarantee us a basic income. Only sincere, pleasure-led work can generate sizeable
当人们正在遭受职责的困扰时 换一个病态的角度思考会对他们有帮助
success. When people are suffering under the rule of duty, it can be helpful to take a
并且让他们想象在临终之前 他们所能想到的生活的优点
morbid turn and ask them to imagine what they might think of their lives from the vantage
point of their deathbeds. The thought of death may usefully detach us from prevailing fears
of what others think. The prospect of the end reminds us of an imperative higher skill
那就是对于实践我们自身的天赋 兴趣 以及激情的责任
than a duty to society: a duty to ourselves, to our talents, to our interests and our passions.
在这条顺从守本分的小路上 这种临终的想法可以鼓舞我们
The death-bed point of view can spur us to perceive the hidden recklessness and danger
within the sensible dutiful path.