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新美国梦

The new American Dream | Courtney Martin

我是一名记者
I’m a journalist,
所以我乐于探寻那些鲜为人知的故事
so I like to look for the untold stories,
那些夸张头条背后的平静生活
the lives that quietly play out under the scream of headlines.
同时我也安家落户
I’ve also been going about the business of putting down roots,
结婚生子
choosing a partner, making babies.
因此在过去的几年中
So for the last few years,
我一直试图理解
I’ve been trying to understand
是什么 构成了21世纪的美好生活
what constitutes the 21st-century good life,
因为我对其道德以及哲学上的含义非常感兴趣
both because I’m fascinated by the moral and philosophical implications,
并且我自己也迫切的想要知道答案
but also because I’m in desperate need of answers myself.
我们处于脆弱的年代
We live in tenuous times.
事实上 大部分父母
In fact, for the first time in American history,
都不认为自己孩子的未来生活会更好
the majority of parents do not think that their kids will be better off
这在美国历史上还是第一次
than they were.
不论贫富 性别 都是如此
This is true of rich and poor, men and women.
可能有些人听到这种说法后感到难过
Now, some of you might hear this and feel sad.
毕竟 美国正致力于
After all, America is deeply invested
实现经济超越
in this idea of economic transcendence,
让每一代都超越上一代
that every generation kind of leapfrogs the one before it,
收入更多 支出更多 工作更好
earning more, buying more, being more.
这一梦想也走向世界
We’ve exported this dream all over the world,
于是巴西 中国 甚至肯尼亚的儿童
so kids in Brazil and China and even Kenya
也形成了永无止境的欲望
inherit our insatiable expectation for more.
但是 当我第一次看到这个历史性的调查结果
But when I read this historic poll for the first time,
我没有感到难过
it didn’t actually make me feel sad.
而是有些愤怒
It felt like a provocation.
“生活安逸”一词 究竟是根据什么标准来定的?
“Better off” — based on whose standards?
是找到了一个稳定的工作
Is “better off” finding a secure job
一辈子都不用愁 就意味着“生活安逸”吗?
that you can count on for the rest of your life?
这种情况几乎不存在
Those are nearly extinct.
人们平均4.7年就换一个工作
People move jobs, on average, every 4.7 years,
并且 预计到2020年
and it’s estimated that by 2020,
会有将近半数美国人是自由职业者
nearly half of Americans will be freelancers.
好吧 所以生活安逸只是由一个数字衡量的吗?
OK, so is better off just a number?
是意味着赚的越多越好吗?
Is it about earning as much as you possibly can?
用这种单一的衡量方式 我们都算不上生活安逸
By that singular measurement, we are failing.
从2000年开始 去除通货膨胀因素
Median per capita income has been flat since about 2000,
人均收入中位数一直偏低
adjusted for inflation.
好吧 所以是不是买一栋豪宅 围一圈白色尖桩篱笆 就意味着生活安逸了?
All right, so is better off getting a big house with a white picket fence?
这样做的人越来越少了
Less of us are doing that.
在经济大衰退期间 将近500万人无家可归
Nearly five million people lost their homes in the Great Recession,
甚至更多的人清楚的意识到买房的困难
and even more of us sobered up about the lengths we were willing to go —
或者说 从鼓吹买房的陷阱中清醒过来
or be tricked into going, in many predatory cases — to hold that deed.
从1995年至今 住房自有率处于最低水平
Home-ownership rates are at their lowest since 1995.
好吧 所以我们没有稳定的工作
All right, so we’re not finding steady employment,
赚得没那么多
we’re not earning as much money,
没有豪宅
and we’re not living in big fancy houses.
为让美国强大的一切
Toll the funeral bells
敲响丧钟吧
for everything that made America great.
然而
But,
这些是衡量一个国家强大与否
are those the best measurements of a country’s greatness,
生活安逸与否的最佳标准吗?
of a life well lived?
我认为 是再创造的精神 使美国强大
What I think makes America great is its spirit of reinvention.
大衰退之后
In the wake of the Great Recession,
越来越多的美国人开始重新定义“生活安逸”
more and more Americans are redefining what “better off” really means.
他们发现 “生活安逸”和社区生活与创新联系更加紧密
Turns out, it has more to do with community and creativity
而不是钱
than dollars and cents.
我说的再明白一些就是
Now, let me be very clear:
在美国 穷人占14.8% 他们需要钱
the 14.8 percent of Americans living in poverty need money,
简单易懂
plain and simple.
所有人都需要政策保护
And all of us need policies that protect us from exploitation
使我们不受雇主和金融机构的剥削
by employers and financial institutions.
这些并不是表明贫富差距
Nothing that follows is meant to suggest that the gap between rich and poor
是道德的
is anything but profoundly immoral.
但是
But,
我们经常谈到这就不说了
too often we let the conversation stop there.
我们谈起贫穷 就好像它是单独存在的一样
We talk about poverty as if it were a monolithic experience;
谈起穷人 就好像他们只是受害者
about the poor as if they were solely victims.
在研究报告中 我发现
Part of what I’ve learned in my research and reporting
最为弱势的群体
is that the art of living well
反而最能掌握生活安逸这门艺术
is often practiced most masterfully by the most vulnerable.
如果 需要是发明之母
Now, if necessity is the mother of invention,
那么我就认为
I’ve come to believe
衰退是觉醒之父
that recession can be the father of consciousness.
它迫使我们正视诸多问题
It confronts us with profound questions,
在生活相对安逸的情况下
questions we might be too lazy or distracted to ask
我们可能不会注意 或是懒于回答的问题
in times of relative comfort.
我们应当怎样工作?
How should we work?
我们应当怎样生活?
How should we live?
不论是否自知 我们所有人
All of us, whether we realize it or not,
都在寻求这些问题的答案
seek answers to these questions,
就像是祖先在耳边低语
with our ancestors kind of whispering in our ears.
我的曾祖父曾经住在底特律 他是个酒鬼
My great-grandfather was a drunk in Detroit,
有时勉强去工厂工作
who sometimes managed to hold down a factory job.
他和我的曾祖母有21个孩子 听起来可能难以置信
He had, as unbelievable as it might sound, 21 children, with one woman, my great-grandmother,
我的曾祖母因为卵巢癌 于47岁去世
who died at 47 years old of ovarian cancer.
现在 我怀着第二个孩子
Now, I’m pregnant with my second child,
我甚至不敢想象她经历了什么
and I cannot even fathom what she must have gone through.
如果你们算一下的话 其中有6对双胞胎
And if you’re trying to do the math — there were six sets of twins.
我的祖父 也就是他们的儿子
So my grandfather, their son,
当了一名旅行推销员
became a traveling salesman,
生活起伏不定
and he lived boom and bust.
因此我父亲童年时 常常给催债的人开门
So my dad grew up answering the door for debt collectors
撒谎说父母不在家
and pretending his parents weren’t home.
我祖父说没有钱去看正牙医生了
He actually took his braces off himself with pliers in the garage,
我父亲就自己在车库里用钳子把牙套拔掉
when his father admitted he didn’t have money to go back to the orthodontist.
因此意料之中 我父亲
So my dad, unsurprisingly,
成了一位破产清算律师
became a bankruptcy lawyer.
这可不能写在小说里 对吧?
Couldn’t write this in a novel, right?
他一心想为我们姐弟俩
He was obsessed with providing a secure foundation
提供稳定的生活
for my brother and I.
因此我根据几代人的奋斗 提出了刚才的问题
So I ask these questions by way of a few generations of struggle.
父母想确保我的成长建立在稳固的基础上
My parents made sure that I grew up on a kind of steady ground
让我有资本去质疑 冒险 和进步
that allows one to question and risk and leap.
具有讽刺意味的是 可能对此我的父母也很失望
And ironically, and probably sometimes to their frustration,
正是因为他们想要为我提供稳定生活的决心
it is their steadfast commitment to security
我才开始质疑其价值
that allows me to question its value,
或是说 21世纪对其价值的定义
or at least its value as we’ve historically defined it in the 21st century.
所以,我们来探讨第一个问题:
So let’s dig into this first question:
我们应当如何工作?
How should we work?
我们应该像我们的母亲们那样
We should work like our mothers.
没错 好几十年的时间里
That’s right — we’ve spent decades
我们试图将女性融入男性的工作环境中
trying to fit women into a work world built for company men.
许多人为了融入而拼尽全力
And many have done backbends to fit in,
但是另一些人不同寻常
but others have carved a more unconventional path,
她们将工作的意义与钱结合在一起
creating a patchwork of meaning and money
有足够的灵活性去做她们要做的事
with enough flexibility to do what they need to do
为了她们所爱的人
for those that they love.
我母亲称这种工作为“付诸行动”
My mom called it “just making it work.”
如今 我听到生活导师称其为“组合型职业”
Today I hear life coaches call it “a portfolio career.”
不论是何种称呼
Whatever you call it,
越来越多的男性渴望这种不慌不忙的生活
more and more men are craving these whole, if not harried, lives.
他们开始意识到自己作为父亲与儿子的责任
They’re waking up to their desire and duty to be present fathers and sons.
艺术家安·汉密尔顿说过
Now, artist Ann Hamilton has said,
“劳动是一种认知方式”
“Labor is a way of knowing.”
劳动是一种认知方式
Labor is a way of knowing.
换句话说 我们的工作
In other words, what we work on
反映了我们对世界的理解
is what we understand about the world.
如果这是正确的(我认为是的)
If this is true, and I think it is,
那么女人花费更多的精力照顾孩子
then women who have disproportionately cared for the little ones
病人和老人
and the sick ones and the aging ones,
也就说明她们有更多的机会
have disproportionately benefited
从最深奥的一种认知中获益
from the most profound kind of knowing there is:
也就是对人类状态的认知
knowing the human condition.
将照顾他人放在首位
By prioritizing care,
在某种意义上
men are, in a sense, staking their claim
男性向全人类主张自己的权利
to the full range of human existence.
那么 这意味着朝九晚五的工作不再适合所有人
Now, this means the nine-to-five no longer works for anyone.
打卡和事业的阶梯已经过时了
Punch clocks are becoming obsolete, as are career ladders.
企业日新月异
Whole industries are being born and dying every day.
起伏不定
It’s all nonlinear from here.
因此我们不要再问孩子
So we need to stop asking kids,
“你长大后想做什么?”
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
而是问 “你长大后想成为怎样的人?”
and start asking them, “How do you want to be when you grow up?”
他们的工作千变万化
Their work will constantly change.
只有他们本身是不变的
The common denominator is them.
因此 他们越了解自己的天赋
So the more they understand their gifts
找到更多理想的合作伙伴
and create crews of ideal collaborators,
生活也会更好
the better off they will be.
我们面临的挑战就是重建社会保障体系
The challenge ahead is to reinvent the social safety net
以适应逐渐分化的经济
to fit this increasingly fragmented economy.
我们需要便捷的医疗保障
We need portable health benefits.
我们需要制定政策 规定不仅仅穷人是弱者 每个人都应该是弱者
We need policies that reflect that everyone deserves to be vulnerable
每个人都应当关心其他弱者
or care for vulnerable others, without becoming destitute.
我们需要慎重考虑全民基本收入
We need to seriously consider a universal basic income.
我们需要重新构建劳动组织
We need to reinvent labor organizing.
工作前景应当是符合
The promise of a work world that is structured to actually fit
21世纪价值观
our 21st century values,
而不是养家这种过时的观念
not some archaic idea about bringing home the bacon,
早就应该这样想了
is long overdue —
问问母亲们就知道了
just ask your mother.
现在我们来谈谈第二个问题
Now, how about the second question:
我们应该怎么生活?
How should we live?
我们应该
We should live
像移民的祖先一样生活
like our immigrant ancestors.
他们来到美洲时
When they came to America,
经常分享住所 生存手段 一起照顾孩子
they often shared apartments, survival tactics, child care —
不论食物有多少
always knew how to fill one more belly,
总是有办法喂饱新生儿的肚子
no matter how small the food available.
但是人们告诉他们 想要成功 就得离开村庄
But they were told that success meant leaving the village behind
追寻美国梦的象征:
and pursuing that iconic symbol of the American Dream,
白色尖桩篱笆
the white picket fence.
甚至今天 当我们看到白色尖桩篱笆
And even today, we see a white picket fence
也能联想到成功和沉着冷静
and we think success, self-possession.
但是当你抛开这种表象
But when you strip away the sentimentality,
就会发现白篱笆只是将我们分隔开来
what it really does is divides us.
现在许多美国人都抵制白篱笆
Many Americans are rejecting the white picket fence
抵制篱笆内的独立封闭式生活
and the kind of highly privatized life that happened within it,
重新追求乡村生活
and reclaiming village life,
重新追求相互依赖
reclaiming interdependence instead.
例如 我们一共有5000万人
Fifty million of us, for example,
是两代人住在同一屋檐下
live in intergenerational households.
这个数字在大衰退期间内激增
This number exploded with the Great Recession,
但是人们喜欢这种生活方式
but it turns out people actually like living this way.
好几代人住在同一屋檐下的情况下
Two-thirds of those who are living with multiple generations under one roof
有三分之二的人认为他们的关系更加紧密
say it’s improved their relationships.
有些人不和家人住在一起
Some people are choosing to share homes not with family,
而是和懂得社会和经济利益一致的人住在一起
but with other people who understand the health and economic benefits of daily community.
CoAbode为单身母亲提供了一个网上平台
CoAbode, an online platform for single moms looking to share homes
和其他单身母亲合住
with other single moms,
共有50000名用户
has 50,000 users.
并且65岁以上的人更倾向于
And people over 65 are especially prone
这种非传统的生活方式
to be looking for these alternative living arrangements.
他们明白生活质量的提高
They understand that their quality of life
依靠的是独处与共处的结合
depends on a mix of solitude and solidarity.
其实想一想 我们所有人都是这样
Which is true of all of us when you think about it,
年轻人和老人都一样
young and old alike.
长久以来 我们认为国王住在城堡中就是幸福
For too long, we’ve pretended that happiness is a king in his castle.
但是所有研究结果都是相反的
But all the research proves otherwise.
在美国 最健康 最快乐以及最安全的生活方式
It shows that the healthiest, happiest and even safest —
—包括减少气候变化灾害 犯罪活动带来的伤害 诸如此类—
in terms of both climate change disaster, in terms of crime, all of that —
就是睦邻友好
are Americans who live lives intertwined with their neighbors.
我亲身体验过这种生活
Now, I’ve experienced this firsthand.
过去几年中 我生活在一个合作居住社区
For the last few years, I’ve been living in a cohousing community.
社区公园里有1.5英亩柿子树
It’s 1.5 acres of persimmon trees,
黑莓丛郁郁葱葱 蜿蜒遍布整个公园
this prolific blackberry bush that snakes around a community garden,
一切都是刚刚好 顺便提一句 这个社区在奥克兰中部
all smack-dab, by the way, in the middle of urban Oakland.
九幢房屋各有特色
The nine units are all built to be different,
大小不同 形状也不同
different sizes, different shapes,
但是绿化都是越多越好
but they’re meant to be as green as possible.
屋顶上是巨大的黑色太阳能板
So big, shiny black solar cells on our roof
我们每个月的电费几乎从来
mean our electricity bill rarely exceeds
都不超过五美元
more than five bucks in a month.
我们一共25个人 年龄不同 政治信仰不同
The 25 of us who live there are all different ages and political persuasions
职业不同
and professions,
我们就像普通家庭一样
and we live in homes that have everything a typical home would have.
但是
But additionally,
大家共同使用一个巨大的厨房和餐厅
we share an industrial-sized kitchen and eating area,
我们每周有两天在一起吃饭
where we have common meals twice a week.
现在每当我告诉别人我的生活方式时
Now, people, when I tell them I live like this,
一般人的反应都是两个极端
often have one of two extreme reactions.
一种反应是:“为什么不是所有人都这样生活?“
Either they say, “Why doesn’t everyone live like this?”
另一种反应是:”太可怕了 我坚决不要这样生活”
Or they say, “That sounds totally horrifying. I would never want to do that.”
但是不要担心 我们十分尊重隐私
So let me reassure you: there is a sacred respect for privacy among us,
同时也“殷勤好客”
but also a commitment to what we call “radical hospitality” —
不是四季酒店那种
not the kind advertised by the Four Seasons,
而是说每个人都值得友好相待
but the kind that says that every single person is worthy of kindness,
就是这样
full stop, end of sentence.
对我来说 住在这个社区最大的惊喜是什么?
The biggest surprise for me of living in a community like this?
就是共同分担家务——修理 做饭 除草
You share all the domestic labor — the repairing, the cooking, the weeding —
分享喜怒哀乐
but you also share the emotional labor.
不是只能向家人
Rather than depending only on the idealized family unit
宣泄自己的情绪
to get all of your emotional needs met,
而是 你可以和20多个人
you have two dozen other people that you can go to
聊聊一天的辛苦工作
to talk about a hard day at work
或者是讨论如何应付那个满口脏话的老师
or troubleshoot how to handle an abusive teacher.
我们社区的青少年经常向其他成年人寻求意见
Teenagers in our community will often go to an adult that is not their parent
不仅仅是他们的父母
to ask for advice.
这就是贝尔·胡克斯所说的“革命性教育”
It’s what bell hooks called “revolutionary parenting,”
也就是说
this humble acknowledgment
当孩子们可以模仿和依靠更多的成年人时
that kids are healthier when they have a wider range of adults
他们会更加健康
to emulate and count on.
结果 成年人也更健康了
Turns out, adults are healthier, too.
维持白篱笆里面的模范家庭
It’s a lot of pressure,
要承受很大压力
trying to be that perfect family behind that white picket fence.
我所说的“新型安逸生活”
The “new better off,” as I’ve come to call it,
不是关于维持完美的家庭
is less about investing in the perfect family
而是关于维持不那么完美的村落
and more about investing in the imperfect village,
不论是所有亲戚住在同一屋檐下
whether that’s relatives living under one roof,
是合作居住社区
a cohousing community like mine,
还是几户相互照应的邻居
or just a bunch of neighbors who pledge to really know and look out for one another.
这是常识 对吗?
It’s good common sense, right?
如今 金钱使我们麻木
And yet, money has often made us dumb
不再向他人伸出双手
about reaching out.
但是最可靠的财富
The most reliable wealth
来源于人际关系之中
is found in relationship.
新型安逸生活不是一个人就能做到的
The new better off is not an individual prospect at all.
事实上 如果你是个失败者 或者你自认为是个失败者
In fact, if you’re a failure or you think you’re a failure,
我有一些好消息给你
I’ve got some good news for you:
也许根据你不看重的标准来看 你没获得成功
you might be a success by standards you have not yet honored.
也许你是个普通的上班族 但是在当父亲这方面很有一套
Maybe you’re a mediocre earner but a masterful father.
也许你买不起梦寐以求的房子
Maybe you can’t afford your dream home,
但是你可以举办众所周知的社区聚会
but you throw legendary neighborhood parties.
如果你是个标准的成功者
If you’re a textbook success,
我要说的可能对你来说就是个坏消息
the implications of what I’m saying could be more grim for you.
可能你自认为的成功标准别人都不买账
You might be a failure by standards you hold dear
这样你可能也是个失败者
but that the world doesn’t reward.
只有你自己知道
Only you can know.
我知道 如果我想向我的曾祖母短暂残酷的一生致敬
I know that I am not a tribute to my great-grandmother,
我的目标不应是挣到足够多的钱 让所有人都过上舒适的生活
who lived such a short and brutish life, if I earn enough money to afford every creature comfort.
花再多的钱 也不能摆脱痛苦 也不能使人生有意义
You can’t buy your way out of suffering or into meaning.
再大的房子
There is no home big enough
也不能抹去她所承受的痛苦
to erase the pain that she must have endured.
如果我在生活中
I am a tribute to her
尽可能地与他人联系紧密 尽可能勇敢 这才是向她致敬
if I live a life as connected and courageous as possible.
在这种变幻无常之中
In the midst of such widespread uncertainty,
我们可能会没有安全感
we may, in fact, be insecure.
但是我们能选择让这种不安全感 把我们变得脆弱敏感
But we can let that insecurity make us brittle
还是能屈能伸
or supple.
我们可以选择封闭自我 服从于惯例 失去改变的信心
We can turn inward, lose faith in the power of institutions to change —
甚至对我们自己失去信心
even lose faith in ourselves.
或者 我们可以选择敞开胸怀
Or we can turn outward,
培养与他人紧密联系 开拓创新的能力
cultivate faith in our ability to reach out, to connect, to create.
最危险的
Turns out, the biggest danger
不是没法实现美国梦
is not failing to achieve the American Dream.
而是追寻一个
The biggest danger is achieving a dream
连你自己都不相信的梦
that you don’t actually believe in.
所以不要这样
So don’t do that.
尝试更加困难有趣的事物
Do the harder, more interesting thing,
生命中应该每天都是如此
which is to compose a life where what you do every single day,
将你最真切的爱 聪明才智与活力带给他人
the people you give your best love and ingenuity and energy to,
坚定于你所相信的事物
aligns as closely as possible with what you believe.
这不是像赚钱一样世俗的事
That, not something as mundane as making money,
而是向祖先们致敬
is a tribute to your ancestors.
这才是美丽的奋斗
That is the beautiful struggle.
谢谢
Thank you.
(掌声)
(Applause)

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视频概述

美国梦要求人们通过自己的努力过上富裕安稳的生活,但这真的是我们想要的吗?演讲者为我们阐述了她眼中的新美国梦。

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翻译译者

赖皮

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPf0LjZAS14

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