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你有梦想吗
林兴陆 | 杂念 | 出处:原创-IT| 2001年07月16日 09:13 | 阅读
        

  (注:一年多了,我还是觉得这篇文章很棒,故重贴上来,希望给更多的年轻人一个启发吧,我试图在找写这篇文章的老师,可是我没联系上线索,很可惜,如果谁有北京四中的这位老师的联系方式,请一定告诉我一声,谢谢。)

  我在北京的中学教英语已经一年多了,每时每刻我都感觉到我的学生们的思想是多么现实。
  “你们想上哪所大学?”我问道。
  “我不知道,现在我也不去想它,”学生们总是这样回答,“我会参加高考,拿到分数后我再决定申请哪所大学。”
  “你们难道没有梦想吗?”我问。
  “为什么需要梦想呢?”学生们耸耸肩,这样回答我。
  我现在在北京四中教书。四中是北京最好的中学之一,我的学生是北京城里最优秀的学生中的一部分。我自己曾在多伦多一所很好的中学读书,然后去了美国耶鲁大学。所以在我的生活中,周围都是勤奋而有才华的学生。对我来说,中国的优秀学生和北美的优秀学生最显著的差别在于他们所追求目标本质上的不同。
  对中国学生来说,目标必须是现实的,是短期可实现的。通过追求肯定可以实现的目标,中国学生过着风平浪静的生活,尽管艰苦劳碌,但他们沿着一条确定的轨迹平稳地驶向成功的彼岸。对北美学生来说,其目标是狂放不羁、出于本能的美梦,归根结蒂是富于浪漫色彩的美梦。实现这样的梦想遥遥无期、希望渺茫,可能在梦想初露端倪时就遭到别人的嘲笑。但这正是梦想的可贵之处,即使它看上去不可能实现,但它却赋予北美的年轻人以激情———一种引导他们锲而不舍地增进自身能力的激情。中国人注重现实的思想,常常使最优秀、最聪明的中国人通过追求肯定可以实现的目标过上一种舒适而平庸的生活,而西方的浪漫将北美人的生活引向两个极端,或者是灾难性的失败,或者是划时代的成功。
  我很年轻,但我相信我的生活中充满了失败和成功的故事,因此我不得不对中国人的实用思想产生疑问。作为一名在多伦多长大的中国移民,我曾生活在贫困之中,也曾为掌握英文费尽心机。在高中时我有一个美妙的梦想:上耶鲁大学。那是世界上最好的大学之一。我父母说我太穷了,我老师说我不够聪明。我同意他们的话,但同时我觉得,只要我努力奋斗,只要我勤奋学习,我就能实现上耶鲁大学的梦想。这个梦想给我带来了激情并赋予我有意义的生活。它促使我去读那些我开始无法理解的书,去参加那些我并不擅长的活动,去尝试那些我从未做过的事情。最终,我的梦想实现了。
  从耶鲁大学毕业后,我来到北京。在这儿,我告诉我的学生应该拥有梦想并去追寻梦想。有一些学生被我说动了,一位女生给我留下了深刻的印象,她向我吐露有朝一日要当联合国秘书长。但在大多数学生身上,我的努力是白费了。我记得有个学生对我说:“我的梦想是有一天我能有一个梦想。”
  “你不了解中国的情况,”这些十几岁的孩子常说,“中国很穷,所以我们不能考虑我们真心想做的事情,我们只想怎样赚钱。”
  “但如果那是你们的看法,也是整个中国社会的看法的话,”我回答道,“那么中国就永远不会有伟大的作家、伟大的科学家,永远不会有把令人惊叹的新事物贡献给社会的人物。中国不乏有才华的人,但他们需要浪漫的激情才能变得伟大。如果你们过于实用,只关心幸福舒适的生活,那么你们就丢掉了你们的天赋。”
  “但即使我们拥有梦想,父母、社会也不允许我们去追寻梦想,他们坚持让我们回到现实中来。”
  “每一个追寻梦想的人都必须向传统挑战,所以只有少数人才能真正成为追寻梦想的人。”
  “我可不愿意当少数人中的一个。”
  对我的失败,我既不失望,也不悲伤。似乎矛盾的是,我知道我的梦想是“不可能”的梦想。我希望我的所有学生都拥有生活的热望,拥有梦想并用梦想去点燃生命的激情———贡献于社会并为周围的人所喜爱。这只是一个梦想,只有梦想才值得为之奋斗终生。拥有这样的梦想,我无疑会失败,但却是快乐的失败,因为只有通过失败,人们才知道自己活得实实在在。(胡浩基译)

I have been teaching English to secondary-school students in Beijing for over a year now, and I always notice how practical my students are.
"Which university would you like to go to?" I may ask.
"I don't know,and I'm not thinking about it right now," the student typically replies.
"I'll take the national university entrance exam, and then after I get my score I'll decide which universities to apply to."
"Don't you have any dreams?" I ask.
"Why dream?" the student will reply, shrugging his or her shoulders.
I am currently teaching at Beijing Secondary School Number 4, one of Beijing's best schools, and my students are some of the city's brightest.I was educated at a good high school in Toronto and then went on to university at Yale, so all my life I have been surrounded by talented and diligent students.It seems to me that the most striking difference between the best Chinese students and the best North American students is the nature of the goals they adopt.
For the Chinese student, goals must be practical and short-term.Pursuing these goals of guaranteed feasibility, the Chinese student lives a steady life, sailing smoothly to success on a sure though arduous course.For the North American student, goals are wild, spontaneous and ultimately romantic dreams, so outrageously distant and impossible to achieve that other people would probably mock him for having them in the first place.But it is the greatness of the dream, even its seeming impossibility, that endows the young North American with passion - a passion that leads him constantly to augment his abilities.
Chinese practicality too often leads the best and brightest Chinese to a life of comfortable mediocrity, while Western romanticism propels North Americans to lives of disastrous failure or epic achievement.
I am young, but I believe my own life has so brimmed over with stories of failure and success that I am in a position to question the wisdom of Chinese practicality.
As a Chinese immigrant growing up in Toronto, I lived in poverty and struggled to master English.In high school I had a great dream:to attend Yale, one of the world's best universities.My parents said that I was too poor, my teachers said that I was not bright enough.I agreed with them, yet simultaneously felt that if I struggled, if I worked diligently,then I could make it to Yale.The dream gave passion and meaning to my life, and motivated me to read books that I could not at first understand, to get involved in activities at which I was not adept, to try things that I had never tried before.
In the end, my dream came true.
After graduating from Yale, I came here to Beijing to tell students to have their own dreams and to follow them.I succeed with a few students:One girl impressed me by confiding that she wanted to be the secretary general of the United Nations one day.But I fail with most students.I remember the one who told me,"My dream is to have a dream someday."
"You don't understand the situation in China," these teenagers often remark."China is poor, so we can't think about what we really want to do, only about what will make money."
"But if that's your attitude and the attitude of Chinese society as a whole," I reply, "then China will never produce any great writers, any great scientists, any person who contributes astonishing new things to society. China is filled with talented people, but they need a romantic passion to become great.If
you're too realistic and care only for a life of happiness and comfort, then you're throwing your talent away."
"But even if we were to have dreams, our parents and our society would never allow us to pursue our dreams; they would insist that we be practical."
"Every dreamer has to defy conventional society, and only a few can really be dreamers."
"Then I won't be one of the few," they reply.
But I am neither disappointed nor depressed by these failures because, paradoxically, I know my dream is an " impossible" dream. I want my students to want to live, to have a dream and to let it fill them too with a passion for life - to contribute to society and to endear themselves to their community. This is a dream, and only dreams can make life worth struggling through to the end. Possessed by such a dream, I will undoubtedly fail, but it will be a happy failure.It is only by failing that one knows one is truly alive.(听英文51108)


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