TED英语演讲:你该如何面对艰难选择(中英文对照)

外语2019-03-21 14:22:25 3.2万
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演讲者:Ruth Chang

演说标题:你该如何面对艰难选择

人生的选择无处不在,有的选择很简单,有的选择则很艰难。而艰难的选择并不都是大的抉择,甚至中午吃什么也会变得很艰难。所以面对艰难选择,我们应该如何抉择?本期TED演讲者Ruth Chang将告诉我们,面对艰难选择,我们一开始的方向就错了。

 

Think of a hard choice you'll face in the near future. It might be between two careers--artist and accountant--or places to live--the city or the country--or even between two people to marry--you could marry Betty or you could marry Lolita. Or it might be a choice about whether to have children, to have an ailing parent move in with you, to raise your child in a religion that your partner lives by but leaves you cold. Or whether to donate your life savings to charity.

设想在不久的未来,你将面对一个艰难的决定。这也许是在两份职业中做出一个选择,艺术家还是会计师;也许是选择居住的地方,城市还是乡村;也许是在两个人中选择和谁结婚,Betty 或者是Lolita;抑或思考是否要孩子;是否让年老体衰的父母跟你一起住;是否让你的孩子信奉你配偶信仰的宗教,即便你会因自身不信奉而被冷落;又或者说,是否将毕生积储捐赠给慈善机构。

 

Chances are, the hard choice you thought of was something big, something momentous, something that matters to you. Hard choices seem to be occasions for agonizing, hand-wringing, the gnashing of teeth. But I think we've misunderstood hard choices and the role they play in our lives. Understanding hard choicesuncovers a hidden power each of us possesses.

有可能,你所思考的这些艰难抉择都十分庞大,十分重要你也十分重视。每当困难的选择出现,他都会让你感到痛苦、绝望,让你咬牙切齿。但我认为我们误解了艰难抉择的定义,更误解了其在我们生活中扮演的角色。倘若能理解这些艰难决定,我们每个人便会发掘出 一种隐藏的潜力。

 

What makes a choice hard is the way the alternatives relate. In any easy choice, one alternative is better than the other. In a hard choice, one alternative is better in some ways, the other alternative is better in other ways, and neither is better than the other overall. You agonize over whether to stay in your current job in the city or uproot your life for more challenging work in the country, because staying is better in some ways,moving is better in others, and neither is better than the other overall.

一个抉择之所以难是由于选项之间相互关联。任何简单的抉择中,总有一种选择比另一种要好。可在艰难抉择中,一种选择在某些方面较好,另一种选择在其他方面较好,二者各有千秋让人无法定夺。你痛苦地纠结于应该继续呆在这座城市里干这份工作,还是改变一下你的生活方式到乡村去接受更具挑战性的工作,因为留下有留下的好处,离开也有好处,两种选择各有千秋难以定夺。

 

We shouldn't think that all hard choices are big. Let's say you're deciding what to have for breakfast. You could have high fiber bran cereal or a chocolate donut. Suppose what matters in the choice is tastiness and healthfulness. The cereal is better for you, the donut tastes way better, but neither is better than the other overall, a hard choice. 

我们不应该认为所有的艰难抉择都很庞大。打个比方,你正决定吃什么早餐。你可以吃高纤维全谷干麦片,或者吃巧克力甜甜圈。假设在此抉择中的决定性因素是美味程度和健康程度。麦片对你身体好,甜甜圈却好吃很多,但两者都有自身优势,这就是一个艰难抉择。

 

Realizing that small choices can also be hard, may make big hard choices seem less intractable. After all, we manage to figure out what to have for breakfast, so maybe we can figure out whether to stay in the city or uproot for the new job in the country.

如果意识到小的选择也可能会变得困难,那面对大的艰难抉择时我们可能就不会觉得那么棘手了。毕竟,我们总能决定早餐吃什么,所以我们也许能够想明白,究竟要留在市区,还是到乡下接手新的工作。

 

We also shouldn't think that hard choices are hard because we are stupid. When I graduated from college, I couldn't decide between two careers, philosophy and law. I really loved philosophy. There are amazing things you can learn as a philosopher, and all from the comfort of an armchair. But I came from a modest immigrant family where my idea of luxury was having a pork tongue and jelly sandwich in my school lunchbox, so the thought of spending my whole life sitting around in armchairs just thinking ... Well, that struck me as the height of extravagance and frivolity. 

同时,我们也不应该觉得,选择之所以难是因为自己很愚蠢。在我刚大学毕业的时候,我无法从两种职业中抉择,哲学还是法律。我真心喜欢哲学,若能成为哲学家,便能学到很多惊奇的东西,而且舒舒服服地坐在椅子上就好。可我出生自一个朴实简素的移民家庭,我对奢侈的概念,就是能在上学的午餐盒里找到一块猪舌和一份果冻三明治。所以这种一辈子仅坐在椅子上思考的想法,其实,对我来说只是一种奢侈和轻浮的假象罢了。

 

So I got out my yellow pad, I drew a line down the middle, and I tried my best to think of the reasons for and against each alternative. I remember thinking to myself, if only I knew what my life in each career would be like. If only God or Netflix would send me a DVD of my two possible future careers, I'd be set. I'd compare them side by side, I'd see that one was better, and the choice would be easy.

所以我拿出自己黄色笔记本,在中间划了一条线,然后竭尽所能地写出每种选择的利与弊。当时我就想:如果能知道选择某种职业后我的人生会变成怎样就好了。如果上帝或者网飞公司能送我一张DVD来向我描述这两种充满可能性的职业生涯,那我就能做出选择了。我就能一一对比,看看哪种更好,这样一来抉择就简单多了。

 

But I got no DVD, and because I couldn't figure out which was better, I did what many of us do in hard choices: I took the safest option. Fear of being an unemployed philosopher led me to become a lawyer, and as I discovered, lawyering didn't quite fit. It wasn't who I was. 

但我没有收到这种DVD,而且由于我实在想不出哪一种更优,我就和大多数人一样:选择了最安全的一项。成为失业哲学家的恐惧,驱使我成了一名律师。可后来我发现,当律师不大适合我,这不是真正的我。

 

So now I'm a philosopher, and I study hard choices, and I can tell you, that fear of the unknown, while a common motivational default in dealing with hard choices, rests on a misconception of them. 

所以我现在是名哲学家,我钻研艰难抉择,我可以告诉大家,对未知产生恐惧是在进行困难抉择时的自然反应,而这种恐惧来源于对艰难抉择的误解。

 

It's a mistake to think that in hard choices, one alternative really is better than the other, but we're too stupid to know which, and since we don't know which, we might as well take the least risky option. Even taking two alternatives side by side with full information, a choice can still be hard. Hard choices are hard not because of us or our ignorance; they're hard because there is no best option.

我们不应该认为,在艰难抉择中某种选择总会会比另一种好,可我们自身太愚蠢,所以无法辨别,那既然我们无法定夺,倒不如选风险最小的那项。就算你完全了解了两种选项并将其一一对照,你仍然很难决定。选择之所以难,不是因为我们无知;难的原因在于没有最优选项。

 

Now, if there's no best option, if the scales don't tip in favor of one alternative over another, then surely the alternatives must be equally good. So maybe the right thing to say in hard choices is that they're between equally good options. But that can't be right. If alternatives are equally good, you should just flip a coin between them, and it seems a mistake to think, here's how you should decide between careers, places to live, people to marry: Flip a coin.

那么,如果没有最佳项,如果衡量的天秤不会倾向于 任何一方,那么任何选项都一定是好的。所以面对艰难抉择,可能正确的思维方式,就是认为选项双方一样好。这种想法肯定不对。如果选项都一样好,那还不如直接抛硬币算了,这样就会产生思想误区,让你认为自己选择事业、住处、婚嫁时都抛硬币选择就好了。

 

There's another reason for thinking that hard choices aren't choices between equally good options. Suppose you have a choice between two jobs: you could be an investment banker or a graphic artist. There are a variety of things that matter in such a choice, like the excitement of the work, achieving financial security,having time to raise a family, and so on. 

还有另外一个原因,使艰难选择并非是在同等好的选项中抉择。 假设你要在两份工作中挑选: 你可以做投资银行家,或做平面设计师。在这个选择当中有颇多决定性因素,譬如工作带来的兴奋程度、能获得的经济保障、顾家时间等等。

 

Maybe the artist's career puts you on the cutting edge of new forms of pictorial expression. Maybe the banking career puts you on the cutting edge of new forms of financial manipulation.

也许艺术家这个职业能让你接触最前沿的图像表达技术。或许当银行家你就能接触最前端的金融操纵手段。你可以想象任何两种你喜欢的职业,但两者都不会比另一方好的。

 

Imagine the two jobs however you like, so that neither is better than the other.Now suppose we improve one of them, a bit. Suppose the bank, wooing you, adds 500 dollars a month to your salary. Does the extra money now make the banking job better than the artist one? Not necessarily. A higher salary makes the banking job better than it was before, but it might not be enough to make being a banker better than being an artist. 

现在,假设我们能稍微改进其中的一方。假设一间银行尝试讨好你,在你的月薪里增加500美元。这一笔额外的金钱会不会让这份银行家的工作优于当艺术家呢?说不准。更高的薪酬让银行家的工作优于以前,但额外薪水不一定足够让成为银行家变得比成为艺术家好。

 

But if an improvement in one of the jobs doesn't make it better than the other, then the two original jobs could not have been equally good. If you start with two things that are equally good, and you improve one of them, it now must be better than the other. That's not the case with options in hard choices.

可如果对其中一种职业进行改进后结果并没有让一方优于另一方,那么两种选择本身就不可能是一样好。如果两件事一开始都同等的好,当你改进了其中一件,那它就一定会优于另一个。在艰难抉择中并非如此。

 

So now we've got a puzzle. We've got two jobs. Neither is better than the other, nor are they equally good.So how are we supposed to choose? Something seems to have gone wrong here. Maybe the choice itself is problematic, and comparison is impossible. But that can't be right. It's not like we're trying to choose between two things that can't be compared. We're weighing the merits of two jobs, after all, not the merits of the number nine and a plate of fried eggs. A comparison of the overall merits of two jobs is something we can make, and one we often do make.

那么现在我们就有一个疑惑了。这两份工作,没有一方能完胜另一方,但又不是同等的好。究竟该怎么选择呢? 貌似有些事情出错了。可能选项的本身就存在问题,导致我们无法比较。但这也不对啊。我们并不是要在两种不能被对比的事物间选择。我们说到底是在衡量两份工作的利弊,不是对比数字9和 一盘煎鸡蛋的好处。对比两份工作的总体优势是我们能做到的,也是我们经常做的事。

 

I think the puzzle arises because of an unreflective assumption we make about value. We unwittingly assume that values like justice, beauty, kindness, are akin to scientific quantities, like length, mass and weight. Take any comparative question not involving value, such as which of two suitcases is heavier. There are only three possibilities. 

我认为疑惑产生的原因源于一种我们对价值的草率设想。我们不知不觉地认为,诸如正义、美丽、善良的价值观都与一些科学度量类似,都能被量度,譬如长度、质量、重量。试想一个与价值观毫不相关的比较,例如两个行李箱中哪个更重。仅有三种可能性。

 

The weight of one is greater, lesser or equal to the weight of the other. Properties like weight can be represented by real numbers -- one, two, three and so on -- and there are only three possible comparisons between any two real numbers. One number is greater, lesser, or equal to the other.Not so with values. 

其中一个的重量大于、小于 或等于另一个。像重量这样的性质能够用真实的数字来表达——1,2,3…… 而且在两个数字间的比较中只有三种可能。一个数字大于、小于或等于另一个数字价值观却不是如此。

 

As post-Enlightenment creatures, we tend to assume that scientific thinking holds the key to everything of importance in our world, but the world of value is different from the world of science. The stuff of the one world can be quantified by real numbers. The stuff of the other world can't. We shouldn't assume that the world of is, of lengths and weights, has the same structure as the world of ought, of what we should do.

作为后启蒙时期的生物,我们总是设想科学思维可以解决世界上一切重要的问题,但价值观的世界不同于科学的世界。科学界中, 一切事物可被数字度量。可价值观的世界中却不能。我们不能认为充斥着“是否”、“长度”和“重量”的数字世界与“该不该”和“该做什么”的价值世界有着同样的架构。

 

So if what matters to us -- a child's delight, the love you have for your partner — can't be represented by real numbers, then there's no reason to believe that in choice, there are only three possibilities -- that one alternative is better, worse or equal to the other. We need to introduce a new, fourth relation beyond being better, worse or equal, that describes what's going on in hard choices. I like to say that the alternatives are "on a par." 

所以,如果我们觉得重要的东西,如:孩子的幸福、对另一半的爱,不能用数字来表示, 那么我们就没有理由相信, 在抉择过程中只有三种可能性: 其中一选项总会优于、劣于或等于另一项。我们需要一种全新的思考维度,第四种关系除了优于、劣于和等于之外,第四种关系能描述艰难抉择的运行模式。我偏好把各选项看做 “等价”。

 

When alternatives are on a par, it may matter very much which you choose, but one alternative isn't better than the other. Rather, the alternatives are in the same neighborhood of value, in the same league of value, while at the same time being very different in kind of value. That's why the choice is hard.

当所有选项等价时,你的选择就变得极为重要,但选项本身却没有哪个比其他的好。反之,所有的选择项都有类似的价值,都处于同一种价值范畴当中,但同时他们又具有不同的价值。这正是让选择变得困难的原因。

 

Understanding hard choices in this way uncovers something about ourselves we didn't know. Each of us has the power to create reasons. Imagine a world in which every choice you face is an easy choice, that is, there's always a best alternative. If there's a best alternative, then that's the one you should choose,because part of being rational is doing the better thing rather than the worse thing, choosing what you have most reason to choose. 

如此理解艰难抉择,我们就会在自己身上发现一些意料之外的东西。我们每个人都有能力去创造理由。想象一下若在某个世界中你只需面对简单抉择,那么,永远都有最佳项。若有最佳项,你就应该选它,因为保持理智就意味着选好的不选坏的,选最合理的。

 

In such a world, we'd have most reason to wear black socks instead of pink socks,to eat cereal instead of donuts, to live in the city rather than the country, to marry Betty instead of Lolita. A world full of only easy choices would enslave us to reasons.

在这样的世界里,我们有充足的理由去穿黑袜子而不穿粉色袜子,去吃干麦片不吃甜甜圈,去留在城市里不转向乡区,去娶Betty而不娶Lolita。充满简单抉择的世界,会让我们成为“原由”的奴隶。

 

When you think about it,it's nuts to believe that the reasons given to you dictated that you had most reason to pursue the exact hobbies you do, to live in the exact house you do, to work at the exact job you do. Instead, you faced alternatives that were on a par -- hard choices -- and you made reasons for yourself to choose that hobby, that house and that job. 

当你这样想,你会发现自己一定是疯了才会相信 摆在你面前的选择会决定你追寻各种事物的理由,会决定你的爱好,让你住现在的房子,让你选现在的工作。事实上,当你面对的是多个选择,多个等价的选择,困难的选择,你会为自己制造理由来选择这项爱好、这所房子和这份工作。

 

When alternatives are on a par, the reasons given to us, the ones that determine whether we're making a mistake, are silent as to what to do. It's here, in the space of hard choices, that we get to exercise our normative power -- the power to create reasons for yourself, to make yourself into the kind of person for whom country living is preferable to the urban life.

当各选项等价时, 我们面前的各种理性原由, 这些让我们分清对错的原由, 都无法给予我们一个答案。 唯有在这个有艰难抉择的世界里, 我们才能锻炼自己的 规范性力量,以创造自我的原由, 让自己变成 心中想成为的人, 一种更喜爱乡村生活而不是城市生活的人。

 

When we choose between options that are on a par, we can do something really rather remarkable. We can put our very selves behind an option. Here's where I stand. Here's who I am, I am for banking. I am for chocolate donuts.

当我们需要在等价选项间抉择时,我们能做出一些十分了不起的事。我们能把自身放在一个选项之后。(说道)这就是我的选择,这就是我。我选银行业。我选巧克力甜甜圈。

 

This response in hard choices is a rational response, but it's not dictated by reasons given to us. Rather, it's supported by reasons created by us. When we create reasons for ourselves to become this kind of person rather than that, we wholeheartedly become the people that we are. You might say that we become the authors of our own lives.

在艰难抉择中,这种反应是一种理性反应,但却不是由我们面前的各种原由所决定的。反而,这是由我们自己创造的理由所支撑起来的。当我们为自我创造原由去成为这种人而非那种人时,我们就打心底里完完全全地成就了真正的自己。你可以说,我们成了谱写自我人生篇章的作者。

 

So when we face hard choices, we shouldn't beat our head against a wall trying to figure out which alternative is better. There is no best alternative. Instead of looking for reasons out there, we should be looking for reasons in here: Who am I to be? You might decide to be a pink sock-wearing, cereal-loving, country-living banker, and I might decide to be a black sock-wearing, urban, donut-loving artist. What we do in hard choices is very much up to each of us.

所以当面对艰难抉择,不应该拿脑袋撞墙绞尽脑汁地去想哪个选项更优。最佳项并不存在。与其在外界苦命寻找理由,我们该往心里找: 我想成为什么样的人?你可能会决定成为一个穿粉色袜子、爱好干麦片,还住在乡村的银行家。而我可能会决定成为一个穿黑袜子,住在城市里,喜欢吃甜甜圈的艺术家。面临艰难抉择时的反应很大程度上 取决于我们自己每个人。

 

Now, people who don't exercise their normative powers in hard choices are drifters. We all know people like that. I drifted into being a lawyer. I didn't put my agency behind lawyering. I wasn't for lawyering. Drifters allow the world to write the story of their lives. They let mechanisms of reward and punishment -- pats on the head, fear, the easiness of an option -- to determine what they do. So the lesson of hard choices: reflect on what you can put your agency behind, on what you can be for, and through hard choices, become that person.

那些不锻炼自己规范性力量的人会成为“漂流者”。我们都认识那样的人。我(被理性原由限定)“漂流”成了律师。我并没有全身心投入到律师业务当中。我不适合当律师。漂流者允许这个世界谱写他们的生命篇章(被拖着走)。他们让奖罚机制—— 鼓励、畏惧、选择的简单性——来决定自己的道路。所以艰难抉择教会我们要审视自己能把身心与精力放到何处,自己究竟追求什么,并通过困难抉择来成为那种人。

 

Far from being sources of agony and dread, hard choices are precious opportunities for us to celebrate what is special about the human condition, that the reasons that govern our choices as correct or incorrectsometimes run out, and it is here, in the space of hard choices, that we have the power to create reasons for ourselves to become the distinctive people that we are. And that's why hard choices are not a curse but a godsend.

艰难抉择不是痛苦和恐惧的来源,而是难得的机遇让我们庆幸人类有如此特殊的选择权利,庆幸有时候区分选择正误的理性原由会用尽,而且,庆幸有在这个具有艰难抉择的世界里,我们有能力去为自己创造理由,去成为与众不同的自己。这就是为什么,艰难抉择不是一种诅咒,而是天赐之物。

 

Thank you.(Applause)

谢谢(掌声)

 


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方明湛

方明湛

....听完我眼泪都下来了..因为正在面临人生重要选择。考研还是工作。并且纠结了三个月。两头摇摆不定,两边都做不好。一度怀疑自己是不是真的很蠢,选择都做不出来。去看了决策的书,法律的书,心理学的书。看了很多别人考研的经验贴,工作的经验贴。在衡量来衡量去始终摇摆不定,对自己特别失望。直到看到了这个。一下子就哭出来了

居居的小怂包

居居的小怂包:回复@方明湛

和你遇到完全一样的情况。摇摆不定 最后两个选择都没做好。现在考上了,不知道你现在怎么样。迷茫的时候希望能出现一个帮助你的人。其实到现在我还是没学会做选择。。

Lesliw

Lesliw:回复@方明湛

现在那,决定好了吗。我也是因为各种原因摇摆不定,但是现在已经决定了考研。加油

勿相忘666

勿相忘666

艰难选择,正是我当下的状态,继续做现在的工作亦或裸辞创业,两种各有利弊,才会纠结,这篇文章写的很好,值得思考

1586002wnan

1586002wnan

说中我的痛点

1331522jbtl

1331522jbtl

真的很不错

Iris艾睿斯图

Iris艾睿斯图

好像没有演说者的个人介绍吧?

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