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假如给我三天光明(节选)

作者:王鹏远   时间:2012-10-18   点击:

Three Days to See

All of us have read thrilling stories in which the hero had only a limited and specified time to live. Sometimes it was as long as a year, sometimes as short as 24 hours. But always we were interested in discovering just how the doomed hero chose to spend his last days or his last hours. I speak, of course, of free men who have a choice, not condemned criminals whose sphere of activities is strictly delimited.

Such stories set us thinking, wondering what we should do under similar circumstances. What events, what experiences, what associations should we crowd into those last hours as mortal beings, what regrets?

Sometimes I have thought it would be an excellent rule to live each day as if we should die tomorrow. Such an attitude would emphasize sharply the values of life. We should live each day with gentleness, vigor and a keenness of appreciation which are often lost when time stretches before us in the constant panorama of more days and months and years to come. There are those, of course, who would adopt the Epicurean motto of “Eat, drink, and be merry”. But most people would be chastened by the certainty of impending death.

In stories the doomed hero is usually saved at the last minute by some stroke of fortune, but almost always his sense of values is changed. He becomes more appreciative of the meaning of life and its permanent spiritual values. It has often been noted that those who live, or have lived, in the shadow of death bring a mellow sweetness to everything they do.

Most of us, however, take life for granted. We know that one day we must die, but usually we picture that day as far in the future. When we are in buoyant health, death is all but unimaginable. We seldom think of it. The days stretch out in an endless vista. So we go about our petty tasks, hardly aware of our listless attitude toward life.

The same lethargy, I am afraid, characterizes the use of all our faculties and senses. Only the deaf appreciate hearing, only the blind realize the manifold blessings that lie in sight. Particularly does this observation apply to those who have lost sight and hearing in adult life. But those who have never suffered impairment of sight or hearing seldom make the fullest use of these blessed faculties. Their eyes and ears take in all sights and sounds hazily, without concentration and with little appreciation. It is the same old story of not being grateful for what we have until we lose it, of not being conscious of health until we are ill.

I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some time during his early adult life. Darkness would make him more appreciative of sight; silence would teach him the joys of sound.

译文:

假如给我三天光明(节选)

我们都读过震撼人心的故事,故事中的主人公只能再活一段很有限的时光,有时长达一年,有时却短至一日。但我们总是想要知道,注定要离世人的会选择如何度过自己最后的时光。当然,我说的是那些有选择权利的自由人,而不是那些活动范围受到严格限定的死囚。

这样的故事让我们思考,在类似的处境下,我们该做些什么?作为终有一死的人,在临终前的几个小时内我们应该做什么事,经历些什么或做哪些联想?回忆往昔,什么使我们开心快乐?什么又使我们悔恨不已?

有时我想,把每天都当作生命中的最后一天来边,也不失为一个极好的生活法则。这种态度会使人格外重视生命的价值。我们每天都应该以优雅的姿态,充沛的精力,抱着感恩之心来生活。但当时间以无休止的日,月和年在我们面前流逝时,我们却常常没有了这种子感觉。当然,也有人奉行吃,喝,享受的享乐主义信条,但绝大多数人还是会受到即将到来的死亡的惩罚。

在故事中,将死的主人公通常都在最后一刻因突降的幸运而获救,但他的价值观通常都会改变,他变得更加理解生命的意义及其永恒的精神价值。我们常常注意到,那些生活在或曾经生活在死亡阴影下的人无论做什么都会感到幸福。

然而,我们中的大多数人都把生命看成是理所当然的。我们知道有一天我们必将面对死亡,但总认为那一天还在遥远的将来。当我们身强体健之时,死亡简直不可想象,我们很少考虑到它。日子多得好像没有尽头。因此我们一味忙于琐事,几乎意识不到我们对待生活的冷漠态度。

我担心同样的冷漠也存在于我们对自己官能和意识的运用上。只有聋子才理解听力的重要,只有盲人才明白视觉的可贵,这尤其适用于那些成年后才失去视力或听力之苦的人很少充分利用这些宝贵的能力。他们的眼睛和耳朵模糊地感受着周围的景物与声音,心不在焉,也无所感激。这正好我们只有在失去后才懂得珍惜一样,我们只有在生病后才意识到健康的可贵。

我经常想,如果每个人在年轻的时候都有几天失时失聪,也不失为一件幸事。黑暗将使他更加感激光明,寂静将告诉他声音的美妙。