新世纪大学英语综合教程3课文翻译1-6

译文

第一单元

友谊的真谛

米歇尔·E·多伊尔马克·K·史密斯

我们探讨友谊这个概念时,遇到的第一个问题是,没有社会公认的择友标准。在某一情境下,我们会把某个人称为朋友;然而,情境一旦变迁,朋友这个称呼就显得没那么贴切了。因此,人们对友谊的真谛的理解往往是非常肤浅的。为了帮助我们理解友谊的真正含义,我们需要回顾有关友谊的几种传统的看法。

一种传统的友谊观在古希腊著名的哲学家亚里士多德的著作里得以阐述。他将自己心目中真正的友谊同另外两种友谊截然分开。这两种友谊分别是:基于互利的友谊;基于愉悦的友谊。因此,根据亚里士多德的观点,我们可以将友谊分为三类:

建立在功利之上的友谊。|功利并非永恒,它依照环境而变化。友谊的根基一旦消失,友谊也随之破灭。这类友谊似乎在老人之间最为常见,因为上了年纪的人需要的不是愉悦而是实用。基于功利的友谊也同样存在于追逐个人利益的中年人和青年人中。这些人不会在一起消磨时光,因为他们有时甚至不喜欢对方,因而觉得除非可以互相利用,否则没有交往的必要。只有当他们认为彼此有希望相互利用的时

候,才会乐于呆在一起。

建立在愉悦之上的友谊。|年轻人之间的友谊常被看作是建立在愉悦基础之上的,因为年轻人的生活受感情支配,他们感兴趣的主要是自己的快乐和眼前的重要机会。然而,他们的情趣随着自己日渐成长也会变化,他们交友容易,分手也干脆。年轻人的态度变化无常,甚至一日数变,难怪他们的友谊总是迅速地开始,又匆匆地结束。

建立在美德之上的友谊。|完美无瑕的友谊立足于美德。只有那些品德高尚而且拥有相似美德的人之间建立的友谊才是最完美的。品行高尚的人,其行为是相同的,或者是类似的。爱和友谊多半在品行高尚的人之间发生,而且以最高雅的形式出现。这种友谊是罕见的,需要时间,需要交

往。常言道,真正的朋友必须同甘共苦,历经风雨。只有当两个人互相证明自己值得爱并获得对方的信任之后,彼此方能接受对方为朋友。交友的意愿可能倏忽而至,但真正的友谊却要慢慢培养。

另一种传统的友谊观可以在古罗马政治家、演说家西塞罗的著作里找到。西塞罗认为,真正的友谊只能在好人之间发生。他进而将“好人”定义为“那些行为和生活无损于自己的荣誉、纯洁、公平和开明的人;那些摆脱了贪婪、欲念和暴力的人;那些敢于依照自己的信念说话和做事的人。”好人之间建立的这种友谊立足于美德,它确实可以带来物质利益,但决不以追求物质利益为目标。人类生活在以共同的理想为基础的社会。因此,在处理朋友关系和其他人际关系时,优越于他人的人必须平等地对待那些没那么幸运的人。美德创造友谊,美德使友谊之树常青。

我们由此可以看出,传统的友谊观由三个要素构成:朋友以相伴为乐;朋友必须彼此受益;彼此都有志于崇高的事业。这些传统的友谊观告诉我们,两个品德高尚的朋友是永不分离的,因为彼此认同对方的高尚品德。因此,认识朋友就是认识自我,了解朋友就是了解自我。可

以说朋友就好比是一面镜子,每个人都可以从朋友身上看清自己。置身于品德高尚的朋友之中,我们会对美德达成共识,共同为之不遗余力。这样的友谊是永恒的,因为朋友应该具备的一切品质都凝结在这种友谊关系中。

第二单元

你的爱有多深

有人认为爱如浮云

有人认为爱坚强如铁

有人认为爱是一种生活方式

有人认为爱是一种感觉

有人说爱要执着

有人说爱不要约束

有人说爱是生命的全部

有人说不知道爱为何物

在我们生命中的某个阶段,我们会经历难以名状的情感。这种情感只能体会,无法用语言描述。莫大的喜悦伴随着丝丝的伤感一同降临,这就是爱。

在紧张忙碌的生活中,我们竟能找到时间,沉湎于感情之中,这的确令人感佩。然而,此时我想知道:我们是否懂得爱到底有多么深刻。记得上学的时候,我迷恋的对象真是数不清:我的数学老师、邻居的儿子、好朋友的弟弟,还有另外一些因为眼睛的颜色、胡子的形状或走路的姿势而让我倾慕的人。年少时的爱慕,不会带来伤害,如肥皂泡一样转瞬即逝。那些稚气、大胆的想法和行为,现在想来大可一笑了之。但是,在那时,对我来说,没有比恋爱更重要的事了。接着就进入了真正“谈”情“说”爱的阶段。

我在女子学校学习,和男孩子交往的机会寥寥无几,因此,我热切地期待着我们学校和男子学校举办的交谊会。交谊会上,一群精心打扮的年轻男子毫无顾忌地盯着我们。这三个小时中的点点滴滴,成了我们在以后四个星期中足够的谈资,我们在议论时,心情澎湃。

即使是在那个时候,我也没有真正交男朋友的需要。

在我的成长岁月中,不知何故,我相信爱情该来的时候自然会来。事实果真如此。当我有了稳定的工作,有了长期的计划和比较安定的生活(我现在还不到25岁呢!)时,爱情降临了。我也比较成熟了,能够步入不贪图许多回报而需要大量付出的感情关系。

我的爱情是在友谊这块地基上建起的高楼大厦。爱情经过旷日持久的培养才开花。我和我的恋人相互理解、同甘共苦、相互关心,投入了丰富的感情,才使爱情发展到今天。爱情意味着情投意合。你也许会说,我属于浪漫的传统派。但是,依我看,爱情需要培养。我们必须把爱情同强烈而短暂的激情或身体的愉悦区别开来。

我们的父辈,接受了理想爱情的灌输。那是一个约束、压抑、崇敬、仰慕和十足浪漫的年代。长裙、娴静质朴的外表、卷曲的长发、恬静的气质、羞怯的目光——这一切常使人想起一个消逝久远的年代。那个年代,男女之间的距离无论如何都有助于维持爱情以及恋爱关系的神圣性。

年轻的一代人,由于观念开放,随着男女之间交往界线的消退,他们便急于赶浪头,匆忙恋爱,以至于难以区分身体的互相吸引与心灵的相投。我们从媒体中接触到的人和事,使我们的感情历程大大加速,要想慢慢地体会自己的感受,确实需要付出努力。

学校里的青少年在全然没有感情的关系中所背负的感情包袱,令我深感难过。也许有些人会把他们目前的感情状况归结为同龄人之间所施加的压力。但是,可曾有任何人停下来想一想同龄人之间的压力来自何处?我们是否尝试着弄清楚是谁造成了这样的转变?可曾有人费神去研究青少年的心理呢?

从这一代人处理个人生活的方式上,我们很容易看出他们的思想倾向。跟从前相比,现在有更多的情感在欲望的压力下扭曲。他们更注重外表的美丽而忽视内在的魅力。两性交往随便了,亲密无间却少了;激情多了,感情却少了;个人获得的多了,相互间分享的少了;寻机

获利的现象多了,无私的奉献少了。简而言之,“自我”多了,爱的分享少了。

在这个竞争激烈的年代,我们已经变得麻木不仁,将恋爱的实质抛于脑后。作为恋爱中的人,不只是意味着把红色的玫瑰花和五毛钱一张的卡片送给恋人,我们要做的事情还很多。我们将自己的时间、陪伴、支持和友谊作为礼物送给自己的恋人了吗?我们是否确定了生活中最重要的事情,而后真诚地做好每一件事?我们是否先在情感上成熟起来,再尽情地追求爱情?我们是否给自己、给他人足够的时间和空间以巩固恋情的发展?我们是否为了追求有意义的、永恒的友谊而不遗余力?我们是否履行了自己的承诺?我们是否将自己的精力和感情倾注于终生不渝的关系而不是浪费在朝秦暮楚的关系中?

人的生命只有一次,我们必须去体验能使我们更为坚强的每件事。真正的爱情一生只有一次。我们任由轻佻的行为令自己身心疲惫,当真正的爱情到来时,我们却没有能力伸开双臂迎接它的降临。

第三单元

追求以公众利益为宗旨的幸福

在过去的50年里,我们西方国家的经济获得了史无前例的增长。我们的家园、车辆、假期、工作、教育,尤其是健康,均得以改善。依据标准经济理论,这些改善原本应该使我们更加幸福,然而,调查显示并非如此。英国人和美国人接受幸福程度的调查时说,在过去的50年里,他们的幸福程度并没有得到改善。抑郁症患者人数上升,同时犯罪率大幅增长也说明了人们对生活的不满足。

上述事实对我们个人以及社会优先考虑的诸多事情都提出了挑战。事实上,我们现在的处境是人类从未经历过的。当大多数人还在为温饱发愁时,物质条件的改善的确能令他们幸福一些。富庶国家(比如,人均年收入在两万美元以上)的人民比贫穷国家的人民幸福一些;而贫穷国家的人民,如果稍微富裕,也会幸福得多。然而,物质上的匮乏一旦消除,收入的增加便不如亲情、友情、邻里和睦等人际关系那么重要。但是,我们在追求更高的收入时牺牲了太多这样的关系,这很危险。

渴望幸福是人类本性的核心。人人都渴望这样一个社会:人们尽可能地幸福,每个人的幸福同等重要。这应当是我们这个时代的人生哲学,应当用来指导公共利益的维护准则和每个人

的行为,应当逐渐取代无法使我们更加幸福的极端的个人主义。

金钱的确是影响个人幸福的关键因素之一。但是,金钱本身能使我们最终获得幸福吗?在任何一个社会,富人往往比穷人幸福。然而,当一个西方国家越来越富有的时候,其人民的幸福程度在总体上并未得到改善。随着时间的推移,我们的标准和期望随着收入的增加而上升。盖洛普民意测验每年都向美国人提问:“一个四口之家至少需要多少钱才能在这个国家生活下去?”人们说出的数字上升的幅度与平均收入增加的幅度是一样的。因为人们总是拿自己的收入和他人的收入以及他们惯于拥有的收入相比较,只有当他们认为和平均水准相比有所上升时才感到幸福。

这一过程反而达不到预期的目的。我努力工作、赚更多钱的动力是:这会使我更幸福一些。其他的社会成员也同样如此,他们也关注自己相对的生活标准。既然社会整体无法以自己为参照物而提高自己的地位,那么社会成员为使自己更加幸福所付出的努力可以说是一种浪费——当休闲与工作的天平偏向工作时,工作是“没有效率”的。

为了进一步证实这一论点,我从社会地位方面加以说明。人的地位可能来源于所挣得的收入或所花费的金钱。人们工作,至少部分原因是为了提高自己的地位。然而,地位是一种等级体系:第一,第二,第三,等等,所以当一个人的地位提高了,其他人的地位就同等程度地下降。这是一种得失平衡的游戏:从整个社会看,为了提高地位而牺牲个人的生活,是一种浪费。因此,永无止境的竞争极具破坏性:我们在追求一种总体不变的东西时失去了家庭生活和平和的心境。

在某种意义上,人们最渴望的是尊重。他们追求经济地位因为它可以赢来尊重。但是,我们可以重视也可以轻视经济地位。在一个竞争日益激烈的社会,如果我们不放宽尊重的标准,社会上能力偏低的人会感到生活更加艰辛。我们应该尊重那些同他人一起合作而自己没有获益的人,那些在各个阶层上施展才能、努力工作的人。因此,让每个人都能学会一种本领尤为重要。在英国,这意味着只要年轻人愿意,一定要确保他们每个人都学会手艺,使那些学业不成功的人也能在职业生涯中感到自豪,不会在长大成人时觉得自己是失败者。

人与人之间难免产生比较,因为等级体系的存在是必要的,不可避免的。有些人得到晋升,而另一些人却没有。此外,职位得以晋升的人薪水也要提高,因为他们有才华,雇主也乐意招贤纳士。所以,在人们挑选工作和选择雇主的关键时刻,薪水作为一个重要因素影响着他们的决定。存在的问题是,大部分的职业没有客观的标准来衡量个人的业绩,所以事实上只能拿一个人同自己的同事作比较才能得到评估。然而,这种等级评定的方法非常主观,从根本上改变了雇员与顾主、雇员与同事之间的合作关系。

如果我们渴望一个更加幸福的社会,我们就应该着重强调人们所珍视的经历——首要的是亲情关系、工作关系和邻里关系,人们珍视这些经历并非因为别人拥有它们,而是因为这些经历拥有内在的价值。我们当前享受的充分的舒适和安逸,看来有可能使我们的生活幸福一些,可是人与人之间关系的恶化又有可能降低了我们的幸福程度。

我们生活在一个空前的个人主义的时代。许多人都感到最重要的责任是充分发挥自己的才干,挖掘自己的潜力。这是一个可怕的、孤单的目标。当然,他们也感受到自己应该对他人承担的责任,但是在西方国家,这些责任缺乏一套清晰的理念。无论是古老的、虔诚的世界

观,还是战后社会的团结精神和国家的凝聚意识,皆荡然无存。我们全然丧失了公共利益或集体意义的概念。

我们要想幸福一些,必须在改变外在环境的同时改变我们内在的态度。我说的是一种永恒的人生哲学,它能使我们在自身找到积极的力量同时也能发现他人身上蕴涵的积极因素。这种对他人和自己怀有的同情心,是可以学会的,学校应该将这种同情心教给学生。每个城市都应该有这样的政策:在年轻人中间推广更健康的人生哲学,帮助他们区别肤浅的快乐和真正的幸福。

因此,我希望在这个新的世纪我们最终能够把人类的最大幸福当作我们的公益观。这可能有两个结果。这种人生观可以明确地指导政策的制定,但是更重要的是,在日常的生活中,它会激励我们因为别人幸福而感到更大的快乐,同时帮助他人获得更大的幸福。只有这样,我们才不会以自我为中心,才会更加幸福。

第四单元

如何变老

尽管文章的标题是“如何变老”,真正要谈的却是如何不老。在我这个年纪,讨论“如何不老”,着实更为重要。首要的一条忠告是,要慎重地选择祖先。虽然我的父母皆属早逝,但是考虑到我其他的祖先,我的选择尚好。我的外祖父在六十七岁风华正茂时早逝,这是事实,可我的外祖母,还有我的祖父、祖母,都活到了八十多岁。在那些与我血缘关系稍疏些的祖先中,我只发现有一位不长寿的,他死于一种当前罕见的病:被砍了头。我的一位曾祖母是吉本的朋友,活到九十二岁,其精神状态之好自始至终都让子孙们敬畏,一直到她撒手人寰的那天。我的外祖母,生养了十个孩子,其中一个夭折,另外九个健康成长。此外,她还有过多次小产。她守寡之后,即刻投身于妇女的高等教育事业。她是格顿学院的创始人之一,为促使医疗事业向妇女敞开大门而不遗余力。她过去常讲这样的一个故事:她在意大利遇见一个满面哀伤的老绅士,便询问他为何如此忧伤,老绅士说刚刚和自己两个孙子道别。“天哪!”她叫道,“我有七十二个孙子孙女,如果和其中的一个分别一次就伤心一次,那我的生活岂不太凄惨了!”“非同寻常的母亲啊!”老绅士回答道。

但是,作为七十二子孙中的一员,我更喜欢她的这一处世秘诀。外祖母八十高龄后感到入睡有些困难,她便常常在半夜到凌晨三点这段时间阅读科普书籍。我想,她无暇顾及自己是否老了。我认为这就是保持年轻的秘诀。如果你拥有广泛的、自己钟爱的兴趣和活动,又能从中体会自己老当益壮,你就没有理由从那些只有在统计学中才有意义的数字上考虑生命已经度过多少春秋,更没有理由担忧自己的未来也许很短暂。

说到健康,我很少生病,因此无法提供有用的建议。我随心所欲地吃喝,不能清醒时就睡觉。我做任何事情都不是因为这些事情对健康有利。不过,我喜欢做的事情实际上大多都有益于健康。

就心理而言,老年人应慎防两种危险。其一就是过度地沉湎于过去。人不能活在记忆中,不能生活在因美好往昔的逝去而怅然若失中,也不能生活在缅怀已故朋友的哀痛中。人的心思必须放在未来上,想想可以有所作为的事情。这并非一件轻而易举的事:一个人经历的往事,渐渐变成一个沉重的包袱。人们很容易以为过去的情感比现在强烈,过去的头脑也比现在敏锐。倘若真的如此,我们就要忘却这个事实;如果忘却了这个事实,事实也许就不再是事实

了。

另一种要提防的危险是:依恋年轻人,希望从他们的勃勃生机中汲取活力。当你的孩子已长大成人,他们就想过自己的生活;如果你仍像他们小时候那样关注他们,你很可能就成了他们的包袱。动物在下一代能够自食其力时就不再给予关注;人类因幼年时期较长而很难做到这一点。

孩子已长大成人,叮嘱他们不犯错误已经没有意义,因为他们不再相信你的话,再说错误是教育不可或缺的一部分。但是,如果你的兴趣无法摆脱个人感情的支配,你也许会发现,假如不关注子孙,生活就会空虚无望。在这种情况下,你必须意识到,虽然你仍可以给他们提供物质上的帮助,比如给他们一笔零花钱或为他们编织毛线外套,但是你绝不能期望他们会乐意和你呆在一起。

有些老人因害怕死亡而烦恼。年轻人有这种感受是可以理解的。年轻人害怕在战场上牺牲,这情有可原。他们认为,死亡会剥夺生活赋予的最美好的东西,这让他们深感痛苦。但是,饱尝人世酸甜苦辣的老者已挖掘自己的潜力、实现了自己的抱负,倘若再对死亡产生恐惧之心,未免有些可耻。克服恐惧之心的最好的办法是——至少我这样看——

开拓更广泛的、不局限于个人感情的兴趣,让包围自我的墙壁渐渐地消失,你的生活就渐渐融入人类的生活中。一个人的存在应该像一条河——初始为涓涓细流,裹在狭窄的岸

间,在岩石的缝隙中、在呼啸的瀑布上奔泻。河床渐渐变宽,河岸逐渐隐退,水流平缓,河水没有明显的停滞,最终融入海洋的怀抱,毫无痛苦地结束了独立个体的存在。上了年纪的人,倘若能以这种态度看待人生,就不会因为害怕死亡而不安,因为他所喜爱的一切将继续存在。而且,当生命力衰竭之时,疲惫感油然而生,长眠的念头并非令人厌恶。我希望在尚能劳作之时告别人世,知道他人会将我未竟的事业继续下去,同时回想这一生有可能做的事情,都尽力而为了,由此可以满意地安息了。

第五单元

网络教育

在最近的一次出差途中,有人问及我的职业,我说自己是从事编写和教授大学课程的。“哦?那在哪儿教书?”他问道。我不假思索,老老实实地答道:“虚无空间里”。

我说的是实情。1990年起,我就在被朋友称作“键盘大学”里教远程学位教育课程并提供辅导。我的课堂是在充满电荷的空间里,其间一端连着我的电话插座,另一端连着一群年龄偏大的大学生家里的电脑。

1990年,我筹建了美国第一个远程学习者在线辅导中心。迄今为止,我已在线辅导了7000多个学生,其中只有几个人不及格,而我本人却从未与他们谋面。

由于无法更清楚地解释我的工作环境,我只能告诉这位问话者:我在虚拟空间教书,“是个虚拟大学的教师。”我试着向他解释“远程教育······在线学位课程······虚拟大学”等等。

那人的脸上仍旧一片茫然。我不清楚他沉默不语到底是因肃然起敬所致,还是纯粹对此稀里糊涂。我猜想两个原因都有。于是,我就开始解释这些天来经常解释的事情:我认为,美国

的大学教育在衰退,而美国的教育新思维正在兴起。

远程教学(即师生不用谋面的教育课程)并不是件新生事物。英国巴斯大学的艾塞克·彼特曼爵士曾突发奇想,让乡村居民把圣经转换成速记文字,然后邮寄给他评阅,以这种办法教会他们文秘技能。1840年他就开始实施,从中赚取了大笔的金钱。

我并不教速记,我教心理学和职业拓展。但还是和艾塞克爵士一样,很多课程是自己编写的。我的岗位是在万维网,我把作业张贴在电子布告栏上,把批阅过的试卷用电子邮件通过国际电话线发送出去,而且免交关税;必要时,把班级学生召集起来,在网上聊天室里在线讲课。难道这种方式能够摒弃现实中的大学教育吗?学生难道不用整齐地坐在教室里聆听老师——讲坛上的圣人——讲课就能学到知识吗?

绝对可以,毫无疑问。事实上,很多人都认为没有校园的大学难以想象,可我现在却以为不在网络空间这块充满自由氛围的地方教书才是匪夷所思呢。

在网络空间里,我倾听、阅读、评价、思考学生们表述的观点——一次一个,轮流发言。他们必须书面把见解传输给我,他们不能坐在后排座位上,无所事事地打发时光。他们必须思考,最令他们头疼的是,他们必须写作。思考与写作,那不就是传统教育培养出来的人才所具备的特质吗?

我不是凭借他们的脸庞或是他们在宽敞教室里所坐位置来认识我的学生,而是通过他们每周作业里的文字和观点了解他们。这些文字与观点大家都能在线读到。

我不是讲坛上的圣人——我更像是他们身边的向导。通常,学生们之间“说”的或写的东西、把自己工作和职业体会融入论文和辩论的方式,比起我能够提供的任何东西都更加实用,更有启迪性。

我学生的年龄一般是四十岁,还有不少五六十岁。他们通过网络来上学。因为他们不能或者不愿意辞去工作、离开儿女或孙辈们搬进大学校园——那样的大学无非就是一个依照中世纪修道院模式建立起来的教育实体。

他们大多数了解自己所谈论的东西,不仅如此,他们清楚自己为何返回大学学习。网络教育适合他们,因为网络教育尊重学员界定知识和追求知识的能力,鼓励他们抒发自己的观点和见解,没有教师干扰,因为教师可能会情不自禁地介入他们的争论,把原本很有启发性的课堂讨论“平息”或者“引到别的话题上去”。

学生们体验到的东西完全不同于依照传统工厂模式运作的美国教育。在传统教育中,生产线上的每个人接收到相同标准单位的信息(讲座和教材),然后必须通过同一质量检查(客观考试)。学生们坐在整齐排列的座位上,举手请求允许后才发言,不断地看着钟表学课本、听讲座,课本和讲座被分解成不相关联的知识玩意儿。没有证据显示,这样的工厂模式是有效的学习途径,而只能证明这是一种很便利的方式:大学在成绩报告单上记录下标准份量的知识已如期地传授。

或许,在虚拟环境下教大学文科课程对我来说特别有意义,因为它可以追溯到我当年所了解到的真正的大学文科教育。在希腊雅典研读哲学时,老师教导我,要学到东西就得扔掉课本和笔记本这些不过是记忆工具的东西,要依赖我们与生俱来的本领进行批判性思考。

我的网络学生的确是有教材,但那都是学习的辅助材料,不是他们汲取知识的唯一源泉。他们还将从网上辩论、会议和论文写作的合作中学到知识。学生们要为发言认真思考;他们每周来上课时,充分准备好辩论,通过键盘上的交流获取真知。

说也奇怪,虚拟大学兴许正是柏拉图这样的古典哲学家喜欢授课的地方——假如他那个时期有因特网的话。你问我本人的意见?我也认为教育应该比较少地在校园里开展,而更多地应该在参与者的脑子里进行。

第六单元

文化冲击

我们不妨把文化冲击称为突然置身国外的人们所得的职业病。和大部分疾病一样,这种病有其独特的起因、症状和疗法。

文化冲击是因为我们失去熟悉的社会交往标记和符号而产生的焦虑所促成。这些标志或暗示包括我们应付日常生活各种情境时使用的诸多方式方法:与人会面时何时握手、该说些什么;在什么时间、以什么方式付小费;如何吩咐佣人;怎样购物;何时该接受、何时该拒绝他人的邀请;别人说的话,何时该当真,何时不该当真。这些暗示可以是语

言、手势、面部表情、风俗习惯或社会行为标准。我们在成长的过程中获得了这些暗示,就像我们的语言和我们所接受的信仰一样,它们已经成为我们文化的一部分。我们所有的人都依赖成百上千个这样的暗示才能拥有宁静的心境,过上高效率的生活。

当你走进一种陌生的文化,你所熟悉的所有或大部分文化暗示也就随之消失。此时的你宛如一条离开水的鱼。无论你的心胸多么开阔,你赖以生存的支柱此时都已倒塌,挫折感和焦虑感油然而生。人们对此种挫折的反应非常相似:他们首先排斥令他们不适的环境:“我们所到之国的生活方式很不好,让我们感觉很糟糕。”当美国人或其他的外国人来到一个陌生的国度,聚在一起抱怨所到之国及其人民时——

可以肯定,他们正深受文化冲击之苦。文化冲击的另外一个阶段是回归。故乡的一草一木突然变得极为重要。一个美国人会不合理地美化美国的一切事物。在自己国家所经历的困难和问题都抛在了脑后,只记得故乡美好的事物。通常要回国一趟方可回到现实中。

要克服文化冲击的心理,了解文化的性质及其与个人的关系会有所裨益。除了赖以生存的自然环境,一个人还生活在由人造的有形物体、社会风俗、观念和信仰构成的文化环境中。一个人并非天生就有文化,而是生来就具备学习和使用文化的能力。新生婴儿的身上不存在一种只许他最终说葡萄牙语、英语或法语的东西,也不存在一种只许他用左手而不是右手执叉或只许他用筷子吃饭的东西。这些东西都是要孩子去学习的。文化也不是由父母负责传递给孩子的。任何一个民族的文化都是历史的产物,经过漫长的、本民族意识不到的过程才得以积累形成。孩子通过文化学会适应周围的物质环境,学会和周围的人打交道。众所周知,青少年在学习和适应的过程中经常遇到困难。但是,文化一旦学会了,就会成为一种生活方式。

人们往往认为自己的文化是最好的,是生活的唯一方式。这非常正常,完全可以理解。我们把这种态度称为“民族优越感”,即一种认为自己的文化、种族和国家构成世界中心的想法。个人往往将自己与所处的群体等同起来,因此任何批评的言论在他们看来都是对个人及其群体不尊敬的:如果你批评我的祖国,你就是在批评我;如果你批评我,你就是在批评我的祖国。抱着这种态度,人们往往把个人的怪癖归结为民族的特点。例如,倘若一个美国人在国外做出怪异的或有悖社会公德的事情,在美国国内的人们会认为这纯属个人行为,但在国外

却被视为一种民族特性:他那样做并非因为他是乔·多克斯,而是因为他是个美国人。遭受责难的不是他这个个体,而是他的祖国。因此,我们最好把民族优越感看成是民族群体的一个永恒的特性。即使一个国家的公民批评了自己文化的某些方面,外国人也只应当听着,而不应该参与批评。

你一旦意识到面临的问题并非因为异域的敌意而是因为自己对其他民族的文化背景缺乏理解或者缺乏与对方沟通的方式,你同时就会意识到你本身能够了解他人的文化,并能够掌握那些交流的方式。你越早做到这一点,文化冲击就消失得越快。

接下来的问题是,你怎样做才能尽快克服文化冲击?答案是:了解所到之国的国民。但是,倘若不懂语言,你是无法成功地实现这一目标的,因为语言是用于交流的主要的符号系统。我们现在都知道,学习一门新的语言不容易,对成年人来说,尤为如此。无论教语言的老师多么擅长于减轻你学习语言的难度,单单学语言这项任务都足以让你焦虑不安、饱受挫折。不过,你一旦能够和女佣、邻居进行友好的交谈,能够单独出门购物,你就会重获信心,充满力量,一个蕴含各种文化意义的新世界就向你敞开了大门。

你开始发现人们做些什么、做事情的方式以及令他们感兴趣的事情。人们往往通过日常的谈话内容和时间、金钱的分配方式来表达自己的兴趣爱好。你一旦了解了他们的兴趣和价值模式,就很容易和他们交谈,也容易让他们对你产生兴趣。

有时候,参加人们举办的各种活动,不管是嘉年华会、宗教仪式还是经济活动,在活动中仔细观察,和人们一起喜怒哀乐,这都有好处。不过,你永远都不要忘记,你是一个外人,人们也会把你当成一个外人对待。你应当把参与活动看成角色扮演。了解一个民族的生活方式很重要,但这并非意味着你要放弃自己的文化。实际上,你已经具备两种行为方式。

作文

第一单元

1. Bob and I became brother-like friends in our childhood. We played, dined and discussed our ambitions together. Once grown up, he started for the West to make his fortune while I became a policeman in New York. Before his departure, we had dinner together and we agreed that we would meet at the same place exactly twenty years from that date and time, no matter what our conditions might be or from what distance we might have to come.

Then came the day we were supposed to meet. I was on my beat then. Walking up to the appointed place which had been turned into a hardware store, I saw a man standing there with an unlighted cigar in his mouth. Before I could speak, he told me that he was waiting for a friend by the name of Jimmy Wells. When he struck a match to light his cigar, I saw a pale face with keen eyes and a scar. I recognized him immediately. It was Bob, and it was also the face of the man wanted by the Chicago Police. For a moment I felt like telling him to escape right away. After all, we had been friends for so many years and he had traveled all the way to see me! But then my sense of duty told me the right thing to do. I said good-bye to him and continued my patrol, his last words still ringing in my ear: “I’l l wait for half an hour. Jimmy will keep his promise if he’s alive…” I then sent for a plain clothes man and had Bob arrested.

2.An Important Friend in My Life

Li Qiang, one of my classmates, is fun to be with. He is always wearing a broad smile as if life is forever"sunshine and butterflies". One day, I revealed to him my worries and anxieties: I, an ordinary-looking girl, was 177 centimeters tall, even taller than any of the boys in my class. I thought no boy would like to date me. Besides, I was very poor at my academic courses.

He suggested that I should learn to be myself and then he introduced me to a fashion show team of the university. Encouraged, I decided to change myself. After a 3-month training program on weekends, I could perform beautifully as a model, and surprisingly, I could concentrate on the required academic courses as well. The applauses I won at each fashion show and the scholarship I earned proved that being myself was terrific. Since then, my life has changed a lot. Thus, Li Qiang became an important friend of mine.

Last semester, we began to help young people who suffer pressures from physical defects, academic failures or financial problems. We set up a Confidence Club. Those who come to us for help find our work definitely beneficial. Our friendship has led me into a sparkling, rewarding life.

第二单元

1. Male-female relations are indispensable to adults all through their lives. But different generations handle them differently. Our parents’ generation lived in an era of constraints, restraints, respect, admiration, and plenty of romance. They kept a distance from people of the opposite gender in order to preserve the holiness of love and relationships.

My generation, on the other hand, began with countless crushes for the opposite sex just because of their superficial charm. Harmless as it was, the love was as brief as soap bubbles. As we grew up, we came to the stage of developing real relationships, believing that love demanded a lot of give and not so much of take.

By comparison, the younger generation is more open-minded and less restricted in handling the matter of love and relationships. They jump on the bandwagon of love with so much haste that it is difficult for them to distinguish between physical attraction and mental compatibilities.

In short, the younger generation focuses more on physical beauty, closeness and passion, and they tend to seek what they want from the relationships. The other two generations give priority to inner charm, intimacy, emotion and sharing in dealing with relationships.

2.What Do Girl Students Look for in Love and Life?

In order to know about girl students’ opinion about love and life, a survey with girl students was conducted in 2005 in two universities — Chongqing University of Technology and Business and East China Normal University. The survey sought answers to two questions: What do you look for first in a boyfriend? What’s the most important thing for a happy life?

About one third of the students chose personality as the top factor in choosing a boyfriend, followed by 27 percent focusing on abilities. Next came common interests and goals, favoured by 17 percent, with only 14 percent of students claiming appearance to be uppermost in their minds. Fewer still, 11 percent, rated economic status as the first consideration.

As to their views about a happy life, nearly seventy percent of the girls attached the greatest importance to marriage and family. “Career” was given top priority by just under 20 percent, while even fewer, around 9 percent, believed that money was the key to a happy life.

Based on the survey, we may conclude that nowadays, girl students generally hold a rational attitude towards love and life. Admittedly

第三单元

1. Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone

No one would doubt the truth that man’s existence relies essentially on material things. We need them to get fed, clothed and sheltered. Once we are living near the breadline, we’ll feel frustrated and miserable.

However, our contentment does not merely lie in material things. This is especially the case in modern times. The fast-developing economy has noticeably improved our lives and fulfilled most of our material needs. Then there comes the need of spiritual satisfaction, which is derived from good health, close friends, a loving spouse,

well-raised children, a home built on love, a clear conscience, a worthy goal and an enjoyable job. While material things may lose their charm over time, spiritual satisfaction will bring us lasting happiness.

Therefore, to live a happy life, we should focus more on those things that meet our spiritual demands. After all, when our need for bread is met, happiness will not come unless we feel spiritually satisfied.

2. I Really Made It

I will never forget the awful feeling in my first Oral English class at college. I tried hard to listen to every word the teacher spoke, but what she was saying made no sense to me. Bitterly, I admitted that I was so poor at listening and speaking in English.

I wept several times, cursing my middle school for failing to provide adequate listening and speaking practice. But finally I calmed down because the familiar words rang in my ears: There must be a way out. I had a rather solid foundation of English vocabulary and grammar. What was left for me to do was to increase my listening input and speaking output. I made it a rule that every morning I would do reading aloud by the campus lake for 40 minutes, and every evening I would stay in the language lab, listening to English for at least an hour.

Then at the end of the second year came my happiest moment: I got the Scholarship for Academic Excellence. I wore a broad smile when the president granted me the award. I then came to realize that happiness can only be gained through hard work.

第四单元

1. AIDS Across the Earth

AIDS has killed and is threatening to kill millions all across the earth. Several million infections are reported by WHO each year. The virus does not care whether you are black or white, male or female, young or old. It will attack you as long as you are a human. Today, AIDS has become the leading killer of young adults and is turning the children whose parents suffer the disease into orphans. It is no exaggeration to say that we live under the shadow of AIDS.

There are several possible causes for such a situation: unsafe sexual intercourse; sharing or reusing contaminated needles; transfusion of contaminated blood or blood products; an infected person’s pregnancy, giving birth and breastfeeding, etc. Unfortunately, our ignorance, prejudice and silence have carried the situation to a desperate extreme. Patients are isolated or treated as outcasts by their families and their communities. AIDS victims feel ashamed to be identified as such and try hard to hide their disease. For this reason, they cannot get immediate medical treatment. Our harmful attitudes towards the disease and its victims have actually placed more people at risk.

In our fight against this deadly disease, we should educate people on how to avoid being infected with the disease and how to lead life and, more importantly, how to treat AIDS patients properly. Only in this way can we really bring AIDS under control.

2. Why Do the Young Adults Kill Themselves?

Young adults are in the prime of their lives and are supposed to pursue their dreams and enjoy themselves. Yet it was reported in the Guardian that suicide is the main cause of death among young adults in China. Why have so many young people ended their lives?

Three factors are thought to account for the high suicide rate: increasing stress, loneliness and a lack of medical support for depression. The most pressing one, I think, is stress. Take my college life for example. From the first day I entered the university, I have been living under pressure. I used to worry that I could not quite fit into the campus life; I also feared that I might not catch up with my classmates in my studies or could not live up to my parents’ expectations. Now I am deeply concerned about whether I can find a desirable job after graduation. Endless pressures give rise to stress. Loneliness is another problem. Many young people find they just feel helpless when they are suffering intolerable sadness or frustration.

Suicide is a great tragedy, especially for the young. If we can find ways to relieve them of their stress and offer timely help, we may save many young lives.

第五单元

1. The Significance of Lifelong Education

Decades ago, due to the low standard of living in China, only a small percentage of the nation's population could receive college education. Once given the opportunity, one would surely secure a well-paid and much-respected job, which he or she would probably do for a lifetime. Therefore, to secure a college degree used to be the ultimate goal of a person's education.

Today, however, we are living in what is called a"knowledge society", where creative ideas and innovations are generated at a fantastic speed. One must constantly renew one's knowledge and upgrade one's skills so as to meet the needs of the changing world. Moreover, at the stage of general education, it is pointless for a person to attempt to know everything. When one is required to settle down to be a specialist in a specific field, one has to make an in-depth study of the subject one is supposed to know. In this sense, general education can provide students with only a passport to lifelong education. As Robert Maynard Hutchins once said, the object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.

In my opinion, life in modern society is not only a process of"learning to live"but also a process of"living to learn". The slogan"Live and Learn"can best reflect the concept of lifelong education.

2. Should Family Schooling Exist?

Meng Mu Tang, a private school in Shanghai, is modeled after the educational system of ancient Chinese home schools, which favored rote memorization and recitation of classic works. But the local education authorities in Shanghai have declared it illegal according to a report in 21st Century. Should family schooling exist? What role should it play?

In my opinion, family schooling should be permitted to play a positive role in the current educational system in China. Every family should be free to choose the form of education that best suits their children's interests and natural gifts. Although the existing education system in China has remarkably improved, it does not fit each child perfectly. Since family schooling provides a means to develop a person's talents and unique interest, Meng Mu Tang, as a private school geared to a specific group of children, should not be banned in haste. In view of the current dynamic,

quality-minded educational reforms in China, we should permit family schooling to enrich and diversify our educational system.

On the other hand, home schooling should adapt itself to the modern world. To prepare children for the future, it should equip them with knowledge and innovative power so that they can cope with the development of the modern world. While tapping children's innate talents on an individual basis, family schooling should never neglect their all-round development. Meng Mu Tang may not be a perfect private school, but we should let it live and have a try so that family schooling may

eventually become an indispensable component of our formal education.

第六单元

1. My Views on Cultural Differences

In my opinion, cultural differences have more advantages than disadvantages. First of all, it is cultural differences that make our world so colorful. If you go to a foreign country, you will be impressed not only by its physical environment but also by its cultural environment — its foods, clothes, customs, social practices, etc. Differences between cultures have always been a source of joy and inspiration.

Secondly, differences in culture enrich human civilization. Different cultures compete with as well as learn from each other. Roman culture was modeled on Greek culture, which had once borrowed a lot from Egyptian culture. American culture is also a blend of many different cultures.

Thirdly, differences in culture give each culture its unique identity. A culture is usually seen in relation to other cultures. Chinese culture distinguishes itself from others by its peculiar concepts and things that can hardly be found elsewhere.

Of course, cultural differences may cause conflicts and misunderstandings. But interdependence, common interests and mutual goals of different nations always outweigh differences in culture. Nations with different cultures should learn from each other and live peacefully together. To this end, we should be more tolerant to other cultures while preserving, protecting and developing our own.

2. My Views on the Influence of Western Culture

On weekends, I gather with my friends at MacDonald's or KFC. We eat fried chicken, drink Coco-cola and talk about the latest release of Hollywood movies. We read foreign novels, listen to Western music and watch NBA. We admire Bill Gates, George Michael and Princess Diana. We dress ourselves in the Western style and celebrate Christmas and Valentine's Day. Our way of life has thus changed. Indeed, the influence of Western culture is strongly felt in our everyday life.

This influence in turn prepares us well to blend into the modern world and participate in the world market competition. But we should not ignore its side effects. Our national culture may gradually lose its ground if our attention is focused only upon Western culture. In following the trend of globalization we should maintain our own cultural identity, cherish our cultural tradition and develop our own culture. What Mahatma Gandhi once said can best sum up my views on the influence of Western culture:"I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any."

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