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柏南克為2013年普林斯頓大學畢業生演講

Ben Bernanke 's Princeton Commencement Speech

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:柏南克(Ben Bernanke)

2013年6月2日演講

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講(來源YouTube

美國聯準會主席柏南克於2013年普林斯頓大學畢業典禮演講,提供即將邁入社會的畢業生十項建議。

 

關於柏南克(來源Wikipedia

柏南克(生於1953年12月13日)為美國經濟學家及現任美國中央銀行聯準會主席。擔任主席期間,柏南克督導聯準會因應2000年代末期的金融危機。成為聯準會主席之前,柏南克於普林斯頓大學擔任終身教授職位,並於1996年至2002年9月擔任經濟系主任,直到他赴任公職。

 

柏南克為2013年普林斯頓大學畢業生演講

 

嗨,很高興重返普林斯頓。很難相信我離開校園、赴華盛頓任職已有11個年頭。最近我寫信向校方打聽我之前職位的情況,回信開頭寫著:「很遺憾,普林斯頓收到許多合格申請者的求職申請(笑聲),但本校教職有限。」

 

我稍後再向畢業生獻上最誠摯的祝福,首先我想恭喜坐在草坪上的家長和親朋好友。為人父母的我,深知這年頭培養孩子唸完大學並不容易。幾年前,我一位同事將三名子女送進普林斯頓,儘管他和妻子都不曾唸過這所大學。理所當然地,他們夫妻倆對這項成就十分自豪。但我同事總是說,從財務角度來看,這就像每年買一輛凱迪拉克,然後開下懸崖(笑聲)。我得提一下,他總會補充說,他不曾後悔過。因此-你們確實勞苦功高,各位家長。

 

這確實是相當適合舉行畢業典禮的場所。我確信在這座講臺上,每位傑出的精神領袖都曾反覆思量十誡的教誨;我沒有那樣的自信。話說回來,覬覦鄰居的牛或驢已不是現今的問題。因此我今天打算利用幾分鐘時間,提出十項建議,或者說十項觀察,關於這個世界和你們離開普林斯頓後的生活。請注意,這些建議和利率毫不相干。(笑聲)

 

我之所以有資格提出這些建議或觀察,除了Tilghman校長的熱情邀請外,理由和你們討厭的兄姐可以晚睡一樣-我比你們年長(笑聲)。以下建議都經過現實生活的考驗,但過往表現無法確保未來結果。(笑聲)

 

第一點,詩人羅伯特‧伯恩斯曾說,無論人或老鼠,訂定的最佳計劃都可能出錯-無論出什麼錯。一位較近期的哲學家阿甘,曾提到人生與巧克力的相似性:你永遠不知道下一塊是什麼口味。兩者所言皆是;生命確實難以預料。任何22歲的人,若自認能預知自己十年後、甚至三十年後的情況,只能說缺乏想像力罷了。看看我的情形:十幾年前,我在亞歷山大會堂致力於教導經濟學入門課程,試著想出蹺掉教務會議的好理由(笑聲),然後我接到一通電話。如果你質疑阿甘的看法,我想給各位畢業生一個具體的建議:若有機會,花幾分鐘時間,和某位返校參加畢業25、30或40週年聚會的校友談談。找個遊行隊伍前排的校友聊聊,請教他們25、30或40年前畢業時,是否曾預期自己目前的情況。如果你能使他們敞開心扉,他們將告訴你,目前他們對人生各方面是否感到快樂或滿意。他們的人生故事充滿高低起伏,但我敢打賭,這些人生歷程,多少與他們多年前預期的大不相同。這是好事,不是壞事。誰希望在故事開頭就知道結局?別害怕任由故事自由發展。

 

第二點,我們的人生深受機遇及看似微不足道的決定和行動影響,這是否意味著我們不需規劃和奮鬥?當然不是。無論人生如何發展,每個人都擁有一個遠大的終生目標,那就是人類的自我發展。你的親朋好友和普林斯頓的生活給了你一個好的開始,你將如何利用它?你是否會不斷學習、深入思索、仔細考量最重要的問題?你是否會成為更堅強、更慷慨、更有愛心、更有道德感的人?你將積極貢獻社會嗎?你的人生將遭遇許多情況,快樂或不快樂的,但引用一句我任職於伍德羅‧威爾遜學院時學到的格言:「隨遇而安。」如果你無法對自己感到滿意,即使最輝煌的成就也無法令你滿足。

 

第三點,成功的概念促使我開始思考所謂的菁英體系及其含義。人們總是說菁英體系和菁英社會是公平的,姑且不論事實上沒有任何體系-包括我們的體系-是百分之百的菁英體系。菁英體系或許比其他體系更公平、更有效率,但絕對公平嗎?不妨思考一下。所謂的菁英體系是指天生擁有優質健康與基因的幸運者;幸運地擁有家庭支持與鼓勵,也許擁有極佳收入;幸運地擁有良好的教育和就業機會,以及擁有許多其他方面優勢的幸運者,才有機會獲得卓越的成就。唯一使所謂的菁英體系通過道德檢驗,而被視為公平的方法,就是這些各方面都受幸運之神眷顧的人,亦擔負起努力工作的重責大任,致力於創造更美好的世界,並與他人分享這份幸運。如路加福音所言-我相信我的猶太教牧師會原諒我出於正當理由而引用新約聖經-「因為多給誰,就向誰多取;多託誰,就向誰多要。」有點像成績分佈曲線。

 

第四點,誰值得欽佩?路加福音的誡訓與大部分道德及哲學觀點相符,同樣有助於回答這個問題。最值得欽佩的是那些充分利用自身優勢,或勇敢面對逆境的人。我相信大部分人都同意,相較於許多看似成功的人,那些受過正規教育不多,但腳踏實地、勤奮地為家人提供衣食和教育的人,更值得我們尊重和協助;和他們一起喝啤酒也較為有趣。這是我對社會學僅有的認知。(笑聲)

 

第五點,既然提到對社會學的認知,或許我也該談談政治學(笑聲)。就政治而言,我一向欣賞莉莉‧湯姆琳(美國女演員)的嘉言,容我引用一下:「我試著憤世嫉俗,卻總是無法持續。」我們都曾有過這種感覺。事實上,在華盛頓待了將近11年-如我之前提過的-我不時會產生這種感覺。歸根究柢,憤世嫉俗不過是批判性思考與建設性行動的劣質替代品。當然,利益、金錢和意識形態都至關緊要,如你們在政治課中所學。但根據我的經驗,大部分政客及政策制定者都試著做正確的事,多半根據他們的觀點和良知。如果你認為華盛頓當局的政策多半差勁透頂或成效不彰,歸因於他們的動機和不良企圖,那你就太看得起政客和政策制定者的影響力了。面對複雜棘手的問題時所犯的誠實錯誤,是造成不良結果的主因,而非出於不良動機。因此華盛頓當局最大的影響來自於觀念,人們根據這些觀念著手行動。根據我的觀察,公共服務並非易事,但如果你最終選擇了這條道路,確實是值得追求的挑戰。

 

第六點,既然已談過社會學和政治學,不妨再談談我所擅長的經濟學。經濟學屬於極複雜的思維領域,它擅於解釋政策制定者以往所做決策的錯誤原因(笑聲),卻難以預測未來的發展。然而,謹慎的經濟學分析確實有個重要的益處,就是協助排除不合邏輯或與數據不符的想法,適用於至少90%的經濟政策提案。

 

第七點,我不打算告訴你們錢不重要,反正你們也不會相信。事實上,對世上許多人來說,金錢確實是生死存亡的關鍵。但如果你屬於少數有能力選擇的幸運兒,請記住,金錢只是工具,而非目的。僅基於金錢所做的職業選擇,而非基於對工作的喜愛或開創新局的熱情,將成為日後苦惱的根源。

 

第八點,沒有人喜歡失敗,但失敗是生活與學習中不可或缺的部分。如果你不曾弄髒衣服,根本算不上參與比賽。

 

第九點,我之前提過,在無法預知的世界裡個人成功的定義。我希望你們發展自身成功的定義時-你們肯定做得到-我希望你們能與某位親密伴侶攜手前進。進行選擇時,請記住,外在美只是人類演化過程中,確保對方沒有太多腸道寄生蟲的方式(笑聲)。別誤會我的意思。我深受美麗、浪漫和性感所吸引,否則好萊塢和麥迪遜大道如何生存?儘管這些條件十分重要,但並非尋找終身伴侶的唯一考量。你將和另一半共度漫長的人生-希望如此-你們需要彼此的支持和關懷,超乎你所能想像。身為歷經35年幸福婚姻的人,我無法想像人生旅途中,有任何選擇的重要性勝於選擇終身伴侶。

 

第十點,偶爾打個電話給父母。總有一天,你會希望自己長大成人、忙碌不堪、成就非凡的孩子打個電話給你。此外,別忘了是誰替你付普林斯頓學費。(笑聲)

 

好,這是我的十項建議。或許一文不值,但它們來自和你們同樣對這所卓越學府懷有深厚情感、希望你們前程似錦的人。

 

恭喜各位畢業生,撼動這世界吧!(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this talk

Speaking to Princeton's Class of 2013, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke gave his top 10 suggestions for new graduates about to embark on their careers.
 
About Ben Bernanke
Ben Bernanke (born December 13, 1953) is an American economist and currently chairman of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States. During his tenure as chairman, Bernanke has overseen the Federal Reserve's response to the late-2000s financial crisis. Before becoming Federal Reserve chairman, Bernanke was a tenured professor at Princeton University and chaired the department of economics there from 1996 to September 2002, when he went on public service leave.
 
About the transcript
It's nice to be back at Princeton. I find it difficult to believe that it's been almost 11 years since I departed these halls for Washington. I wrote recently to inquire about the status of my leave from the university, and the letter I got back began, "Regrettably, Princeton receives many more qualified applicants for faculty positions than we can accommodate."1 
 
I'll extend my best wishes to the seniors later, but first I want to congratulate the parents and families here. As a parent myself, I know that putting your kid through college these days is no walk in the park. Some years ago I had a colleague who sent three kids through Princeton even though neither he nor his wife attended this university. He and his spouse were very proud of that accomplishment, as they should have been. But my colleague also used to say that, from a financial perspective, the experience was like buying a new Cadillac every year and then driving it off a cliff. I should say that he always added that he would do it all over again in a minute. So, well done, moms, dads, and families.
 
This is indeed an impressive and appropriate setting for a commencement. I am sure that, from this lectern, any number of distinguished spiritual leaders have ruminated on the lessons of the Ten Commandments. I don't have that kind of confidence, and, anyway, coveting your neighbor's ox or donkey is not the problem it used to be, so I thought I would use my few minutes today to make Ten Suggestions, or maybe just Ten Observations, about the world and your lives after Princeton. Please note, these points have nothing whatsoever to do with interest rates. My qualification for making such suggestions, or observations, besides having kindly been invited to speak today by President Tilghman, is the same as the reason that your obnoxious brother or sister got to go to bed later--I am older than you. All of what follows has been road-tested in real-life situations, but past performance is no guarantee of future results.
 
1. The poet Robert Burns once said something about the best-laid plans of mice and men ganging aft agley, whatever "agley" means. A more contemporary philosopher, Forrest Gump, said something similar about life and boxes of chocolates and not knowing what you are going to get. They were both right. Life is amazingly unpredictable; any 22-year-old who thinks he or she knows where they will be in 10 years, much less in 30, is simply lacking imagination. Look what happened to me: A dozen years ago I was minding my own business teaching Economics 101 in Alexander Hall and trying to think of good excuses for avoiding faculty meetings. Then I got a phone call . . . In case you are skeptical of Forrest Gump's insight, here's a concrete suggestion for each of the graduating seniors. Take a few minutes the first chance you get and talk to an alum participating in his or her 25th, or 30th, or 40th reunion--you know, somebody who was near the front of the P-rade. Ask them, back when they were graduating 25, 30, or 40 years ago, where they expected to be today. If you can get them to open up, they will tell you that today they are happy and satisfied in various measures, or not, and their personal stories will be filled with highs and lows and in-betweens. But, I am willing to bet, those life stories will in almost all cases be quite different, in large and small ways, from what they expected when they started out. This is a good thing, not a bad thing; who wants to know the end of a story that's only in its early chapters? Don't be afraid to let the drama play out.
 
2. Does the fact that our lives are so influenced by chance and seemingly small decisions and actions mean that there is no point to planning, to striving? Not at all. Whatever life may have in store for you, each of you has a grand, lifelong project, and that is the development of yourself as a human being. Your family and friends and your time at Princeton have given you a good start. What will you do with it? Will you keep learning and thinking hard and critically about the most important questions? Will you become an emotionally stronger person, more generous, more loving, more ethical? Will you involve yourself actively and constructively in the world? Many things will happen in your lives, pleasant and not so pleasant, but, paraphrasing a Woodrow Wilson School adage from the time I was here, "Wherever you go, there you are." If you are not happy with yourself, even the loftiest achievements won't bring you much satisfaction.
 
3. The concept of success leads me to consider so-called meritocracies and their implications. We have been taught that meritocratic institutions and societies are fair. Putting aside the reality that no system, including our own, is really entirely meritocratic, meritocracies may be fairer and more efficient than some alternatives. But fair in an absolute sense? Think about it. A meritocracy is a system in which the people who are the luckiest in their health and genetic endowment; luckiest in terms of family support, encouragement, and, probably, income; luckiest in their educational and career opportunities; and luckiest in so many other ways difficult to enumerate--these are the folks who reap the largest rewards. The only way for even a putative meritocracy to hope to pass ethical muster, to be considered fair, is if those who are the luckiest in all of those respects also have the greatest responsibility to work hard, to contribute to the betterment of the world, and to share their luck with others. As the Gospel of Luke says (and I am sure my rabbi will forgive me for quoting the New Testament in a good cause): "From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded" (Luke 12:48, New Revised Standard Version Bible). Kind of grading on the curve, you might say.
 
4. Who is worthy of admiration? The admonition from Luke--which is shared by most ethical and philosophical traditions, by the way--helps with this question as well. Those most worthy of admiration are those who have made the best use of their advantages or, alternatively, coped most courageously with their adversities. I think most of us would agree that people who have, say, little formal schooling but labor honestly and diligently to help feed, clothe, and educate their families are deserving of greater respect--and help, if necessary--than many people who are superficially more successful. They're more fun to have a beer with, too. That's all that I know about sociology.
 
5. Since I have covered what I know about sociology, I might as well say something about political science as well. In regard to politics, I have always liked Lily Tomlin's line, in paraphrase: "I try to be cynical, but I just can't keep up." We all feel that way sometime. Actually, having been in Washington now for almost 11 years, as I mentioned, I feel that way quite a bit. Ultimately, though, cynicism is a poor substitute for critical thought and constructive action. Sure, interests and money and ideology all matter, as you learned in political science. But my experience is that most of our politicians and policymakers are trying to do the right thing, according to their own views and consciences, most of the time. If you think that the bad or indifferent results that too often come out of Washington are due to base motives and bad intentions, you are giving politicians and policymakers way too much credit for being effective. Honest error in the face of complex and possibly intractable problems is a far more important source of bad results than are bad motives. For these reasons, the greatest forces in Washington are ideas, and people prepared to act on those ideas. Public service isn't easy. But, in the end, if you are inclined in that direction, it is a worthy and challenging pursuit.
 
6. Having taken a stab at sociology and political science, let me wrap up economics while I'm at it. Economics is a highly sophisticated field of thought that is superb at explaining to policymakers precisely why the choices they made in the past were wrong. About the future, not so much. However, careful economic analysis does have one important benefit, which is that it can help kill ideas that are completely logically inconsistent or wildly at variance with the data. This insight covers at least 90 percent of proposed economic policies.
 
7. I'm not going to tell you that money doesn't matter, because you wouldn't believe me anyway. In fact, for too many people around the world, money is literally a life-or-death proposition. But if you are part of the lucky minority with the ability to choose, remember that money is a means, not an end. A career decision based only on money and not on love of the work or a desire to make a difference is a recipe for unhappiness.
 
8. Nobody likes to fail but failure is an essential part of life and of learning. If your uniform isn't dirty, you haven't been in the game.
 
9. I spoke earlier about definitions of personal success in an unpredictable world. I hope that as you develop your own definition of success, you will be able to do so, if you wish, with a close companion on your journey. In making that choice, remember that physical beauty is evolution's way of assuring us that the other person doesn't have too many intestinal parasites. Don't get me wrong, I am all for beauty, romance, and sexual attraction--where would Hollywood and Madison Avenue be without them? But while important, those are not the only things to look for in a partner. The two of you will have a long trip together, I hope, and you will need each other's support and sympathy more times than you can count. Speaking as somebody who has been happily married for 35 years, I can't imagine any choice more consequential for a lifelong journey than the choice of a traveling companion.
 
10. Call your mom and dad once in a while. A time will come when you will want your own grown-up, busy, hyper-successful children to call you. Also, remember who paid your tuition to Princeton.
 
Those are my suggestions. They're probably worth exactly what you paid for them. But they come from someone who shares your affection for this great institution and who wishes you the best for the future.
 
Congratulations, graduates. Give 'em hell.

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