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約翰.葛林為2013年巴特勒大學畢業生演講

John Green 2013 Commencement Speech at Butler University

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:約翰.葛林(John Green)

2013年5月11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Galleycat

《生命中的美好缺憾》(The Fault in Our Stars)作者約翰.葛林於2013年巴特勒大學畢業典禮演講。

 

關於約翰.葛林(來源Wikipedia

John Michael Green(生於1977年8月24日)是美國青少年小說家、YouTube部落客和教育家。他的處女作《尋找阿拉斯加》榮獲2006年普林茲文學獎,《生命中的美好缺憾》於2012年1月榮登《紐約時報》暢銷書排行榜冠軍。

 

約翰.葛林為2013年巴特勒大學畢業生演講

 

《紐約時報》暢銷書作家約翰.葛林藉由他的著作、教學影片、部落格和社群媒體為新生代帶來正面影響。雖然約翰的著作主要是為了青少年讀者而撰寫,但獲得各年齡層讀者的熱烈迴響,目前已譯成超過十幾種語言出版。他的最新作品《生命中的美好缺憾》榮登2012年《時代》雜誌小說類圖書排行榜冠軍,即將由20世紀福斯公司拍成電影。約翰的其他暢銷書包括《尋找阿拉斯加》、《An Abundance of Katherines》(暫譯:千變萬化的凱瑟琳)和《紙上城市》。他是2006年普林茲文學獎得主,2009年愛倫坡獎得主,亦曾兩次入圍洛杉磯時報圖書獎。除了他的文學成就,約翰和弟弟漢克已藉由vlogbrothers成為文化指標,這是兄弟倆自2007年起在YouTube交換影音日誌的頻道。vlogbrothers頻道的訪客已超過3億人次,創造出名為「nerdfighters」的全球性社群;現場有嗎?(歡呼聲)他們提倡知性主義、同理心和社會正義。約翰及漢克最近也開始提供開放式網路教育,藉由名為crashcourse的YouTube頻道;漢克教導科學,約翰教導文學、美國歷史和世界歷史。2013年1月,約翰於卡內基音樂廳演出一票難求的《驚喜之夜》,並於2013年3月現身《克雷格深夜秀》。雖然約翰的豐功偉業多不勝數,更重要的是他承諾藉由自己的成就使世界更美好,他確實足以代表巴特勒大學的精神。約翰是肯尼恩學院校友,獲得英語及宗教研究文學學士雙學位。約翰,請上前。(掌聲)

 

根據教職員推薦、巴特勒大學董事會批准及賦予我的權力,我授予你-約翰.葛林-文學榮譽博士學位及所有權利、榮耀與責任。(掌聲)

 

約翰.葛林:早安,我得花一分鐘打開講稿。感謝Danko校長,這是我演講的開場白。(笑聲)我畢業典禮時的演講嘉賓-不便透露他的姓名-用一個蹩腳笑話當開場白,說這些演講只分為兩種類型:短的,和差勁的。這讓我充滿期待,然後他滔滔不絕地講了26分鐘。因此我只想告訴各位,我的演講頂多12分鐘,如果你們不笑,那就11分45秒。(笑聲)

 

我誠心恭喜在座所有人。我確實是指每一個人-家長、家人、朋友、教授、教練。今天來到Hinkle的每個人都對2013年畢業生的成就有所貢獻-除了我。呃-但其他人都功不可沒,但我特別恭喜今天的畢業生。在進入「提出一些你們很快就會忘記的人生忠告」流程之前,我想進行一項歷史悠久的美國畢業演講傳統,那就是:借用其他畢業演講橋段。這是借用兒童電視節目主持人Fred Rogers的做法。我希望你們花一分鐘時間-我知道這對網路時代來說就像永恆-但我希望你們花一分鐘,如果你願意,想想那些幫助你達到今天成就的人,那些愛你的人。沒有他們的關懷和慷慨,你或許無法來到這裡,從巴特勒畢業,或看著你所愛的人畢業,或看著你的學生畢業。只要思考一分鐘,想想那些至今仍深愛我們的人,我來計時。

 

(默想1分鐘)

 

那些人今天都為你驕傲不已。我很快就會談到那些人,但我必須先宣布一個壞消息,那就是:你們正邁向死亡。(笑聲)這是另一項歷史悠久的美國傳統-在慶典上潑冷水。(笑聲)記得我結婚時,牧師講道內容主要是告訴我婚姻多麼具挑戰性、多麼艱辛、多麼令人飽受折磨。(笑聲)我一直想著:「這似乎可以等明天再說。」(笑聲)但並非如此,等不及了-你正邁向死亡。不僅如此,情況還更糟。你們做過、思考過、經歷過的每件事都將隨著時間的沙粒流逝。太陽會爆炸,沒人會記得克莉奧佩特拉統治過埃及,或克里克和華森解開DNA結構,或托勒密探索行星奧秘,甚至你們和岡薩加大學那場精彩絕倫的比賽。(笑聲)(掌聲)因此這令人遺憾。(笑聲)

 

但我認為在像這樣的日子瞭解世事無常是件好事,當你思考該如何經營人生時。這場畢業演講的主要目的就是提供你們一些想法,關於如何在所謂的真實世界裡經營美好人生。順帶一提,我向你們保證,它和你們至今所處的世界同樣真實,但我無法提供你們任何如何經營美好人生的建議,除非我們確定美好人生的要素為何。當然,這正是過去四年、五年或六年中你們努力的目標,無論你們研讀的是舞蹈或文學。我不打算在最後階段突然提出任何出人意料的發現,我只想指出,一般預設的人生目標就是盡可能獲得成功,獲得大量名聲、榮耀或金錢,藉由量化指標定義,例如:Twitter追蹤人數、Facebook好友數或在401K(養老保險制度)計畫中可領多少錢。你們或許對此尚無概念,但很快就會瞭解。(笑聲)

 

這是英雄之旅,對嗎?最初英雄身無分文,最後家財萬貫;最初英雄是醜小鴨,最後變成美麗的天鵝;或最初是笨拙的女孩,最後變成吸血鬼老媽;或住在樓梯間的孤兒變成拯救世界的巫師。(歡呼聲)

 

我們從教導中得知,英雄之旅是從弱小變強大的過程。但我今天要告訴你們:這些故事錯得離譜;真正的英雄之旅是從強大變弱小的過程。壞消息中的好消息是:你們當中許多人-大多數人-即將踏上這個旅程。你將從最卓越的學府中,受過最佳教育、最優秀的學生,成為-如果幸運的話-替人端咖啡的人。(笑聲)或如我一樣,成為Steak n Shake餐廳服務生。無論你是籃球選手、藥劑師或軟體設計師,你即將成為菜鳥。父母老是提出的問題-人類學學位到底能做什麼?將突然成為人生中最深刻的現實。(笑聲)你的助學貸款即將到期,你需要為自己當初為何唸大學提出一個好答案。你將難以給出答案,當你在工作崗位上-假設你有足夠運氣找到工作-忍受人們叫錯你名字的侮辱(笑聲);或如果你被迫佩戴名牌,忍受人們老是正確叫出你名字的困擾。這正是英雄真正的使命-從強大到弱小的過程。因為你就讀巴特勒,你將擁有更深刻的體驗,你將更能瞭解其中脈絡,或許甚至在無人性的苦差事中找到樂趣和驚喜。

 

舉例來說,大學畢業後我當了一陣子資料輸入員。我經常想起威廉.福克納寫給美國郵局的精彩辭職信,內容如下:「只要我仍生活在資本主義制度下,我預期我的人生將深受有錢人需求的影響;但我將會一無是處,如果我打算任憑每一位手上有兩美分買郵票的無賴使喚。(笑聲)長官,這是我的辭職信-威廉.福克納。」(笑聲)

 

好,大學時閱讀福克納傳記中的這封信,和我將數字輸入資料庫的工作毫無關聯,但對我來說仍受用無窮。教育提供了對事物的理解,提供了舒適生活和機會的獲得,無論你研讀的領域和畢業後的生活軌跡有何關聯。儘管你或許暫時是無名小卒,你即將展開從強大變弱小的旅程。雖然這或許不是輕鬆的旅程,卻是英雄之旅。在學習如何成為無名小卒的過程中,你將學習如何不成為一個混蛋。在餘生中,如果你能記住從大學畢業到為人下屬的英雄之旅,你將不會那麼混蛋。你將大方付小費;你將擁有同理心;你將成為導師,慷慨付出的導師。簡言之,你將成為幾分鐘前默想的那些人。

 

我想告訴各位,這正是美好人生的真正定義。你希望成為其他人-或許尚未出生的人-畢業典禮默想時會想起的人。我大膽猜測,很少人剛剛閉上雙眼時,會想著讓此刻成真的是賽琳娜.戈梅茲或小賈斯汀的奉獻和愛。(笑聲)或許我們從教導中得知,該欽佩和仿效的對象是演員、音樂家、體壇英雄和專業知名人士,但當我們審視那些曾經幫助我們的人、真正改變我們實際生活的人,很少是公眾知名人士。我們想到的不是他們的財富,而是他們的慷慨;我們想到的不是他們多漂亮或多有影響力,而是他們多麼心甘情願地為我們奉獻。有時,如此無私的奉獻或許使我們忽略他們所做的犧牲。因此瞭解這一點後,我想和大家分享幾項我認為絕對適用於適當成年生活的建議。

 

首先,也許最重要的是:別太擔心你的草坪。(笑聲)你很快就會發現,幾乎每個美國成年人都花費大量時間和精力維護某種無法食用、被稱為草皮草的外來入侵物種。(笑聲)我認為你應該選擇更好的嗜好。此外,你或許聽過:「與其逐漸凋零,不如燃燒殆盡。」簡直荒謬透頂。(笑聲)逐漸凋零好多了。總是-逐漸-凋零。(笑聲)保持閱讀習慣;尤其是我的書,最好是精裝本,但也讀點其他的書。(笑聲)(掌聲)

 

現在你們或許已明白,教育的目的並非在於成績或求職,主要在於成為更加敏銳、用心觀察世間萬物的人。如果這種精神隨著大學畢業而結束,等於浪費了唯一提升自我的機會。我也稍微談談網路。像我這樣的老人十分恐懼對網路的無知,你們應該充分利用這個優勢。你們應該這麼說-(笑聲)-你們在職場中應該這麼說:「你沒有tumblr嗎?你真該弄一個,我可以幫你。」(笑聲)

 

別太擔心往後人生發展,你們已步上人生正軌。根據你們身穿畢業袍的事實,你們幹得相當不錯;這並非你們人生中常聽見的話。(笑聲)繼續這個主題。世上還有許多你不曾聽過的工作,事實上,你夢想的工作或許尚不存在。例如如果你告訴大學畢業時的我,我將成為一名職業YouTuber(YouTube用戶),我大概會說:「嗯,似乎沒聽過這個單字。」(笑聲)

 

最後,我希望你們時時保持同理心。大學畢業後幾年,我和四位朋友住在芝加哥的公寓裡,其中一位是名叫Hassan的科威特人。美國入侵伊拉克時,Hassan和住在邊境的家人失去聯繫約六個星期。順帶一提,有些人聽過這個故事,但-麥克風在我手上,你們只能耐心坐著聽我說完。因此我朋友Hassan藉由觀看24小時播報戰爭相關新聞的有線電視台因應這種壓力,唯一和Hassan鬼混的方式就是坐在沙發上陪他看新聞。因此某天我們正在看新聞,CNN主播說:「我們收到來自巴格達的最新畫面。」鏡頭掃過一間屋子,某面牆上有個大洞,上面蓋著膠合板,膠合板用黑色噴漆塗鴉著一些阿拉伯文字。新聞主播開始談論關於阿拉伯街頭的憤怒情緒,Hassan發出幾星期以來第一次大笑。我說,「什麼事那麼好笑?」他說,「那個塗鴉。」我說,「有什麼好笑?」他看著我,笑著說,「它寫著『生日快樂,先生,無論情況如何』。」(笑聲)

 

餘生中,你將面臨如何解讀以陌生語言繪製之塗鴉的選擇;你將面臨如何解讀與你相遇者之行為和語調的選擇。我鼓勵各位盡量思考「生日快樂,先生,無論情況如何」的可能性;其他人的生活和體驗跟你一樣複雜及無法預知的可能性。其他人-無論家人或陌生人,無論遠近,不僅是黑或白,不僅是善良或邪惡、聰明或無知,他們和你一樣擁有萬千面像-借用偉大的華特.惠特曼的詩句。這很難做到,很難記起那些和你擁有不同生活、距離遙遠的人也會慶祝生日,更別提將塗鴉膠合板當禮物。你一向困在自己的身體裡,以自己的意識、透過自己的雙眼觀察世界。但巴特勒教育賦予你的能力和挑戰是設身處地觀察他人,以理解這個殘酷、瘋狂、美麗的世界之難以捉摸的複雜性。

 

我知道我們留給你們的並非簡單的道路。抱歉。但我對你們信心十足,我希望你們擁有一個十分愉快的畢業典禮,無論情況如何,謝謝。(歡呼聲)(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this talk

The Fault in Our Stars author John Green delivered the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony for Butler University’s class of 2013.
 
About John Green
John Michael Green (born August 24, 1977) is an American writer of young adult fiction and a YouTube vlogger and educator. He won the 2006 Printz Award for his debut novel, Looking for Alaska, and reached number one on a New York Times Best Seller list with The Fault in Our Stars in January 2012.
 
About the transcript
Some people have asked to read the commencement address I delivered this morning to the 2013 graduates of Butler University. So here it is.
 
My own commencement speaker, who shall remain nameless, began with a lame joke about how these speeches only come in two varieties: Short and bad. This raised my expectations, and then he went onto speak for 26 minutes, so I’m just going to tell you now: 12 minutes flat, 11:45 if you don’t laugh.
 
Congratulations to all of you here today, and I do mean all of you—parents, families, friends, professors, coaches. Every single person in Hinkle today has given something to make this moment possible for the class of 2013—well, except for me. I really just showed up and put on the robe.
 
But special congratulations to you graduates. Before we get to the Life Advice You’ll Soon Forget portion of the program, I want to engage in a time-honored tradition of American commencement addresses: Stealing from other commencement addresses, in this case one by the children’s television host Fred Rogers. Think, if you will, of some of the people who helped get you to today, people who’ve loved you and without whose care and generosity you might not have found yourself here, graduating from Butler, or watching someone you love graduate, or seeing your students graduate. Think for one minute of those who have loved you up into this day. I’ll keep the time.
 
(1 minute of silence)
 
Those people are so proud of you today.
 
We will return to those people soon, but first I have to deliver terrible news, which is that you are all going to die. This is another time-honored tradition of American celebration, the Raining on the Parade. I remember when I got married, the priest devoted most of his homily to telling me how challenging and laborious marriage would be, and I kept thinking, “Well, sure, but can’t we talk about that, like, TOMORROW?” But no, it simply cannot wait. You are going to die. Also everything you ever make and think and experience will be washed away by the sands of time, and the Sun will blow up and no one will remember Cleopatra ruling Egypt or Crick and Watson untangling the structure of DNA or Ptolemy fathoming the stars or even that improbably wonderful Gonzaga game.
 
So that’s unfortunate.
 
But I would argue that it’s good to be aware of temporariness when you are thinking about what you want to do with your life. The whole idea of this commencement speech is that I’m supposed to offer you some thoughts on how you might live a good life out there in the so-called Real World, which by the way I assure you is no more or less real than the one in which you have so far found yourselves. But I can’t give any advice about how to live a good life unless and until we establish what constitutes a good life. Of course, that’s much of what you’ve been up to for the past four years, and I’m not going to swoop in here at the end with any interesting revelations. I would just note that the default assumption is that the point of human life is to be as successful as possible, to acquire lots of fame or glory or money as defined by quantifiable metrics: number of twitter followers, or facebook friends, or dollars in one’s 401k.
 
This is the hero’s journey, right? The hero starts out with no money and ends up with a lot of it, or starts out an ugly duckling and becomes a beautiful swan, or starts out an awwkard girl and becomes a vampire mother, or grows up an orphan living under the staircase and then becomes the wizard who saves the world. We are taught that the hero’s journey is the journey from weakness to strength. But I am here today to tell you that those stories are wrong. The real hero’s journey is the journey from strength to weakness.
 
And here is the good news nested inside the bad: Many of you, most of you, are about to make that journey. You will go from being the best-informed, most engaged students at one of the finest universities around to being the person who brings coffee to people, or a Steak n Shake waiter, as I once was. Whether you’re a basketball player or a pharmacist or a software designer, you’re about to be a rookie. Your parents’ long-asked questions—what exactly does one DO with a degree in anthropology—will become a matter of sudden and profound relevance. Your student loans will come due and you will need a very good answer for why exactly you went to college, which answer you will have a hard time coming by as you sit at your job, provided you are lucky enough to find a job, and suffer the indignity of people calling you by the wrong name or, if you are forced to wear a name tag, people calling you by the right name too often.
 
That is the true hero’s errand—strength to weakness. And because you went to college, you will be more alive to the experience, better able to contextualize it and maybe even find the joy and wonder hidden amid the dehumanizing drudgery. For example, when I was a data entry professional, I would often call to mind William Faulkner’s brilliant letter of resignation from the United States Postal Service, which went:
 
As long as I live under the capitalistic system, I expect to have my life influenced by the demands of moneyed people. But I will be damned if I propose to be at the beck and call of every itinerant scoundrel who has two cents to invest in a postage stamp. This, sir, is my resignation. William Faulkner.
 
Having read that letter in a Faulkner biography in college had nothing to do with my job typing numbers into a database, but it was still profoundly useful to me. Education provides context and comfort and access, no matter the relationship between your field of study and your post-collegiate life.
 
But still, you are probably going to be a nobody for a while. You are going to make that journey from strength to weakness, and while it won’t be an easy trip, it is a heroic one. For in learning how to be a nobody, you will learn how not to be a jerk. And for the rest of your life, if you are able to remember your hero’s journey from college grad to underling, you will be less of a jerk. You will tip well. You will empathize. You will be a mentor, and a generous one. In short, you will become like the people you imagined in silence a few minutes ago.
 
Let me submit to you that this is the actual definition of a good life. You want to be the kind of person who other people—people who may not even born yet—will think about in their own silences years from now at their own commencements. I am going to hazard a guess that relatively few of us closed our eyes and thought of all the work and love that Selena Gomez or Justin Bieber put into making this moment possible for us. We may be taught that the people to admire and emulate are actors and musicians and sports heroes and professionally famous people, but when we look at the people who have helped us, the people who actually change actual lives, relatively few of them are publicly celebrated. We do not think of the money they had, but of their generosity. We do not think of how beautiful or powerful they were, but how willing they were to sacrifice for us—so willing, at times, that we might not have even noticed that they were making sacrifices.
 
So with that in mind, I’d like to share a few pieces of what I believe to be rock solid advice about proper adulthood or whatever:
 
First, do not worry too much about your lawn. You will soon find if you haven’t already that almost every adult American devotes tremendous time and money to the maintenance of an invasive plant species called turf grass that we can’t eat. I encourage you to choose better obsessions.
 
Also, you may have heard that it is better to burn out than it is to fade away. That is ridiculous. It is much better to fade away. Always. Fade. Away.
 
Keep reading. Specifically, read my books, ideally in hardcover. But also keep reading other books. You have probably figured out by now that education is not really about grades or getting a job; it’s primarily about becoming a more aware and engaged observer of the universe. If that ends with college, you’re rather wasting your one and only known chance at consciousness.
 
Also a word about the Internet: Old people like myself are terrified by their ignorance of it, which you can and should use to your advantage by saying things at your job like, “You don’t have a tumblr? Oh you should really have a tumblr. I can set you up with that.”
 
Try not to worry so much about what you are going to do with your life. You are already doing what you are going to do with your life, and judging by your gownedness, you’re doing all right.
 
On that topic, there are many more jobs out there than you have ever heard of. Your dream job might not yet exist. If you had told College Me that I would become a professional YouTuber, I would’ve been like, “That is not a word, and it never should be.”
 
And lastly, be vigilant in the struggle toward empathy. A couple years after I graduated from college, I was living in an apartment in Chicago with four friends, one of whom was this Kuwaiti guy named Hassan, and when the U.S. invaded Iraq, Hassan lost touch with his family, who lived on the border, for six weeks. He responded to this stress by watching cable news coverage of the war 24 hours a day. So the only way to hang out with Hassan was to sit on the couch with him, and so one day we were watching the news and the anchor was like, “We’re getting new footage from the city of Baghdad,” and a camera panned across a house that had a huge hole in one wall covered by a piece of plywood. On the plywood was Arabic graffiti scrawled in black spraypaint, and as the news anchor talked about the anger on the Arab street or whatever, Hassan started laughing for the first time in several weeks.
 
“What’s so funny?” I asked him.
 
“The graffiti,” he said.
 
“What’s funny about it?”
 
“It says, Happy Birthday, Sir, Despite the Circumstances.”
 
For the rest of your life, you are going to have a choice about how to read graffiti in a language you do not know, and you will have a choice about how to read the actions and intonations of the people you meet. I would encourage you as often as possible to consider the Happy Birthday Sir Despite the Circumstances possibility, the possibility that the lives and experiences of others are as complex and unpredictable as your own, that other people—be they family or strangers, near or far—are not simply one thing or the other—not simply good or evil or wise or ignorant—but that they like you contain multitudes, to borrow a phrase from the great Walt Whitman.
 
This is difficult to do—it is difficult to remember that people with lives different and distant from your own even celebrate birthdays, let alone with gifts of graffitied plywood. You will always be stuck inside of your body, with your consciousness, seeing through the world through your own eyes, but the gift and challenge of your education is to see others as they see themselves, to grapple with this mean and crazy and beautiful world in all its baffling complexity. We haven’t left you with the easiest path, I know, but I have every confidence in you, and I wish you a very happy graduation, despite the circumstances.

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