the virtues of growing older课文翻译

舍得

舍得

The Virtues of Growing Older (长大变老有好处)

Our society worships youth. Advertisements convince us to buy Grecian Formula and Oil of Olay so we can hide the gray in our hair and smooth the lines on our face. Television shows feature attractive young stars with firm bodies, perfect complexions, and thick manes of hair. Middle-aged folks work out in gyms and jog down the street, trying to delay the effects of age.

我们所处的社会崇尚年轻。连篇累牍的广告劝我们买希腊配方的洗发水和玉兰油,这样的话,白发无处可寻,面部的皱纹也能被抚平。电视节目上尽是体魄强健,肤色无暇,头发浓密的年轻明星。而中年人则在体育馆里锻炼,在马路上慢跑,尽量不让岁月过早地留下痕迹。

Wouldn't any person over thirty gladly sign with the devil just to be young again? Isn't aging an experience to be dreaded? Perhaps it is unAmerican to say so, but I believe the answer is "No." Being young is often pleasant, but being older has distinct advantages.

不是所有三十出头的人都会为了重获青春而心甘情愿地与魔鬼订立合约吗?长大变老难道不可怕吗?说它不可怕可能不是美国人的回答,但我却认为长大变老不可怕。青春年少令人愉悦,但长大变老也有明显的好处。

When young, you are apt to be obsessed with your appearance. When my brother Dave and I were teens, we worked feverishly to perfect the bodies we had. Dave lifted weights, took megadoses of vitamins, and drank a half-dozen milk shakes a day in order to turn his wiry adolescent frame into some muscular ideal. And as a teenager, I dieted constantly. No matter what I weighed, though, I was never satisfied with the way I looked. My legs were too heavy, my shoulders too broad, my waist too big. When Dave and I were young, we begged and pleaded for the "right" clothes. If our parents didn't get them for us, we felt our world would fall apart. How could we go to school wearing loose-fitting blazers when everyone else would be wearing smartly tailored leather jackets? We could be considered freaks. I often wonder how my parents, and parents in general, manage to tolerate their children ring the adolescent years. Now, however, Dave and I are beyond such adolescent agonies. My rounded figure seems fine, and don't deny myself a slice of pecan pie if I feel in the mood. Dave still works out, but he has actually become fond of his tall, lanky frame. The two of us enjoy wearing fashionable clothes, but we are no longer slaves to style. And women, I'm embarrassed to admit, even more than men, have always seemed to be at the mercy of fashion. Now my clothes ---- and my brother's ---- are attractive yet easy to wear. We no longer feel anxious about what others will think. As long as we feel good about how we look, we are happy.

年轻时,你可能为你的外形伤脑筋。我兄弟戴维和我十来岁时拼命锻炼以健美体形。戴维练举重,大量服用维生素,一天喝上半打奶昔,目的是想让他瘦长的体形变得想象中那般肌肉发达。我在十来岁时坚持节食。但不管我体重是多少,都对自己的外形不满意。我嫌自己腿太结实,肩膀太阔,腰围太大。那时候,戴维和我都缠着父母,央求他们买“合适”的衣服。如果父母没给买的话,我们就觉得自己的世界要崩塌了一样。我们怎么好穿着松松垮垮的运动衣去上学,别人可是穿着款式时髦的皮夹克啊!人家会把我们当怪人来看的。我常常纳闷:我的父母和大多数的父母怎能如此纵容他们的小孩子。但现在戴维和我都已度过了痛苦的青少年时期。如今我圆鼓鼓的身躯看上去也不坏,只要我喜欢,我也不会不让自己吃上一块核桃馅饼。戴维还在坚持运动,只不过他真的喜欢上了自己瘦长的体形。我们两人还是喜欢穿时髦衣服,只是我们不再是流行时尚的奴隶。这一点我不得不承认,女人似乎要比男人更容易为流行时尚所左右。现在我的衣服,还有戴维的衣服都漂亮大方,我们不再为别人怎么想而感觉不安了。只要我们对自己的形象感觉不坏,就很开心。

Being older is preferable to being younger in another way. Obviously, I still have important choices to make about my life, but I have already made many of the critical decisions that confront those just starting out. I chose the man I wanted to marry. I decided to have children. I elected to return to college to complete my ecation. But when you are young, major decisions await you at every turn. "What college should I attend? What career should I pursue? Should I get married? Should I have children?" There are just a few of the issues facing young people. It's no wonder that, despite their carefree facade, they are often confused, uncertain, and troubled by all the unknowns in their future.

从另一个方面来看,年老比年轻要好。很明显,我还要就我的生活作一些重要的决定,但我已经作了许多很重要的决定,而年轻人生活刚刚起步,他们还面临着选择。我选择了我丈夫,我选择了生育孩子,我选择了回到大学完成我的教育。但当你还年轻时,你的每一次转折都等待你作出决定。“我该上哪所大学?我该做什么工作?我是否要结婚?我是否该要孩子?”这几个问题还只是年轻人面临的问题当中的一部分。这就难怪为什么年轻人外表无忧无虑,而事实上迷茫困惑,缺乏信心,为将来的种种未知因素而忧心忡忡。

But the greatest benefit of being forty is knowing who I am. The most unsettling aspect of youth is the uncertainty you feel about your values, goals, and dreams. Being young means wondering what is worth working for. Being young means feeling happy with yourself one day and wishing you were never born the next. It means trying on new selves by taking up with different crowds. It means resenting your parents and their way of life one minute and then feeling you will never be as good or as accomplished as they are. By way of contrast, forty is sanity. I have a surer self-identity now. I don't laugh at jokes I don't think are funny. I can make a speech in front of a town meeting or complain in a store because I am no longer terrified that people will laugh at me; I am no longer anxious that everyone must like me. I no longer blame my parents for my every personality quirk or keep a running score of everything they did wrong raising me. Life has taught me that I, not they, am responsible for who I am. We are all human beings—neither saints nor devils.

但人到四十的最大好处便是知道我自己究竟是谁。年轻时最令人不安的就是不清楚自己的价值、目标和梦想。年轻就意味着你不知道什么值得做。年轻意味着你在今天非常开心而明天就宁愿自己没来过这个世界。年轻还意味着你会在某一刻怨恨你的父母和他们的生活方式,紧接着又感到永远不会像他们那么好那么成功。相比之下,四十岁代表着理智。我现在更清楚自己是谁。对自己认为无趣的笑话,我不会勉强自己笑;我可以在全城的人面前演讲,也可以在商店里发牢骚,因为我不再担心人们会取笑我;我不会着急讨别人喜欢,我不会为自己古怪的脾性而抱怨父母,也不会列举不该生养我的种种原因。生活教会了我这一点:我是谁,这该我自己负责,而不是我父母。父母和我既非圣贤,也非妖魔,我们只是普普通通的人。

Most Americans blindly accept the idea that newer is automatically better. But a human life contradicts this premise. There is a great deal of happiness to be found as we grow older. My own parents, now in their sixties, recently told me that they are happier now than they have ever been. They would not want to be my age. Did this surprise me? At first, yes. Then it gladdened me. Their contentment holds out great promise for me as I move into the next ---- perhaps even better ---- phase of my life.

大多数美国人盲目相信新的一定就更好。但人生与这一假设相左。随着年龄的增长,我们发现生活大有乐趣。我的父母已年过六十,他们最近对我说他们现在比以往任何时候都幸福。他们不想回到我这个岁数。这出乎我的意料了吗?是的,一开始这确实令我吃惊。但随即却让我高兴。他们的满足昭示着我的未来人生充满希望,甚至可能更好。

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