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denotative/[di'nəutətiv]/ a. 指示的, 表示的, 外延的...

The Old Man and the Rose(老人与玫瑰)

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The Old Man and the Rose
By Heino Molls

During the mid 1950s when I was a kid, my dad worked in a furniture shop at Spadina and Queen in downtown Toronto. Sometimes, I got to go to the shop with him and I made a bit of pocket change running to the restaurant and getting coffee for everybody. I would pass the rest of the day away just hanging around the store, not doing much of anything and not paying much attention to all the hustle and bustle of people and things that were all around me.

One day, as my dad and I were driving to the shop, I looked out the passenger window of the car and I saw an old man standing at the street corner. For some reason, our eyes met and held for about twenty seconds as we went by the corner. There was nothing fearful about this man but it was a significant encounter for me. Up to that point in my life, I had given no thought to anyone I saw on the street, in stores or anywhere else. My life was my family and my friends on the block and that was it. I had no interest in anyone beyond that circle.

But I was intrigued by that old man. For the first time I had an empathy and an interest in what that person was all about. What kind of life had he lived? Where had he been in his time? How had he come to this corner just at the moment I was going by?

Over the years I had long forgotten about this old man, but he came to mind for me recently and I remembered those twenty seconds or so that I looked into the eyes of a stranger and wondered what he was all about.

It seems we are all so busy these days. There are so many details, so many calls to make and so many things to look after that we barely have time for sincere and genuine interest in others.

We are inundated by warnings from great thinkers in our society encouraging us to 'stop and smell the roses'. But I'm afraid it has taken me decades to really appreciate the wisdom of these words.

If I ever have the opportunity to speak to a young person today, I do my best to convey this message. But unfortunately, young people are too busy to heed good advice. Much like I was so many years ago. Youth indeed is so often wasted on the young.

If I had the chance, I would tell young people to stop what they are doing and look around. I would tell them to try as hard as they could to fully understand what is right in their line of sight, what is in the range of their hearing at the moment, what is in their immediate reach and grasp.

I would like so much to tell people, especially young people, that if you are thoughtless and indifferent to others on your road in life, then you are missing life itself. Do not be intrusive or tactless, for heaven’s sake, but take a moment and ask someone, how did you come here or how did you get into this business?

No matter what that person tells you, their answer will make you richer. You can grow emotionally, you can excel as a person and you can be wealthy by every measure if you just appreciate the gifts that people and life all around you are ready to give right at this moment just by their simple presence.

We should appreciate that great symphonies were written from only seven simple notes that God gave the entire universe. We should know that great works of art are measured by the emotions they evoke, not just how they look next to the plant stand.

We should never forget that heartache cannot be cured but can be eased by someone willing to give genuine sympathy. The true greatness of joy can only be known when it is shared with others.

Recently, I attended a trade show at the convention centre in downtown Toronto. During the lunch break I went to a book sale along the trendy Queen West area. I was thinking about returning to the show or carrying on my walk when I realized I was standing at the corner of Spadina and Queen. At that moment a car went by and I caught the eye of a young boy looking at me from the passenger window. We looked at each other for about twenty seconds before the car disappeared around the corner. I wondered if that boy was thinking about what sort of person I was.

And I realized that I was now an old man. Like the man I saw so many years ago.

I wondered if 50 years had just simply flashed by or whether that boy and I had just simply changed places in the span of 20 seconds.

Before I returned to the trade show, I stopped at a florist. I bought a rose and put it in the lapel of my jacket. For some reason, I felt it was the most important thing I would do for the rest of the day.

老人与玫瑰
Heino Molls 著 邹红云 译

20世纪50年代中期的时候我还是个孩子,爸爸在多伦多市区司帕蒂娜街与皇后街交汇处的一爿家具店工作。有时候,我跟他上店里去,还帮大家跑到餐馆去买咖啡,以此挣点儿零花钱。那一天余下的时间我就在家具店附近转悠,几乎无所事事,对周围纷繁嘈杂的各种人与事也不太在意。

一天,爸爸和我驱车上店里去,透过乘客座旁的车窗,我看见在那个街角处站着一位老人。当车子拐过街角时,出于某种原因,我们的目光相遇了,并且持续了大约20秒钟。这个老人没有什么令人害怕的地方,但这次相遇对于我意义重大。在那一刻之前,我平生从未留意过任何一个我在街上、在商店里或在其它地方看见的人。我的生活里就只有我的家人和同一个街区的朋友,仅此而已。我对那个圈外的任何人不感兴趣。

然而,那个老人激起了我的兴趣。 我头一回用了心思,对那个人的情况产生了好奇。他的生活曾经是怎么样的?他这辈子去过哪些地方?就在我要经过的那一刻,他是如何来到这个街角的?

多年以来,我早就将这位老人淡忘了,但最近他又浮现在我的脑海里,我记起了那20秒钟左右的片刻,当时我窥视着陌生人的眼睛很想知道他的情况。

如今我们大家似乎都太忙了。我们自己就有那么多的小事要烦心,那么多的电话要打,那么多的事情要料理,几乎没有时间再对他人产生真挚的关心。

我们经常得到社会上大思想家们的告诫,他们敦促我们“停下来去闻闻玫瑰花的香味”。但是,我恐怕是花了几十年的时间才真正认识到这句话中所包含的智慧。

现在,我一有机会和年轻人说话就会尽力传达这个意思。然而,遗憾的是,年轻人都太忙了,无暇留意良言相劝,这颇似多年以前的我。的确,青春往往就是在年轻人身上被白白浪费掉的。

如果有机会,我会告诉年轻人放下手中的活儿,往四周看看。我会告诉他们尽可能努力地去弄明白,他们视线所及看到的究竟是什么,那一刻在他们听觉范围内传入耳朵的又是什么,他们眼下够得着抓得住的是什么。

我非常想告诉人们,特别是年轻人,如果你在人生路上对他人毫不关心、冷漠相待,那么你就在与生活本身擦肩而过。看在老天的份上,不要去干涉别人的私事或说不得体的话,但你可以花上片刻工夫问问某个人,他是怎么来到这里的或者他是怎么干上这一行的?

无论那个人告诉你什么,他们的回答将会使你更加富有。只要你能重视你周围的人们和生活此时此刻仅凭他们的在场所要给予你的礼物,你就会在情感上得到成长,你就会成为一个优秀的人,你就会各方面都很富有。

我们应该明白,伟大的交响乐是用上帝给予全世界的七个简单的音符谱写成的。我们应该懂得,伟大的艺术品是由它们自身所唤起的情感来衡量的,而不只是由他们在园艺架旁的外观所决定。

我们千万不要忘记,心痛无法治愈,但会因为某个人自愿给予真心的同情而得以减轻。当欢乐与他人同享时,我们才能体会到快乐真的有多大。

最近,我参加了在多伦多市区会展中心举办的交易会。午餐休息的时候,我去了时尚新潮的皇后西街那儿的一个书市。我正琢磨着是返回交易会还是继续往前走,这时我意识到自己正站在司帕蒂娜街与皇后街相交的街角上。就在此时,一辆小汽车驶过,我与从乘客座车窗朝我看的小男孩四目交汇。我们彼此打量了约莫20秒钟,然后汽车转过街角消失了。我不知道那个男孩是否在想我是个什么样的人。

我意识到自己如今已是老人,就象多年前我见到的那个人。

我有点迷惑,50年是否就已这么转瞬即逝,还是只不过我和那个男孩在20秒的时间里互换了位置。

在返回交易会的路上,我在花店停了一下,买了朵玫瑰别在夹克的翻领上。出于某种原因,我觉得这是那天余下的时光里我要做的最重要的事
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