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玻璃弹珠

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The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, what began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.

I turned the volume up on my radio, and I heard an older-sounding chap with a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business himself. He was talking about “a thousand marbles” to someone named “Tom”.

I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say. “Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well, but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet.”

“Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of “a thousand marbles”.

“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about 75 years. I know, some live more and some live less but on average, folks live about 75 years.”

“Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.”

“It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be 75, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.”

“So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up with 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large clear plastic container next to the radio. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.”

“I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.”

“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.”

“It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!”

You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show’s moderator didn’t have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to do some work that morning, then go to the gym. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.”

“What brought this on?” she asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.”


参考译文:
随着年龄的增长,我越来越喜爱周六的清晨。这或许是因为我第一个起床可以享受一段静谧的独处时光,又或许是因为不用上班所带来的无限喜悦。不管怎样,周六清晨头几个小时都是相当令人愉悦的。

几周前,在一个原本与平时毫无二致的周六清晨,生活又给我上了一课,就如它会时不时教授你一些东西一样。让我给你讲讲吧。

(那天早上,)我调高收音机的音量,听到了一个年长男人铿锵的声音。你知道的,就是那种听起来应该从事播音主持人的嗓音。他正在和一个叫“汤姆”的人讲着什么“1,000颗玻璃弹珠”的事。

这引起了我的兴趣,于是我坐下来听他到底要说些什么。“嗯,汤姆,看起来你工作的确很忙,薪水肯定也不错,但是你不得不经常远离家庭和亲人,这太遗憾了。简直不能相信一个年轻人一周必须得工作60或70个小时来维持生计。”

“让我给你讲一件事,汤姆,这件事让我对自己人生中最重要的事保持了正确的认识。”接着他开始解释他的“1,000颗玻璃珠”理论。

“一天我坐下来简单计算了一下,一个普通人大概能活75年,我知道,有些人更长寿一些,有些人寿命则短一些,但平均来讲,人大约可以活75年。”

“那么现在,我用75乘以52,结果是3,900,这就是一个普通人一生中所拥有的星期六的总天数。”

“我直到55岁时才详细思量了这一切,”他继续说道,“那时我已经活过2800多个星期六了。我于是就想,假如我能活到75岁,我就只剩下大约一千个星期六可以享受了。”

“于是,我去了一家玩具店,把店里的每一颗玻璃弹珠都买了下来,结果总共是1,000颗。我把它们带回家,放在收音机旁一个干净的大塑料罐里。从那以后,每过一个星期六,我都会从里面拿出一颗珠子扔掉。”

“我发现,看着珠子慢慢减少,我更加专注于生活中真正重要的事了。看着你在这个世界上的时间慢慢减少,没有什么比这更能让自己彻底弄清人生真正重要的事是什么的了。”

“在节目结束并带我可爱的妻子去吃早餐之前,让我再最后告诉你一件事吧。今天早上,我拿出了罐子里的最后一颗珠子。我想,如果我能活到下周六,那么,我就被额外赐予了一点时间,而我们能利用的就是那额外的一点时间。”

“跟你聊天很愉快,汤姆,我希望你多花一点时间与自己所爱的人一起度过,我也希望以后再遇到你。祝清晨愉快!”

当他说完,你连一根针落地的声音都能听到,就连节目主持人也一时无语。我想,他给了我们很多值得思考的东西。那天早晨,我本打算工作一会儿,然后去健身房。然而,我却上楼用一吻唤醒了妻子。“来吧,亲爱的,我带你和孩子们去吃早餐。”

“这是怎么回事?”她微笑着问。“啊,没什么,只是很久我们都没一起跟孩子们过周六了。嘿,我们出去的时候能顺便去下玩具店吗?我需要买一些玻璃弹珠。”

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