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英语励志美文精华 3

感谢大耳朵网友"ESTvivi"提供的听力原文

In order to tell what I believe, I must briefly sketch something of my personal history.

The turning point of my life was my decision to give up a promising business career and study music. My parents, although sympathetic, and sharing my love of music, disapproved of it as a profession. This was understandable in view of the family background. My grandfather had taught music for nearly forty years at Springhill College in Mobile and, though much beloved and respected in the community, earned barely enough to provide for his large family. My father often said it was only the hardheaded thriftiness of my grandmother that kept the wolf at bay. As a consequence of this example in the family, the very mention of music as a profession carried with it a picture of a precarious existence with uncertain financial rewards. My parents insisted upon college instead of a conservatory of music, and to college I went – quite happily, as I remember, for although I loved my violin and spent most of my spare time practicing, I had many other interests.

Before my graduation form Columbia, the family met with severe financial reverses and I felt it my duty to leave college and take a job. Thus was I launched upon a business career – which I always think of as the wasted years.

Now I do not for a moment mean to disparage business. My whole point I is that it was not for me. I went into it for money, and aside from the satisfaction of being able to help the family, money is all I got out of it. It was not enough. I felt that life was passing me by. From being merely discontented I became acutely miserable. My one ambition was to save enough to quit and go to Europe to study music. I used to get up at dawn to practice before I left for “downtown”, distracting my poor mother by bolting a hasty breakfast at the last minute. Instead of lunching with my business associates, I would seek out some cheap café, order a meager meal and scribble my harmony exercises. I continued to make money, and finally, bit by bit, accumulated enough to enable me to go abroad. The family being once more solvent, and my help no longer necessary, I resigned from my position and, feeling like a man released from jail, sailed for Europe. I stayed four years, worked harder than I had ever dreamed of working before and enjoyed every minute of it.

“Enjoyed” is too mild a word. I walked on air. I really lived. I was a free man and I was doing what I loved to do and what I was meant to do.

If I had stayed in business, I might be a comparatively wealthy man today, but I do not believe I would have made a success of living. I would have given up all those intangibles, those inner satisfactions, that money can never buy, and that are too often sacrificed when a man’s primary goal is financial success.

When I broke away from business, it was against the advice of practically all my friends and family. So conditioned are most of us to the association of success with money that the thought of giving up a good salary for an idea seemed little short of insane. If so, all I can say is “Gee! It’s great to be crazy.”

Money is a wonderful thing, but it is possible to pay too high a price on it.
为了阐明我的信仰,我必须简单介绍一下我的经历。

我人生的转折点是我决定不做发迹有望的商人而专攻音乐。父母虽然与我志趣相投,也像我一样热爱音乐,却反对我以音乐为职业。考虑到我的家庭情况,他们的态度是完全可以理解的。我祖父在莫比尔的斯普林希尔学院教授音乐达四十年之久,深受学院师生的热爱和敬重,他的工资却只能勉强维持一大家人的生活。父亲常说若不是祖母精明能干,克勤克俭,一家人非挨饿不可。所以在我们家,只要一提起音乐这个职业,大家就联想起收入不稳定的那种苦日子。父母坚持要我上大学,不让我进音乐学院,我也就上了大学。记得当时我还挺开心,因为虽然我热爱小提琴,大部分时间都用来练琴,我还有许多其他的爱好。

没等我从哥伦比亚大学毕业,家里的经济情况就变得很糟,我感到自己有责任退学找工作,这才投身商界——我始终认为那段经商岁月是虚掷光阴。

我从来无意贬低经商,我的意思是它不适合我。我经商只是为了挣钱,除了能补贴家用给我带来一点满足以外,钱是我经商得到的一切。这是不够的。我感到年华似水从我身边流走。对职业的不满使我痛苦不堪。我唯一的抱负是积攒足够的钱,辞去商务,到欧洲学习音乐。于是,我每天黎明即起,练习小提琴,然后去“商业区”上班。几乎来不及囫囵吞下仓促准备的早餐,弄得我可怜的妈妈惶恐不安。我不与业务合伙人共进午餐,总是找个便宜的餐馆,随便混上一顿,信手写些和声练习曲。我不停地挣钱,终于一分一分攒够了出国的钱。这时,家庭经济情况也好转了,不再需要我的帮助。我辞去商务,感到自己像出狱的犯人一样自由,便乘船去了欧洲,一去就是四年。我学习比从前想象的刻苦得多,但我非常快乐。“快乐”一词还不足以表达我的心情,我是乐不可支,飘飘欲仙。我过着真正的生活。我是个自由人,做我爱做的、命中注定要做的事情。

假如我一直经商,今天可能会相当富有,但我不认为我的人生会很成功。我可能会放弃一切无形的、金钱绝对买不到的精神上的满足;这种精神上的满足常常因为人的主要生活目的是发财致富而不可企及。

我脱离商界之举是与所有亲友的忠告相违的,因为我们大多数人习惯把成功与金钱联系在一起,为理想而放弃高薪似乎是发疯。如果真是如此,我倒要说:“咳,发疯可真好!”金钱是好东西,但可能为了金钱,我们付出的代价太昂贵。

附注:

亚历山大•布洛奇:是佛罗里达西海岸交响乐团指挥。从事指挥生涯之前,他曾涉足音乐的许多领域,他赴俄国师从奥坡尔德•奥尔并留下来成为一个俄国交响乐团的音乐总监——或许,他是唯一担任该职的美国人。他是个腼腆的人,音乐是他唯一的嗜好。
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