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徐小平纯英文毕业演讲:生命因给予而繁盛

2017-06-16 14:49真格基金

知道我为什么成功了吗?

来源 | 真格基金(ID:zhenfund)

 作者 | 徐小平

成功的秘诀是什么?勤奋,坚毅,聪颖,好运气……可能都是必备要素之一。但 40 岁才见事业起步的徐小平老师有自己的成功秘诀。

30 年前,他来到加拿大萨斯喀彻温大学,获得全额奖学金攻读音乐系硕士。

20 年前,毕业即失业,在音乐公司创业失败、做过披萨外卖员之后,他回国加入新东方。

10 年前,新东方上市之后,他转身成为“第一天使”,帮助有志向创业的年轻人实现自己的梦想。

30 年后,他回到母校萨斯喀彻温大学,被授予荣誉法学博士学位,并以导师大卫·卡普兰博士命名、捐赠设立音乐系奖学金和音乐系首席讲师。

在 6 月 7 日举办的毕业典礼上,他与毕业生们分享了这一系列跌宕起伏的人生经历留给他最宝贵的成功秘诀—— “生命以获取而续存,却因给予而繁盛”。

以下为演讲内容:

尊敬的校监 Romanow 先生、校长 Stoicheff 先生、政府代表、出席嘉宾、教师代表、毕业生、朋友、女士们、先生们:

这是一份无与伦比的荣誉,我由衷地表示感激。谢谢你们!

Ladies and gentlemen. Chancellor Romanow, President Stoicheff, government representatives, distinguished guests, members of the faculty, graduates and friends: This honor means everything to me. I am truly grateful. Thank you so very much.

我的新学位使我成为了 2017 年毕业生中光荣的一员。在这个美好的日子里,请允许我向各位同学们,以及你们的家人、朋友们献上一句简单的祝福,我要向你们了不起的成就表示热烈祝贺!

My new degree makes me a proud member of this Class of 2017. To my classmates, your parents, your families, may I offer a simple message: For the great achievement you share on this wonderful day, Congratulations!

法学博士的头衔实在是一个让我受宠若惊的荣誉。这里有一个故事。很久以前在我获得音乐硕士学位之后,我仍然不知道自己想要干什么。于是我想到了学习法律,我也确实去上了一节合同法课,就一节。(笑声)当时我就明白了,我真不是读法学院的料(笑声)。然而,就上过这一节法学课的我,现在却获得了令人艳羡的法学博士学位(笑声+掌声)。对于那些寒窗苦熬、熬到今天终成正果的法学院毕业生们来说,你们有理由心生感慨:生活并不总是那么公平(笑声)!

For me, it is especially flattering to be called a Doctor of Laws.  Let me tell you why.  Long ago, after I earned my Master’s Degree in music, I still didn’t know what to do. So I considered studying at the College of Law.  I attended exactly one class, in contract law.  Right then and there, I knew that law school just wasn’t for me. One class – and yet here I am with this beautiful, impressive degree as a Doctor of Laws.  Those of you graduating from the law school today, who worked and struggled for your degrees, would be entitled to reflect that life is not always fair.

确实,总有一些人,得到的比他付出的多。对此我有切身体验,因为我从萨斯喀彻温大学所得到的一切都证明了这一点。母校给了我很高的荣誉,但是,从心底里,我今天来是为了赞颂我的母校。

Sometimes we get more than we deserve. I know this, because it is how I have always felt, about what I received from the University of Saskatchewan. The university has honored me, but really, I am here today to honor the university. 

30 年前的 1987 年,我和我妻子和我决定走出国门,看看外边的世界。如果你在北京的地下室住过,渴望换一种风景,没有什么比加拿大辽阔的草原风光,会给你带来更震撼的体验(笑声)。

Exactly thirty years ago in 1987, my wife Ling and I decided that we were ready to see the world beyond China. If you had lived in a basement in Beijing, and desire a change of scenery, it doesn’t get any more different than the Canadian prairie. 

我妻子申请了这里的音乐系,立即得到了录取。而我,却不得不耐心等待。兜里装着全部家当一百美元,我去了美国华盛顿打工。这样,我妻子一个人生活在萨斯卡通,与她的小提琴为伴。而我,在离她三千公里之外一家叫“春卷先生”的中餐厅,当了一名厨房小工(笑声)。

Ling applied to study music here and was immediately accepted. I, on the other hand, had to wait. I went to Washington, D.C., with a hundred dollars in my pocket, and found a job. So my wife was alone with her violin in Saskatoon. I was three thousand kilometers away on the kitchen staff of Mr. Eggroll. 

幸福,终于随着萨斯喀彻温大学给我的录取通知书降临。连续三天三夜在一辆灰狗大巴上渡过,对谁可能都是一种折磨,但我却一路欢快、一路亢奋地抵达了萨斯喀彻温(笑声)。我和我妻子都获得了全额奖学金。这是改变我们命运的决定性因素。每月如期而至的支票,超过当时我在北大教书好几年的收入。那些与我们素昧平生的人们,为什么要给我们如此巨额的金钱?这在我心灵深处引起的震撼,从此再也不能平息。

The happy day came when I was also accepted at this university. Nobody was ever as excited as I was to spend three days on a Greyhound bus to Saskatchewan.  Ling and I had both received scholarships. That made all the difference for us. The same amount of money would have taken many years to earn in China at that time. We were amazed that such a gift could be granted by people who did not even know us.

满怀着挚爱之情,我想起我的研究生导师 David Kaplan 博士的仁爱胸怀。认识他的人,都会感到认识他是一种幸运。他是音乐系的创始人。对于我们外国留学生而言,他是淙淙流淌的友谊、帮助和鼓励的源泉。Kaplan 博士是我生命中一盏明灯,指引着我像他帮助我一样去帮助别人。

With special affection, I recall the generous spirit of Dr. David Kaplan. If you knew him, it was a privilege.  He was the founder of the music department. To many foreign students, he was a source of constant help, friendship, and encouragement. Often in my life, Dr. Kaplan’s example has shined before me, a reminder to share with others as he shared with me.

学校给予我的一切是如此美好,但校园外的生活可并不总是那么阳光明媚。毕业不久我就意识到,做一名音乐人难以维持生计。人们虽然喜欢听莫扎特和巴赫的音乐,但他们并不急着聆听我的演奏(笑声)。我成立了自己的音乐公司,但公司生意惨淡。我谱写并录制民谣,但它们只在谣言里存在(笑声)。

I received so much from the University in those years, but life beyond campus was not nearly as forgiving. Upon graduation, it didn't take long for me to realize that I would not make my fortune as a performing musician. As much as the world loves the sounds of Mozart and Bach, the world was not waiting to hear them from my violin. I started my own music business, but business was slow. I wrote and recorded folksongs, but the folks were not listening.

这段时间对于我来说的确是举步维艰。我在家看孩子,靠我妻子教书养家。我也尝试做过各种各样的工作,其中一种工作,对速度节奏和交割时效要求极高——在座如果有人在 1995 年叫过必胜客披萨的外卖,我们很可能曾经有缘相逢(笑声)。

It was truly a difficult period for me. I watched our children at home while my wife taught school. I took various jobs, including one job that involved fast-paced and time-sensitive transactions. If anyone here received a delivery from Pizza Hut in 1995, there is a good chance we have met before.

如果能够避免,我不建议大家刻意去经历这样一段时期。不过,有时候这种事情确实也无法避免。但它不应该成为休止符,它甚至可能是“大器晚成”的预兆,就像我自己的经历一样。即使在我最艰难的日子里,我也从未失去自我,没有丧失信心。我屡战屡败,但屡败屡战。我深信,天降大任于斯人,我来到世界,尚有使命未达,更有好梦未成。我不会让失败带走我的信念。

I do not recommend a period like that in your own careers, if you can avoid it. But sometimes it happens anyway. That doesn’t have to be the end.  It can even mark a late beginning, as it did for me. Even in my darkest moments, I had a sense of who I was and what I could do. More than once I failed, but I refused to give up. I knew in my heart that I was here on earth to achieve good and meaningful things. I never let any failure take that conviction away.

在这种信念的支持下,我回到了中国,加入了一个名叫新东方的英语学校。中国正进入改革开放的大潮,很多年轻人渴望走出去,看看外面的世界。我如痴似醉地投入到了帮助他们实现留学梦想的工作中。面对那些求知若渴的莘莘学子,我竭尽了自己一切所知,耗干了自己的全部精力。

Sustained by this feeling, I went back to China and joined a small English school in Beijing called New Oriental. China had opened up and many young people were eager to see the world. I threw myself into the work of helping them find opportunities to study abroad. I shared everything I knew to serve them in every way I could.

十年转眼过去,随着新东方在美国上市,我们很多学生也开始从海外学成归国。他们找到我,想让我为他们的创业想法寻找资金。那时的中国,天使投资还是一个比较罕见的事情。我非常理解这些年轻人,因为我深知胸有大志、阮囊羞涩是什么滋味。于是我开始资助他们的创业梦,并在不知不觉间成为了一名天使投资人。

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