乔布斯演讲:求知若饥,虚心若愚

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I am honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. Truth be told, I never graduated from college. And this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

今天,有荣幸来到各位从世界上最好的学校之一毕业的毕业典礼上。我从来没从大学毕业。说实话,这是我离大学毕业最近的一刻。今天,我只说三个故事,不谈大道理,三个故事就好。

The first story is about connecting the dots.

第一个故事,是关于人生中的点点滴滴怎么串连在一起。

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

我在里德学院(Reed college)待了六个月就办休学了。到我退学前,一共休学了十八个月。那么,我为什么休学?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.

这得从我出生前讲起。我的亲生母亲当时是个研究生,年轻未婚妈妈,她决定让别人收养我。她强烈觉得应该让有大学毕业的人收养我,所以我出生时,她就准备让我被一对律师夫妇收养。但是这对夫妻到了最后一刻反悔了,他们想收养女孩。

So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college. This was the start in my life.

所以在等待收养名单上的一对夫妻,我的养父母,在一天半夜里接到一通电话,问他们“有一名意外出生的男孩,你们要认养他吗?”而他们的回答是“当然要”。后来,我的生母发现,我现在的妈妈从来没有大学毕业,我现在的爸爸则连高中毕业也没有。她拒绝在认养文件上做最后签字。直到几个月后,我的养父母同意将来一定会让我上大学,她才软化态度。

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it.

十七年后,我上大学了。但是当时我无知选了一所学费几乎跟史丹佛一样贵的大学,我那工人阶级的父母所有积蓄都花在我的学费上。六个月后,我看不出念这个书的价值何在。

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting

那时候,我不知道这辈子要干什么,也不知道念大学能对我有什么帮助,而且我为了念这个书,花光了我父母这辈子的所有积蓄,所以我决定休学,相信船到桥头自然直。当时这个决定看来相当可怕,可是现在看来,那是我这辈子做过最好的决定之一。当我休学之后,我再也不用上我没兴趣的必修课,把时间拿去听那些我有兴趣的课。

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

这一点也不浪漫。我没有宿舍,所以我睡在友人家里的地板上,靠着回收可乐空罐的五先令退费买吃的,每个星期天晚上得走七哩的路绕过大半个镇去印度教的 Hare Krishna神庙吃顿好料。我喜欢Hare Krishna神庙的好料。追寻我的好奇与直觉,我所驻足的大部分事物,后来看来都成了无价之宝。举例来说:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed.

当时里德学院有着大概是全国最好的书法指导。在整个校园内的每一张海报上,每个抽屉的标签上,都是美丽的手写字。

Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

因为我休学了,可以不照正常选课程序来,所以我跑去学书法。我学了serif与san serif字体,学到在不同字母组合间变更字间距,学到活版印刷伟大的地方。书法的美好、历史感与艺术感是科学所无法捕捉的,我觉得那很迷人。

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.

我没预期过学的这些东西能在我生活中起些什么实际作用,不过十年后,当我在设计第一台麦金塔时,我想起了当时所学的东西,所以把这些东西都设计进了麦金塔里,这是第一台能印刷出漂亮东西的电脑。如果我没沉溺于那样一门课里,麦金塔可能就不会有多重字体跟变间距字体了。

And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

又因为Windows抄袭了麦金塔的使用方式,如果当年我没这样做,大概世界上所有的个人电脑都不会有这些东西,印不出现在我们看到的漂亮的字来了。当然,当我还在大学里时,不可能把这些点点滴滴预先串在一起,但是这在十年后回顾,就显得非常清楚。

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down and it has made all the difference in my life.

我再说一次,你不能预先把点点滴滴串在一起;唯有未来回顾时,你才会明白那些点点滴滴是如何串在一起的。所以你得相信,你现在所体会的东西,将来多少会连接在一块。你得信任某个东西,直觉也好,命运也好,生命也好,或者业力。这种作法从来没让我失望,也让我的人生整个不同起来。
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