J.K. 羅琳:我們內心已具備改變世界所需的能力

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The Importance of Imagination 想像力的重要性

Now you might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I personally will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to

value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.

你們也許會認為,我之所以選擇想像力的重要性做為演講的第二個主題,是因為它在我的人生重建過程中扮演了重要角色,但事實並非完全如此。雖然我個人就算剩最後一口氣,都會捍衛床邊故事的價值,但我已學會用更廣泛的意義來評價想像力。想像力不但是人類獨特的預想能力,也是一種同理心的力量,讓我們能夠體會他人經歷,即使和自己的經歷全然不同。

One of the greatest formative experiences of my life preceded Harry Potter, though it informed much of what I subsequently wrote in those books. This revelation came in the form of one of my earliest day jobs. Though I was sloping off to write stories during my lunch hours, I paid the rent in my early 20s by working at the African research department at Amnesty International’s headquarters in London. Every day, I saw evidence about the evils humankind will inflict on their fellow humans, to gain or maintain power. I began to have nightmares, literal nightmares, about some of the things I saw, heard, and read. And yet I also learned more about human goodness at Amnesty International than I had ever known before.

在寫哈利波特之前,我有過許多重大的成長經驗,其中一件最重要的人生啟示,是出現在我早年其中一份工作,而且這個經驗對我後來的作品也有不小的影響。二十歲出頭時,為了付房租,我在國際特赦組織倫敦總部的非洲研究部門上班,不過我會利用午餐時間偷偷去寫小說。我每天上班所看的資料,都是人類為了爭奪或掌控權力而殘害同胞的證據。我開始作惡夢,是真的睡覺作惡夢,夢到我白天所看到、聽到和讀到的事情。不過,我在國際特赦組織也學到了許多人性的善良之處,是我以前從不知道的事。

Amnesty mobilizes thousands of people who have never been tortured or imprisoned for their beliefs to act on behalf of those who have. The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees prisoners. Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never meet. My small participation in that process was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life.

國際特赦組織動員成千上萬人來為那些因為自己的信念而遭受酷刑或受到監禁的受害人發聲,他們本身沒有同樣的受害經歷,但人類同理心的力量能帶動眾人一起拯救生命、釋放俘虜。他們只是普通人,原本過著幸福平安的生活,卻願意大量聯合起來,共同拯救他們從不認識、未來也見不到的人。在這個過程中,我只是參與了一小部分,卻是我人生中最感到謙卑、也最受啟發的經歷。

The Wisdom of the Classics 古典文學的智慧

One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.

十八歲那年,我在古典文學的走廊裡探索,尋找著一些我當時說不出來的事,在走廊的盡頭,我學到了許多東西,其中一個是希臘作家普魯塔克所寫的:「我們內在所成就的將改變外在的現實。」真是令人驚訝的一句話,但在我們生命中每一天都能驗證上千次。這句話的部分意思是說,我們與外在世界的連結是無可避免的,我們單就存在這世上,就與其他人的生命有關連。

And tomorrow, I hope that even if you remember not a single word of mine, you remember those of Seneca, another of those old Romans I met when I fled down the Classics corridor, in retreat from career ladders, in search of ancient wisdom: As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.

而明天,就算你完全不記得我說過的話,我也希望你記住哲學家塞內卡——他也是我躲到古典文學走廊逃避職涯階梯、尋找古老智慧時遇到的古羅馬人之一——記住他說的其中一句話:就跟故事一樣,人生的重點不在於長短,而是在於它有多美好。

I wish you all very good lives.

祝大家有美好的人生。

 

文章出處:EZ TALK

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