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文学作品英译:季羡林《长寿之道》

2014-12-12    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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文学作品英译:季羡林《长寿之道》

文学作品英译:请欣赏季羡林作品《长寿之道》

长寿之道

季羡林

我已经到了望九之年,可谓长寿矣。因此经常有人向我询问长寿之道,养生之术。

我敬谨答曰:“养生无术是有术。”

这话看似深奥,其实极为简单明了。我有两个朋友,十分重视养生之道。每天锻炼身体,至少要练上两个钟头。曹操诗曰:“对酒当歌,人生几何?”人生不过百年,每天费上两个钟头,统计起来,要有多少钟头啊!利用这些钟头,能做多少事情呀!如果真有用,也还罢了。他们二人,一个先我而走,一个卧病在家,不能出门。

因此,我首创了三“不”主义:不锻炼,不挑食,不嘀咕,名闻全国。

我这个三不主义,容易招误会,我现在利用这个机会解释一下。我并不绝对反对适当的体育锻炼,但不要过头。一个人如果天天望长寿如大旱之望云霓,而又绝对相信体育锻炼,则此人心态恐怕有点失常,反不如顺其自然为佳。

至于不挑食,其心态与上面相似。常见有人年才逾不惑,就开始挑食,蛋黄不吃,动物内脏不吃,每到吃饭,战战兢兢,如履薄冰,窘态可掬,看了令人失笑。以这种心态而欲求长寿,岂非南辕而北辙!

我个人认为,第三点最为重要。对什么事情都不嘀嘀咕咕,心胸开朗,乐观愉快,吃也吃得下,睡也睡得着,有问题则设法解决之,有困难则努力克服之,决不视芝麻绿豆大的窘境如苏迷庐山般大,也决不毫无原则随遇而安,决不玩世不恭。“应尽便须尽,无复独多虑。”有这样的心境,焉能不健康长寿?

我现在还想补充一点,很重要的一点。根据我个人七八十年的经验,一个人决不能让自己的脑筋投闲置散,要经常让脑筋活动着。根据外国一些科学家实验结果,“用脑伤神”的旧说法已经不能成立,应改为“用脑长寿”。人的衰老主要是脑细胞的死亡。中老年人的脑细胞虽然天天死亡,但人一生中所启用的脑细胞只占细胞总量的四分之一,而且在活动的情况下,每天还有新的脑细胞产生。只要脑筋的活动不停止,新生细胞比死亡细胞数目还要多。勤于动脑筋,则能经常保持脑中血液的流通状态,而且能通过脑筋协调控制全身的功能。

我过去经常说:“不要让脑筋闲着。”我就是这样做的。结果是有人说我“身轻如燕,健步如飞”。这话有点过了头,反正我比同年龄人要好些,这却是真的。原来我并没有什么科学根据,只能算是一种朴素的直觉。现在读报纸,得到了上面认识。在沾沾自喜之余,谨做补充如上。

这就是我的“长寿之道”。


The Secret of Longevity

Ji Xianlin

Approaching ninety, I’m really old. People often ask me for advice on how to keep fit and live a long life.

The answer I would give is, “The best way to keep fit is by making no efforts towards it.”

That sounds profound, but is in fact very simple. Two friends of mine put in great efforts to keep in good health. They spent at least two hours per day doing physical exercise. Cao Cao (1) says in one of his poems like this:

Cup to cup calls for song, Man’s life – how long?

Few people live to be 100. Two hours per day during one’s lifetime – what a tremendous amount of time it would add up to! And what a lot could be done with that much time! It would have been all right though if my two friends’ physical exercise had really helped. But fact is, one of the two has passed away before me and the other now never shows up, being confined to bed with illness. 

I’m known to all for having initiated three Nos, namely, no exercising, no picky eating, no grumbling.

My three Nos, however, are apt to be misunderstood. So I need to take this opportunity to make an explanation. Exercise, if moderate, is all right, but I disapprove of overdoing it. One who overrates physical training while dreaming of living a long life must be mentally unbalanced. He should learn to let things take their own course.

As to picky eating, I often find people barely over forty becoming very choosy about food. They abstain from eating egg yolks and tripe. They behave gingerly at table as if treading on thin ice. The embarrassment they show cannot but evoke laughter from all. Acting with such a mentality, they can only end up in defeating their own purpose of increased longevity.

To my mind, the last of the three Nos, i.e., avoid grumbling under any circumstances, is the most important. Be broad-minded, optimistic and cheerful, and you will be able to eat with a good appetite and enjoy a sound sleep. When you are faced with problems, try every means to solve them. When you meet with difficulties, do your best to overcome them. Neither fret over trifles, nor take an attitude of cynical indifference towards life. That’s the way to be long-lived.

One more important point: According to my personal experience of the past eighty years or so, one should put his brain to frequent use instead of letting it stay idle. The result of experiments made by some foreign scientists has shown that frequent use of the brain leads to longevity instead of doing harm to it as people used to believe. Man’s aging is mainly caused by the death of cerebral cells. However, though the cerebral cells of middle-aged and elderly people keep dying every day, man uses up in his lifetime only one fourth of the total cerebral cells, and new cerebral cells will, under normal conditions, keep growing up daily. As long as you use your head regularly, dead cerebral cells will always be outnumbered by new ones. Regular use of the head will ensure the normal circulation of cerebral blood and our control of the whole bodily function through its coordination.

I used to urge, “Never have an idle head!” And I myself have acted accordingly. Some people have consequently saddled me with the epithets: “agile like a swallow” and “walking as if on wings.” They are exaggerating to be sure, but it’s true that I’m in better health than people of the same age. The above has come of plain intuition, without any scientific basis.
So much for my “secret of longevity”.

(张培基 译)



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