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英语新闻:你上次为陌生人开门是什么时候?

2015-01-04    来源:财富中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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英语新闻:你上次为陌生人开门是什么时候?

When Was the Last Time You Opened the Door for a Total Stranger?

英语新闻:

First, let me clarify a point regarding English language usage, which may be obvious to some, but not all, readers.

To open a door “for” someone means to offer a courtesy by opening or holding open a door and allowing the other person to pass through before you. To open a door “to” someone means to open a door and allow someone to enter through the door and into your home, office or wherever.

Because of potential confusion among some readers on the usage of “to” and “for” in this context, let me emphasize I am not suggesting you open your door to total strangers.

Opening doors for other people, on the other hand, is a different matter. If they are strangers, or people from a different walk of life, opening a door for them may provoke surprise. Most likely, it will be the kind of surprise which brings a smile to their face.

Some may ask “why bother opening a door for a stranger?”, unless that person is handicapped, elderly, heavily pregnant, pushing a baby stroller, etc.

That’s precisely the question we should think about. I think the answer is a very simple one: “Because we can make one very small corner of the world, for one very short moment, a happier, more civilized place.” Given the abundance of bad news and vexing social issues in the world around us, that is a meaningful, if small, contribution.

Just like improving our individual behavior with regard to environmentally responsible practices, or social responsibility, we — you and I — must be the starting point for change which affects others, and causes others to notice. Eventually this contributes to wider changes in society. If we don’t take the first step, there is little to no chance that others will follow.

We’re all busy, and naturally focused on our own problems and issues. It’s all too easy to open the door for ourselves and continue through it, on our own path. Much, if not most, of the time, that’s what we will do.


But one of these days it would be good to start the day by thinking ahead and making a conscious decision to surprise someone with an unexpected act of courtesy and kindness. Even a small one, like opening a door for a stranger.

Chances are, it will brighten the day for both of you, even if for a brief moment. And it might even be contagious.

Surprise is a powerful tool for making impressions on people. Super successful sales people aim to surprise customers with better than expected service. This builds loyalty and repeat business.

The goal of surprise in sales is tangible and objective: ultimately, to get more business and earn more money. That’s obvious, and perfectly legitimate.

When a surprise act of kindness is exercised without any obvious self-interest, it can have an even bigger impact. Unexpected courtesy, unconnected to any expected payback, makes a deeper positive impression than we imagine.

I had an Australian friend named George who lived in a small rural village in Hong Kong. George passed away many years ago, but he left a lasting impression on me and many others as a gregarious and friendly chap who would routinely greet total strangers on the street with a smile and a warm hello.

True, during those days 20 or more years ago, life and work were generally simpler and more relaxed than in today’s hustle-bustle, face-paced world. Today, many of the people George would be greeting would be too busy looking at their smartphones to even notice.

Maybe that’s exactly the point of why opening the door for total strangers is the kind of thing we need to do more often.

It’s also beneficial to bring this kind of attitude into your workplace. Building a personal reputation as someone who surprises internal and external customers with considerate and thoughtful behavior will set you apart from the crowd, in a positive way. If it brings criticism or back-biting behind your back, ignore it, because it’s the right thing to do.

(财富中文网)


让我先来说明一下这句英文的用法,因为它的含义对我可能很明确,但对大家却不见得如此。

“为(for)”某人开门是指出于礼貌打开门,保持门的开启,并请别人先行通过。“给(to)”某人开门是指打开门,允许某人进门,进入你的住宅或办公室等。

因为一些读者可能会对这种语境下到底该用“为”还是“给”产生混淆,所以我要强调一下,我并不鼓励大家“给”陌生人开门。

但如果是“为”某人开门,情况则另当别论。如果对方是陌生人或者来自其他阶层,为他开门可能会令他意外,很可能还会让他因这个意外而面露微笑。

有些人可能会问:“为什么要费力给陌生人开门?”除非对方是残疾人、老人、孕妇,或者推着婴儿车。

这正是我们应该思考的问题,而我认为答案很简单:“因为我们可以让世界的某个角落在某个短暂的时刻变得更加幸福、更加文明。”相对于周遭世界层出不穷的负面消息和社会问题,此事虽小,却是个积极的贡献。

就好像通过改善自身的环保和社会责任行为,我们每个人——你和我——必将成为改变的起点,进而影响他人,引发关注,并最终对更广泛的社会变化作出贡献。假使我们不迈出第一步,就无法让别人效仿。

大家都很忙,自然更关注自身的问题和事务,所以也就很容易发生自己开门、走过去、径直离开的情况。即使这不是大多数时候,但很多时候我们都是这样做的。

在这样的日子里,如果某天能提前想好,有意识地决定用某种出人意料的善意或礼貌举动给别人带来惊喜,哪怕是再小的事,比如为陌生人开门,这样开始一天也是很好的。

这可能会照亮你和对方的一整天,哪怕只有一会儿,甚至还有可能会传递下去。

“惊喜”是种有力的工具,可以给别人留下深刻的印象。超级成功的销售员会用超乎预期的优质服务给客户制造惊喜,建立客户忠诚度,增加“回头客”。

制造销售惊喜的目标是有形而客观的:最终是要获得更多的业务和收入。这显而易见,也完全合法。

而一桩“令人意外的善举”不参杂任何明显的个人利益,但产生的影响却更为深远。这种行为与任何可预期的回报毫不相关,却能留下意想不到的更深刻的正面印象。

我曾有位澳洲朋友叫乔治,住在香港的一个郊区小镇上。他虽已去世多年,但他给我和其他很多人留下的慷慨好客印象却未曾磨灭,每次在街上碰到陌生人,他总会微笑并打招呼。

诚然,20多年前,与如今纷繁忙碌的世界相比,生活和工作要简单和轻松许多。现在就算乔治还会打招呼,很多人可能也会因为忙着玩智能手机而不会留意到。

也许正因为如此,我们才要“多为陌生人开门”。

把这种态度带到工作场所也非常有益。“总是用体贴周到的行为为同事和客户带来惊喜”,这样的口碑将令你脱颖而出。假如会因此招致背后的批评和中伤,不要管它,因为你做的是正确的事。



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