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双语美文:不要吝啬你对他人的赞美

 He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School in Morris, Minn. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, he had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful。

  我在明尼苏达州莫里斯的圣玛丽学校教书,他在我教的第一个三年级的班上。全班34个学生每一个都讨我喜欢,但马克·埃克隆却是独一无二的。他外表干干净净,是个乐天派,所以即便是他偶尔的调皮捣蛋,也依然讨人喜欢。

  Mark often talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving. "Thank you for correcting me, Sister!" I didn't know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day。

  马克常常说个不停。我不得不一而再、再而三地提醒他,未经允许不能讲话。不过,令我印象深刻的是,每当我不得已指出他的过错的时候,他都非常诚恳地对我说:“谢谢你指出我的问题,修女!”起初,我不知该作何反应,但很快,我便习惯了一天听到这句话好多遍。

  One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice-teacher's mistake. I looked at him and said, "If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!"

  一天早上,马克又一次讲个不停,我终于不耐烦了,于是犯了个新老师才会犯的错误。我盯着他说:“再说一个字,我就拿胶带把你的嘴封上!”

  It wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck, another student, blurted out, "Mark is talking again." I hadn't asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it。

  结果不到十秒钟,另一个学生查克就脱口而出:“马克又在讲话了。”我并没有让任何同学帮我盯着马克,不过既然我已经当着全班的面说过他再说话就要罚他,我得说话算话。

  I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. When I walked back to Mark's desk and removed the tape, his first words were, "Thank you for correcting me, Sister."

  接下来的一幕我至今仍记忆犹新,仿佛就发生在今天早上。我走到讲桌前,不慌不忙拉打开抽屉,拿出一卷胶带,然后一言不发地走到马克桌前,撕下两截胶带,在他嘴上贴了个大大的“X”,然后转身走回教室前面。我瞟了瞟马克看他有什么反应,结果看到他朝我眨了眨眼睛。而当我回到马克桌前给他撕下胶带时,他说的第一句话便是:“谢谢你指出我的问题,修女。”

  One Friday, I asked the students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish the assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the paper。

  在一个星期五,我让同学们把班上除自己之外其他同学的名字写在两张纸上,名字与名字间留点空隙。然后我让他们想想每位同学最好的地方是什么,并把这也写下来。大家用那堂课剩余的时间完成了这项任务,到下课离开教室的时候他们把各自的两张纸交给了我。

  That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" I heard the whispers. "I never knew that meant anything to anyone!" "I didn't know others liked me so much!" Then Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me, Sister."

  星期六的时候,我分别把每位同学的名字各写在一张纸上,然后把其他同学对他的评价列在上面。到了星期一,我把各人的单子分发给他们。很快全班同学脸上都扬起了笑容。“真有这么好?”我听见有人轻声说。“我从不知道那会对别人有意义!”还有人说:“原来大家这么喜欢我啊!”而马克说:“修女,感谢你的教导。”

  No one ever mentioned those pieces of paper in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents。

  后来再没人在课堂上提起过这些纸,我也不清楚他们有没有在课下与同学或者父母谈论过。

  Soon I was asked to teach junior-high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome and more polite than ever. Maybe since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the "new math", he did not talk as much in the ninth grade as he had in the third。

  很快我就被调去教初中数学了。几年的时间一晃而过,在我还未意识到的时候,马克又出现在了我的课堂。他比以前帅气了,人也更加彬彬有礼。也许是因为他必须认真听我用“新数学”法讲课,九年级的他不再像三年级时那样爱讲话了。

  That group of students moved on。

  就这样,这一批学生毕业了。

  Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. Mother gave Dad a side-ways glance and simply said, "Dad?" My father cleared his throat as he usually did before saying something important. "The Eklunds called last night," he began. "Really?" I said. "I haven't heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is." Dad responded quietly. "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said. "The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend."

  几年后的一天,我度假归来,父母来机场接我。妈妈斜斜地瞟了爸爸一眼,只说了两个字:“她爸?”爸爸清了清嗓子——但凡有要事宣布,他都会这样。说:“埃克隆家昨晚打了个电话过来。”“是吗?”我说,“好几年没他们的消息了,不知道马克怎么样了。”爸爸轻声地回答道:“马克在越战中牺牲了,葬礼在明天举行。他父母希望你能去参加。”

  I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature。

  我从未见过军人躺在军用棺材里的样子。马克看上去是那样英俊,那样成熟。

  After the funeral, Mark's mother and father found me. "We want to show you something," his father said. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it." Opening a billfold, he carefully removed two worn and frazzled pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the pieces of paper were the ones on which I had listed all the good things that Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank you so much for doing that." Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark behaved better and better at school. It's all because of you and your list."

  葬礼结束后,马克的父母找到了我。“我们想给您看一样东西,”他爸爸说,“马克牺牲的时候他们在他身上找到了这个。我们想您可能认得。”他打开皮夹,小心翼翼地取出两张破损不堪的笔记本纸。很明显,这两张纸用胶带补过、反复折叠过。不用看我也知道,这就是当初那两张纸,我当时把马克的同学们对他的表扬都写在了上面。“您所做的这些,我们感激不尽,”马克的妈妈说,“您也看到了,马克在学校里的表现越来越好。这都归功于您和您的这张单子。”

  Mark's classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put this in our wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary." Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said without batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved our lists."

  这时,马克的同学们也围了过来。查利腼腆地笑着说:“这张单子我现在还保留着,就在我家书桌最上面的抽屉里。”查克的妻子说:“查克让我把这个放在我们的结婚纪念册里。”“我的也在,”玛丽莲说,“就在我日记本里。”接着,另一个同学维姬从手提袋里取出钱包,给大家看那张已经磨损了的纸。“我一直把这个带在身上,”维姬眼睛一眨不眨地说,“我想我们都保存着自己的单子。”

  That's when I finally sat down and cried。

  那一刻,我终于坐下大哭起来。

  Sometimes the smallest things could mean the most to others. The density of people in society is so thick that we forget life will end one day and we don't know when that one day will be. Compliment the people you love and care about, before it is too late。

  有时候,即便是最微不足道的事情,对他人也可能意义非凡。在这个社会上,在熙熙攘攘的人群中,我们哪里还会记得某天人生终会走到尽头,更不知道那一天何时到来。所以,趁一切都还来得及,去赞美你爱着、关心着的人吧!


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