【推荐】哈佛校长毕业典礼演讲《先到你想去的地方》

时间: 2014-05-23 15:44:13 来源: 中国金融新闻网  网友评论 0
  • 编者语:这是2008年哈佛首位女校长福斯特在毕业典礼上对毕业生们的演讲。你们已经上了四年的大学了,我当校长还不到一年;你们认识三任校长,我只认识大四一个班的学生。让我们暂时扔掉哈佛人精明的处世能力、沉着和不可战胜的虚伪,试着来寻找一下你们问题的答案吧。

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  编者语:这是2008年哈佛首位女校长福斯特在毕业典礼上对毕业生们的演讲。相信这篇演讲会为处于迷茫时期的你带来指引或启发。当自己的梦想似乎与传统意义上的成功不甚一致时;或者为了地位、薪酬待遇等非常实际的东西而不得不放弃自己的梦想时;或者你无法确定自己追求的成功是不是有意义的时候;或者当你做出选择,怀疑自己如果当时那样选择可能会更好时;而编者甚至觉得,在大城市读书4年甚至更多的你,正迷茫于该留下来工作还是回家时,或者反之;请读完此文,你会有答案。之所以附上英文原版,是因为如果你完整读下来,一定会跟编者一样,觉得原版更有魔力!

  Don’t park 20 blocks from your destination because you think you’ll never find a space. Go where you want to be and then circle back to where you have to be.

  Life is long. There is always time for Plan B. But don’t begin with it.

  按照这所古老大学的奇怪的传统,我应该是站在这儿,告诉你们那些永恒的智慧。我就站在这个讲坛上,穿得像个清教徒牧师一样——这个打扮也许已经吓到了我那些高贵的先人们,让他们以为是巫婆现身。这会让英克利斯(Increase)和考特恩(Cotton)父子俩(他们反对清教,译者注)忍不住想审判我的。但是,我还是要站在这儿,跟你们聊聊。

  你们已经上了四年的大学了,我当校长还不到一年;你们认识三任校长,我只认识大四一个班的学生。那么,经验是什么?也许你们应该搞清楚。也许我们可以互换一下角色,我可能就会以哈佛法学院惯有的风格,在接下来的一个小时里自说自话。

  从这一点上说,我们似乎都做到了——不管程度多少。但我最近才知道,从5月22日开始你们就没有晚饭吃了。虽然我们会把你们比作已经从哈佛断奶的孩子们,但我从没想到会这么彻底。

  再让我们来说说那个“自说自话”吧。让我们把这个演讲看作是一个答疑式的毕业生服务,你们来提问题。“浮士德校长,生活的意义是什么?我们为什么要在哈佛读四年?校长,四十年前你从学校毕业的时候,肯定学到不少东西吧?”(四十年了。我可以大声地说出我当时生活的每个细节,和我获得布林莫尔学位的年份——现在大家都知道这个。但请注意,我在班里还算岁数小的。)

  其实,这个答疑环节你们早就从我这儿预定了。你们问的问题也大概就是这类的。我也一直在想该怎么回答,还在想:你们为什么为这么问。

  听我的回答。2007年冬天,助理就告诉我要有这么一个演讲。当我在Kirkland听中午饭的时候,在Leverett吃晚饭的时候,当我在我上班时和同学们见面的时候,甚至当我在国外碰见我们刚毕业的学生的时候,同学们都会问我一些问题。你们问我的第一个问题,不是问课程计划,不是提建议,也不是问老师的联系方式或者学生的空间问题。实际上,也不是酒精限制政策。你们不停地问我的问题是:“为什么我们的学生很多都去了华尔街?为什么我们哈佛的学生中,有那么多人到金融、咨询和电子银行领域去?”

  这个问题可以从好几个方面来回答,我要用的是威利萨顿(一个美国银行大盗,译者注)的回答。你们可能知道,当他被问到为什么要抢银行时,他说“因为那儿有钱”。我想,你们在上经济学课的时候,都见过克劳迪亚·戈丁和拉里·凯兹两位教授,他们根据七十年代以来他们所教学生的职业选择,提出了不同的看法。他们发现,虽然金融行业在金钱方面有很高回报,但还是有学生选择了其它的工作。实际上,你们中有37个人选择做教师,有一个会跳探戈的人要去阿根廷的舞蹈诊疗所上班,另一个拿了数学荣誉学位的人要去学诗歌,有一个要在美国空军受训作一名飞行员,还有一个要去作一名治疗乳房癌症的医生。你们中有很多人会去学法学、学医学、读研究生。但是,根据戈丁和凯兹的记录,更多的人去了金融和咨询行业。Crimson对去年的毕业生作了调查,参加工作的人中,58%的男生和43%的女生去了这两个行业。虽然今年的经济不景气,这个数字还是到了39%。

  高薪、不可抗拒的招聘的冲击、到纽约和你的朋友一起工作的保证、承诺工作很有趣——这样的选择可以有很多种理由。对于你们中的一些人,也许只会在其中做一到两年。其他人也都相信这是他们可以做到最好的一份工作。但,还是有人会问:为什么要这样选择。

  其实,比起回答你们的问题来,我更喜欢思考你们为什么会问。戈丁和凯兹教授的研究是不是正确的;到金融行业是不是就是“理性的选择”;你们为什么会不停地问我这个问题?为什么这个看似理性的选择,却会让你们许多人无法理解、觉得不尽理性,甚至有的会觉得是被迫作出的必要的选择?为什么这个问题会困扰这么多人呢?

  我认为,你们问我生活的意义的时候,是带着指向性的——你们把它看成是高级职业选择中可见、可量度的现象,而不是一种抽象而深不可测的、形而上学的尴尬境地。所谓“生活的意义”已经被说滥了——它就像是蒙提·派森(Monty Python)电影里可笑的标题,或者说是《辛普森一家》里的那些鸡零狗碎的话题一样,已经没有任何严肃的涵义了。

  让我们暂时扔掉哈佛人精明的处世能力、沉着和不可战胜的虚伪,试着来寻找一下你们问题的答案吧。

  我想,你们之所以会焦虑,是因为你们不想只是做到一般意义上的成功,而且还想过得有意义。但你们又不知道这两个目标如何才能同时达到,你们不知道在一个大名鼎鼎的公司中有一份丰厚的起薪,并且前途很有保障,是不是就可以让你们自己满足。

  你们为什么要焦虑?说起来,我们学校这方面也有错。从你们进来的时候,我们就告诉你们,到这里,你们会成为对未来负责的精英,你们是最棒的、最聪明的,我们都要依靠你们,因为你们会改变这个世界。这些话,让你们个个都胸怀大志。你们会去做各种不平常的事情:在课外活动中,你们处处体现着服务的热情;你们大力倡导可持续发展,因为你们关注地球的未来;在今年的总统竞选中,你们也表现出了对美国政治改革的热衷。

  但现在,你们中的许多人迷惘了,不知道这些在做职业选择时都有什么用。如果在有偿的工作和有意义的工作之间做个选择,你们会怎么办?这二者可以兼顾吗?

  你们都在不停地问我一些最基本的问题:关于价值、试图调和那些潜在竞争的东西、对鱼与熊掌不可兼得的认识,等等。现在的你们,到了要作出选择的转换阶段。作出一个选择——或工作、或读研——都意味着失去了选择其他选项的机会。每次决定都会有舍有得——放弃一个可能的同时,你也赢得了其他可能。对于我来说,你们的问题差不多就等于是站在十字路口时的迷茫。

  金融业、华尔街、“招聘”就是这个困境的标志,它带来了比职业选择更广更深的一系列问题。不管你是从医学院毕业当了全科医生或者皮肤科医生,从法学院毕业进了一家公司或者作了一名公设辩护律师,还是结束了两年的Teach for America项目,在想要不要继续教书,这些问题总会在某种程度上困扰你们。你们之所以焦虑,是因为你们既想活得有意义,又想活得成功;你们知道你们所受的教育,让你们不只是为自己的舒适和满足而活,而且还要为你们周围的人而活。现在,到了你们想办法实现这个目标的时候了。

  我想,还有一个原因使你们焦虑——这个原因和第一个原因相关,但又有所不同。你们想过得幸福。你们一拥而上地去选修“成功哲学”和“幸福的科学”,想从中找到秘诀。但我们怎么样才能幸福呢?我可以提供一个不错的答案:长大。调查数据说明,越老的人——比如我这个岁数的人——比年轻的人感到更幸福。但可能你们都不愿意等。

  当我听着你们说你们面前有如何的选择时,可以听出来,你们在为搞不明白成功和幸福的关系而烦恼——或者更确切地说,什么样的成功,不仅能带来金钱和名望,还能让人真正地幸福。你们担心工资最高的工作,不一定是最有意义、最令人满足的工作。但你们想过没,艺术家、演员、公务员或者高中老师都是怎么过的?你们有没有思考一下,在媒体圈里该怎么生存?你们是否曾试想过,在经过不知道多少年的研究生学习、写了不知道多少篇论文之后,你们能否找到一个英语教授的工作?

  所以,答案就是:只有试过了才知道。但是不管是画画、生物还是金融,如果你都不试着去做你喜欢做的事,如果你不去追求你认为最有意义的东西,总有一天你会后悔的。生活的路还很长,总有机会尝试别的选择,但不要一开始就想着这个。

  我把这个叫作职业选择中的停车位理论,几十年来我一直在和同学们说这些。不要因为你觉得会没有停车位,就把车停在离目的地20个街区远的地方。先到你想去的地方,然后再到你应该去的地方。

  你可能喜欢投资银行、喜欢金融、喜欢咨询,它们可能是最适合你的。也许你和我在Kirkland碰到的一个大四学生一样,她刚从西海岸一家很有名的咨询公司面试回来,她问:“我为什么要做这行?我讨厌坐飞机,我不喜欢住酒店,我不会喜欢这个工作的。”那就找个你喜欢的工作吧。要是你醒着的时间里,都在做你不喜欢的事情,你也不会感到幸福的。

  但是,最最最最重要的是,你们要问出这个问题——问我或者问你们自己。你们选择了一条路,也就选择了一份挑战。你知道自己想要什么样的生活,只是不知道该怎样到达那儿。这是好事。我觉得,从某种程度上说,这也是我们的错。关注你的生活,思考怎样才能把它过好、怎样才能把事情做对:这些也许是博雅教育给你最宝贵的东西。通识教育让你自觉地生活,让你在你所作的一切中寻找、定义价值。它也让你成为一个自我的分析家和批评家,让你从最高水平上掌握你生活的展示方式。从这个意义上讲,博雅教育让你自由。它们赋予你行动、发现价值和作出选择的能力。不要静止不动,要随时准备接受改变。牢记那些我们告诉你们的远大理想,就算你觉得它们永远不可能实现,也要记住:它们可以指引你们,让你们到达那个对自己和世界都有意义的彼岸。你们的未来在自己手中。

  我都迫不及待地想知道你们会做出什么样的成就了。无论如何,常回家看看,和我们分享你的幸福生活。

  Drew Gilpin Faust

  Baccalaureate address to Class of 2008

  Cambridge, Mass.

  June 3, 2008

  As prepared for delivery

  In the curious custom of this venerable institution, I find myself standing before you expected to impart words of lasting wisdom. Here I am in a pulpit, dressed like a Puritan minister — an apparition that would have horrified many of my distinguished forebears and perhaps rededicated some of them to the extirpation of witches. This moment would have propelled Increase and Cotton into a true “Mather lather.” But here I am and there you are and it is the moment of and for Veritas.

  You have been undergraduates for four years. I have been president for not quite one. You have known three presidents; I one senior class. Where then lies the voice of experience? Maybe you should be offering the wisdom. Perhaps our roles could be reversed and I could, in Harvard Law School style, do cold calls for the next hour or so.

  We all do seem to have made it to this point — more or less in one piece. Though I recently learned that we have not provided you with dinner since May 22. I know we need to wean you from Harvard in a figurative sense. I never knew we took it quite so literally.

  But let’s return to that notion of cold calls for a moment. Let’s imagine this were a baccalaureate service in the form of Q &A, and you were asking the questions. “What is the meaning of life, President Faust? What were these four years at Harvard for? President Faust, you must have learned something since you graduated from college exactly 40 years ago?” (Forty years. I’ll say it out loud since every detail of my life — and certainly the year of my Bryn Mawr degree — now seems to be publicly available. But please remember I was young for my class.)

  In a way, you have been engaging me in this Q &A for the past year. On just these questions, although you have phrased them a bit more narrowly. And I have been trying to figure out how I might answer and, perhaps more intriguingly, why you were asking.

  Let me explain. It actually began when I met with the UC just after my appointment was announced in the winter of 2007. Then the questions continued when I had lunch at Kirkland House, dinner at Leverett, when I met with students in my office hours, even with some recent graduates I encountered abroad. The first thing you asked me about wasn’t the curriculum or advising or faculty contact or even student space. In fact, it wasn’t even alcohol policy. Instead, you repeatedly asked me: Why are so many of us going to Wall Street? Why are we going in such numbers from Harvard to finance, consulting, i-banking?

  There are a number of ways to think about this question and how to answer it. There is the Willie Sutton approach. You may know that when he was asked why he robbed banks, he replied, “Because that’s where the money is.”Professors Claudia Goldin and Larry Katz, whom many of you have encountered in your economics concentration, offer a not dissimilar answer based on their study of student career choices since the seventies. They find it notable that, given the very high pecuniary rewards in finance, many students nonetheless still choose to do something else. Indeed, 37 of you have signed on with Teach for America; one of you will dance tango and work in dance therapy in Argentina; another will be engaged in agricultural development in Kenya; another, with an honors degree in math, will study poetry; another will train as a pilot with the USAF; another will work to combat breast cancer. Numbers of you will go to law school, medical school, and graduate school. But, consistent with the pattern Goldin and Katz have documented, a considerable number of you are selecting finance and consulting. The Crimson’s survey of last year’s class reported that 58 percent of men and 43 percent of women entering the workforce made this choice. This year, even in challenging economic times, the figure is 39 percent.

  High salaries, the all but irresistible recruiting juggernaut, the reassurance for many of you that you will be in New York working and living and enjoying life alongside your friends, the promise of interesting work — there are lots of ways to explain these choices. For some of you, it is a commitment for only a year or two in any case. Others believe they will best be able to do good by first doing well. Yet, you ask me why you are following this path.

  I find myself in some ways less interested in answering your question than in figuring out why you are posing it. If Professors Goldin and Katz have it right; if finance is indeed the “rational choice,” why do you keep raising this issue with me? Why does this seemingly rational choice strike a number of you as not understandable, as not entirely rational, as in some sense less a free choice than a compulsion or necessity? Why does this seem to be troubling so many of you?

  You are asking me, I think, about the meaning of life, though you have posed your question in code — in terms of the observable and measurable phenomenon of senior career choice rather than the abstract, unfathomable and almost embarrassing realm of metaphysics. The Meaning of Life — capital M, capital L — is a cliché — easier to deal with as the ironic title of a Monty Python movie or the subject of a Simpsons episode than as a matter about which one would dare admit to harboring serious concern.

  But let’s for a moment abandon our Harvard savoir faire, our imperturbability, our pretense of invulnerability, and try to find the beginnings of some answers to your question.

  I think you are worried because you want your lives not just to be conventionally successful, but to be meaningful, and you are not sure how those two goals fit together. You are not sure if a generous starting salary at a prestigious brand name organization together with the promise of future wealth will feed your soul.

  Why are you worried? Partly it is our fault. We have told you from the moment you arrived here that you will be the leaders responsible for the future, that you are the best and the brightest on whom we will all depend, that you will change the world. We have burdened you with no small expectations. And you have already done remarkable things to fulfill them: your dedication to service demonstrated in your extracurricular engagements, your concern about the future of the planet expressed in your vigorous championing of sustainability, your reinvigoration of American politics through engagement in this year’s presidential contests.

  But many of you are now wondering how these commitments fit with a career choice. Is it necessary to decide between remunerative work and meaningful work? If it were to be either/or, which would you choose? Is there a way to have both?

  You are asking me and yourselves fundamental questions about values, about trying to reconcile potentially competing goods, about recognizing that it may not be possible to have it all. You are at a moment of transition that requires making choices. And selecting one option — a job, a career, a graduate program — means not selecting others. Every decision means loss as well as gain — possibilities foregone as well as possibilities embraced. Your question to me is partly about that — about loss of roads not taken.

  Finance, Wall Street, “recruiting” have become the symbol of this dilemma, representing a set of issues that is much broader and deeper than just one career path. These are issues that in one way or another will at some point face you all — as you graduate from medical school and choose a specialty — family practice or dermatology, as you decide whether to use your law degree to work for a corporate firm or as a public defender, as you decide whether to stay in teaching after your two years with TFA. You are worried because you want to have both a meaningful life and a successful one; you know you were educated to make a difference not just for yourself, for your own comfort and satisfaction, but for the world around you. And now you have to figure out the way to make that possible.

  I think there is a second reason you are worried — related to but not entirely distinct from the first. You want to be happy. You have flocked to courses like “Positive Psychology” — Psych 1504 — and “The Science of Happiness” in search of tips. But how do we find happiness? I can offer one encouraging answer: get older. Turns out that survey data show older people — that is, my age — report themselves happier than do younger ones. But perhaps you don’t want to wait.

  As I have listened to you talk about the choices ahead of you, I have heard you articulate your worries about the relationship of success and happiness — perhaps, more accurately, how to define success so that it yields and encompasses real happiness, not just money and prestige. The most remunerative choice, you fear, may not be the most meaningful and the most satisfying.But you wonder how you would ever survive as an artist or an actor or a public servant or a high school teacher? How would you ever figure out a path by which to make your way in journalism? Would you ever find a job as an English professor after you finished who knows how many years of graduate school and dissertation writing?

  The answer is: you won’t know till you try. But if you don’t try to do what you love — whether it is painting or biology or finance; if you don’t pursue what you think will be most meaningful, you will regret it. Life is long. There is always time for Plan B. But don’t begin with it.

  I think of this as my parking space theory of career choice, and I have been sharing it with students for decades. Don’t park 20 blocks from your destination because you think you’ll never find a space. Go where you want to be and then circle back to where you have to be.

  You may love investment banking or finance or consulting. It might be just right for you. Or, you might be like the senior I met at lunch at Kirkland who had just returned from an interview on the West Coast with a prestigious consulting firm. “Why am I doing this?” she asked. “I hate flying, I hate hotels, I won’t like this job.” Find work you love. It is hard to be happy if you spend more than half your waking hours doing something you don’t.

  But what is ultimately most important here is that you are asking the question — not just of me but of yourselves. You are choosing roads and at the same time challenging your own choices. You have a notion of what you want your life to be and you are not sure the road you are taking is going to get you there. This is the best news. And it is also, I hope, to some degree, our fault. Noticing your life, reflecting upon it, considering how you can live it well, wondering how you can do good: These are perhaps the most valuable things that a liberal arts education has equipped you to do. A liberal education demands that you live self-consciously. It prepares you to seek and define the meaning inherent in all you do. It has made you an analyst and critic of yourself, a person in this way supremely equipped to take charge of your life and how it unfolds. It is in this sense that the liberal arts are liberal — as in liberare — to free. They empower you with the possibility of exercising agency, of discovering meaning, of making choices. The surest way to have a meaningful, happy life is to commit yourself to striving for it. Don’t settle. Be prepared to change routes. Remember the impossible expectations we have of you, and even as you recognize they are impossible, remember how important they are as a lodestar guiding you toward something that matters to you and to the world. The meaning of your life is for you to make.

  I can’t wait to see how you all turn out. Do come back, from time to time, and let us know.

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