你命由你不由天——读《你当像鸟飞往你的山》

推荐指数:★★★

听书的名字有点拗口,你就知道这是一本译作。英文名是Educated,接受教育。

这本书受到大牛比尔盖茨的加持,获得了2019年《纽约时报》的畅销书第一名。

用了周末两天时间,读完了中文版,又对照英文版大概扫了下。坦白说,书是好书,但阅读的过程并不友好。文字真实的近乎残忍,从头到尾,除了偶尔可见的一点亮光,通篇都充满了阴暗和压抑。

不过幸运的是,你知道你会看见希望。这种读书体验,就好比搭乘一辆进入隧道的列车,两边都是漆黑一片,长长的隧道蜿蜒曲折,你忍受着,因为你知道光明就在前方不远的某个拐角处。


作者Tara出生于美国深山一个虔诚的摩门教徒家庭,其父在我看来接近反智——不信任政府,不相信医院,不相信学校,让家中子女从小跟他一起干活,认为任何事情的任何后果都是上帝的旨意。包括大火中严重烧伤的自己,坚持不去医院,靠着妻子自调的草药过了死门关。愕然的同时,不禁想,人体的自愈能力真是强大。这同时也让他更加偏执的相信,烧伤是上帝对自己的考验。

在封闭的大山和闭塞的环境中成长,学识可想而知。所以,之后她考入大学,去哈佛,到剑桥这些最高等的学府深造,获得博士学位并取得不错的成绩。如果不是因为好运气,打死我是不信的。当然努力是一方面,但我个人以为50%+是好命,也许就像他爸一直坚持的,是受到上帝的眷顾。

好运气包括她遇见的那些贵人。哥哥Tyler,鼓励她的同学、朋友,提供助学金的牧师,还有剑桥的斯坦伯格教授。

其中一段克利博士鼓励Tara的话,发人深省。

You are not fool’s gold, shining only under a particular light. Whomever you become, whatever you make yourself into, that is who you always were. It was always in you. Not in Cambridge. In you. You are gold. And returning to BYU, or even to that mountain you came from, will not change who you are. It may change how others see you, it may even change how you see yourself—even gold appears dull in some lighting—but that is the illusion. And it always was.”

任何外在条件和环境都不能其决定作用,最重要的是你自己,你是自己唯一的主宰。

the most powerful determinant of who you are is inside you,” he said. “professor Steinberg says this is pygmalion. Think of the story, Tara.” He paused, his eyes fierce, his voice piercing. “she was just a cockney in a nice dress. Until she believed in herself. Then it didn’t matter what dress she wore.”

我想到了曾被纳粹关在集中营的犹太心理学家维克多,在《活出生命的意义》中也说过类似的话。

读这本书的体验很有意思。一边愤怒的替Tara打抱不平;又一边恨她为什么不争气一些,既然已经走出去了,为什么不彻底斩断与过去的关系——大山,变态的哥哥,父亲;一边暗暗为她加油,千万不要放弃;又一边想着我的生活,感叹自己的幸福。

所有的情绪交织在一起,只能一页又一页往下翻书。

回到主题:教育有用吗?相信作者在书中已经给出了解答。

Everything I had worked for, all my years of study, had been to purchase for myself this one privilege: to see and experience more truths than those given to me by my father, and to use those truths to construct my own mind. I had come to believe that the ability to evaluate many ideas, many histories, many points of view, was at the heart of what it means to self-create. If I yield now, I would lose more than an argument. I would lose custody of my own mind. This was the price I was being asked to pay, I understood that now. What my father wanted to cast from me wasn’t a demon: it was me.”

透过文字,我可以清晰的感受到作者的挣扎和犹豫。Tara一步步的探索内心深处,反省自己的过往,更准确来说是坦然面对自己的过去和现在,最终与自己和解。

“I spent two years enumerating my father’s flaws, constantly updating the tally, as if reciting every resentment, every real and imagined act of cruelty, of neglect, would justify my decision to cut him from my life. Once justified, I thought the strangling guilt would release me and I could catch my breath.

But vindication has no power over guilt. No amount of anger or rage directed at others can subdue it, because guilt is never about them. Guilt is the fear of one’s own wretchedness. It has nothing to do with other people.

I shed my guilt when I accepted my decision on its own terms, without endlessly prosecuting old grievances, without weighing his sins against mine. Without thinking of my father at all. I accepted, finally, that I had made the decision for my own sake. Because of me, not because of him. Because I needed it, not because he deserved it.”

这是一场艰难的自我救赎。也希望你我,都可以从中受到鼓舞,得到启发。

You could call this selfhood many things. Transformation. Metamorphosis. Falsity. Betrayal. I call it an education

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