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by 王瓊玉 2015-07-30 23:31:03, Reply(0), Views(1423)

July 31, 2015

A Treasury of English Famous Essays

英美散文菁華

陳榮吉 編譯

 

15.  Attitudes toward Work 工作態度

       G. Colket Caner, American educational psychologist

 

       A person may have an idea about himself that will prevent him from doing good work.

 

       He may have the idea that he is not capable of it. It is easy to get such an idea even though there is not justification for it. A child may think he is stupid because he does not understand how to make the most of his mental faculties, or he may accept another person’s mistaken estimate of his ability. Older people may be handicapped by the mistaken belief that they are incapable of learning anything new because of their age.

 

       A person who believes that he is incapable will not make a real effort, because he feels that it would be useless. He won’t go at a job with the confidence necessary for success, and he won’t work his hardest, even though he may think he is doing so. He therefore is likely to fail, and the failure will strengthen his belief in his incompetence.

 

      Alfred Adler, a famous psychiatrist, had an experience which illustrates this. When he was a small boy he got off to a poor start in arithmetic. His teacher got the idea that he had no ability in arithmetic, and told his parents what she thought in order that they would not expect too much of him. In this way, they too developed the idea, “Isn’t it too bad that Alfred can’t do arithmetic?” He accepted their mistaken estimate of his ability, felt that it was useless to try, and was very poor in arithmetic, just as they expected.

 

       One day he became very angry at the teacher and the other students because they laughed when he said he saw how to do a problem which none of the other students had been able to solve.

 

       Adler succeeded in solving the problem. This gave him confidence. He rejected the idea that he couldn’t do arithmetic, and was determined to show them that he could. His anger and his newfound confidence stimulated him to go at arithmetic problems with a new spirit. He now worked with interest, determination, and purpose, and he soon became extraordinarily good in arithmetic. He not only proved that he could do arithmetic, but he learned early in life from his own experience that, if a person goes at a job with determination and purpose, he may astonish himself as well as others by his ability.

 

       This experience made him realize that many people have more ability than they think they have, and that lack of success is as often the result of lack of knowledge of how to apply one’s ability, lack of confidence, and lack of determination as it is the result of lack of ability.

by 王瓊玉 2015-07-30 23:30:02, Reply(0), Views(1339)

July 30, 2015

A Treasury of English Famous Essays

英美散文菁華

陳榮吉 編譯
 

14.  If I Rest, I Rust. 如果我休息,我就生鏽

       Orison Sweet Marden, 1906 ~, American Lawyer

 

   The significant inscription found on an old key – “If I rest, I rust.” – would be an excellent motto for those who are afflicted with the slightest taint of idleness. Even the industrious might adopt it with advantage to serve as a reminder that, if one allows his faculties to rest, like the iron in the unused key, they will soon show signs of rust, and, ultimately, cannot do the work required of them.

 

       Those who would attain the heights reached and kept by great men must keep their faculties polished by constant use, so that they may unlock the doors of knowledge, the gates that guard the entrances to the professions, to science, art, literature, agriculture, - every department of human endeavor.

 

       Industry keeps bright the key that opens the treasury of achievement. If Hugh Miller, after toiling all day in a quarry, had devoted his evenings to rest and recreation, he would never have become a famous geologist. The celebrated mathematician, Edmund Stone, would never have published a mathematical dictionary, never have found they key to the science of mathematics, if he had given his spare moments to idleness. Had the little Scotch lad, Ferguson, allowed the busy brain to go to sleep while he tended sheep on the hillside, instead of calculating the position of the stars by a string of beads, he would never have become a famous astronomer.

 

       Labor vanquished all, - not inconstant, spasmodic, or ill-directed labor; but faithful, unremitting, daily effort toward a well-directed purpose. Just as truly as eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, so is eternal industry the price of noble and enduring success.

by 王瓊玉 2015-07-29 07:25:16, Reply(0), Views(1300)

July 29, 2015

A Treasury of English Famous Essays

英美散文菁華

陳榮吉 編譯

 

13. A Better Tomorrow 創造更好的明天

   Herbert Hoover, 1874 – 1964, American statesman, the 31st president of the USA

 

   People often wonder why historians go to so much trouble to preserve millions of books, documents and records of the past. Why do we have libraries? What good are these documents and the history books? Why do we record and save the actions of men, the negotiations of statesmen and the campaigns of armies?

 

       Because, sometimes, the voice of experience can cause us to stop, look and listen. And because, sometimes, past records, correctly interpreted, can give us warning of what to do and what not to do.

 

       If we are ever to create enduring peace, we must seek its origins in human experience and in the record of human idealism. From the story of the fortitude, courage and devotion of men and women, we create the inspirations of youth. From stories of the Christian martyrs, right down to Budapest’s heroic martyrs of today, history records the suffering, the self-denial, the devotion and the heroic deeds of men. Surely from these records there can come help to mankind inn our confusions and perplexities, and in our yearnings for peace.

 

       The supreme purpose of history is a better world. History gives a warning to those who would promote war. History brings inspiration to those who seek peace. In short, history helps us learn. Yesterday’s records can keep us from repeating yesterday’s mistakes. And from the pieces of mosaic assembled by historians come the great murals which represent the progress of mankind.

by 王瓊玉 2015-07-29 07:23:41, Reply(0), Views(1277)

July 28, 2015

A Treasury of English Famous Essays

英美散文菁華

陳榮吉 編譯

 

12. The Man and the Opportunity人與機會

       Orison Sweet Marden, 1906 - , American lawyer

 

       The lack of opportunity is ever the excuse of a weak, vacillating mind. Opportunities! Every life is full of them.

 

       Every lesson in school or college is an opportunity. Every examination is a chance in life. Every business transaction is an opportunity – an opportunity to be polite, an opportunity to be manly, an opportunity to be honest, and opportunity to make friends. Every proof of confidence in you is a great opportunity. Every responsibility thrust upon your strength and your honor is priceless. Existence is the privilege of effort, and when that privilege is met like a man, opportunities to succeed along the line of your aptitude will come faster than you can use them.

 

       Young men and women, why do you stand here all the day idle? Was the land all occupied before you were born? Has the earth ceased to yield its increase? Are the seats all taken? The positions all filled? The chances all gone? Are the resources of your country fully developed? Are the secrets of nature all mastered? Is there no way in which you can utilize these passing moments to improve yourself or benefit another?

 

       Don’t wait for your opportunity. Make it, make it as Napoleon made his in a hundred “impossible” situations. Make it, as all leaders of men, in war and in peace, have made their chances of success. Make it, as every man must, who would accomplish anything worth the effort. Golden opportunities are nothing to laziness, but industry makes the commonest chances golden.

by 王瓊玉 2015-07-29 07:22:32, Reply(0), Views(1273)

July 27, 2015

A Treasury of English Famous Essays

英美散文菁華

陳榮吉 編譯

 

11. We Are on a Journey 我們在旅途中

    Henry Van Dyke, 1852 – 1933, American orator and author

 

       Wherever you are, and whoever you may be, there is one thing in which you and I are just alike at this moment, and in all the moments of our existence. We are not at rest, we are on a journey. Our life is a movement, a tendency, a steady, ceaseless progress towards an unseen goal. We are gaining something, or losing something, everyday. Even when our position and our character seem to remain precisely the same, they are changing. For the mere advance of time is a change. It is not the same thing to have a bare field in January and in July. The season makes the difference. The limitations that are childlike in the child are childish in the man.

 

       Everything that we do is a step in one direction or another. Even the failure to do something is in itself a deed. It sets us forward or backward. The action of the negative pole of a magnetic needle is just as real as the action of the positive pole. To decline is to accept – the other alternative.

 

       Are you nearer to your port today than you were yesterday? Yes, - you must be a little nearer to some port of other; for since your ship was first launched upon the sea of life, you have never been still for a single moment; the sea is too deep, you could not find an anchorage if you would; there can be no pause until you come into port.

 

by 王瓊玉 2015-07-25 22:36:35, Reply(0), Views(646)

July 26, 2015

A Treasury of English Famous Essays

英美散文菁華

陳榮吉 編譯

 

10.    On the Fear of Death 談生死

       William Hazlitt, 1778 – 1830, English essayist

 

       Perhaps the best cure for the fear of death is to reflect that life has a beginning as well as an end. There was a time when we were not: this gives me no concern – why then should it trouble us that a time will come when we shall cease to be” I have no wish to have been alive a hundred years ago, or in the reign of Queen Anne. Why should I regret and lay it so much to heart that I shall not be alive a hundred years hence, in the reign of I cannot tell whom”

 

       To die is only to be as we were born; yet no one feels any remorse, or regret, or repugnance, in contemplating this last idea. It is rather a relief and disburthening of the mind: it seems to have been a holiday time with us then: we were not called to appear upon the stage of life, to wear robes or tatters, to laugh or cry, be hooted or applauded; we had lain perdu all this while, snug out of harm’s way; and had slept out our thousands of centuries without wanting to be waked up; at peace and free from care, in a long nonage, in a sleep deeper and calmer than that of infancy, wrapped in the softest and finest dust. And the worst that we dread is, after a short fretful, feverish being, after vain hopes, and idle fears, to sink to final repose again, and forget the troubled dream of life!

by 王瓊玉 2015-07-25 22:35:09, Reply(0), Views(752)

July 25, 2015

A Treasury of English Famous Essays

英美散文菁華

陳榮吉 編譯

 

9.   Keeping Pleasant 保持樂觀

   Anonymous

 

       “He is a fool who cannot be angry, but he is really a wise man who will not.”

 

       The habit of keeping pleasant is indeed better than an income of a thousand dollars a year. The life without cheerfulness is like the severe winter without the sun.

 

       We all love cheerful company, but we are apt to forget that cheerfulness is a habit which can be cultivated by all.

 

       We find it very difficult to be gay when we are in distress. It requires great courage. We should never forget that to be cheerful when it is not easy to be cheerful shows greatness. Thorny may be our way, but how happy is the conqueror’s song!

 

       The perfection of cheerfulness consists in the happy frame of mind. It is displayed in good temper and kind behavior. It arises partly from personal goodness and partly from belief in the goodness of others. It sees the glory in the grass and the sunshine on the flower. It encourages happy thoughts, and lives in an atmosphere of peace. It costs nothing, and yet it is invaluable. It blesses its possessor, and affords a large measure of enjoyment to others.

by 王瓊玉 2015-07-23 21:35:03, Reply(0), Views(706)

July 24, 2015

A Treasury of English Famous Essays

英美散文菁華

陳榮吉 編譯

 

8.   Life Is What We Make It 人生自創論

       Orison Sweet Mardon, 1906, American lawyer

      

       Are you dissatisfied with today’s success? It is the harvest from yesterday’s sowing. Do you dream of a golden morrow? You will reap what you are sowing today. We get out of life just what we put into it.

 

       Nature takes on our moods: she laughs with those who laugh and weeps with those who weep. If we rejoice and are glad the very birds sing more sweetly, the woods and streams murmur our song. But if we are sad and sorrowful a sudden gloom falls upon Nature’s face; the sun shines, but not in our hearts, the birds sing, but not to us.

 

       The future will be just what we make it. Our purpose will give it its character. One’s resolution is one’s prophecy. Leave all your discouraging pessimism behind. Do not prophesy evil, but good. Men of hope come to the front.

by 王瓊玉 2015-07-23 21:33:08, Reply(0), Views(695)

July 23, 2015

A Treasury of English Famous Essays

英美散文菁華

陳榮吉 編譯

 

7.   Some Comments on Learning 論學習

   Gray L. Dorsey

 

       All animals live. But only man has any control over how he lives. Man lives according to his understanding of the meaning of life. Therefore, to be ignorant is to remain an animal, and not become a man. Ignorance is not the lack of a high school or college diploma. It is the lack of understanding of the meaning of life.

 

       Understanding cannot be transmitted from one person to another. It has to be born and nourished in each separate individual. All that can be transmitted is knowledge. Knowledge consists of facts about earth and air, the seas and the heavens, man and nature. These facts can be transmitted, and in the formal places of instruction, the schools, this is done. What facts are available about how man understands can also be transmitted. But understanding itself cannot be transmitted.

 

       To reach understanding you must “digest” the facts you have accumulated and adjust them into a pattern so that all the facts fit together and none seem to contradict each other. Understanding is the process of “making sense” out of what you know. You much acquire facts before you can fit them together, so you need to acquire knowledge. You may even acquire the clue of how to fit the pieces of the puzzle of life together, by studying what others have believed. But you must accept or reject these clues that come to you and make your own decision about the meaning of life. This is understanding.

 

       If you do not press on to this personal decision you remain ignorant. You are no different from the dog who learns to run through the passages of a maze to get the meat that awaits him if he takes the right turnings. You can acquire the specialized knowledge of a lawyer, an economist, an engineer, or a doctor and use it successfully enough to support yourself and your family. But this is the animal’s reward for having acquired the “conditioned reflexes” that will guide him through the maze.

 

       To look up from the maze and contemplate the mountains and the seas and the distant stars, to know man’s place in all this, and feel at home – this is the way of the human animal. This way requires understanding.

 

       If you do not want to merely run through a maze all your life you must sit back and digest the knowledge you acquire. So much comes at you so quickly when you are a student that it sometimes threatens to swamp you. This is the most dangerous time. You must weigh and judge for yourself. This is more difficult now but it is the only way to become wise, the only way to realize what it means to be a human being.

by 王瓊玉 2015-07-23 21:32:08, Reply(0), Views(769)

July 22, 2015

A Treasury of English Famous Essays

英美散文菁華

陳榮吉 編譯

 

6.   Advice on Reading 閱讀的忠告

   Frank Luther Mott, 1886 – 1964, American author and professor of journalism.

      

       And now let me give six pieces of specific advice upon your reading:

       First, read with full sympathy, casting out prejudices and giving yourselves up wholly to the will of the writer. You must feel him, know him. “When I am reading a book,” said Dean Swift, “whether wise or silly, it seems to be alive and talking to me.” There was a man who had the art of reading.

      

       Second, do not worry too much about allusions you do not understand, or pay too much attention to notes and the commentary of scholars. This writing is for you: do not let some pedant step between you and your friend, the writer.

      

       Third, read aloud as much as possible. Your roommate, your wife, your sweetheart, your best friend will probably be glad to listen to you. You will be surprised to find how much more pleasure you get from reading by sharing it. Moreover, reading aloud is a valuable aid to interpretation. Hardress O’Grady, an English teacher of speech, in a little book called Reading Aloud, after pointing out how much attention writers give to the sound of their words and phrases, urges the reader to do his part as thoroughly. First by taking in with his eyes the written word, next by saying aloud the sound that compose the words and the rhythms of the sentences, he will in reverse order, put himself on the same place as the author: he will be imitating those mechanical actions which were the concrete translation of the author’s innermost being.

      

       Fourth, re-read the parts you like best. You will discover new meanings, new beauties, each time you go over a great book, and it will become more and more your own.

      

       Fifth, if the volume you are reading is your own, do not hesitate to mark in the margin the passages that appeal to you. My reason for giving this counsel may be briefly stated thus: You are collaborating with the writer when you read his book. Your experiences, ides, and feelings join with his in producing the total effect of the book. Now if you mark the book, you are leaving an actual physical record of that collaboration; you have stamped the book as your own in a visible way. I hope you will own many of the books you read, and that you will stamp them with evidence of your ownership of them.

      

       Sixth, and last, think back. Consider what you have read in the light of the whole. Discuss it with your reading partner, or with whomever you can get to listen. As to notes on your reading, do not make them if they seem onerous to you. Some people, however, find making a few notes enlightening and helpful. The flyleaves of the book are a good place. There is nothing sacred about the physical book: it is for use.

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