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英语PK台(MP3+文本) 第732期:打破思维框架,跳出盒子去思考

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Thinking Out of the Box
《黑白卵石》

In a small Italian town, hundreds of years ago, a small business owner owed a large sum of money to a loan-shark. The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking guy that just so happened to fancy the business owner's daughter.
几百年前,在一个意大利小镇里,一位小商人欠下一个高利贷债主一大笔钱。高利贷债主是一个又老又丑,但碰巧喜欢这位商人家女儿的家伙。
He decided to offer the businessman a deal that would completely wipe out the debt he owed him. The catch was that he would only wipe out the debt if he could marry the businessman's daughter. Needless to say, this proposal was met with a look of disgust.
高利贷债主决定向这位商人提供一笔交易。通过这笔交易,这位商人欠他的钱可以一笔勾销。交易的潜在的危险就是,商人的女儿要嫁给高利贷债主。毋庸置疑,这必定是一笔令人作呕的交易。
The loan-shark then said that he would place two pebbles into a bag, one white and one black. The daughter would have to reach into the bag and pick out a pebble. If it was black, the debt would be wiped out, and the loan-shark would marry her. If it was white, the debt would also be wiped out, but then the daughter wouldn't have to marry the loan-shark.
然后,高利贷债主对交易的细节进行了说明——他将在一个袋子里放入两枚卵石,一枚白色,一枚黑色。商人的女儿需要把手伸进袋子里,取出一枚卵石。如果取出的是黑色卵石,商人欠他的钱将一笔勾销,但商人的女儿将嫁给他;如果是白色的,商人欠他的钱也将一笔勾销,而且商人的女儿不必嫁给他。
Standing on a pebble strewn path in the businessman's garden, the loan-shark bent over and picked up two pebbles. Whilst he was picking them up, the daughter noticed that he'd picked up two black pebbles and placed them both into the bag. He then asked the daughter to reach into the bag and pick one.
高利贷债主站在商人家花园里的一条散落着卵石的小路上,弯腰拾起了两枚卵石。与此同时,商人的女儿注意到他实际上拾起了两枚黑色的卵石,并将它们放入了袋子中。随后,高利贷债主让商人的女儿将手伸进袋子,取出其中的一枚卵石。
The daughter, obviously, now had three choices in what she could do: Refuse to pick a pebble from the bag; Take both pebbles out of the bag and expose the loan-shark's cheating; Pick a pebble from the bag fully well knowing it was black and sacrifice herself for her father's freedom.
显然,商人的女儿此时有三种选择:她可以拒绝从袋子中取出卵石;还可以从袋子中取出全部两枚鹅卵石,以此揭露高利贷债主的欺骗行为;或者,在明知道取出的肯定是黑色卵石的情况下,还是从袋子里取出一枚卵石,为了她的父亲能够重获自由而牺牲她自己。
She picked out a pebble from the bag, and before looking at it, she 'accidentally' dropped it into the midst of the other pebbles on the path. She said to the loan-shark; "Oh, how clumsy of me. Never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."
她从袋子里取出了一枚卵石,还没来得及看这枚卵石一眼,就“不小心”把它掉落到了小路上,混进了其他卵石中。她对高利贷债主说:“哦,您看我多笨啊!不过,没关系,看看袋子里剩下的那枚卵石的颜色,您就可以知道我之前取出的那枚卵石的颜色了。”
The pebble left in the bag was obviously black, and since the loan-shark didn't want to reveal that he originally wanted to deceive them, he had to play along and acknowledge that the pebble the daughter dropped was white, and therefore he had to clear her father's debt without marrying her.
袋子中剩下的卵石显然是黑色的。由于高利贷债主不想揭穿自己的欺骗行为,就只能配合并承认商人女儿掉落的卵石是白色的,而且不得不在商人的女儿不嫁给他的情况下,免除了商人欠他的全部债务。
Moral of the story: It's always possible to overcome a tough situation through thinking out of the box, and not give in to the only options you think you have to pick from.
寓意:只要我们肯放开思路,无论形势有多么艰难,我们也一定会找到出路,克服困难一路前行。永远不要被眼前的窘境吓倒,因为办法总比困难多。
打破思维框架,跳出盒子去思考
The black dot
《白纸黑点》

One day, a professor entered his classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin. The professor handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers.
一天,一位教授走进教室,要求他的学生们准备一次突击考试。学生们全都坐在座位上焦急地等待考试的开始。像往常一样,教授将试卷正面朝下分发到每位同学的书桌上。分发完毕,教授要求学生们将试卷翻过来正面朝上。
To everyone's surprise, there were no questions—just a black dot in the centre of the paper. The professor, seeing the expression on everyone's faces, told them the following: "I want you to write about what you see there." The students, confused, got started on the inexplicable task.
让每位学生大感意外的是,试卷上没有任何问题——只有试卷中央的一个黑点。看到学生们脸上露出的惊讶表情,教授解释说:“我要你们写下在试卷上看到的东西。”学生们在困惑中开始了这次莫名其妙的考试。
At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams, and started reading each one of them out loud in front of all the students. All of them, with no exception, defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the centre of the sheet. After all the students' writings had been read and the classroom was silent, the professor started to explain:
临近下课时,教授收上了全部试卷,然后开始在所有学生面前大声朗读每一份试卷。毫无例外,每一份试卷都对黑点进行了定义,并尝试对其在试卷的中央位置进行了解释说明。当教授读完所有学生的试卷,并且教室安静下来后,教授做出了如下解释:
"I'm not going to grade you on this, I just wanted to give you something to think about; No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot—and the same thing happens in our lives. We insist on focusing only on the 'black dot': —the health issues that bother us, the lack of money we have, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment in a friend.
“这次考试我不给你们打分,我只是想给你们一些值得思考的东西;全班没有任何一位同学在试卷中提到了试卷的白色部分。每个人关注的都是那个黑点——其实,同样的事情也会发生在我们的生活中。我们坚持只去关注那个“黑点”——比如:困扰我们的健康问题、拮据的家庭经济状况、与家庭成员之间复杂的关系、对朋友感到失望。
The dark spots however, are very small when compared to everything else we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds. Take your eyes away from the black dots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you. Be happy and live a life filled with love!"
但是,与我们生活中的任何其他事物相比,黑点都是非常微不足道的,但是它却会污染我们的头脑。让我们的眼睛远离我们生活中的“黑点”,去享受我们被赐予的每一份祝福,以及生活给予我们的每一个时刻。我们应该快乐起来,去感受我们充满爱的人生。”
重点单词   查看全部解释    
complicated ['kɔmplikeitid]
想一想再看
adj. 复杂的,难懂的
动词complica
 
bother ['bɔðə]
想一想再看
v. 使恼怒,使不安,烦扰,费心
n. 烦扰,
联想记忆
expose [ik'spəuz]
想一想再看
vt. 揭露,使暴露,使曝光,使面临
联想记忆
refuse [ri'fju:z]
想一想再看
v. 拒绝
n. 垃圾,废物
联想记忆
pebble ['pebl]
想一想再看
n. 鹅卵石
n. 水晶,水晶透镜
联想记忆
disgust [dis'gʌst]
想一想再看
n. 厌恶,嫌恶
v. 令人厌恶
联想记忆
needless ['ni:dlis]
想一想再看
adj. 不需要的,无用的
 
exception [ik'sepʃən]
想一想再看
n. 除外,例外,[律]异议,反对
 
sacrifice ['sækrifais]
想一想再看
n. 牺牲,供俸,祭品
vt. 牺牲,祭祀,贱
联想记忆
inexplicable [in'eksplikəbl]
想一想再看
adj. 无法说明的,无法解释的,费解的
 

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