分类: 读书

The Spirit Which Is Not Too Sure It Is Right






原文出处:http://brainrow.com/2006/03/13/the-spirit-which-is-not-too-sure-it-is-right.html

We have gathered here to affirm a faith, a faith in a common purpose, a common conviction, a common devotion. Some of us have chosen America as the land of our adoption; the rest have come from those who did the same. For this reason we have some right to consider ourselves a picked group, a group of those who had the courage to break from the past and brave the dangers and the loneliness of a strange land.

What was the object that nerved us, or those who went before us, to this choice? We sought liberty; freedom from oppression, freedom from want, freedom to be ourselves. This we then sought. This we now believe that we are by way of winning.

What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.

And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will. It is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few; as we have learned to our sorrow.

What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure it is right. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias. The spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to the ground unheeded. The spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest.

And now in that spirit, that spirit of an America which has never been, and which may never be ;nay, which never will be, except as the conscience and courage of Americans create it; yet in the spirit of that America which lies hidden in some form in the aspirations of us all; in the sprit of that America for which our young men are at this moment fighting and dying; in that spirit of liberty and of America I now ask you to rise and with me to pledge our faith in the glorious destiny of our beloved country.

翻译:

(背景介绍:这篇是大法官Judge Learned在1944年5月21日,2战进行之中,诺曼底登陆前,在当时新美国公民宣誓典礼上作的演讲)

我们聚集在这里,因为一种我们相信的信念,一种对共同目的、共同信仰和共同的献身精神的信念。我们中有些人已选定美国作为自己的余下生活的地方;其它人则是做出这种选择的人的后代。为此我们有权把自己看成是一个被选择的群体,一个勇于同抛弃过去,勇于面对来自陌生国度的危险和孤寂的群体。

是什么目标激励我们,或激励我们的前人做出这一选择的呢? 我们追求自由,不受压迫的自由,免遭贫困的自由,独立自主的自由。我们当时追求这一目标,现在我们相信自己通过奋斗达到了这一目标。

当我们说我们首先追求自由的时候,意味着什么呢? 我经常怀疑,我们是否对宪法、法律和法庭寄予过多的希望。这些是虚幻的希望,相信我,这些都是虚幻的希望。自由存在于人们的心中。一旦它在人们心中死去,没有任何宪法、法律或法院能拯救它;甚至没有任何宪法、法律或法庭能予给它多大帮助。当它存在人们心中时,也无须宪法、法律或法庭去拯救它。

那么这一存活于人们心中的自由究竟是什么呢? 它不是冷酷无情,不受约束的想法。不是随心所欲的自由。那是对自由的否定,直接导致它的毁灭。倘若在一个社会中人们不承认对他们的自由应有所控制,那么它就会变成一个让一小群凶狠残暴的人拥有的社会。对这一点我们已有痛苦的教训。

什么是自由的精神? 我无法给它下定义,我只能告诉你我自己的信念。什么是自由的精神?就是对何为正确不那么确定;就是努力去理解别人的想法;就是不带偏见地兼顾他人和自己的利益的精神;自由的精神铭记,哪怕只是一只麻雀的落地也应该引起注意;自由的精神是,在将近二千年之前就曾出现过,没有被实现的,但从没有被忘记精神。在那里可能有一个王国.所以的人,伟大的,平常的,不分贵贱,一视同仁。

现在,在这种精神下,这种可能从未存在,或许永永远不曾存在的,永远不曾存在,除非充满良知和勇气的美国人创造它;这种,以某种形式深藏在我们大家的心中;这种,让我国的年轻人此刻正为之战斗献身的精神。在这种精神和美国的号召下,我请求你们起立,与我一起宣誓效忠于我们这个拥有光辉前程的,敬爱的国家。




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