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第四册第17篇:时间的价值

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2019年01月10日

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17. The Value of Time 时间的价值

"Time" says the proverb "is money". This means that every moment well spent may put some money into our pockets. If our time is usefully employed, it will either turn out some useful and important piece of work which will fetch its price in the market, or it will add to our experience and increase our capacities so as to enable us to earn money when the proper opportunity comes. There can thus be no doubt that time is convertible into money. Let those who think nothing of wasting time, remember this; let them remember that an hour misspent is equivalent to the loss of a bank-note; an that an hour utilized is tantamount to so much silver or gold; and then they will probably think twice before they give their consent to the loss of any part of their time.

俗话说“时间就是金钱。这就是说,一时片刻只要用得有效,都会使你的口袋里增添一些钱。如果大家的时间使用得当, 就能生产有用的和重要的产品,在市场上卖得一定的价钱,或者充实经验,增长才干,有了适当时机大家就能挣钱。因此毫 无疑间时间可以转化为金钱。让那些对浪费时间满不在乎的人记住这一点。让他们记住,浪费一小时等于损失一张钞票,而利用一小时就等于得到若干金银。这样,他们想浪费时间时或许会三思而后行。

Moreover, our life is nothing more than our time. To kill time is therefore a form of suicide. We are shocked when we think of death, and we spare no pains, no trouble, and no expense to preserve life. But we are too often indifferent to the loss of an hour or of a day, forgetting that our life is the sum total of the days and of the hours we live. A day of an hour wasted is therefore so much life forfeited. Let us bear this in mind, and waste of time will appear to us in the light of a crime as culpable as suicide itself.

再说,大家的生命无非就是大家活在人世的时间,因此浪费时间也就是一种自杀。大家想到死未免极感不快,因而不惜 一切努力、麻烦和费用以求得保全生命。可是大家对于损失一个钟头或者一天时间往往漠不关心,忘记了生命原来就是大家生 活的每一天、每一小时的总和。因此浪费一天或一个小时就是丧失一天或一小时的生命。让大家记住这一点,这样就会把浪 费时闻看作一种罪过,跟自杀一样应该受到惩罚。

There is a third consideration which will also tend to warn us against loss of time. Our life is a brief span measuring some sixty or seventy years in all, but nearly one half of this has to be spent in sleep; some years have to be spent over our meals; some over dressing and undressing; some in making journeys on land and voyages by sea; some in merry-making, either on our own account or for the sake of others; some in celebrating religious and social festivities; some in watching over the sick-beds of our nearest and dearest relatives. Now if all these years were to be deducted from the tern over which our life extends we shall find about fifteen or twenty years at our disposal for active work. Whoever remembers this can never willingly waste a single moment of his life. "It is astonishing" says Lord Chesterfield "that anyone can squander away in absolute idleness one single moment of that portion of time which is allotted to us in this world. Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it!"

还有第三层考虑,也会提醒大家别浪费时间。人生短暂,总共不过六七十年,可是将近一半时间必须用于睡眠,吃饭时 间总加起来也得几年工夫,穿衣脱衣又是几年,水路陆路旅行又是几年,再加上几年娱乐时间—不论是为自己还是为别人,几年宗教节日和社会节日的庆祝活如大家的近亲至亲病了,待奉汤药也得几年工夫。如果从大家的寿数中减去所有那些岁月,大家将发现,能让大家用于有效地工作的时间,大概是十五或二十年的光阴。谁能记住这一点,就不会心甘情愿地浪费他生命的每时每刻。切斯特菲尔德伯爵说过,“对于分配给大家这一生的时间,若有人游手好闲即使浪费一时片刻,也是令人吃惊的。要认识时间的真正价值,要争分夺秒,充分利用。”

All time is precious; but the time of our childhood and of our youth is more precious than any other portion of our existence. For those are the periods when alone we can acquire knowledge and develop our faculties and capacities. If we allow these morning hours of life to slip away unutilized, we shall never be able to recoup the loss. As we grow older, our power of acquisition gets blunted, so that the art or science which is not acquired in childhood or youth will never be acquired at all. Just as money laid out at interest doubles and trebles itself in time, so the precious hours of childhood and youth, if properly used, will yield us incalculable advantages. "Every moment you lose" says Lord Chesterfield "is so much character and advantage lost; as on the other hand, every moment you now employ usefully is so much time wisely laid out at prodigious interest."

所有的时间都是宝贵的,而童年和青年时期的时间比一生的其他阶段更为宝贵,因为只有在那两个阶段大家才能获得常识并发展各种才能。如果大家让生命的早晨滑了过去而未加利用,大家将永远无法弥补这宗损失。等大家长大了,获得常识 的能力就变得迟钝了,因此在童年和青年时期没有能得到的常识或技能将永远不能获得了。正如把钱投资生息,到时候就变成 两倍三倍,童年和青年时期的宝贵光阴,如果用得得当,将产生无可估量的利益。切斯特菲尔德伯爵又说,“丧失一时片刻就等于丧失了与之相当的名和利,从另一方面看,你现在有效地使用的每一时刻正是明智地以这时间作为投资,将来定会获取巨额的利息。”

A proper employment of time is of great benefit to us from a moral point of view. Idleness is justly said to be the rust of the mind and an idle brain is said to be Satan's workshop. It is mostly when you do not know what to do with yourself that you do something ill or wrong. The mind of the idler preys upon itself. As Watt has said:

从道德的观点看,恰当地利用时间对大家也有很大的好处。懒惰是心灵上的锈,懒人的头脑是撤旦的作坊,这话说得 理。犯错误大多数是无所事事、百无聊赖所致。欺人只会自寻烦恼。正如瓦茨所说—

In works of labour or of skill,Let me be busy too;

我要勤快地工作,不管干粗活还是细活.

For Satan finds some mischief still

因为撒旦还有些坏事,

For idle hands to do.

专找懒人的手去做。

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