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Moral Issues - 美式道德

another virtue americans respect is perseverance. remember aesop's fable about the turtle and the rabbit that had a race? the rabbit thought he could win easily, so he took a nap. but the turtle finally won because he did not give up. another story tells of a little train that had to climb a steep hill. the hill was so steep that the little train had a hard time trying to get over it. but the train just kept pulling, all the while saying, “i think i can, i think i can.” at last, the train was over the top of the hill. “i thought i could, i thought i could,” chugged the happy little train.

  另外一个为美国人所尊崇的美德为坚忍。记得再龟兔赛跑这则伊索寓言吗?兔子以为牠可以赢的很轻松,便睡了个午觉,但是乌龟再最后终因不放弃而赢了这场比赛。另一个故事谈到一个必须爬过陡峭山头的小火车,山头是这么陡,以至于小火车很难爬上去,但是它仍不断地爬,并不停地说:「我想我能做到,我能做到。」最后,火车终于爬过了山头,「我就知道我可以。」这个快乐的小火车继续往前去。

  compassion may be the queen of american virtues. the story of “the good samaritan” from the bible describes a man who showed compassion. on his way to a certain city, a samaritan man found a poor traveler lying on the road. the traveler had been beaten and robbed. the kind samaritan, instead of just passing by, stopped to help this person in need. compassion can even turn into a positive cycle. in fall 1992, people in iowa sent truckloads of water to help floridians hit by a hurricane. the next summer, during the midwest flooding, florida returned the favor. in less dramatic ways, millions of americans are quietly passing along the kindnesses shown to them.

  同情心,可能是美国的道德之最了。圣经中的「好撒玛利亚人」的故事,描述一个流露同情心的人。在这个撒玛利亚人出发去某城市的途中,看到一个可怜的旅客躺在路旁。这旅客被鞭打、抢劫,这位仁慈的撒玛利亚人非但没有视而不见,反而停下来帮助这位有需要的人。同情心还可以变成一个正面循环,在一九九二年的秋天,爱荷华州的居民将好几辆卡车的水送到受飓风侵袭的佛罗里达州;而就在第二年夏天,当中西部闹水灾的时候,佛州人便投挑报李。数以百万计的美国人民正用较不醒目的方式回报人们向他们表达的善意。

  in no way can this brief description cover all the moral values honored by americans. courage, responsibility, loyalty, gratitude and many others could be discussed. in fact, bennett's bestseller-over 800 pages-highlights just 10 virtues. even bennett admits that he has only scratched the surface. but no matter how long or short the list, moral values are invaluable. they are the foundation of american culture-and any culture.

  在这么一篇短短的文章里,无论如何也不能将美国人所尊崇的道德述尽。勇气、责任心、忠诚、感激之心还有许多其它可以讨论的。事实上,班奈特最畅销的书──超过八百页──只谈到了十种美德。即使班奈特也承认他只谈到了皮毛而已。但是不论这张道德表是多长或短,道德价值都是无价的。他们是美国文化──和任何其它国家的文化之基础。


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