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NPR 12-07:Living with Integrity 于人于己,务必诚实

时间:2008-06-20 08:32来源:互联网 提供网友:wshqye   字体: [ ]
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Bob Barret believes in integrity — a belief that eventually led him to tell his wife and children that he is gay

Welcome to This I Believe, an NPR series presenting the personal philosophies of remarkable1 men and women from all walks of life.

I believe in mystery.
I believe in family.
I believe in being who I am.
I believe in the power of failure.
And I believe normal life is extraordinary.
This I Believe.

I'm Jay Alison for This I Believe. Our essay today was sent to us by Bob Barret, a professor emeritus2 of counseling at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and a psychologist in private practice. Barret has worked extensively with the terminally ill and his belief became apparent to him in a vivid and surprising way during his training for that task and then carrying it out. Here is Bob Barret with his essay for This I Believe.

I believe in integrity. It's a belief that's tested in those gut-wrenching moments when conflicting values pull me in opposite directions.

Back in the early 1980s, I was in a training session for mental health workers who were volunteering to provide counseling to cancer patients who had a terminal diagnosis3. Each of us was given 16 index cards and asked to write on each the names of people, abilities, things and values we hold dear. In the course of our imagined cancer, we had to surrender cards or somewhat abruptly4 have them taken from us.

At the end I had two cards: One read "Integrity" and the other read "My Family." How could I choose between these two; such a choice was unfair and impossible. My initial thought was that I would give up my integrity, because I loved my daughters and would want their comfort at my death. But then, I would realize that dying without integrity might be worse. I drifted back and forth5, not wanting to choose. In the end, I uneasily kept the integrity card because I reasoned that if I lost my family, integrity would still be possible; if I lost my integrity, my life would be without value.

I ended up spending five years working with cancer patients and their families, and when the HIV crisis came in the mid-80s I used my training to help gay men face their deaths. They did it with rare courage and integrity.

As I worked with these gay men, I began to be aware that my life was sort of a lie. When I met their caretakers and friends, I realized that I had more in common with them than with my straight male friends. For a while I tried to silence this growing awareness6, reminding myself that I loved my wife and children, and that they deserved a husband and father who was respected in the community. If I began to identify as gay and claim my integrity, surely I deserved to lose my family and possibly my job and all of my friends.

As it turned out, integrity was the painful choice I made. I suppose few of us want to hurt people we love. For me, telling my wife and later my daughters that I am gay was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. At age 48, I did not know how to be gay, never mind how to find men to date. So I was alone a lot, and in those lonely days my choice haunted me.

Many times I was tempted7 to abandon my integrity and go back to the person my family wanted me to be. But returning seemed useless, for if I left my integrity at the door, I would not have much to offer other than my presence.

Today, at age 67, I live totally out as a gay man. To my surprise, being gay has turned out to be an opportunity for me to help sexual minorities and their families. For a while, I feared I had lost my family. I think they felt betrayed and ashamed of me. But today we've found ways to live in our love — each of us true to our own integrity.

Bob Barret with his essay for This I Believe. Barret said he and his ex-wife are friends now and that his three daughters and he had their first family reunion last Christmas with ten grandchildren. We hope you will consider our invitation to write off your personal beliefs as Barret did. In fact he suggested to his book club that each of them write an essay. To his surprise, everyone did. And they discovered things about one another they had never known.

You can find out more about our series at npr. org/thisibelieve where you'll also find a link to our podcast. For This I Believe I'm Jay Alison.

This I Believe is independently produced by Jay Allison, Dan Gediman, John Gregory and Viki Merrick.

Support for NPR comes from Prudential Retirement8, sponsor of This I Believe. Prudential believes every worker can achieve a more secure retirement. Prudential Retirement, where beliefs matter.

Support for This I Believe comes from the Cooperation for Public Broadcasting

This I Believe is produced for NPR by This I Believe Incorporated and Atlantic Public Media. For more essays in the series, please visit npr. org/thisibelieve.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 remarkable 8Vbx6     
adj.显著的,异常的,非凡的,值得注意的
参考例句:
  • She has made remarkable headway in her writing skills.她在写作技巧方面有了长足进步。
  • These cars are remarkable for the quietness of their engines.这些汽车因发动机没有噪音而不同凡响。
2 emeritus ypixp     
adj.名誉退休的
参考例句:
  • "Perhaps I can introduce Mr.Lake Kirby,an emeritus professor from Washington University?"请允许我介绍华盛顿大学名誉教授莱克柯尔比先生。
  • He will continue as chairman emeritus.他将会继续担任荣誉主席。
3 diagnosis GvPxC     
n.诊断,诊断结果,调查分析,判断
参考例句:
  • His symptoms gave no obvious pointer to a possible diagnosis.他的症状无法作出明确的诊断。
  • The engineer made a complete diagnosis of the bridge's collapse.工程师对桥的倒塌做一次彻底的调查分析。
4 abruptly iINyJ     
adv.突然地,出其不意地
参考例句:
  • He gestured abruptly for Virginia to get in the car.他粗鲁地示意弗吉尼亚上车。
  • I was abruptly notified that a half-hour speech was expected of me.我突然被通知要讲半个小时的话。
5 forth Hzdz2     
adv.向前;向外,往外
参考例句:
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
6 awareness 4yWzdW     
n.意识,觉悟,懂事,明智
参考例句:
  • There is a general awareness that smoking is harmful.人们普遍认识到吸烟有害健康。
  • Environmental awareness has increased over the years.这些年来人们的环境意识增强了。
7 tempted b0182e969d369add1b9ce2353d3c6ad6     
v.怂恿(某人)干不正当的事;冒…的险(tempt的过去分词)
参考例句:
  • I was sorely tempted to complain, but I didn't. 我极想发牢骚,但还是没开口。
  • I was tempted by the dessert menu. 甜食菜单馋得我垂涎欲滴。
8 retirement TWoxH     
n.退休,退职
参考例句:
  • She wanted to enjoy her retirement without being beset by financial worries.她想享受退休生活而不必为金钱担忧。
  • I have to put everything away for my retirement.我必须把一切都积蓄起来以便退休后用。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  living  integrity  诚实
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