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英语励志美文精华 21

时间:2009-02-12 03:27来源:互联网 提供网友:jinyingxue   字体: [ ]
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Freedom is Worth the Risk

The philosopher George Santayana, at the age of eighty-eight, admitted that things no longer seemed so simple to him as they did fifty years ago. Even those of use who have not reached Mr. Santayana’s age must share that feeling; but we must act by the best light we have, hoping that the light will grow brighter- and we have reason to hope it will, so long as men remain free to think. The most important thing in the world, I believe, is the freedom of the mind. All progress, and all other freedoms, spring from that. It is a dangerous freedom, but this is a dangerous world. You cannot think right without running the risk of thinking wrong; but for any evils that may come from thinking, the cure is more thinking. Over much of the world, at present, the freedom of the mind is suppressed. We have got to preserve it here, despite the efforts of very earnest men to suppress it—men who say, and perhaps believe, that they are actuated by patriotism1, but who are doing their best to destroy the liberties which above all are what the United States of America has meant, to its people and to humanity.

This is perhaps a less personal statement than most of those in “ This I believe”. If so, it is because a man of my age, in his relation to himself, runs mostly on momentum2; and it is a little difficult to look back and figure out what give him the push, or the various pushes. What he has to consider now is what he can contribute to the present, or the future, as a member of a very peculiar3 species—possibly even a unique species—which has immense capacities for both good and evil, as it has amply demonstrated during its recorded history. That history to date is ---barring some unpredictable cosmic disaster---the barest beginning of what may lie ahead of us. But we happen to live in one of the turning points of history—by no means the first, as it will not be the last; and the future of mankind will be more than usually affected4 by what we do in this generation.

What should we do? Well, first of all and above all, preserve freedom, and extend it if we can. Beyond that I don’t know how better to define our business than to say we should try to promote an increase of decency5. Decency in the sense of respect for other people; of taking no advantage; of never saying,” This man must be miserable6 in order that I may be comfortable.” This is not as easy as it looks; it’s impossible to exist without hurting somebody, however unintentionally. But there are limits. I do not believe that human life is accurately7 represented by Viggeland’s famous sculptured column in Oslo, of people climbing over one another and trampling8 one anther down. The Nazis9, when they occupied Norway, greatly admired that sculpture. They would. But the rest of us can do better than that; many men and women in every age have done better, and are doing it still.

The Scottish scientist J.B.S.Haldane once said that the people who can make a positive contribution to human progress are few; that most of us have to be satisfied with merely staving off the inroads of chaos10. That is a hard enough job—especially in these times, when those inroads are more threatening that they have been for a long time past. But if we can stave them off, and keep the field clear for the creative intelligence, we can feel that we have done our part toward helping11 the human race get ahead.


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1 patriotism 63lzt     
n.爱国精神,爱国心,爱国主义
参考例句:
  • His new book is a demonstration of his patriotism.他写的新书是他的爱国精神的证明。
  • They obtained money under the false pretenses of patriotism.他们以虚伪的爱国主义为借口获得金钱。
2 momentum DjZy8     
n.动力,冲力,势头;动量
参考例句:
  • We exploit the energy and momentum conservation laws in this way.我们就是这样利用能量和动量守恒定律的。
  • The law of momentum conservation could supplant Newton's third law.动量守恒定律可以取代牛顿第三定律。
3 peculiar cinyo     
adj.古怪的,异常的;特殊的,特有的
参考例句:
  • He walks in a peculiar fashion.他走路的样子很奇特。
  • He looked at me with a very peculiar expression.他用一种很奇怪的表情看着我。
4 affected TzUzg0     
adj.不自然的,假装的
参考例句:
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
5 decency Jxzxs     
n.体面,得体,合宜,正派,庄重
参考例句:
  • His sense of decency and fair play made him refuse the offer.他的正直感和公平竞争意识使他拒绝了这一提议。
  • Your behaviour is an affront to public decency.你的行为有伤风化。
6 miserable g18yk     
adj.悲惨的,痛苦的;可怜的,糟糕的
参考例句:
  • It was miserable of you to make fun of him.你取笑他,这是可耻的。
  • Her past life was miserable.她过去的生活很苦。
7 accurately oJHyf     
adv.准确地,精确地
参考例句:
  • It is hard to hit the ball accurately.准确地击中球很难。
  • Now scientists can forecast the weather accurately.现在科学家们能准确地预报天气。
8 trampling 7aa68e356548d4d30fa83dc97298265a     
踩( trample的现在分词 ); 践踏; 无视; 侵犯
参考例句:
  • Diplomats denounced the leaders for trampling their citizens' civil rights. 外交官谴责这些领导人践踏其公民的公民权。
  • They don't want people trampling the grass, pitching tents or building fires. 他们不希望人们踩踏草坪、支帐篷或生火。
9 Nazis 39168f65c976085afe9099ea0411e9a5     
n.(德国的)纳粹党员( Nazi的名词复数 );纳粹主义
参考例句:
  • The Nazis worked them over with gun butts. 纳粹分子用枪托毒打他们。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The Nazis were responsible for the mass murder of Jews during World War Ⅱ. 纳粹必须为第二次世界大战中对犹太人的大屠杀负责。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 chaos 7bZyz     
n.混乱,无秩序
参考例句:
  • After the failure of electricity supply the city was in chaos.停电后,城市一片混乱。
  • The typhoon left chaos behind it.台风后一片混乱。
11 helping 2rGzDc     
n.食物的一份&adj.帮助人的,辅助的
参考例句:
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
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TAG标签:   英语美文  美文精华
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