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VOA标准英语2010年-Ailing Father Finds 'New Dads' for His

时间:2010-07-07 01:04来源:互联网 提供网友:harryyang   字体: [ ]

Sunday (June 20) is Fathers Day in the United States, an observance first marked here a century ago as an occasion to honor dads, paternal1 bonds, and the role of fathers in society.  Like the Mothers Day observance it complements2, Fathers Day is celebrated3 at family gatherings4 with gift-giving and other tokens of appreciation5. One dad, a successful author named Bruce Feiler, discovered that the support of other dads can be one of life's truest treasures.

 Until that day in 2008 when he was diagnosed with a potentially fatal bone cancer, Bruce Feiler had been living a seemingly charmed life. He was a bestselling author of numerous books. He had a loving marriage and twin three-year-old girls. His doctor’s sudden bad news left him stunned6

"You imagine all the ballet recitals7 you’re not going to see, the walks you’re not going to take, [and] the boyfriends you are not going to scowl8 at, and the things they would wonder about me," Feiler recalls. "Would [my girls] wonder who I was [if I died]? Would they wonder what I thought? Would they yearn9 for my approval, my discipline, my voice?"

Three days later, Feiler awoke before dawn with a big idea: he would assemble a group of trusted men to serve as surrogate fathers after his death. His new book, The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness and the Men Who Could Be Me, recalls that moment:

“I started making a list of six men from all parts of my life, beginning when I was a child and stretching through today. These are the men who know me best, the men who share my values, men who traveled with me, studied with me, have been though pain and happiness with me, men who know my voice…"

Feiler’s wife Linda embraced the idea, and together, they devised some guidelines for whom to ask. For example, they agreed that Council members should be friends, not family, and that they should be men. And each man should embody10 some key aspect of Feiler himself.

Feiler made his first request to Jeff Shumlin, a Vermont farmer. The two became friends just after high school while on a student exchange program in Europe. Feiler wanted Shumlin on his Council of Dads because then as now, he was an adventurer who always said "yes" to life.

When Shumlin agreed to his friend's request, Feiler asked him what piece of advice he would give to his girls as they got older.  "And he [Shumlin] said 'Be a traveler, not a tourist and approach your trip as a young child might approach a mud puddle11. You can bend over and look at your reflection, or you can jump in thrash around, see it what it feels like, what it smells like.  I want to see you back at the end of this trip covered in mud!'"

Other dads in Feiler’s Council of Dads include Ben, an intellectual skeptic12 who would invite the girls to be relentless13 in their pursuit of truth and "live the questions," and another buddy14, also named Ben, who believes in the power of friendship.

Bruce Feiler (R) and David Black
David Black, the literary agent and close personal friend who helped Feiler get published back when he was an unknown writer, also made the cut.

Black says the role Feiler asked him to assume was a natural fit. "I work to help people's dreams come true," he recalls in his busy Manhattan office. "That's in part what Bruce asked of me, to be a member of the Council."

Black, who is a father himself, adds that the Council of Dads has turned out to be about more than just a community of support for Feiler's daughters. It has also been about creating a community of men who can support each other. "Men are not given in our society enough opportunity to be drawn15 together in something where their love and support is the foundation. That's not what men [are supposed to] do,” he says.

Black adds that typically, American men play or watch sports together, drink together and compete. "[But] this [council] is not about competition. This allows the nurturing16 element of these men, of the six of us, to be at the forefront of the relationship. And that's different."

Council of Dads portrait

Bruce Feiler points out that when dads support other dads, they can share their experience, their strengths and their wisdom, and that when they do, it's the children who benefit most. "Being a dad is often very lonely," he says, "And one of the things I feel is I am no longer alone, that the Council of Dads is in every room with me and making every decision with me." 

The medical crisis that led Feiler to reach out to the other fathers has passed. Today, Feiler is cancer-free. But he says his idea has caught on, and he believes that his book, The Council of Dads, and the website councilofdads.com is inspiring similar groups to form wherever dads seek strength in the fellowship of fathers.



1 paternal l33zv     
  • I was brought up by my paternal aunt.我是姑姑扶养大的。
  • My father wrote me a letter full of his paternal love for me.我父亲给我写了一封充满父爱的信。
2 complements 5a1152804ff4d812e4b400d5b206fc89     
补充( complement的名词复数 ); 补足语; 补充物; 补集(数)
  • His business skill complements her flair for design. 他的经营技巧和她的设计才能相辅相成。
  • The isoseismal maps are valuable complements to the instrumental records. 等震线图是仪器记录有价值的补充资料。
3 celebrated iwLzpz     
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年轻画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位著名的小提琴演奏家。
4 gatherings 400b026348cc2270e0046708acff2352     
聚集( gathering的名词复数 ); 收集; 采集; 搜集
  • His conduct at social gatherings created a lot of comment. 他在社交聚会上的表现引起许多闲话。
  • During one of these gatherings a pupil caught stealing. 有一次,其中一名弟子偷窃被抓住。
5 appreciation Pv9zs     
  • I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to you all.我想对你们所有人表达我的感激和谢意。
  • I'll be sending them a donation in appreciation of their help.我将送给他们一笔捐款以感谢他们的帮助。
6 stunned 735ec6d53723be15b1737edd89183ec2     
adj. 震惊的,惊讶的 动词stun的过去式和过去分词
  • The fall stunned me for a moment. 那一下摔得我昏迷了片刻。
  • The leaders of the Kopper Company were then stunned speechless. 科伯公司的领导们当时被惊得目瞪口呆。
7 recitals 751371ca96789c59fbc162a556dd350a     
n.独唱会( recital的名词复数 );独奏会;小型音乐会、舞蹈表演会等;一系列事件等的详述
  • His recitals have earned him recognition as a talented performer. 他的演奏会使他赢得了天才演奏家的赞誉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Her teachers love her playing, and encourage her to recitals. 她的老师欣赏她的演奏,并鼓励她举办独奏会。 来自互联网
8 scowl HDNyX     
  • I wonder why he is wearing an angry scowl.我不知道他为何面带怒容。
  • The boss manifested his disgust with a scowl.老板面带怒色,清楚表示出他的厌恶之感。
9 yearn nMjzN     
  • We yearn to surrender our entire being.我们渴望着放纵我们整个的生命。
  • Many people living in big cities yearn for an idyllic country life.现在的很多都市人向往那种田园化的生活。
10 embody 4pUxx     
  • The latest locomotives embody many new features. 这些最新的机车具有许多新的特色。
  • Hemingway's characters plainly embody his own values and view of life.海明威笔下的角色明确反映出他自己的价值观与人生观。
11 puddle otNy9     
  • The boy hopped the mud puddle and ran down the walk.这个男孩跳过泥坑,沿着人行道跑了。
  • She tripped over and landed in a puddle.她绊了一下,跌在水坑里。
12 skeptic hxlwn     
  • She is a skeptic about the dangers of global warming.她是全球变暖危险的怀疑论者。
  • How am I going to convince this skeptic that she should attention to my research?我将如何使怀疑论者确信她应该关注我的研究呢?
13 relentless VBjzv     
  • The traffic noise is relentless.交通车辆的噪音一刻也不停止。
  • Their training has to be relentless.他们的训练必须是无情的。
14 buddy 3xGz0E     
  • Calm down,buddy.What's the trouble?压压气,老兄。有什么麻烦吗?
  • Get out of my way,buddy!别挡道了,你这家伙!
15 drawn MuXzIi     
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。
16 nurturing d35e8f9c6b6b0f1c54ced7de730a6241     
养育( nurture的现在分词 ); 培育; 滋长; 助长
  • These delicate plants need careful nurturing. 这些幼嫩的植物需要精心培育。
  • The modern conservatory is not an environment for nurturing plants. 这个现代化温室的环境不适合培育植物。
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