12.Taking chances,Making chances 抓住机遇,制造机遇 Lecturer Charles Hobbs sometimes tells about a woman who lived in London over a century ago. She saved what little money she could working as a scullery maid and used it one evening to hear a great speaker of her day. His speech moved her deeply and she waited to visit with him afterward. "How fine it must be to have had the opportunities you have had in life," she said. 演说家查尔斯?霍布斯经常会在他的演说中引用这样的故事。一百多年前,伦敦住着一 位女士,她以给人帮厨为生。生活虽然很艰难,她还是省吃俭用地攒了一点儿钱,并用这 点儿钱去听了一场演讲。演讲者是一位在当时非常著名的演说家。他的演讲深深地感染了 她,也触动了她。演讲结束之后,她并没有立即离去,而是去拜访了那位演说家。“要能像 您这样一生中拥有这么多的机会那该有多好啊!”她羡慕道。 "My dear lady." he replied,"have you never received an opportunity?" “哦,亲爱的女士,”那位演讲家问道,“难道您从未得到过任何机会吗?”"Not me. I have never had a chance," she said. “是的,我从未得到过任何机会。”她很沮丧。 "What do you do?" the speaker asked. “那您是做什么工作的?”演讲家问道。 She answered,"I peel onions and potatoes in my sister's boarding house." “我在我姐姐开的寄宿公寓里帮厨, 剥剥洋葱, 削削土豆。 ”她答道"How long have you been doing this?" he pursued. “你做这事多长时间了?”演讲家追问。 "Fifteen miserable years!" “都已经干了15年了,难熬的15年啊!”"And where do you sit?" he continued. “您工作的时候坐在哪里呢?”演讲家继续问。 "Why,on the bottom step in the kitchen." She looked puzzled. “您为什么问这个?”她感到非常的迷惑, “我就坐在厨房最低的一级台阶上。 ”"And where do you put your feet?" “那么您把脚放在哪里呢?”"On the floor," she answered,more puzzled. “放在地板上啊。”她惊讶地望着演讲家。 "What is the floor?" “那地板是什么样的?”"It is glazed brick." “是用釉面砖铺就的。 ”Then he said,"My dear lady,I will give you an assignment today. I want you to write me a letter about the brick." 著名的演讲家说道:“亲爱的女士,今天,我要给您布置一项任务。我想让您写一封信给 我,谈一谈您对砖的认识。”Against her protests about being a poor writer,he made her promise to complete the assignment. 女士以自己根本就不会写信为由拒绝他的建议,但是,演讲家坚持要她完成这项任务。 The next day,as she sat down to peel onions,she gazed at the brick floor. That
evening she pulled one loose,took it to a brick factory and asked the owner to explain to her how bricks were made. 第二天, 当她坐在厨房的台阶上剥洋葱的时候, 目光不禁聚焦在了釉面砖铺就的地板上。 她专门跑到砖厂向厂主请教砖头是如何制造出来的。 Still not satisfied,she went to a library and found a book on bricks. She learned that 120 different kinds of brick and file were being produced in England at the time. She discovered how clay beds,which existed for millions of years,were formed. Her research captivated her imagination and she spent every spare moment learning more. She returned to the library night after night and this woman,who never had a chance,gradually began to climb the steps of knowledge. 对于厂长的解释她并不满意,于是,她又跑到了图书馆。通过查阅资料,她了解到,在 当时的英国,一共有一百二十多种砖瓦在生产。她还发现了已经存在了数百年的粘土层是 如何形成的。她已经完全沉浸在她的研究之中了,她的思想也已经被她的研究完全占据了。 每天晚上,她都会准时到图书馆查阅资料。 After months of study,she set out to write her letter as promised. She sent a 36-page document about the brick in her kitchen and,to her surprise,she received a letter back. Enclosed was payment for her research. He had published her letter! And along with the money came a new assignment - this time he asked her to write about what she found underneath the brick. 经过几个月的研究之后,她按照演说家的要求写信。在这封长达36页的信中,她详细地 介绍了厨房里地砖的有关情况。令她吃惊的是,不久以后,她就收到了回信。随信而来的, 还有她的研究所获得的报酬。原来,那位演讲家把她的信拿去发表了!不仅如此,演讲家 又给她布置了一项新任务:写一些她在厨房地砖下面发现的东西。 For the first time in her life she could hardly wait to get back to the kitchen! She pulled up the brick and there was an ant. She held it in her hand and examined it. 女士一生中第一次受到极大的鼓舞,她迫不及待地返回厨房,她撬起一块砖头一看,发 现下面有一只蚂蚁。她把它拿在手心仔细地观察。 That evening,she hurried back to the library to study ants. She learned that there were hundreds of different kinds of ants. Some were so small they could stand on the head of a pin; while others were so large one could feel the weight of them in one's hand. She started her own ant colony and examined ants underneath a lens. 那天晚上一下班,她便急匆匆地赶到图书馆,去查阅有关蚂蚁的书籍了。通过研究,她 了解到世界上有好几百种各种各样的蚂蚁。有的蚂蚁很小很小,小到可以站在针尖上,而 有的则很大很大,大到放在手上都能感觉到它们的重量。为了便于研究,他还专门养了一 群蚂蚁,每天都拿着放大镜仔细观察。 Several months later she wrote her findings in a 350-page "letter." It,too,was eventually published. She soon quit her kitchen job to take up writing. 经过几个月的观察与研究, 她把她研究蚂蚁的发现写成了一封长达350页的“信”寄给了演 说家。当然,这封“信”最终也发表了。不久以后,她便辞去了那份帮厨的工作,开始了她 的写作生涯。
Before she died,she had traveled to the lands of her dreams and had experienced more than she ever imagined possible! This is the woman who had never had a chance. 直到她去世之前,她几乎游历了所有她梦寐以求要去的地方,而且还体验了许多她曾经 想都不敢想的事情!这就是那位曾经感叹自己从未得到过任何机会的女人! Some people wait for opportunity to come knocking. Here is a person who sought it out,proving again that we can be more than victims of mere circumstance. 有些人等着机会来敲门,而这个人却是去寻找机会。她再次证明我们不应该仅仅成为环 境的受害者,我们可以做得更多。 If given a chance,will you take it? If given no chance,can you make one? 如果得到了机会,你能抓住它吗?如果没有机会,你能创造一个机会吗?
 

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