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乒乓球教给我的生活哲学

发布者: 千缘 | 发布时间: 2020-11-24 00:39| 查看数: 212| 评论数: 0|

在英国长大的皮科·伊耶从小就被教导,比赛的关键是要赢。现在,大约50年后,他意识到竞争可以“更像是一种爱的行为”。在这段深奥的演讲中,他探讨了他在日本附近地区经常举行的乒乓球比赛揭示了获胜之谜的原因,并展示了为什么不知道谁赢了会让人感觉到这才是真正的胜利。



Every other night in Japan, I step out of my apartment, I climb up a hill for 15 minutes, and then I head into my local health club, where three ping-pong tables are set up in a studio.

我在日本的时候,每隔一晚就会出门,爬山15分钟,然后再到当地的健康俱乐部,那里有三张乒乓桌。

And space is limited, so at every table, one pair of players practices forehands, another practices backhands, and every now and then, the balls collide in midair and everybody says, "Wow!" Then, choosing lots, we select partners and play doubles. But I honestly couldn't tell you who's won, because we change partners every five minutes. And everybody is trying really hard to win points, but nobody is keeping track of who is winning games. And after an hour or so of furious exertion, I can honestly tell you that not knowing who has won feels like the ultimate victory.

空间有限,所以在每张乒乓桌上,有一对球员练习正手,另一对练习反手,时不时地,球就会在空中碰撞,每个人就感叹道,“哇!”然后,我们抽签选择搭档进行双打。但是说实话我没法告诉你们是谁赢了,因为我们每五分钟就会更换搭档。每个人都为了赢分拼尽全力,但是没有人在记录到底是谁赢了比赛。在经过一小时激烈的角逐后,老实说,不知道谁赢了,却像是最终的胜利。

In Japan, it's been said, they've created a competitive spirit without competition. Now, all of you know that geopolitics is best followed by watching ping-pong.

在日本,有一种说法是,他们不通过比赛却创造出了比赛的精神。你们都知道可以通过看乒乓了解地缘政治。

The two strongest powers in the world were fiercest enemies until, in 1972, an American ping-pong team was allowed to visit Communist China. And as soon as the former adversaries were gathered around some small green tables, each of them could claim a victory, and the whole world could breathe more easily.

世界上最强大的两个国家曾是针锋相对的敌人,直到1972 年,美国乒乓球队被允许访问共产主义中国。当曾经的对手集结在这些小绿桌旁边时,每一方都获得了胜利,整个世界也能松一口气。

China's leader, Mao Zedong, wrote a whole manual on ping-pong, and he called the sport "a spiritual nuclear weapon." And it's been said that the only honorary lifelong member of the US Table Tennis Association is the then-President Richard Nixon, who helped to engineer this win-win situation through ping-pong diplomacy. But long before that, really, the history of the modern world was best told through the bouncing white ball.

中国的领导人为乒乓球写了一整本手册,他称这项运动为“精神核武器”。据说美国乒乓球协会唯一的终生荣誉会员就是当时的总统理查德·尼克松,他通过乒乓外交帮助实现了这样的双赢局面。但是在那之前,现代世界的历史通过这些往复的白色塑料球来讲述,效果最好。

"Ping-pong" sounds like a cousin of "sing-song," like something Eastern, but actually, it's believed that it was invented by high-class Brits during Victorian times, who started hitting wine corks over walls of books after dinner. No exaggeration.

“乒乓(ping-pong)”听起来像是“合唱(sing-song)”的表亲,像是来自东方,但实际上,乒乓被认为是由维多利亚时代的英国贵族发明的,那时他们在晚饭后用书对着墙击打葡萄酒软塞。没有夸张。

And by the end of World War I, the sport was dominated by players from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire: eight out of nine early world championships were claimed by Hungary. And Eastern Europeans grew so adept at hitting back everything that was hit at them that they almost brought the whole sport to a standstill. In one championship match in Prague in 1936, the first point is said to have lasted two hours and 12 minutes. The first point! Longer than a "Mad Max" movie. And according to one of the players, the umpire had to retire with a sore neck before the point was concluded.

第一次世界大战结束时,这项运动被来自原来的奥匈帝国的球员垄断:早期世锦赛的九个冠军中有八个被匈牙利摘取。东欧人对把球打来打去变得如此熟练,以至于他们近乎把这项运动带入了停滞状态。在1936年布拉格的一场世锦赛中,第一分据说在过了两小时12分后才被拿下。第一分!比《疯狂麦克斯》的电影还要长。据其中一个球员说,裁判在这一比分结束前因为脖子酸而不得不退场。

That player started hitting the ball back with his left hand and dictating chess moves between shots.

运动员甚至开始用左手击球,并在击打间隙指挥下象棋。

Many in the audience started, of course, filing out, as that single point lasted maybe 12,000 strokes. And an emergency meeting of the International Table Tennis Association had to be held then and there, and soon the rules were changed so that no game could last longer than 20 minutes.

当然,观众席中的许多人开始计数,这一比分可能持续了12000下击打。国际乒乓球协会的紧急会议不得不在现场立刻召开,随后规则改变,没有一轮比赛可以长于20分钟。

Sixteen years later, Japan entered the picture, when a little-known watchmaker called Hiroji Satoh showed up at the world championships in Bombay in 1952. And Satoh was not very big, he wasn't highly rated, he was wearing spectacles, but he was armed with a paddle that was not pimpled, as other paddles were, but covered by a thick spongy rubber foam. And thanks to this silencing secret weapon, the little-known Satoh won a gold medal. One million people came out into the streets of Tokyo to greet him upon his return, and really, Japan's postwar resurgence was set into motion.

十六年后,日本进入了人们的视野,一位名叫佐藤博治的无名制表匠出现在了1952年孟买的国际锦标赛上。佐藤博治没有名气,排名也不高,他还戴着眼镜,但是他的球拍并不像其他的球拍那样坑坑洼洼的,而是覆盖着厚厚的海绵状橡胶泡沫。多亏了这个秘密武器,默默无闻的佐藤博治摘得了金牌。当他回国时,在东京有一百万人走上街头夹道欢迎他凯旋,日本的战后复兴也真正开始了。

What I learned, though, at my regular games in Japan, is more what could be called the inner sport of global domination, sometimes known as life. We never play singles in our club, only doubles, and because, as I say, we change partners every five minutes, if you do happen to lose, you're very likely to win six minutes later. We also play best-of-two sets, so often, there's no loser at all. Ping-pong diplomacy. And I always remember that as a boy growing up in England, I was taught that the point of a game was to win.

不过,我在日本的常规乒乓赛中学到的,更恰当地说是全面占优的内在运动,有时也被称作人生。我们俱乐部从不打单打,只进行双打,因为,正如我所说,我们每五分钟就会更换搭档,如果你不巧输了,那么在六分钟后,你很有可能赢下比赛。我们也玩两局制,通常就没有输家。乒乓外交。我一直记得,作为在英格兰长大的男孩,我被教育比赛的关键是获胜。

But in Japan, I'm encouraged to believe that, really, the point of a game is to make as many people as possible around you feel that they are winners. So you're not careening up and down as an individual might, but you're part of a regular, steady chorus. The most skillful players in our club deploy their skills to turn a 9-1 lead for their team into a 9-9 game in which everybody is intensely involved.

但在日本,我被鼓励相信,比赛的要义是让你身边尽可能多的人认为他们是赢家。所以你不会以一个个体上下沉浮,相反,你是常规,稳定的团体的一部分。我们俱乐部打得最好的球员能够利用他们的技巧,将他们球队9比1的领先,进行到9比9,这样每个人都能积极参与其中。

And my friend who hits these high, looping lobs that smaller players flail at and miss -- well, he wins a lot of points, but I think he's thought of as a loser. In Japan, a game of ping-pong is really like an act of love. You're learning how to play with somebody, rather than against her.

我有个朋友会打吊高转球,小个子球员只能乱打,根本接不到——他能赢很多分,但我觉得他却是个输家。在日本,乒乓比赛真的像是爱的举动。你学习如何和别人一起比赛,而不是赢过别人。

And I'll confess, at first, this seemed to me to take all the fun out of the sport. I couldn't exult after a tremendous upset victory against our strongest players, because six minutes later, with a new partner, I was falling behind again. On the other hand, I never felt disconsolate.

我承认,起初,我觉得这样完全剥夺了运动的乐趣。我无法在赢下最强球员后感受到胜利的喜悦,因为六分钟后,和一个新的搭档在一起。我又落后了。另一方面,我从未感到沮丧。

And when I flew away from Japan and started playing singles again with my English archrival, I noticed that after every defeat, I was really brokenhearted. But after every victory, I couldn't sleep either, because I knew there was only one way to go, and that was down.

当我飞离日本,又开始和我的英国同僚进行单打时,我注意到每次失败后,我真的非常伤心。但每次胜利后,我也无法入眠,因为我知道接下来只有一条路可走,那就是下坡路。

Now, if I were trying to do business in Japan, this would lead to endless frustration. In Japan, unlike elsewhere, if the score is still level after four hours, a baseball game ends in a tie, and because the league standings are based on winning percentage, a team with quite a few ties can finish ahead of a team with more victories.

如果我尝试在日本做生意,这会导致无尽的沮丧。在日本,不像其他地方,如果四小时后比分依然持平,棒球比赛会以平局结束,而因为联赛排名依据胜率,一个有一些平局的队伍可以比赢得多场比赛的队伍排名更靠前。

One of the first times an American was ever brought over to Japan to lead a professional Japanese baseball team, Bobby Valentine, in 1995, he took this really mediocre squad, he lead them to a stunning second-place finish, and he was instantly fired. Why? "Well," said the team spokesman, "because of his emphasis on winning."

起初有一个名叫鲍比·瓦伦丁的美国人被带到日本来领导一个职业日本棒球队,那时是 1995 年,他带着这个平庸的队伍,最终惊人的拿下了第二名,然而他立刻被解雇了。为什么?“嗯,”球队发言人说,“因为他总强调赢下比赛。”

Official Japan can feel quite a lot like that point that was said to last two hours and 12 minutes, and playing not to lose can take all the imagination, the daring, the excitement, out of things.

日本官方对这一点的感觉很像,据说这一点持续了2小时12分钟,而不想输球的比赛会剥夺所有的想象、冒险和兴奋。

At the same time, playing ping-pong in Japan reminds me why choirs regularly enjoy more fun than soloists. In a choir, your only job is to play your small part perfectly, to hit your notes with feeling, and by so doing, to help to create a beautiful harmony that's much greater than the sum of its parts. Yes, every choir does need a conductor, but I think a choir releases you from a child's simple sense of either-ors.

同时,在日本打乒乓让我想到了为何相比独唱,合唱常常更有趣。在合唱队,你的唯一工作就是唱好你的那一声部,有感情的唱对音符,这样做才能构建比单纯齐唱更美的和声。是的,每个合唱团都需要一个指挥,但我认为合唱让你脱离了对于对错的简单理解。

You come to see that the opposite of winning isn't losing -- it's failing to see the larger picture.

你意识到胜利的对面并不是失败—— 而是不能看到更大的格局。

As my life goes on, I'm really startled to see that no event can properly be assessed for years after it has unfolded. I once lost everything I owned in the world, every last thing, in a wildfire. But in time, I came to see that it was that seeming loss that allowed me to live on the earth more gently, to write without notes, and actually, to move to Japan and the inner health club known as the ping-pong table. Conversely, I once stumbled into the perfect job, and I came to see that seeming happiness can stand in the way of true joy even more than misery does.

随着我生命的继续,我才真正认识到没有一个事情能够在它发生的几年后被正确的评价。我曾经在一场野火中失去了我在这世界上拥有的所有东西,每一件东西。但是逐渐的,我意识到这看上去的损失让我能在地球上生活的更平和,让我不用笔记就能写作,也让我搬去日本,接触到了内在的健康俱乐部,也就是乒乓球桌。相反的,我曾经有一份完美的工作,而我逐渐意识到这种表面的快乐实际上相比苦难会更加阻碍真正的快乐。

Playing doubles in Japan really relieves me of all my anxiety, and at the end of an evening, I notice everybody is filing out in a more or less equal state of delight. I'm reminded every night that not getting ahead isn't the same thing as falling behind any more than not being lively is the same thing as being dead. And I've come to understand why it is that Chinese universities are said to offer degrees in ping-pong, and why researchers have found that ping-pong can actually help a little with mild mental disorders and even autism. But as I watch the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, I'm going to be keenly aware that it won't be possible to tell who's won or who's lost for a very long time.

在日本打双打让我真正脱离了所有的焦虑,在一天结束时,我注意到每个人都表现出了差不多的欢乐。我每一晚都被提醒,没有领先并不等同于落后,就好似没有活力并不等同于死亡。我意识到为什么中国大学会颁发乒乓球的文凭,为什么研究人员发现乒乓球实际上可以减缓轻度的心理疾病,甚至是自闭症。但当我在东京观看2020年奥运会时,我会敏锐地意识到,在很长一段时间内,谁赢谁输将很难分辨。

You remember that point I mentioned that was said to last for two hours and 12 minutes? Well, one of the players from that game ended up, six years later, in the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Dachau. But he walked out alive. Why? Simply because a guard in the gas chamber recognized him from his ping-pong playing days. Had he been the winner of that epic match? It hardly mattered. As you recall, many people had filed out before even the first point was concluded. The only thing that saved him was the fact that he took part.

还记得我刚才提过的那个据说持续了两小时12分钟的一分吗?六年后,比赛中的其中一个球员被送进了奥斯维辛和达豪集中营。但他活着走了出来。为什么?仅仅是因为毒气室的守卫因为他的乒乓事迹认出了他。他是那场史诗级比赛的胜者吗?这已不重要。可能你还记得,许多人在第一个比分揭晓前就离开了。

The best way to win any game, Japan tells me every other night, is never, never to think about the score. Thank you.

拯救他的唯一东西就是他曾经参与了这场比赛的事实。每隔一晚日本就告诉我,赢得任何比赛的最好方式,就是永远,永远都不要想着分数。谢谢。


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