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不要让最糟糕的一面定义你自己:做人,最重要就是开心!

发布者: 千缘 | 发布时间: 2021-4-7 01:01| 查看数: 56| 评论数: 0|



Twenty-three years ago, at the age of 19, I shot and killed a man. I was a young drug dealer with a quick temper and a semi-automatic pistol.

二十三年前,在我十九岁的时候,我击中并杀害了一个人。我那时是年轻的贩毒者,脾气暴躁, 有一只半自动的手枪。

But that wasn t the end of my story. In fact, it was beginning, and the 23 years since is a story of acknowledgment, apology and atonement. But it didn t happen in the way that you might imagine or think. These things occurred in my life in a way that was surprising, especially to me.

但我的故事并未在此结束。相反,它刚刚开始。这接下来的23年,是一个关于坦诚,道歉,和补偿的故事。但这故事并没有以你可能正在想象或认为的的方式发生。尤其是对我来说,这些事情在我生命中以一种令人惊讶的方式发生。

See, like many of you, growing up, I was an honor roll student, a scholarship student, with dreams of becoming a doctor. But things went dramatically wrong when my parents separated and eventually divorced.

看,我像你们中的很多人一样长大,我曾经也是一个优秀生,一个有奖学金的学生,有着成为一个医生的梦想。但是戏剧性的,当我父母分家并最终离婚时一切都变了。

The actual events are pretty straightforward. At the age of 17, I got shot three times standing on the corner of my block in Detroit. My friend rushed me to the hospital. Doctors pulled the bullets out, patched me up, and sent me back to the same neighborhood where I got shot. Throughout this ordeal, no one hugged me, no one counseled me, no one told me I would be okay.

具体的事件其实很简单。在我17岁的时候,我被枪击中了三次,就在底特律我所居住的那个街区。我朋友赶忙把我送到医院。医生们把子弹拔出来,把伤口缝好,又把我送回到了我被枪击的街区。在这次磨难中,没有人抱过我,没有人安慰我,没有人跟我说,一切都会好起来的。

No one told me that I would live in fear, that I would become paranoid, or that I would react hyper-violently to being shot. No one told me that one day, I would become the person behind the trigger. Fourteen months later, at 2 a.m., I fired the shots that caused a man s death.

没有人告诉过我,我会一直活在恐惧中,我会变成偏执狂,或者我对“被枪击”的反应将会极端暴力。或者我对“被枪击”的反应将会极端暴力。没人告诉我,有一天,我会变成扣动扳机的那个人。十四个月之后,在凌晨两点,我开了一枪,并造成了一个人的死亡。

When I entered prison, I was bitter, I was angry, I was hurt. I didn t want to take responsibility. I blamed everybody from my parents to the system. I rationalized my decision to shoot because in the hood where I come from, it s better to be the shooter than the person getting shot. As I sat in my cold cell, I felt helpless, unloved and abandoned. I felt like nobody cared, and I reacted with hostility to my confinement.

当我进监狱时,我很痛苦,我很愤怒,我很受伤。我不想承担这个责任。我把自己的过失归罪于所有人,从我的父母,到社会制度。我使自己开枪的动机合理化,因为在我的成长阴影里,做一个射击者总好过被别人开枪击中。当我坐在我冰冷的牢房里,我感觉十分无助,无人关爱,并被世界遗弃。我觉得没有人在乎我,于是我带着敌意反抗对我的监禁。

And I found myself getting deeper and deeper into trouble. I ran black market stores, I loan sharked, and I sold drugs that were illegally smuggled into the prison. I had in fact become what the warden of the Michigan Reformatory called "the worst of the worst." And because of my activity, I landed in solitary confinement for seven and a half years out of my incarceration.

然后我就发现,自己越来越深得陷入了麻烦。我在监狱里经营黑市,放高利贷,出售非法偷运进监狱的DP。事实上,我的确成为了密歇根少年教养院院长口中的 “恶中之恶”。因为我的这些恶行,在我的刑期中有七年半,我都被单独禁闭起来。

Now as I see it, solitary confinement is one of the most inhumane and barbaric places you can find yourself, but find myself I did. One day, I was pacing my cell, when an officer came and delivered mail. I looked at a couple of letters before I looked at the letter that had my son s squiggly handwriting on it. And anytime I would get a letter from my son, it was like a ray of light in the darkest place you can imagine. And on this particular day, I opened this letter, and in capital letters, he wrote, "My mama told me why you was in prison: murder." He said, "Dad, don t kill. Jesus watches what you do. Pray to Him."

如今当我回顾时,单人监禁是你所能找到的是最无人道和最残酷的地方之一,而我正置身其中。一天,我正在牢房里踱步,一个狱警进来派发邮件。我先读了一些信件,然后我看到了那封来自儿子的信,他手写的字母还歪歪扭扭。每当我收到我儿子写的信,那信就像一束光,射进了你能想象到的最黑暗的地方。在那天,我打开这封信,儿子用大写字母写道:“妈妈告诉我,你是因为谋杀而入狱的。”他说:“爸爸,别杀人。上帝能看到你的一举一动。向他祈祷吧。”

Now, I wasn t religious at that time, nor am I religious now, but it was something so profound about my son s words. They made me examine things about my life that I hadn t considered. It was the first time in my life that I had actually thought about the fact that my son would see me as a murderer. I sat back on my bunk and I reflected on something I had read in [Plato], where Socrates stated in "Apology" that the unexamined life isn t worth living.

我当时并不信教,我现在也不信教,但在我儿子的话中,我看到了一些很深奥的东西。这些东西使我审视我的生命,思考那些我以前从未细思过的事情。我第一次想到,我儿子将会视我为一个杀人犯。我坐回我的铺位上,《柏拉图》中的片段在我脑中闪现。在《申辩篇》中苏格拉底说道,“浑浑噩噩的生活不值得过。”

At that point is when the transformation began. But it didn t come easy. One of the things I realized, which was part of the transformation, was that there were four key things. The first thing was, I had great mentors. Now, I know some of you all are probably thinking, how did you find a great mentor in prison? But in my case, some of my mentors who are serving life sentences were some of the best people to ever come into my life, because they forced me to look at my life honestly, and they forced me to challenge myself about my decision making.

这一刻,是我生命转变的开始。但想转变并非轻而易举。在转变中, 我意识到关键点有四个。第一, 我有很好的导师。我知道你们有些人可能在想,你是怎么在监狱里找到很好的导师呢?但是在我的经历中,我的一些导师尽管处于终身监禁,却是走进我生命中的最好的人。因为他们迫使我去诚实地看待自己的经历,也迫使我去挑战我曾做过的决定。

The second thing was literature. Prior to going to prison, I didn t know that there were so many brilliant black poets, authors and philosophers, and then I had the great fortune of encountering Malcolm X s autobiography, and it shattered every stereotype I had about myself.

第二件重要之物是文学。在进监狱之前,我并不知道世界上有这么多优秀的黑人诗人、作者和哲学家。但之后我读了Malcolm X的自传,这对我来说是宝贵的财富,它动摇了我对自己所有的成见。

The third thing was family. For 19 years, my father stood by my side with an unshakable faith, because he believed that I had what it took to turn my life around. I also met an amazing woman who is now the mother of my two-year-old son Sekou, and she taught me how to love myself in a healthy way.

第三件重要之物是家庭。19年来,我父亲一直支持着我,因为他相信我有能力把自己的生活转入正轨。我也遇到了一位了不起的女性,她就是我两岁儿子Sekou的母亲。她教会了我如何用一种健康的方式爱自己。

The final thing was writing. When I got that letter from my son, I began to write a journal about things I had experienced in my childhood and in prison, and what it did is it opened up my mind to the idea of atonement. Earlier in my incarceration, I had received a letter from one of the relatives of my victim, and in that letter, she told me she forgave me, because she realized I was a young child who had been abused and had been through some hardships and just made a series of poor decisions. It was the first time in my life that I ever felt open to forgiving myself.

最后一件重要之物是写作。当我收到我儿子的来信时,我开始写一本日记记载我童年和在监狱里的经历,以及这些经历是怎样让我明白“补偿”的概念。在我被囚禁的早期,我曾接到过一封来自受害人家属的信。信里,她说她已经原谅我了,因为她意识到我只是个幼时被虐待过的孩子,还经历过许多苦难,才会做出一系列错误的决定。这是我此生第一次觉得或许我也能够原谅自己。

One of the things that happened after that experience is that I thought about the other men who were incarcerated alongside of me, and how much I wanted to share this with them. And so I started talking to them about some of their experiences, and I was devastated to realize that most of them came from the same abusive environments. And most of them wanted help and they wanted to turn it around, but unfortunately the system that currently holds 2.5 million people in prison is designed to warehouse as opposed to rehabilitate or transform. So I made it up in my mind that if I was ever released from prison that I would do everything in my power to help change that.

收到这封信之后,收到这封信之后,我想到在我身边其他被囚禁的人们,我想把这种感悟分享给他们。于是我就开始和他们聊天,了解他们所经历过的事。令我极为震惊的是,他们中的大部分都曾和我一样在幼时饱受虐待。他们渴望得到帮助,渴望改正自己,可不幸的是,现在的体系像个仓库,关押了250万的囚犯,却没有帮助他们改过自新、转变观念。所以我暗下决心,如果有一天我能被从监狱里释放,我会竭尽全力去改变这样的现状。

In 2010, I walked out of prison for the first time after two decades. Now imagine, if you will, Fred Flintstone walking into an episode of "The Jetsons." That was pretty much what my life was like. For the first time, I was exposed to the Internet, social media, cars that talk like KITT from "Knight Rider." But the thing that fascinated me the most was phone technology. See, when I went to prison, our car phones were this big and required two people to carry them.

2010年,我在被关押了20多年后第一次走出监狱。现在,如果你愿意,请想象一下,一个远古时代的人突然踏进了未来时空。(原句:卡通角色‘摩登原始人’走入了以未来世界为主题的动画片 杰森一家 ) 我当时的感受大概如此。我第一次接触到互联网,社会媒体,带有语音的汽车,就像在科幻电影中一样。但最令我着迷的,还是通信技术。当我进监狱时,我们的电话有这么大,必须有两个人才能搬起来。

So imagine what it was like when I first grabbed my little Blackberry and I started learning how to text. But the thing is, the people around me, they didn t realize that I had no idea what all these abbreviated texts meant, like LOL, OMG, LMAO, until one day I was having a conversation with one of my friends via text, and I asked him to do something, and he responded back, "K." And I was like, "What is K?" And he was like, "K is okay."

想象一下我第一次拿起黑莓手机时的情景,我开始学习如何发短信。但问题是,我身边的人,他们并没有意识到我完全不了解各种短信缩写的含义,比如lol(大笑),omg(天啊),lmao(笑死了)。直到有一天我和朋友在互发短信。我请他帮忙做一件事,他回复:”k“。我说,“什么是k?”他说,“k没事。”(多意:k就是okay)。

So in my head, I was like, "Well what the hell is wrong with K?" And so I text him a question mark. And he said, "K = okay." And so I tap back, "FU." (Laughter) And then he texts back, and he asks me why was I cussing him out. And I said, "LOL FU," as in, I finally understand.

我当时就想,“k难道会有事吗?”所以我给他回了一个问号。于是他又说,“k=okay”。我回复,“FU(去你x的)”。他问,“你干嘛骂我?”他问,“你干嘛骂我?”我说,“lol(大笑),FU (去你x的)”,我这就会用缩写了。

And so fast forward three years, I m doing relatively good. I have a fellowship at MIT Media Lab, I work for an amazing company called BMe, I teach at the University of Michigan, but it s been a struggle because I realize that there are more men and women coming home who are not going to be afforded those opportunities. I ve been blessed to work with some amazing men and women, helping others reenter society, and one of them is my friend named Calvin Evans. He served 24 years for a crime he didn t commit.

这样过去了三年,我就过得不错了。我在MIT的媒体实验室加入了一个项目,我一家叫BMe的大公司工作,我在密歇根大学教书,但我内心又开始斗争,因为我意识到有更多的人从监狱出来,没有办法接触到这样的机会。我曾很幸运的和一些杰出的人一起工作,帮助其他被释放的人重新进入社会。其中一个,我的朋友,Calvin Evans。他被判冤狱,坐了24年牢。

He s 45 years old. He s currently enrolled in college. And one of the things that we talked about is the three things that I found important in my personal transformation, the first being acknowledgment. I had to acknowledge that I had hurt others. I also had to acknowledge that I had been hurt. The second thing was apologizing.

他45岁了,现在正在上大学。现在,像我们在开头说过,那三样我觉得在自己转变中最为重要的事,第一就是承认。我必须承认,我曾经伤害过他人。我也必须承认,我曾被伤害过。第二件是道歉。

I had to apologize to the people I had hurt. Even though I had no expectations of them accepting it, it was important to do because it was the right thing. But I also had to apologize to myself. The third thing was atoning. For me, atoning meant going back into my community and working with at-risk youth who were on the same path, but also becoming at one with myself.

我必须向被我伤害过的人们道歉。尽管我并不期望他们会接受我的道歉,道歉仍然很重要,因为道歉是正确的事。可我也必须要向自己道歉。第三件事是补偿。对我而言,补偿意味着 回到我生长的社区中,帮助那些正跟我以前走着同样道路有风险的儿童。同时我也成为他们其中的一员。

Through my experience of being locked up, one of the things I discovered is this: the majority of men and women who are incarcerated are redeemable, and the fact is, 90 percent of the men and women who are incarcerated will at some point return to the community, and we have a role in determining what kind of men and women return to our community.

回顾我的监狱生涯,我发现大部分被监禁的人,我发现大部分被监禁的人,都并非无可救药。事实上,90%被监禁的人在某一时刻都会回归到社会中。而我们能影响着他们回归社会后会变成怎样的人。

My wish today is that we will embrace a more empathetic approach toward how we deal with mass incarceration, that we will do away with the lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the-key mentality, because it s proven it doesn t work.

我今天的希望是我们能以一种更有同情心的态度,去讨论我们该如何对待被关押人员,我们应该放弃那种把他们锁起来然后扔掉钥匙的态度,因为这种态度已被证明毫无用处。

My journey is a unique journey, but it doesn t have to be that way. Anybody can have a transformation if we create the space for that to happen. So what I m asking today is that you envision a world where men and women aren t held hostage to their pasts, where misdeeds and mistakes don t define you for the rest of your life. I think collectively, we can create that reality, and I hope you do too.

我的经历是独特的,但它本可以有其他的变化。每个人都可以改变,只要我们给他们足够的空间。所以今天我所请求的,是你们对未来的预想,想象有一个世界,所有人对自己的过去都没有敌意,我们犯的错误和罪行都不能定义我们余下的一生。我想,我们可以一起创造这个未来,并且我希望,你也是这么想的。

Thank you.

谢谢。


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