Don't take anything for granted 別把一切視為理所當然

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提要
「珍惜」兩個字,說來簡單,但身邊一直嘮叨的人、手邊用舊用慣的東西,很多人總是等到失去了,才猛然發覺:「原來有他/它的時候這麼好!」
追求更好的生活固然重要,也別忘記當前擁有的,已經相當不錯了,千萬別把一切視為理所當然。
There was an experiment a school teacher did with the children in her class. hey made three groups of plants which they watered exactly the same. To the first group they lavished attention and nice words upon; to the second they did nothing but made negative comments about. To the third group they ignored as much as possible. As you might expect the first group of plants thrived, the second were small and stunted. The third group was even worse than the second group. Small, tatty, weak and dying.
Without realising it, this is the way people live their lives, by taking huge chunks of it for granted, by ignoring it. People wake up in the morning without a second thought for the fact that we are alive, that throughout the night our hearts kept beating, our lungs kept filling with air without us having to do a thing.
Our feet are on the floor and we’re off to the shower without even considering the magic involved in walking, the balance, the coordination. People turn on the water and never marvel at the mechanical genius that means we can have hot water delivered to us, without us having to do more than turn our wrist(and pay the bill…..which we never really appreciate how good it is to have a job or source of money, whatever it may be, that means we can. )
People ignore so much of the goodness in our life, only missing it when it is gone. The only time I would not take my body for granted was when it was sick, when I couldn’t just jump out of bed without sneezing and wheezing and blowing my nose all the way. The only time I appreciated the fact that I had a washing machine was when it broke down and I couldn’t just throw my clothes in and walk away. The only time I was really grateful for the things my husband did for me was when he went away on business trip and I had to do them myself.
I remember reading a story from the terrorist bombing of the twin towers in New York; a woman refused to kiss her husband goodbye on the morning he set off for a meeting in one of the buildings, only because her lipstick was fresh on. It was the last time she saw him.
People take it for granted that our loved ones are coming back home to us, that we’ll get a chance to say goodbye, to tell them how much they mean to us.
And then we wonder why our lives aren’t as we wish, why they aren’t matching our ideal.
The answer? Gratitude, the opposite of taking things for granted. By being thankful for what you do have, exactly as it is, you give it space and the nourishment to become more You transform your perspective on life. No longer are you a victim.
When people are truly grateful and excited for what you have given them, you want to give more and more. Now imagine a child who is not grateful, who complains about what you have just given. The last thing you want to do is give more. Life is a giver of gifts, large and small, and you are that child. Be grateful for what you do have, don’t ignore the blessings under your nose.
解說
有個學校老師帶班上的孩子做了一組實驗。他們分三組種植物,澆水量完全一樣,但是照顧方式不同。第一組投入大量心力,輪流對植物好言好語;第二組什麼也不做,只是不斷對植物灌輸負面評價、說壞話; 至於第三組,則盡可能地忽略照顧的責任。可想而知,第一組植物生長茂盛,第二組植物發育不良,第三組最慘,虛弱的植物奄奄一息。
沒人特別留意,這就是大家生活的方式:忽略日常而將其視為理所當然。人們在早晨醒來時,從未再想到「我們還活著」的這個事實,我們的心整晚一直辛勤跳動,我們的肺中不停地填滿空氣,而我們任何事都沒做。
去洗澡的途中,腳在地板上前後移動,我們完全沒有考慮到步行所需要的、神奇的平衡與協調;打開水龍頭,人們永遠不會讚賞這源源不絕傳送熱水的天才裝置,我們需要做的,僅僅是轉動手腕而已(當然這包括支付帳單……這也是我們從未真正意識有一份工作或資金來源是多麼地好 ,無論哪種工作,都意味著我們有能力工作)。
人們忽略了生活中的許多美好事物,只有當它消失時才會想念。唯一一次我沒把身體健康當作理所當然,就是生病時、當我沒辦法在不打噴嚏和喘息的情況上床、並且不停擤鼻涕的時候;我唯一讚賞洗衣機的一次,是它發生故障,我不能再把衣服扔進去就走開的那一刻;我真正感謝丈夫為我做的一切,是當他工作出差時,我必須全部自己動手。
我記得讀過紐約世界貿易中心雙塔遭恐攻的新聞報導,一位女士拒絕在早上出門前親吻她的丈夫,只因為她的口紅是剛搽的。她的丈夫在其中一棟建築物中開會,那是她最後一次看到他。
人們理所當然地認為,我們的親人總回到我們身邊,總有機會說再見,表達他們對我們有多麼重要。
然後我們想知道,為什麼我們的人生不像我們希望的那樣,為什麼就是沒辦法達到我們的理想。
答案是什麼呢?是「感恩」,與「把一切視為理所當然」的作法相反。感激一切你已經擁有的,就是這麼回事,你讓「心存感激」有空間成長、滋養,心中的「感激」會更多。改變你對生活的態度,你就不再是「受害者」。
當人們對你給予的東西感激雀躍時,你想給他們更多;而假想有一個不知感恩的孩子,對你給的東西頗多怨言,你再也不想送東西給他了。生命如同禮物的饋贈者,無論禮物大小,而你就是那個孩子。要感激你被贈予的一切,別忽視你眼下的幸福。
WOW!原來如此
thrive
「thrive」是「繁榮成功;茂盛生長」,例如:
The country thrived under his leadership.(這個國家在他的領導下繁榮成長。)
Some people thrive on a stressful lifestyle.(某些人因生活中的壓力活得更帶勁。)
Creative people are usually very determined and thrive on overcoming obstacles.(富創造力的人往往意志堅定,而且不斷克服困難、茁壯成長。)
off to
「off to」是「朝向、去……」,例如:
Four of them had gone off to find help.(他們其中的四個人去尋求幫助了。)
I’m off to a good start, but I still need to focus a lot in order to win.(我有一個好的開始,但仍然需要集中精神贏得比賽。)
We’re off to see the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.(我們正準備去看《綠野仙踪》裡的偉大巫師。)
The last thing
「The last thing …..」是輾轉地說「something that you certainly do not want, need, etc.」(你肯定不想要的……),也就是「決不」,例如:
Hope is the last thing extinguished in the heart of man.(希望原是人類心中最不該幻滅的東西。)
That is the last thing to try.(那種事絕對不該嘗試。)
The last thing on earth I wanted was a mess like this.(我最不希望出現如此混亂的事。)
對話……
Put Your Foot In It
妳把腳放進嘴裡了
(「陷入尷尬情況」的意思)
Betty:That woman you were talking to just now. She didn’t look very pleased as she walked away. Did you have a disagreement over something?
Alice:Not exactly. It was all very embarrassing, actually.
Betty:Well what happened?
Alice:We were talking about that man over there.
Betty:What – that one? With the dreadful hair and those awful clothes?
Alice:Exactly. I just said how odd I thought he looked.
Betty:And?
Alice:He happens to be that woman’s husband.
Betty:Oh dear. You really put your foot in it, didn’t you.
貝 蒂:剛剛在跟妳說話的那個女人,她走開時看起來不太高興。 妳們有什麼意見不合嗎?
愛麗絲:不完全是這樣,其實這一切都很尷尬。
貝 蒂:那到底發生了什麼?
愛麗絲:我們在談論那邊的男人。
貝 蒂:啥,那個男人? 髮型恐怖、穿著又糟糕的那個?
愛麗絲:完全對,我只是對她說『我覺得他樣子很奇怪』。
貝 蒂:然後咧?
愛麗絲:他碰巧是那個女人的丈夫。
貝 蒂:哦,親愛的,這下子妳真的糗了,對吧?

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