【纽约时报】民主第一课:让孩子学会吵架

 

放饵,引战,搅起群情激奋,然后坐山观虎斗,网络喷 子的钓鱼大法被特朗普玩了个炉火纯青。网络上 针锋相对的火药味也蔓延到了现实生活中,升级的 紧张气氛总是让我们无所适从。没办法,我们习惯了以和为贵,习惯了反对冲突。但也许 正是冲突让我们学会解决争端,让我们 学会处理不同意见,也让我们更加自信。试试这种办法,你家娃可能正需要呢。

 

民主第一课:让孩子学会吵架

【纽约时报】民主第一课:让孩子学会吵架

作者:ANNIE PFEIFER

译者:邵海灵&邹世昌

校对:王津雨

编辑:赵萌萌

 

Mr. Trump has convinced me to give my daughter some tough love. To expose her to critical opinions, to make her listen to views she might not like or agree with.

特朗普先生让我确信,必须给女儿一些“严厉的”爱了:将她置 于批评意见之中,让她听 到她可能不喜欢或不认同的观点。

 

本文选自The New York Times | 取经号原创翻译

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Recently, during a visit to Switzerland, I watched two kids beat each other to a pulp on a crowded playground while their parents looked on. I had to quell every American helicopter parent impulse in my body not to intervene.

不久之 前我去瑞士的时候,目睹了 两个小孩在拥挤的游乐场地上互殴到鼻青脸肿的场面,而他们 的家长全程只作壁上观。我不得 不把身体里每一个美国直升机家长式的冲动给压下去,才总算 没有插手去制止。

beat (someone) to a pulp: to deliver a violent and prolonged physical attack, often to the point of injury. 把某人打得鼻青脸肿,死去活来

helicopter parent: a parent who is overly attentive and doting toward their child or children. The term comes from the notion that they are “hovering” around their children at all times. 指过分 关注孩子生活中的经历和问题的父母,他们像 直升飞机一样整天盘旋在孩子的身边

 

Surprisingly, playgrounds in Switzerland are lawless zones. Twenty-five years ago, when I moved to Zurich from the United States in the fifth grade, I was mercilessly bullied by my classmates. They changed the indiscriminately terrifying name of the favored playground game “Alle Gegen Alle” (“Everyone Against Everyone”) to “Alle Gegen Annie” (“Everyone Against Annie”). The game consisted of throwing a handball at somebody as hard as humanly possible. The rest of the students jumped at the chance to pummel the newcomer with all their pent-up, prepubescent rage. Frantically, I looked around for assistance, but there was no grown-up in sight.

在瑞士,儿童玩 耍的操场是无法无天的地带,这是很让人意外的。二十五年前,小学五 年级的我从美国搬到苏黎世,也遭受 了同学们无情的欺凌。他们把那人人都玩、却人人 都怕的操场游戏“Alle Gegen Alle”(人人为敌)改成了“Alle Gegen Annie”(瞄准安妮),游戏内容只有一个:拿球对准某个人,用尽吃 奶的力气砸过去。那些尚 未进入青春期的学生们雀跃不已,因为他 们终于有机会对新同学穷追猛打,以此发 泄积郁已久的怒气。狂乱无 助的我放眼四周寻求帮助,可目力所及的范围内,一个大人也没有。

 

Until then, I had never really known conflict; I had not learned to defend myself. At even a whiff of drama on the playground of my Missouri public school, the monitor would race over with her whistle hanging commandingly around her neck. In contrast, Swiss parents believe that if children learn to resolve their own conflicts early on, they will be more autonomous and confident later in life. According to the author Sara Zaske and others who advocate German parenting models, this laid-back approach was a deliberate move away from the strict child-rearing practices associated with authoritarianism.

在那以前,我从来 没有真正面对过冲突,也没有学会如何自卫。在我以 前就读的密苏里公立学校里,操场上 哪怕冒出一点风吹草动的苗头,督察老 师都会疾步如飞地冲过来,脖子上挂着裁判哨,俨然一 副统领千军的架势。与此相反,瑞士的家长却相信,如果孩 子从小就能学会解决彼此之间的争端,长大以 后就会更具自主性,也会更有自信心。作家萨拉·阿斯克 和其他推崇德国教育模式的人认为,这种事不关己、高高挂起的方法,是谨慎 而刻意地避开了独裁主义作风的严格育儿法。

 

Eventually, my mother could no longer endure my suffering and, on one fateful day, unbeknown to me, marched to my school to lecture my tormentors. After that, I was left alone, but nobody ever invited me to take part in another birthday party or game of mutual destruction.

终于,我的妈 妈再也受不了我这么遭罪了。在一个 决定了我不幸命运的日子里,她背着我冲到学校,把那些 折磨我的同学们狠狠训斥了一通。从那以后,我就四围清净了,但再也 没有人会请我参加什么生日派对,或者玩 什么两败俱伤的打架游戏了。

 

The presidency of Donald Trump shows me just why it is so important to expose ourselves — especially our children — to conflict. If you examine him through the lens of playground politics, you will recognize Mr. Trump as a thin-skinned bully who seems incapable of stomaching criticism or opposition. At the same time, he postures as a victim, vacillatingbetween venomous outcries at his foes and the desperate need for validation from his fans.

特朗普当选总统一事,让我明 白了为什么把我们自己——尤其是我们的孩子——暴露在 冲突之中是如此的重要。如果你 从操场政治的视角来检视他,就会认 出特朗普先生是一个专门欺负人、但脸皮又薄的家伙,无法接 受任何批评或反对。与此同时,他又摆 出一副受害者的姿态,一边对他的敌人发出邪恶毒辣的叫嚣,一边又 不顾一切地需要得到支持者的认可。

vacillate / ˈvæsəleɪt/ v. ~ (between sth and sth) (fml usu derog 文, 通常作贬义) keep changing one’s mind; move backwards and forwards between two emotions (思想)动摇不定; 犹豫; (在两种情绪之间)变化不定

venomous /ˈvenəməs/ adj. full of hatred or anger 邪恶的,憎恶的

 

The problem with America — Mr. Trump’s playground — is that we’ve developed an insular, conflict-averse culture. The president’s trolling is so effective, in part, because many of us have not learned how to deal with interpersonal conflict, starting with the playground. We must learn to defend ourselves so that when Donald Trump or any other bully taunts us, we can rise to the occasion.

而特朗普先生的操场——美国的问题在于:我们已 经形成一种偏狭的、反对冲突的文化。总统的钓鱼大法之所以如此有效,其中一部分原因是:我们很 多人都没学会怎么处理人与人之间的冲突,这种冲 突在小学操场上就已经开始了。我们必须学会自卫,这样才 能在特朗普或其他欺负人的家伙奚落、嘲弄我们时,站出来应对这个局面。

trolling n. Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can. 网络俚语,最初是 指在公共论坛等讨论区故意挑起争端,然后坐 看他人互相攻击,现在也 指用尖酸刻薄的言辞攻击无辜围观群众的行为,不论主动还是被动的。在中文 中会根据具体情况而指代网络文化圈的“钓鱼”、“引战”或者“喷”的行为。

 

Most of us, liberals and conservatives alike, live in well-insulated echo chambers where Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity deliver more eloquent renditions of our own opinions in hyperbolic form. No wonder the American political system is suffering from an epic communication breakdown. Ensconced in our cocoons, we have lost the ability to talk to people with different views.

我们中的大多数,无论自 由派还是保守派,都如井 底之蛙般生活在一个与世隔绝、唯我独尊的回音室中,听蕾切尔·玛多肖恩·汉尼蒂口若悬河,夸夸其谈,把我们 自己的意见添油加醋地演出来。难怪美 国的政治体系正因一场空前巨大的交流中断而步履维艰。我们排除异己,作自缚,结果失 去了跟观点不同的人对话的能力。

Rachel Maddow:American television host, liberal political commentator, and author. Maddow became the first openly gay anchor to host a major prime-time news program in the United States.美国MSNBC频道晚间节目《蕾切尔·玛多秀》的主持人,时事评论员兼作家,也是美 国第一个公开出柜的黄金时段新闻主播。

Sean Hannity:American talk show host, author, and conservative political commentator. Hannity is the host of The Sean Hannity Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show. He also hosts a cable news show, Hannity, on Fox News. 美国的 一位广播和电视节目主持人、作家、保守派政治评论员。他是福斯新闻频道《肖恩·汉尼提秀》的主持人,也是三 本纽约时报畅销书的作者,在2016年的美 国大选中强烈支持特朗普。

cocoon / kəˈkuːn / n. silky covering made by an insect larva to protect itself while it is a chrysalis 茧

 

I was as shocked as many people were when Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election. As one of my friends mused:” How could Hillary lose? All my Facebook friends voted for her.” This monumental distortion of perspectives has culminated in the Trump administration’s genius postmodern claim that any unfavorable facts are “fake news.” But many liberals woke up on Nov. 9 also declared the election fake news.

像许多人一样,当知道希拉里·克林顿输掉2016年的美国总统选举时,我震惊了。正如我 一个朋友所思忖的:“希拉里怎么能输?我Facebook上的所 有朋友都投了她。”这一极 为严重的观念扭曲,在特朗 普政府脑洞大开的公开声明中达到了顶峰——这一后 现代风格的言论称,任何不 受欢迎的事实都是“假新闻”。但在大 选结果公布翌日,许多自 由主义者同样把它称为假新闻。

 

A few weeks ago, during a play date, my daughter and her best friend were sitting across the table from another 4-year-old, having an after-school snack. The peace was interrupted by my daughter, who noted, “Nina is sitting next to nobody.” A banal observation quickly turned into a nasty refrain that my daughter and her strategically situated friend sang over and over. Nina is sitting next to nobody. Nina is sitting next to nobody.

几个星期前,在一次 和小伙伴的聚会上,我女儿 和她最好的朋友坐在桌旁吃零食,她们对 面坐着一个四岁的小孩。女儿突然打破了平静,因为她注意到一件事,说:“妮娜旁边没有人。”紧接着,她和她的“战略盟友”把这件 再平常不过的事情编成了讨人厌的歌词,一遍又一遍地唱:妮娜旁边没有人,妮娜旁边没有人。

 

One of the hardest choices parents face is when to intervene in our children’s lives. Each day we are forced to make countless micro decisions that, en masse, add up to a de facto parenting philosophy.

何时介 入孩子们的生活是父母最难做出的抉择之一。每一天,我们都 被迫做出无数的微不足道的决定,而它们加在一起,又共同 构成了父母实际的教育理念。

 

My daughter’s taunts sounded so familiar — the trolling of an innocent victim who happened to draw the ire of a powerful, vocal bully. I wanted to let the children learn to deal with conflict on their own terms. But when Nina looked about to cry, I relented:” Guys, please apologize to Nina for hurting her feelings.” It was, after all, America, and I wanted my daughter to have friends.

我女儿 对他人的嘲弄是如此耳熟——一个仗势欺人、口无遮拦的恶霸,把怒气 无端发泄在一个无辜受害者身上,用刻薄的言语挖苦、嘲弄这个人。我也想 让孩子们学会按照他们自己的原则化解冲突。但是,当妮娜 快要哭出来的时候,我还是心软了,说:“孩子们,请向妮娜道歉,因为你 们伤害了她的感情。”毕竟这是在美国,我想要女儿交到朋友。

 

Kids don’t live in a bubble, so why do we try to shelter them from conflict? One of the earliest lessons you learn at school is about the boundless cruelty of other children. And that bullies can win. Yet contrary to these early playground lessons in realpolitik, children are consistently taught to avoid conflict by well-meaning parents, teachers and caregivers because that’s how we want the world to work. We raise our children in gilded playpens, shielding them from criticism and alternative views.

孩子们 并非生活在虚幻的泡沫中,既然如此,我们为 什么试图把他们屏蔽在冲突之外呢?在学校,你最先学到的一课是:其他孩 子的残忍程度是永远没有上限的,而且恶霸有可能会赢。然而,与这些 童年时期操场上的权力政治课相反,善意的父母、老师和 看护人总是教导孩子们要避免冲突,因为我 们希望这个世界能够如此运作。我们在 镀金的围栏内养育孩童,把他们 与批评意见和不同观点隔离开来。

 

Mr. Trump has convinced me to give my daughter some tough love. To expose her to critical opinions, to make her listen to views she might not like or agree with. I don’t want her to lose it when somebody like Donald Trump is elected. More than anything, I want her to be able to defend herself and fight back.

特朗普先生让我确信,必须给女儿一些“严厉的”爱了:将她置 于批评意见之中,让她听 到她可能不喜欢或不认同的观点。当唐纳德·特朗普 这样的人当选时,我不希望她失去理智。更重要的是,我希望 她能够保护自己并作出反击。

 

I want my daughter to learn to say no confidently and unapologetically. Dealing with conflict is also about standing up for yourself as a woman, whether a man is talking over you at a meeting or trying to engage in unwanted sexual behavior. If we learn early how to have difficult or uncomfortable conversations up front, we don’t need others to fill in the gaps, make our decisions or read our minds. But if we can’t stand up to conflict, we risk becoming the snowflakesthat the Donald Trumps and the wagging tongues on the right make us out to be.

我想要 女儿学会自信地、毫不抱歉地说“不”。所谓应对冲突,也包括 身为女性的你站出来捍卫自己,无论是 某位男性在开会时对你评头论足,还是试 图对你做出违背你意愿的性行为。如果我 们早早学会坦然面对难以进行或令人不适的对话,那就不 需要别人来填补缺口,替我们做出决定,或解读我们的想法。但如果 我们无法直面冲突,就有被 特朗普之流和那些搬唇弄舌的右翼分子变成雪花一代的危险——而这正 中了他们的下怀。

snowflake generation:The generation of people who became adults in the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offense than previous generations. “雪花一代”指的是 于本世纪第二个10年长大成人的一代人,与前一代人相比,他们被 认为缺乏坚韧性格,更加玻璃心。被列为“雪花一代”可能意 味着爱玩自拍或者过多谈论自己的感受等无害的习性,但它也 可能暗示你是富二代,无可救药地自恋,或者意 味着一种抵制言论自由的身份政治。

 

Finally, I want my daughter to think about the larger world, beyond the echo chamber that narrowly reflects her own experiences and views. I want her to think beyond the “me” in #MeToo. I want her to think about women, but I also want her to think of men, of the poor, minorities and the people who might not be part of the most trendy Instagram hashtag.

最后,我想让 我的女儿能去思考更大的世界,跳出井 底那个仅仅反映她自己的经验和观点的方寸之地。我要她能超然于“我也是”的运动 之上来思考问题。我想让 她思考整个女性群体,但也要她思考男性、穷人和少数族裔,以及那些没有被Instagram的流行 标签覆盖的群体。

 

Because all I’ve heard for the past 18 months is about Donald Trump.

因为,在过去的18个月里,我所听 到的全是唐纳德·特朗普。