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Ambition

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Ambition

It is not difficult to imagine a world short of ambition. It would probably be a kinder world: with out demands, without abrasions, without disappointments. People would have time for reflection. Such work as they did would not be for themselves but for the collectivity. Competition would never enter in. conflict would be eliminated, tension become a thing of the past. The stress of creation would be at an end. Art would no longer be troubling, but purely celebratory in its functions. Longevity would be increased, for fewer people would die of heart attack or stroke caused by tumultuous endeavor. Anxiety would be extinct. Time would stretch on and on, with ambition long departed from the human heart.

Ah, how unrelieved boring life would be!

There is a strong view that holds that success is a myth, and ambition therefore a sham. Does this mean that success does not really exist? That achievement is at bottom empty? That the efforts of men and women are of no significance alongside the force of movements and events now not all success, obviously, is worth esteeming, nor all ambition worth cultivating. Which are and which are not is something one soon enough learns on one’s own. But even the most cynical secretly admit that success exists; that achievement counts for a great deal; and that the true myth is that the actions of men and women are useless. To believe otherwise is to take on a point of view that is likely to be deranging. It is, in its implications, to remove all motives for competence, interest in attainment, and regard for posterity.

We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time or conditions of our death. But within all this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we shall live: courageously or in cowardice, honorably or dishonorably, with purpose or in drift. We decide what is important and what is trivial in life. We decide that what makes us significant is either what we do or what we refuse to do. But no matter how indifferent the universe may be to our choices and decisions, these choices and decisions are ours to make. We decide. We choose. And as we decide and choose, so are our lives formed. In the end, forming our own destiny is what ambition is about.



壹個缺乏抱負的世界將會怎樣,這不難想象。或許,這將是壹個更爲友善的世界:沒有渴求,沒有磨擦,沒有失望。人們將有時間進行反思。他們所從事的工作將不是爲了他們自身,而是爲了整個集體。競爭永遠不會介入;沖突將被消除。人們的緊張關系將成爲過往雲煙。創造的重壓將得以終結。藝術將不再惹人費神,其功能將純粹爲了慶典。人的壽命將會更長,因爲由激烈拼爭引起的心髒病和中風所導致的死亡將越來越少。焦慮將會消失。時光流逝,抱負卻早已遠離人心。
啊,長此以往人生將變得多麽乏味無聊!
有壹種盛行的觀點認爲,成功是壹種神話,因此抱負亦屬虛幻。這是不是說實際上並不豐在成功?成就本身就是壹場空?與諸多運動和事件的力量相比,男男女女的努力顯得微不足?顯然,並非所有的成功都值得景仰,也並非所有的抱負都值得追求。對值得和不值得的選擇,壹個人自然而然很快就能學會。但即使是最爲憤世嫉俗的人暗地堣]承認,成功確實存在,成就的意義舉足輕重,而把世上男男女女的所作所爲說成是徒勞無功才是真正的無稽之談。認爲成功不存在的觀點很可能造成混亂。這種觀點的本意是壹筆勾銷所有提高能力的動機,求取業績的興趣和對子孫後代的關注。
我們無法選擇出生,無法選擇父母,無法選擇出生的曆史時期與國家,或是成長的周遭環境。我們大多數人都無法選擇死亡,無法選擇死亡的時間或條件。但是在這些無法選擇之中,我們的確可以選擇自己的生活方式:是勇敢無畏還是膽小怯懦,是光明磊落還是厚顔無恥,是目標堅定還是隨波逐流。我們決定生活中哪些至關重要,哪些微不足道。我們決定,用以顯示我們自身重要性的,不是我們做了什麽,就是我們拒絕做些什麽。但是不論世界對我們所做的選擇和決定有多麽漠不關心,這些選擇和決定終究是我們自己做出的。我們決定,我們選擇。而當我們決定和選擇時,我們的生活便得以形成。最終構築我們命運的就是抱負之所在。

   

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