英语背诵精选 The Tragedy of Old Age in America MP3 中英对照
时间:2010-11-04 22:38 作者:admin 来源:www.2abc8.com
英语背诵精选 The Tragedy of Old Age in America MP3 中英对照
By Robert N. Butler
What is it like to be old in the United States ?
What will our own lives be like when we are old ?
Americans find it difficult to think about old age until they are propelled into the midst of it by their own aging and that of relatives and friends .
Aging is the neglected stepchild of the human life cycle .
Though we have begun to examine the socially taboo(忌讳) subjects of dying and death , we have leaped over that that long period of time preceding death , we have leaped over that long period of time preceding death known as old age .
In truth , it is easier to manage the problem of death than the problem of living as an old person .
Death is a dramatic one-time crisis while old age is a day-by –day and year –by –year confrontation with (对抗)powerful external and internal forces , a bittersweet coming to terms with one’s own personality and one’s life .。
Those of us who are not old barricade(阻止) ourselves from discussions of old age by declaring the subject morbid , boring or in poor taste .
Optimism (乐观)and euphemism(委婉) are other common devices .
people will speak of looking forward to their “ retirement years “ . The elderly are described respectfully as “ senior citizens “ , “ golden agers “ , “ our elders “ , and one hears of old people who are considered inspirations and examples of how to “ age well “(不显老) or “ gracefully “ (老而庄重).
There is the popularly accepted opinion that Social Security and pensions provide a comfortable and reliable flow of funds so the elderly have few financial worries .
Medicare has lulled(麻貔) the population into reassuring itself that the once terrible financial burdens of late-life illnesses are now eradicated .
Advertisements and travel folders show relaxed , happy , well-dressed older people enjoying recreation (消谴), travel and their grandchildren .
If they are no longer living in the old family home , they are pictured as delighted residents of retirement communities with names like Leisure World and Sun City , with lots of grass , clean air and fun .
This is the American ideal of the “ golden years “ toward which millions of citizens are expectantly toiling through their workdays .
But this is not the full story . A second theme runs through the popular view of old age .
Our colloquialisms reveal a great deal : once you are old you are “ fading fast “ , “ over the hill “ , “ out to pasture “ , “ down the drain “ , “ finished “ , “ out of date “ , an “ old crock “, “ fogy “ , “ geezer “ , or “ biddy “ .
One hears children saying they are afraid to get old , middle-aged people declaring they want to die after they have passed their prime , and numbers of old people wishing they were dead .
What can we possibly conclude from these discrepant差异性 points of view ?
Our popular attitudes could be summed up as a combination of wishful thinking and stark terror .
We base our feelings on primitive fears , prejudice(偏见) and stereotypes(墨守成规) rather than on knowledge and insight .
In reality , the way one experiences old age is contingent upon (与什么有关)physical health , personality 性格, earlier-life experiences早年经历 , the actual circumstances of late –life events 晚年生活具体情形( in what order they occur , how they occur , when they occur ) and the social supports one receives :
adequate finances , shelter(住处), medical care , social roles , religious support , recreation文化如乐 .是否有足够的金钱，住处，医疗，社会任务，宗教支持，文化娱乐。
All of these are crucial 至关重要的and interconnected elements which together determine the quality of late life .
Old age is neither inherently miserable nor inherently sublime like every stage of life
it has problems , joys , fears , and potentials .
The process of aging and eventual death must ultimately be accepted as the natural progression of the life cycle , the old completing their prescribed life spans and making way for the young .
Much that is unique in old age in fact derives from the reality of aging and the imminence (迫近)of death .
The old must clarify and find use for what they have attained in a lifetime of learning and adapting ;
they must conserve strength and resources where necessary and adjust creatively to those changes and losses that occur a part of the aging experience .
The elderly have the potential for qualities of human reflection and observation which can only come form having lived an entire life span .
There is a lifetime accumulation of personality and experience which is available to be used and enjoyed .
But what are an individual’s chances for a “ good “ old age in America , with satisfying final years and a dignified death ?
Unfortunately , none too good .
For many elderly Americans old age is a tragedy悲剧 , a period of quiet despair , deprivation (剥夺), desolation(凄凉孤寂) and muted rage .
This can be a consequence of the kind of life a person has led in younger years and the problems in his or her relationships with others .
There are also inevitable personal and physical losses to be sustained , some of which can become overwhelming压抑and unbearable无法忍受的 .
All of this is the individual factor , the existential element .
But old age is frequently a tragedy even when the early years have been fulfilling and people seemingly have everything going for them .
Herein lies what I consider to be the genuine tragedy of old age in America
–we have shaped a society which is extremely harsh to live in when one is old .
The tragedy of old age is not the fact that each of us must grow old and die but that the process of doing so has been made unnecessarily and at times excruciatingly painful痛苦 , humiliating 屈辱, debilitating (虚弱)and isolating(孤独) through insensitivity(冷漠) , ignorance愚昧 and poverty .
The potentials for satisfactions and even triumphs in late life are real and vastly underexplored
For the most part the elderly struggle to exist in an inhospitable world .
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