发布时间: 2017-06-20 08:48   来源: 北外网院
关键词: 毕业典礼演讲 徐小平 北外网课 北外网院 2017秋季学历招生

近日,新东方联合创始人、著名天使投资人徐小平参加了母校加拿大萨斯喀彻温大学(University of Saskatchewan)举行的毕业典礼,并发表演讲,分享了他的成功秘诀:“生命以获取而续存,却因给予而繁盛(We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.)”。

Ladies and gentlemen. Chancellor Romanow, President Stoicheff, government representatives, distinguished guests, members of the faculty, graduates and friends: This honor means everything to me. I am truly grateful. Thank you so very much.

My new degree makes me a proud member of this Class of 2017. To my classmates, your parents, your families, may I offer a simple message: For the great achievement you share on this wonderful day, Congratulations!

For me, it is especially flattering to be called a Doctor of Laws. Let me tell you why. Long ago, after I earned my Master's Degree in music, I still didn't know what to do. So I considered studying at the College of Law. I attended exactly one class, in contract law. Right then and there, I knew that law school just wasn't for me. One class – and yet here I am with this beautiful, impressive degree as a Doctor of Laws. Those of you graduating from the law school today, who worked and struggled for your degrees, would be entitled to reflect that life is not always fair.


Sometimes we get more than we deserve. I know this, because it is how I have always felt, about what I received from the University of Saskatchewan. The university has honored me, but really, I am here today to honor the university.


Exactly thirty years ago in 1987, my wife Ling and I decided that we were ready to see the world beyond China. If you had lived in a basement in Beijing, and desire a change of scenery, it doesn't get any more different than the Canadian prairie[1].

30 年前的 1987 年,我和我妻子和我决定走出国门,看看外边的世界。如果你在北京的地下室住过,渴望换一种风景,没有什么比加拿大辽阔的草原风光,会给你带来更震撼的体验(笑声)。

[1]prairie: a wide area of flat land without trees in Canada and the northern US (加拿大和美国北部的)大草原

Ling applied to study music here and was immediately accepted. I, on the other hand, had to wait. I went to Washington, D.C., with a hundred dollars in my pocket, and found a job. So my wife was alone with her violin in Saskatoon. I was three thousand kilometers away on the kitchen staff of Mr. Eggroll.


The happy day came when I was also accepted at this university. Nobody was ever as excited as I was to spend three days on a Greyhound bus to Saskatchewan. Ling and I had both received scholarships. That made all the difference for us. The same amount of money would have taken many years to earn in China at that time. We were amazed that such a gift could be granted by people who did not even know us.


With special affection, I recall the generous spirit of Dr. David Kaplan. If you knew him, it was a privilege. He was the founder of the music department. To many foreign students, he was a source of constant help, friendship, and encouragement. Often in my life, Dr. Kaplan's example has shined before me, a reminder to share with others as he shared with me.

满怀着挚爱之情,我想起我的研究生导师 David Kaplan 博士的仁爱胸怀。认识他的人,都会感到认识他是一种幸运。他是音乐系的创始人。对于我们外国留学生而言,他是淙淙流淌的友谊、帮助和鼓励的源泉。Kaplan 博士是我生命中一盏明灯,指引着我像他帮助我一样去帮助别人。

I received so much from the University in those years, but life beyond campus was not nearly as forgiving[2]. Upon graduation, it didn't take long for me to realize that I would not make my fortune as a performing musician. As much as the world loves the sounds of Mozart and Bach, the world was not waiting to hear them from my violin. I started my own music business, but business was slow. I wrote and recorded folksongs, but the folks were not listening.


[2]forgiving: Something that is forgiving allows you to make mistakes or allows for your weaknesses. 容许失误的;能弥补弱点的

They flew back to a cooler and more forgiving climate.


It was truly a difficult period for me. I watched our children at home while my wife taught school. I took various jobs, including one job that involved fast-paced and time-sensitive[3] transactions. If anyone here received a delivery from Pizza Hut in 1995, there is a good chance we have met before.

这段时间对于我来说的确是举步维艰。我在家看孩子,靠我妻子教书养家。我也尝试做过各种各样的工作,其中一种工作,对速度节奏和交割时效要求极高——在座如果有人在 1995 年叫过必胜客披萨的外卖,我们很可能曾经有缘相逢(笑声)。

[3]time-sensitive: used to describe a product that has to be delivered by a particular time, or information that is only useful for a particular period

We deliver high-value, time-sensitive goods like cars, computers and specialist chemicals.

I do not recommend a period like that in your own careers, if you can avoid it. But sometimes it happens anyway. That doesn't have to be the end. It can even mark a late beginning, as it did for me. Even in my darkest moments, I had a sense of who I was and what I could do. More than once I failed, but I refused to give up. I knew in my heart that I was here on earth to achieve good and meaningful things. I never let any failure take that conviction away.


Sustained by this feeling, I went back to China and joined a small English school in Beijing called New Oriental. China had opened up and many young people were eager to see the world. I threw myself into the work of helping them find opportunities to study abroad. I shared everything I knew to serve them in every way I could.


Ten years later, after that school, New Oriental Education, went public in the U.S., many of my former students returning from overseas approached me looking for money for their business ideas. At the time in China, there was no such thing as angel investing[4]. I understood these men and women, because I knew what it was like to be rich in ideas and poor in money. So I began to finance their start-up dreams and became an angel investor before I knew it.


[4]天使投资(Angel Investment),是权益资本投资的一种形式,是指富有的个人出资协助具有专门技术或独特概念的原创项目或小型初创企业,进行一次性的前期投资。它是风险投资的一种形式,在根据天使投资人的投资数量以及对被投资企业可能提供的综合资源进行投资。

I am happy to be called a success today- and frankly, still a bit relieved[5]. It was a close call[6]. But I do not measure success in rankings of wealth. I do not measure it in the things I can buy. I measure success, not just in overcoming one's own adversity, but in helping others overcome theirs. My favorite line in the musical Les Miserables is from the Bishop: "Though our lives are very humble. What we have, we have to share." I don't recall if my friend Dr. David Kaplan ever heard those words, but he certainly lived them. And mine is just one life that he, and this university, changed for the better.

被人们称之为“成功人士”是一件让我高兴的事。说实话,我感到庆幸,命运对我实在非常宽厚仁慈。但我不会用财富排行榜来衡量成功,也不会用能够买得起什么来评判成败。我衡量成功的标准,不仅仅是自己如何战胜逆境,而是如何也帮助他人反败为胜。《悲惨世界》中主教对冉阿让的一句话让我非常难忘:“无论我们的生命多么微不足道,我们要倾尽一切与他人分享。”我不记得我的朋友 David Kaplan 博士是否听说过这句名言,但他确实践行了这种美德。我的人生,因为他和他所象征的萨斯喀彻温大学,而变得更加美好。

[5]relieved: happy that something unpleasant has not happened or has ended 宽慰的;放心的;解脱的

I'm so relieved to find you - I thought you'd already gone.


I'm relieved (that) you didn't tell her.


[6]a close call: something bad that almost happened 几乎发生的事

The car just missed the child but it was a very close call.


In business, in law, in any work we do, all of the same things are true about succeeding. First jobs – maybe even second or third ones – are not always dream jobs. Yet there is one opportunity that we never have to wait on – that is the chance to give our best, to give without holding back, and to give more than what is asked.


We can do that in every position, high or low. We can do that in every circumstance. Every day, at every turn, we are needed; there are good things that only we can do. That's how we show who we are, and find success along the way. There is great wisdom in the saying: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.


For each one of you graduating here today, I wish a great career and a happy life. And I hope that you will always share the feeling I have toward this university: respect, affection, and gratitude for all it has given to us. The kindness and generosity I received here long ago still touches me. May these years of learning leave a gracious mark on you as well.


Classof 2017, I wish you good luck and great happiness.

2017 届的同学们,我祝你们好运连连,幸福满满!

Thank you very much.



















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