只有自己也被谎言欺骗过,才能知道诚实的可贵

只有自己也被谎言欺骗过,才能知道诚实的可贵

I was six years old and my sister, Sally Kay, was a submissive three.For some reason, I thought we needed to earn some money. I decided we should “hire out” as maids. We visited the neighbors, offering to clean houses for them for a quarter cents.

那一年我6岁,听话的妹妹萨利凯只有3岁。出于某种原因,我认为我们需要挣一些钱。我觉得我们应该去“打工”做女佣。于是,我们去拜访邻居们,提出为他们打扫房子,开价25美分。

Reasonable as our offer was, there were no takers. But one neighbor telephoned Mother to let her know what Mary Alice and Sally Kay were doing. Mother had just hung up the phone when we came bursting through the back door, into the kitchen of our apartment. "Girls,"Mother asked, "Why were you two going around the neighborhood telling people you would clean their houses?"

虽然我们的提议合情合理,但是却没有人愿意雇用我们。并且还有一位邻居打电话给我们的母亲,告诉她玛丽艾丽丝和萨莉凯所做的事情。我们推开后门走进自家厨房的时候,母亲刚刚挂上电话。“姑娘们,”母亲问道,“你们俩为什么告诉邻居们想给他们打扫房子?”

Mother wasn't angry with us. In fact, we learned afterwards, she was amused that we had come up wih such an idea. But, for some reason, we both denied having done any such thing. Shocked and terribly hurt that her dear little girls could be such"bold-faced liars", Mother then told us that Mrs. Jones had just called to tell her we had been to her house and said we would clean it for a quarter.

母亲并未生我俩的气。我们后来才知道,事实上,她为我们冒出那样的想法而觉得有趣。但不知为何,我俩一致否认做过这样的事情。没有想到两个可爱的小女儿竟然会是“厚颜无耻的撒谎精”,母亲大为震惊和伤心。然后,她告诉我琼斯太太刚刚打过电话来,告诉她我们去过她家并提出25美分为她打扫房子。

Faced with the Truth, we admitted what we had done. Mother said that we had "fibbed". We had not told the Truth. She was sure that we knew better. She tried to explain why a fib hurt but she didn't feel that we really understood.

在事实面前,我们只好承认自己的所作所为。母亲说我们“撒谎”了。我们没有说真话。她相信我们是无心之过。她尽量向我们解释为什么撒谎会伤害别人,但是她觉得我们并未真的明白。

Years later, she told us that the "lesson" she came up with for trying to teach us to be truthful would probably have been frowned upon by child psychologists. The idea came to her in a flash... and our tender-hearted mother told us it was the most difficult lesson she ever taught us. It was a lesson we never forgot.

数年之后,母亲告诉我们,儿童心理学家们对她随后的诚实教育的做法很可能是不赞同的。她当时也是突发奇想……温柔的母亲告诉我们,那是她对我们的教导中最困难的一次,也是我们终生难忘的一课。

After admonishing us, Mother cheerfully began preparing for lunch. As we munched on sandwiches, she asked, “ Would you two like to go to th moives this afternoon?”

在告诫完我们之后,母亲开始饶有兴致地做午餐。当我们大口咬着三明治的时候,她问我们:“今天下午,你们俩愿意去看电影吗?”

"Wow! Would we ever!" We wondered what movie would be playing. Mother said The Matinee. Oh, fantastic! We would be going to The matinee! Weren’t we lucky? We got bathed and all dressed up. It was like getting ready for a birthday party. We hurried outside the apartment, not wanting to miss the bus that would take us downtown. On the landing, Mother stunned us by saying, "Girls, we are not going to the movies today."

“哇!我们当然愿意!”我们猜想要去看什么电影。母亲说是《马蒂尼》。奥,太棒了!我们要去看《马蒂尼》了!我们不是很幸运吗?我们洗了澡,穿戴整齐,就像去赴一个生日宴会一样。我们迅速出了门,去赶开往市区的公共汽车。到了车站,母亲的一句话把我们惊呆了:“姑娘们,我们今天不去看电影了。”

We didn’t hear her right. “What?” we objected. “What do you mean? Aren’t we going to The Matinee? Mommy, you SAID we were going to go the The Matinee!”

我们一下没反应过来。“什么?”我们抗议道。“什么意思?我们不去看《马蒂尼》了吗?妈妈,你说过要带我们去看《马蒂尼》的!”

Mother stooped and gathered us in her arms. I couldn’t understand why there were tears in her eyes. We still had time to get the bus. But hugging us, she gently explained that this was what a fib felt like.

母亲弯下了腰,搂住我俩。我不明白她的眼睛里为什么会有泪。我们还有时间坐公共汽车。但是,她拥抱着我们,轻声解释说这就是被谎言欺骗的感觉。

“It is important that what we SAY is TRUE,” Mother said, “ I fibbed to you just now and it felt awful to me. I don’t ever want to fib again and I’m sure you don’t want to fib again either. People must be able to believe each other. Do you understand?”

“说真话是非常重要的,”母亲说。“我刚才对你们撒了谎,我觉得糟透了。我不愿意再撒谎了,我相信你们也不愿意再撒谎了。人与人之间必须互相信任。你们明白了吗?”

We assured her that we understood. We would never forget.

我们向她保证我们明白了。我们永远也不会忘记。

And since we had learned the leeson. Why not go on to The Matinee? There was still time.

既然我们已经接受了思想教育,为什么不接着去看《马蒂尼》呢?我们还有时间。

"Not today," Mother told us. We would go another time.

“不是今天,”母亲告诉我们。我们改天去。

That is how, over fifty years ago, my sister and I learned to be truthful. We have never forgotten how much a fib can hurt.

这便是50多年前我和妹妹如何学会了诚实,我们从未忘记一个谎言会造成多大的伤害。

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