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英国生活指南:第七章

团结一心

英国生活指南:第七章

翻译:Jellica    校对:若水

当你看到公告板上的这个主题时你们肯定会议论纷纷,因为我们都太会自以为是地看待“外国人” 。对他们了解少的人,更会轻易地下结论。这不仅仅是英国特色,各国人民(不管是在陆地上还是岛上)都会有一些狭隘的观点。他们将自己视为“上等人”,瞧不起其他国家的人 。

这种对“外国人”的轻视在身边就有。约克郡的人对伦敦东区的人不敬,内陆的人取笑威尔士人。关于根深蒂固而有挑衅意义的地方偏见,有太多要说的了,但同时它让一种健康的竞争精神兴起。多个世纪的经验让我们学会保持这种对抗精神。去温布利、特维克南或者老特拉福德散散心时,我们带着这种偏见。在酒吧的时候,我们因这个而激烈争吵。但当面临严肃事情时,我们便不再计较这些地区习惯风俗和口音的不同。因为我们在本质上是团结的,所有人共同前进,共同承担,共享胜利。

这也正是我们在和美军一同行军时需要的。我们同他们的巨大差异源于对他们的不了解,但时间久了我们就能清楚的认识到他们的价值。美国人和英国人会发现对方有很多可笑的地方,很多鄙视的地方。但那都不重要,只要我们在同时能发现对方有值得尊敬的地方就行。

目前为止,两国的士兵都才刚认识彼此。谢天谢地,双方还没掐着对方的脖子。他们喜欢同盟的打扮,但还不打算把自己改变成那样。他们处于防卫状态,还在观察对方。除了这些,他们还听过关于对方的含糊的谣言,见过对方一些还算真实的照片。在正式建立友谊之前,他们想看对方的成长过程,想看对方在工作或者休息时候的样子。这就是目前美军和英军的状况,正好可以作为友谊的开始。双方都有点偏见,也不了解对方的态度和特点,但仍然有在团结一起的意愿。

那我们怎么开始呢?

要在现在的战况下建立美军英军之间的友谊,我们需要培养三个品质。那就是,亲善,尊重与耐心。

亲善: 我们必须发自内心的喜欢对方,之所以要发自内心,是因为共同的事业要求我们这样。戈培尔和他的团队会不计一切地在我们之间制造矛盾。对这个花招我们的答案是持久的,坚定的亲善:我们决定去尽可能的相信这些陌生的人。决定是否采取这种态度则取决于个人的原则。

尊重:不管是对国家还是对个人,我们都必须对他们的成就予以尊重。我们可以不喜欢一个人的长相,或者他的衣服的剪裁或者他对事物的喜好,但仍要承认他是一个杰出的工程师或建筑师或音乐家。对美国成就的尊重就是我们了解美国人的一种途径,比如说他们对冰箱和内燃机的改良。我们仍承认他们是世界上的发明天才。

耐心: 如果你想要和某人交朋友,不要简单粗暴,而是要耐心等待。美国人和我们一样,不同国家的人在达到共识之前还有许多需要学习的地方。首要的就是对彼此要有感知,用现实取代在电影里和故事书里的形象。只有真诚的兴趣才能一点点发现真相。

即使是极端民族主义者也抵抗不了这种精神。问一个“外国人”他的家乡怎么样,他喜欢吃什么,他在哪里工作,在周日做什么,假期去哪里度假,他家装修是怎样的等等。这样你自然而然的可以达到两个目的。你知道了关于他来的地方的很多东西,你也让他感觉到了你是真心对他友好。这种方法,不需要啰嗦和胡扯,就能让美军和英军达到共识。信号是“被了解”。别管那些誓言,旗帜,纪念品,不管是国家还是夫妻,只要不团结,就没有办法在孤立的感情中生存。我们需要了解和尊重对方,原因有二:首先我们想要成为真正的盟军,而不是轴心国那种假装的同盟。其次,这也是更重要的,我们想要的不仅是战时的友谊。我们想要真正的同盟,在和平年代也能塑造新世界的永久力量。

来自英军事务局公报,1942718日,第22期,“遇见美国人”

英文原文:

UNITY UNDER THE SKIN

THERE WILL be no lack of discussion among your men when you tackle the theme of this bulletin, for all of us are only too ready to air our view about “foreigners.” And the less we know about them the readier we are to pronounce judgment. It isn’t a particularly British characteristic, either, for all nations (whether they live on islands or not) are inclined to an insular outlook. They think of themselves as “the tops” and they rather look down on all other nationalities.

This disparagement of the “foreigner” begins much nearer home than that. The Yorkshire lad says rude things of the Cockney; the Midlander makes fun of the Welsh-man. There’s a lot to be said for this robust and defiant local pride, for it keeps alive a healthy sense of rivalry. Yet after many centuries of experience we’ve learned to keep that rivalry in its place. We take it out for an airing to Wembley, Twickenham, or Old Trafford; we make it the peg for good knock-about arguments in the four-ale bar. But when it comes to serious business, we forget all these differences of local merit and custom and accent. And because we have unity under the skin, we men of all the shires march together, endure together, and win together.

It is in exactly the same spirit that we shall learn to march with the Americans. The local differences between us and them are stronger because they are, so far, less familiar, but we shall discover exactly what they count for in good time. The Americans and the British will find plenty to make fun of in each other, plenty to feel superior about. That doesn’t matter so long as we also find how much there is to respect in each other.

At the moment the soldiers of the two nations are in the position of two people who have just been introduced. Neither  of  them,   thank  heaven,   is  the  emotional  sort which falls on each other’s neck. They like the look of the other fellow, but they don’t intend to commit them-selves yet. They’re on the defensive, they’re sizing each other up. Besides that, they’ve heard vague rumors about each other, and they’ve seen photographs which weren’t too flattering. They  want to  see how the other   fellow shapes, what he’s like at work and at play, before they let the friendship ripen. That is exactly the situation be-tween the American and the British soldiers today—and it’s good enough for a beginning. There’s a bit of prejudice on both sides, a colossal ignorance of each other’s atti-tudes and characteristics—but there’s also a willingness to get together.

Where do we go from there?

We need to exercise three qualities if Anglo-American friendship is to develop under the exacting conditions of war. They are Good Will, Respect, and Patience.

Good Will We must be willing to like each other—willing, because the common cause demands it. Goebbels and his gang will do all they can to produce ill will between us. Our answer to that game is persistent, determined good will: the resolution to believe the best about people we don’t yet know. It should he a matter of personal mental discipline to adopt this attitude.

Respect: Toward nations as toward individuals we must show respect for positive achievement. We may dislike a man’s face or the cut of his clothes or his fashion in food—yet acknowledge him as a fine engineer or architect or musician. Respect for American achievement is one of the ways by which we shall discover the Americans. Look, for example, what they’ve done to refrigerators and combustion engines and acknowledge them as the world’s inventive wizards.

Patience: If you want someone’s friendship, don’t snatch it; wait for it. Peoples as foreign to each other as the Americans and ourselves have a lot to learn before we reach understanding. The first necessity is to be informed about each other, to replace the film version and the story-book version by the real facts. We shall get the facts one way and one way only—by seeking them in a spirit of genuine interest.

Not even the most intensely nationalistic man or woman can resist that spirit. Ask a “foreigner” about his home town, what he likes to eat, where he works, what he does on Sunday, where he goes for his holidays, how his home 36is furnished, and so on—and you’ll invariably achieve two things. You’ll discover a lot about the land he comes from, and you’ll make him feel you have a genuine inter-est in him. There and there only, without blah or baloney, is the plain man’s way to Anglo-American understanding. The signal is “(let Acquainted.” Never mind the vows and the flags and the keepsakes, for no alliance, whether national or matrimonial, ever survives on sentiment alone. We’ve got to understand and respect each other for two reasons. First, because we want to be real comrades in arms, not phoney ones of the Axis variety. Second, and even more important, we don’t want a mere wartime friendship. We want the real thing—the alliance which survives the peace and becomes a permanent force in the shaping of the new world.

From British Army Bureau of Current Affairs Bulletin, No. 22, July 18, 1942, ”Meet the Americans.”

英国生活指南:第七章
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