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面对逆境,谢莉尔·桑德伯格的B选项

更新时间:2017-4-25 10:33:16 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Sheryl Sandberg Finds Comfort for Herself and Offers It to Others
面对逆境,谢莉尔·桑德伯格的B选项

OPTION B
Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

By Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
226 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $25.95.

《B选项:面对逆境,建设恢复力,寻找快乐》(Option B: Facing Adversity Buildong Resilience, and Finding Joy)
谢莉尔·桑德伯格(Sheryl Sandberg)与亚当·格兰特(Adam Grant)著
226页,阿尔弗雷德·A·克诺夫(Alfred A. Knopf)出版,25.95美元

You could almost hear the collective gasp when news broke, in May 2015, that the internet entrepreneur Dave Goldberg had died suddenly while on vacation in Mexico with his wife, Sheryl Sandberg. Their marriage had become a public one ever since the publication, two years earlier, of “Lean In,” her book about women and leadership. In it she had written some revolutionary things about marriage (she called it having a “partner,” but the book was so much about redefining gender roles that she clearly seemed to be talking about husbands). Deciding to get married — and the choice of whom to marry — weren’t just central to one’s private life, she wrote. Together they made up the “most important career decision that a woman makes.” She observed that most women at the top aren’t the lonely, single women of clichés; they are married women whose husbands support their ambitions and take equal responsibility for making a home. She said that her great success (she is the chief operating officer of Facebook, which has made her a billionaire) would have been impossible without the unwavering support of her husband. Now, in the cruelest way, she had lost him.

2015年5月,当消息传来时,你几乎可以听到所有人都倒抽了一口气,与妻子谢莉尔·桑德伯格(Sheryl Sandberg)在墨西哥度假期间,互联网企业家戴夫·古德伯格(Dave Goldberg)突然去世。自从两年前桑德伯格出版了关于女性与领导力的《向前一步》(Lean In)一书以来,她的婚姻已经成为一个公开话题。书中她就婚姻写下了一些开创性的文字(她把婚姻叫做找一个“伴侣”,但是书里有大量内容都是关于重新界定性别角色,谈的显然是她的丈夫和前任)。她写道,结婚的决定以及结婚对象的选择不仅仅是私人生活的核心。它们共同构成了一个女人“最重要的职业决定”。她指出,大多数处于领导地位的女性不是老一套说法中的那种孤独的单身女性;她们是已婚女人,丈夫支持她们的抱负,承担平等的家庭义务。她表示,如果没有丈夫的坚定支持,自己就不可能取得这样大的成功(她是Facebook的首席运营官,这令她成为亿万富翁)。现在,她以最残酷的方式失去了他。

“Lean In” sparked a movement, but it had its critics, among them single mothers, women who worked outside corporate America, and those who could not afford to hire the nannies and helpers upon whom the Sandberg-Goldberg household clearly depended. There were also those who thought the principal value underlying the book was flawed. They didn’t want to find ways to make their work more exhilarating; they wanted to find ways to accommodate it to their lives as parents. The tragedy was a vicious reminder of the truth we work hard to forget: Life is cruel. It will casually take away the people we love the most. Even the vaunted “C-suite” job is cold comfort when it cost you hours with a lost loved one. Now, two years after Goldberg’s death, Sandberg has written a new book, “Option B,” which forthrightly addresses all of these issues. It is a remarkable achievement: generous, honest, almost unbearably poignant. It reveals an aspect of Sandberg’s character that “Lean In” had suggested but — because of the elitism at its center — did not fully demonstrate: her impulse to be helpful. She has little to gain by sharing, in excruciating detail, the events of her life over the past two years. This is a book that will be quietly passed from hand to hand, and it will surely offer great comfort to its intended readers.

《向前一步》引发了一场运动,但批评它的也大有人在,其中包括单身母亲、不在美国商企工作的女性,以及那些没有能力雇用保姆和帮工的人——桑德伯格-戈德伯格一家显然非常依赖保姆和帮工。也有人认为这本书所强调的主要价值是有缺陷的。他们不想找到办法让自己的工作更加激动人心;他们只想找到办法,让工作更适应他们为人父母的生活。这场悲剧恶毒地让我们想起那个我们努力去忘记的真相:生命是残酷的。它会漫不经心地带走我们最爱的人。当你在失去所爱之人的时候,即使是被大肆称赞的“企业高层”工作,也不能带来多少安慰。如今,戈德伯格去世已经两年,桑德伯格写了一本新书《B选项》,它直截了当地指出了所有这些问题。这是一部了不起的作品:宽宏、诚实,有着几乎令人难以忍受的辛酸。这本书显示出桑德伯格性格中乐于助人的冲动,这在《向前一步》中就有所表现,但是——由于那本书的核心是精英主义——并没有得到充分展示。她在书中分享了过去两年中她生活中的种种事情,有各种令人痛苦的细节,这样做并不会给她带来什么好处。这会是一本静静地在人们之间传递的书,肯定会为它的目标读者提供不少安慰。

“I have terrible news,” she told her children, after flying home from Mexico. “Daddy died.” The intimacy of detail that fills the book is unsettling; there were times I felt that I had come across someone’s secret knowledge, that I shouldn’t have been in possession of something that seemed so deeply private. But the candor and simplicity with which she shares all of it — including her children’s falling to the ground, unable to walk to the grave when they arrive at the cemetery — is a kind of gift. She was shielded from the financial disaster that often accompanies sudden widowhood, but in every other way she was unprotected from great pain.

“我有个可怕的消息,”她从墨西哥回家后告诉孩子们。“爸爸死了”。书中这些充满亲密感的细节是令人不安的;有时候我觉得自己进入了一个人的秘密领域,我本不应该拥有这些看起来很私密的东西。但是她分享所有这一切时显得坦率而朴实——比如他们来到墓园时,孩子们倒在地上,无法走到父亲的坟前——这是一种天赋。她没有遭受突然丧夫的女人往往会经历的财政灾难,但是在其他所有方面,她同样经历了巨大的痛苦打击。

As she did in the memorable Facebook post composed a month after the death, she reports turning in her misery to the psychologist Adam Grant, a friend who had flown to California to attend the funeral and is an expert in the field of human resilience. She told him that her greatest fear was that her children would never be happy again. He “walked me through the data,” she writes, and what she learns offers comfort. Getting “walked through the data,” is as modern a response to grief as the notion that “resilience” is some kind of science. The book includes several illustrative stories that seem to come from Grant’s research, but they are not memorable. It is Sandberg whose story commands our riveted attention, and it is her natural and untutored responses to the horror that are most moving. “This is the second worst moment of our lives,” she tells her sobbing children at the cemetery. “We lived through the first and we will live through this. It can only get better from here.” That is grief: Somehow, you find a language; somehow you get through it. No research could have helped her in that moment. She is the one who knew what to do and what to say. They were her children, and she knew how to comfort them.

正如她在丈夫去世一个月后所写的那篇令人难忘的Facebook帖子中那样,她向心理学家亚当·格兰特倾诉痛苦,这位飞往加利福尼亚参加葬礼的朋友是创伤后复原领域的专家。她告诉他,自己最大的恐惧是孩子们永远不会再有快乐。她写道,他“为我讲解数据,”她学到的东西为她带来了安慰。“讲解数据”是现代人对悲伤的回应,而“复原”则是某种科学的概念。这本书中讲了几个说明性的故事,似乎是来自格兰特的研究,但它们留下的印象并不深。桑德伯格本人的故事才吸引着我们深切的关注,她对这一可怕事件的自然与本真的反应是最动人的。“这是我们生命中第二个糟糕的时刻,”在墓园,她告诉哭泣的孩子们。“我们已经走过了第一个糟糕的时刻,我们也会走过这个时刻。从今以后,只会变得更好。”那是悲伤:不知怎么,你就可以找到一种语言;不知怎么,你就可以挺过去。没有任何研究可以在那一刻帮助她。她就是那个知道该怎么说、怎么做的人。他们是她的孩子,她知道该怎么安慰他们。

Death humbles each of us in different ways. Suddenly a single mother, Sandberg realized how hollow her “Lean In” chapter about the importance of fully involved husbands (“partners”) must have been to unmarried women. If only she had known how little time she would have with her husband, she thinks, she would have spent more of it with him. But that’s not the way life works; Dave Goldberg fell in love with a woman who wanted to lead, not one who wanted to wait for him to come home from the office. The unbearable clarity that follows a death blessedly fades with time. We couldn’t live with it every day.

死亡以不同的方式令我们每个人感到卑微。突然间成了单身母亲的桑德伯格意识到,她在《向前一步》中关于让丈夫(“伴侣”)充分参与的那一章,对于未婚女人们来说有多么空洞。她想,如果她早知道自己只能和丈夫共度这样一点时间,她就会花更多时间和他待在一起。但生活并不是这样的;戴夫·戈德伯格爱上了一个想做领袖的女人,而不是一个想等着他从办公室回家的女人。幸运的是,死亡之后那种令人无法忍受的清晰之感,会随着时间的推移而逐渐消失。我们不能每一天都这样生活。

Sheryl Sandberg followed the oldest data set in the world, the one that says: The children are young, and you must keep going. Slowly the fog began to lift. She found she had something useful to offer at a meeting; she got the children through their first birthdays without their father; she began to have one O.K. day and then another. She made it through a year, all of the “milestone days” had passed and something began to revive within her. Grief is the final act of love, and recovery from it is the necessary betrayal on which the future depends. There is only this one life, and we are the ones who are here to live it.

谢莉尔·桑德伯格依循了这世上最古老的数据组,它显示:孩子们还小,你必须继续前进。慢慢地,雾霭开始消散。她发现自己在会议上可以提供一些有用的东西;她为孩子们过了第一个没有父亲的生日;她度过了还不错的一天,接着又是一个还不错的一天。她挺过了一年的时间,所有的“纪念日”都过去了,她内心有什么东西开始复活了。悲伤是爱的最后行为,从中恢复则是走向未来所必需的背叛。生命只有一次,我们的人生要自己走完。

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