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用这14个步骤,反抗父母对你的期望

更新时间:2018-4-17 19:23:40 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How to Disobey Your Tiger Parents, in 14 Easy Steps
用这14个步骤,反抗父母对你的期望

I know a lot about disobeying immigrant tiger parents. I didn’t take the conventional route of becoming a doctor or going into tech, as many Asian parents want. Instead, I nurtured lofty ideas about living radically: My heroes were Malcolm X, James Baldwin and Dorothy Day.

在反抗移民虎爸虎妈的管教方面,我有很多经验。我没有遵从许多亚裔父母的期望,走上成为医生或者进入科技行业的常规道路。相反,我心怀崇高理想,想要活得激进一点:我的榜样是马尔科姆·X(Malcolm X)、詹姆斯·鲍德温(James Baldwin)和多萝西·戴(Dorothy Day)。

The choices I made confused my parents and caused them despair. I majored in social theory and gender studies: despair. Worked on women’s rights in Kenya: despair. Became a teacher in rural Arkansas: despair. Declined an offer from a corporate law firm to do legal aid work in Oakland, Calif.: more despair. Every fight was intense, terrible. None of us could believe what was said (or thrown).

我的选择令父母感到困惑和绝望。我主修社会理论和性别研究:绝望。致力于肯尼亚的女权问题:绝望。到阿肯色州农村当老师:绝望。拒绝某公司律师事务所的一份到加州奥克兰做法律援助的邀约:更绝望。每场斗争都是那么激烈可怕。我们双方都无法相信自己说出口的那些话(或者我们摔的东西)。

We grew up in two different worlds. When my parents were children, didn’t have many options. Science and engineering could get you a job. Other professions, in social work and the arts and activism, were dangerous or unstable, or didn’t exist.

我们是在两个不同的世界长大的。在我父母小时候,没有太多选择。科学与工程能帮你找到工作。社会工作、艺术和行动主义等领域内的职位都是危险或不稳定的,要么根本不存在。

My book, “Reading with Patrick,” tells the story of how I came to reject my parents’ wishes for me. I have been moved by young readers asking me how they should talk to their parents about career choices. Their families come from Nigeria, China, Ghana, India, South Korea. These teenagers and college students are at a crossroads in their lives. They want to change the world but fear losing their parents’ love.

我的书《和帕特里克一起阅读》(Reading with Patrick)讲述了我如何抵制父母对我的期待。令我感动的是,很多年轻读者都来问我应当如何与父母谈论职业选择。他们的家庭来自尼日利亚、中国、加纳、印度、韩国。这些青少年和大学生正处于人生的十字路口。他们想改变世界,但却害怕失去父母的爱。

Here are my suggestions:

下面是我的建议:

1. First, a note on the son-daughter disparity: Sons often get more leeway and more freedom. The sooner you accept this, the less time you will waste dwelling on it. Don’t get mad; observe. Observe how the brother does it. Observe that he doesn’t apologize for his choices. Observe his confidence — he knows he holds power, and he doesn’t feel guilty about it.

1. 首先要提示你,儿子和女儿是不平等的:儿子往往有更多的回旋余地和自由。越早接受这一点,你在纠缠这种不公上浪费的时间就越少。不要生气;要用心观察。注意兄弟是如何做到这一点的。注意他不会为自己的选择道歉。注意他的自信——他知道自己拥有权力,而且他不会对此感到内疚。

2. Invite your parents into the conversation. Let them believe they are helping to guide you. Offer information that might persuade them. Mention older people whom you have consulted, spelling out their paths.

2. 邀请父母参加对话。让他们相信他们正在参与引导你。提供可能说服他们的信息。提到你曾咨询过的年长者,阐明他们的说法。

3. If you find that you can’t persuade them, stop trying. Buy the plane ticket, find housing, accept the offer.

3. 如果你发现自己无法说服他们,停止尝试。买机票、找房子、接受工作邀请。

4. When they challenge you, do not back down. Do not even look as though you are backing down. Defy their expectation with a powerful display of your inflexibility. (Note: You may privately be open to their viewpoint, but don’t show it.)

4.当他们质疑你的时候,不要退缩。不要看起来好像是退缩了。你要有力地展现出自己的坚定,从而反抗他们的期望。(注意:你可以私下里对他们的观点保持开放心态,但不要表现出来。)

5. If they get angry — if they start to throw things or talk longingly about the other immigrant kids who are totally superior to you in every way, remember that they are afraid. They are losing power over you. Grow tender in the face of their fear.

5. 如果他们生气了——如果他们开始摔东西或者满怀向往地说起其他各方面都比你好的移民孩子,那么请记住,他们是在害怕。他们正在失去对你的控制。对他们的恐惧表现得温和一点。

6. Take note of their other worries. All immigrants are afraid of not making it. They’ve washed dishes in restaurants or tended the counter of a gas station. They’ve experienced dislocation, heartsickness and uncertainty. They want to spare you that life. But remember that you can navigate the world in ways unimaginable to them.

6. 注意他们的其他忧虑。所有移民都害怕无法成功。他们在餐馆里刷过盘子,在加油站当过营业员。他们经历过背井离乡、郁闷和不确定性。他们不想让你过那样的生活。但是要记住,你可以用他们无法想象的方式徜徉在这世界。

7. If, at any moment, you feel yourself expecting understanding from them, stop. Ask yourself: Why do I need it? Accept that you may never get it. Transcendent perfect understanding, as a goal, is out of the question. Maybe you’re thinking, but I know a family like that! They’re the nicest! Consider: Doesn’t the child seem weirdly lacking in edge? A little too well adjusted and cheerful? (Note: These are the perfect people to marry; marry them.) Your parents gave you this edge. Because of your relationship, you know how to fight — you know how to articulate what you believe and withstand skepticism. You’ll thank them some day.

7. 不论什么时候,只要你觉得自己期待他们的理解,请停止。问问自己:为什么我需要他们的理解?接受这一点吧,你可能永远得不到它。至高无上的完美理解,这样的目标是不可能的。也许你会想,但我知道有这样的家庭!他们是最融洽的!想一想:如果一个孩子根本没什么锋芒,看上去不是很奇怪吗?这样的孩子是不是有点太能适应环境、太欢乐了?(注:这样的人会是完美的配偶;和他们结婚吧。)你的父母给了你这样的锋芒。因为有这样的亲子关系,你懂得了如何去斗争——你知道该如何表达自己的信仰并抵挡怀疑。有一天你会为此感谢他们。

8. If you hope to deepen your relationship, ask them questions. What did they want to become when they were younger? What was the political situation? Was it a just world? What was hard about coming here? If you don’t know their native tongue, try to speak it, even if that means you have to fumble and be uncomfortable. (Welcome to their lives!) If your parents tell you not to bother learning their language, this should break your heart.

8. 如果你希望加深你们的关系,请向他们提问。他们更年轻的时候想成为什么人?当时是个怎样的政治局面?世界公正吗?来到这个地方有什么困难?如果你不会说他们的母语,试着说吧,哪怕这意味着你得结结巴巴、不太舒服。(欢迎来到他们的生活!)如果你的父母跟你说别费心学他们的语言了,这应该让你感到很伤心。

9. Remember that what persuades them is your stability. By definition, that takes years to prove. On some profound level, they know they can’t argue with the fact that you’re happy.

9. 请记住,能说服他们的是你的坚定。意思就是,这需要数年来证明。从深层次来讲,他们知道,如果你的生活幸福,他们是无从争辩的。

10. But you may not, in fact, find happiness. You may not like the choices you believed they failed to understand — it may be you who fails. Prepare yourself for what they will say. Thought you could change the world? Thought you could do what you love and still pay rent? We told you so!

10. 但事实上,你可能不会找到幸福。你可能不喜欢那些你一度认为他们无法理解的选择——可能失败的是你。请准备好迎接他们要说的话。你以为你能改变世界?你以为你能做自己喜欢的事情还能交得上房租?都跟你说过了!

11. Let them say it.

11. 让他们说吧。

12. In theory, parents know you most intimately. In practice, they often have no idea how much they hurt you. They feel, rather, that it is you who have hurt them. And this impasse is painful, because in a battle where both feel betrayed, victory is Pyrrhic.

12. 理论上,父母是最了解你的人。但实际上,他们往往不知道他们对你的伤害有多大。他们反而会觉得,是你伤害了他们。这样的僵持是痛苦的,因为在一场双方都感觉受到背叛的战争中,胜利是不值得的。

13. I wish I could say: You can disobey them and win their love. I wish I could promise you that your choices are the right ones, and that you won’t come to doubt them. But winning and certainty are actually not the point. The point is: Do you believe that failure is yours to have, rather than theirs to fear?

13. 我希望我能说:你能违逆他们,还能赢得他们的爱。我希望我能向你保证你的选择是正确的,你之后也不会怀疑它们。但胜利和定论其实并非重点。重点在于:你是否认为失败应该是你的失败,而不是他们担心的失败?

14. Have faith. There is a long game. They might never see things the way you do, and that’s O.K. Show them love as best you can. Show up for them, and the things that they care about, in the ways that you are able. After all, when you were a baby, they bathed you, wiped your nose, cut your food into tiny little chunks so that you wouldn’t choke and fed the stuff straight into your mouth. And someday, maybe you’ll get to do that for them.

14. 要有信心。这是一场持久战。他们可能永远都不会像你那样看待事情,没关系。尽你所能地向他们展现你的爱。要竭尽你的所能去出现在他们面前,参与他们在意的事情。毕竟,当你还是个孩子的时候,是他们帮你洗澡,帮你擦鼻子,帮你把食物切碎,不让你噎着,还会直接把食物喂到你的嘴里。而某一天,你或许也要为他们做这些事。

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