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  • As a student of adversity,

    總在逆境中學習的我,

  • I've been struck over the years

    過去幾年來

  • by how some people

    看到有些人

  • with major challenges

    在面對極大的挑戰時

  • seem to draw strength from them,

    卻能越挫越勇而感到很訝異。

  • and I've heard the popular wisdom

    我也常聽到有人說

  • that that has to do with finding meaning.

    這跟找尋意義有關。

  • And for a long time,

    很久以來,

  • I thought the meaning was out there,

    我以為「意義」存在著,

  • some great truth waiting to be found.

    就像某個待人尋找的真相。

  • But over time, I've come to feel

    但經過一段時間,

  • that the truth is irrelevant.

    我開始覺得真相並不重要。

  • We call it finding meaning,

    我們稱之為找尋意義,

  • but we might better call it forging meaning.

    或許應該說是鑄造意義才對。

  • My last book was about how families

    我的新書是關於

  • manage to deal with various kinds of challenging

    家庭如何應對各種挑戰

  • or unusual offspring,

    或是子女異於常人。

  • and one of the mothers I interviewed,

    我訪談的其中一位母親,

  • who had two children with multiple severe disabilities,

    兩個孩子都有多重嚴重身障,

  • said to me, "People always give us

    她告訴我:「很多人都會告訴我們

  • these little sayings like,

    一些俗語像是

  • 'God doesn't give you any more than you can handle,'

    『上帝絕不會給你超過你能負荷的試煉。』

  • but children like ours

    但像我們家的孩子,

  • are not preordained as a gift.

    卻不註定是禮物。

  • They're a gift because that's what we have chosen."

    他們之所以為禮物, 只因是我們所選擇的。」

  • We make those choices all our lives.

    我們一生都在做這種決定。

  • When I was in second grade,

    當我國小二年級時,

  • Bobby Finkel had a birthday party

    巴比.芬可辦了個慶生會,

  • and invited everyone in our class but me.

    並邀請全班參加,除了我以外。

  • My mother assumed there had been some sort of error,

    我媽以為或許是哪裡弄錯,

  • and she called Mrs. Finkel,

    所以打給芬可的媽媽。

  • who said that Bobby didn't like me

    她卻告訴我母親,巴比不喜歡我,

  • and didn't want me at his party.

    所以不要我參加他的慶生會。

  • And that day, my mom took me to the zoo

    當天,我媽帶我到動物園,

  • and out for a hot fudge sundae.

    還買了個熔岩巧克力聖代給我。

  • When I was in seventh grade,

    我國一時,

  • one of the kids on my school bus

    校車上有位同學

  • nicknamed me "Percy"

    替我取了綽號「波西」

  • as a shorthand for my demeanor,

    來取笑我的言行舉止。

  • and sometimes, he and his cohort

    有時候,他和同夥

  • would chant that provocation

    會不斷覆頌這詞。

  • the entire school bus ride,

    整段來回學校的公車上,

  • 45 minutes up, 45 minutes back,

    45 分鐘上學、45 分鐘放學的路上,

  • "Percy! Percy! Percy! Percy!"

    不斷喊:「波西!波西!波西!」

  • When I was in eighth grade,

    我國二時,

  • our science teacher told us

    科學課的老師說

  • that all male homosexuals

    所有男同性戀

  • develop fecal incontinence

    都會大便失禁,

  • because of the trauma to their anal sphincter.

    因為肛門括約肌的損傷。

  • And I graduated high school

    我高中畢業以前

  • without ever going to the cafeteria,

    從沒去過學校餐廳,

  • where I would have sat with the girls

    因為如果去了, 我也會跟女生坐在一起,

  • and been laughed at for doing so,

    然後因此被取笑;

  • or sat with the boys

    或是與男生坐一起,

  • and been laughed at for being a boy

    然後被取笑

  • who should be sitting with the girls.

    我是個該跟女生坐一塊的男孩子。

  • I survived that childhood through a mix

    我之所以安然度過童年,

  • of avoidance and endurance.

    都是透過逃避跟忍受。

  • What I didn't know then,

    我當時並不知道,

  • and do know now,

    而現在已經知道的是,

  • is that avoidance and endurance

    逃避和忍受

  • can be the entryway to forging meaning.

    會是鑄造意義的起點。

  • After you've forged meaning,

    在你鑄造意義之後,

  • you need to incorporate that meaning

    需要將這意義

  • into a new identity.

    融入到新的身分中。

  • You need to take the traumas and make them part

    你需要讓經歷過的創傷

  • of who you've come to be,

    成為自己的一部分,

  • and you need to fold the worst events of your life

    並將人生中經歷過的最糟事件

  • into a narrative of triumph,

    化為勝利的故事,

  • evincing a better self

    成為更好的自己,

  • in response to things that hurt.

    以回應那些曾傷害你的事。

  • One of the other mothers I interviewed

    我寫書時所訪談過的

  • when I was working on my book

    其中一位母親

  • had been raped as an adolescent,

    在青少年時期曾被強暴,

  • and had a child following that rape,

    還因此懷孕生子,

  • which had thrown away her career plans

    讓她必須從此拋棄原有的事業計劃,

  • and damaged all of her emotional relationships.

    且重創了她所有的感情關係。

  • But when I met her, she was 50,

    當我認識她時,她 50 歲,

  • and I said to her,

    我告訴她:

  • "Do you often think about the man who raped you?"

    「妳會時常想起強暴妳的那個人嗎?」

  • And she said, "I used to think about him with anger,

    她回答:「我以前想到他會滿腔怒火,

  • but now only with pity."

    但現在只會可憐他。」

  • And I thought she meant pity because he was

    我本想,她說的可憐是覺得

  • so unevolved as to have done this terrible thing.

    強暴犯野蠻到會做出這種事。

  • And I said, "Pity?"

    我問:「可憐?」

  • And she said, "Yes,

    她說:「是啊,

  • because he has a beautiful daughter

    因為他有這麼漂亮的女兒,

  • and two beautiful grandchildren

    以及兩位可愛的小孫子,

  • and he doesn't know that, and I do.

    卻一點都不知道,而我知道。

  • So as it turns out, I'm the lucky one."

    所以我其實才是幸運的那一個。」

  • Some of our struggles are things we're born to:

    我們面臨到的有些掙扎是天生的:

  • our gender, our sexuality, our race, our disability.

    性別、性向、種族、殘疾。

  • And some are things that happen to us:

    有些則是後天的:

  • being a political prisoner, being a rape victim,

    政治犯、性侵被害者、

  • being a Katrina survivor.

    卡崔娜颶風生還者。

  • Identity involves entering a community

    建立身分需要進到一個社群,

  • to draw strength from that community,

    從那社群中找尋力量,

  • and to give strength there too.

    並給予社群力量。

  • It involves substituting "and" for "but" --

    需要用「而且」代替「但是」,

  • not "I am here but I have cancer,"

    不要說:「我還活著,但我患有癌症。」

  • but rather, "I have cancer and I am here."

    而是說:「我患有癌症,而我還活著。」

  • When we're ashamed,

    當我們羞愧的時候,

  • we can't tell our stories,

    我們就無法述說自己的故事,

  • and stories are the foundation of identity.

    而這些故事正是身分的基礎。

  • Forge meaning, build identity,

    鑄造意義、建立身分;

  • forge meaning and build identity.

    鑄造意義、建立身分。

  • That became my mantra.

    這變成了我的咒語。

  • Forging meaning is about changing yourself.

    鑄造意義是關於改變自己;

  • Building identity is about changing the world.

    建立身分是關於改變世界。

  • All of us with stigmatized identities

    身分被汙名化的所有人

  • face this question daily:

    每天都面對這個問題:

  • how much to accommodate society

    為了融入社會

  • by constraining ourselves,

    要限制自己多少?

  • and how much to break the limits

    要打破多少限制

  • of what constitutes a valid life?

    才能活出一個真正的人生?

  • Forging meaning and building identity

    鑄造意義和建立身分

  • does not make what was wrong right.

    並不會顛倒是非,

  • It only makes what was wrong precious.

    只會讓錯變得更寶貴。

  • In January of this year,

    今年一月

  • I went to Myanmar to interview political prisoners,

    我到緬甸訪問政治犯。

  • and I was surprised to find them less bitter

    我感到意外的是,

  • than I'd anticipated.

    他們比我想像中的還怡然自得。

  • Most of them had knowingly committed

    大部分的政治犯 明知道他們所犯下的罪

  • the offenses that landed them in prison,

    會讓他們進監獄,

  • and they had walked in with their heads held high,

    但仍昂首地走進獄中,

  • and they walked out with their heads

    多年後同樣

  • still held high, many years later.

    昂首地走出來。

  • Dr. Ma Thida, a leading human rights activist

    馬蒂妲醫生是人權積極分子,

  • who had nearly died in prison

    她差點死在監獄中,

  • and had spent many years in solitary confinement,

    且有好幾年都在單獨監禁中度過。

  • told me she was grateful to her jailers

    她告訴我,她很感激那些獄吏

  • for the time she had had to think,

    讓她有時間思考、

  • for the wisdom she had gained,

    讓她更有智慧、

  • for the chance to hone her meditation skills.

    讓她有機會增進冥想技巧。

  • She had sought meaning

    她也尋求這其中的意義,

  • and made her travail into a crucial identity.

    並將痛苦轉為很重要的一種身分。

  • But if the people I met

    但如果我遇見的這些人

  • were less bitter than I'd anticipated

    對於身在監獄

  • about being in prison,

    比我想像中的更加泰然,

  • they were also less thrilled than I'd expected

    那他們也比我預料中的更不期待

  • about the reform process going on

    他們國家所經歷的改革過程。

  • in their country.

    馬蒂妲說:

  • Ma Thida said,

    「我們緬甸人很著名的是

  • "We Burmese are noted

    面對壓力時所展現的無比優雅,

  • for our tremendous grace under pressure,

    但在我們的光環底下也有委屈。」

  • but we also have grievance under glamour,"

    她說:「而事實是,

  • she said, "and the fact that there have been

    這些轉換和改變

  • these shifts and changes

    並不會消弭我們社會中

  • doesn't erase the continuing problems

    一直存在的問題,

  • in our society

    我們在監獄中的時候,

  • that we learned to see so well

    把這些問題都看清了。」

  • while we were in prison."

    我認為她的意思是

  • And I understood her to be saying

    在人性需要真正能顯現的地方,

  • that concessions confer only a little humanity,

    妥協只賦予一丁點人性,

  • where full humanity is due,

    就像給人麵包屑,

  • that crumbs are not the same

    不等於可以坐上桌一樣。

  • as a place at the table,

    也就是說,你可以鑄造意義

  • which is to say you can forge meaning

    並建立身分,

  • and build identity and still be mad as hell.

    同時還是滿腔怒火。

  • I've never been raped,

    我沒有被強暴過,

  • and I've never been in anything remotely approaching

    也從來沒有做過任何

  • a Burmese prison,

    會被關進緬甸監獄的事。

  • but as a gay American,

    但身為同性戀的美國人,

  • I've experienced prejudice and even hatred,

    我經歷過偏見甚至仇恨,

  • and I've forged meaning and I've built identity,

    我鑄造過意義也建立過身分,

  • which is a move I learned from people

    這是我從那些

  • who had experienced far worse privation

    比我經歷過更糟糕處境的人身上 學到的對策。

  • than I've ever known.

    我自己的青少年時期,

  • In my own adolescence,

    也曾為了改變性向而做出極端之舉。

  • I went to extreme lengths to try to be straight.

    我參與了一種

  • I enrolled myself in something called

    性向替代療法。

  • sexual surrogacy therapy,

    裡面有所謂的醫生,

  • in which people I was encouraged to call doctors

    需要做所謂的療法,

  • prescribed what I was encouraged to call exercises

    對象是所謂的女性代理人,

  • with women I was encouraged to call surrogates,

    這些代理人不算妓女,

  • who were not exactly prostitutes

    但也不算是其他別的。

  • but who were also not exactly anything else.

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    我最喜歡的代理人

  • My particular favorite

    是一位來自南方腹地的金髮女人,

  • was a blonde woman from the Deep South

    後來終於跟我承認

  • who eventually admitted to me

    她有戀屍癖,

  • that she was really a necrophiliac

    她之所以會做這份工作,

  • and had taken this job after she got in trouble

    是因為她在停屍間遇到了點麻煩。

  • down at the morgue.

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    這種經驗終究讓我

  • These experiences eventually allowed me to have

    跟女性有種蠻愉悅的肢體關係,

  • some happy physical relationships with women,

    對此我很感激,

  • for which I'm grateful,

    但我陷入與自己的戰爭中,

  • but I was at war with myself,

    也在我心底埋下很深的創傷。

  • and I dug terrible wounds into my own psyche.

    我們並不找尋

  • We don't seek the painful experiences

    會鑿開身分的痛苦經驗,

  • that hew our identities,

    但我們尋找的身分

  • but we seek our identities

    是尾隨痛苦經驗而來的。

  • in the wake of painful experiences.

    我們無法承受無意義的折磨,

  • We cannot bear a pointless torment,

    但我們可以忍受極大的痛苦,

  • but we can endure great pain

    只要我們相信這是有意義的。

  • if we believe that it's purposeful.

    泰然在我們身上留下的印記

  • Ease makes less of an impression on us

    比掙扎更淺。

  • than struggle.

    沒有喜樂我們還是可以做自己,

  • We could have been ourselves without our delights,

    但沒了驅使我們

  • but not without the misfortunes

    找尋意義的厄運那就做不到。

  • that drive our search for meaning.

    「因此,我以軟弱為歡喜,」

  • "Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities,"

    聖保羅在哥林多後書裡寫道,

  • St. Paul wrote in Second Corinthians,

    「因為當我軟弱時,我就能變得剛強。」

  • "for when I am weak, then I am strong."

    1988 年,我去了莫斯科

  • In 1988, I went to Moscow

    訪問蘇聯地鐵的藝術家,

  • to interview artists of the Soviet underground,

    我期望他們的作品是

  • and I expected their work to be

    充滿異議及政治的。

  • dissident and political.

    但他們作品中的激進

  • But the radicalism in their work actually lay

    其實是為了將人性重放回社會中,

  • in reinserting humanity into a society

    因為這個社會正在泯滅人性,

  • that was annihilating humanity itself,

    某些方面看來,

  • as, in some senses, Russian society

    這樣的事在俄羅斯社會正在重演。

  • is now doing again.

    其中一位藝術家告訴我:

  • One of the artists I met said to me,

    「我們被訓練做天使,而非藝術家」。

  • "We were in training to be not artists but angels."

    1991 年,我又回去

  • In 1991, I went back to see the artists

    見了這些我筆下的藝術家,

  • I'd been writing about,

    當推翻蘇聯的政變發生時,

  • and I was with them during the putsch

    我正與他們在一起,

  • that ended the Soviet Union,

    他們也與推動政變的主要發起人一起。

  • and they were among the chief organizers

    政變第三天,

  • of the resistance to that putsch.

    有人建議我們走到斯摩棱斯克。

  • And on the third day of the putsch,

    我們到那時,

  • one of them suggested we walk up to Smolenskaya.

    在路障前面找個位置待著。

  • And we went there,

    一會兒過後,

  • and we arranged ourselves in front of one of the barricades,

    一排坦克車過來,

  • and a little while later,

    第一輛坦克車上的士兵說:

  • a column of tanks rolled up,

    「我們有令,

  • and the soldier on the front tank said,

    不論如何都要破壞這些柵欄。

  • "We have unconditional orders

    如果你們現在讓開,

  • to destroy this barricade.

    那我們就不會傷害你們。

  • If you get out of the way,

    但如果你們不走,

  • we don't need to hurt you,

    我們只能將你們輾過去,別無他擇。」

  • but if you won't move, we'll have no choice

    我身邊的藝術家就說:

  • but to run you down."

    「給我們一分鐘,

  • And the artists I was with said,

    就一分鐘,述說我們來此的原因。」

  • "Give us just a minute.

    那位士兵雙手在胸前交叉,

  • Give us just a minute to tell you why we're here."

    然後藝術家唸了傑佛遜的民主頌詞,

  • And the soldier folded his arms,

    我們這些

  • and the artist launched into a Jeffersonian panegyric to democracy

    住在傑佛遜式民主國家的人

  • such as those of us who live

    都還唸不出來的頌詞。

  • in a Jeffersonian democracy

    他們一直說下去,

  • would be hard-pressed to present.

    而士兵也看著,

  • And they went on and on,

    他聽完後,

  • and the soldier watched,

    在那裡坐滿一分鐘,

  • and then he sat there for a full minute

    就在雨中看著滿是泥濘的我們,

  • after they were finished

    說道:

  • and looked at us so bedraggled in the rain,

    「你們說的是事實,

  • and said, "What you have said is true,

    而我們必須遵從人民的意志。

  • and we must bow to the will of the people.

    如果你們願意讓路讓我們掉頭,

  • If you'll clear enough space for us to turn around,

    那我們會照原路回去。」

  • we'll go back the way we came."

    他們也確實這麼做了。

  • And that's what they did.

    有時候,鑄造意義

  • Sometimes, forging meaning

    可以給你所需的詞彙,

  • can give you the vocabulary you need

    讓你爭取最終的自由。