明泉随笔 读《肯尼迪在RICE大学的演讲》

昨天,偶然再读一次《肯尼迪在RICE大学的演讲》。这篇演讲,我曾听过几次,读过一次,每次听后或读后,都觉得此文那样让人激动和鼓舞。那其中蕴涵着一种超越语言的,不可言传的,是人内心崇尚的并产生强烈共鸣感的一种东西,让人激动和神迷。
 
1962年9月12日,当时的美国总统肯尼迪在休斯顿RICE大学发表了他的这篇著名的,内容丰富,气势恢弘的关于国家空间成就的演讲。这是一篇人类探索科学的概述,是人类登月梦想的宣言,其内容涵盖之广,其语言表达之精练,言语激情之豪迈,思维见解之深刻,让人叹服!
 
在这篇文章中,肯尼迪的语言魅力,他的活力,他的幽默,他的雄心,都表现的淋漓尽致。他展示出了一幅美丽的人类探索外太空的画卷,而篇章的内容和肯尼迪在演讲之中所表现出的那种沉稳练达的风度,体现出了男性世界、也是全人类所崇尚的果断,坚定,耐心与勇气等高贵品质。
 
仅从文中选出几部分,做以说明。
 
在开篇中,他说,“我们相遇在一个以知识而著称的大学,一个以进步而闻名的城市,一个以力量而显达之州。我门需要这三者才能站立,因为我们相遇在一个挑战和改变的时刻,一个充满希望和恐惧的十年,一个知识和无知并存的时代。而随着我们知识的增加的越多,会越有更多的无知在我们面前展现。(We meet at a college noted for knowledge, in a city noted for progress, in a State noted for strength, and we stand in need of all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.)
 
在其中,他用形象的语言描述了科学的进步,他说:“没有人能够完全知道我们走过的有多远,多快。但是如果你愿意,你可以把5万年的人类可记录的历史用50年时间来比喻。那么,在最初的40年里,人们知道的很少,只发展了如何把动物的毛皮披盖在自己身上;然后,大约10年以前,人们从他们的洞穴中走出来并开始构建各种各样的遮蔽物。仅仅在5年以前,人们学会了写字并使用了轮子。”(No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man¹s recorded history in a time span of but a half a century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them. Then about 10 years ago,
under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels.  )
他又说:“牛顿探索到了引力的意义。上个月,电灯,电话,动力机车,飞机开始被利用。仅仅上周,我们才发现了青霉素,电视和核能。(Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power.)
 
在谈到为什么首先选择登月的时候,肯尼迪说:“我们选择登上月球,我们选择在这个十年内去月球和做其它事情,不是因为这些任务是容易,而是因为它们是困难的,因为那个目标是适合组织的,而且能够测量出我们能量和技术的最好状态,也因为那是我们愿意接受的,我们不愿意延误的,我们注定会要胜利的挑战。(We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.)
在演讲的结尾,他激情洋溢的说:“许多年以前,英国著名探险家乔治.马勒瑞,在将死于珠穆朗玛峰上时,被问到为什么要攀登,他说,’因为它在那里!’". 现在,太空在那里,我们将攀登它;月亮和行星在那里,为了知识和和平的新的希望在那里 , 因而,在我们起航时, 让我们乞求上帝赐福于这个最充满运气,最危险,和最冒险的人类已经登上的航船.” (Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, "Because it is there."Well, space is there, and we’re going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God’s blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.)
 
理想和梦想的最高境界是引发人产生无限美好的憧憬并产生无穷的动力,而它的完美结局就是变为现实。1969年,人类终于首次实现了登月的梦想,这也许是对此演讲的最好诠释。