他要學懂,我知道,不是所有人都正直公義,不是所有人都誠實。但請教導他也學懂,每當有無賴出現的時候就會有英雄;

那裡有自私自利的政客,就會有鞠躬盡瘁的領袖。請教導他每當有敵人出現,就必定有朋友。需要一點時間,我知道;但如果可能的話,教導他自己掙回來的一塊錢要遠遠比拾到的五塊有價值得多。

教導他學會失敗,且要享受勝利。引領他遠離嫉妒,如果可能的話,教導他
暗中竊笑的秘密。讓他早一點學懂,恃強凌弱者不堪一擊。

教導他,如果可能的話,書本的奧妙,但要留給他安靜的時刻,去思索空中飛鳥、陽光中的蜜蜂、和綠野山間的花朵的永恒玄妙。

在學校裏教導他,失敗遠比作弊來得光榮。教導他縱使眾人都指他錯誤,要對自己的主見有信心,教導他要對溫文者溫文,對強硬者強硬。嘗試給予小兒力量,好使他在眾人都攀緣跟風時,有不跟隨群眾的勇氣。

教導他要聆聽眾人的話,但亦教導他要以真理的濾網來辨別所聽所聞,只摘取經過濾網的美善。教導他,假如可以的話,怎樣在憂傷中歡笑,教導他淚水不是羞恥。

教導他要不齒於犬儒,且提防過份的溫韾甜蜜。教導他一己的體力與腦筋要高價而沽,卻永不可為真心與靈魂標上價目。

教導他要為咆哮的暴徒而關掉耳朵,且在自信正確之時要站起來作戰。溫柔的對待他,但請不要摟抱他,因為只有經過火的精鍊才能鑄出好鋼。讓他有勇氣去顯出不耐煩;讓他有耐性去顯出勇氣。

教導他常要對自己有高尚的信念,因為他將要常常對人類有高尚的信念。

這是個艱難的訓令,且看看閣下可以做點什麼。小兒就是,這樣一個好小子!

(中譯本來自互聯網)

Abraham Lincoln’s Letter to Son’s Teacher

He will have to learn, I know,
That all men are not just, all men are not true.
But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero;
That for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader…
Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,

Teach him that a dollar earn is of more value than five found. Teach him to learn lose and to enjoy winning.
Steer him away from envy,
If you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick
Teach him if you can, the wonder of books,
But also give him quiet time
To ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
Bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him
It is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas,
Even if everyone tells him they are wrong
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people,
And tough with the tough.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd
When everyone is getting on the band wagon
Teach him to listen to all men but teach him also to filter
All he hears on a screen of truth,
And take only the good that comes through

Teach him if you can,
How to laugh when he is sad.
Teach him there is no shame in tears.
Teach him to scoff at cynics
And to beware of too much sweetness
Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders
But never to put a price-tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob
And to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right
Treat him gently but do not cuddle him,
Because only the test of fires make fine steel.

Let him have the courage to be impatient
Let him have the patience to be brave
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself,
Because then he will have sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order,
But see what you can do
He is such a fine fellow,
My son!

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