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  Black Tie International Magazine  Mrs. Ma. Xiaoqiu
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Mrs. Ma. Xiaoqiu  Reading we are all so busy these days
 

——读《秋言物语2》手稿有感

 

脱贫致富、有体面的生活、实现自己的梦想和人生价值,这是中国改革开放以来几乎每一个中国人的愿望。中国改革开放的热土,也为成千上万的中国老百姓提供了成功的机会。马小秋就是其中一位。笔者与马小秋总裁的结缘,正如在她即将出版的新书《秋言物语2》中描述的:《嘿,这里有两个成都姑娘》——她这样写道:
四十年前,我和裔锦声博士,两个来自成都的二十岁的女生,带着我们的青春梦想,一个走向国外,一个走向中国南方,四十年后我们相遇在美国。
我们身上有很多相似之处:一样的目标明确,说做就做;一样的不服输,不达目的不罢休。
90年代的她,要以古典文学背景在美国找一份和金融相关的工作;90年代的我,同着10万人才下海南,要在海南实现我的财富梦想。我们都面临着巨大的挑战和一生难得的机会。
 

寻寻觅觅,日月如梭,只有当找到浓缩在《道德经》中的中国智慧后,马小秋总裁的寻梦之路,才从成功-失败-再成功-再失败的循环往复中走出来。作为研究中国商业软实力第一案,笔者走进马小秋的心灵世界(笔者曾写出英文版畅销书《海尔之路》将其海尔的中国制造硬实力送进哈弗案列库)。在疫情袭击美国坚决不退的这几个月里,阅读马小秋总裁的《秋言物语2》手稿,让我从纽约的疫情和暴乱中跳出来,进入她的世界。 

 

ma xiaoqiu
 

啊,这是一个怎样灿烂辉煌、如此鲜活的世界!很多人包括笔者这个文学博士也只能囫囵吞枣的《道德经》,在马小秋总裁的笔下,既在殿堂、也在乡野!这个曾经有着文学梦的小马姑娘,在随着阅读-这个时间机器time machine”-带她穿梭了古往今来、经历了悲欢离合后,笔下生花的文字和心灵感悟,让人十分震撼!如果说《道德经》让马小秋找到灵魂的归宿和致富之路,文学则是她做人的脊梁骨。坚持不懈的阅读,那是她一生的良师益友,永远不离不弃!

从本周起,每周三都将选载一篇马小秋总裁的心灵感悟,分享读者。那些激情飞扬的文字、灵动飘逸的思绪、点点滴滴的感动、触动灵魂的顿悟,一定让读者在文字中找到朋友、智慧和快乐,精神物质双丰收!
《秋言物语2》手稿连载  关于读书作者:马小秋译者:杰拉德·多诺万 Gerald Donavan
日常的忙碌中,忽闻有人疑惑——读了一辈子的书,也没有过好这一生,看来读书无用。   
读书无用吗?
从我个人来说,我无法想象如果没有书,我的人生会是什么样子。我现在所有的成就,包括为人称道的气质与内涵﹑智慧与修养,读书起到了至关重要的作用。
也许我们应该问一个问题:

什么才是阅读?

 

想象一下,有一天你想研究19世纪英国女性的生活,当然你可以阅读历史记录或查阅该时代女性所扮演角色的经济学论文,或观看有关社会生活和传统的纪录影片,你甚至可以查阅字典以获取当时流行时尚的信息。


或者有一个更好的方式,你可以读读简·奥斯丁的小说。
瞬间,你就能穿越到1813年,了解那个时代未婚年轻女性的语言,思维和举止以及社会期望。通过阅读小说,不需要学习历史事实,你就可以对当时的男女情爱有很多了解。他们如何生活,他们如何去爱,他们的希望是什么。你的思维自然地吸收并反思了这些现实。

 

john donne
 

经典作品《傲慢与偏见》

阅读是一场时间旅行,它就在那里。翻页和阅读所花费的时间就能让你穿越两个世纪的鸿沟。无论时间有多久远,在记录和传播当代日常生活记录的时候,阅读就激活了一个国家的文化精髓。
如今,人们总是很喜欢参观优雅的老房子或观看新电影。然而,在大多数优雅或普通的房屋中,都有书籍存放,这些微型胶囊可以用作理解认知的工具。
你能阅读一位过世已久的人的心智,那个人在你读到他所写下的文字时仿佛又复活了-还是那些词语文字!
阅读也是免费的体验。我们已经从经典文学中学到了多少关于人类行为和各时代人们共同日常问题的知识?这些知识是随时可用的。
少年时代,爱静的我,能享受孤独,皆因有书为伴。在一方小小斗室中,在无涯的时间之海里,思接千载,神游万里,穿越古今,纵横四海,在阅读中追问人生真理,培养情操,超越当下的自己。在尝遍了人生的酸甜苦辣﹑跌宕起伏﹑有了一定人生阅历之后,幸运地接触到传统文化经典,那妙处与用处非言语可以形容,令我的整个人生发生了翻转。常言道读万卷书,行万里路,这里的其实指人生之路,道理极深。选择了对的书,就犹如选择了一位明师。
17
世纪, 诗人约翰·多恩(John Donne)就这样描述阅读的体验:读书把小小的房间点化成大千世界。

 

ma xiaoqiu

 

一朝尘尽光生,照见山河万朵。古人说,少年读书,如隙中窥月;中年读书,如庭中望月;老年读书,如台上玩月。皆以阅历之深浅,为所得之深浅耳。阅历越多,读书体会越深,但只要心中保有白月光,就能驱走黑暗,照见人生之路。


我们获得的经验越多,我们越能容纳和理解他人。偏远地区更是如此,直到最近才从大城市居民的可用资源中受益。在偏远地区,潜在读者的整个社区可能孤立存在,这些农村地区的文化需求常常被忽视。但是,人们早已认识到:1)文化是创新和事业的引擎;2)这些社区中已经存在文化上的连贯性,阅读可以很快促进有形的经济活动,例如节庆或学习计划。
阅读创造了一种强大的自我表达方式,好的读者也会成为好的作家。自我表达是新中国叙事的核心。
书籍将我们连接在了一起,缔造共同的社群和文化。它们是编织文明的基础。阅读值得我们的尊重和关注。读书吧,我的朋友!

 


On Reading People are so busy these days.

Whenever reading comes up in conversation lately, I hear how useless books areafter all, we’ve done so much reading, yet we haven’t managed to live such excellent lives—so what does reading really have to offer? No one would invest in a company that provided no returns. Why invest time in a book? Is reading useless?Over time everyone acquires an educated disposition and the wisdom that comes from decades of experience in business and personal matters. But the act of reading has occupied a position in my life whose true worth cannot be measured by any university degree.  I cannot imagine what my life would be like without reading.
Perhaps we should ask the question instead:What is reading? Imagine, for a moment, that you desire to study the lives of women in 19th-century England. You could of course read history or consult an economics paper on the role played by women at that era, or perhaps watch a documentary on social life and traditions. You might even consult a dictionary for information on popular fashions.
Or better yet, you could read a novel by Jane Austen. In an instant, you are transported across time to the speech, the thinking and mannerisms, and the social expectations of a young woman before marriage in 1813.
There are no facts to learn, and yet one absorbs a great deal about the relationships between men and women at the time; how they lived, and how they loved and hoped. The mind naturally absorbs and reflects upon these realities. Reading is time travel. It is being there. The time it takes to turn a page and begin reading is the time it will take you to travel back two centuries. It evokes the cultural essence of a country at the time of its composition and transmits a record of daily life, no matter how long ago.
People get excited these days if they get the chance to tour an elegant old house or watch a new movie. Yet in most homes, elegant or ordinary, there are these miniature capsules that can serve as vehicles of understanding.
You share the mind of this person long dead, who is at that moment alive as you read the words that person composed—the same words!
Reading is free experience. How many lessons do we learn from the classics about human behavior and the everyday issues common to people of all eras?
Think of them as instantly available.They require no fuel, except imagination. They do not become useless if unused. They can quickly come into service with a little dusting.
Yes, everyone is busy. But the habit of reading must be cultivated and encouraged. Books are never too busy for us. We are too busy for books—but by not reading, we lose more time than we gain. In my teenage years, as a quiet girl, I enjoyed being alone in a companionship of books. Though I sat in a small room, they allowed me to travel beyond the walls and without a time frame—I crossed histories and oceans in search of life’s inviolable truths. I cultivated a moral sentiment based on what I read, and I became a better person because of it. As the saying goes, Read ten thousand books--travel ten thousand miles.
The 17th-cent. poet John Donne could have been referring to a book when he wrote:It makes one little room an everywhere.

I was fortunate to discover the classics. Their beauty is matched only by their practicality. They have changed the course of my life.
Choosing a right book is just like discovering a wise mentor. See how the characters--the wicked, the kind, the educated, the innocent—speak their lines deal with difficult situations. You can see what would have happened to you in that situation. What would you have done? This is a free education in human affairs—or depending on the book—on business affairs. You can learn these lessons without enduring the hardships normally required to gain those insights. What a tremendous gift to us! If someone told you they could provide guidance on almost any topic under the sun, wouldn’t you be interested?
So why don’t people read? How can books be useless? Reading can smooth out deficiencies in our nature. Our innate talents are like natural flowers and trees. Reading teaches us how to arrange them so that they may flourish. I have interviewed a lot of successful entrepreneurs from humble backgrounds. They did not appear to have had a great deal of formal education, and yet they had never stopped learning. They had some experiences at work, and they put other experiences to the test in reading—and they gained twofold in wisdom. 

Reading creates an instant perspective. Talented people who do not read a lot may be skillful in specific areas of productivity, but those who study and think diligently always maintain an awareness of wider issues. Reading broadens our visions, enhances our knowledge, and enriches the way we think and how we perceive the world. People who do not read so much sometimes become too narrow in their focus: that kind of attention is not always a good thing.
At some point, of course, we need to be aware of what we read and its impact on our mental process. Loving books is great, but knowing how to judge a book’s quality is like keeping to a healthy diet. Absorbing poorly written books without judgement can lead to puffiness in thought and mediocre conceptions of what constitutes progress in our daily lives. 
The methods available for reading have expanded enormously since the turn of the century. For instance, one can read an entire book on a cell phone. The issue with cell phones is the distraction of that small screen that affects how we absorb information--those superficial ideas and flashing reminders, not leaving much room for introspection or systematic thought. 
Many young people do read exclusively and rapidly on electronic devices. This I do not advocate. There is no sense of occasion, of intellectual immersion, of a specific and special transmission of ideas.  We miss the mindful experience of turning the page and being aware of the book’s binding, its fragrance, the texture of the pages. 
In addition, books are characters in themselves: they have their own emotional associations that mark passages in our lives. We can remember specific rainy days spent in reading, and even recall the passages we read. 
Reading is a process of thinking, of being in place, of attentiveness. Digital words on a small screen generally do not provide that kind of experience. Cell phones have no personalities. They offer data—not words.

Yoga is more than simple physical exercise. Reading is more than absorbing data. 
Ancient monks devised entire systems for memorizing passages for future reference—to them, reading was a method of transport into the world of the spirit and the intellect, and they marked the pages with signs and systems for retaining key points in the memory. In this way, knowledge enters the mind and heart of the reader through repeated exposure. 

As the sages once said, ‘When we are young, we read books as if appreciating the moon through a narrow tube. When we reach middle-age, we read as if we are admiring the moon from a courtyard. In our senior years, we read to see the moon in all its detail, as on a spinning dais.’  
The more experience we have, the more we can accommodate and understand the experience of others as being closer to our own. The same goes for the isolated rural districts that have not benefited until recently from the resources available to big-city dwellers. In such remote land areas, entire communities of potential readers may exist in isolation. The cultural needs of these rural places are often overlooked. But it has long been recognized that, 1) culture is an engine for innovation and endeavor, and 2) that cultural coherence already exists in these communities, and reading can quickly result in tangible economic activities, such as festivals or study programs.
Reading creates a powerful means of self-expression—because good readers frequently make good writers. 
Self-expression lies at the heart of the New Chinese Narrative. Books bring us together, as people, and as a culture. They are the fabric from which civilizations are woven. 
They deserve our respect and attention.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

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