英語趣談:Facts、interpretation和快樂人生

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“There are no facts, only interpretations.”這句話來自十九世紀末德國哲學家Friedrich Nietzsche(尼采)。

Fact是a thing that is known or proved to be true,即事實。例如︰No argument is meaningful unless it is based on facts.(沒有事實根據的論調,沒什麼意思。)Journalists must report only facts.(新聞記者只應報道事實。)

事實是詮釋?

Interpretation是名詞,解the action of explaining the meaning of something,對某些事物的解釋;an explanation or way of explaining,解釋或一種解釋的方法。 Interpret是動詞,解explain the meaning of (information or actions),解釋資料或行為;understand (an action, mood, or way of behaving) as having a particular meaning,對行動、情緒或行為的一種理解。

表面上,interpretation和fact應是水火不相容,但想深一層,所有由人說出或寫出的”fact”,都避免不了演繹、詮釋的過程。從這角度看,”there are no facts, only interpretations”這句話,是有它真確之處。

生活不開心,遇上的事情總是不如意,是facts。覺得這些是自己生命的facts,那就是你的現實,你相信的,當然就是你的facts,你的reality。但若fact說到底其實是interpretation,那這些負面消極的”facts”就可不一定是facts,換個角度看,世界就可以變得不同。

像有點玄的道理,其實很實用,也很容易做得到。每天只需十分鐘,不快的心情就會變得快樂。 University of Central Lancashire的臨床心理學家Sandi Mann在她的著作Ten Minutes to Happiness中就教我們這個方法。

十分鐘變快樂

找本記事簿,無論多忙,每天都堅持有恆心地花點時間問自己六個問題:

•What experiences, however mundane(平凡的), gave you pleasure?
•What praise(讚美) and feedback(反應、評語) did you receive?
•What were the moments of pure good fortune(不折不扣的幸運)?
•What were your achievements, however small?
•What made you feel grateful
(感激的)?
•How did you express kindness(仁慈)?

不斷這樣做,就可慢慢改變不安、不快、不滿的心態。 Sandi Mann介紹的方法是有科學研究作根據。這些研究證實︰”taking a little time to reappraise(重新評估、重新評價) your day in these ways can slowly shift your mindset(心態) so that you eventually find more happiness in your life.”

為什麼會有這樣的功效?

When we feel low, it can be easy to overlook(看漏、忽略) the things that are going right – and keeping this journal brings them to the forefront of your attention.
心情不佳,令我們忘記了一天中發生的好事情,寫這本記事簿的幾分鐘,就把這些值得開心、感激的經驗帶出來,不只是當天,日後心情不佳的時候重讀,也可以化解不快。今天頭頭碰着黑可能不是fact,只是interpretation,而interpretation當然是可以改變。

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