双语有声阅读:金钱能买幸福吗?

Does money buy happiness?
 
Does money buy happiness?Not.Ah,but would a little more money make us a little happier?Many of us smirk1) and nod.There is,we believe,some connection between fiscal2) fitness and feeling fantastic.Most of us would say that,yes,we would like to be rich.Three in four American collegians now consider it “very important” or “essential” that they become “very well off financially.” Money matters.
 
Well,are rich people happier?Researchers have found that in poor countries,such as Bangladesh,being relatively1 well off does make for greater well-being.We need food,rest,shelter and social contact.
 
But a surprising fact of life is that in countries where nearly everyone can afford life’s necessities,increasing affluence2 matters surprisingly little.The correlation3 between income and happiness is “surprisingly weak,” observed University of Michigan researcher Ronald Inglehart in one 16-nation study of 170,000people.Once comfortable,more money provides diminishing returns.The second piece of pie,or the second $100,000,never tastes as good as the first.
 
Even lottery3 winners and the Forbes’ 100wealthiest Americans have expressed only slightly greater happiness than the average American.Making it big4) brings temporary joy.But in the long run wealth is like health:its utter absence can breed misery,but having it doesn’t guarantee happiness.Happiness seems less a matter of getting what we want than of wanting what we have.
 
Has our happiness floated upward with the rising economic tide?Are we happier today than in 1940,when two out of five homes lacked a shower or tub?When heat often meant feeding wood or coal into a furnace?When 35percent of homes had no toilet?
 
Actually,we are not.Since 1957,the number of Americans who say they are “very happy” has declined from 35to 32percent.Meanwhile,the divorce rate has doubled,the teen suicide rate has nearly tripled5),the violent crime rate has nearly quadrupled6)(even after the recent decline),and more people than ever(especially teens and young adults)are depressed4
 
I call this soaring wealth and shrinking spirit “the American paradox7).”More than ever,we have big houses and broken homes,high incomes and low morale,secured rights and diminished civility.We excel at making a living but often fail at making a life.We celebrate our prosperity but yearn8) for purpose.We cherish our freedoms but long for connection.In an age of plenty,we feel spiritual hunger.
 
金钱能买幸福吗?
 
 
金钱能买幸福吗?不!但是多一点儿钱是不是会令我们多一点儿幸福呢?对此,我们中的很多人会嘿嘿一笑并点头同意。我们相信,物质富裕与精神愉悦间存在着某种关联。大多数人会说,是的,我们希望富有。当今3/4的美国大学生认为“经济上很富足”是“十分重要的”或“必要的”。金钱确实重要。
 
那么富人就更幸福吗?研究人员发现在贫穷国家,如孟加拉国,相对的富有确实能够带来较大的安康。我们需要食品、休息、住房以及社会交往。
 
但是一个令人惊讶的事实是,在那些几乎人人都丰衣足食的国家中,更加富足并没有什么重要意义。收入与幸福的相互关系是“微乎其微”,密歇根大学研究员罗纳德·英格利哈特在一项对16个国家17万人的调查报告中就是这样说。人们一旦生活舒适,更多的金钱所带来的幸福感便会递减。第二张饼不如第一张香,第二次获得10万美元不如第一次那样兴奋。
 
即使彩票中奖者以及《福布斯》杂志选出的前100名最富有的美国人都表示,比起一般的美国人,他们只是略感幸福而已。发大财能够带来短暂的快乐,但从长远来讲,财富就如同健康:完全没有,会带来苦难,但是有了却不一定能够保证幸福。幸福似乎并不意味企图得到我们想要的东西,而意味着想要我们已有的东西。
 
我们的幸福是否伴随着经济浪潮上涨了呢?回顾1940年,2/5的家庭没有淋浴或者浴缸,取暖通常意味着向炉子中添加木块或者煤块,35%的家庭没有卫生间。同那时相比,今天的我们是否多了一分幸福?
 
实际上,我们并没有。自1957年以来,声称自己“非常幸福”的美国人已经从35%降到了32%。同时,离婚率翻了一番,青少年自杀率增长了近2倍,暴力犯罪率上升了近3倍(即便最近有所下降),情绪消沉的人数(尤其是青少年)超过了以往任何时候。
 
我把这种飞速增长的财富和不断萎靡的精神称之为“美国矛盾”。这种情况现在甚于以往任何时候:我们得到了大房子,但却换来了家庭的破裂;我们得到了高收入,但却降低了道德水准;我们得到了有保障的权利,但却渐渐失去了礼仪。我们善于谋生,但却往往不会营造生活。我们庆祝取得的成功,但却感到缺乏目的。我们珍视个人的自由,但却又渴望着与他人交流。在这个物质财富充裕的时代,我们感到精神上的饥渴。
 
重点词汇:
1 relatively   [ˈrelətɪvli]    
adv.比较…地,相对地
参考例句:
The rabbit is a relatively recent introduction in Australia.兔子是相对较新引入澳大利亚的物种。
The operation was relatively painless.手术相对来说不痛。
2 affluence   ['æflʊəns]  
n.充裕,富足
参考例句:
Their affluence is more apparent than real.他们的富有是虚有其表。
There is a lot of affluence in this part of the state because it has many businesses.这个州的这一部分相当富有,因为它有很多商行。
3 correlation   [ˌkɒrəˈleɪʃn]    
n.相互关系,相关,关连
参考例句:
The second group of measurements had a high correlation with the first.第二组测量数据与第一组高度相关。
A high correlation exists in America between education and economic position.教育和经济地位在美国有极密切的关系。
4 depressed   [dɪˈprest]  
adj.沮丧的,抑郁的,不景气的,萧条的
参考例句:
When he was depressed,he felt utterly divorced from reality.他心情沮丧时就感到完全脱离了现实。
His mother was depressed by the sad news.这个坏消息使他的母亲意志消沉。
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该日志由 1zanxin 于2016年12月13日发表在 双语阅读 分类下,
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