向死而生│Sheryl Sandberg’s Berkeley Speech

 

突如其來的意外 (文字版)

Sheryl Sandberg是Facebook的營運長,如果對這個名字沒印象,應該聽過《挺身而進》這本書,作者就是Sheryl Snadberg。

這本書滿好看的,她告訴我們,長期以來,我們對女性有偏頗的期待,忽略甚至貶低了女性的優勢。因此很多地方,換個方式去做,我們可以再做得更好。

沒錯,Sheryl也是一位女權主義的提倡者。

2015有一次她和她的老公Dave,去墨西哥慶祝一位好朋友的生日,這天下午Sheryl有點累,到房間小睡片刻,老公Dave則去附近的健身房運動。

但沒想到,她再一次見到Dave,老公已經躺在健身房的地板上,離開了人間。

Sheryl馬上就飛回美國告訴她的兩個孩子:爸爸已經離開了。

老公的死讓Sheryl陷入一段很長時間的悲傷,她從來沒想過自己可以流下這麼多眼淚,人生好像不再有意義了,生活如此空洞,如此沉重,甚至連好好的呼吸都很困難。

自己最愛的人,突然死去,可能是Sheryl一生當中遇到的最大挫折,這也是她在Berkeley的畢業致詞想要告訴我們的:

那些她在死亡裡學到的事。

生活中的死

死亡,是我們每個人都會走到的終點,這不僅是說,總有一天你會死,更重要的是:

總有一天你身邊的人,那些你深愛的、在乎的,都會離開你。

所以這是每個人都必須學會的技能,那就是如何面對死亡。

死亡不一定跟生命有關,沒有生命的東西也會死。比如你心目中很想考進某家大學,但最後你落榜了。

你知道你自己是多麼喜歡那個人,可是她就是沒那麼喜歡你。

巴菲特著名的合夥人查理芒格曾經說:「凡事都要反過來想。」如果你想要成功,那麼你應該思考做什麼會失敗,然後盡量避免去做那件事。

同樣道理,面對人生,如果我們想要好好地生活,我們應該先學會如何面對死亡。

換個角度想

曾經有個比喻是這麼說的

死亡就像刺眼的陽光,直視它,你會感到很不舒服,但就算你不去看它,它也無時無刻籠罩著你,影響著你。(1)

作家史鐵生在很年輕時候,就兩腿癱瘓,然後時常想著要自殺,他曾經在一篇散文裡面寫到:

這麼多年來,我終於想明白一件事,一個人出生了,這就是一個不能再辯論的問題,而是一個事實,老天給我們這個事實的同時,也確保了它的結局。

所以死亡不需要急著去做,死是個必然會降臨的節日,想到這我就安心多了,眼前的一切不再可怕。(2)

了解死亡的同時,就是在了解我們自己的侷限,知道自己的限制之後,我們就能更好地選擇,更好的生活。

向死而生,是第一件我們能跟死亡學到的事。

那麼到底該如何面對死亡,面對失去,我們明天接著說。

我的評論

面對死亡,不論是生命還是願望,我們內心通常不敢接受,難過之外我們也感到害怕,因為突然之間,未來不再是心裡想像的樣子。

我們害怕的是:改變

平時人們對待改變的方式,就是預測。下一屆總統會是誰,人工智能如何影響生活,再過幾天孩子就要出生了。

就算預測錯了,我們還是能夠即時的應對,比較謹慎的人,甚至為最壞的狀況都做好了十足的準備。

預測讓變化有了可預期性,並且增加人們的控制感。

即便如此,有些事情人們傾向不去預測,寧願睜隻眼,閉隻眼,也不想要面對的。

那就是──失去

人類有厭惡失去的心理傾向,於是會自動規避損失。比如東西的運費要50元,直接收費會造成人們反感,因此把運費算進價格裡,改成不用運送便宜50元。

同樣都是加價50元,人們喜歡賺便宜,也不想要額外的付出。

損失規避的例子還有很多,比如股票賠錢會一直想攤平,曾經享有的福利要政府想再奪回,就很困難。

在經濟上,損失規避的心態,會造成人們過度堅持短期利益,而忽略真正重要的事情。(3)

可是如果今天失去的,是再也無法挽回的人命和願景,堅持是沒有用的,如同史鐵生說的,這是一個不可改變,也無法斡旋的事實。

這也是為什麼,我們特別害怕死亡,因為我們無法改變,也無法預測,我們只能接受

雖然每天我們都過著規律的生活,但生活裡的每一件事情,無時無刻都在改變。最簡單也最細微的變化就是:你正在慢慢變老。

 

由於科技的進步,我們有能力減緩老化,也許哪一天甚至能抑止它,畢竟這是從童話故事到現實世界人類共有的夢。

可是那些應該發生的變化,我們卻不讓它發生,這樣到底是好還是不好?

應該淘汰自然死去的技術,我們花大把資金維持它,是好還是不好?

沒有希望的夢想,我們卻堅持向前,是好還是不好?

如果面對所有的變化,我們都想要堅持自己的利益和私心,希望自己握有一種「掌控權」,抗拒改變。

那生活無疑充滿各種張力,各式各樣的緊張和不安。

當我們突然發現,這一切根本不是自己能控制的,無助感來襲,崩潰就在一步之遠。

面對死亡,面對失去,或者面對變化,第一步就是放棄控制,這並不是消極的什麼也不做,而是在察覺它的同時,也改變自己,適應這樣的變化。

這很難,不僅是因為我們厭惡損失,我們也厭惡不一致,沒有他怎麼辦,生活會變成什麼樣子?

沒有人知道生活會是什麼樣子,但肯定不會是原本那樣。

我們唯一能做的,便是盡快的去適應變化。

唯一不變的就是變化本身,選擇留在原地,只會增加我們的痛苦,並加快自己的死亡。

今日思考

你有遭遇過什麼樣重大的變化呢? 你是怎麼經歷和面對的?

 

聽原音

3:17~9:05

本文內容從3分17秒開始,到9分05秒。(字幕連結)

Today is a day of reflection. Because today marks the end of one era of your life and the beginning of something new.

A commencement address is meant to be a dance between youth and wisdom. You have the youth. Someone comes in to be the voice of wisdom—that’s supposed to be me. I stand up here and tell you all the things I have learned in life, you throw your cap in the air, you let your family take a million photos –don’t forget to post them on Instagram —and everyone goes home happy.

Today will be a bit different. We will still do the caps and you still have to do the photos. But I am not here to tell you all the things I’ve learned in life. Today I will try to tell you what I learned in death.

I have never spoken publicly about this before. It’s hard. But I will do my very best not to blow my nose on this beautiful Berkeley robe.

One year and thirteen days ago, I lost my husband, Dave. His death was sudden and unexpected. We were at a friend’s fiftieth birthday party in Mexico. I took a nap. Dave went to work out. What followed was the unthinkable—walking into a gym to find him lying on the floor. Flying home to tell my children that their father was gone. Watching his casket being lowered into the ground.

For many months afterward, and at many times since, I was swallowed up in the deep fog of grief—what I think of as the void—an emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even to breathe.

Dave’s death changed me in very profound ways. I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss. But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again. I learned that in the face of the void—or in the face of any challenge—you can choose joy and meaning.

I’m sharing this with you in the hopes that today, as you take the next step in your life, you can learn the lessons that I only learned in death. Lessons about hope, strength, and the light within us that will not be extinguished.

Everyone who has made it through Cal has already experienced some disappointment. You wanted an A but you got a B. OK, let’s be honest—you got an A- but you’re still mad. You applied for an internship at Facebook, but you only got one from Google. She was the love of your life… but then she swiped left.

Game of Thrones the show has diverged way too much from the books—and you bothered to read all four thousand three hundred and fifty-two pages.

You will almost certainly face more and deeper adversity. There’s loss of opportunity: the job that doesn’t work out, the illness or accident that changes everything in an instant. There’s loss of dignity: the sharp sting of prejudice when it happens. There’s loss of love: the broken relationships that can’t be fixed. And sometimes there’s loss of life itself.

Some of you have already experienced the kind of tragedy and hardship that leave an indelible mark. Last year, Radhika, the winner of the University Medal, spoke so beautifully about the sudden loss of her mother.

The question is not if some of these things will happen to you. They will. Today I want to talk about what happens next. About the things you can do to overcome adversity, no matter what form it takes or when it hits you. The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days—the times that challenge you to your very core—that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.

相關閱讀

為什麼改變很難?│芒格的心理學模型

什麼是智慧?│Notes of Lives

參考資料

(1) (2) 得到專欄 古典‧超級個體 《24-1 直面驕陽的三個禮物》

(3) 《窮查理的普通常識》,查理蒙格,商業週刊出版,2011

What do you think?