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演讲 | 劳伦斯·巴科:哈佛校园是现实世界的缩影,世界不会因为哈佛毕业生的身份而善待你

云杉思库 | Business Growth Partner企业成长伙伴 2022/09/23 22:44

新知达人, 演讲 | 劳伦斯·巴科:哈佛校园是现实世界的缩影,世界不会因为哈佛毕业生的身份而善待你 当地时间8月30日,美国哈佛大学举办新学年开学典礼。 面对1649名入学的大一新生,哈佛大学第29任校长劳伦斯·巴科(Lawrence Bacow)发表了开学演讲。


▶哈佛的学生来自五湖四海,每位学生要学会从差异中学习,倾听那些与你想法不同的人,而不是凭第一印象对他人作出判断。

▶哈佛校园是现实世界的缩影,世界不会因为哈佛毕业生的身份而善待你。

▶哈佛的教育是让学生准备好去面对每一个挑战。

▶只有学会改变自己,才能改变世界。

劳伦斯·巴科 (Lawrence Bacow)
哈佛大学第29任校长
以下演讲全文:

午好,2026届的同学们。 我很荣幸能够在这里欢迎你们正式成为哈佛大学的一员。

53年前的这个星期,我告别了密歇根州庞蒂亚克的朋友和家人,来到了马萨诸塞州的剑桥市,开始了我的大学第一年。确切地说,不是这里,而是就在街边的麻省理工学院。
这一切就像发生在昨天一样。
我可以完全肯定地告诉你,你在这个校园里的头几周的记忆将在你的一生中都历历在目。你会想起一切——你遇到的人,你结识的人,你的第一堂课,你在巴特利餐厅吃的第一个汉堡。
我印象很深刻,我的大一室友艾伦,是一个来自新泽西的长曲棍球运动员。
他很高大。而我是小个子。他很邋遢,而我很整洁。他把他的音响带到校园,喜欢开着它学习;而我喜欢关了音响安静学习。他喜欢听滚石、谁人和The Band乐队的歌;我喜欢鲍勃-迪伦、詹姆斯-泰勒和乔尼-米切尔。他喜欢几乎所有的纽约运动队;而我讨厌他们。他在政治上相当保守, 我则不然。“这永远不会有结果的,”我想。
所以,你可能知道这个故事的走向——我大错特错了。
艾伦,在一个看似生硬、大声、有主见的外表下,被证明是我在大学期间遇到的最善良、最有趣的人之一。
他阅读量大得惊人,是个了不起的作家,而且非常慷慨,耐心地帮助我完成了大一的物理学、微积分和化学课程。虽然我们在与政治有关的几乎所有方面都有分歧,但他喜欢好的争论,我们也有过很多辩论。
他成了我最亲密的朋友之一,即使是在研究生阶段,我们也继续生活在一起。在我进入哈佛大学法学院的第一天,他为我安排了一次相亲,对象是他女朋友的室友。那个相亲对象今天就在这里。让我向你们介绍她,我47年的妻子——阿黛尔。
而艾伦最终在阿黛尔和我结婚前一周与阿黛尔的室友黛比结婚。他们两个人在蜜月期间来参加了我们的婚礼。
今天,在我们相遇的53年后,艾伦和黛比仍然是我们最亲密的两个朋友。今年夏天,他们在我们家住了三天。我们一起经历了人生的所有历程-——我们的孩子和他们的孩子的出生、建立事业和家庭的工作、生活的欢乐和失望、每一个里程碑中的甜蜜和每一次失去的悲伤。
在政治方面,我们仍然没有什么共识,但我们有文明的谈话——甚至不时地进行辩论—最终选择尊重对方的观点,即使无法被对方说服。而且,我们经常向对方学习。53年后,我们像家人一样爱他们。
在你在这里的日子里,请不要忽视你的艾伦。请不要根据人们的外在表现或你的第一印象来迅速判断他们。
我们录取了来自世界各地的学生,这些人有各种可以想象的兴趣,其中一个原因是我们要从我们的差异中学习。当你了解你的室友和你的同学时,试着缓慢判断,快速理解。
至少在开始时要对别人往好处想,不仅仅是在哈佛,而是在整个生活中,于是你会对你将获得的朋友数量感到惊讶,这些人与你截然不同,但他们会极大地丰富你的生活。
如果你像大多数哈佛学生一样,你在接下来的几天里建立的友谊将永远伴随你。你们中的一些人甚至有可能在这里遇到你的配偶或生活伴侣。
我知道这句话是真的,因为我参加了很多哈佛的同学聚会。我一次又一次地听到同样的故事——在学校的头几天就开始的终生关系。
你最好的朋友,那些将与你一起分享生活的人,就坐在你们中间。你的工作便是找到他们。
我也承认,你可能在哈佛遇到你不喜欢的人。
哈佛是更大世界的一个缩影,你在更大的世界中可能发现的所有令人反感的东西在这里都有一定程度的存在。我们并不完美,但我们努力做得更好。
在努力成为一个充满关怀、理解和欢迎的社区的同时,我们不能保护你们免受一切不愉快的事情的影响。我们的工作是为你们毕业后将居住的世界做准备。而那个世界不会因为你有一个哈佛的学位而善待你。如果我们把你们放在一个情绪化的泡沫中,不让你们的情绪免疫系统发展起来,我们就不是在帮你们。我们在这里是为了让你们准备好应对一个将挑战你们,有时甚至会冒犯你们的世界。
我希望你们在哈佛时能掌握这些技能,这样你们就能用一生来修复这个我们都知道远非完美的世界。
从我已经与你们中的一些人进行的谈话中,我知道你们想改变世界。对你们来说是好事。这也是我们接纳你们的原因之一。
但是,如果你想改变世界,你需要掌握说服人们改变想法的艺术。而且我保证,除非你首先有改变自己的经验,否则你不会有效地做到改变他人。
哈佛的校训是“真理”(Veritas)。它不仅仅是一句座右铭,它是我们存在的原因——为了寻求真理。
随着时间的推移,真理被揭示出来,它需要在互相竞争的思想平台上接受考验。如果你真的要寻求真理,你必须与那些与你想法不同的人接触。
更重要的是,你必须愿意改变你的想法——被更好的论据或新的信息所说服。只有当你有了这种经验,你才会有足够的能力来改变世界。这是我希望你们在哈佛掌握的另一项技能。
在入住当天,阿黛尔和我见到了你们中的许多家庭。我们目睹了不止一次的感性告别。自从你们进入你们所爱的人的世界的那一天起,你们中的大多数人就一直是他们生活的中心。现在你们走了,对你们很多人的家人来说,唯有沉默。有许多人帮助你们过渡到大学——学术顾问、同伴顾问、住宿顾问、监考人、院长。但是你的亲人却只能靠他们自己。他们也正在经历一个巨大的调整,而这取决于你是否能帮助他们度过难关。请不时地给他们打个电话,不是短信——是电话,问问他们做得怎么样。我保证他们会感激你的。
2026届的同学们,我们对你们寄予厚望。我希望哈佛是你们梦想中的一切——在智力上、社会上和个人方面。
我只希望在你们50周年聚会时我能在场,这样你们就能告诉我你们的生活是如何发展的,以及哈佛在其中扮演的角色。
祝你们每个人都好运!


2022 Convocation Remarks


Good afternoon, Class of 2026. It is an honor to add my voice to the chorus welcoming you officially as members of the Harvard community.

Fifty-three years ago this week, I said goodbye to my friends and family in Pontiac, Michigan and arrived here in Cambridge, Massachusetts for my first year of college. Not here, exactly, but just down the street at MIT.

It seems like yesterday.

I can tell you with complete confidence that memories of your first few weeks on this campus will remain vivid throughout your lifetime. You will recall who you met, who you befriended, your very first class, your very first burger at Bartley’s—everything.

Among my most vivid memories is my freshman roommate. His name was Alan.  He was a lacrosse player from New Jersey.  He was big.  I was small.  He was messy.  I was neat.  He brought his stereo to campus and liked to study with it on.  I liked to study with it off.  He liked to listen to the Rolling Stones, The Who and The Band.  I liked Bob Dylan, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. He liked almost all New York sports teams.  I hated them.  He was politically quite conservative.  I was anything but.

“This will never work out,” I thought.  So—you can probably tell where this story is going—I could not have been more wrong.  Alan, beneath a seemingly crusty, loud, opinionated exterior, proved to be one of the kindest, most interesting people I met during my time in college.  He was incredibly well read, a terrific writer, and very generous with his time, patiently helping me navigate through freshman physics, calculus, and chemistry. While we differed on almost everything related to politics, he loved a good argument, and we had many.  He became one of my closest friends, and we continued to live together, even as graduate students.  On my first day at Harvard Law School, he fixed me up on a blind date with his girlfriend’s roommate.  That blind date is here today.  Let me introduce you to her, my wife of 47 years, Adele.  And Alan wound up marrying Adele’s roommate, Debby, one week before Adele and I got married.  The two of them came to our wedding on their honeymoon.

Today, 53 years after we met, Alan and Debby remain two of our closest friends.  This summer, they spent three days with us at our home.  We have been through all of life’s passages together—the birth of our children and their children—the work of building careers and families—the joys and disappointments of life—the sweetness of every milestone and the sorrow of every loss.

We still agree about very little when it comes to politics, but we have civil conversations—even debates from time to time—and usually end up agreeing to disagree.  But we always respect each other, and we often learn from each other. And, after 53 years, we love them like family.

During your time here, please don’t overlook your Alan.  Please don’t judge people quickly based on their outward appearances or your first impressions.  One of the many reasons we admitted students from around the world, people with every interest imaginable, is because we learn from our differences.  As you get to know your roommates and your classmates, try to be slow to judge and quick to understand.  Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, at least initially, not just at Harvard but throughout life and you will be surprised by the number of friends you will acquire, people quite different from you, but people who will enrich your life immensely.

If you are like most Harvard students, the friendships you make in the next few days will stay with you forever.  A few of you are even likely to meet your spouse or life partner here.  I know this statement to be true because I attend a lot of Harvard reunions.  I hear the same stories over and over about lifelong relationships that started during the first few days of school.  Your best friends, people with whom you will share your life together, are sitting among you.  Your job is to find them.

Let me also acknowledge that you may meet people at Harvard that you do not like.  Harvard is a microcosm of the larger world, and everything that you may find objectionable in the larger world is present in some measure here.  We are not perfect, but we strive to be better.  While trying to be a caring, understanding, and welcoming community, we cannot protect you from everything that is unpleasant.  Our job is to prepare you for the world you will inhabit when you graduate.  And that world is not going to treat you with kid gloves simply because you have a Harvard degree.  We would not be doing you a favor if we placed you in an emotional bubble and did not let your emotional immune systems develop.  We are here to prepare you to deal with a world that will challenge you—and sometimes even offend you.  I hope you will master these skills while you are at Harvard so you can devote your life to repairing a world that we all know is far from perfect.

I know from conversations that I have already had with some of you that you want to change the world.  Good for you.  That is one of the reasons we admitted you.  But if you want to change the world, you need to master the art of persuading people to change their minds.  And I guarantee that you will not be effective at doing so unless you first have the experience of changing your own.

Our motto at Harvard is Veritas.  It is more than a motto.  It is the reason we exist, to seek the truth.  Over time, truth is revealed, it needs to be tested on the anvil of competing ideas.  If you really seek the truth, you must engage with those who think differently than you.  Even more importantly, you must be willing to change your mind – to be persuaded by a better argument or new information.  Only when you have this experience will you be well equipped to make a difference in the world.  This is another skill I hope you will master at Harvard.

On move in day, Adele and I met many of your families.  We witnessed more than one emotional goodbye.  Most of you have been at the center of your loved one’s lives since the day you entered their world.  Now you are gone, and, for many left behind, the silence is deafening.  You have many people to help you make your transition to college—academic advisors, peer advisors, residential advisors, proctors, deans—you name it.  But your loved ones are on their own.  They are also going through a big adjustment, and it is up to you to help them through it.  Please give them a call from time to time, not a text – a call, and ask them how they are doing.  I guarantee you they will appreciate it.

Class of 2026, we have great expectations for you.  I hope that Harvard is everything you dreamed it will be—intellectually, socially and personally. I only wish I could be there at your 50th reunion so you could tell me how your life turned out and the role that Harvard played in it.

Best of luck to each of you, and Godspeed.

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