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Our own clumsiness can feel like one of the most shameful things about us.
On returning a carton to the fridge,
we trip and spill orange juice down our whole front. It goes into our shoes, too.
Even the inside lining of the soles are soaked in orange pulp.
It's a good ten minutes and a few towels before we've changed out of all our clothes - even our underwear - and cleaned ourselves up.
We feel three and a half years old.
When are we gonna grow up into the adults we supposedly are?
If only this were the only such incident, but clumsiness may stalk us everywhere.
A month ago we badly bruised our knee against a door, then we spilled blueberries over the kitchen floor,
and recently we went around for a whole day not noticing
there was a piece of lettuce coating one of our teeth.
We're furious with, and ashamed of ourselves.
Our clumsiness violates our self-image as competent grownups.
There's a Yiddish word that artfully evokes the extent of our stupidity.
The clumsy person is in Yiddish a klutz, a dunderhead, a blockhead, a fool
It's the inner klutz who makes us drop plates, who walks into doors and who didn't remember to do up its flies.
It's normal to hate our klutz and with a grim face to try to deny it's even really there inside us.
Instead, we strive to hold on to our dignity and when we can presume that the klutz has gone away for good.
When we do meet with it, it's always with some horror,
agitation and humiliation - we thought we'd left the Klutz behind, somewhere in childhood.
But no, it's still here, getting us to drop our phone in the toilet bowl and forget an important person's name at a party.
But there would be another less explored option: to make friends with our inner klutz.
Not to keep denying that it really exists, but to face up to it head-on, in good time.
We should accept without rancor or fury that we simply are at one level
Klutzes who knock things over, spill drinks and make fools of ourselves in small and large ways.
This is only a humiliation if we insist that the only way to be acceptable is to exhibit constant competence.
Once we accept that we are klutzes through and through, one more spilled drink won't need to discomfort us much further.
What particularly humiliates us at moments of clumsiness is the impression that we're all alone with our ineptness.
We wouldn't mind being clumsy if everyone was clumsy, too.
But they don't seem to be. We appear to have been singled out as the greatest klutzes we've ever met!
Far from it.
We simply don't see the clumsiness of other people as we do our own, because it happens in private and is
carefully edited out of public life.
It's not surprising that in comedy shows there is such a widespread appetite for watching people fall off their bikes or walk into lampposts.
We feel so relieved by evidence that clumsiness is not ours alone.
It may look as if we're mocking but really we're delighted to have found people as absurd as we are.
The comedy show invites us to see our own clumsiness as part of a collective foolishness, not a private tragedy.
We can also see that our own clumsiness is not what set us apart from others,
but actually what we share in secret with everyone
We can accommodate our idiocy more sweetly inside ourselves by trusting at last that it is entirely normal and universal
to be clumsy, that it's a factor to be understood and forgiven in ourselves
because it should be understood and forgiven in everyone.
The next time we spill something down our front,
we shouldn't feel a hot prickly rage.
We should greet our inner klutz like an old familiar friend with a warm,
tolerant smile of recognition.
The school of Life isn't just a Youtube channel. It's an actual school where you can go and take classes.
We have branches in ten locations around the world. To find out more click on the link on the screen now
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笨手笨腳怎麼辦? (What to Do About Being Clumsy)

8416 分類 收藏
Evangeline 發佈於 2018 年 9 月 23 日    B.Y.l 翻譯    Evangeline 審核

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每個人小時候一定都犯過蠢,像是去大賣場買了一堆東西卻忘記帶錢包、走上講台時在大家面前摔倒,或是衣服穿反了一整天卻渾然不覺,這些蠢事都會讓我們想挖個洞把自己埋進去,但我們覺得丟臉的原因是為什麼?又該怎麼面對笨拙的自己?跟著影片來尋找答案吧!

1shameful0:03
shameful 是個很常見但也很常跟 ashamed 搞混的單字,shameful 是形容詞,用來形容事物「可恥的、丟臉的」。
You should never make any excuses for such shameful behavior.
你不該為你這種羞恥的行為找藉口。


另外一個字 ashamed 也是形容詞,形容人「感到羞愧、難為情或丟臉」,常用 be/ feel ashamed of oneself 來表達「某人對自己感到無地自容」或「感到不好意思」。
I felt so ashamed of myself for making the same mistake.
我對我自己犯同樣的錯誤感到非常不好意思。


而如果要責備某人「無恥」或「不要臉」我們就可以說 Shame on you!

2do up one's fly1:08
fly 通常是當成「飛」或是「蒼蠅」,但這個片語跟這兩個字一點關係都沒有。fly 在服裝用語上是指「(褲子的) 拉鍊」,所以如果有人跟你說:
Your fly is open!
Your fly is down!
Your fly is undone!


都是指「你的拉鍊沒拉」唷!不要再四處找蒼蠅啦!
所以依此推論,do up one's fly 就是叫某人拉上他的拉鍊。

但如果你今天要說的是包包或外套的拉鍊則會直接用 zip up + 衣物/包包。
Mom: Remember to zip up your jacket when you go out, or you'll catch a cold!
Cathy: Come on! It's 28℃ outside!
媽媽:出門時記得拉上外套的拉鍊,不然會感冒!
Cathy:拜託!外面是 28℃ 欸!


3head-on1:51
head-on 可以當副詞也可以當形容詞,表示「正面的 (地);迎面的 (地)」。
Plucking up his courage, Kevin faced the difficulties head-on.
Kevin 提起了勇氣來正視困難。

The head-on collision at the intersection during peak hours caused gridlock.
尖峰時段時在十字路口發生的一場對撞車禍造成了交通癱瘓。


*同場加映:
【TED】艾咪.普蒂:生命無限 (Amy Purdy: Living beyond limits)


4single out2:31
single 平常看到時都是當形容詞使用,指「單人的;單身的」,但在這邊則是當成動詞,指「單獨挑出來 (表揚或批評)」。
The teacher singled out those who skipped the class for punishment.
老師特別挑出那些翹課的學生來處罰。

If you want to solve the whole problem, you need to singled out the potential factors.
如果你想徹底解決這個問題,你就必須特別挑出那些潛在的因素。


5set sb./sth. apart from3:17
apart from 有「分開、遠離」之意,所以 set sb. /sth. apart from 就是「將某人/ 某事分開,使其較為突出」,衍伸為「與眾不同」的意思。而 outstanding 這個字也可以用一樣的方式來聯想,「站得比別人出去,比別人前面」也就是「優秀、出色」的意思。
His creative and feasible ideas set him apart from other applicants.
他那些有創意又可行的點子讓他從其他應徵者中脫穎而出。


*同場加映:
新加坡樟宜機場可以維持世界第一嗎? (Can Singapore's Changi Airport stay number one?)


其實不管長到多大我們偶爾都還是會笨手笨腳、糊里糊塗,但就像學習接納自己的不完美一樣,我們都要學會面對心中那個笨拙的自己,才能在未來從容面對層出不窮的蠢事。

文/ Vivian Chen

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