About Nothing 无可奉告

当你没有话说的时候,或者也不想写任何东西的时候,你怎么告诉别人呢?我发觉,当我不想动脑筋的时候,而且我也没有什么重要的事情可说的时候,我最好不要说什么。但是,有的时候,不说又不行。比如,如果你是一位老师,你有责任来教导你的学生,因此你就必须说话。甚至当你无话可说的时候,你还是要说话来教导你的学生。一定要说一些话,但是说什么呢?当老师的就说一些有关数学的或者其他科学学科的话?还是说一有关语言的或者语法的话?还是说一些与音乐有关的内容?还是说一些有关地理或者政治方面的话?当一个老师累了的话,不能再好好地动脑筋,那他有什么可以教呢?在这个时候,他该说什么呢?这个老师是不是该说一些有关生活和待人处世的话?可能这个老师会说一些有关哲学和宗教的事情。一个老师也可能说一些有关金钱和投资的话题。作为老师甚至可能问学生想要知道什么。

老师可以会问,“你们有什么问题吗?”“你们想要知道什么?”于是学生就向老师提出了一些话题的建议。学生可能说,“告诉我们,你的如何度日的。”“给我们介绍一些你的家庭。”“说说你的经历吧。”他们可以提供各式各样的建议,但是他们是否真的对这些话题感兴趣呢?这些琐碎的话题是不是真的对学生有现实意义呢?这些建议的话题所给予的知识,是不是对他们的教育目标有帮助呢?我觉得可能不会。可能这些话题是人们感兴趣的,也可能是很幽默的,但不一定有教育意义。这对于一个无话可说的老师来说是不会有真正的帮助的。学生们可能会有一个真正的重要问题。他们也可能会想知道一个真正重要的政治事件或者一项文化理念。他们也许问一些有关历史和文明起落的问题。他们也许会问有关宇宙空间、日月星辰、物理和自然法则的问题。

他们好奇地问老师,“请告诉我们,物理的定律和生物的定律是些什么啊?”“为什么人类的异性会相互堕入爱河?”这就是学生对那个无话可说也没有什么可写的老师所问的问题,“为什么异性互相吸引?”

“啊,”老师停顿了一下说,“这是一个很不一般的问题。这是一个很深奥的问题,也是一个很棘手的问题。这个问题会让人们开动脑筋,进入深思。但是,不好意思,我在这方面却无可奉告。”

 


讨论问题:

1.      这篇文章在说什么?

2.      你是不是也曾有过“无话可说”的困境?

3.      你是不是因为紧张或者太累了,或者其他什么原因,而说不出话来?

4.      你是不是经历过有些老师或者讲员,虽然滔滔不绝地说,但是没有说出什么内容?

5.      你觉得什么是造成一个老师或者一个讲员进入想不出说什么的困境?

When you have nothing to say or nothing to write, what do you do or say? I find that when my mind is tired and I can’t think of anything important to say it is best to not say anything at all. Yet sometimes saying nothing is not really an option. For example, if you are a teacher and you have the responsibility of teaching your students you must say something. Even if you have nothing to say, you must say something to educate the minds of your students. Something must be said, but what? Should the teacher say something about mathematics or science? Should the teacher say something about language or grammar? Should the teacher say something about art or music? Should the teacher say something about geography or politics? When the teacher is tired or has a mind which will not function, what should he teach about? What should be said? Should the teacher talk about life and relationships? Maybe the teacher should talk about philosophy and religion. A teacher might talk about money and investments. The teacher might even ask the students what they would like to know.

“Do you have any questions about anything?” the teacher might ask. “What would you like to know?” asks the teacher.  The students might offer possible suggestions as to what the teacher should talk about. The students could say, “Tell us about your life. Tell us about your family. Tell us about your history.” These are all good subjects, but are they truly interesting? Would such trivial matters really help a student in life? Would such knowledge assist them in reaching their educational goals? I don’t think so. It might be interesting or even humorous, (funny) but not truly educational. No, this would not truly be of help for the teacher who has nothing to say. The students might think of truly important questions. They might think of really important issues about politics or culture. They might ask about history and the rise and fall of civilizations. They might want to know about space, the stars, the moon, physics and the laws of nature.

“Tell us, Teacher,” they ask with curious minds, “what about the laws of physics and biology? Why do people who seem opposite fall in love with one another?” This is what the students ask the teacher who has nothing to say and nothing to write, “Why do opposites attract?”

“Ah,” the teacher pauses, “that is a very interesting question. That is a profound question, a deep question. That is a question which makes the mind stir and think. Unfortunately, I have nothing to say about that.”


QUESTIONS:

1.      What was this article about?

2.      Have you ever been at a “loss of words?” (You don’t know what to say.)

3.      Did you have nothing to say because of being nervous or being tired or for some other reason?

4.      Did you ever listen to a teacher or a speaker who talked for a long time, but really said nothing?

5.      What do you think causes a lack of creativity for a speaker or teacher?

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