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第十六届中国日报社“21世纪杯”全国英语演讲比赛半决赛张小洁演讲视频
来源:21英语网  时间:2011-07-11 16:3


张小洁 广东外语外贸大学

Passion vs. Pressure: To strive, or to dream?

It was a scorching hot day in the summer of 2005. I was rehearsing one of Beethoven’s music on my flute when suddenly the music teacher interrupted me with a cry of frustration: “Play with passion!  You’re like a robot! Where is your passion?” That question immediately left me at a loss for words.

Where is your passion? It’s a question that haunts people in today’s society. Feeling hijacked by the family pressure, work pressure, peer pressure and many others, we reconcile ourselves to what Kevin Costner said, “Passion and dreams are the first casualty in life------ we kill them off, for a ‘reality’”.
 
Now, if you can all relate to me, then you need to listen to the next story. It’s the story of my America friend Chris. I met Chris last year on a trip to the Grand Canyon. He was a college graduate taking a gap year. As a sport enthusiast, Chris worked part-time around the country to support his daily adventures on his mountain bikes and kayak. Dreaming of becoming an expeditionist, he brushed off the constant disapproval of those who deemed him foolish and continued his journey. Rather than save up for a house, he let his trailer take him wherever he pleased. Instead of surrendering his life to all kinds of pressures, he navigated his life only towards where his passion beckoned.

Wise men say, years wrinkle the face, but to give up passion and dreams wrinkles the soul. However, let it also be said that the pressures in society today take a heavy toll on those ideals. Most people, especially younger generations, let their aspirations kneel down to these ubiquitous forces without even a fight, too weak to recognize their unlimited potential to fuel the passion, nourish dreams and empower life. To anyone in this audience who thinks this is true, let me ask you this question: why do these negativities in life have to be so counterproductive? I’ve always believed in the theory that pressures can be harnessed to work for us, not against us. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the two lovers’ immortal passion for each other radiated ever so brightly because their fearless love was pressured into secrecy by the families’ feud. In the movie The Sound of Music, Maria’s life-long passion for music was bravely unleashed because she bore the pressures of breaking the captain’s rules.

So ladies and gentlemen, understand this: what keeps our dreams and passion alive is in fact, unyielding courage------- the courage that tells us to confront the daily pressures and transform them into motivations. Just like David Thoreau who, faced with pressures of a secular world, had the courage to slow down his life and rekindle his passion by the lake of Walden; or Robert Frost who, struggling with the pressures of life’s choices, had the courage to choose the road not taken.

My friends, just as storms never stop a spider from weaving the web of his dreams, we should never stop striving to ignite passion and fulfill ours. After all, it is what makes life worthy of pursuit. So what I ask of you today is to seek within you the undying courage to conquer life’s pressure and explode your beautiful passion and dreams into the expansion of life.