“Life isn’t just about passing on your genes.
We can leave behind much more than just DNA.
Through speech, music, literature and movies…
what we’ve seen, heard, felt
…anger, joy and sorrow…
these are the things I will pass on.
That’s what I live for.
We need to pass the torch,
and let our children read our messy and sad history by its light.
We have all the magic of the digital age to do that with.
The human race will probably come to an end some time,
and new species may rule over this planet.
Earth may not be forever,
but we still have the responsibility to leave what traces of life we can.
Building the future and keeping the past alive are one and the same thing.”
Solid Snake — Metal Gear Solid 2
首先得谢谢CHM的支持和坚持，从这个角度上可以说使英语角在风雨交加的昨晚得以继续下去。我已经两个星期没有参加了，上个星期也因为人数不够，CHM只得放弃，其实她可自个去参加。很喜欢当时的感觉，只有James, Carole, CHM, Jane 还有我，小型的聚会可以更加深入的讨论相关的主题，以及有跟多的机会去练习自己的发音和发表看法。到了这里，有一种自私的念头在盘旋，是否要再发出“征集令”来扩充这个聚会，因为先前的朋友因为住址或工作变换的关系不能够来参加。如果能够维持昨晚类似的规模，那么对参入者来说是很有益处的，人数多了那么机会就没有那么多了，也显得嘈杂，比如中国。
Oct 09, 2009 The Thief of Cathay – A Chinese Folk Tale
Once an honored man was having a birthday celebration. His sons and servants were busy receiving guests and messengers bearing gifts and congratulations. A thief, knowing that there would be valuable items among the gifts, slipped into the house and hid himself by lying face down on a beam in the roof of the hall where a great banquet was to be held in honor of the man. From this vantage point the thief could look down over the guests and see all the parcels of silks and jade and jewels that were being offered. He made a note of where these were put and planned to steal them after the guests had departed and the family gone to sleep.
Later that evening, the host lingered over his presents. He was very happy. As he leaned over them to take a final look, he turned his back to the thief hiding on the beam. The thief took a chance to look at the layout of the room so that he would be able to find his way once the lights were put out. As he hung his head over the beam he cast a shadow on the floor.
The host betrayed no sign of having seen the shadow, but he called for his servant and asked him to lay a table for one guest. Then he brought the best food and drink in the house. Turning towards the beam on which the thief lay, and bowing low, he said, ‘Will the gentleman who is on the roof-beam now come down and partake of refreshments?’
There was nothing the thief could do but comply. He was led to the table and his host fed him well. When he had eaten his fill, his host gave him a bag of silver coins and begged him to make good use of them. Then the host saw the thief out courteously.
Ten years passed, and again the honored man held a big birthday celebration. Many visitors came to wish him well and to bring him presents. The man was very old by now and could not greet everyone who called. His grandson met the visitors at the door and invited them to dine with his grandfather in the evening. He then took the gifts in for the old man to see.
Towards the end of the day a stranger came, bearing handsome gifts of gold and jewels. He would not give his name, but insisted that he see the honored man.
The stranger was admitted to the old man’s room, where he was overjoyed to see his host looking so well. The host did not recognize his guest, and, excusing himself by a plea of failing eyesight, inquired his name.
The stranger smiled and sad, ‘I am an honest man. I have learned to live a righteous life. But it was not always so. Do you not recall how you once asked me to come down from the roof-beam and partake of refreshment?’
The host was astonished, but he grew even more so when he heard how his own kindness to the thief had changed the thief’s life to one of righteousness and honor. The coins he had given the thief had been used to begin a small business which had prospered and given work to many. The guest was invited to stay for the banquet, and this time he did not eat alone.
Questions for discussion:
1. Were you surprised that the host fed the thief and gave him money rather than punishing him? Do you think the thief was surprised?
2. Why did the host act the way he did? Do you think he was right or wrong to do that?
3. Why did thief come back after 10 years to give the King a gift? Why did the host’s action 10 years earlier change the thief’s life for the better?
4. Why is it easy to do bad things and sometimes hard to do good things?
5. Can you think of a situation where you had to decide to do either right or wrong? What decision did you make? How did you feel about it afterward?
6. How can we decide what is right and what is wrong?
Oct 30, 2009 The Talking Tortoise
A talking tortoise lived high up the slopes of the Himalayan Mountains. Two wild geese occasionally came to his part of the forest and they became friends. Once when the geese came to visit the tortoise, they spoke about a beautiful place, a golden cave, where everyone lived happily together.
‘It sounds like a wonderful place,’ sighted the tortoise, ‘I should love to visit it. I’m afraid everyone here is tired of my chatter. I’d like to meet some more people and see the golden cave. How can I go there? Can I walk?’
The geese laughed. ‘Of course not. You can only fly there, and you don’t have wings!’
The tortoise looked so sad that the two geese felt sorry for him. ‘All right,’ they said, ‘we’ll take you. Bite hold of this stick and we’ll hold it in our beaks and fly you to the golden cave — but whatever you do, don’t open your mouth!’
Off they flew with tortoise hanging onto the stick. As they flew over a village, some men called out, ‘Look at that silly tortoise!’
The tortoise wanted to say ‘What’s so silly?’ but he remembered the golden cave and he remained silent. However, when some children laughed rudely and pointed at him, the tortoise became very angry. He opened his mouth to say, ‘What’s so funny?’ and…fell with a splash into a lake below. So he never saw the golden cave, nor got to talk to any more friends.
Questions for discussion:
1. What is the personality of the tortoise? How is it related to his talking?
2. When should we observe silence? (ex: when we study, when we are told to ‘Be quite’, etc.)
3. What can we gain from being silent? How can it help us grow us humans?
4. Can you think of times when we should not be silent?
5. There is a saying in English: ‘an empty drum makes the loudest noise.’ What does this mean?
6. How is observing silence related to other virtues (ex: humility, compassion, etc.)
P.S. 通过Google Blog Search发现了这个巴哈伊教学个人主页，这篇文章提到通过不同方法学习能够掌握该材料的不同比例：