That's exhilarating if you're doing well, and very crushing if you're not. It leads, in the worst cases -- in the analysis of a sociologist like Emil Durkheim -- it leads to increased rates of suicide. There are more suicides in developed, individualistic countries than in any other part of the world. And some of the reason for that is that people take what happens to them extremely personally -- they own their success, but they also own their failure.
如果你做的很好，这是件令人愉快的事 相反的情况，就很令人沮丧 社会学家Emil Durkheim 分析发现 这提高了自杀率 追求个人主义的已发展国家的自杀率 高过于世界上其它地方 原因是人们把发生在自己身上的事情 全当作自己的责任 人们拥有成功，也拥有失败。
Is there any relief from some of these pressures that I've been outlining? I think there is. I just want to turn to a few of them. Let's take meritocracy. This idea that everybody deserves to get where they get to, I think it's a crazy idea, completely crazy. I will support any politician of Left and Right, with any halfway-decent meritocratic idea; I am a meritocrat in that sense. But I think it's insane to believe that we will ever make a society that is genuinely meritocratic; it's an impossible dream.
有什么方法可以解决刚才提到的 这些焦虑呢？ 是有的。我想提出几项 先说“功绩主义” 也就是相信每个人的地位忠实呈现他的能力 我认为这种想法太疯狂了 我可以支持所有相信这个想法的 无论是左倾还是右倾的政治家 我同样相信功绩主义 但我认为一个完全彻底以能力取决地位的社会 是个不可能的梦想。
The idea that we will make a society where literally everybody is graded, the good at the top, bad at the bottom, exactly done as it should be, is impossible. There are simply too many random factors: accidents, accidents of birth, accidents of things dropping on people's heads, illnesses, etc. We will never get to grade them, never get to grade people as they should.
这种我们能创造一个 每个人的能力都忠实地被分级 好的就到顶端，坏的就到底部 而且保证过程毫无差错，这是不可能的 这世上有太多偶然的契机 不同的机运，出身 疾病，从天而降的意外等等 我们却无法将这些因素分级 无法完全忠实的将人分级。
I'm drawn to a lovely quote by St. Augustine in "The City of God," where he says, "It's a sin to judge any man by his post." In modern English that would mean it's a sin to come to any view of who you should talk to, dependent on their business card. It's not the post that should count. According to St. Augustine, only God can really put everybody in their place; he's going to do that on the Day of Judgment, with angels and trumpets, and the skies will open. Insane idea, if you're a secularist person, like me. But something very valuable in that idea, nevertheless.
我很喜欢圣奥古斯丁在“上帝之城”里的一句话 他说“以社会地位评价人是一种罪” 用现在的口吻说 看一个人的名片来决定你是否要和他交谈 是罪 对圣奥古斯丁来说 人的价值不在他的社会地位 只有神可以决定一个人的价值 他将在天使围绕、小号奏鸣 天空破开的世界末日给于最后审判 如果你是像我一样的世俗论者，这想法太疯狂了 但这想法有它的价值。
In other words, hold your horses when you're coming to judge people. You don't necessarily know what someone's true value is. That is an unknown part of them, and we shouldn't behave as though it is known. There is another source of solace and comfort for all this. When we think about failing in life, when we think about failure, one of the reasons why we fear failing is not just a loss of income, a loss of status. What we fear is the judgment and ridicule of others. And it exists.
换句话说，最好在你开口评论他人之前悬崖勒马 你很有可能不知道他人的真正价值 这是不可测的 于是我们不该为人下定论 还有另一种慰藉 当我们想象人生中的失败 我们恐惧的原因并不只是 失去收入，失去地位 我们害怕的是他人的评论和嘲笑，它的确存在。