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曾铮文集
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人消費東西 還是東西消費人?Man for Commodity or Commodity for Man?

   "Black Friday sets online sales record; shoppers spend up to $1M per minute." News headlines like this can be seen everywhere in the past two days. Shall I feel guilty for not contributing even a penny to this record?
   「黑色星期五網絡銷售額創紀錄!每分鐘成交一百萬!」這樣的新聞標題在過去兩天充斥各大媒體。那麼,一分錢未花的我,是否應該覺得愧疚呢?
   I had actually thought about joining in the "Black Friday Shopping Party," as my internet connection wasn't working on that day, and the public library wasn't open, either; so I couldn't work on my computer anyway.
   事實上,我真的想過要加入「黑色星期五」的購物狂歡,因爲那天家裏的網絡壞了,公共圖書館也不開門,反正也幹不了活,不如去購物呢。
   However, as I tried to figure out where to go and what to buy, I realized that I needed nothing. I had already bought everything I needed, or, I always buy things immediately whenever I need them. Therefore, I found that there was no need for me to join this mad "Black Friday Shopping Party" at all.


   不過,當我盤算要去哪裏、搶購什麼時,我才發現我什麼也不缺,也不需要。因爲我有一個習慣,平時需要什麼時,隨時就買了,所以現在根本就沒有任何「待購清單」需要解決。
   So I ended up staying at home and reading a Chinese history book instead.
   所以我最終哪兒也沒去,留在家裏看了一天史書。
   I also realized that actually people's materials needs can be very limited. Even if you have eight beds, you can sleep on one only.
   同時我也意識到,其實人真的不需要很多物質。就算你有八張牀,那晚上睡覺時,不也只能佔一張嗎?要那麼多東西有什麼用?
   However, if you pursue spiritual things instead, there is no boundary. You can have your imagination go wild, and enjoy your boundless spiritual world which costs you nothing.
   相反,人若追求精神世界,那世界卻是無邊無際無限美好的。你可任由思緒馳騁,享受「漫無邊際」、不費毫釐的自由自在。
   I don't know how many people share my feeling. When we say "Black Friday sets online sales record", we are unknowingly indicating that "sales record" is the most important thing for our society. Have we realized that when we stress on the achievements of our "businesses", we, as human beings, have actually been turned into slaves of commodities? We are caring more about our sales numbers and business profits than about whether people really need so many things, or whether these things actually make people happy.
   我不知有多少人跟我有同樣的感覺和想法。當我們以「黑色星期五網絡銷售額創紀錄」這樣的語句做新聞標題時,我們無意中在暗示:「銷售紀錄」是我們社會中最要緊的事。當我們強調商業成就和利潤時,可能無意中已經將人變成了商品,或曰「消費」的奴隸。我們更關心的是銷售量和銷售利潤,而不是人們到底需不需要這麼些商品,需不需要消費這麼多,或者是,商品的「消費」真的能讓人快樂嗎?
   For me, I'd rather read headlines that go like this, "People Feel Happy and Satisfied on the Black Friday", "People Choose to Travel more on this Black Friday as They already Have Everything They Need and Don't Have to Fight for Deals", etc.
   如果我們的關注點是在人上,那新聞報導可能就會變成「今年黑色星期五 人們感到快樂滿足」,或「今年黑色星期五,更多人選擇出遊,而不必去搶購打折商品」,等等。
   Will our society (or our economy) turn worse if we become more humane and less driven by consumption or spending? I don't think so.
   那我們的社會(或經濟)會不會因爲人消費東西,而不是東西消費人而變得更糟呢?
   不會吧。您說呢?
(2017/11/26 发表)
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