The Hardest Choices - 艰难的抉择
The Hardest Choices最艰难的抉择总是出乎意料地降临到我们身上。突然之间，我们发现之间要在两三个选择中做出决定，而且每一项都令人不快。但是哪一个抉择最好？拿到的内心会告诉你真理。听信真理，坚持真理。
By Tom Walsh
By Tom Walsh
I went for a long run on Saturday morning ,and it was a glorious early-fall day.The air was cool and clear,there was almost no traffic,and the trees were just beginning to turn. I had found a new route that went almost entirely through wooded areas, and the beauty of the area was amazing. It would have been a perfect run if it hadn’t been for the chipmunk1 that I found on the road.
It seemed that it had been hit by a car because it couldn’t move anything behind its midsection2. It was clawing at the road with its front legs and looking around itself, but it simply couldn’t move.
All of a sudden, I was faced with a dilemma3 that I didn’t even want to consider. I could do one of two things— I could continue running and leave the animal there on the road to suffer a great deal until it either starved to death, got run over by another car, or got eaten by some predator, or I could do the humane4 thing and kill ti and put it out of its misery. I didn’t want to do either,of course, but I had to choose.
And the worst option for me was the best thing for the chipmunk.
Now, if I were a farmer or a rancher5, this decision would have been very simple. People who live and work with animals tend to have a very realistic vision of life and death, and they know that sometimes death is absolutely necessary sometimes.
But I haven’t lived with animals my whole life— in fact, I’ve had very few pets.So I was out there alone on the road with a small animal that needed me to make a decision, one that I never before had had to make.And while I try my hardest to respect all life and let living creatures be, I knew in my heart that the only thing to do was to kill the chipmunk. So I did, in the way that I though would be the least painful to the animal that already was in a lot of pain (I won’t go into the details).
As I ran away, I started to think of how suddenly the need to make a choice had come upon me, and how often such things happen. If we find out that a friend is doing something illegal,do we tell his or her family, or the police? If we know that a spouse6 has stolen from his or her workplace, do we report it? Life is full of decisions that come upon us because of someone else’s actions or inaction , and we have to be able to make those decisions that will allow us to live with clear consciences7, if we’re to continue to be the people we’re meant to be.
Not all of the decisions easy ,especially when both of the options available to us are unpleasant. I could have asked someone driving by to run over the animal, but I know if I had, I would have passed on a responsibility that I knew was mine, and mine alone. While I found the experience of killing a poor little animal to be extremely unpleasant, I knew all the time that I was doing something kind, not harmful, and that it was the best of all possible choices. Running away from the dilemma would have left me with a great deal of regret,knowing that I had left it there to suffer for who knows how long.
Now I kind of wonder if the chipmunk is going to visit me in a nightmare but I don’t think it will. I believe its suffering ended long before it would have otherwise, and I’m pretty sure that I did the right thing. The hardest choices usually aren’t as clear-cut8 as this one was ,and if the choice involves other people, they often will try to make you live to regret doing the right thing. But if your conscience is clear, you can stand strong in the face of all criticism, knowing that you’ve done what you know to be right.
The hardest choices so often come upon us out of the blue9,as the result of no actions of our own.All of a sudden we find ourselves having to decide between two or three alternatives, all of which are unpleasant. But which choice is the best one? Which choice will bring the most legitimate10 benefits to most people which choice is truly right? Your mind can rationalize11 all it wants, but your heart and spirit will tell you teh truth. Listen to the truth, and live by it. The choices have to be made, one way or another.
1.chipmunk [英][ˈtʃɪpmʌŋk] [美][ˈtʃɪpˌmʌŋk] n.金花鼠
2.midsection [英]['mɪdˌsekʃən] [美]['mɪdˌsekʃən] n.上腹部
3.dilemma [英][dɪˈlemə] [美][dɪˈlɛmə] n.进退两难的局面，困难的选择，如： I am a dilemma whether to do mathematics or English. （我左右为难，不知是做数学还是写英语。）
4.humane [英][hju:ˈmeɪn] [美][hjuˈmen] adj.仁慈的，慈爱的，如： Is it humane to kill animals for food? （宰杀牲畜来吃合乎人道吗？）
5.rancher [英][ˈrɑ:ntʃə(r)] [美][ˈræntʃər] n.牧场主
6.spouse [英][spaʊs] [美][spaʊs, spaʊz] n.配偶，夫或妻
7.conscience [英][ˈkɒnʃəns] [美][ˈkɑ:nʃəns] n.良心，道德心，如： to have a clear conscience （问心无愧）
8.clear-cut adj.轮廓清楚的、鲜明的，如： a clear-cut objective（明确的目标）
9.out of the blue 出其不意，出乎意料，如：Her son, who left her more than thirty years ago, came out of the blue.(她三十多年前离开的儿子出乎意料地回来了。）
10.legitimate [英][lɪˈdʒɪtɪmət] [美][ləˈdʒɪtəmɪt] adj.合情合理的，合法的，如： a legitimate excuse for being late（正当的迟到理由）
11.rationalize [英][ˈræʃnəlaɪz] [美][ˈræʃənəˌlaɪz] v.寻借口，使合理化，其形容词形式为rational （理智的，合理的）
1.So I did , in the way that I thought would be the least painful to the animal that already was in a lot of pain.
点拨：本句中did替代前句中的killed the chipmuk。 that I thought would be … 是定语从句，修饰the way ，此处的that 还可以用in which 替代；I thought 是插入语，that already was in a lot of pain 是定语从句，修饰the animal。
2.I could have asked someone driving by to run over the animal , but I know if I had , I would have passed on a responsibility that I knew was mine , and mine alone.
点拨： 本句中现在分词短语driving by 作定语，修饰someone, if i had 后面省略了asked someone driving by to run over the animal, if 引导的条件句，表示与过去事实相反的虚拟语气。 that I knew was mine , and mine alone 是定语从句，修饰responsibility， I knew 是插入语。
“blue”常用来表达忧郁、悲伤、沮丧、闷闷不乐等感情。如：be in a blue mood/feel blue（垂头丧气，心情沮丧，郁闷），the blues（指伤感的美国黑人歌曲，汉译“布鲁斯”），be/fall in the blues（情绪低落，无精打采）。
“blue”表示下流的，淫猥的意思。如：blue movies/films（黄色电影），blue jokes（黄色笑话）。
“blue”表示社会地位高、有权势或出身名门望族等意思。“blue room”特指美国总统在白宫用来会见挚友亲朋的会客室。 “blue blood” 表示贵族血统，贵族出身。这个说法源于中世纪时期，上流社会的人们用银质盘子用餐并经常使用银质器皿。据说他们的皮肤因吸收了过多的银质而呈现微微的淡蓝色泽，所以“blue blood”就用来指贵族。另一种说法，古代西班牙北部有一个王国名叫卡斯提尔，卡斯提尔最古老的家族纷纷以拥有纯正的血统为荣，他们相信自己的血统从未被摩尔人、犹太人等异族血统 “扰乱”过，证据就是他们白皙的皮肤上凸显的微微发蓝的静脉血管。
“blue”还包含意外、难得、不可能之意，如：out of the blue （出乎意外地，突然地）， a bolt from the blue/ like a bolt out of the blue （晴天霹雳，意外事件），blue fit （指因意外事件或不幸消息而大为震惊），once in a blue moon（难得有一次，极为罕见）。
“blue”与经济也有着密切的关系。如：blue button（指有权进入股票交易的经纪人）、blue book （蓝皮书）、blue clip (蓝筹股）。