The turning point of my life was my decision to give up a promising business career and study music. My parents, although sympathetic, and sharing my love of music, disapproved of it as a profession. This was understandable in view of the family background. My grandfather had taught music for nearly forty years at Springhill College in Mobile and, though much beloved and respected in the community, earned barely enough to provide for his large family. My father often said it was only the hardheaded thriftiness of my grandmother that kept the wolf at bay. As a consequence of this example in the family, the very mention of music as a profession carried with it a picture of a precarious existence with uncertain financial rewards. My parents insisted upon college instead of a conservatory of music, and to college I went - quite happily, as I remember, for although I loved my violin and spent most of my spare time practicing, I had many other interests.
Before my graduation form Columbia, the family met with severe financial reverses and I felt it my duty to leave college and take a job. Thus was I launched upon a business career - which I always think of as the wasted years.
Now I do not for a moment mean to disparage business. My whole point is that it was not for me. I went into it for money, and aside from the satisfaction of being able to help the family, money is all I got out of it. It was not enough. I felt that life was passing me by. From being merely discontented I became acutely miserable. My one ambition was to save enough to quit and go to Europe to study music. I used to get up at dawn to practice before I left for "downtown", distracting my poor mother by bolting a hasty breakfast at the last minute. Instead of lunching with my business associates, I would seek out some cheap café, order a meager meal and scribble my harmony exercises. I continued to make money, and finally, bit by bit, accumulated enough to enable me to go abroad. The family being once more solvent, and my help no longer necessary, I resigned from my position and, feeling like a man released from jail, sailed for Europe. I stayed four years, worked harder than I had ever dreamed of working before and enjoyed every minute of it.
我从来无意贬低经商，我的意思是它不适合我。我经商只是为了挣钱，除了能补贴家用给我带来一点满足以外，钱是我经商得到的一切。这是不够的。我感到年华似水从我身边流走。对职业的不满使我痛苦不堪。我唯一的抱负是积攒足够的钱，辞去商务，到欧洲学习音乐。于是，我每天黎明即起，练习小提琴，然后去"商业区"上班。几乎来不及囫囵吞下仓促准备的早餐，弄得我可怜的妈妈惶恐不安。我不与业务合伙人共进午餐，总是找个便宜的餐馆，随便混上一顿，信手写些和声练习曲。我不停地挣钱，终于一分一分攒够了出国的钱。这时，家庭经济情况也好转了，不再需要我的帮助。我辞去商务，感到自己像出狱的犯人一样自由，便乘船去了欧洲，一去就是四年。我学习比从前想象的刻苦得多，但我非常快乐。"Enjoyed" is too mild a word. I walked on air. I really lived. I was a free man and I was doing what I loved to do and what I was meant to do."快乐"一词还不足以表达我的心情，我是乐不可支，飘飘欲仙。我过着真正的生活。我是个自由人，做我爱做的、命中注定要做的事情。If I had stayed in business, I might be a comparatively wealthy man today, but I do not believe I would have made a success of living. I would have given up all those intangibles, those inner satisfactions, that money can never buy, and that are too often sacrificed when a man's primary goal is financial success.假如我一直经商，今天可能会相当富有，但我不认为我的人生会很成功。我可能会放弃一切无形的、金钱绝对买不到的精神上的满足;这种精神上的满足常常因为人的主要生活目的是发财致富而不可企及。When I broke away from business, it was against the advice of practically all my friends and family. So conditioned are most of us to the association of success with money that the thought of giving up a good salary for an idea seemed little short of insane. If so, all I can say is "Gee! It's great to be crazy." Money is a wonderful thing, but it is possible to pay too high a price on it.我脱离商界之举是与所有亲友的忠告相违的，因为我们大多数人习惯把成功与金钱联系在一起，为理想而放弃高薪似乎是发疯。如果真是如此，我倒要说："咳，发疯可真好!"金钱是好东西，但可能为了金钱，我们付出的代价太昂贵。图文网络