我最喜欢的演讲当属乔布斯在斯坦福毕业典礼时的那经典的三个故事，今天先谈一下对于第一个故事的理解。关于如何串连生命中的点滴（Connecting the dots）.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first six months but then stayed around as a drop-in for another eighteen months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out? It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife, except that when I popped out, they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking, "We’ve got an unexpected baby boy. Do you want him?" They said, "Of course." My biological mother found out later that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would go to college.
我在里得大学读了六个月就退学了，但是在十八个月之后–我真正退学之前，我还常去学校。为何我要选择退学呢？这还得从我出生之前说起。我的生母是一个年轻、未婚的大学毕业生，她决定让别人收养我。她有一个很强烈的信仰，认为我应该被一个大学毕业生家庭收养。于是，一对律师夫妇说好了要领养我，然而最后一 秒钟，他们改变了主意，决定要个女孩儿。然后我的排在收养人名单中的养父母在一个深夜接到电话，“很意外，我们多了一个男婴，你们要吗？”“当然要！”但 是我的生母后来又发现我的养母没有大学毕业，养父连高中都没有毕业。她拒绝在领养书上签字。几个月后，我的养父母保证会让我上大学，她妥协了。
This was the start in my life. And seventeen years later, I did go to college, but I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and no idea of how college was going to help me figure it out, and here I was, spending all the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out, I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting.
It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms. I returned Coke bottles for the five-cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example.
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer was beautifully hand-calligrapher. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and sans-serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me, and we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts, and since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.
当时我并不指望书法在以后的生活中能有什么实用价值。但是，十年之后，我们在设计第一台 Macintosh 计算机时，它一下子浮现在我眼前。于是，我们把这些东西全都设计进了计算机中。这是第一台有这么漂亮的文字版式的计算机。要不是我当初在大学里偶然选了这么一门课，Macintosh 计算机绝不会有那么多种印刷字体或间距安排合理的字号。要不是 Windows 照搬了 Macintosh，个人电脑可能不会有这些字体和字号。
If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class and personals computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.
Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever–because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.
我希望用自己的经历来再次说明connecting the dots，也希望看到的同学能回忆自己的过去，与大家分享相关经历~