"On my head pour only the sweet waters of serenity. Give me the gift of the Untroubled Mind." Once,as a young man full of exuberant fancy,I undertook to draw up a catalogue of the acknowledged “goods” of life. As other men sometimes tabulate lists of properties they own or would like to own,I set down my inventory of earthly desirables:health,love,beauty,talent,power,riches, and fame—together with several minor ingredients of what I considered man‘s perfect portion……
  When my inventory was completed I proudly showed it to a wise elder who had been the mentor and spiritual model of my youth. Perhaps I was trying to impress him with my precocious wisdom and the large universality of my interests. Anyway,I handed him the list. “This,”I told him confidently,“is the sum of mortal goods. Could a man possess them all, he would be as a god.”                 
  At the corners of my friend's old eyes,I saw wrinkles of amusement gathering in a patient net. “An excellent list,” he said,pondering it thoughtfully. “Well digested in content and set down in not-unreasonable order. But it appears,my young friend,that you have omitted the most important element of all. You have forgotten the one ingredient lacking which each possession becomes a hideous torment,and your list as a whole an intolerable burden.”                 
  “And what,” I asked, peppering my voice with truculence, “is that missing ingredient?”
  With a pencil stub he crossed out my entire schedule. Then, having demolished my adolescent dream structure at a single stroke, he wrote down three syllables: peace of mind.                 
  “This is the gift that God reserves for His special protégés,” he said. “Talent and beauty He gives to many. Wealth is commonplace, fame not rare. But peace of mind—that is His final guerdon of approval, the fondest sign of His love. He bestows it charily. Most men are never blessed with it; others wait all their lives—yes, far into advanced age—for this gift to descend upon them.”        
                 
  参考译文:
                 
  论平静的心境
                 
  “仅把平静的甘露撒于我顶。赐予我安宁的心境。”                 
  当我还是一个富于幻想的青年时,我曾试图把生活之中公认的“幸福”一一列出来。就像一些人有时把自己拥有的或者想要拥有的东西列成表单,我把世人最想得到的事物列成清单:健康,爱情,美丽,才能,权利。                 
  当清单完成以后,我不无骄傲地把它拿给一位睿智的老者看。他是我年少时的导师与精神楷模。或许,我想用我早熟的智慧与广博的兴趣给他留下深刻的印象。总之,我把列表递到了他手里。我满是自信地说,“这是人类幸福的总和。如果一个人能拥有这些,他便如神仙那般了。”              
  我看到好友衰老的眼角,愉悦的皱纹耐心地结成网状。“这是一份出色的表格”他满是思考地说,“分类良好,顺序合理。但是,我年轻的朋友,你把最重要的东西给漏掉了。没有了它,其他的所得便成了一种恐怖的折磨,你的整个列表也就成为难以忍受的负担。”                 
  “那么,我漏掉了什么?”我有点不服气的问到。他用铅笔头划掉了我的整个表格,一笔粉碎了我年轻的梦想,然后写下三个单词:平静的心境。                 
  “这是上帝为他特殊子民所保留的礼物”,他说“才能与美丽,他赐给了许多人。财富也普通平凡,名望也不稀有。只有平静的心境,是他给予的最终奖赏,是他最钟情的爱的像征。他小心翼翼的给予,大部分人无福享受,有些人则等了一生——是的,直到老年,才等到这份赐予降临。