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Finding a way
作者:中国日报…    文章来源:中国日报-英语点津    点击数:43    更新时间:2017/1/16   

Finding a wayReader question:

Please explain “find a way” in “Life will find a way”.

My comments:

Literally, if you are going somewhere far away and are able to find your way, well, you don’t get lost.

Idiomatically speaking, if you find a way to do something, you’re able to do it by looking for and finding solutions to each and every problem on the way.

Finding a way, in a nutshell, means discovering how to do something difficult or achieve one’s goal in spite of difficulties.

Life will find a way?

That means life will always be able to find its way out in order to achieve its goal, whatever that means.

Well, the goal of life is essentially to recreate, regenerate and renew itself – in spite of all difficulties.

A good example will be for us to observe a blade of grass growing out of a crack in the pavement on a city street. Achieving the seemingly impossible, the grass somehow, against all odds, finds its way out, out of cement and hard concrete.

In the big picture, the Arctic is cold, for example, low temperatures in winter turning vast oceans into a land of ice, but the polar bear is able to, so far, make a good living out there.

The Sahara, on the other hand, may look too hot and dry a place to dwell for anyone but as we know all sorts of small animals and plants survive there as well, all overcoming overwhelming odds in their own way.

Anyways, that’s my explanation. Life, as life on earth, will go on – always finding a way.

All right, here are media examples of people finding a way (to do something difficult):

1. Sounding like he is prepared for a lengthy vacancy on the Supreme Court bench, Justice Samuel Alito said Tuesday that the court will find a way to get its work done with eight members following the death of Antonin Scalia.

“We will deal with it,” Alito told a Georgetown University law school audience Tuesday after he was asked a question about Senate Republicans’ resolve to oppose anyone President Barack Obama nominates to take Scalia’s place.

The court has functioned with an even number of justices before, Alito said, noting that the Constitution does not set the court's size. The court initially was made up of six justices, before it eventually grew to nine. During the Civil War, Congress added a 10th seat.

“They must have been more agreeable,” Alito joked.

- Alito: Supreme Court will find a way to do its work with 8 justices, CBSNews.com, February 23, 2016.

2. The shooter claimed he was inspired by Islamic State, which believes that homosexuals should be flung from tall buildings. According to his father, shortly before the massacre he was enraged by the sight of two men kissing. The father also denied that the massacre had anything to do with religion, which seems a touch disingenuous.

Homophobic attitudes are also found among Western Muslims. According to a recent survey, more than half of British Muslims (52 per cent) think homosexuality should be illegal. Nearly half (47 per cent) think gay people shouldn’t be allowed to teach in schools.

Does this mean we should ban Muslim immigration? No. What it means is that we need to be alert to the challenges of integration. The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, law-abiding folks. The truth is that both homophobia and Islamophobia are deeply wrong. But in a polarized society, these more complicated truths are likely to get lost.

It’s the same with gun control. As one commenter wrote, there’s “a simple answer to these questions: get assault weapons off the street.” If only he were right. Of course assault weapons should be banned. But that alone won’t stop terrorist attacks. The Boston Marathon attackers used nail bombs. The Paris shooters wiped out 130 people with weapons they obtained in a country that has strict gun control. Dangerous extremists will always find a way, especially in open societies that frown on preventive detention and value freedom of speech.

From what we know so far, Omar Mateen seemed like a typical lone wolf: an angry, self-radicalized Muslim who wasn’t particularly religious until he was infected by the virus of extremist ideology. Maybe the FBI, who had him on its radar, should have tailed him more closely. But there are probably hundreds of potential Omar Mateens around, and it’s impossible to tell which ones will blow. Constant surveillance isn’t possible and rounding them up in advance isn’t legal. Raining bombs on the enemy abroad (as Mr. Trump seems to want to do) is no solution either.

For all the blood and treasure shed since 9/11, we seem no closer to figuring out how to stop terrorist attacks against the West – and in some ways we seem farther away than ever. The other difference between then and now is that Americans can’t even discuss the problem without yelling past each other.

- How Orlando divides America, TheGlobeAndMail.com, June 13, 2016.

3. I fear that not everyone is quite sold on the idea of Vladimir Putin as America’s bosom buddy.

President-elect Donald Trump, however, appears happy to grab a place in Putin's posse.

“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad!” he tweeted on Saturday morning.

I’m not sure what the difference is between “stupid” people and fools. Are “stupid” people not really stupid but just acting it? But we talk about acting the fool, not acting the stupid. I remain confused.

Trump, though, isn’t confused at all. He said in another tweet that he believes Russia will respect America far more when he’s president. Indeed, the US can be the Fred and Ginger of the political world, holding firm and tripping the light fantastic.

“Both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!” he added in another tweet.

Perhaps. And perhaps Haagen-Dazs’s next ice cream flavor will be coal ’n’ curry, Tiger Woods will quarterback the New England Patriots, and Russia will find a way to turn rainwater into vodka.

Alec Baldwin, who plays Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” seems one of the unconvinced. Yes, he took to Instagram to pose in a “Make America Great Again” hat.

The words, however, were in Russian.

The intelligence agencies appear to stand with the actor, rather than the reality TV star. On Friday, they insisted that Putin instigated a hacking campaign in an attempt to sway the US election. That isn’t quite the sort of thing friends do to friends.

It may take years before there’s complete consensus about who is a fool and who is merely “stupid” about Russia’s large, hairy hand of friendship.

I leave you with the words of famous Trump predecessor Abraham Lincoln: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

- Trump tweets about Russian friendship, Baldwin mocks, by Chris Matyszczyk, CNet.com, January 7, 2017.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)

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