Translation piece: 《年轻人能为世界做点什么》 What little things can young people do for the world?

This piece is a speech from Liu Yuan Yuan 刘媛媛 from China, in a competition/show called 超级演说家 (Super Public Speaker). I liked this piece very much, and also in an effort to improve both my deteriorating English and Mandarin skills, I will translate it.

我是法学院的一名学生,我的每一名教授都在他的课堂上讲过这样一句话,他们常常说法律是这么规定的,但是现实生活中,„„„„。现实生活是一种很神奇的生活,在现实生活中,那些尊重规则的老实人,往往一辈子都默默无闻,反倒是那些作假的人会名利双收。于是乎像我这样的年轻人就经常有那些看似很有经验的前辈过来拍拍你的肩膀跟你说,年轻人,你还不懂,我想问的是我们年轻人能为这个世界做什么。
总有一天,银行行长会是90后,企业家会是90后,甚至国家主席都会是90后,但全社会都被90后占领的时候,我想问你们90后们,大家想把这个社会变成什么样。我知道不是每一个人都能成为站在风口浪尖上去把握过命运的人物,你我不过是再普通过得升斗小民。是这个庞大的社会机器上一颗小小的螺丝钉,
读书的时候每天都被父母耳提命面,说你干啥你都不要给我耽误了学习,毕业的时候呢,到处投简历,栖栖遑遑的等一家企业收留自己,逢年过节被逼婚,结婚的时候,要花自己年轻时候最好的20年来偿还贷款,让每一个年轻人都忙着生存而没有梦想,没有时间关心政治,没有时间关心环境,没有时间关心国家的命运,还哪有什么精力去为这个社会去做什么,
但是后来我发现,还是有一件事,你跟我都可以做到,这件事就是,我们这代人,在我们老去的路上一定一定不要变坏,不要变成你年轻时候最痛恨最厌恶的那种成年人。每一个普通人在自己的岗位上做一个好人是有非常非常严重意义的,因为我们每一个人生下来就注定会改变世界,我是一个学法律的,如果我将来是一个公正严明的法官,那么这个社会就因为多了一个好法官而变好了一点点。我希望大家都记住,即使给了你十万个理由去作恶,你都要保持自己的操守跟底线,仅仅就是因为一个理由,这个理由就是,你不是一个禽兽,你是一个人。我更希望我们所有的90后们,你们都能成为那种难能可贵的年轻人,一辈子都嫉恶如仇,绝不随波逐流,绝不趋炎附势,绝不摧眉折腰,你绝不放弃自己的原则,你绝不绝不失望于人性。
所以我亲爱的90后们,如果再有人跟你们说,年轻人你不要看不惯,你要适应这个社会,这时候你就应该像一个真正的勇士一样直面他,你告诉他我跟你不一样,我不是来适应社会的,我是来改变社会的。
I am a law student, and every professor says this in the lectures: ‘This is how it is set in the law, but in reality, ….’ Reality is a mystery. In reality, the honest people who respect the law usually go through their whole lives being unknown; whereas the people who cheat and lie are the ones who get the fame and the fortune.
Which is why for young people like myself, the older generation who seemed to have seen more of the world than us will slap you on the shoulder and say, ‘ Young man/lady, there is still much you do not understand’. My question to you is this: what can we, as the youth of this generation do for the world?’
(90后 is a phrase that indicates those who are born after 1990).
There will come a day when 90后 will be the chief bankers of the world, the entrepreneurs, even the leader of a country. But when the world is dominated by the 90后, I would like to ask you who are one of the 90后, what kind of change would you like to bring to the world we will inherit? I know not every one of us will be standing on the front line of the changing times, taking the reins of fate by hand. We are, after all, just us; just tiny screws that make up the big machine.
When we were studying our parents nag us about the importance of studies and grades; after graduation we send our resumes to every company we know of – waiting uncertainly hoping at least one company will give us a job; every festive holidays we will be asked (and nagged) when are we getting married finally; and after marriage we have to spend the next 20 years of our lives to pay back the debts.
We don’t have time. Every one of the young people are too busy making a living with no time left for dreams, no time left to care for the politics, no time left to care about the fate of the country. Who in the world even has the time and energy to care about what can they do for the world?
After some time I realized, there is the one thing you and I can do, us of this generation, and that is – on our journey to old age, we must never never become bad. Never be like the grown ups that we hated and despise when we were young.
Every common person, in our everyday-normal-jobs, to be good means everything. Every one of us, when we are born, are meant to change the world. For example, I am a law student. If one day I will become a judge, a fair and just one, then I will be able to change the society for just a tiny bit.
I hope every one of you will remember this: Even if there are a million reasons for you to do an evil deed, you must hold true to yourself. Just for that one reason: You are not a monster, you are human.
I hope every one of you 90后 will be the youths who are rare to come by, who abhor evil, who will not be pushed and influenced by what others are doing around them, who will not bow down to the powerful just because times are hard, who will not forgo your principles, and never never lose hope in humanity.
So my dear 90后, when people say to you: ‘Young man/lady, this is the way things are, you must adapt yourself to the situation’, Then it will be your cue to stand tall like the warrior that you are, look them straight in the eyes and say: ‘I am not here to adapt and change myself to conform to what society, I am here to change it.’
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