This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation
Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.
史蒂夫 乔布斯(Steve Jobs)在斯坦福大学2005年毕业典礼上的演讲
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never
graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to
tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 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 college 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 have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later
found out 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 someday go to college.
And 17 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 how college was going to help me
figure it out. And here I was spending all of 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 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 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one
and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
仅仅为了填饱肚子, 在星期天的晚上,我需要走七英里的路程，穿过这个城市到Hare Krishna神庙（注：位于纽约Brooklyn
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 calligraphed. 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 san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes
found it fascinating.
美术字。因为我退学了, 不必去上正规的课程, 所以我决定去参加这个课程，去学学怎样写出漂亮的美术字。我学到了
san serif 和serif字体, 我学会了怎么样在不同的字母组合之中改变空白间距, 还有怎么样才能作出最棒的印刷式样。
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, its likely that no
personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy
class, and personal 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 ten years
如果我当时没有退学, 就不会有机会去参加这个我感兴趣的美术字课程, Mac就不会有这么多丰富的字体，以及赏心
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. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.