Reading Suggestion: David and Goliath.Posted: October 15, 2013
On Sunday, Vince told us about Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book David and Goliath. While most of us are familiar with the story, Gladwell gives it a slightly different spin: he reads David’s seeming weakness as the reason why he defeated the giant. Since he was smaller, David could out-maneuver Goliath, and he used this disadvantage to his advantage.
This is not all that intuitive; after all, the other Israelites were also smaller than Goliath, but they didn’t see their relative size as a benefit. They saw it as their undoing.
And Gladwell is challenging this assumption. In his research, he recognized a pattern in many of the successful people he encountered: they had some very real disadvantages in their lives. Disadvantages that should have held them back. Disadvantages that made life very difficult for them. And yet, these people somehow managed to not only get through these struggles, but thrive.
As it turns out, these struggles and disadvantages made these people who they were and are. Sure, these problems and experiences were often tragic, but if these people hadn’t experienced them, they probably wouldn’t have achieved what they ultimately did.
It goes without saying: seeing your disadvantages as potential advantages takes courage. Being the underdog and heading into battle anyway takes courage. Experiencing hardship, but using those hardships to propel oneself forward takes courage.
So check out David and Goliath. Sadly, you can’t borrow Vince’s copy (because he’s enjoying it too much), but this is a book that is timely to our series, and has a lot to teach us about courage.