Malcolm Gladwell has written a ton of amazing books. One of my personal favorites is Outliers. This was the first book I read by Gladwell, but it certainly was not the last. For those of you who are not familiar with Gladwell, he is a researcher who poses interesting questions about life and society, and then he attempts to answer these questions. They are questions I have wondered about, but I lack any real follow through to achieve the answers. Gladwell not only informs but he entertains. Wandering through his thought process as he answers these questions is beyond explanation. I will do my best as I try and explain to you why you should read his book David & Goliath.
Everyone knows the biblical story of David and Goliath. The story begins with a war. I think it was Israel. Either way, there was a king who was fighting the Philistines (I believe). One of the Philistines was a giant named was Goliath. He was unbelievably big and strong. The King and his men were justly terrified. They knew that fighting this army meant coming face-to-face with this ginormous beast.
Every day Goliath shouted at them to send in the man who was going to fight him, but every day the King and his men just waited. No one wanted to do it. Until a young sheep herder named David said he would. David’s brothers told him he was crazy, but he would not be deterred. He took his slingshot and a rock, and proceeded towards Goliath. We all know how this ends. David kills Goliath in one shot. Moral of the story: Do not underestimate the small and weak.
Gladwell twists this moral in his book, though. He does not research how someone smaller and weaker could defeat someone much larger; instead, he shows the reader how David’s perceived weaknesses were, in fact, his strengths. Gladwell cycles through multiple stories and key data giving evidence for how things may appear to be determinants, but when seen with a bit more light, they are actually what helps people overcome hardships. He uses the example of the doctor who experienced severe physical and mental abuse as a child. Because of this trauma, he is able to be the one who finds a treatment for children suffering from leukemia. Gladwell also goes on to explain how psychologist have found that famous artists, innovators, and subversives rail against social norms due to their refusal to accept them and it is this ability which in turn makes them great.
This is the part which is so incredibly valuable for us to learn. Instead of viewing the difficult external events around us as hardships, we could see them as gifts. Each trial and tribulation is another chance to go against the honing stone of life. It is how we meet the challenges that determines if the challenge is a blessing or a curse, not the circumstance itself. If we meet the world with the knowing that our highest good is always being done, we will always have exactly what we need in every given moment.
Love and Light as you travel forward.
Another Post on the Same Book- This one does not share my sentiment, but I wanted to make sure you saw another side: Summary of David & Goliath