Allow me to share more insights from Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent, and latest book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. He presents the entire premise of his book, and I think his premise is worth considering as we think about ourselves and the life God has given us to live in this world.
This is a book about what happens when ordinary people confront giants. By “giants,” I mean powerful opponents of all kinds – from armies and might warriors to disability, misfortune, and oppression. Each chapter tells the story of a different person – famous or unknown, ordinary or brilliant – who has faced an outsize challenge and been forced to respond. Should I play by the “rules” or follow my own instincts? Shall I persevere or give up? Should I strike back or forgive? Through these stories, I want to explore two ideas. The first is that much of what we consider valuable in our world arises out of these kinds of lopsided conflicts, because the act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty. And second, that we consistently get these kinds of conflicts wrong. We misread them. We misinterpret them. Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness. And the fact of being an underdog can change people in ways that we often fail to appreciate: it can open doors and create opportunities and educate and enlighten and make possible what might otherwise have seemed unthinkable . . . We spend a lot of time thinking about the ways that prestige and resources and belonging to elite institutions make us better off. We don’t spend enough time thinking about the ways in which those kinds of material advantages limit our options.
What do you think?