It means so much to me to start by articulating and conveying my sentiments of profound gratitude to my dear friend Ralph Abhademere who made sure I got this book; he had to send me (I live in Enugu) his very own copy from Lagos, and wetted my appetite for it with an over-the-phone review. Thanks Ralph. It equally behooves on me to thank in no small measure my long standing friend and mentor, Fr. Francis. Let me gist you what he did. He sent me a Galaxy Pro tab with these words: “It can help you do a lot.” From faraway Australia actually. Of course, you can trust that blogging only got better on tablet. Yes, to Fr. Francis & Ralph, I do especially care to say THANK YOU.
Back to the book. I’m not alien to Gladwell’s literature; on Obinna’s Udeh’s recommendation and Arinze Nwafor’s lending, I’d read every word of his Outliers. And I remember sharing the gist here. To say the least, Gladwell is a writer par excellence. His command of the English language is legendary, his knowledge of history is profound, and I’m tempted to think that his versatility is unequalled. He would end Outliers after a 300+ paged argument with the mindboggling words: The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all. Do find time to read that book. Let me quickly advice: follow Gladwell with patience, as he could roll out the entire history of the planet to make a point.
Now, his David and Goliath. That story is possibly the most popular story you find in the Christian bible; how the unproven lad, David, fell a gigantic warrior, Goliath. And whenever this story is retold, both the teller and the listener reach a conclusion that suggests that David’s defeat of Goliath is unusual and miraculous. Tellers of and listeners to this story emphasize to a fault the ‘hand of God’ in this seemingly questionable victory. In fact, this story readily serves a worthy example whenever the topic of discourse hovers around an impossible turnaround. And you may continue to hold unto this thinking until you watch Gladwell retell the story.
And that’s exactly what Gladwell does in his book, David and Goliath. He retells the story, and then makes us see that we’ve been entirely wrong in our perception of that story. You may wish to immediately turn to First Samuel Seventeen, this time reading slowly and keenly to see what you didn’t see before, to find what your preacher couldn’t find. If you still can’t find why the victory rightfully belonged to David, then Gladwell’s book is a must-read. However, let me give you a clue: Did you notice that Goliath was led down that valley by someone? Why? Did you notice that David only had his his shepherd staff, but Goliath saw more than one, saying, “Am I a bird that you come to me with ‘sticks’?” He certainly couldn’t see well. And he would go on to betray himself by inviting David to “come to me.” Why not go after David. And I trust you really don’t know the place of slingers in ancient battling; how dexterous they are and how precise they can be in taking shots. And that was David; he was already so good at ‘slinging down’ lions and bears in the bush.
Gladwell couldn’t have ended with the story. He goes on to situating it within various contests, reiterating the fact that underdogs and misfits and the disadvantaged can stand up to, and even defeat, giants, elites, and the advantaged. And this exposé can already see you rising up to the challenges and threats posed by those who we are wont to thinking are cut-out for the top.
Read David and Goliath. And if you find it interesting and life transforming, a bottle of beer is just fine by me. For this referral. lol!