By Kristina Renberg
The underdog is the person with the obvious disadvantage in any situation. On Oct. 1, 2013, the author Maxwell Gladwell published the book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.” This book discusses the phenomenon of the underdog. He introduces his theory by retelling the very famous biblical story of David and Goliath. As we remember, Goliath was the giant, the obvious victor. But against the odds,David managed to win the battle. This is, not surprisingly, very often the premise of our movies and books. We like to root for the weaker one.
Gladwell believes that the strong are often the weak, if looked at from the right angle. However, I want to say, as I look around in the world, I see a lot of Goliaths winning. Take a look at companies; the major ones are just getting bigger with little or no room for the smaller companies. I want to say the same when it comes to people; a person that has grown up in a wealthy family has substantially bigger opportunities than those who grew up poor. But according to Maxwell, this is a mistake of judgment, a misinterpretation of the strong and the weak. We have all heard the phrase: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” This is what Maxwell bases his theory on.
A person alternates in the situation and finds another way to win. As I take a look at my own life, I must say even though it’s a cliché, that the things that made it tougher for me to get where I am, are what got me here. As you read this, you may think this is ridiculous. But as an example, 67 percent of British prime ministers lost one of their parents before the age of 16. Gladwell points out this example and says that this forced them to find other ways to achieve what they wanted.
What’s more interesting is that the author actually points out how there are several hints in the Bible that Goliath is actually blind. The Bible states that Goliath was calling for David to make him come closer during the fight. Also, a person guides Goliath through the audience and into the arena. Another finding was that giants are often born with a genetic error, leading them to blindness. So, was Goliath the real underdog? The author is actually telling us that the people with the obvious advantages aren’t always the winners. Any powerful person has their weakness; if you take a closer look, it may even be a David.