“There is a set of advantages that have to do with material resources, and there is a set that has to do with the absence of material resources – and the reason underdogs win as often as they do is that the latter is sometimes every bit the equal of the former.” (Gladwell 19)
This quotation is based on the essence of the chapter and the writer’s motives to inspire the underdogs to persevere. Many obstacles might hinder success, however, the material resources or their absence does not account much for success. It is the ability to overcome these obstacles that account for a person’s merit. This quote and the chapter have significance to my personal experience as I can relate to the situation of being an underdog. Overcoming barriers and proving wrong the people who underestimate you bring the utter joy of success. It is therefore the absence of material resources – the odds that are against the underdogs – that they use for their benefits without being demoralized.
“Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when the tough times start. Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times and you discover they aren’t so tough after all.” (Gladwell 79)
This quotation sheds light on the fact that courage and bravery are not something that everyone is born with. He refutes that the brave can display courage during tough times while the weak cannot. He depicts courage as a learned concept – one that the harsh experiences teach you. Relating the quote to the concept of desirable difficulties, the quote highlights courage as an outcome of such a difficulty. I do not completely agree with Gladwell’s claim that we do not already have courage since there are people who are naturally predisposed towards courageous behavior. However, I agree that sometimes, life situations teach us to face the hardships head-on and develop determination.
Gladwell, Malcolm. David and Goliath: Underdogs, misfits, and the art of battling giants. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2015.