was about David and Goliath. Yes , I might get a little biblical here. I read Malcolm Gladwell’s books “The Tipping Point” and “Blink,” but hadn’t heard about his newest read, “David and Goliath” until my dad visited a couple of weeks ago. “It talks about weaknesses and how it can lead to strengths,” is how he described it. Sounded interesting to me, so I bought the book.
In it, Gladwell describes David Boies, a high-powered lawyer whose clients include the U.S. government, Al Gore, and IBM, as someone who seems like a Goliath, but is actually a David – he grew up modestly and overcame many obstacles to get where he is now. Today’s David, not the one from ages ago, is dyslexic, and because of his “ailment,” relied on visual and memory skills to get him through Yale Law School. It’s what Gladwell calls “the theory of desirable difficulty” – that weaknesses lead to strengths.
Gladwell had me thinking about my own life – which one of my weaknesses has lead to triumph? Confession: unless I really know and am comfortable around you, I’m not very articulate. I can express my thoughts clearly through the written word, but when it comes to speaking them, I suck. My thoughts come out intermittently and I’m not smooth and suave. Again, this is only if I don’t know you very well, I loosen up after time. I’ve always had this problem though. The times in my life when I saw a psychologists, I wrote down what I was thinking prior to a session. Even at work, I’d rather touch base with my manager in an email than a sit-down, face-to-face meeting. Because of my “weakness,” I started this blog to communicate my thoughts on sewing, patternmaking, and fashion and my writing skills continue to grow. So, is my social awkwardness a strength or a weakness?
Looking at my sewing life, Gladwell again had me thinking. Even though I have a delicate hand, I’m not very good at working with silky fabrics. This might be too philosophical, but I like having control and structure in my life, and this is something I don’t feel like I have when working with the buttery, liquid, and mellifluous fabrics. I’m in love with my most recent dress, but it gave me a major headache during construction. Rather than be damned because of my personality trait, I’ve steered clear of these types of fabrics (for the most part) and have chosen ones with some kind of rigidity – cottons, wools, twills, etc.
So, let me ask you, what are your “weaknesses” and are they really that? Or just harbingers of your strengths?
Also, I thought these images were fitting. The children at a park near my apartment have no fear when it comes to swings, ladders, towers, and merry-go-rounds. They see and conquer. They are Goliaths.