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How many time do we try to dress up just to put ourselves become someone we are not familiar? People would like to hear stories about the underdog, but rather than that, everyone loves to be a top dog! But it is unrealistic because not everyone is the same. The story “David and Goliath,” written by Malcolm Gladwell, introducing a new idea of being an underdog by a true story from history. Each chapter I have read so far reflected a lot of specific examples of how things do not happen in the way people want to be. And also, this book challenges the readers to look at things in another perspective ways that we rarely thought of before.
The story “David and Goliath” itself is an example, which reflects the idea behind “the beaten dog in a fight” (The Shorter Oxford Dictionary, Third Edition, 1983). The book begins with a story between David and Goliath, the outsider against the insider. It is where the new word underdog brings out its metaphor. So what is exactly the meaning of an underdog? In short, an underdog is a person in the society, who popularly expected to lose. Whereas, the individual expected to win is called a top dog. The story digs into the ideas which are entered the reader’s languages for a metaphor as a victory by a weak party over the strong one. From the beginning, no one put the fate into David, a shepherd boy who volunteered to beat the Giant Goliath, even King Saul and the Israelites make the same mistakes. They don’t realize the real power can come from the invisible forms of all kinds. The giant makes fun, criticizes and even threatens, but it does not stop David from moving up and killing Goliath. Facing the difficulty odds help us empower the greatness in our inner strength. ” David refused to engage Goliath in close quarters, where he would surely lose” (Gladwell 28).
The willingness to try hard, to go through difficulty has defined the loser and winner. It’s happened the same to David when he uses the unconventional method to defeat the Giant. He refuses to come closer to Goliath, ignores to fight in the way the stronger wants, and win the battle in another wiser way. David is a shepherd boy, who always work in the dirty, dangerous place. But it taught him many skills the deal with the world through being a shepherd. When King Saul wants to dress David with full body armor, he refused to do so. Instead, he only uses his leather to be the weapon. That is because he has enough self-knowledge and self-confident to assure he does right. I have been an underdog numerous times in my life. It used to have some negative influences on me, which leads to low self-esteem, inferiority complex and loss of motivation. Gladwell’s idea of using the biggest weakness to identify one’s strength has affected my life a lot. I was born and lived as an underdog in a corrupt country. I spent my school years to absorb a bad and communist-influenced education, which prevent me from reaching my goal. In my earlier memory when I was a child, money was the only measure that people judged each other. Everything swings around cash. Unfortunately, I was naturally born to be poor. Nevertheless, facing the difficulty odds produce the greatness, and being an underdog produces changes on me. Being poor has shaped me into the person I am now. It teaches me to manage to live with a little amount of money.
Moreover, I have a home, a family with parents and an older brother, supporting me not only financial but also in mental, give me many changes to success in life. The misunderstanding of our disadvantages makes us easily give up or follow our challenges. Gladwell brings the idea of exploring our limitation as well as our opponent’s. Who could take such a courageous action in the fearful circumstances? The fight between David and Goliath has guided us the way to face the challenges: As long as we know our advantages and disadvantages, we can do whatever we want. For example, I am an immigrant from Vietnam two years ago. At that moment, I could not speak or understand English. I lost my self-confidence whenever I try to communicate with people.
However, I have a family who always believes in me, encourage me to face these difficulties. I use my biggest disadvantage to push me to learn and practice English frequency; and since I registered Mission College, my English has improved a lot. The perseverance to adapt difficulty makes me identify my strength. Being underdogs has changed the perspectives that we rarely appreciate the disadvantages and advantages. As long as we can be ourselves, we can face through difficulties and achieve success. If people judge you, that is their problem, not yours! We owe no one an explanation. Just do the best in life and stop overwhelm yourself. It is very tough to meet other people’s expectations, and we should not strive to do that. A starting from bottom gives us a unique perspective about how it takes to move our platforms to the next level. And the ability to be humble, empathetic are skills that make us stand out from the crowd!
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