Noteworthy quotations from David and Goliath

Giants are not who do we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the source of great weakness.

Why do we automatically assume that someone who is smaller or poorer or less skilled is necessarily at a disadvantage?

Some pretend to be rich, yet have nothing; others pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.

The reason underdogs win as often as they do is that the latter is sometimes every bit the equal of the former.

We have, I think, a very rigid and limited definition of what an advantage is. We think of things as helpful but actually aren’t and think of other things as unhelpful that in reality leave us stronger and wiser.

Underdog strategies are hard

To play by David’s rules you have to be desperate.

Effort can trump ability

Conventions are made to be challenged

We spend a lot of time thinking about the ways that prestige and resources and belonging to elite institutions make us better off. We don’t spend enough time thinking about the ways in which those kinds of material advantages limit our options.

what we think of as an advantage and as a disadvantage is not always correct

People are ruined by challenged economic lives. But they’re ruined by wealth as well because they lose their ambition and they lose their pride and they lose their sense of self-worth. It’s difficult at both ends of the spectrum. There’s some place in the middle which probably works best of all.

There is an important principle that guides our thinking about the relationship between parenting and money – and that principle is that more is not always better.

Wealth contains the seeds of its own destruction.

what is learnt out of necessity is inevitably more powerful than the learning that comes easily

All positive traits, states, and experiences have costs that at high levels may begin to outweigh their benefits

There are times and places where it is better to be a Big Fish in a Little Pond than a Little Fish in a Big Pond.

Average country income levels do not matter to happiness, but relative distance from the average do…

How do you feel about your abilities… shapes your willingness to tackle challenges and finish difficult tasks.

Not all difficulties have a silver lining…

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: The unreasonable one persist in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

George Bernard Shaw

Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when the tough times start. Courage is what you are in when you’ve been through the tough times and you discover they aren’t so tough after all.

Whether we as a society need people who have emerged from some kind of trauma?

Love doesn’t always save people you want to save

Influencing popular behavior requires neither sympathy nor mysticism, but rather a better understanding of what cost and benefits the individual or the group is concerned with, and how they are calculated.

Most revolutions are not caused by revolutionaries in the first place, but by the stupidity and brutality of governments

…and out of his grief came a revolution

Every once in a while during the course of your life, you might have an opportunity to save somebody else’s life… but how many people get a chance to save six people’s lives each and every day? I mean, I think, I’m so lucky.

A man employs the full power of the state in his grief and ends up lunging his government into a fruitless and costly experiment. A woman who walks away from the promise of father finds the strength to forgive – and saves her friendship, her marriage, and her sanity. The world is turned upside down

The powerful are not as powerful as they seem – nor the weak as weak.

…there are real limits to what evil and misfortune can accomplish. If you take away the gift of reading, you create the gift of listening…

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