In the second part of David and Goliath, Gladwell looks at what he calls desirable difficulties. Chapter 4’s examples are all centered around dyslexia, a language processing disorder that affects millions of people. Gladwell suggests that dyslexia can be a desirable difficulty, and he offers examples of wildly successful people who have done exceptionally well in life because of how they’ve learned to work around their dyslexia. In fact, he tells us that a disproportionate number of successful entrepreneurs are dyslexic!
Is dyslexia the desirable difficult that Gladwell describes, or do you think he is overlooking some important struggles? According to Gladwell’s account, what are some of the benefits that go along with having dyslexia, and why? Has this chapter changed how you view cognitive impairments like dyslexia? Be sure to use examples from the chapter to support your answers.
And finally, to repeat Gladwell’s question, would you wish dyslexia on your child? Why or why not?