Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Tipping Point

Some beach time allows me the opportunity to catch up on that stack of books that pile up unread. Just finished Malcolm Gladwell's classic, The Tipping Point, and I liked it very much.

Why did I wait so long to read this? The explanation comes from the book itself.

The book was recommended to me nine years ago by the son of one of our church members. We were chatting in his mother's hospital room. He suggested the title and I wrote it down. But when I saw it sitting in a stack at a local bookstore, I didn't buy it. Not right away.

A few years ago, I picked up Gladwell's book Outliers during a late night cruise through Gladwell had become known for the claim that we become good at something if we do it for 10,000 hours. He traced this through well-told stories of high-achievement people. I liked that book, saw The Tipping Point on Amazon for a couple of bucks, and added that to the shopping cart for my next purchase. It arrived and sat on the shelf of unread books.

Gladwell asks how change happens. Who or what is moved to make a difference? What are the circumstances that prepare for an epidemic? How does an idea or product become "sticky" enough to build momentum?

Hmm. A lot to think about.

Perhaps I sense the need to make some changes in my life. Or it's time to "catch up" with a generation that moves on without me. Or I can perceive my own undeveloped abilities as a "Connector", "Maven," or "Salesman." Or it is simply time to revise my environment and make it more conducive to joy.

So I chew on these things as I wipe the Jersey sand out of the page bindings, close the book in satisfaction, and return to wipe Aloe lotion on my suntanned legs.