Malcolm Gladwell opens his book Outliers with a narrative about this small, fascinating town Roseto, Pennsylvania, where residents seemed to have an unusual predisposition for good health. During the 1950s, hardly anyone under age sixty-five had heart disease in Roseto, even though heart attacks “were an epidemic in the United States” and “the leading cause of death in men under the age of sixty-five.”
According to Gladwell, the citizens of Roseto had “created a powerful, protective social structure capable of insulating them from the pressures of the modern world. The Rosetans were healthy because of where they were from, because of the world they had created for themselves in their tiny little town in the hills.”
What did you find most notable or fascinating about the Rosetans, and why?
Or, what insight did you gain about the role of community in the development of outliers?
Haley Scholars Common Reading Projects
I found this reading to be both interesting and revealing. It shows that holistics really does play a part in healing. A man who exercises every day, but does not stop to smell the roses, when put into the context of the anecdote given in the introduction of outliers, obviously would be more likely to suffer heart problems.
I am not saying this to undermine the importance of a good diet and a regular exercise regiment. Rather, I mean that the stress levels associated with a person who never stops to relax and socialize with others. In this context it is easy to understand why only the old died in this community.
As for the paradigms, and the people that believed that results that were more quantitative rather than qualitative stood in importance they could not be faulted for their beliefs. To be taught one way and then to have the system in which one is taught be overturned is frightening. It was only natural that they look down upon an idea different than their own.
what i feel most notable about the rosetans is the fact that togetherness within their community seemed to keep them healty. This discovery is extremly facinating because its hard to beleive that its not their diets or genetics that keep them in such good health
I feel like the community in which one lives can affect their life greatly but, it is ultimately up to the indivdual to let it.
I found it most fascinating that they lived just like Americans did, and yet they were much more healthy. It was also interesting that they "Only died of old age."
In America, we blame so many different lifestyles and choices for the overall unhealthiness of our country. Our assumptions are obviously in correct and the studies of the Rosetans help prove that.
I was really skeptical when I started reading this book. It seems like a bit of a stretch that your community can really effect everything? Even your health? The one thing that really struck me was that Rosetans were not even the ideal of health. They were in fact fairly unhealthy (at least in their diets) and many were overweight. That was what made me open to the idea that, perhaps, society really can have that large of a role on everything that we do.
I really thought beginning this book as Gladwell did was really clever. Roseto is an example of how society can effect us in a physical way. The entire premise of The Outliers is society's effect on an individual's sucess. It will be interesting to compare the stories in the rest of the book to the Roseto example.
Building off of what Jennifer Johnson said, I am most surprised that living in a certain community is what kept these people from having heart problems like the rest of the country in which they lived in. With more thought, I could see why this is possible. Stress brings about lots of problems. Living in a community and environment where stress is non-existent, will almost guarantee the heart problems the rest of the stressed out American was having, won’t be a problem. And to think, people practicing medicine is supposed to be complex and the people from Roseto, Pennsylvania figured out how to survive by just living their everyday lives.
What I found to be the most notable and intriguing about the Rosetans was how much their culture embodied what a true community should be. They visit one another, have 22 separate civic organizations for a town less than 2,000 people, and they even cook for each other in their backyards. They help one another to the fullest and they truly care for each other. I also thought it was very captivating that they kept their culture from their home country. Sometime when immigrants come to America, they change their practices to fit in with American practices and values and I was very happy/surprised to see that the Rosetan’s did not do that.
It fascinates me that humans have the ability to create a longer life span and better health if they would just spend the time to get to know their neighbors and surroundings. I believe that if everyday Americans were like the Rosetans, not only will the death rates be lowered but so will violence, gangs, and the use of drugs
I also found it quite interesting that the town had better hearts because of their actual community, rather than in terms of the didts they had, or whether they smoked or not. Though these could have had any effect on the heart, stress can also be a major factor in how the heart works, and I found it remarkable that their everyday reactions help relieve this.
The fact that the book started out as a rags to riches story told me from the start that this book is going to be very inspiring. It really challenges the traditional way of thinking that individual people have complete control of their own health and success. Most people have been taught by birth that "If you really put your mind into something you can achieve anything." Outliers completely contradicts that way of thinking when it states that the community in which someone is born in has a big role in their health and their success.
I believe that the community in which a person lives in directly affects their personality, morals, values, and their perception of the world. But living in a stress-free community is still not enough to make someone completely healthy or successful. It may have a positive effect on their lives and ultimately make them happier, but they still need to eat healthy to be in good health, and they still need to achieve self-actualization and achieve their full potential as a person in order to be truly successful.
I am still a little skeptical that someone who has almost completely disregarded their health but lives in a stress fress community can have perfect health. I think the author is just trying to get people to realize that the community they live in as a much bigger role in their life than they think.
I firmly believe that your environment affects you as an individual. The way you were raised and where you live, the people in your life, your traditions, values, and in the Rosetans' case, community, all affect who you are and how you develop as a person. An individual's environment can have a positive or negative affect on their life. Clearly the Rosetans, benefit positively from their community environment. Not everyone in the this country can benefit so greatly from their environment. I think that if everyone lived in a simple, peaceful way like the Rosetans we could all enjoy the same benefits.
I feel that the fact that community was so important to their culture is very notable. I like how he tells that they came to America to better themselves and named their little town after themselves. I like that it was not their diets and exercise that kept them so healthy but it was their together and sense of community that kept them healthy.
I feel that the fact that community was so important to their culture is very notable. I like how he tells that they came to America to better themselves and named their little town after themselves. I like that it was not their diets and exercise that kept them so healthy but it was their together and sense of community that kept them healthy. They were a really in tune community which makes me feel bad for Americans because we have no community of this sort.
The story of the Rosetans was incredible. It's fascinating that their culture spared them the tragic death of heart disease. Not to mention the lack of suicide, alcoholism, and drug addiction, the low crime rates, and having no one on welfare in their community. They were healthier in most respects all because of the little things; they were social, they did things with eachother and their families. They attended church. They cooked for eachother. My favorite line says that the Rosetans "discouraged the wealthy from flaunting their success and helped the unsuccessful obscure their failures." It makes you wonder if all Americans lived like this, would the same thing happen for us? Like Maame Antwi said, theres a very good chance it would.
I am a firm believer that good family life is so important in their life. The fact that their family is their community is a wonderful thing. I grew up with a family that always ate around the table and this is what this community does.
Even though they were a community. I feel that there should have been more diversity in their family. I understand that is why they lived so long but I believe that in a community, there should be more diversity of people and ideas.
It is interesting way to start a book with this anecdote.
A strong community can promote good health. The town intereacted with each other in a very neighborly and family oriented way. This was the reason for the extended life span of the persons living in the town.
But what about towns, cities and other slummy areas that have high crime and low civilty?Their lifespans are cut shorter because their interactions with each other are not as kind.
I belive that this is what the other was getting at. If we could live in an ideal form of civilty with one another then prehaps we could all reap the benfits of health.
That being said, it would be nearly impossible to single handedly bring change to a society. You would need a group, its not one individuals contribution to the society but everyones contribution.
In the town of Roseta, it seems as though the bonds created through years of constant interaction have molded them into a community that has little to no stress in their daily lives.
Something that I found notable about the introduction to outliers is that the Rosetans had a low heart disease rate despite their unhealthy living habits. They cooked with lard, heavily smoked, and many were obese. All of those habits contribute to developing heart disease but it didn’t affect them. Their close knit community and love for each other kept their hearts healthy.
The Rosetans and African-Americans are quite similar. They both enjoy cooking with fat as well as have communities with churches and family businesses. The thing that differentiates the two races is that African-Americans’ love for each other isn’t as strong as the Rosetans. We barely respect each other, especially the older generations. So, if we come together and become a big family like the Rosetans, then we can lower our high death rate in heart disease. A healthy heart is a happy heart.
It really shows how amazing life can be. the rosetans show that even something as simple as community togetherness can keep you healthy.
The first big element that I found interesting in this story was how the community of Roseto is a very close community and they all kind of work together. THey are all very stong willed and they all work very hard. Roseto brings true meaning to what a community is and makes it more like a family, which I thought was very neat.
Another interesting element in the story is the fact that even though most of the people there smoke and struggle with obesity, all of them have very healthy hearts. On top of that, there is no explanation for it. This fact intruigues Stewart Wolf, a physician and his friend, John Bruhn who is a Sociologist, and it drives them to try to find the reason for this. I am very intruigued to see what they find.
Its pretty much pyschological, they worked together and formed a belief that being together would benefit them and in the end kept them healthy despite their diets.
Upon reading the introduction, i expected a biography and how the term "outliers" applies to a student. What i received from the introduction was an intriguing story they made me want to keep reading. I became fascinated by this unusual story about how an isolated community became magically immune to heart disease because of their sense of culture.
It makes me think of how selfish Americans are with the infamous, "every man for himself", speech. I was flabbergasted when it became clear that even though the community of Roseto ate, slept,and worked as Americans did, they still kept in mind that social, and relationships they shared with others members of their community was more important than anything.
I admire their outlier attitude, such that it encouraged the health of their relationships with others as well as their-selves.
When I first opened this book, I had no idea what to expect. Upon reading the first sentences, I was immediately drawn in. The fact that the Rosetans could conquer the odds of not suffering from heart attack, unlike many of the people of the time, just by living as a true community truly astonished me. I thought that living a long life simply meant that a person had to eat healthy and have a routine exercise regimen. The idea of just living harmoniously with others never crossed my mind.
After completing reading the introduction I began to think more and more about the importance of community. It seems that many of us take our community for granted and that maybe if we began to try to be more involved in our communities, we too could have lives like the Rosetans.
In the introduction of the novel "Outliers" the author made the reader look at how, the way you treat others and live a certain lifestyle can effect a persons health. That was notable to me because, although they were not looking for anything in return they received a healthy environment.
I feel like the authors perspective of the story had a deeper meaning to it than the obvious one.Most people do not understand the concept of when you give by the kindness of your heart and do not look for anything in return blessings will occur. In this story he showed that good character can take you a long way in life.
I felt as if the Rosetans were a very successful people. In the reading it stated that the United States had a high percentage of people dying from heart attacks, yet the Rosetans had no trace of bad health within their community. It amazes me how people living within a few miles of one another can have totally different health backgrounds. That's like me living in Edwardsville where there is perfect health, and just up the street in Glen Carbon there was a disease wiping out the community. It's difficult to fathom this idea, but I do believe it is possible. I hope one day America as a whole will be able to say that their people are dying of old age versus bad health and homicides.
Community can have a large impact on an outlier. It can provide an outlier with a basis for pursuing their unique skills or interests that make them an outlier. At the same time, a community's inflexibility can be the catalyst for creating an outlier by causing an individual to seek alternative means to pursue their life goals.
What I found to be the most fascinating about the Rosetans was the fact that an epidemic that was affecting everyone else in the country did not affect them. It amazed me that even though they did not eat healthy and they did not work out they were still not getting heart disease. The reason why this fascinated me so much is because even over fifty years later it is taught that eating healthy and regularly exercising is pretty much the only way to have long healthy life but after reading about the Rosetans I find that this is not necessarily true.
Now just because it worked for the Rosetans does not mean that it will work for everyone. All of us can't smoke heavily and eat fattening food and live long lives. This does show us however that certain things like stress level play a huge role in our overall health.
If we all just relaxed a little bit more and didn't let the little things stress us out we would probably be healthier also.
I found it very interesting that the environment you grow up in shaped the athleticism of the individuals who grew up in those certain places. For instances, the correlation between hockey players born within a certain set of months were exponentially better than those born in other months. I found these facts and insights to be quite fascinating.
I thought the introduction was very interesting. it's crazy how there were no cases of heart disease, alcoholism, or drug addiction. It showed how the community was very close and very healthy.
I enjoyed the irony that even though the Rosetans didn't eat healthy or exercise they didn't suffer from heart diseases. Yet the main cause of heart disease is from lack of healthy nutrition and physical fitness. And since heart disease is the leading cause of death it is outstanding that none of the Rosetans suffer from it. This proves the psychological theory of mind-over-matter/positive mentality. The community has created some extraordinary type of bond that is allowing the residents to be impervious to ailments that would normally wreak havoc in a community and leave it in shambles.
Judging from the first couple of paragraphs, I had formed an opinion that this book would be neither interesting or enlightening.
However, after continuing to read, my opinion changed. Malcolm Gladwell is usually very good at painting a vivid image for his readers. This book was no exception.
I found it interesting and ironic that although the Rosetans uphold similar dietary habits as other Americans, they are healthier overall. It was their positive mindsets that were keeping them so healthy.
I found it baffling that the Rosetans ate unhealthy foods, didn't exercise, and (according to the text) where generally over-weight, yet they didn't suffer from the heart problems that are common among those attributes. I still find it hard to believe that the key to their health was communal interaction.
I found it absolutely mind boggling that the Rosetos were so much more healthy than the populace as a whole considering their diet. Usually the isolated societies with lower levels of illness benefit from old world diets that incorporate little know herbs and vegetables with lots of vitamins in them and that is the reason for their longevity. The notion that one could eat food with pig lard and still live longer than someone who eats only Splenda sweetened food is unheard of and completely against the rederic that we receive from health professionals, and from modern society as a whole. Community is fundamentally important and we all know that at some basic level but for it to have this dramatic an affect on our health? I'm sure that this study really shook some people in the medical profession(s) up.
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