The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The youngest motivational speaker in the world

There is something special about Fintan Nadym Cawley's personality. He is only three years old, yet sometimes we find him doing things that show an unexpected maturity - and a social gift.

A few days ago, he went with his aunt, a friend of hers' and a couple of kids his own age to the Singapore Botanical Gardens. The other children were equipped with roller-blades and proceeded to roll around the place (if roll is the right verb...perhaps skate would be better).

Was Fintan jealous at this, that he should stand alone blade-less while the others skated? Not at all. He stood at the sidelines and shouted encouragement. Whenever one of them fell over he would shout something like: "Come on! You can do it! It is not so difficult!"

What is very interesting about this is that this desire to encourage and support comes from within him, since he is not imitating another. He has never seen or heard a motivational speaker. He would not know what one was if you used the words - for he has never heard the phrase. Yet, being a motivational speaker is precisely how he behaved on the day. He could not participate, but far from feeling jealousy, he urged them on, encouraging and guiding them in whatever way he felt appropriate.

This social behaviour of Fintan's is as astonishing, in its own way, as Ainan's intellectual behaviours are - and in the real world it has at least as much - perhaps more - utility.

When it came time for the session to come to an end, Fintan walked up to the boys and said:

"You should come home to my place: we have got a TV and food..." He said in a gentle sale.

Charmed, they came.

I find it interesting that skills such as salesmanship and motivational speaking can emerge spontaneously from a child, without a prior example to guide him. I think that it is a talent in itself - a kind of social intelligence. Perhaps the more trendy observers would call it emotional intelligence. Whatever it is called Fintan Nadym Cawley shows it abundantly. (And he looks like a teddy bear, which only adds to his charm.)

Here's to Fintan: the world's youngest motivational speaker - and a gifted natural.

(If you would like to read about Fintan's gifted brothers, including Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, the please go to: I also write of child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children in general.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:00 AM 


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