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 +

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Fintan puzzles at the fairness of the world

About two weeks ago, Fintan came into our room in the morning, with a question on his lips.

"Daddy...why are there four boys and only one mummy?" He pointed at me, himself and his brothers, as he said so.

His voice and face were both concerned - he seemed to think there was something inherently unfair in all of this.

"Well, when mummy has a baby, half of them are boys and half are just happens that all of them have been boys. That is all."

He listened to this, but wasn't convinced of its fairness. I felt like telling him that mummy would have a girl one day - but didn't - for how could I be sure of that?

I see in this question, and in others that Fintan asks, a developing sense of what is right, true and moral. He senses unfairness in some of the characteristics of the world - and puzzles at them. He is not one to accept that which does not seem just.

Without knowing it, therefore, Fintan is measuring the world against some inner sense of what is fair and just. He has an internal moral sense - and it appears to be developing nicely.

I am happy about that, for one who senses unfairness in the world around them, is also very likely to be one who behaves fairly in their conduct towards others. The development of a moral sense is also a sign of the development of a moral character: the two go together. A child cannot sense immorality, injustice or unfairness - and then behave unjustly, immorally or unfairly - for the child would sense the wrongness of their own behaviour, then, measured against their developing internal standard.

It appears that, in Fintan, at least, a sense of justice and morality develops quite early - after all, he is only three.

I look forward to the good hearted man he promises to become, knowing, as I do, the good-hearted child that he is.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 7:49 PM 


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