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 +

Friday, April 13, 2007

Those who will never understand

An imaginative child or adult has a very special gift. It is one that allows the gifted one to alter the world, inside, to see things anew and to envisage what has not been, but might yet be. It is the foundation of all artistic and much scientific creativity: the imagination itself.

Imagination is not equally distributed among the gifted. There are gifted children who don't possess much of it: they are bright but not given to imaginative thought. Then there are imaginative children who rarely stop imagining. In a welcoming world there is room for all types. Yet, there is a problem. The unimaginative can never understand the imaginative. Why do I say this: well, it is obvious that someone who is unimaginative cannot conceive of what an imaginative person is like to be. Why is this? Well, simply because, you guessed it, they lack the imagination to do so!

Why should this be a problem? Well, it can be a big social issue for a child if they are imaginative but living in an unimaginative social context - and this happens more often than you might suppose. For it is clear that the unimaginative children - or adults - around them, might suppose the child somehow to be "ill" because of their propensity to disregard bald reality in preference for something more interesting. Clearly, on a social level this can lead to much misunderstanding and unhappiness, but there is a greater danger. What if such a child encounters an unimaginative "professional" - working in the psychological arena? All sorts of terrible outcomes could result, simply because the "professional" lacks the imagination to truly understand what kind of child - or adult - is before them. There may very well be a tendency to mislabel them - when all that is happening is that the imaginative child - or adult - is being creative with the world, playing with it, seeing it in new ways.

So, if your child is imaginative, be on guard to protect them from the unimaginative responses they might receive: the unimaginative can be directly harmful to the imaginative, especially in terms of social response - and never, ever take them anywhere near a dull, prosaic, unimaginative professional.

This post is an extension and development of a response to Kathy, who posted something under my post about a child's imagination, recently.


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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:53 AM 


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