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 +

Thursday, September 06, 2007

It is never too late to live

Today, a searcher arrived on my site with the words: "Can an adult be a music prodigy when they were not one in childhood?"

Whenever I see a search, I can only imagine the context from which the searcher has come. In this case, it seems clear that the searcher is most probably one of musical gift - or knows someone who is - but has ignored that gift, or been unable to address it, until late in life.

I have one piece of advice for anyone with a latent gift: it is never too late to let it live. Don't procrastinate. Take the time to breath some life back into those old, sleeping talents and let them wake, once more. If one is born gifted, one remains gifted, in some way, to some degree, in whatever area the gift may be. One gifted in Art, will always find it easier to draw than one who has no such gift - the same with music, or sport, or any other human attribute. So, if you feel you have a sleeping gift - wake it up and start to use it, again. It will grow once more and flower into some semblance of what it should have been.

No doubt, an adult who does this is unlikely to reach the heights that would have been reached had the gift been expressed in childhood and nurtured through regular expression ever since. Such a person could make a mark indeed. However, that does not mean that late "blooming", is without the prospect of worthwhile achievement. Many are those who did not turn to their gifts until they reached retirement, having postponed them, amidst the everyday rush of life, until then. Mary Wesley, the novelist, for instance, was an old age pensioner before she first began to write professionally. What would she have written had she begun as a child? We will never know...but we know this: that the works that arrived so late were worth the wait - and so, too, can yours be.

Don't say to yourself, "If only...", instead just begin to do what you should always have done. In time, it will be as if you had always written/sung/painted/composed, so assured will your works seem. Old gifts never die - just people do - when they forget to let their gifts live.

As I read that searchers comment I felt touched by it, too, for reasons of my own. I, too, like many of you, have gifts to which I have not given full expression. Life always seems too busy to allow the fullness of oneself to be expressed - yet, do not allow yourself to be defeated. There are ways to begin the expression of that which lies within, once more. In time, the works that effort gives rise to may be worthy indeed.

Yes, of course, it is ideal to begin in childhood, the creative endeavours that fill a life - but that does not preclude the possibility of a late start. Many have done so and left an impressive body of work to the world. So don't regret - just begin.

Good luck.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and nine months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and two months, and Tiarnan, nineteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 2:36 PM 


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