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 +

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The happiest man in the world.

A couple of days after Patrick Rocca's suicide, seemingly over the loss of some considerable sum of money, it is supposed, I met one of the poorest men in Singapore.

I was on my way out in the morning, when I passed by a roadsweeper, cleaning up our estate.

He looked up at me from his work and threw the biggest of smiles. Reflexively, I smiled back, though I didn't recognize him.

"Good morning!" he said, to me and it was clear from the bounce in his words that it was, indeed, a good morning for him.

"Good morning!" I said, in reply, rather surprised at his evident happiness.

He had given me much to reflect on, as I went to work, that morning. You see, in Singapore, manual jobs such as the one he laboured over are exceptionally poorly paid...the equivalent of three digits per month, in US dollars and absolutely no more. That is for sure. He would barely make enough money to eat at a subsistence level for one person, never mind have a decent roof over his head. Yet, he was happy. He was unaccountably happy to be alive.

I thought, then, of Patrick Rocca who had blown his own brains out, over the loss of a huge sum of money (which I think it is likely would not have wiped him out down to this man's level). Patrick Rocca was a rich man, who had gotten somewhat poorer, though, by this man's scale he would still have been a rich man. Yet the roadsweeper was the happy, contented one.

There is a lesson in this, for us all. It is not our station in life that determines our happiness in life: it is how we feel about it. Rich Rocca was suicidal at his own circumstances - circumstances which are rich beyond imagination, for the happy roadsweeper.

Perhaps it is true, indeed, that money doesn't buy happiness. Perhaps all that is needed is a broomstick and a sunny morning.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:06 PM 


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