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, July 18, 2009

On the impossibility of pleasing everyone and anyone.

As much as one tries, I think it is impossible to please everyone at any one time. It is also, sadly, impossible to please anyone, at all times. Meaning, that at some time, one is bound to displease someone.

I have written many posts over the past few years. I have come to notice that whenever I write anything that expresses a clear opinion, that it always excites a variety of responses. Some like the comment and approve. Others are critical of the comment but reasoned in their replies. Some, however, are clearly displeased and express their thoughts either sarcastically or in a hostile manner. It is this latter group that take much of the pleasure out of writing. They make the writer's life punishing at times. There is, therefore, a force that drives one to silence. If a writer, writes too much that is clear in opinion and strongly felt, eventually that writer might find it better to keep quiet: the consequences of writing such views are frequently not pleasant to bear. This does not happen to all of my posts - but it does happen to some. It is usually those which touch on Singaporean life...these tend to excite mixed responses, some of them hostile. I must confess that makes me regret commenting.

In a more general fashion, beyond that of writing, there will always be those who disapprove of anything one does in life. The saddest part of this, of course, is that the ultimate logic leads one to conclude that it is impossible to please anyone at all. You see, any action, will be dissaproved of by some...but given a large enough number of different actions, it is sure that EVERYONE will disapprove of at least one action, thought or deed.

Generally, in life, I try very hard to please those close to me in life. Sometimes I fail. If I have failed to please you (for some readers know me), then I am sorry. I tried hard to please you, at all times...sometimes, however, I get it wrong.

I think the hardest thing about being human is getting the communication right, between people...there is always the possibility of failure in that arena, on some level, with inevitable negative consequences. I wish I was perfect at it - but I am not. I suppose that none of us are. I am however, trying...and that is all that any of us can do.

(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.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: Thanks.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals.If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at:

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:34 PM 


Blogger Demel said...

I'm terribly sorry if I ever come across as unreasonably hostile. I will admit I feel rather strongly about a number of issues brought across (the most recent one about stratification, for example), but I did not intend to stop being "reasoned in their replies", as you put it. I'm sorry if I went into the latter group unknowingly.

That said, inciting a strong response is a good thing if it is something that has to be said, is it not? There's always the flip side of the issue, after all.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you, Demel, for your thoughtful comment. Yes, of course, at times, your comments are strong...but I think that is part of who you are. I was thinking of many other people, however, and not yourself.

I haven't had time to address your comment - sorry (it needs a considered response).

Whether or not eliciting strong responses is a success depends, I think, on the kind of response. Some Singaporeans are very over-reactive when I post about the nature of this nation, in any way...their comments are so extreme that they are nearly always unprintable. This is disheartening to receive, of course, on a regular basis, in response, to any and all posts on Singapore. It seems to be an "off topic" subject, for some people around here.

Maybe the same thing would happen if I posted about other countries, regularly...though I haven't noticed any such response to my posts about England for instance.

Thank you for your remark.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It probably means no one bothers to comment. Or few english are reading your blog. Or both.

Just like how i don't see many (if any) PRCs responding to your posts on china.

By the way, pleasing everyone and anyone isn't ur purpose for blogging in the first place... If that were ur aim, you'll be blogging on populist policies.

Also, i think u shld take heart that people are actually responding. If no one comments, then it merely shows a lack of interest in your blog.

So do cont to blog on what u want, sustaining each issue with more hard facts and numbers, and less personal experiences, which are easier to dismiss. That way, your views will be more valid and supported.
Welcome the discussion and take criticism in ur stride, but of course learning from suggestions that are relevant as well.

5:03 PM  
Blogger sheri din said...

Hi Valentine, this is Sheri Din. You probably don't remember me, but then again, you may since you are gifted, so you probably have better memory than the average person :) Our paths crossed in 2002 (thereabouts) when I was working the Formor Intl biz.

I've always been fascinated with 'genius' -- that the brains can do so much more than the average minds can even start to imagine.

Your children are a wonderful gift and also a challenge. I wish you guys well in all your life's endeavours. I will be following the development of your kids from your blog and the news -- to enjoy, fascinate and inspire me!

All the best!

3:19 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I remember you well, Sheri Din. Thank you for your kind words regarding my children.

What are you up to these days?

10:33 PM  
Blogger sheri din said...

I'm with 4Life Research, the "Transfer Factor" company. 5 years now. Finally getting a taste of real success in this 'network marketing' industry.

I work actively over 4 countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. Lots of travelling (esp within India), and I enjoy every bit of it :)

I read about geniuses in India when I first came here... and was fascinated! There are many 'very smart' kids in this country!They're very good with numbers. I guess its in their genes... I've always enjoyed numbers myself.. and both my maternal/paternal grandparents are from India. So, MAYBE, just MAYBE, i have some of those genes, maybe 2%. hahah

But I enjoy the lot of gifted people. My brother(the artist, you remember him?)...anyway, he passed away 2 years ago when he was only 52. God bless his soul. He was truly gifted...

6:13 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I am sorry to hear about your brother Sheri, that is young. How did it happen?

Thanks for the update re. your business and life.

10:59 AM  

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