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, July 10, 2009

"The richest Cawley in the world".

"Who is the richest Cawley in the world?" was a search which arrived on my blog, a couple of months ago. At the time, I ignored it and didn't remark upon it - but now, upon reflection, I think it is time to remark.

My recent post on Macaulay Culkin (odd that he has the sound caulay/cawley in his name!), brought to mind what it is that people find interesting in others. In the case of Macaulay Culkin, no one has ever shown any other interest, in their search terms, for arrival on my site, but in his personal wealth. The same cannot be said for those who use the name "Cawley", in searching. However, the search is worthy of comment.

The search: "Who is the richest Cawley in the world?" originated in the UK. Now, the UK has heard a lot about Ainan Cawley, recently, so I can't help but wonder if it was hearing about my son, and his talents, that prompted this searcher to wonder about the Cawley family. It also made me wonder why they would think in terms of wealth, on learning of his talents. It seems that some people only find value in others, in terms of how valuable (or wealthy) they are. It seems as if, for them, the ONLY way of measuring another's worth, is in terms, quite literally, of their net worth.

There are many ways in which a person may be of value to the world and wealth is, in truth, a minor one among them. A person can be kind, or supportive; helpful or friendly. A person can creative, or intelligent, honest or sympathetic. A person can be hardworking, reliable and committed. A person may be beautiful, or loving, or loyal. There are SO many ways in which a person may be valuable to the world, that it really puzzles me that so many people should reduce people purely to their wealth, to the number of dollars/pounds/yuan attached to their name.

I shall, however, address the person's question directly: I don't know. There are many Cawleys in this world. The tales tell that this particular family originated in ancient times in Ireland, from a descendant of a King and spread out across the world, in more modern times. There are Cawleys in America, Cawleys in Australia, Cawleys in the UK, and now there are even Cawleys in Singapore. For all I know, there might be Cawleys in every country of the world - but the first three countries I mentioned will have the bulk of them. Now, these Cawleys have done many things. A quick search of the internet reveals an astonishing range of Cawleys getting up to all sorts of things. However, what IS noticeable is that a lot of these Cawleys have the term "President" attached to their names. (Others have CEO). It is clear, therefore, that quite a few Cawleys have done very well for themselves. This makes it difficult to decide who is the richest. There was a Cawley who founded a bank, in America. There are several Cawleys (including one big firm in the USA) who own property companies. There are Cawleys high up in computing companies (including IBM). There are, in fact, Cawleys in all sorts of well placed positions, as the internet so easily tells. So, I am afraid, I can't answer the question of "who is the richest Cawley in the world?" It may, in fact, be impossible to know. You see, it is quite likely that the "richest Cawley in the world" doesn't want you to know that he is the richest - and so won't necessarily appear on lists of the wealthy anywhere in the world. It is called, I suppose, "none of your business" - for that is an attitude that I would be unsurprised, for this fabled richest Cawley to have.

Then again, the question, "who is the richest Cawley in the world?" is, itself, meaningless, for it implies a value judgement. It seems to be saying that the richest Cawley is somehow the most worthy Cawley - well, this may not be true. The richest Cawley is no more or less than the richest Cawley: that is all. This fabled richest Cawley may not be the brightest Cawley, nor the most creative Cawley, nor the most beautiful Cawley, nor the most pleasant Cawley, nor the most honest Cawley, nor the most kind Cawley, nor the most sympathetic Cawley, nor the most friendly Cawley. There is no way of knowing from knowledge of how much they are "worth" alone what they are, in fact, worth as a person.

I think the question was asked without an understanding of what is truly valuable about a person. I think the question was asked with too narrow a conception of value and meaning in others. A different question to have asked might be: "Who is the BEST Cawley in the world?" After defining "best", I rather think that the answer would be a different one, to the one found with "Who is the richest Cawley?" (That assumes, of course, that one defines "best" in terms other than wealth.)

I can't answer either of these questions, however, for certain. This is because I do not know which of the hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of Cawleys in the world is the richest, the best, the kindest or any other quality or measurement. I simply don't know all of them. I don't even know how many of them there are.

I know this, though: once upon a time, long ago, there was a King, who had a son, who had many children and those children had children, and so on until today. Those children are now spread all over the world. They are the "Cawley family". Whether they be rich or poor, bright or kind...they carry my name - and I, too, wonder, sometimes, who they are and what lives they live. Do they know that they can all be traced back to the same point in time? (That is a question I will revisit another time...that of origin.)

I know this, too, that searcher's question is just not important enough to answer. There are better questions to ask of people in this world - and more interesting things to know about them. Those are the things I would rather know, learn and share.

One final thought: is the richest Cawley the happiest Cawley?

I doubt it.

(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:

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:44 PM 


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