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, June 20, 2010

Terry Pratchett on how to help someone, in life.

Lao Tzu, the supposed founder of Taoism, was, I hear, the coiner of the proverb: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Whether it is truly an ancient Chinese proverb, I do not know, since, sometimes, the origins of such things are difficult to discern, so long after the events, however, that doesn't change the fact that there is a certain wisdom in these words, one which, being familiar, we all take for granted. Of relevance here, is that some doubt that Lao Tzu was even a real person, which, too, makes his possibility of authorship rather uncertain!(see

Terry Pratchett, the fantasy author, whose existence is not in question, had his own take on this ancient understanding. He wrote, once:

"Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life."

That made me laugh. Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld books, is a man of some wit, at his best. It is sad that he now has Alzheimer's disease, though he is still relatively young, at just 62. I wish him well on the years, ahead, and I hope that the progress of his illness is slow enough to permit him to write a few more books yet.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at:
Ainan's IMDB listing is at
Syahidah's IMDB listing is at

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 1:09 PM 


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