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 02, 2010

What you see is what you get.

A couple of months ago, Tiarnan, four, collared his mum, Syahidah with a thought.

"Sometimes," he began, ruminatively, "you cannot tell the good or the bad...but you can DEFINITELY see the ugly."

When I heard this, I thought it eminently wise, for one so small. He had come to observe that moral quality, was not immediately visible, or was, perhaps, at times, ambiguous but that beauty, or its absence was immediately evident.

It is interesting, for me, that he thinks on these matters. He is weighing what is good and what is evil - and how to determine these. He has realized that it is not always easy to say, without further information, whether something or someone is good or evil. He has also come to understand the immediacy of visual beauty and its opposite.

I do not know whether matters of good and evil; beauty and ugliness, are the common thought of four year olds, everywhere...I suspect not. However, it is revealing to me, that they are the material of Tiarnan's thoughts. He is, though he knows it not, having philosophical thoughts. He is thinking about moral values and aesthetics - and, indeed, many other philosophical concerns. His thoughts are concerned with the human sphere and the human experience and what he understands of them. It is not so important what, exactly, he thinks of these matters, but the very fact that he IS thinking of these matters. It says something deep about the nature of his nascent personality and mind, that he should dwell on such matters over other things. I am led to see a certain commonality between Tiarnan and my younger self. For, you see, I have written a book that considers many similar matters, though it is yet unpublished. I find it telling, therefore, that little Tiarnan, who knows nothing of my work, my writings or my deeper thoughts on life (for I have yet to discuss them with him, of course), should, of his own accord, give thought to allied matters.

We are each unique, yet we each share dispositions with our forebears. So it is with my children: though they are unique and unlike any others, in some ways, they are also akin to ourselves, sharing elements, themes, inclinations and instinctive outlooks, with either myself or my wife. It is reassuring to see those dispositions and ways of thought emerging, unprompted, from their growing minds. It informs me that, one day, there will be in this world, three young men who understand their parents better than any others in all the world. They will understand us, because, in some ways, they will be us, be echoes of ourselves, reverberating into a future we may never know, for, of course, our time is likely to be less than theirs. When we are gone, they will remain and, in some way, parts of our human tale, will go on, told by other tongues, and other minds, but informed, nevertheless by some of the very same substance, that made us, what we are and, one day, were.

Carry on thinking Tiarnan...for as your world view forms, I will be here, to understand it - and you.

(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

Our editing, proofreading and copywriting company, Genghis Can, is at

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited. Use only with permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:18 PM 


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