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 +

Monday, October 18, 2010

On being young, in a dying world.

A few days ago, I asked Ainan to consider his place in the world, a few decades hence.

He gazed headlong within, at that unborn future.

He pursed his lips a little.

"A few decades from now, there will be no more humans left," he opined unmournfully. There was in him an acceptance of the inevitable.

He looked up at me, as if knowing I would need an explanation.

"Because they are depleting the world's resources."

So bleak was the future he had painted, in so few words, that I felt I had to argue against him.

"Ainan, it won't happen so soon...", I began, but then petered out as I noted his expression.

He looked completely unmoved, not because he didn't want to be moved, but because of his certainty about the futureless future. He had judged the stupidity of Mankind and found it vast. He also knew, in that helpless way of children everywhere, that there was nothing in his range of influence, that he, personally, could do, at this time, to forestall that future, to make it into a better one. He could only stand by and watch, whilst the "adults" destroyed the world in which he lived.

The thing is, of course, he is right. Unless Mankind does change its ways, Ainan's apocalyptic future, will be the only one Mankind will know. The remarkable thing about Man, is that although individually, people can be very bright, collectively, nothing is more stupid than Mankind. The reason for this is clear. Most of us pursue immediate gain, in our daily actions, and never consider the long-term consequences of what we do. We only consider what we can get NOW. Very few of us consider what that means for tomorrow's world. So, collectively, we all act to destroy that tomorrow for a better today.

One day, too, too, late to do anything about it, Mankind will awaken from this self-deluding delirium and see that the consequences of its actions, are irreversible. Sadly, however, a hung man, cannot be unhung - and Man is busily hanging himself and his world with him.

I hope that wise boys, like Ainan, might grow to be wise men, who influence the mass actions of others, so that Mankind might change its collective ways, before our world is at an end. Otherwise, what is the point of bringing children into the world, who will have no adult world to live in? Do we really want to build an abyss for them to fall into?

So, do what you can, each and every day, to ensure that Ainan's dark future, never sees the light.

(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: 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.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:29 AM 


Blogger tearsunderstars said...

Can the same too, be said of a creative genius?

You have mentioned that Mankind will suffer the consequences of their short-sightedness. The pursuit of money, pleasure, which is ever fleeting, have squandered resources and robbed the environment of its health, which will take almost forever to recover.

You have too, mentioned that many societies have been hostile to the gifted. Should Mankind then, suffer the loss of disallowing gifted people to prosper and reach their full potential as a genius? After all, Mankind has been stupid and ignorant. Therefore, by karma, they should not enjoy the fruits of labour of the creative genius.

On another note, it'll be too sad if the world died before it was destined to. I had looked forward to a future where there is much to discover.


11:34 PM  
Blogger tearsunderstars said...

Also, my previous question revolves around, what really motivates a genius to create? Like in yours and Ainan's case. After all, the work of genius have contributed to foolish Mankind, who have not been nice to you (err, some of them) when you needed their help. Is such a motivation innate?

11:59 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I think the motivation of most geniuses would have to be innate - because no other motivation could be as compelling as the kind of inner drive such people can have.

Re. the world. Yep. It really doesn't deserve the efforts of its few geniuses...but the geniuses will probably still create, though it is possible that some will give up on the world and stop producing...which is everyone's loss of course.

You raised an interesting question. Thanks.

1:07 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...


Few gifted receive the support they need. It is impossible to calculate how much genius is lost thereby, but, no doubt, there is such loss.

I think our societies would be infinitely richer if we changed what we value from fleeting pleasure and entertainment to more lasting and substantial aims, like creative work, culture and science. However, I don't think we live in that kind of civilization...

I too hope that our world survives its imminent perils and becomes something better.

1:13 AM  

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