Monday, March 31, 2008

Genius: A gift?, or a curse?

The news spreading around the net about Sufiah, a child prodigy 10 years ago who was accepted to Oxford at the age of 12, is now living in a pitiful life as a hooker.

This is not the first time cases like this happens to Malaysian-born genius, previously, (I forgot his name), the boy who managed to fluently read when was 3 years old, is now, a drug addict. There are also some other similar happenings to people around me which I happened to see throughout my school life transfering from state to state with my family.

What possibly have been the cause of this?. Why does these born-geniuses suddenly end up in a pathetic situation?. My opinion, its because of the people surrounding these geniuses and also the media.

These gifted childs, are often the pride of their family and the people around them. Some family, or people around, being very proud of these childs, wanted to show the world about the child. And there came the media, news, gossips, and in a short time, these childs became well known to the world. However, this action, IMO, is a very bad action. The media coverage, the news, and the popularity these children gain from the media, started to create pressure against these childrens to perform well in their academics. Young childrens, they are not emotionally strong when facing this type of pressure , they are very vulnerable to it. By giving media attention to these gifted childs, it created an environment where the children started to be bounded to their gifts. Honor of family, hope of race and nation, hope of people around them, started to turn their gifts to a curse of life. Slowly everything accumulate, and these children .. cracks .. and break. Together with them, the loss of the talents they have, the loss of the potentials these children might open to the future of mankind.

The same goes to the life of normal children. Parents, teachers, family, tend to push children to their limit with very high hopes, very high expectations. Forcing childrens to go to tuition daily, forcing them to strain themselves into studying to get good results, etc. This, IMO, is very bad. The children became overworked, tired, and pressured. Strong ones will be able to cope, but the weak ones started to crack. They started revolting, creating problems to people around them, and destroying themselves. Even the strong ones, they might have some parts of them broken, because of the way they have been raised.

Children are meant to be happy, that is how they develop their minds. Don't cause them to break by putting a lot of pressure to them. These small minds and simple logic can't cope with too much pressure. For the gifted ones, please don't put them to the eyes of the world, let them grow and enjoy their childhood freely. Protect them. When they are older, when they are ready to carry the burden of popularity, that will be when its time to let the world know about them.

My parents does not pressure me on how they want me to be and let I choose the path I want to take. And I am very glad about that.

The are no such thing as "free" in this world. Everything have a payment - not necessarily in term of money. Even Free softwares have their payments - effort to learn how to use it. Gaining popularity == losing your freedom as the world will be watching at you. Having gifted, does not mean that gift won't ask for its price sooner or later.

You want something, you'll lose something. You create something, you'll destroy something. Give and take. Every action have a reaction. From great power, comes great responsibility. Everything have a price. No such thing as a perfect Utopia. Thats how nature keeps it balance. What important is to find the point optimum point.
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