Can We Understand Child Prodigies?

July 30, 2012
Do we need to know why some children are prodigies? 

For this post I started to simply share a video I saw on Mel’s Video of the Day about Akiane Kramarik, who is considered by many to be the “youngest prodigy of both realist art and poetry in recorded history.”

[NOTE: If the video doesn’t load in a few seconds, just press the refresh button.]

Whether or not Akiane is the greatest young artist ever to have lived, one cannot deny the talent expressed in her paintings. So I looked around the web to see what others thought about this young woman.

On the atheist League of Reason website I didn’t expect the forum to accept her explanation that she gets her inspiration and talent from God. But I was surprised to notice the great reluctance to even believe her talent could be hers. It must be a hoax, some said, because no one could be that talented that young.

I suspect the reason these people, who identify themselves as atheists (at least the ones I read), take that position is because they reject her statements that her talent comes from God.

On the other hand, I did expect to find Christians claiming her work was proof of God. And there were many who saw her as a messenger of Christianity. Of course, there were some who said she was wrong to paint pictures of Jesus because we are not to create images of God (a position not unlike the fuss over pictures of Mohammed). Some criticized her for cutting her hair!

The question of where her talent comes from is certainly the central focus of interest about someone who has not been taught in an “ART” school, yet has evolved a technique that demonstrates far more skill than many who have studied for years.

As I read people’s reactions to her work and watched several videos, I was reminded of a poem I wrote a number of years ago and then made into a flash presentation called Explaining a Spiritual Experience.

It basically says that you can never completely explain any spiritual or peak experience. You can only offer an approximation of what it means to you. Akiane can do nothing more than use words to describe what she experiences when touched by “something” that is beyond our understanding.

Since we are curious about what makes a prodigy in music, math, art, and so forth, we want to know what creates these phenomenal skills in children so young. As interesting as it might be to know why or how these children are able to make their contributions to the world, I think we honor them best by simply appreciating them and encouraging them to express and expand their talents.

To learn  more about this young woman, I encourage you to visit her website and then search for “prodigy” on YouTube, where you will discover many children who exhibit extreme talent, even though they may not feel they’ve been led by god.

Did you enjoy this post?
Here are a some related posts from this blog, and articles from the Support4Change website:

 

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