In the 21st century,there are nearly 7.1 billion people walking on the phase of the earth, it is not a surprise to see tons of child prodigies being discovered everyday. A mere search on YouTube about child prodigies will give you a list of children (discovered so far) performing extra ordinary tasks in fields of music,science,literature and what not.For all we know, 1 million children could have gone undiscovered.But the question that bothers me or any other 'normal' person is that.Are child prodigies better than a normal person in a particular field?
Let us consider an ordinary person "Jake" and a child prodigy "Einstein" (Einstein wasn't a child prodigy but the fact that your mind recognizes him as a genius will make it easier for you to reflexively understand the differences here :P)
My view on this matter goes along these lines.
In the 18th century it was considered an act of God (Mozart). There is no doubt that prodigies have a one of a kind ability.Currently, they are considered special,not gods.A simple analysis by using the extremal principle will lead us to this: What if in the year 3013, we have 1 billion child prodigies.And that, my friend, is a definite possibility.Looking at the pace at which the world competes now.It wouldn't be a surprise if parents sent their children to "Acme Child Prodigy" schools. Anyway, looking at those facts.. does that mean the world child prodigy looses its authenticity in the future? I do think so. Why? Obviously because the definition of a child prodigy will change as well.
Lets keep that point aside. rewind time to 1613 when newton was just working on his "Laws of Motion" at the age of 18.His work at that time was a milestone in the understanding of the world.Now, assume newton's colleagues were to somehow time travel and look at a 12th grade 2013 student (say, sai). He/she would definitely be amazed to see how young children are mastering such advance theories.
Sai will be a complete genius when he travels back to 1613.He will at par with Newton at understanding and interpreting.Now comes the interesting part....
How can Sai become a genius by merely learning what a genius (Newton) discovered?
Lets get a better clarity here.Try and understand what Sai did here.He learns a lot of Newton's advanced theories, he analyses the problem with Newton's theories,travels back in time,and voila! He is a newton's copy. Wait.. Not so fast.. What did we miss out here?
We overlooked the fact that that Sai's understanding and analyzing skills was just a backwash of well established Newton's theories.While newton would be bubbling with new and exciting ideas. Sai will be left to think in the 'old-newton way'. Eventually, he would look his respect. Now.. do you see who the genius is? It is just that Sai learnt a whole lot of theories at a younger age.But the thing that lacks in Sai in comparison to Newton is creativity,originality and free thinking. Therefore, when Sai grasps a lot of ideas at a younger age.He is technically equivalent to a post graduate student much older.The only plus point I see is that the age as a number will be lesser and not that ideas would be more.
Coming back to the 21st century.The same understanding applies here. Jake is 27 year old post graduate who is equivalent to a 16 year old Einstein.At the end of the day, the usage of knowledge is the most important part.Though Einstein gains a lot of analyzing skills.It is not to be misunderstood that Jake at 21 wasn't any less smarter.
As a conclusion.I would like to finish off this post by saying that demotivating yourself by comparing with prodigies or for that matter, with any one else could ruin for day. If you have faith in your ideas and keep aside all the negativity.Then you are no lesser than Einstein.And that is the main thing that sets apart a true professional from another.PASSION.