It has been a nice day today. I saw early in the morning that  my son Jonathan, has done extremely well in the World of Rubik Cubing, with results as follows in this link. (link checked on 17 March 2009)

I was wondering why my phone went a couple of times as well before 8.00am. None of my friends would ring me at that time, because they know I do not answer. I also have it set to go straight into my answerphone, so they would have to keep talking until I interrupt it or else leave a message…this is the most effective method I have discovered of stopping  survey people and advertisers ringing …!!

Anyway back to my subject. There was an email from a person I have not seen for some years congratulating me on my daughter Emily’s successes as detailed in the following article from the New Zealand Herald (this link was checked on 17 March, 2009)

The email of course was answered! – hint hint….

So it was great to see Emily recognised as an outstanding young adult and I am very proud of her achievements, as I am also of Jonathan, who is also a very high-achieving young adult.

However I wish to sound a word of warning here. We all know of young adults with prodigious talents. Many of them do not go on to achieve the kind of results that we might expect of them. Some, as with some cult sports figures don’t handle the publicity that goes with the territory. Some musicians/artists find that they are not able to handle life in the real world and eventually disappear into a morass of depression and a life of little financial reward. Young academics are paraded as the way forward for the future but find that they do not connect with the world, it’s people and problems that beset them in any more than a theoretical fashion..

Generally, these high achievers are so celebrated (and rightly so) and often cosseted so much that they never realise that the world is NOT their oyster, that they do need to make a living and make their way within a world inhabited by real people – mostly less gifted than themselves. For example many parents of highly talented musicians do everything for their children, who find after reaching adulthood that music stands need to be put up and placed on stage, that one does have to arrive on time and be prepared for all sorts of problems that need to be solved by themselves (not other people!) – and dishes do still need to be washed!!! I can think of many fine musicians who have fallen by the wayside, merely because of a lack of balance in their lives.

I urge parents of high-achieving children to ensure that they are subjected to the same buffeting in life that most of us receive as children. By insulating them from people and life, you do them an injustice that will often show itself only many years later – with dissatisfaction with life, depression, a lack of emotional development and a tendency to burn out just when they might make the contribution  that we would wish of them. These gifted people need to have some order in their lives. They need a sense of balance.

About David Adlam

I am a conductor, composer, clarinettist and examiner for Trinity Guildhall working in Auckland, New Zealand and overseas
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1 Response to Balance

  1. Alison says:

    i completely agree…btw…caller id is great! we got it not that long ago, and now any number that comes up \’private\’ we usually ignore (\’private\’ are usually survey people)…and only $2.50 a month:)

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