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CREATIVITY AGAIN


Creativity, the subject of my last posting, develops and is expressed throughout one’s life. When I was young, I noticed that when interviewed, very creative and accomplished people like Pablo Picasso, Pablo Cassals, Helen Frankenthaler and others always had the same response when asked about aging. They always brushed the question aside saying something like, “I don’t have time to think about that. I have too much to do still.” This so impressed me that it has been the model for my own life.

At the other end of life, the early part, some people are also too busy to slow down. We are fascinated with child prodigies and usually don’t understand them. Rather, we class them as anomalies, not models.  Here are a few people who did exceptional things at far younger ages than we expect.

  • American biologist  Mark Jay Sheridan received his first scholarship to California Institute of Technology at the age of 13 and by 17 had completed his PhD.

  • British philosopher John Stuart Mill spoke several languages, both ancient and modern, fluently by age 8 and was already well educated in philosophy by age 12.

  • Stevie Wonder was signed too a contract by Motown Records at age 11 and had his first US number one hit at age 13.

  • Herbie Hancock performed on piano with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when he was 11.

  • Chinese physicist Kim Ung-Yong attended university physics classes when he was 4 and completed his PhD before turning 15.

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as everyone knows, was performing before royalty when he was 5.

  • Tiger Woods was playing golf as soon as he was out of diapers and won the World Junior Championship when he was 8.

I don’t feel bad about not being on this list with extraordinary accomplishments in my youth. I still have at least  35 years to live and I intend to live them fully through staying mobile and always intellectually curious.