There is a buzz now around youngest Olympians going to London. And rightly so, I would say. 15 to 18 year old great persons with a jolly inner and outer kid reflected in their eyes are rejuvenating the whole atmosphere. Behind each of them there is a story of hard work from avery young age. One of my favourite books on child development is ‘Kindergarten Is Too Late!’ (1971) by Masaru Ibuka, Sony’s founder. Read the Russian translation and sorry for not being able to read it in the original language. The main message of the book is that by age of 3 a child’s brain is developing the fastest in a human life. Skills and knowledge transferred and gained at this age are fundamental and life-lasting. Some say ‘kids are like sponges’ at this age – absorb it all. I also recommend the book by John Medina “Brain rules” – excellent insight into children rational development.
There was another happy encounter in my life. It was a late October evening. In a park. Downtown. I sat on a bench with my 9 month old baby with a new book we just bought. It was an encyclopedia for kids. A lovely senior lady was sitting on the same bench. We started talking. She told me that the development of my baby is totally up to us, her parents. She shared insights into how she nurtured her child: daily readings, constant dialogues, multi-language training. She told me a story of a German couple who decided to give encyclopedic knowledge to their son, so started initiating him in all sciences. By age of 3 he has spoke no word at all. And his parent stared worrying. When he turned 3, all the knowledge they insulated, was pouring out of the little guy. By age of 4 he enrolled in school, by age of 12 he graduated it and got admitted to University. Made up or not this story made me curious about the idea of “genius not born, genius made”. Plenty of books on the subject… This is how I got to meet also Mr. Ibuka through his book.
There also a strong ingredient in the “genius not born, genius made” story: Love.
My favorite quote from John Medina’s book: “a man once asked me “how can I get my son into Harvard?’ “Go home and love your wife!”, was my answer”.
Surrounded by love, children will thrive and beautify the world around them and multiply the love with unseen and unbelievable knowledge and abilities.
For the sake of love and beauty.