Your parent’s death could make you a genius

Quotes from David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

In Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath, one chapter of the book puts forth the idea that the loss of a parent in one’s formative years could actually promote genius. Many of 20th century’s most eminent and important people lost (at least) one parent in their formative years:

“[…] the topic of difficult childhoods and parental loss has cropped up again and again in the scholarly literature. There is a fascinating passage in an essay by psychologist Dean Simonton, for example, in which he tries to understand why so many gifted children fail to live up to their early promise. One of the reasons, he concludes, is that they have ‘inherited an excessive amount of psychological health.’  Those who fall short, he says, are children ‘too conventional, too obedient, too unimaginative, to make the big time with some revolutionary idea.’ He goes on: ‘Gifted Children and child prodigies seem most likely to emerge in highly supportive  family conditions. In contrast, geniuses have a perverse tendency of growing up in more adverse conditions.’ ”

David and Goliath: Death or Genius?

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Filed under Books, Great Quotes, Non-fiction

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