I’ve always been a late bloomer, but when I get going, I usually do pretty well.
|My current knitting project. This thing is taking
FOREVER, but it will be worth it when I’m finally
done. If I rush, it’ll be screwed up.
According to my parents, I didn’t start talking until I was around two years old, at which point I used full sentences. In elementary school, my writing was below grade level, but when I reached the end of middle school, I passed classes on essays alone. I was usually overlooked because of my timidity, but towards the end of high school, I was accepted into the select class, took part in the Young Americans musical program, and surprised the teacher by skipping octaves while staying in tune.
That holds true, now. A few weeks ago, I was sent some audio by a client off of which to write content. When I sent the final draft, both he and his editor were surprised at how much information I’d pulled out of that four minute clip. He gave me the time I needed to listen to the clip enough times to jot down the information required to write up the piece effectively. Had I rushed, the final product wouldn’t have been as complete.
There’s an ongoing pressure to achieve great things at a young age. People who earned degrees, published work and made great discoveries at a young age are heavily celebrated, while almost everyone else was left by the wayside. Sometimes, it’s hard look at those early achievers without becoming discouraged.
I do believe people who can do great things at a young age should be celebrated. Absolutely. They should also continue to be challenged and treated in accordance to their emotional development. A kid is still a kid, regardless of their brains or circumstances. They still need to be nurtured and guided.
I also believe that accomplishments should also be lauded for their own merits and the strife it took to complete them acknowledged. The child who was unable to read by the fourth grade, but finally got it in fifth or sixth, deserves as much praise as the child who caught on early. The late bloomer might even have a deeper understanding of context and concepts than their quicker counterpart.
That also applies to adulthood accomplishments. Anne Rice, for example, didn’t develop the popularity she now has until she was 39, but she’s still an incredibly successful author. There’s something to be said for the determination needed to keep going in the face of adversity.
There are huge benefits to letting a person take their time in mastering a skill or grasping a concept. On a short term level, they may be able to do the thing more efficiently than someone who figured out how to do it right away. On a long term level, they’re nurturing an effective way of solving future problems.
So, let’s try not to rush things if we don’t have to. Going slow isn’t a bad thing, and going fast isn’t always good.