• Noun: the time of person's life when they are a child
• Noun: the state of a child between infancy and adolescence
One thing that people keep on saying to me is that the wealth and the fame must have made up for missing out on my childhood. But the idea of money - putting a price on your childhood - is ridiculous. You will never get those years back and you can't put a price on them.
Being in a multicultural environment in childhood is going to give you intuition, reflexes and instincts. You may acquire basic responsiveness later on, but it's never going to be as spontaneous as when you have been bathing in this environment during childhood.
Remember Graham Green's dictum that childhood is the bank balance of the writer? I think that all writers feel alienated. Most of us go back to an alienated childhood in some way or another. I know that I do.
The secret of the truly successful, I believe, is that they learned very early in life how not to be busy. They saw through that adage, repeated to me so often in childhood, that anything worth doing is worth doing well.