What is “Talent” Exactly?

What is the actual definition of this word?  Talent as defined in the dictionary is described as “the natural endowments of a person; a special often athletic, creative or artistic aptitude”.  That is sensible, I suppose but hardly a comprehensive definition of the word.  However, it is true.  When we hear the word talent, what or who do we think of almost immediately?  Why, musicians and actors, of course.  And let us not forget the painters, the singers and the writers of our world.

But it is important to remember that a person’s natural talents, gifts and abilities are not relegated to the arts, as it were.  Those areas are important and wonderful, to be sure.  This world would be such an empty place without them.  But the greatest talents and gifts are in those arenas where human interaction is required.  Think about this for just a moment.  We have all heard the phrase “You are such a good listener!” or “I must say, you always make me feel so good!”.  I will tell you, listening is indeed an art, a talent if you will.  Not everyone has the ability to open their ears, their mind and hearts so as to give the one speaking a full attentive view and really hear and feel what the other person is saying.  Make no mistake, listening is an art.  And what of the ability to lift others up simply by being around them and by instinctively knowing what they need to hear on that particular day?  What perception!  If that is not a natural talent, one that is inborn, then I don’t know what else is!  A talent of that nature cannot be learned.  It is naturally known by the one it emanates from.

What other talents can you think of that fall outside of the normal definitions of the word?  Take a moment and reflect on this.  I am sure quite a number of them will come to you.  And permit me to say this as well.  These “other talents”, as I like to call them are the gifts that wield the greatest power in our world.  The one in whom this talent resides has the opportunity to change lives.  And my friends, that is the greatest talent of all.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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