Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If the Shoe Fits, It's Talent

Have you ever thought about the concept of talent? It's an interesting idea. According to the dictionary, talent is a natural ability to do something well. But how often have you heard someone downplay their talent? Or consider themselves untalented? Observing my children, I can see how that talent becomes a curse for them. When Marina was younger, she would become distressed because her artwork didn't match the vision in her imagination. Sierra has been known to crumple work that doesn't meet her standards. I still can't get Chase to agree to sing in public, even though he has a beautiful voice and a good ear. I can hear my mother yelling at her computer "They're just like you!" Yes, I admit I have trouble even looking at my older comics because the perfectionist in me wants to fix them.

But I'm not alone. Lynn Johnston has started redrawing her old comics. George Lucas touched up scenes in his original Star Wars trilogy when CGI technology improved. And talent isn't even limited to the arts. Consider Michael Phelps, who was born for swimming. My father has a talent for figuring out cars. Last week he got my car into gear even though the gear shift had disconnected, saving us the expense of a tow truck. My aunt speaks the arcane and ever changing language of income tax (she's a tax preparer). I have a friend who has a gift for organizing homeschooling activities. We all have natural abilities, but because they do come so easily to us, we often take them for granted.

So what is talent, really? I believe it is the perception of others looking in. When I watch someone who is talented, I feel inspired. I want to do what they do, not out of any jealous urge, but because they make me feel the rapport they have with their ability. Their talents are comfortable, they fit well, like a perfect pair of shoes. I just want to try them on, to see if they would fit me as well.


biblioholic29 said...

Wow, ESP! Just before I decided to check in I was reorganizing the files at work, color-coding by category, alphabetizing and generally being slightly OCD and thinking how organization is one of those talents people don't recognize until they see someone with it. I don't consider myself very organized, but I can fake it pretty well. It always makes me feel like trying harder when I see someone who really has the talent!

Inner Elder said...

I like your perspective - "others looking in". We are always our own worst judges. I even re-do these comments sometimes! So, my first thought was "They're just like me!" Have to suffer for your talent, no?
Love, Mom

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