Say “Talent”, and what springs to mind? A cursory glance at the dictionary would seem to indicate the existence of some special ability or an enhanced capacity to perform excellently in a given field or fields. Other words which may come to mind are “rare”, “gifted”, “special”, and so forth. It has become fashionable to seek out and recruit “talent” from various sources, whilst attempting to “nurture talent” within an organization or business entity. So, “talent” seems to be the embodiment of certain highly coveted qualities that are found in some anointed few who possess special abilities, skills, knowledge, and that elusive “something”, all of which the majority of lesser mortals appear to be in want. Really.
Think of a snowflake. Six sides. All snowflakes have only six sides. Yet we are told that there have never been two snowflakes that are exactly alike, and there never will be two snowflakes that are exactly alike. Mind-boggling, eh? Now, think about an average human being. Sixty to seventy trillion cells, we are told. Do you think there will ever be two humans exactly alike? Well, the odds do seem stacked against that! What does that mean? Do you think that it indicates that every human being has some “talent” whose express manifestation ought to be encouraged and nurtured? If you do, then it would seem to beg the question of why “talent’ is usually perceived to be a rare commodity, or is that due to some marketing tactic? I trow not.
Is the debate on whether talents are innate or nurtured still going on? Whenever I ask an audience whether they think talent is “nature” or “nurture”, I almost invariably get the majority saying “both”. In this case, I think the majority is right for a change! Think about talents as having something specially desirable in your geographical area, land or sea. It used to be that spices were considered luxury items, only available from the mysterious East. Or perhaps you live in Canada and maple syrup is something unique. Or perhaps Cashmere wool, or the exquisitely fine hair of the musk ox. Maybe the tea tree grows well in your region. The point is, every human being has some talent or other that is already innate. What those talents need is not only the freedom of express manifestation, but also highly essential nurturing from the ground of solid, lived-out character values.
We need all our people to be of strong mettle. Our “talents” need to be supported by a firm, yet flexible and tough, foundation of people who can be counted on to do what they say they will do, possess and acquire essential skills, and have the daring initiative that seeks the good of others first. Take care of the ground, keep it rich, well-watered and generally well-maintained, and you will find that native talents grow strong and thrive as they give joyous free rein to their fullest expression.
So, consider it well. We all want and need talent. Be sure to grow the talents within yourself, and the talents in others which you desire, in the firm and rich soil that will support them and let them express themselves richly and wholly. Only then will your desired talents become really significant. Happy growing!