talent (ˈtælənt)— n
1. innate ability, aptitude, or faculty, esp when unspecified; above average ability: a talent for cooking ; a child with talent
2. a person or persons possessing such ability
3. any of various ancient units of weight and money
4. informal members of the opposite sex collectively, esp those living in a particular place: the local talent
5. an obsolete word for inclination
[Old English talente, from Latin talenta, pl of talentum sum of money, from Greek talanton unit of money or weight; in Medieval Latin the sense was extended to ability through the influence of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14–30)]
There is a quality of egoless perfection in a person exercising their talent. Egoless because they are so full of joy in doing what they were designed to do that there is very little self-consciousness or striving. This is how I felt when I watched my beautiful sister-in-law Emilie help take care of my son Aaron. She has rare talent for care-giving, whether it be of animals or of little people. It’s as if she can sense what they need and patiently she responds to that need with beautiful skill. A talent, I think, often overlooked in our society, but never more urgently needed.
I suppose most talents are visible early on in life. Take Alexa Richter, for example. She is 4 and a half years old, and already it is clear she has a keen sensitivity to infants. She was so helpful with Aaron when she was visiting us for Thanksgiving, expressing both a capacity for learning about how to care for him, as well as great intuition about what he might need. I look forward to seeing her talent come into full bloom as she grows up!