Thursday, March 19, 2009

More Talk About Talents

I started talking about talents in my last post. This booth where they "showcase" talents got me thinking. Who in the world goes up to such a booth and starts boasting about all their talents? (um, ok, lots of people.)
How do you measure talents?
What exactly is a talent?
These are rhetorical questions, intended to get you thinking a little.
Here is another question. Can you praise someone for a talent? Does it makes sense to tell someone that she is amazing because she "sings so well!"? Can you be impressed by someone who "is so artistic!"? Does it make any more sense than saying that someone is bad because "they don't know how to dance!"?
Is a talent a praiseworthy thing or not?
I believe the answer lies in what a person does with a talent. A person who is artistic and uses their talent to make a beautiful poster for a Tzedaka organization is worthy of being praised for their talents. A person who is artistic and uses it to illustrate an educational children's book that will educate many young children is worthy of praise for their talents. A person who is artistic and uses their ability to draw nasty pictures of people who get on their nerves is not someone worthy of praising for their talent.
A person who has a beautiful voice and sings well is definitely praiseworthy of their talents. The same could be said if they volunteer to lead a choir for a school's tea. On the other hand, someone who has a nice voice and uses it to sing nasty songs at times that irritate their big sisters would probably be slightly less than praiseworthy for their talents.
So we can return to our original question: who goes over to these booths and signs up to "showcase their talent"? Obviously, people who are too anivusdik to be praiseworthy. ;)

5 comments:

Child Ish Behavior said...

"A person who is artistic and uses their ability to draw nasty pictures of people who get on their nerves is not someone worthy of praising for their talent." Why not? They obviously think they are putting their talent to good use, and I'm sure there is someone out there laughing along with them. I think you are making an arbitrary difference, and not a real one. You think people should only be praised for something if they do something that you consider good with it, that ability itself is not something worthy of praise. Why not?

Lastly, when people showcase their talents they want to earn money, not necessarily praise. And when it comes to money, the value is in the person who is paying the check.

The Dreamer said...

now the question is...
are YOU talented?

Something Different said...

CIB- you are missing my whole point! God gives people talents. That is nothing to praise the person for (IMO). What you should praise the person for is using their talents in a constructive manner. Yes, the person may make people laugh by drawing nasty pictures but that is anything but constructive!
And I disagree with you on that last point also. Money is not everything. Far from it.

Dreamer- gosh I dunno. Some say I am... What defines talented?

Mikeinmidwood said...

What if someone teaches themselves a talent, is that not praise worthy enough?

Something Different said...

MIM- How do you teach yourself a talent? Do you mean a skill? I don't think of a talent as something you can learn. I think of it as something you are born with.