In late 12th century England, a ‘talent’ was a unit of weight and also of currency. Historians tell us that when used to measure weight it was rather loosely defined: probably somewhere between 55 and 130 pounds. When used as a unit of currency, one talent represented a ‘talent-weight’ of gold, silver or brass.
Taking the mid-point of the weight range (around 90 pounds) at today’s prices a talent-weight of brass would be worth around $150. A talent-weight of silver would come in at around $28,000.
As for a talent-weight of gold, well with the price as it stands today, you’d be looking at around $1.87 million.
That’s inflation for you.
Just as a matter of interest, ninety pounds is only just a little more than weight of three standard-sized gold bars, or ingots. That’s almost a small enough size to have fallen down the back of your sofa. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Something else to ponder is that although you may not have a spare 1.87 million dollars hanging around – or even a spare million – I bet you do have a talent. I bet there’s at least one skill you’re pretty proud of possessing. I bet there’s something you can do better than the average person.
So what is it, and when did you last put it to good use? And perhaps even more importantly, when did you last employ it in order to help someone else?
Knowing that you’re good at something can be a good feeling, but an even better feeling can result from using that talent to help others. Specifically, you’re likely to get a sense of euphoria caused by a rush of endorphins immediately after helping someone, then you’ll experience a longer-lasting period of calm. Your stress levels will probably fall, and your overall wellbeing should pick up. Wow, it almost sounds like the results of some kind of highly effective medication, doesn’t it?
What’s particularly attractive about this variety of ‘medicine’ however is that it comes with no harmful side-effects and doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription. Even better, it also benefits the person you help.
So by all means seek out opportunities to apply your unique skills and talents in the service of others today, in the happy knowledge that doing so will help both you and those you assist. But please also remember that it can be good to share small talents as well as large.
Maybe you’re good at making others smile? Do your stuff today, then.
Perhaps you have a knack for being polite and considerate? Hold that door open and let the other person through first.
Or it could be that you think of yourself as a particularly good listener. Encourage someone to talk their problem through with you.
Why not do something for someone else today, therefore, safe in the knowledge that it’ll also be doing something for you?