Born With Talent

Are you born with talent or do you learn it? I've been watching the progress of my girlfriend's son.  We got him a guitar for Christmas 2 years ago.  Up until that point he hadn't really played a musical instrument, but he showed the desire and always had a creative side to him.  He seemed to take naturally to it and each time I see him he has made tremendous progress.  He just has the knack to hear the music and reproduce it.  He got a drum-set this year (we celebrated last night) and the beats he's putting down already show an amazing sense of timing.

I think computer programming is an art form as well, just as an artist with a brush, or a musician with his instrument.  I've met programmers who just have the ability to think logically.  As I TA'd in college I watched students who clearly did not have the knack, forcing themselves to take computer classes, not ever really getting "it".  Perhaps they should have found their "born" talent and pursued that.

I believe we are each born with a "gift", maybe multiple gifts.  Having parents and friends who help us recognize those gifts and cultivating them is a godsend.  My parents encouraged me to take things apart and see how they worked.  They bought me electronic kits, chemistry kits, etc.  I made "things" out of everyday "trash". Thanks Mom and Dad!  My Dad is still a "tinkerer".

I suppose talents can be learned, but I think those born with it excel at it.