Gift's value and meaning

>> Thursday, October 18, 2007

A gift or present is the transfer of something, without the need for compensation that is involved in trade. A gift is a voluntary act which does not require anything in return. Even though it involves possibly a social expectation of reciprocity, or a return in the form of prestige or power, a gift is meant to be free, says wikipedia. And those phrases like "without need for compensation" or "voluntary act" note the most important message - when we give a gift to someone we create the tie, the relation which is not money paid for the gift anymore. It turns into something bigger, something more significant than it's material worth. And the key is to give without taking.

Here we should distinguish the difference between gifting and giving. While giving is casual action, gifting has different status in time. Gifting is instantaneous and unpredictable (well, it is very predictable sometimes, but it's a shame on those who are gifting). Present should be unique (for example, when Microsoft discounts some it's products for me, I do know it discounts the same products for millions of others. It is not a gift). These three features transforms a thing into the gift.

The real present always has it's value. Both gift presenter and gift presentee should have something valuable, one to be able to gift, another to be able to take.


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