The gifting of physical objects

There are some objects I have in my possession which I treasure. Not because they have some intrinsic monetary value, but because they were given to me by somebody important to me.

Such an object might be a gift from an old friend, or a favorite uncle. Perhaps it was from someone I have not seen in years, or who has sadly passed away.

In each case, the thing I hold in my hand represents the person, in an oddly powerful way. The object serves as a kind of proxy, a totem of the bond between us.

Our society has now entered a time when people are physically separated, not by choice but rather by sad circumstance. I wonder whether that will have an effect on the gifting of physical objects.

We may end up developing a greater craving for such objects, and a new renewed appreciation for their power. When we can no longer experience the physical comfort of the person they represent, such objects might end up having an even greater value.

Eventually, if this forced separation persists, our society might develop a new emotional economy around the exchange of symbolic physical objects. It would be but a pale echo of what was lost, yet an echo with the power to resonate in our hearts.

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