Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Stream of Gifts

Do you remember the movie: "The gods must be crazy" ?
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The Dobe !Kung are a native people with a cultural tradition of gift-giving that crosses normal familial/tribal lines. It is said to promote unity among separated groups. In this tradition the gift implies a return obligation, and so on, in a chain that never actually ends.

Can this morph into the modern... Suppose as the giver you are anonymous, and the gift is accompanied with a reusable laminated card, explaining the anonymous obligation implied. Who would you gift to start the stream? I think I would pick someone very grumpy, and get them something really nice.

hlfbkr23, Nov 10 2003


       It's a way to keep the economy going I suppose
hippo, Nov 10 2023

       No it breaks the economy because you re-gift what you have been given. Like that dubious-looking bottle of festive drink someone gave you, that you pass on to some distant aunty.
pocmloc, Nov 10 2023

       I wasn’t sure from the idea description whether each transaction was a new gift or if it was the same gift being passed on endlessly
hippo, Nov 11 2023

       You mean like the movie Pay It Forward?
a1, Nov 11 2023

       As the title is “Stream of Gifts” I think each ‘gift’ is, if not unique, at least singular. There’s just too much decision-making involved. What to give, who to give it to, what to write on the card. And how to stay anonymous! In the last line there seems to be an agenda to the giving; teaching them a lesson or something. That makes me uncomfortable. But not as uncomfortable as receiving an anonymous gift that ‘means’ something, and having to do the same to the next victim.   

       I have given up gifting on predetermined dates or occasions. I give a lot of gifts but I keep my recipients in mind and when something ridiculously appropriate surfaces I’ll send it along. I find this spontaneous gifting is a surprise for the getter, and more pleasurable for the giver. No one seems to be put off when they don’t get something for a birthday or Xmas, because they probably got something on the odd Tuesday just a month ago. Seems to work.
minoradjustments, Nov 11 2023


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