Sometimes an advertisement makes you think, especially when its appeal is to your emotions as often happens at this time of year. The article with which we are concluding 2018 is inspired by the video entitled “The boy and the piano”, shot to promote the department store John Lewis & Partners, which stars Elton John and contains the story of a poetic relationship between the famous singer-songwriter and his piano. We therefore want to consider, together with you, the objects or gifts that have represented a milestone or watershed in your existence, and that may have literally set you upon a new path.
The test of time
Have you ever considered that one of the most immediate quality indicators of an object is that it lasts longer than similar products? Standing the test of time is not only an objective factor, but also a subjective one; there are things bought recently that no longer interest us while our old, patched-up sweater remains our favorite item of clothing. As our friend Mario de Liguori – scholar at the Politecnico di Milano – says,
The acceleration of technological development has brought an ever-faster change in the form and type of the objects that surround us, and hence of the interaction and the psychological relationship that we establish with them. The products become obsolete in an increasingly short time, forcing us to change them or update them with an unprecedented frequency and to reset each time the relationship, including the emotional relationship, we have with them.
It may seem absurd, but this situation enables us to better recognize the few things that will be saved from oblivion over time.
Photo by Paul Solomon on Unsplash
What exactly is this emotional bond that we establish with some objects and what characteristics do they have that produces it? Things, just like people and sometimes places, are like ferries that carry us toward new experiences, that promote change and drive our development. Objects, in particular, can be containers of meaning or the tools to create it, but they may also be benevolent sentinels standing guard at a space-time junction, that are ready to suggest the path we should follow. Perhaps Elton John’s life would have taken a very different turn if he had not been given his first piano exactly when he was! The answer to the initial question is, therefore, unique for each of us:
there are no predefined characteristics that indicate that an object or a gift will become our constant companion, apart from being the right container for our emotions at that time, indicating a future yet to be explored and mirroring the feelings we have inside ourselves (but of which we may be unaware).
Photo by Denise Johnson on Unsplash
The art of giving
Christmas is coming and, as you may know, at Passodue we have a special love for this season because it stimulates reflection and brings people together. We also like the traditional exchange of gifts, a gesture that if lived in the right spirit can be symbolic and initiatory.
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To practice the art of finding the right gift try to remember the presents you have received which have, in some way, left a mark in your life, so as to recreate the same magic for others.
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Alberto will never forget the first Olivetti Valentine he was given and still owns, or the BMX bike and the track with racing cars, all objects that have nourished his passions and created timeless friendships. Alice will always be grateful to her first 24-hour briefcase, her College scooter and an old blue duffel coat: all loyal companions in adventures that have turned her into the independent woman she is now. When you are thinking of finding the right gift, do it with the desire to choose something that can potentially change the person who will receive it, helping him or her to make even a small step forward, illuminating their heart and mind.
Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash
Giving something that may trace a path, a pebble like the ones that led Hansel and Gretel out of the forest, is a wonderful experience because it gives you a place in the memory paradise of the recipient.
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If no ideas are forthcoming, then make a gift of your time, put yourself at the service of your loved ones because, as we once read, ‘Love is the true gift, and it lasts a whole lifetime’.
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you.
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