Young men, especially those in their twenties, are in a period of their lives where they are trying to figure out how their life shapes out. In short, it is a time of trying to figure out what works for them and what does not. This applies to all sections of their lives, including the social aspect. Gifts are a key part of our social interactions and therefore play a role in showing us who cares about us, and who does not. In as much as they may have lost their value in a fast paced world characterized with decreased personalized gift-giving, they may act as a pointer in our social lives; no matter how much that indication might need to be backed up by other factors such as time spent together.
In the first category of situations lies the group of gifts that come from guilty friends and family. A good example is gifts from absentee parents-especially fathers. Some of these parents send presents to make up for time not spent together, and while this may ward off the guilt for a while, it does not improve the situation in the long run. Friends may also give gifts to make up for ill-treatment. These gifts are usually a sign of a relationship that might not evolve to something solid in the future no matter how many guilt gifts are given.
There are gifts that come from mentors and supporters, and these come in numerous forms. They may be given as money to use as capital for a business venture, gifts in the form of mentorship and networking, or even a coupon to use at a favourite store for one's birthday. Either way, these gifts are a symbol of support for the young man and will serve a definite role in strengthening his relationship with the mentor or supporter.
Gifts may also be a sign of new friends. Every time we meet someone new in our lifetime, it becomes the beginning of new experiences and maybe the start of a long term friendship. An unexpected birthday gift from such a person may signify a change in the young man's life. Although the survival of the relationship depends on much more than presents, gifts play a key role in cultivating it.
Finally, gifts are a symbol of old friends. Presents from friends a young man has known since childhood carry a special significance attached to them, simply because they are irreplaceable. This sort of support is also important for a man in the throes of adulthood, because he is assured of people to hold his hand through the process. Presents from family also fall in this category. They serve as a reminder that one has a home he can always go back to and experience the joy of family and friends.
According to the New York Times, giving itself is a gift that gives back. These small symbols in a young man’s life shape his social interactions and slowly shape his inner circle as he grows up.