Yesterday I wrote about pitfalls of having a grateful heart, specifically expecting gratitude in return. I realize that I did not address the flip side of that and may have been perceived as saying that expressing gratitiude is not necessary. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Though the giver of a gift should give without strings, so should the recepient of a gift give back, not so much for the giver's sake, but for his own. For without the expression of gratefulness, the recepient may find himself in the untenable state of entitlement. Have you ever encountered someone who accepts any and everything with the air of "This is my due. I am entitled to it?" I have. Such a person is unpleasant to be around.
Short-cuts to gratitude are like most short-cuts in life: cheap, paltry, and meaningless.
This I know for sure: both the giver and the recipient of a gift bear responsibility.