When a person gives you an unexpected gift are you supposed to reciprocate? Was a question posed today on the radio.
Most answers said there was no reason to reciprocate, I must agree with them. I find pleasure in giving. I find delight in receiving. I love the surprise. I love to receive a gift because the person thought of me the same as I love to walk in a store, think of the person and buy them something, a card, a song, a magnet, something that tells them subtly I think of them . I find that it strengthens bonds with no obligation.
I have a friend with whom I constantly exchange gifts. We never talk about it, we never plan it; we simply give to one another. If one day there is no gift, it’s all good, we never keep a score. That is rare.
It is rare not to keep a score because anything that is done regularly creates an expectation and a disappointment when that expectation is not met which in itself defeats the purpose of what a gift is meant to be. A gift is given willingly. There is no demand to receive in return. If reciprocity is done as a must then the meaning of the gift got lost in the exchange. A sense of obligation should not be part of a gift giving.
I love an unexpected rose rather than a bouquet on my birthday. I love my kid’s hand written note more than a Halmark card. I love whatever a friend brings to me that I didn’t know I was getting. But more than that, I love to think of someone when I spot an item. After all gift giving gives much more to the giver than the recipient. They already reciprocated when they looked at me and smiled. I don’t need more.