Interesting word gratitude.
If you look it up in Roget's Thesaurus, you find synomyms that carry both a sense of blessing and an implied quid pro quo.
Benediction, grace, tribute, appreciation and, perhaps, recognition ... things given without expectation.
Acknowledgement, thanks, response, obligation, requital ... offered in return for a thing received or expected.
As I count my blessings tomorrow and think about what it means to be grateful ... to give thanks ... to express gratitude ... I'll be thinking about when and why I've been thankful without expectation or without receiving something ...
when gratitude has been a benediction or grace...
offered freely ...
without gain expected or received.
And, if I can find an image/memory/feeling of that time, I hope that I can hold on to it and find ways to connect with it again and again ... living in gratitude for its own sake without obligation or requital.