Yesterday while coming back from a doctor's visit, my Big Guy was seated next to my Little Guy on the train. A weary mom came in with twin 5-year olds. Since there was an open seat in the row, Big Guy stood up so the twins could sit down. "What a gentleman!" the mom crowed. It's nice when someone else rewards your child for a gracious action.
I've often told my kids that being observant is the first step toward being thoughtful. If you don't see the opportunity, you can't do much about it. Being observant can be nurtured, but it's kind of like common sense: it really helps if the child has some shred of innate ability to begin with. When Big Guy was little, I used to say, "I see an old lady struggling with a door!" so that he'd get the idea. I haven't done this as much with my Little Guy, and ought to work on that a bit.