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4 Shockingly Easy Acts of Kindness

Elephant holds umbrella for a dog

Mike Kiev/iStock/Thinkstock

In this Article:

  • Kindness and compassion make you a better person, citizen, and Soldier.
  • Try a random act of kindness: open doors, let people cut ahead, and offer your seat on public transit.
  • Paying it forward is contagious.

As a Soldier, helping people in need is a duty you signed up for.

But serving others isn’t limited to mobilizations and domestic relief missions. In civilian life, lending a helping hand can improve someone’s day and yours.

Helping others is about being present—being in tune with yourself and your community.

Here are some easy ways to help out, pay it forward, and improve the lives of others.

Lend a Helping Hand

When entering a building, hold the door open for the person behind you, regardless of gender. Make eye contact and smile back if the person thanks you.

If you see someone in a store parking lot with too many bags, offer to help carry a bag or two.

Clean up your community. Pick up litter that you see and throw it away. Leave a better space for others.

Make Offers They Can’t Refuse

If you see a couple or group trying to take a self-picture, offer to snap the photo for them.

Standing in line at a coffee or sandwich joint? Let the person behind you cut ahead.

Riding a train or bus? Offer your seat to someone when there aren’t any left.

Be a Generous Driver

Always leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. Let people merge, especially on highways, and don’t cut off other drivers.

If you arrive at a stop sign at the same time as another driver, let them go first. (Pro tip: Wave at them to make it clear.)

Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and respect their right-of-way.

Being Kind Helps Others and Helps Yourself

Little acts like these take such little time and effort but they can boost someone’s entire day—and yours.

Paying it forward is contagious. If you help one person and feel great after, you may start doing it more. You may even inspire someone else and start a chain reaction of kindness.

Learn five more ways you can serve others.

Get out there, Soldier. Try a random act of kindness today.