Ireland exudes the milk of human kindness with seven out of 10 people saying they experienced a kind act in the last week.
And it is the simple acts of kindness which cost nothing that most people prefer, according to a survey.
Eight out of 10 (79%) people said they found acts of kindness, such as giving up a seat or helping with chores, more satisfying than those that cost money.
Almost 30% rated a simple smile and greeting as the kindest act a stranger could do for them.
However, more than half of the 1,000 people surveyed said they would be too embarrassed to perform an act of kindness.
Psychologist Dr Maureen Gaffney said kindness had a significant impact on people’s happiness and mood.
“Kindness not only affects the person who receives the act of kindness, but has an even greater impact on the person performing the act of kindness.
“Kindness is not just a nice feeling, it is one of the 10 major positive emotions that drive an individual’s thinking and behaviour — character strength and a cardinal civic virtue — one of the invisible ties that binds us together.”
Dr Gaffney said people felt better after an act of kindness, more effective, competent, and in control.
“The added benefit is that being kind temporarily distracts you from your own worried and concerns and when you do return to thinking about them, your more positive mood will mean you will deal with them better.”
The survey was carried out ahead of Electric Ireland Powering Kindness Week.
I need a new journal to write in, for all of you shoppers who would just like to commit a random act of kindness tonight.— Tyania Freeney (@tyfreeney) November 23, 2012
Thousands of deeds have been logged online since last Saturday. People are encouraged to do an act of kindness and bank it in favour of one of three charities: Concern Worldwide, Special Olympics, or Focus Ireland.
No financial donation is required. The charity receiving the most deeds donated by the public will receive €50,000 from Electric Ireland, with €25,000 each to the runners-up.
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