Electric Ireland Powering Kindness is back and according to recent research, kindness is key to happiness in society as 79% of Irish people who performed an act of kindness felt happier as a result.

As part of Electric Ireland Powering Kindness Week, research has revealed some interesting findings in relation to Irish attitudes to kindness including:

Older Irish women rank as the kindest category (67%) with young Irish men ranking the least kind (7%)
People are most likely to be kinder to older Irish women (66%) and less likely to be kind to young Irish men (5%)
Over half (54%) of those surveyed had received an act of kindness in the last month
Over half of Irish people (57%) think we are kinder than other countries
32% of Irish people would hold back from being kind to someone for fear that they would be interfering or that they don’t want help
92% of those who had received an act of kindness said it made them feel happy – 58% were extremely happy
89% had performed an act of kindness in the last month

According to Dr Maureen Gaffney, Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Society at University College Dublin, kindness has a significant impact on the happiness and mood of individuals, and is a major part of the grammar of civil society, integral what we call ‘quality of life’ in Ireland.

‘When someone performs an act of kindness, it makes them feel good about themselves. Importantly it also gives them a sense of control, allowing them to feel that they can make a change to the lives of those around them. Both parties involved in the act of kindness benefit and the research really brings this to life.’

Speaking about how kindness impacts society Dr Gaffney said: ‘When you are kind to your family and friends, it helps to build good relationships. When you extend your circle of concern and are kind to strangers, it builds a sense of trust in community.  This really counts. Trust is a crucial component in how well communities and societies function socially and economically. For example, when visitors to a new country encounter kindness and helpfulness there they are much more likely to return or recommend it to other people as a place to visit. So your one individual act of kindness may directly affect tourism which is a key part of the Irish economy.’

Taking place until Friday November 8th, Electric Ireland Powering Kindness Week will see the small acts of kindness undertaken by the Irish public transformed into a donation of €100,000 for three Irish charities, Childline, Special Olympics Ireland and Breakthrough Cancer Research.

Once a good deed is completed, it simply needs to be logged through the Electric Ireland Powering Kindness website (poweringkindness.ie), by text message, through the Facebook app (http://apps.facebook.com/poweringkindness) or through Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #poweringkindness and tagging the selected charity.

At the end of the week, the charity with the greatest number of good deeds done in their name will receive a donation from Electric Ireland for €50,000 with €30,000 and €20,000 for the other two charities.

Commenting on the launch, Ken McKervey, Commercial Manager Electric Ireland said, “Following the success of Electric Ireland Powering Kindness in 2012, we had no option but to come back and make it bigger and better this year. In Electric Ireland, we believe that small acts of kindness can make a big difference to people’s lives and we are proud to be driving such a campaign and supporting three very worthwhile charities.”

For more information check out www.poweringkindness.ie