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October 11, 2016 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"benevolence"
Definition-- benevolence the desire to do good; kindness; generosity. An inclination to perform kind, charitable acts. A kindly act. A gift given out of generosity.
Discussion-- In recent years we've been encouraged to practice random acts of kindness. Books, cards, and bumper stickers printed with the slogan ask us to do good and help others. In other words, we are asked to act in the spirit of benevolence. A person who gives from their heart for the common good is considered to be a benevolent person. Benevolence can take on many forms. One can commit a benevolent act simply by letting someone merge in front of you in traffic. One can possess a benevolent attitude towards all humanity and volunteer at a homeless shelter or for a human rights organization. Benevolence also has a monetary connotation. The most commonly pursued charitable gift is money. Many people express their benevolence by donating money to charities committed to causes they believe in. Bill Gates of Microsoft has showed a less monopolistic, more benevolent side by giving $140 million dollars of his fortune to charitable causes. 

Etymology - The derivation of benevolence is from Middle English, circa 1400. The Middle English term was borrowed from Old French benivolence and directly from the Latin benevolentia, meaning well-wishing. In merry old England, benevolence was known as a forced loan or contribution demanded by the monarch and without the consent of Parliament. In 1473, Edward IV of England asked his country for benevolence as a show of goodwill. The origin of the term benevolence is ironic considering the involuntary nature of the intended well-wishing.

   Foreign Translations
Spanish: benevolencia
French:  bienveillance (f)
Dutch:  welwillendheid
German:  Wohltätigkeit (f)
Italian: benevolenza

Jane Ellis      Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook

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