At http://dictionary.reference.com underneath this:
I found this:
[buh-nev-uh-luhns] Show IPA
desire to do good to others; goodwill; charitableness: to befilled with benevolence toward one’s fellow creatures.
an act of kindness; a charitable gift.
English History . a forced contribution to the sovereign.
Because, you know when I think of benevolence, the very next three things that come trotting through my mind is Brain Training Games, Bi-Polar Testing, and Why Men Pull Away. Whoa! those catchy Google-ites, they are on to me.
Sometimes the world I inhabit truly amazes me .
But I digress.
Benevolence is making a comeback. Not that it ever officially left the scene, but it definitely ebbed considerably during the unabashedly greedy era. We became more concerned with IPOs, LBOs, and several other acronyms all associated with making money by moving paper around instead of actually producing anything. We forgot there were people less fortunate than us.
Now that benevolence is making a resurgence it needs a new name and image. You remember bell bottoms from the 60’s and 70’s, well it is sort of like that. When bell bottoms began to return in the early 2000’s they were called flared legs. Same thing, just a new marketing scheme. Same scenario with ladies jeans that ride on the hips. In my day, they were called hip huggers. I haven’t made the effort to find out what they are called now, because I could care less. The only way I know they aren’t called hip huggers any more is because I referred to them as hip huggers when talking to my daughter and she started laughing uncontrollably. Between giggles she said, “Dad you are so out of it.” I interpreted that as her way of saying she admired me and when she finally grows up she wants to be just like me.
Benevolence is now cutting edge, except we can’t call it benevolence anymore for fear someone will think we are old and out of touch with what is happening. So now we call it philanthropy. It is just as hard to spell and equally as difficult to pronounce so it is a win-win situation for everybody. I am going to continue to refer to it as benevolence, because I am old and old fashion, and I’m writing this post and can pretty much decide to do whatever I want.
There are some very large companies that have decided to push at least some of their money from the profit column into the let’s make the world a better place by helping out those who need it column. I’ve listed a few below, but trust me there are literally thousands more:
- Wal-Mart $319,454,996
- Goldman Sachs $315,383,413
- Wells Fargo $219,132,065
- Bank of America $207,939,857
- Exxon Mobil $198,692,197
Some of these are my favorite companies to intensely dislike, but the above info came from http://philanthropy.com, so I trust the figures, even if I don’t entirely embrace the companies themselves.
Then there are other companies doing some remarkable things.
TOMS is owned by Blake Mycoskie. His company makes some very cool shoes and eyewear. When you purchase a pair of shoes they give a pair of shoes to a child somewhere in the world. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? To date TOMS has given away over one million shoes throughout the world. Their eyewear division has given sight to over 45,000 people and they just started.
Since the inception of Patagonia in 1985 they have given 1% of sales to environmental issues around the world. How much money? I’m not sure and couldn’t find any specific figures but it is in multi-millions of dollars.
Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream company, although no longer owned by the founders, but now owned by the conglomerate Unilever still commits 7.5% of pre-tax profit to charitable organizations.
There are tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of churches that have designated not only finances, but also provided personnel to assist in a variety of humanitarian aid.
So benevolence lives, but where do we stand? Do we have a stranglehold on our hard earned cash? Do we guard our precious free time? Our we a little stingy with our resources?
The company Susie and I have founded, LifeRevelation is committed to donating 1% of all our fees back to the community wherein we speak. It is our small way of saying thanks and trying to do something to help.
Benevolence can take on many different forms, in many different areas of your life. I believe it can apply to your marriage, your children, co-workers, friends, family members, the guy behind you at McDonalds. Think about it…is there some way you can help? Do what you can.