Benevolent: (adj) well meaning and kindly.
I found myself pushing a grocery cart through the projects of Shreveport, Louisiana, loaded down with day-old bread, caramel rolls, powdered donuts and a variety of sundry baked goods.
I felt good.
I had acquired these treasures free of charge from a local business and decided to take some friends from my church out to offer them to the poorer members of our community.
I was convinced that I was a benevolent soul.
When people realized there was free stuff, they began to emerge from their homes, and they stood around my cart, picking through the items, perusing for something they might enjoy.
To my surprise and chagrin, ,many walked away without taking anything, several of them commenting, “It looks kind of stale.”
I was infuriated.
Here I was–taking my own time to bless people, and they were discussing expiration dates on pecan rolls.
Matter of fact, I went to my car carrying back with me much of what I had brought, which had been rejected by those I now deemed to be “ungrateful snoots.”
I had a curse on my lips.
I was damning those who were poor because they wouldn’t act poor enough.
I failed to realize they were human beings just like me, and were allowed to have a taste of their own, and even a preference.
I realized there is a great precursor to benevolence:
Whenever expressing generosity, it must be a hand-out … and not a hand-down.