There is a four-syllable word that means to have a desire to help or to do good to others. That word is benevolence [ben-EH-vuh-lehns]. Benevolence is a character trait. Selfishness is the opposite of benevolence.

A benevolent person likes to help people. He or she wants to meet the needs of others. A benevolent person does not have a motive. There is no reward or fame sought in return for a kindness done.

A benevolent adult may give money, food, or clothing to someone in need. A benevolent person may volunteer to care for sick and injured people. It is difficult for children and teens to be benevolent in that way. However, there are other ways in which youth may demonstrate benevolence.

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