That was my suggestion, Daren. He threw you a softball
So, I guess the question would be more like "Do you have to have the power to harm before you can develop benevolence?"
Reading it as it pertains to aikido I'm not completely clear on the benevolence side of things...
If we mean simply to act charitable or in a good fashion I think the answer is no; we can offer to train with a new person even though we were really looking forward to training with that person who really tests us, lend someone a belt as they forgot theirs, give away a hakama we no longer use for someone who needs one etc etc.
Or is the benevolence in question with reference to the actual execution of our aikido practice/technique/principal in action?