CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME Who has coined the proverb Charity begins at home? We can find different versions regarding the author of this proverb. In some texts it is seen as framed by Sir Thomas Browne, an English author, who lived in the 16th century. Some people attribute it to Mr. John Wycliffe, another English theologian of 13th Century. He wrote in one of his texts as 'Charity should begin at himself. ’ There is also popular belief that the idea of the proverb is originated from the bible.
Whatever may be the facts we are not concerned about the author of the proverb. We are more concerned about what does it mean and what is the relevance of this proverb in 21st century. The proverb 'Charity begins at home' is a very vague one. A very primitive meaning of the proverb is One's own family comes before any other responsibilities. Or even we can say be generous to your family before helping others. Before sorting out the problems outside it is our primary responsibility to sort it out it at one’s own home, if it exists there.
In a nutshell sort out your mum dad sister and brother before you start worrying about people in Ethiopia. This happens to be one of the most valuable life lessons, i. e. Take care of yourself first, before you try to help others. William Shakespeare said, "To thine own self be true. " Your greatest responsibility is towards yourself first. Once that is taken care of, you can start caring for others. As it's said ‘If you want to lift somebody up, you have be on higher ground first'. Many people may think that this viewpoint is of self-interest and narcissistic.
They think that they have to sacrifice themselves for others. If that would have been true then why do you think Jesus Christ say, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself". Underline the word ‘as'. If you don't love yourself, you just cannot love others. In a broader way if you think, our mentality to help others should start from our own society, state, country and so on. It is our responsibility to help the people in our society or our fellow countrymen first and then start worrying about others.
If we are unable to understand the problems and difficulties of those who are living with you how effectively will you be able to look after others? Charity begins at home but should end abroad. Ask yourself this question. If you were 10 times wiser, 10 times healthier and 10 times richer, do you think you would be more valuable to your family, friends and society? Of course, yes! You can only do more, if you be more. You cannot feed the hungry if you yourself are hungry.
That's the way life works. Don't go looking to correct others when you yourself are faulty. In Matthew 7,5 Jesus Christ mentions, "First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye". Thus change yourself before you try to change others. You have to increase your knowledge, read the books, apply the knowledge in your life and finally, teach others. That's how you increase your value to the society. Thank you all. .
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