“Charity begins at home” is a proverb that points to looking around you and starting any positive change closer to you. In literal terms, when you want to practice charity, try to look into your own home whether you can look for any opportunities to be charitable in thoughts, words and actions.
One always has grand thoughts and wants to implement them. Your home is the first place to implement these ideas.
The origin of this proverb can be traced back to bible in different forms. However, in its present state it was used for the first time by Sir Thomas Brown in Religio Medici in 1642 in the following lines: ‘Charity begins at home, is the voice of the world: yet is every man his greatest enemy.’
Throughout history there have been examples of great people who have achieved great things for the world and yet if you could but peep into their homes, you would often find that these people have been so busy taking the burden of the world on their shoulders that they forget to turn around and look behind them, under their own shadows for what can be helped right there. This should not happen.
To take this a step further as one of the predecessors of this goes on a slightly lighter vein, ‘Charity and beating begin at home’. This appears in the comedy Wit without Money by John Fletcher in 1625. To sum it up in one should make all the changes within oneself, one’s family and then go out into the world to change the world. Be kind to yourself and to all creatures at home before acting out of kindness to the world outside.