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WOW by Char - Charity Starts At Home

A Black proverb that my mother recites to my three siblings and me is “charity starts at home, then spreads abroad”; meaning when one strives to make a difference they must first reflect the change they want to see within themselves and community before going out into the world. How can we define home in a city that has ever-changing neighborhoods via gentrification? However, I’ve learned that the essence of home does not reside in a building or specific address. Home abides within. As I reflect on the premise of this proverb, I realized that home can be a representation of oneself and abroad can represent those outside of one’s self. Maybe, just maybe, the founders of this Black proverb were subconsciously describing self-care. 

Self-care is a popularized concept in this generation, however the meaning is simple. I define self-care as taking full responsibility for the care of your mind, body, and spirit. Here's the breakdown. 

MIND: Taking care of your mind is imperative to your daily function; striving for mental wellness is a great goal. We spend the majority of our lives living in our mind, why not make it a beautiful space? Fill your mind with knowledge, affirm yourself with meaningful affirmations (i.e. “I am intelligent”, “I am destined for greatness”, “I was born complete”), and unlearn self-destructive thinking. 

BODY: Regarding our bodies, caring for your hygiene, physical health, and diet (the food you intake on a regular basis) are fundamental factors of your overall physical wellness. Take vitamins, eat nutritiously, and move your body when possible. 

SPIRIT: Lastly, your spirit (in my opinion) is the most important of the three entities. Spirituality―root word being spirit― regards one’s concern with their soul; understanding that there is an existence, presence, and being that is infinite in every way. I refer to this being as God. For me, believing in something greater and bigger than yourself is important because it is grounding. Taking care of your soul is a personal process that can be approached from various stand-points. Just make sure your spiritual foundation is not built on quicksand, but a solid or sturdy surface… remember, you are a house. 

In closing, before you voluntarily aid others make sure your house is in order. 

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