I do not think there is any adult who is not familiar with the saying that “Charity begins at home”. When we were growing up, mom never forgot to sound it when necessary that your life outside should be a reflection of what you are at home.
True to it, people believe that whatever you are outside is a revelation of what you do at home. But recently, one of my sons presented me with a puzzle too hard fix about this- he did something I wasn’t quite happy with and I said to him: “If you were visiting your friends, you wouldn’t do that”. I knew exactly what I meant because anytime he has an invite to play with friends or go places with other people; they would always come back asking how I train him to be so well behaved and nice. In amazement, I’ll just smile and say ‘thank God’ but in me I’ll wonder whether what they were saying was true or they’re saying the opposite or trying to be sarcastic. What actually convinced me later was when I got the same nice comments from teachers during parents’ evenings; as a matter of fact, he’s been rated best behaved in the whole class.
When I asked him why he’s so well behaved outside, he replied he was obeying my instruction- “mom, you always tell us to behave well outside so we don’t bring shame on us: isn’t it?” I answered: you are correct but I want to see that excellent aspect of you at home too. This changed my attitude from complaining about his behaviour to encouraging him to bring that same approach home and it has helped a great deal.
So can we now say that charity begins from outside? No, charity still begins at home and the first home to consider is not a building, place or confinement. ‘Home is you’. In other words, charity begins within you and you then choose where to express it – location.
What has this got to do with relationships? Everything! It’s so common to hear people complain and whine about what their spouses are not doing, and as such the relationship suffers.
Nothing is more frustrating than when you are waiting for someone to change before you can do your bit. You may as well wait forever; the more you are reluctant to do what you know how to do, the more the other party withdraws as well and the whole stuff goes in a vicious circle.
Yes, someone has to break the ice; do what is right and open the way for freedom. It can be so painful when you are the one carrying the hurt and your partner appears to be so free and ignorant of what is on ground. This offers no promise for changes and if you ever try to draw their attention to what is expected of them: they laugh it off and see you as being over burdened with little issues- what do you call little? The bad attitude I’m asking you to change? “For crying out loud, it hurts me mad, we need to talk about how you can change what I do not like and make amends for peace to reign”. The very next morning, they repeat the very thing you’re upset about.
Raymond and Geraldine lived in a country side with their two daughters. They were both working in the same building but different organisations –this was where they met. After the marriage, they both travelled together to work and enjoyed the ease of catching up during lunch. When she got pregnant and finally went on maternity leave, it was clear her career would be on hold for at least the next seven years when their two kids would have gone to school full time.
Wife at home now meant Ray had to go all the way to their ten miles work journey alone. It wasn’t long before he met a lady who worked in the same building and lived not too far from them as well. He offered to help and his wife got to know later but when she asked him to stop, he covered up by saying she was jealous and did not want anyone around him. The stories she heard convinced her it was far more than picking and dropping off; the lady had actually taken over her husband.
When there was nothing she could do, she just decided to chill out and let them continue till the day the lady dealt rudely with Raymond and he ran home for comfort; that was the end of that work lift.
Character wise, there are things we really wish our spouses could change but we seem to be hitting rocks the more we emphasise. Nagging gets men mad but do they ever stop to ask why their women nag? The simple equation their wife expect is… stop being drunk and I stop nagging, more money for family upkeep-no nagging, go out with me and the kids- no accusations of flirting, show me your bank statement- no blames of being stingy, buy things for the kids – no issues with wasteful spending. The husband on his end is waiting for when she will stop asking questions about money, outings, friends and a lot more before he can treat her well; they never seem to reach a meaningful agreement.
The truth really is, don’t let anyone; not even your spouse jeopardise your joy. Make a conscious effort to stay happy. Do what feels right without looking at the other person- don’t wait for everything to be in place before you move on.
As long as there are human beings, there would always be differences and as long as there are differences, striking a balance for peace will always be the answer.
Begin your corrections with you, your attitude, your short comings, how you have contributed to the other person’s behaviour, learn you lessons and be ready to give up on little pleasures to accommodate others.
When charity truly begins at home; it won’t be long before things fall into places. Remember, there are a few cases where one partner has done so much good without seeing any positive change in the other; if this happens to you, it’s still better to be on the right path- it takes more effort to frown, be angry, keep malice, be rude than it takes to be relaxed and keep cool. If you can’t change things, move on with your life; the situation will change with time. Don’t let anyone stand on your way to happiness. If you expect to be happy, start giving others happiness today; happiness begins with you.