Charity Begins At Home – When the Last Horn Blows
There is an old saying, that Charity Begins At Home. This proverb was originally documented in English, in somewhat different format, in John Wycliffe’s Of Prelates (c. 1380); “Charity should begin at himself.” It was later quoted as “Charity begins at home” by Terence.
Charity begins at home ~ Terence
There are many ways to give right inside your own company, organization, religious or educational institution, and your own home. Yet, I understand that there are also situations in other countries that do require much-needed aid.
From time to time charity will not involve money. Sometimes it is the opening of oneself and the giving of respect, honor, and occasionally a fond farewell. Best described with examples:
When the Last Horn Blows
Looking out the window of the guard shack, an older gentleman, whom we will call RC, sits and awaits the next train leaving the site, “The Train of Pain”. Twice a week the 8800-horsepower diesel-electric engine moves along a 30 mile stretch of track, taking its payload to a dump site. Back and forth, trudging along, giving it’s all, it will continue until its last load is complete.
Surrounded by nothing more than the still night desert air and an occasional coyote, the desert calm is broken with the distance hum of an engine on the track. In that moment, RC feels a deep appreciation for the work he’s done. Be that watching the site, doing the rounds, radioing the conditions, and checking the U.P.R. train crew in and out each night at the end of the shift, somewhere before midnight.
Every week, for many years, RC watched as the train came to the switch on the track, and listened as the mighty engines horn-blast filled the air, then slowly it would disappear into the night.
The Midnight Shift
The end of RC’s guard had come, tonight would be his last. RC was preparing for the next journey in his life – retirement. Unknown to RC, right before he was to depart to his solitary guard shack, a radio announcement came over the airwaves. It was the project manager and he radioed for RC to step outside, and then relayed to all around to blow their horns one last time in RC’s honor.
RC stood on the steps outside and he listened as the horn blast from semi’s, trucks, and train, could be heard all over the project. In this moment of honor – a smile crossed his face, and a solitary tear escaped, and slide down the side of his face.
Later that evening while finishing his final midnight shift, he reminiscences. He will forever recall that first train blast from an old 1996 GE C44AC pusher engine as it slowly meandered down the track. He then thoughtfully stared at a framed image of that same train, a gift which was presented to him, from everyone on the project that day. He had a purpose!
Charity is a thankful heart
Charity does begin at home, and from time to time it doesn’t involve money. Charity in its most basic form is that substance that all humans need; respect, honor, integrity, a purpose, a horn blast. If you begin there, giving money is easy after that. Learning how to give of ‘himself’, is the first lesson.
Charity begins at home, but should not end there. ~ Thomas Fuller
The “As Usual” series
Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.