Toilet Paper, Hoarding, and Sharing

toilet paper hoarding

I bought a 9-pack of toilet paper in the grocery store last week. Yes. It was a brand I didn’t recognize, but it was soft toilet paper nonetheless. (Note: I was NOT ahead of the curve on the toilet paper hoarding situation.) 

Nine thick soft rolls of toilet paper.

For the first time in two months. 

There was another 9-pack sitting on the shelf, and the store had posted rules saying each customer could purchase two packages of any given item. For the past few weeks, every time I’m in the store, I have just routinely taken my two individual rolls of industrial-grade toilet paper. But in this case, I had the chance to bring home 18 rolls of fantastically nice toilet paper. 

What’s funny is that it wasn’t hard to leave the second package on the shelf. I was so thankful for the toilet paper, I actually had a desire to be generous towards others rather than hoarding it for myself.

Hoarding is different than saving. It’s different than stewarding resources. It is holding on to finances or possessions out of fear. This week on the podcast, I’m going to be talking about how we can take practical steps to respond to the current medical and economic crisis with love, and sharing money and resources is part of that response. 

Tim Keller writes:

Money that is hoarded for oneself rots the soul.
-Generous Justice

Whenever we hoard resources—money, time, toilet paper!!!—it rots our souls. (As a bit of an aside, when we give away without any regard for our own needs, that can also rot our souls.) It’s that middle place of sharing out of our abundance that grows us up into the people we are all created to be. And that ability to share often emerges, like my experience of the toilet paper at our local market, out of gratitude.

(And check out this link for the best use of hoarded toilet paper I can imagine, a Rube Goldberg toilet paper machine:


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