SO MUCH FOR ALL THAT GIVING…
No matter how much you try to hide from Coronavirus news, it is impossible to escape it. We can’t not bring it up at the gym, we can’t not see a little news flash walking past the newsagents or see it plastered over the tv at the gp/pub/thai restaurant waiting area. It’s all over the socials. It is everywhere… there are actually more cases of news and social content on COVID-19 then there are actual infected persons. You can clearly tell who really dives into the news though… those that have cancelled their holiday plans, those that are telling all of their family members to cancel their plans, and of course… those that have stocked up on tonnes and tonnes of tp!
Out of all this, I am so stoked that at least there is something so very funny to enjoy while the Corona hysteria continues to peak. I know we shouldn’t laugh, but come on, to see footage of people physically fighting over a product used to wipe their arses in their most private of daily jobs. We shouldn’t laugh, but we really should.
When toilet paper actually is available, I’m that guy that feels so awkward wandering the aisles with a basket of food hanging off one arm, and a big ‘ol 32 pack of tp under the other. I am pretty comfortable with most things, pooping I am not. Now I am sure I’m not alone on this one, so to see people cause mass hysteria over one of the most private products we buy at the supermarket, classic.
I can’t help but think of how one of the funniest scenes from Seinfeld has now become so incredibly relevant. If you’re not a Seinfeld fan, well firstly you should be as it is one of the funniest shows of all time, but if you aren’t familiar, there is an episode that is based around the sharing of toilet paper. In the episode Elaine is in the public restroom and has just found that she has no toilet paper in her cubicle. She politely asks the lady in the cubicle beside hers to “spare a square”. The lady comically replies that she “Cannot spare a square, she has no squares to spare.” Elaine is shocked, and pleads the lady to even hand over just one ply from one square. Selfishly the lady persists that there isn’t a square to spare, not even a ply.
As the episode concludes, we find out that the selfish woman is in fact Jerry’s current girlfriend. As she heads to the bathroom at the diner, Elaine races in front of her to reach the bathroom first. She steals all of the toilet paper from the spare cubicle and hides in the other. When Jerry’s girlfriend realises she has no toilet paper in her cubicle, she asks Elaine if she has any she can spare. Elaine executes her revenge, telling the lady that she in fact “cannot spare a square”, and runs out of the bathroom with all of the rolls.
Now as much as there is a funny side to this COVID-19 toilet paper business, there is one hell of a sad and disappointing side.
It was only 6 weeks ago that the entire country showed some of the greatest acts of kindness, care and community spirit by donating an overwhelming amount of money to the Australian bushfire cause. Over those weeks I was incredibly proud to be an Australian. When you hear so much doom and gloom and nastiness (especially on the news), it was so warming to hear of such kindness and generosity.
Fast forward to 2 weeks ago and we’ve managed a complete backflip. People have gone from proud donors to a worthy cause, to, “Every fucker for themselves! The goddam apocalypse is here! Grab as much TP, as much flour and oats, and all the fucking rice you can handle! Fuck everybody else I’m going home and barricading the doors!”
No different to Jerry’s girlfriend, many Aussie’s decided they just could not spare a square, they didn’t have a square to spare.
Now I almost completely blame the news for this. Those bastards are bloody good at convincing people on just about anything. No matter how many facts are left out. But as much as the news has influenced these actions, the fault is still on the selfish buggers that decided to raid the supermarkets. No matter what the news fed them, it is a real shame that before making conclusions people don’t dig a little deeper for the facts.
What the news breeds is people with a ‘scarcity’ mindset. People with this mindset feel that there is only one cake and they need to do whatever they can to get a slice before it runs out.
What we desperately need more of in this country is people with an ‘abundance’ mind. People that realise through sharing and giving and teamwork and kindness, we can make many cakes. We can even make enough cake for everyone to have a decent slice each!
We just need to be nice, think of others, and share. Funny that, I swear I learnt this in pre-school. It is a shame that so many people forget as they reach adulthood.
When we have an abundance mindset and a ‘give first’ attitude, everyone wins. If we give first we receive gratitude in return. When we receive gratitude we feel good about ourselves. We feel compelled to go and do it again, and again, and again. If we continue to give first, others will eventually begin to catch on and return the favour (not that you ever even expect it). We all then begin to feel better and better, and enjoy the acts of no-strings-attached generosity that as a community we become happier, more fulfilled and more productive. This is how win-win works.
Too much of the world is win-lose minded. We seek to get what we need for ourselves. We don’t do anything special beyond a monetary transaction in order to get what we want. No kindness takes place, minimal gratitude is returned, we feel no better no worse. No one feels compelled to do more for one another. Nothing changes.
This is where we are.
The best thing is, is that the abundance mind, the give first mind, the win-win attitude, just like the Coronavirus, they are infectious. It takes no effort to be kind to someone. To show some empathy for them and their situation. To do one little thing that might just make their day. But the return on your kind gesture is huge. Keep doing these kind gestures and it will catch on, those people will do the same. And one day, hopefully one day, when the zombies rise, we will not only share the toilet paper, but we will work together to survive those flesh eating fuckers.