Author Topic: A Short story on Toiletpaper  (Read 12357 times)

Jessie Fong

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A Short story on Toiletpaper
« on: July 01, 2012, 08:01:52 AM »
You may be asking what toilet paper has to do with our discussion on this form?  Have a read and let me know your thoughts - what is the moral of the story, if any?


TOILETPAPER

I was at the temple when I had a sudden stomachache. I dashed to the nearest restroom... and to my expectations, being a busy day with hundreds of people, it was out of toilet paper. I struggled to the next available toilet- a less "popular" one, searching desperately in each cubicle. Thank goodness there was a roll with a few scanty rounds of paper on it. I had an urge to rip it all out, to use all of whatever was left. But the thought struck me that there might be another poor fellow out there facing the same problem I did. Brimming with gratitude to the last person who saved some paper for me, I used slightly less than half of what was left...
About two hours later.... Surprise, surprise... I was hit by another stomachache! Once again, I dashed to the restroom- the first which I approached earlier. Nope, it hasn't been stocked up with fresh rolls of paper yet. Feeling rather hopeless, I returned to the less "popular" one, almost convinced there would be no paper left... Surprise, surprise... in the same cubicle I used, whatever remained of the paper still remains. The "others" that I had thought of saving paper for turned out to be myself! I became the "others!" Guess what I did? Brimming with gratitude to the last person who saved some paper for me, even though it was me, I used only half of what was left...


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Benny

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 10:32:42 AM »
Ha ha ha ! That is a really interesting and funny story Jessie ! I hope you cleaned your bum well after that LOL!

On a more serious note , your story brings to my mind the importance for us to maintain or protect our already fragile environment. The most common reasons used in environmental protection campaign is always centered around the idea that we should save the "planet' or the environment for our children or future generations to come.

This however does not seem to work on some selfish people who continue to rape , plunder and pollute the planet because either they couldn't care less for their children's future or they do not have children to be bothered about and that they just have this "ONE" life time to enjoy and worry about. 

So my point is that if only more people realize like you have, that they are in fact saving the environment for themselves in this lifetime then the world would be a better place. And in fact if we look at it from a Buddhist perspective we are actually saving the environment for our future life times whether in human form or not. All sentient beings rely on the earth's well being for our continued existence.

The morale of your story Jessie for me is that we had better start saving some toilet paper for our future poo poo LOL! Err toilet paper by the way is made from trees , so i suggest using water as a better and cleaner option too:) 

ratanasutra

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 11:24:22 AM »
Is this a classic case of being selflessness? haha!!!

We always think big when talking about selflessness, self cherishing mind etc, for me this is an action of selflessness as it reflect to a person who always think about others even in the small matter - being in such a critical situation in toilet like that but still be mindful to think about other, it show how the well-trained mind work.

It also reflect on the karma which is cause and result and it a fast result which we no need to wait until next life.. The toilet case proved that karma do exist.. Do rejoice with good deed we did and it will bear fruit in return.

Its enlighten me that whatever we did are reflect our mind, every moments are our practice and whatever happen with us we create it. 


negra orquida

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2012, 01:32:38 PM »
what a great story! i reckon this is quite a good example of getting what you give... funny how karma pans out life for us.  the story teller directly experience the result of having the good thought and action arising from thinking about others above one's own needs.

Tammy

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2012, 01:51:30 PM »
Dear Jessie,

I hope you have recovered completely and does not have to carry toilet paper wherever you go :)

On a more serious note, isn't this a classic example of being considerate and doing what a responsible citizen should be?

I was once  told a story of similar nature - a driver gave way to an ambulance in the middle of bad traffic jam near his house, when he reached home, he realized his son was in that same ambulance that he gave way to and he boy's life was saved because he was rushed to hospital in time...

After hearing the ambulance story, I will stop on the roadside when the ambulance's siren coming from afar.

Down with the BAN!!!

dsiluvu

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2012, 03:08:55 PM »
LOLOLOL... Jessie that was a rather interesting analogy u've extracted. Hilarious and well moral of the story is.... make sure YOU ARE AWARE and ALWAYS PREPARED... with ur own - toilet paper lol.

I think the real moral of the story there is not about the environment and saving trees as some has implied... the moral of it all is that - you think of "OTHERS". And even in the most difficult of time, when you are suffering the most, well in this case the person with the stomach ace... he/she could have just not even think and just grab the toilet paper and well do the poo and begone... but instead he/she stopped and litterally had a thought about the next person after that. Little did he/she knew the very next person was himself/herself! It is a story about putting others first, and when you do that naturally, you are actually indirectly benefiting yourself the right way in the end.

But yes Jessie... it is far more smarter to just use water n save the trees too while ur at it hehehe.

DS Star

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2012, 04:04:38 PM »
Gosh I never expect this kind of story in serious spiritual forum like this one...  :D

This most unusual 'true story' is an analogy for us to ponder over our act of consideration for others. Jessie is actually saying that we never know that one day or one next moment in a desperate situation, we are 'saved' by someone's kindness (selfless action of thinking of others' needs). So in this case, Jessie was 'saved' by herself. Had she not think of others and used up all the toilet paper the 1st round, in the 2nd round she'll be in 'deep shit', literally...  :P

Anyway, I wonder why can't Jessie bring packet tissue with her to toilet? Especially after the 1st round, she should have know she needs to get 'ready'. Instead of waiting for the temple's cleaner to replenish the toilet papers, why not Jessie go to look for the in-charge person and offer to help them replenish as I'm sure they'll be too busy cleaning toilets? If can't find the cleaner, go buy lots of packet tissues and leave them in each cubicle since there will be many people using those toilets. The point is, we can still do more than just sharing the 'little', instead, we can help to 'make' more for others....

ratanasutra

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2012, 05:01:50 PM »
Well DS Star, you brought up the good point. i never think about that, thought that what she did in the toilet it was great even it a small action.haha.. very narrow mind and only think in a box, isn't it?

I do agree with you that she could do more and that will be the best way in this scenery and it will be ending with everyone happy, win win situation. I think this is come from our comfort zone, never get exposure and only think in a small scale and though what we did is great and proud of it and stuck with it. It seems like the story of the flog in the pond.

Ummm..time to contemplate about it.   

Vajraprotector

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2012, 05:29:56 PM »
I think the ideal Bodhisattva action would be ask the temple whether you can sponsor toilet paper and help them to make sure they are never out of toilet paper  ;D Ok we're not Bodhisattva :P

His Holiness the Dalai Lama once spoke about a method to reduce selfishness, and I wish to share with all -

"With a selfish attitude, oneself is important, and others are not so important. According to Shantideva's advice, a technique to help in turning this attitude around is to imagine- in front of yourself as an unbiased observer- your own selfish self on one side and a limited number of other beings on the other side- ten, fifty, or a hundred.  On one side is your proud, selfish self, and on the other side is a group of poor, needy people.  You are, in effect, in the middle- as an unbiased, third person. 

Now, judge.  Is this one, single, selfish person more important?  Or is the group of people more important?  Think.  Will you join this side or that side?  Naturally, if you are a real human being, your heart will go with the group because the number is greater and they are more needy.  The other one is just a single person, proud and stupid.  Your feeling naturally goes with the group. 

By thinking in this way, selfishness gradually decreases, and respect of others grows.  This is is the way to practice."

In the story above, due to gratitude and reflecting on the kindness of others (there were toilet paper when he/she needed it), the person who had stomache used less of the toilet paper to keep for others. Yes, his/her good karma returned when he/she needed the toilet paper again, but that's beside the point (meaning we should not just do good for 'good returns') , it was his/her conscious decision to 'save' some for others that counts and that is one step out of selfishness towards selflessness.

If this story was real, I am very proud of that person and I truly respect him/her as a real practitioner. And, perfecting the method of using half the toilet paper of what I use normally - tricky!  8)

biggyboy

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2012, 06:54:44 PM »
Well, your story sounded familiar and happened to me before. One must be in that same situation to know how grateful one can be to the few pieces of toilet paper available. How we treat the paper so preciously, which in the past we would use without second thought. Because of your selfless behavior and thought for the next person, you stand to benefit from your own actions.  In life, there is a lesson to learn each day. It depends on whether we are receptive to the lessons learnt.

I suppose the moral of the story is that you reap what you sow.

Positive Change

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2012, 07:00:16 PM »
Dear Jessie... thank you for this most interesting and moving (no pun intended!) analogy. This story did put a smile on my face as well as a very poignant cringe. I would absolutely abhor not having toilet paper especially in a public restroom. Not a nice thought at all!

For me, the story touched on many levels. Two main levels are that of practicality and the other on a more deeper spiritual level. I have concise it as follows:

PRACTICAL LEVEL

1. Always have a spare roll of toilet paper in any restroom especially if it is a temple as it truly does reflect poorly on the attitude of the temple and the people behind it (regular checks to ensure this especially during events or when there are typically larger crowds). If one cannot ensure that something simple as ample toilet paper is made available, what about other more pressing and important matters?

2. The bidet is a brilliant invention! To wash after one's business would ensure better cleanliness and as such not too much paper used to get the desirable result. That saves paper and hence our trees in the long run!

Numbers and little known facts:
It takes 48 full grown trees to make roughly 500 rolls of toilet paper. So using that number it takes about 1/10th of an adult grown paper tree to produce 10 rolls of toilet paper. A person uses at the very least 49 rolls of toilet paper a year. That is 5 trees a person!

Worldwide, the equivalent of almost 270,000 trees is either flushed or dumped in landfills every day and roughly 10 percent of that total is attributable to toilet paper, according to the latest issue of World Watch magazine.

"Meanwhile, growing populations, adoption of Western lifestyles, and sanitation improvements in developing countries are driving the increased use of toilet paper," the magazine added. "The result is that forests in both the global North and South are under assault by paper companies competing to fill consumer demand."

"Steadily increasing demand for toilet paper in developing countries is a critical factor in the impact that toilet paper manufacturer have on forests around the world," says author Noelle Robbins in a Worldwatch Institute news release. "And with the increasing pressure to reduce and discontinue the use of old growth forests, the move is on to tree plantations."

But according to Robbins, this cure could be worse than the disease, Worldwatch said.

"While the paper industry often touts plantations as the solution to creating an ongoing supply of virgin pulp and fiber, these monocultures often displace indigenous plant and animal life, require tremendous amounts of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and soak up large quantities of water.

"While some toilet paper manufacturers rely on forests, others turn to trash cans for their raw materials.

"Advocates of recycled toilet paper point out that converting virgin pulp to toilet paper requires more water than recycled paper and makes use of the tons of already used paper that fills landfills. Various estimates place the quantity of waste paper tossed into U.S. dumps and landfills at 35-40 percent of total landfilled mass."

"Toilet tissue, whether manufactured from virgin pulp or recycled paper, will continue to be an important part of daily life in Western countries and in developing countries emphasizing improved sanitation to mitigate health concerns," Robbins said.

"Education of consumers; improvements in quality, pricing, and marketing recycled products; and willingness to consider toilet paper alternatives such as water for cleansing must be pursued to meet the needs of a growing global population."

Sounds pretty bleak to me! Something as simple as toilet paper can and is the result of a much longer lasting repercussion than we could ever imagine. Ignorance if truly not bliss. This certainly falls under collective negative karma we as a human race is creating. It is no wonder we are spiraling out of control into a degenerate age. We really need Dorje Shugden The Uncommon Protector of Our Time on all levels. Imagine something as seemingly mundane as toilet paper has such negative impact, what more the other matters that are more severe!

SPIRITUAL LEVEL

1. The fact that someone actually used the last of the toilet paper and did not even think twice of alerting the temple is a clear sign of selfishness and uncaring attitude that is prevalent in all of us. Just because we had enough or we were fine we do not even bother to think of the "other" person. What we do not realise is that if everybody was like that, there will come a time when we will be the victim to that exact attitude. It is just a matter of time.

2. The story clearly makes us think beyond and not look at the situation at hand but a step further, Looking beyond ourselves. Focusing OUT so to speak and not just about ME ME ME! The situation could have been avoided at many levels if people just simply thought about others and not just about themselves. The twist to the story at the end about actually having some toilet paper left for himself/herself is really, I think, to illustrate that it does pay to think about others because it will benefit us in the long run too.

Perhaps a little lengthy a post on just mere toilet paper? I do no think so because, I find that if one looks deeper into something and contemplate on it, there are lessons to be learnt or at least shared. So thank you again Jessie for making me look at toilet paper (in this case the simple things in life we take for granted) in an entirely different light and manner!

And the really interesting thing is, it certainly makes me look at the ban and its implications and also the reasons and the disparity it is causing in a more objective and constructive manner!

Galen

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 06:04:56 AM »
This story is very enlightening and a good teaching. A simple story which illustrates karma comes back to us when the time is right. When we think of others and does a good act, it creates merits for us. Imagine that if the person is selfish and uses all the paper, then it also creates karma. When she needs to use the toilet again, there would be no more paper for her! This story teaches us to be selfless and think of others also. the world does not revolve around us only.

To go further, she could have gone to find toilet paper in the temple to replenish all the toilets and therefore, will benefit all the people who will be going to the toilet. This is even more selfless.

Moral of the story: When we think of others and live for others, not only we will make a difference to others, we will also benefit from it. The least we know that we know that at least one person does not suffer from our actions.
One person at a time is better than none.

Jessie Fong

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2012, 11:26:06 AM »
When I first came across this story, I thought to myself : how apt. It happens a lot in public washrooms, especially those in the shopping complexes and at a time you need it most.

On further reading, I found that it is a simple story but with a teaching - that what goes around, comes around.  Such a simple act of thinking of the next person created the merit for the person to receive back in return.

And as some have commented, there were other alternatives available had the writer gone about it.  I guess it was about how to turn the situation around to benefit more people with the limited resources available.

bambi

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2012, 12:44:21 PM »
LOL.. This is one of the most funny story I've come across. Dharma teaching that involves toilet paper. Rather weird.  ;D

As said by many, it is of no surprise that washrooms always run out of toilet paper. The toilets in Thailand do not provide at all. You have to pay for it! I always carry as many packs as I can whenever I go out.

As for the moral of the story, I believe it is about our selflessness for others. Happiness for others first before ourselves with the purest altruistic thought. Wishing them free from sufferings and obtaining happiness. Selflessness teaches us to be more kind, compassionate and mindful of our surroundings. Definitely this will generate positive karma. So when you were thinking about others, you were selfless and the good karma comes back to you.

If we are selfish and only thinking about ourselves, we will experience much unhappiness and negative karma.

Probably if you did not think about others, your karma will be no toilet paper in every toilet you go! LOL  :P


Jessie Fong

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Re: A Short story on Toiletpaper
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 12:51:07 PM »
LOL.. This is one of the most funny story I've come across. Dharma teaching that involves toilet paper. Rather weird.  ;D

As said by many, it is of no surprise that washrooms always run out of toilet paper. The toilets in Thailand do not provide at all. You have to pay for it! I always carry as many packs as I can whenever I go out.

As for the moral of the story, I believe it is about our selflessness for others. Happiness for others first before ourselves with the purest altruistic thought. Wishing them free from sufferings and obtaining happiness. Selflessness teaches us to be more kind, compassionate and mindful of our surroundings. Definitely this will generate positive karma. So when you were thinking about others, you were selfless and the good karma comes back to you.

If we are selfish and only thinking about ourselves, we will experience much unhappiness and negative karma.

Probably if you did not think about others, your karma will be no toilet paper in every toilet you go! LOL  :P


There is a saying that we should learn from experience but this scenario happens every day.  Just goes to show that whatever we have learned is not applied.  Only people who have come across such a situation would think to be better equipped when use public toilets.


Maybe
- The person who finished using the last piece of paper is selfish
- The person who left a small piece is caring
- The person who finished using the last piece was in too much of a hurry and did not bother to fill up - not mindful
- The person who left a small piece had more than enough to use