The Spirituality of Toilet Rolls

Recently a new retail grocery store opened near my house. As part of the opening celebrations the store offered some significant reductions on the usual prices of everyday items. One of the most popular items, I am told, was half price toilet paper - about a three dollar reduction on the usual price. I understand that individual customers were scrambling over each other for two, four, six, eight and ten packs at a time. Store staff-members were being abused because stock wasn't immediately available on the floor. All of this was happening at a grocery store in the midst of one of Melbourne's (and indeed Australia's) most well-off communities.

On the same day that the grocery store opened, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation showed its gritty television piece about youth homelessness and the struggles of one Salvation Army Officer (The Oasis). After that I found myself thinking that no matter how many coins we throw in the Salvo's plate, we won't address issues of social exclusion whilst mainstream society sees "three dollars off" as an issue worth squabbling over.

I am not trying to be self-righteous here, for I struggle everyday with how to best embody generosity. But I need the help of my community to ensure I keep "three dollars off" in perspective.

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