I was at a Costco warehouse this weekend, and as I was walking in I could not help but notice that every person leaving was pushing a trolley that had a 48 pack of toilet roll in the basket, It seemed that it was standard issue with every trolley. Why a run on toilet paper?

On a radio phone-in program this morning a caller phoned in to say that he has stocked ‘160’, yes you read that right ‘160’ rolls of toilet paper. The presenter asked him how many people live in the house? “two” he replied. The presenter proceeded to work out based on using two rolls per week that he a had amassed 18 months supply of toilet tissue. Asked how many tins of baked beans he had stocked up? he replied “two tins” and  dry pasta? “two packets.” Seems to be quite a disparity between what is ‘going in one end to what is coming out the other’ commented presenter….

Why did this person call the radio station? Was it to receive some kind of accolade may be a badge or a plaque to be erected outside his house in recognition of his services to the hygiene society! Is there a hygiene society? If not, maybe he would like to start one and become it president.

As a keen observer of why we do what we do, why did this person buy 160 rolls of toilet paper? Well, all he was doing was acting out his belief system.  A belief as the dictionary states is “A principle accepted as true or real without proof. An opinion, a conviction”. If you have ever been in a conversation with someone who is determined to be miserable and who rejects every bright idea, positive thought or slant on a situation, you have been speaking with someone who is simply acting out their belief system.

We act out our beliefs on a daily bases; they reflect how we see the world. Observe how people going about their daily lives to see how their beliefs guide them, which in turn impact and dictates what their values are. Fear, security, and fun are just a few that can be observed.

The human brain has a cluster of cells that act as a filter to perception. It accepts information that is consistent with your beliefs, and that fits your picture of life seen through your lens. At the same time, it filters out any information that is irrelevant, and that does not fit with your image of the world. Ultimately our beliefs shape the story we tell ourselves which are then projected forward on to new and current situations.

When you find yourself in  disagreement with a friend, family member or work colleague (because they don’t see the disagreement through your lens) take a step back and try to see the situation from their stand point, through their lens. I guarantee you the conversation will shift and become much more acceptable.

So, what about our trolley pushing toilet roll hoarders and the phone-in caller, what beliefs do you think they were acting out? what opinion and conviction do they hold about how this virus will affect them? certainly there was a safety and personal survival a “flight or fight” belief lurking in their subconscious, What else do you think? What beliefs do you have that you are acting out around coronavirus? Are you stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer? would a visit from the toilet roll police find 160 rolls stashed under your bed.Think about that for a second please… where is your roll of toilet paper at?  

Advice from a 90-year-old man:


“Life is like a roll of toilet paper.

The first half feels like it lasts forever.

The second half feels like it disappears.”



Thank you for taking the time to read this blog it is much appreciated. Keep safe and well.


Like what you read. Spread the word.

I bet you know a lot of like-minded people that would benefit from this conversation around coronavirus. Share this post with them on social media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *