As far as we can tell, it was on this day, August 26, 580, the Chinese invented toilet paper.
To truly appreciate this invention, we need to understand what life was like before toilet paper. Before this soft and sensitive wonder came into being, people used water, leaves, corn cobs, sticks, and stones. I read another account that claims people used broken pieces of pottery! Ouch!!!!
Now that we’ve gotten some pre-TP background, we’ll never take this amazing invention for granted again. Americans spend about four-billion dollars per-year on toilet paper, each person using between 35-50 pounds of it per year.
According to the Boston Standard Company, toilet paper was introduced in the U.S. by Joseph Gayetty, 1857. The paper came in flat squares embossed with Gayetty’s name. That name has been places!
Toilet paper rolls came out in 1883; the patent was held by Seth Wheeler. See the attached photo – it solves the ancient argument as to how to install it correctly!
Later, to satisfy the sophisticated user, colored toilet paper was invented.
But there are other uses for toilet paper for those of us who aren’t so sophisticated. Not only has toilet paper made our lives more comfortable, it has also provided some of us rascals with hours of devious fun. Toilet paper has been used to decorate weddings; and who hasn’t littered your best friend’s house and trees before a big High School football game? I remember one morning my parents waking up to strings of toilet paper hanging off the tree in my front yard. Oh, I got revenge. I think in the summer of 84 alone my friends and I dispensed about 1000 rolls in the trees of our friends’ houses.
Happy National Toilet Paper day! And wives, considering what life was like before toilet paper, cut your husband some slack the next time he doesn’t replace the roll! He might still be recovering from the broken pottery! Never take for granted this awesome invention.
In the sight of God each man exists as an individual and he is dealt with as such. He cannot change this by joining an organization in the hope that he will be dealt with on a group basis. He does not become a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ by affiliating himself with a company of believers. There is no institution that can mediate between God and man. No man should try to hide from God in an organization. You cannot identify yourself with God by becoming identified with a church.
Christian individualism as a way of life for the active believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is being practiced by many who have discovered that their loyalty to God’s truth has brought them into conflict with the practices of the organizations that call themselves churches. These organizations settle matters of great spiritual importance by majority vote, feeling that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Decisions and programs are often handed down from someone above, and the individual is supposed to submit to these no matter what his personal convictions may be.
Most men revere organizations, and they worship crowds and numbers to such an extent that they cease to have any personal feelings. They are persuaded that if a thing is believed or practiced by many people it must be true and right and all others should conform to it. Thus they cease to have any real personality or character because all their springs of individuality have dried up. Personality and character are built by the exercise of discrimination, evaluation, and choice. If these personal faculties are not used, they grow blunt and dull and finally wither away. When this happens a man becomes depersonalized, a human automation. This is supposed to be an ideal situation in relationship to man’s spiritual activities. In the realm of religion men are supposed to be depersonalized, to act, to think and move as a group, not as individuals. If they ask questions, they must be stock questions, and they are expected to receive stock answers without further discussion. They are not supposed to exercise discrimination or to evaluate anything.
This is an intolerable situation for the active believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Why should he fight with some great organization in order to take one step in advance in the truth? He is constantly urged to read and study the Bible, but he is subjected to abuse if he finds anything in it that contradicts the traditional creed. Thus the only path open to him is one of Christian individualism. In this way of life he can fulfill his place as a believer in this unbelieving world.