Love Includes

So why are there stores? Well, we need stuff to survive and thrive, and somebody has to sell it to us. Plus the people who own and work in those stores need to feed their families, and go on the occasional vacation.

I wonder what the owners would say if we asked them “What is your company’s purpose?” Flowery phrasing in mission statements can’t hide the obvious: “Our purpose is to make money.”

Occasionally I’ve come across a business whose social responsibility is alive and well. And I honour those places with my dollars.

Since arriving in Belgium, I’ve become an IKEA devotée. I love their white furniture, the friendliness of the staff (in English) and the efficiency in helping me find, compare and buy things. Also I’ve had the vague feeling that they treat people well – employees and customers.

With such songs in my head, I was roaming through the aisles one day. I turned a corner and there hung the poster you see before you. I was stopped. I was stunned. Two men kissing. I thought “How lovely” and then “How unique”. A money-making corporation presenting its values for all to see. Maybe North American stores have the same photo displayed but I don’t remember seeing it. Plus I don’t live there anymore.

The words you see are in Flemish. I sure was curious about what they said. Thanks to Google Translate, I now know. Was it a spectacular manifesto of gender equality? No. It was this …

A gift card, always a nice surprise for Valentine’s Day.  An IKEA gift card is a gift that is always welcome.  Give it as a gift to your friends and family on birthdays, on special occasions or just … just like that!  Choose a suitable card and charge it at the cash register with the amount of your choice.

Ordinary. Friends and family. No big deal. They would enjoy a gift card from you.

Love in all its expressions should be ordinary in our world. Just the way life is. Thank you, IKEA.

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