I used to grab the Sunday paper, fish out the comics and the Sunday magazine, then gather the bundle of ads and chuck it in the recycling bin. That’s what I did until my friend told me a secret about Menards.
You know Menards, the quirky home improvement store that also sneaks in food items, snacks, hats, scarves and other unexpected items? My closest Menards has a second story, and an escalator for the shopping carts. They want you to have a well-equipped home, and a full stomach, but they also want you to be happy and wise.
Every week, they send you messages, tucked in their ad insert, which is tucked in that stack of ads that you pitch.
Here’s a sample. One page 3 of a recent issue, underneath the grills and gazebos:
“All people want is someone to listen.” –Hugh Elliott
Now, I don’t know who Hugh Elliott is, but I think he makes an excellent point, borne out by my career as a counselor.
They range from the fair warning:
“If you are mentally somewhere else, you miss real life.”—Byron Katie (under butcher block slabs and concrete mix)
To the inspiring:
“The brave do not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.”—Meg Cabot (moth balls and shoe organizers)
And a dash of perspective:
“Never think you’ve seen the last of anything.”—Eudora Welty (garages and roof coating)
And the soothing:
“When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you.”—Lolly Daskal.
There are more – the thing is 23 pages long with a quote on almost every page. There is wisdom from Maya Angelou in outside lighting, Robert Louis Stephenson in shower stalls, Eckhart Tolle in work gloves, Napoleon in paint, Marilyn Monroe in shelving, and the Buddha in ceiling fans.
Someone has the job of inserting these pearls into each week’s insert. People like me would line up for a chance at that job. So, because they take the trouble over at Menards, on any Sunday, we get to retrieve shards of wisdom from their secret hiding place. Now that’s a good deal.
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