hunger

And that is generally followed by “but more needs to be done”. Google Greenpeace and ‘a step in the right direction’ and you get over 6,500 hits. Oxfam gives you more than 13,000. Would it hurt you to try and find a few new phrases? And what does it mean in any case?

The world is one continuous movement of “a step in the right direction”. Ending World War II – “a step in the right direction”. Ending slavery – “a step in the right direction”. Ending the ice age – “a step in the right direction”. Our earth is “a step in the right direction”. We solve problems one after the other. One by one. We have never done it with one clean sweep. We just can’t. We prioritise and tackle them one at a time. And it doesn’t solve the problem. It only makes the next one a bit clearer. Ending slavery – did that end racial problems and create equality? No it did not. But without “a step in the right direction” we would not be where we are today – fighting the next levels of discrimination and equality. So our development as a specie is based on the principle of continuously taking “a step in the right direction”.

You think we will solve poverty in Africa by throwing more aid in the pool? Or end global warming by switching off the lights? No we won’t. We need to go one step at a time first. Is bio-fuels a solution? No it isn’t. But it takes us one step closer to the solution. And we wouldn’t be able to get to the next “solution level” if we don’t make the incremental improvements first. Each time we improve a little bit on the previous time. (And then find out that is has other consequences, and now we have two problems to solve).

I mean really, the world will end the day activists actually start applauding some action by a “standard” company. Or just saying ‘well done’ would be way too much to ask. No, it is always the same – “a step in the right direction”. Really guys, you have to find a new way of saying this. Nothing is good enough. No, always a reminder that we need to do more. Okay, I get it. You will never be happy. And I don’t want you to be happy. It is your role to always put pressure on everyone to keep it moving forward. Just like a teenager – never happy, always complaining, and telling us we don’t know what we are talking about.

Thank god we don’t ask them to run the show. No wait. That might be “a step in the right direction”.