...brought to you by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy and productive life.
I bet Bill and Melinda paid a pretty penny for that phrase. Maybe even two. Did they get good value?
Let's assume that the B&M Foundation is, truly, as claimed, dedicated. Dedicated to an idea that -- well, let's just take as given that this idea is good, and good for people, and set aside the specifics.
Sounds good, right? I mean, they're dedicated.
To an idea about something that's good for people.
So -- dedicated to something that's good for people?
No, not to the something. To the idea about the something.
Not even to the people?
Nope. The dedication is to the idea.
Chew on that for a moment and contrast this tagline with what is probably the most powerful opening to a position statement I've read this lifetime:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that...
Yes, that one.
...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
A bit stronger, eh?
What if Bill and Melinda had, instead of being all measly mouthed about this idea they're dedicated to, put it as directly and powerfully as that? Let's try it:
We hold as true and self-evident that all people deserve the chance to live healthy and productive lives.
Not bad. Almost sounds like the real thing. We could even weave in "dedicated", which Bill and Melinda seem to like so much, and tighten it up a bit, and get:
Dedicated to giving all people the chance to live healthy and productive lives.
Clean, clear, and direct.
Dedicated to action, not ideas about action. Dedicated to people, not ideas about people.
Doesn't that sound better? Indeed, doesn't that sound like something you could actually support?
For that matter, doesn't it sound like what they probably actually meant?