A beautiful thing happened when Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, announced the birth of their daughter — and it wasn’t just the adorable portrait of a growing family. Along with the Facebook CEO’s introduction of little Ms. Max, the new father announced that he and his wife would be pledging to make the world better for the future of his daughter’s generation, and raised a call to action for themselves and others to truly change the world for the better.
From his Facebook post:
“Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in.
Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.”
Zuckerberg is far from the first person to see the world with new eyes upon becoming a father. So many parents before him have whispered promises into their newborn babies’ ears to make the world better, but few are able to make such a grand a commitment to that as Zuckerberg and Chan. After all, this is no ordinary couple. Forbes estimates Zuckerberg’s wealth to be just under $50 billion and ranks him as the number one wealthiest entrepreneur under the age of 40.
That’s why their commitment to changing the world may be one of the most potent parental declarations ever made. Their plan is to use their wealth to raise others up, build healthier communities, and help all people access technology in ways that can improve their lives, and the lives of generations to follow:
“As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation. Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.
We will give 99% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.”
One of the most beautiful things about parenthood is the moment you first meet your child and are offered a glimpse into what the future will look like. Little Max will be the foundation of society, alongside all of our own children. She will also, alongside her peers, suffer the consequences of the bad choices of generations before her, and enjoy the goodness we’ve put into the world, too.
Being a parent is a heady experience, full of responsibility not just to our own children, but to the future of every child on the planet. It is beautiful to see Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan following in the footsteps of billionaire businessmen before him like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, who use their wealth to try to help others in so many different ways.
Welcome to the world, Max — you’ve already inspired so much goodness.