Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has had a huge week with his wife Priscilla Chan giving birth to their first child, but it’s what he announced afterwards that has everyone talking.
According to Daily Mail, the couple shared the news of their daughter Max’s birth in a Facebook post called “A letter to our daughter.” In the lengthy post, Zuckerberg and his wife revealed that they will donate 99% of their Facebook shares, which are currently valued at $45 billion, to a new charity.
Based on Facebook’s current value, this will leave them with $450 million for themselves and their child.
“Dear Max,” the 2234 word post began. “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.”
The letter went on to describe “the world we hope she grows up in.”
“Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today. While headlines often focus on what’s wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today.
We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.
We believe all lives have equal value, and that includes the many more people who will live in future generations than live today. Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.”
Later in the letter, Zuckerberg and his wife reveal their own plans to make a difference.
“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,’ the letter says. ‘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.”
We’ll share more details in the coming months once we settle into our new family rhythm and return from our maternity and paternity leaves. We understand you’ll have many questions about why and how we’re doing this.”
Many have praised Zuckerberg and his wife for the letter, with Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, writing in response, “This is a beautiful letter and an incredible commitment to future generations.”
What do you think about this letter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.