Something happens when you have a child... often parents get an overwhelming urge to make the world a better place now that they've introduced a new little person to it. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has the means to do this more than most.
Last week, Zuckerberg's wife Priscilla Chan, gave birth to their first baby - a girl called Maxima. Last night, he posted a photo of his new little family along with a very lengthy open letter regarding his intent to give away almost all of their $45bn to charity to create a better world for not just their child, but all children.
The letter itself can be read in full here...
Here are some notable points. Speaking directly to "Max", he writes: "Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world 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." He then goes on to consider how to tackle disease, equality issues, poverty, healthcare issues, "building inclusive and welcoming communities", and more.
He closes with: "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. 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."
— Shweta Sengar (@ShwetaSengar) December 2, 2015
While many outlets have come out and lauded one of the largest charity pledges anyone has ever made, others have delved further and pointed out that, according to Buzzfeed (via Vogue), "the billions that will fund the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative aren’t technically going exclusively 'to charity,' as the organization wasn’t filed as a charitable trust but as an LLC or private company that will also fund 'philanthropic, public advocacy, and other activities for the public good,' as well as investments in nonprofits, a Facebook rep confirmed, noting that any profits from such investments would be funneled back into 'work to advance the mission'.”
As for the man on the street, there are two camps emerging regarding this - one camp are "It's an amazing thing to do, he will make a world a better place", while others are stating "Meh, it's a nice thing to do, but you don't have to tell the world about it, just do it." Well, he could've kept his open letter about his and Priscilla's three miscarriages to himself, but he didn't. He did it to motivate others, and let them know there is hope. Just a thought.