Remember that feeling when you first held your baby that you wanted to change the world? You wanted to make it safer, better, as close to perfect as you could get it so your little one would grow up without worries or fear.
Well, a little girl named Max has just had that promise made to him by her parents.
The things is, Max’s dad is Mark Zuckerberg, aka Mr Facebook. And her dad has just pledged to give away 99 per cent of her shares the company’s stock, which is currently estimated at $US 45 billion.
Mr Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have set up a charity organisation called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which has “the mission of advancing human potential and promoting equality”.
Mr Zuckerberg will run the charity himself and, according to the Guardian, will be worth $3 billion by 2018.
Max’s parents posted a 2000-word letter to their newborn daughter, telling her their hopes and dreams for the future – a future they hope to create:
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.
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.
Towards the end of the letter, Mr Zuckerberg says that for every 10 people who gain access to the internet, one is lifted out of poverty – and that four billion still don’t have that access.
If you consider the difference Mark Zuckerberg has made to the world – and to your own life – by creating Facebook, it’s easy to believe that he will uphold his promise to his baby girl.
What do you think of this gesture? Do you think giving away all their wealth is the right thing for the mega-rich to do?