Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr Priscilla Chan are now parents to sweet baby girl Max.
They celebrated the arrival of their daughter with the pledge to give away 99% of their Facebook shares during their lifetime (currently worth about US$45 billion) to “advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation”, via the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are parents
The proud new parents made this stunning announcement through a beautiful letter to their daughter posted on Facebook today (2 December).
“Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities,” the new mum and dad wrote to their daughter.
“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.”
Many have congratulated the first-time parents in response to their announcement on Facebook.
Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said, “This is a beautiful letter and an incredible commitment to future generations.”
And Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has this sweet message for the new parents and their baby:
“Welcome to the world, Max! Bill Gates and I can’t wait to meet you. You are lucky to have such an amazing mom and dad.
“Mark and Priscilla: Congratulations—we’re thrilled for both of you! Raising children is a great adventure and the best thing we have ever done together. You will be fantastic parents.
“As for your decision to give back so generously, and to deepen your commitment now, the first word that comes to mind is: Wow. The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world.
“We can be confident of this: Max and every child born today will grow up in a world that is better than the one we know now. As you say, ‘seeds planted now will grow.’ Your work will bear fruit for many decades to come.”
Joining the ranks of other philanthropic greats
With their pledge, Zuckerberg and Chan join the ranks of other great philanthropists such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, and closer to home Singapore’s Chua Thian Poh.
At just 31 years of age, Zuckerberg’s promise is indeed remarkable, begging the question, why would someone so relatively young give away so much of his wealth?
This is in fact the same question New York Times journalist Vindu Goel asks Zuckerberg in his congratulatory message to the latter on Facebook.
Zuckerberg’s answer is inspiring to say the least:
“Two main ideas have led us to start early. First is that we have a lot to learn and giving, like anything else, takes practice to do effectively. So if we want to be good at it in 10-15 years, we should start now.
“Second is that any good we do will hopefully compound over time. If we can help children get a better education now then they can grow up and help others too in the time we might have otherwise waited to get started.”
Inspirational in every way
We at theAsianparent congratulate the new parents and have to say that their little girl is indeed lucky to have parents like them.
In a world where amassing wealth seems to be the name of the game, Zuckerberg and Chan teach a lesson in generosity, philanthropy and social awareness to everyone, including other entrepreneurs.
With the example they set, it’s safe to say that there is hope for future generations.
You can read Zuckerberg and Chan’s full letter to their daughter, here.
Share your own well wishes to the new parents on the birth of their daughter by leaving a comment below.