3 Dec, 2015

A letter to our daughter | Mark Zuckerberg

Quartz | Frida Garza | December 01, 2015

This is Mark Zuckerberg’s letter announcing the birth of his daughter, Max—and a $45 billion charity pledge

Abstract: Technology can’t solve problems by itself. Building a better world starts with building strong and healthy communities.

Children have the best opportunities when they can learn. And they learn best when they’re healthy.

Health starts early — with loving family, good nutrition and a safe, stable environment.

Children who face traumatic experiences early in life often develop less healthy minds and bodies. Studies show physical changes in brain development leading to lower cognitive ability.

Your mother is a doctor and educator, and she has seen this firsthand.

If you have an unhealthy childhood, it’s difficult to reach your full potential.

If you have to wonder whether you’ll have food or rent, or worry about abuse or crime, then it’s difficult to reach your full potential.

If you fear you’ll go to prison rather than college because of the color of your skin, or that your family will be deported because of your legal status, or that you may be a victim of violence because of your religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, then it’s difficult to reach your full potential.

We need institutions that understand these issues are all connected. That’s the philosophy of the new type of school your mother is building.

By partnering with schools, health centers, parent groups and local governments, and by ensuring all children are well fed and cared for starting young, we can start to treat these inequities as connected. Only then can we collectively start to give everyone an equal opportunity.

It will take many years to fully develop this model. But it’s another example of how advancing human potential and promoting equality are tightly linked. If we want either, we must first build inclusive and healthy communities.

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