In Quotes: Excerpts from “A Letter to our Daughter”
December 4, 2015 by Alyssa Haywoode
“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.”
* * *
“We must make long term investments over 25, 50 or even 100 years. The greatest challenges require very long time horizons and cannot be solved by short term thinking.”
“We must participate in policy and advocacy to shape debates. Many institutions are unwilling to do this, but progress must be supported by movements to be sustainable.”
* * *
“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.”
* * *
“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.”
* * *
“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.”