I have followed the work of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and a New York Yankee, with great interest. As a Southerner, I believe in the power of people connections and relationships. Zuckerberg, who dropped out of Harvard, created Facebook and connected the world. I friended him and follow him on Facebook. Thus, I listened to his Harvard Commencement Speech on May 25. It spoke to me and convinced me that we Baby Boomers need to give it up and turn this county over to the Millennials.
Zuckerberg represents his Millennial generation. Purpose in life is important to them. In speaking to Harvard’s graduating class, Zuckerberg spoke of purpose: “But it’s not enough to have purpose yourself. You have to create a sense of purpose for others.”
He also spoke of the importance of courage: “In our society, we often don’t do big things because we’re so afraid of making mistakes that we ignore all the things wrong today if we do nothing. The reality is, anything we do will have issues in the future. But that can’t keep us from starting.”
Zuckerberg has spent this past year travelling the country on a listening tour. There is some speculation that he may run for President. In his speech, he gave some hints about those things he considers important. “So what are we waiting for? It’s time for our generation-defining public works. How about stopping climate change before we destroy the planet, and getting millions of people involved manufacturing and installing solar panels? How about curing all diseases and asking volunteers to track their health data and share their genomes? Today we spend 50x more treating people who are sick than we spend finding cures so people don’t get sick in the first place. That makes no sense. We can fix this. How about modernizing democracy so everyone can vote online, and personalizing education so everyone can learn?”
Zuckerberg treasures his wife Priscilla, daughter, and soon to be born, second daughter. He spoke passionately about his family and in closing his speech, said the following: “Before you walk out those gates one last time, as we sit in front of Memorial Church, I am reminded of a prayer, Mi Shebeirach, that I say whenever I face a challenge, that I sing to my daughter thinking about her future when I tuck her into bed. It goes: ‘May the source of strength, who blessed the ones before us, help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing.’”
So, this Southern Baby Boomer is ready to put the future in the hands of our Millennial generation. And if Mark Zuckerberg runs for President, he will have my vote.