I was reading that the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is getting ready to donate a lot of money to charity in the coming years. I'm sure this is going to be interesting to watch. The article says that:
"Mr. Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, said they were forming a new organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, to manage the money, through an unusual limited liability corporate structure. “Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities,” they wrote."
I know there will be tons of people clamoring for this money.
I have a proposition, though.
There is one simple way to really ensure that the money will truly impact the future, and it's very simple: give all the money to children and mental health.
No child in America should go to bed hungry. No child should get a substandard education. No child should do without adequate mental health services. No child should get pregnant at 13 or 14 and have a baby that's going to live in poverty and do the same thing in 13 or 14 years.
There are thousands of children in the foster care system in the USA and many of them will grow up to populate our prisons. That cycle needs to end.
Every child that wants to go to college should be able to go, regardless of cost. If they cannot do college work they should get remedial help.
Should the government be doing this, instead of private charities? Sure, but the government is too much about power, and it's utterly corrupt.
If we invest in children, who will shape the future, we invest in ourselves. We invest in our descendants. We put human lives ahead of all else, as it should be.
So much of the violence in our society stems from people who are mentally ill, and we have closed down most of the mental hospitals in America. We wonder why there are so many shootings. It's not the guns. It's the mental illness. Sane people do not commit mass shootings. We need treatment options. We need places where people can be put away but treated with compassion -- not the horrors of old-time mental hospitals.
How bad is it? According to Mental Health America:
"The numbers are alarming: Over 42 million adults suffer from a mental health problem, with over eight million reporting suicidal thoughts. Over eight million adults suffer from a mental illness and are uninsured, and one out of every three adults with a disability report inability to see a doctor due to costs. Additionally, over six million children suffer from an Emotional, Behavioral, or Developmental (EBD) problem, and more than eight percent of youth have attempted suicide. Young females are twice as likely to attempt suicide as compared to teenage males, and one out of every three families report that their child’s insurance was inadequate."
If we can solve these two problems, Mr. Zuckerberg, or at least make significant inroads, there will be a lot less suffering in America and the future will be much brighter. These problems cannot be fixed with a legislative bandaid, though. We need real help for the long-term.