When our parents graduated, that sense of purpose reliably came from your job, your church, your community.
But today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs.
Membership in communities has been declining.
And a lot of people are feeling disconnected and depressed, and are trying to fill a void in their lives.
As I've traveled around, I've sat with children in juvenile detention and opioid addicts,
who told me that maybe their lives would have turned out differently if they just had something to do, and after school program or somewhere to go.
I've met factory workers who know their old jobs aren't coming back and are trying to find their path ahead.
For our society to keep moving forward, we have a generational challenge,
to not only create new jobs, but create a renewed sense of purpose.
I remember that night I launched Facebook from that little dorm in Kirkland House.
I went to Noch's with my friend KX.
And I remember telling him clearly that I was excited to connect the Harvard community, but one day someone would connect the whole world.
The thing is, it never even occurred to me that someone might be us.
We were just college kids. We didn't know anything about that.
There were all these big technology companies with all these resources. and I just assumed one of them would do it.
But this idea was so clear to us -- that all people want to connect.
So we just kept working on it, day after day after day.
And I know that a lot of you are gonna have your own stories just like this.
A change in the world that seems so clear that you're sure someone else is going to do it.
But they are not. You will.
But it's not enough to have that purpose yourself.
You also have to create a sense of purpose for others.