How to make an enduring monument? Stone sculptures erode. Heirs fritter away fortunes. Corporations go bankrupt. Executives of foundations implement their own agendas. Natural disaster and human accident destroy the stoutest structures. Ironclad legal agreements are shattered by future court decisions.

But surrender all fantasy of control and the odds improve. A recent bequest to Poetry magazine by Ruth Lilly, last heir to a drug company fortune, suggests a good approach. Find something that's already alive — an ongoing enterprise, or a forest, or just an enthusiastic group of people — and give it your support. Don't tell it what to do; simply provide it with the resources it needs to grow. Then let it go ....

(see also AnonymousImmortality (7 Dec 1999), ShakespeareanIvy (22 Jan 2000), ...)

TopicLife - TopicArt - TopicOrganizations - 2002-11-23

(correlates: OptimistCreed, DeusExMachina, RegressionToTheMean, ...)