You have heard of the Smithsonian Institution? The man who provided the money for this famous organization was one James Smithson. He is described on page 4 of the June 2014 issue of Smithsonian magazine —
He studied coffeemaking, human tears and snake venom, and published 27 scientific papers. His brain, a friend said, was “fruitful in whimsies.” Born 250 years ago this month, James Smithson, illegitimate son of British aristocrats, left a modest fortune (about $12 million) to start an organization in the United States (though he never visited) for the “increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Now the Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex.
I have dreams like that. Wouldn’t it be nice to leave a sum of money (although I don’t have $12 million) and hope that it would grow into something that could change the world? I would never see the result, but it would be fun to imagine leaving such a legacy.