18 Quotes On Self-Renewal By John W. Gardner

I just finished reading Self-Renewal – the Individual & the Innovative Society (Paper) by John W. Gardner which I found extremely thought provoking and motivating as a young person, here are my favourite book clippings!

“A society decays when its institutions and individuals lose their vitality.”

“A society must court the kinds of change that will enrich and strengthen it, rather than the kinds that will fragment and destroy it.”

“At home we have lost the capacity to see what’s before us.”

“The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursuing his own education.”

“Nothing is more decisive for social renewal than the mobilisation of talent.”

“When young people learn what and who they are it helps them to think about what they wish to become – as individuals and as a people.”

“If individuals are rigidly specialised and unprepared for change, the human cost of change will be high and the society will resist it stubbornly.”

“The creative individual has the capacity to free himself from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught.”

“More perplexing is the strait jacket of unwritten rules that hem the individual in.”

“Creative minds are rarely tidy.”

“One of the clearest dangers in modern society is that men and women will lose the experience of participating in meaningful decisions concerning their own life and work, that they will be come cogs in the machine because they feel like cogs in the machine.”

“The individual is fixed in a network of abstraction.”

“In the process of growing up the young person frees himself from the utter depends on others. As the process of maturing continues he must also free himself from the prison of utter self-pre-occupation.”

“The self-renewing man never feels that he has “arrived.”

“An individual cannot achieve renewal if he does not believe in the possibility of it. Nor can a society.”

“Fatalism is a grave obstacle to renewal.”

“Today the skeptic is the status quo.”

“Instead of giving young people the impression that their task is to stand a dreary watch over the ancient values, we should be telling them the grim but bracing truth that it is their task to re-create those values continuously in their own behaviour, facing the dilemmas and catastrophes of their own time.”

John W. Gardner Quotes self renewal

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  • I am really looking forward to reading this book. I came across this post while searching for an ebook version- can’t find it. I think I will just have to order it.

    • Cem

      Hey Leah, it’s a great book. I mainly buy used paperbacks from amazon which you can pick up super cheaply! Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂