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Self-Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society Paperback – July 17, 1995
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SELF-DEVELOPMENT. Not just skills, but the whole range of our own potentialities for sensing, wondering, learning, understanding and aspiring. Gardner points out that this does not happen until one gets over the odd notion that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else.
SELF-KNOWLEDGE. By midlife we are accomplished fugitives from ourselves. Our lives are filled with diversions; our heads stuffed with knowledge; we are involved with people. Result: we've never taken time to probe our inner selves. We don't want to know ourselves. We don't want to depend upon ourselves. We can't stand to live with ourselves. A better way is to develop a more comfortable view of who you are. It is the true basis of inner strength.
COURAGE TO FAIL. By the time we reach middle age, we carry in our heads a long list of things we'll never try again because we tried once and failed. Mature people learn less because they are willing to risk less. There's no learning without difficulty and fumbling, but if you want to keep on learning, you must keep risking failure.
LOVE. Develop the ability to have mutually fruitful relations with others. Be capable of accepting love and giving it; of depending upon others and of being depended upon. Develop the ability to see life through another's eyes and reach out to others.
MOTIVATION.Read more ›
This interactive process is experienced at the individual level also. Gardner describes healthy self-renewing people as those who both give and accept love. They depend on other people and are capable of having other people depend on them.
Passion is part of the self-renewed life. He says people of that bent know they must have conviction about what they are doing and if they don't, they need to find something they can have conviction about.
The principles he describes at the individual level have implications collectively as well. He goes on to state that "it is important that a society create an atmostphere that encourages effort, striving and vigorous performance" (p. 20). It is within social systems that individuals make their contributions. A lot of wise insight is provided in this book. He leaves the readers better off than when they picked up the book to read.
This IS a profoundly eloquent, deeply perceptive, compelling set of antidotes to soundbites.
It is timeless. It puts forth pragmatic and resonant ways of navigating the complexities of dynamic change within the necessary stability of society.
Gardner's observations on innovation, creativity, motivation are quietly inspiring.
Please look at the Table of Contents to get a glimpse.
The edition that I purchased came with the author's signature, and the previous owner included a copy of the Stanford newspaper article of the in-person reading.
Great book - glad I was introduced to this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What John Gardner was doing and what he wrote about sometime ago has lasting value. His clarity leaves no doubts about ways we can benefit individually and how to go about doing so... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Patrece Powers
The book is in great condition, no pages missing, nothing torn off, barely a small bent on the side, but that i can deal with.