The Rewards of Renewal

By David Bornstein

Toby Jorrin

Michelle Obama, working with KaBOOM! Senior Project Manager Kathryn Lusk, added a photo of the 2000th KaBOOM! playground to the group’s mobile app.

In “Self-Renewal,” a landmark book on how societies innovate, John W. Gardner wrote that the task for every new generation was not to “stand a dreary watch over the ancient values” but to face the “bracing truth that it is their task to re-create those values continuously in their own behavior, facing the dilemmas and catastrophes of their own time.” Society, he added, was not “like a machine that is created at some point in time and then maintained with a minimum of effort; a society is being continuously re-created, for good or ill, by its members. This will strike some as a burdensome responsibility, but it will summon others to greatness.”
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