The hallmark of our age is the tension between aspirations and sluggish institutions.

John W. Gardner


The Quote in Other Words

The defining characteristic of our era is the conflict between ambitious goals and unresponsive establishments.


Explanation of the Quote

The quote highlights a significant issue that plagues our society today – the tension between our aspirations and the sluggishness of our institutions. Institutions are meant to provide structure and support to our aspirations, but they often fall short due to bureaucracy, outdated systems, and lack of innovation. This tension can lead to frustration, disillusionment, and a sense of hopelessness.

However, this tension can also be a catalyst for change. It can inspire individuals to push for reform, to challenge the status quo, and to create new institutions that better align with our aspirations. It can also lead to a greater appreciation for the power of collective action and the importance of holding our institutions accountable.

Ultimately, the tension between aspirations and sluggish institutions is a reminder that progress is not inevitable. It requires constant effort, vigilance, and a willingness to challenge the status quo. By recognizing this tension and working to overcome it, we can create a more just, equitable, and fulfilling society for all.