Community / Connection Quotes

* These quotations turned up when I did a search on the word “community” in my large Quotations Word document. Was motivated to do this when I was posting ‘Building Community.’ No doubt there are tons of other good ones!! These ones were just very handy.

“You have to take time to check in with one another…emotions are not efficient… either you address your feelings together before the meeting, or you end up working through them while trying to have a meeting.” – Jen Abrams, a co-founder of OurGoods

“Have a Good Mind. No matter what situation you’re in, find something good about it, rather than the negative things. And in dealing with other human beings, find the good in them as well. We are all interdependent. Do things for others – tribe, family, community – rather than just for yourself. Look forward. Turn what has been done into a better path. If you’re a leader, think about the impact of your decisions on seven generations into the future.” – Chief Wilma Mankiller traditional Cherokee precepts

“True democracy is only possible when people have effective power over their own affairs, their own goals, and their own resources. The larger the governing unit, the less responsive it is to human needs, the more bureaucratic and inefficient its administration. Government, we must always remind ourselves, is not (or should not be) a professionally organized system to tell people how to run their affairs; it is (or should be) a means whereby people themselves are enabled to resolve matters in their own community.” ~ John Papworth in Putting Power In Its Place

“And so graduates, my advice to you is simply my hope for us all:

Beware the justice of nature.

Understand that there can be no successful human economy apart from Nature, or in defiance of Nature.

Make a home.  Help to make a community.  Be loyal to what you have made.

Love this miraculous world that we did not make, that is a gift to us.

So far as you are able, make your lives independent of the industrial economy, which thrives by damage.

Find work, if you can, that does not damage.  Enjoy your work.  Work well.”

~ Wendell Berry addressing college graduates in 1990.

“An individual can resist injustice, but only a community can do justice.” – Sanctuary movement leader

 “Spirituality is that aspect of ourselves which enables us to transcend our isolation and move into communion with life and with one another. When our lives lack any kind of experience which connects us with the sanctity of life, it is as though we have lost the very ground of our being. Spirituality is central to community and to effective political work.” – Margo Adair & Sharon Howell in Circles of Strength

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein, quoted in The Great Turning – From Empire to Earth Community, by David Korten

“The wisdom of women is to join the knowing of the body to that of the mind, to join soul to spirit, intuition to reasoning, feeling consciousness to intellectual analysis, intimacy to attachment, subjective presence to objective distance. When these functions become separated in carrying out the human project then the way into the future is to bring them together.

The human project belongs to both women and men. It cannot be carried out effectively unless both are present throughout the full range of human activities: with each other and with the family, in government, in the economic enterprise, in university education, in the religious establishment, in the artistic and literary worlds. Wherever the human enterprise is taking place women belong there as well as men. Each brings distinctive abilities to the single project.

Because men in Western civilization have isolated women in the home and in a narrow band of service activities, and have appropriated for themselves both the reality and value of the adult human outside the home, the human project in its Western manifestation has become a patriarchal establishment in quest for unlimited dominance, a dominance unsettled in itself and a disturbance to the larger human community. In a corresponding way, because men have appropriated the reality and value of the Earth for their own purposes, the Earth is becoming dysfunctional. Again it is a quest for dominance.” — Chapter 16, “The Fourfold Wisdom” in The Great Work – Our Way into the Future, by Thomas Berry, priest, author, teacher, geologian

“You want sanity, democracy, community, an intact Earth? We can’t get there, obeying Constitutional theory and law crafted by slave masters, imperialists, corporate masters, and Nature destroyers. We can’t get there, kneeling before robed lawyers stockpiling class plunder precedent up their venerable sleeves. So isn’t disobedience the challenge of our age? Principled, inventive, escalating disobedience to liberate our souls, to transfigure our work as humans on this Earth.” – Richard Grossman

“Energy always flows either toward hope, community, love, generosity, mutual recognition, and spiritual aliveness or it flows toward despair, cynicism, fear that there is not enough, paranoia about the intentions of others, and a desire to control.” ~ Michael Lerner, quoted in The Great Turning – From Empire to Earth Community, by David Korten

“What’s really important is not what’s wrong, but what is right… No community was ever built on the needs and problems of its people. It has always been built on their gifts and capacities, and the use of the assets that are there…” – Professor John L. McKnight, Director of Community Studies, Northwestern University, Illinois

“The latest scheme masquerading as a rational and responsible alternative to landfills is a nationwide – and worldwide – move to drastically increase the use of incineration… The principal consequence of incineration is thus the transporting of the community’s garbage – in gaseous form, through the air – to neighbouring communities, across state lines, and indeed, to the atmosphere of the entire globe, where it will linger for many years to come. In effect, we have discovered yet another group of powerless people upon whom we can dump the consequences of our own waste; those who live in the future and cannot hold us accountable.” Al Gore in Earth In The Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit

“This is the true joy in life – the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. The being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for it’s own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch I’ve got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it to future generations.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Community is formed by people who are acting in cooperation with one another.” ~ Jeanette Armstrong, “Sharing One Skin”

“We live in a world that has practiced violence for generations – violence to other creatures, violence to the planet, violence to ourselves. Yet in my garden, where I have nurtured a healthy soil-plant community, I see a model of a highly successful, non-violent system where I participate in gentle biological diplomacy rather than war. The garden has more to teach us than just how to grow food.” ~ Eliot Coleman, ‘Four-Season Harvest’

“Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healings. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.” ~ Starhawk

“In any case, community is not about perfect people. It is about people who are bonded to each other, each of whom is a mixture of good and bad, darkness and light, love and hate.” – Jean Vanier

“Only connect. This is how we make meaning. This is how we learn to think as Nature thinks.” – Gregory Bateson, anthropologist (Okay, cheating here. The word “community” is not present. So shoot me!!)