Quotations about building, maintaining, and being in community. People are essentially social beings, and so people tend to build communities that share common interests, locations, or goals. Community also carries the connotation of a certain kind of group: one that meets the needs of all of those within the community.

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Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.

— Anne Lamott

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.

— Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s, Often attributed to Lilla Watson, who said she was “not comfortable being credited for something that had been born of a collective process” — the attribution here is the one she accepted.

The strongest bond of human sympathy outside the family relation should be one uniting working people of all nations and tongues and kindreds.

— Abraham Lincoln

[M]y consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.

— Albert Einstein

Community offsets loneliness. It gives people a vitally necessary sense of belonging.

— Alvin Toffler

There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe…
At every crossing of the threads there is an individual.
And every individual is a crystal bead.
And every crystal bead reflects
Not only the light from every other crystal in the net
But also every other reflection
Throughout the entire universe.

— Anne Adams, an adaptation of one of the oldest written creations of humanity: “The Net of Jewels, or Indra’s Net”

One man may hit the mark, another blunder; but heed not these distinctions. Only from the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Without community, there is no liberation.

— Audre Lorde

We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.

— Bayard Rustin

Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world.

— bell hooks

Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, reveling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.

— bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope

American families have always shown remarkable resiliency, or flexible adjustment to natural, economic, and social challenges. Their strengths resemble the elasticity of a spider web, a gull’s skillful flow with the wind, the regenerating power of perennial grasses, the cooperation of an ant colony, and the persistence of a stream carving canyon rocks. These are not the strengths of fixed monuments but living organisms. This resilience is not measured by wealth, muscle or efficiency but by creativity, unity, and hope. Cultivating these family strengths is critical to a thriving human community.

— Ben Silliman, Family Life Specialist with the University of Wyoming’s Cooperative Extension Service

You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.

— Betty Ford

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

— Bible, Heb 10:24-25

The technology we need most badly is the technology of community, the knowledge about how to cooperate to get things done.

— Bill McKibben

True belonging is not passive. It’s not the belonging that comes with just joining a group. It’s not fitting in or pretending or selling out because it’s safer. It’s a practice that requires us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be present with people without sacrificing who we are. We want true belonging, but it takes tremendous courage to knowingly walk into hard moments.

— Brené Brown

If we can’t think for ourselves, if we’re unwilling to question authority, then we’re just putty in the hands of those in power. But if the citizens are educated and form their own opinions, then those in power work for us. In every country, we should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights. With it comes a certain decency, humility and community spirit. In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, this may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness.

— Carl Sagan

We’re on the cusp of personal and collective change, one an extension of the other, a developmental step that, when faced with a more complete range of our abilities, furthers human potential. Consider the time we’re in as an invitation to live with an open heart, alert mind, and dynamic integration of our being grounded in our body in alliance with family, community, and Earth. It’s how we thrive.

— Cheryl Pallant

Marriage is a spiritual discipline in which we come to know ourselves as beloved, trustworthy, redeemed, forgiven, and blessed, and at the same time learn how to love, be faithful, redeem, forgive, and bless the partner as well as the community.

— Chris Glaser

Ironically, as much as we yearn for deep friendships and meaningful communities, many of us seem to be unable to find our way into them. Even if we know we’re made for community, finding one and staying there seems almost impossible. Though we hate to admit it, if we stay long enough in any relationship or set of friendships, we will experience failure, doubt, burnout, loneliness, transitions, a loss of self, betrayal, frustration, a sense of entitlement, grief, and weariness. Yet it’s these painful community experiences, these tensions we struggle to navigate, that hold surprising gifts.

— Chris L. Heuertz, Unexpected Gifts: Discovering the Way of Community

We were born to unite with our fellow people, and to join in community with the human race.

— Cicero

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.

— Coretta Scott King

Love is such a powerful force. It’s there for everyone to embrace — that kind of unconditional love for all of humankind. That is the kind of love that impels people to go into the community and try to change conditions for others, to take risks for what they believe in.

— Coretta Scott King

Simply being with other people who are also seekers and who are involved in the same quest you are is very meaningful.

— Dan Wakefield

Communication is a continual balancing act, juggling the conflicting needs for intimacy and independence. To survive in the world, we have to act in concert with others, but to survive as ourselves, rather than simply as cogs in a wheel, we have to act alone.

— Deborah Tannen

The shaping of deeply felt values into meaningful, apposite form, is present in all communities, and will find some means of expressions among all.

— Dell Hymes

Whoever cannot be alone should beware of community. Such people will only do harm to themselves and to the community…. But the reverse is also true. Whoever cannot stand being in community should beware of being alone.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.

— Dorothy Day

Chronic anxiety is systemic; it is deeper and more embracing than community nervousness. Rather than something that resides within the psyche of each one, it is something that can envelop, if not actually connect, people. It is a regressive emotional process that is quite different from the more familiar, acute anxiety we experience over specific concerns. Its expression is not dependent on time or events, even though specific happenings could seem to trigger it, and it has a way of reinforcing its own momentum.

— Edwin H. Friedman

For one who is indifferent, life itself is a prison. Any sense of community is external or, even worse, nonexistent. Thus, indifference means solitude. Those who are indifferent do not see others. They feel nothing for others and are unconcerned with what might happen to them. They are surrounded by a great emptiness. Filled by it, in fact. They are devoid of all hope as well as imagination. In other words, devoid of any future.

— Elie Wiesel
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