community - community 3 - community 4

You cannot hope to build a better world
without improving the individuals.
To that end each of us must work for his or her
own improvement, and at the same time
share a general responsibility for all humanity,
our particular duty being to aid those to whom
we think we can be most useful.

Marie Curie

   

A woman once told me that she did not feel the need to reach out to those around her because she prayed every day.  Surely, this was enough.  But a prayer is about our relationship to God; a blessing is about our relationship to the spark of God in one another.  God may not need our attention as badly as the person next to us on the bus or behind us in line in the supermarket.  Everyone in the world matters, and so do their blessings.  When we bless others, we offer them refuge from an indifferent world.

Rachel Naomi Remen

      

Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world.  So long as you can sweeten another's pain, life is not in vain.

Helen Keller

  
Let us. . . touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.

Mother Teresa

  

Have you seen a symphony orchestra?   There is a person at the back carrying a triangle.  Now and again the conductor will point to him or her and that person will play "ting."   That might seem so insignificant, but in the conception of the composer something irreplaceable would be lost to the total beauty of the symphony if that "ting" did not happen.

Desmond Tutu
Believe

   

Entirely by yourself as an individual you can go to hell, but alone you cannot go to heaven, for to go to heaven we need what one may call the natural grace of the mutual dependence on each other here on earth.

Francis Devas

    

Whoever is spared personal pain must feel themselves
called to help in diminishing the pain of others.  We must all carry
our share of the misery which lies upon the world.

Albert Schweitzer

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What is brotherhood?  Brotherhood is giving to others the
rights you want to keep for yourself. . . giving to the individual
in another group the same dignity, the same full appreciation
that you want to have yourself.

Everett R. Clinchy

   

Make it a rule, and pray to God to help you to keep it, never,
if possible, to lie down at night without being able to say:
"I have made one human being at least a little wiser,
or a little happier, or at least a little better this day."

Charles Kingsley

  

We are born in relation, we live in relation, we die in relation.  There is, literally,
no such human place as simply "inside myself."  Nor is any person, creed,
ideology, or movement entirely "outside myself."

Carter Heyward
  

Love is the doorway through which the human soul passes
from selfishness to service and from solitude to kinship
with all humankind.

Anonymous

  

For a person to argue, "I do not go to church; I pray alone,"
is no wiser than if he or she should say,
"I have no use for symphonies; I believe only in solo music."

George A. Buttrick

   

The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents
and discerns those inner qualities that make all people
human and, therefore, brothers and sisters.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

   

No one may forsake their neighbors when they are in trouble.  Everybody
is under obligation to help and support their neighbors
as they would themselves like to be helped.

Martin Luther

  

The true foundation of the brotherhood of humankind is belief in
the knowledge that God is the Father of humankind.  For us,
therefore, brotherhood is not only a generous
impulse but also a divine command.


Harry S. Truman

    
  
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures
is not to hate them, but to be indifferent
to them:  that's the essence of inhumanity.

George Bernard Shaw

Quotes on unity and oneness.

I've always had major problems with the concept of community, for I've never felt a part of one. Even when I've had great opportunities to meet people, to develop friendships, to become a part of something bigger than myself, I've pulled back, never feeling that I belonged. The source of this feeling is very simple--since my father was in the military, we moved around constantly. I went to four grade schools, two junior high schools, and three high schools. We never got the chance to be included, and my father's desire to live off base affected us, too, for we weren't even able to be a part of the military community, and we didn't live in one place long enough to be a part of any civilian community. I don't say these things as a complaint, but as an observation--because it's taken me many years to become comfortable with the concept of belonging, to allow myself to belong in spite of my fear of things coming to an end, community is now extremely important to me. The people I meet who have always been a part of something often take community for granted, or even disdain the "boredom" of being involved with the same people for so long.

But our culture values independence and isolation far too much, it seems to me--we have a hard time making ourselves part of things, of making ourselves responsible to others, and trusting others to be there for us. Sure, there's pain involved if we get hurt, but there's far more pain in isolation. I love community because God gave us other people to live with, not to pull away from, and I learn so much from others that I can't imagine my life without the learning I've gained from getting to know other people. But community doesn't work without commitment--not the lukewarm type of commitment that many see as the ideal, but a strong commitment that lets others know they can count on you.

In retrospect, I see one of the greatest problems of my own shying away from community as the fact that I didn't allow people to get to know me--I kept myself hidden, isolated, and alone, and all that I had to teach was useless, for no one ever heard it.  I've spent many years trying to develop the kind of confidence and strong self-image that would allow me to share what I have to share, and I'm glad to say that I'm much better at it now than I was just a few years ago, but I do still have quite a ways to go.

We lose our ability to live fully if we neglect or ignore our responsibility to the other people who share this planet with us.  We simply cannot reach our full potential without the insights and observations that other people--our teachers--have to give us.  We cannot feel whole until we are helping other people to reach for their potential and to grow as strong as they can grow.  We do need down time, and we do need time to ourselves, but we very much need to acknowledge our ties to our fellow human beings and act as if those people meant more to us than our jobs or pets or cars do.  They are much more important than anything material that we ever can get our hands on or strive for.

tom walsh

     

When you ignore your soul's destiny, when you get caught up in
your own self-interests and forget to care for others, you will not
feel "right."  Instead, you will feel empty and unfulfilled.  During
these times, you are neglecting your soul--you are depriving it of
nourishment. . . seek something outside your nine-to-five job as
an additional source of fulfillment and as a way to feel the joy of
helping others.  You can do any number of things to fulfill this
goal--volunteer at a community hotline, coach a Little League
team, donate your time to a public school, visit the sick.
Whatever you choose, you will gain a sense that you are giving
of yourself, that you are sharing yourself with the world,
that you are fulfilling the destiny of your soul.

Harold Kushner

  
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The race of humankind would perish did they cease to aid each other.
We cannot exist without mutual help.
All therefore that need aid have a right to ask it from their fellow human;
and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt.

Walter Scott

  

It is the individual who is not interested in his or her fellow people who has
the greatest difficulties in life and and provides the greatest injury to others. 
It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.

Alfred Adler

  
   

The entire population of the universe,
with one trifling exception, is composed of others.

John Andrew Holmes

  

A person is called selfish not for pursuing his or her own
good, but for neglecting his or her neighbor's.

Richard Whately

  

When a tree has been transplanted, though fierce winds may blow, it
will not topple if it has a firm stake to hold it up.  But even a tree that
has grown up in place may fall over if its roots are weak.  Even a feeble
person will not stumble if those supporting him or her are strong, but a
person of considerable strength, when alone, may fall down an uneven path.

Daisaku Ikeda
Buddhism Day by Day

 
 

A little friendship, a little sympathy, a little sociability, a little human toil. . .
is needed in every nook and corner.  Therefore search and see if
there is not some place where you may invest your humanity.

Albert Schweitzer

 

Perhaps the clearest and deepest meaning of brotherhood is
the ability to imagine yourself in the other person's position,
and then treat that person as if you were him or her.  This
form of brotherhood takes a lot of imagination, a great deal
of sympathy, and a tremendous amount of understanding.

Obert C. Tanner

   

Treasure each other in the recognition that we do not know
how long we shall have each other.

Joshua Loth Liebman

Quotes on unity and oneness.

  

I am personally thankful that we live together in a large moral house
even if we do not drink at the same fountain of faith.  The world we
experience together is one world, God's world, and our world,
and the problems we share are common human problems.
So we can talk together, try to understand each other,
and help each other.

Lewis B. Smedes

   

More than ever we are aware of the ties that bind us as opposed to
the things that keep us separate.  The interconnection of all humanity
grows clearer each day as the effects of the international nature
of the world grow clearer.  Charles Dickens calls us "fellow passengers
to the grave," as we're all here to do our best while we are alive
to make this world a better place.
  What does this mean to us?
Our generations, more than any that preceded us, are learning about
our responsibilities to our fellow human beings, no matter where
they are, what their race, or what their beliefs.  We are learning
the necessity of being truly human, of holding life sacred and
treating others as if they truly matter, for they do.

tom walsh

community - community 3 - community 4

The task that remains is to cope with our interdependence--to see
ourselves reflected in every other human being,
and to respect and honor our differences.

Melba Patillo Beals

   







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My duty towards my neighbors is to love them as myself,
and to do unto all people as I would they should do unto me.

Book of Common Prayer
   

The most eloquent prayer is the prayer through hands that heal
and bless.  The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish
Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of
consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.

Billy Graham

  

We must delight in each other, make others' conditions our own, rejoice
together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having
before our eyes our commission and community in the
work, our community as members of the same body.

John Winthrop

  



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This is what Jesus had in mind:  folks coming together, forming close-knit
communities and meeting each other's needs-- no kings, no major welfare
systems, no presidents necessary.  His is a theology and practice
for the people of God, not a set of suggestions for empire.

Shane Claiborne
Jesus for President
  

The essence of community, its heart and soul, is the non-monetary
exchange of value; things we do and share because we care
for others, and for the good of the place.

Dee Hock
One from Many

  

It does not matter if we are forgotten; what matters is the effect we
have on those around us and those who come after us.  What matters
is how our own lives affect the larger, perpetual community of the living.

Lynn Schooler
Walking Home

   

  

   

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