If civilization is to survive, we
must cultivate the science
of human relationships--
the ability of all peoples,
of all kinds, to live together,
in the same world at peace.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

 community 2 - community 3 - community 4


We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been--a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time.  Community.  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 healing.  A circle of friends.  Someplace where we can be free.



Brotherhood is not just a Bible word.  Out of comradeship can come and will come the happy life for all.

Heywood Broun


What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?

George Eliot
I never did anything alone.  Whatever I accomplished was accomplished collectively.

Golda Meir


Anticipate charity by preventing poverty; assist the reduced fellow human being, either by a considerable gift, or a sum of money, or by teaching him or her a trade, or by putting him or her in the way of business, so that he or she may earn an honest livelihood, and not be forced to the dreadful alternative of holding out his hand for charity.  This is the highest step and the summit of charity's golden ladder.



The American city should be a collection of communities where every member
has a right to belong.  It should be a place where every person feels safe
on his or her streets and in the house of his or her  friends.  It should be a place
where each individual's dignity and self-respect is strengthened by the respect
and affection of his or her neighbors.  It should be a place where each of us
can find the satisfaction and warmth which comes from being a member of the
community of human beings.  This is what people sought at the dawn of civilization.
It is what we seek today.

Lyndon B. Johnson


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Let us be kinder to one another.

Aldous Huxley's last words

A mystic bond of brotherhood
makes all people one.

Thomas Carlyle

It is not written, blessed are they that feedeth the poor,
but they that considereth the poor.
A little thought and a little kindness are often worth
more than a great deal of money.

John Ruskin


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
The Long Loneliness

Quotes on unity and oneness.  

To desire and strive to be of some service to the world,
to aim at doing something which shall really increase the
happiness and welfare and virtue of humankind--this
is a choice which is possible for all of us; and surely
it is a good haven to sail for.

Henry Van Dyke

The realization that our small planet is only one of many worlds
gives humankind the perspective it needs to realize sooner that
our own world belongs to all of its creatures, that the moon landing
marks the end of our childhood as a race and the beginning
of a newer and better civilization.

Arthur C. Clarke


It is probably a pity that every citizen of each state cannot visit all the others,
to see the differences, to learn what we have in common, and to come back
with a richer, fuller understanding of America--in all its beauty,
in all its dignity, in all its strength, in support of moral principle.

Dwight D. Eisenhower


It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses,
to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to
may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted
to worship, or else a horror and corruption such as you now meet, if at all,
only in nightmare.  All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other
to one or the other of these destinations.  It is in the light of these overwhelming
possibilities, it is in the awe and circumspection proper to them that we should
conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play,
all politics.  There are no ordinary people.  You have never talked to a mere mortal.

C.S. Lewis



We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with
our fellow men and women; and among those fibers,
as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes,
and they come back to us as effects.

Herman Melville


Very seldom will people give up on themselves.  They continue to have hope
because they know that they have the potential for change.  They try again--
not just to exist, but to bring about those changes in themselves that will make
their lives worth living.  Yet people are very quick to give up on friends,
and especially on spouses, to declare them hopeless, and to either walk away
or do nothing more than resign themselves to a bad situation.

Hugh Prather


Blessed are the servants who love their brothers and sisters as much
when they are sick and useless as when they are well and can be
of service to them.  And blessed are they who love their brothers
and sisters as well when they are afar off as when they are by their side,
and who would say nothing behind their back that they might not,
in love, say before their face.

St. Francis of Assisi

 community 2 - community 3 - community 4

No person is an island entire of itself.
Every person is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were.
Any person's death diminishes me, because I am involved in humankind.
Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls.
It tolls for thee.

John Donne


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We are all citizens of one world, we are all of one blood.
To hate people because they were born in another country,
because they speak a different language, or because they
take a different view on this subject or that, is a great folly.
Desist, I implore you, for we are all equally human. . . .
Let us have but one end in view:  the welfare of humanity.

Johann Amos Comenius


There is a danger, in issue-oriented groups not based on community,
that the enemy is seen as being the one outside of the group.  The
world gets divided between "the good" and "the bad."  We are among
the good; the others are the bad.  In issue-oriented groups, the enemy
is always outside.  We must struggle against all those who are outside
of our group, all those who are of the other party.
True community is different because of the realization that the evil is inside--
not just inside the community, but inside me.  I cannot think of taking the
speck of dust out of my neighbor's eye unless I'm working on the log in my
own.  Evil is here in me.  Warfare is inside my own community, and I am
called to be an agent of peace there.  But warfare is also in me and I am
called to seek wholeness inside of myself.  Healing begins here, in myself.
Wholeness and unity begin inside of myself.  If I am growing toward
wholeness, then I'll be an agent of wholeness.  If our community is an
agent of wholeness, then it will be a source of life for the world around it.

Jean Vanier
From Brokenness to Community


When a mentally retarded child is born, the religious question we often
ask is, "Why does God let this happen?"  The better question to pose is
to ask, "What kind of community should we be so that mental
retardation isn't a barrier to the enjoyment of one's full humanity?"

Rabbi Harold Kushner

(While we do realize that "mentally retarded" is not a currently acceptable
term, this quotation comes from several decades ago and is a very
compassionate thought, so it seems better to let it stand as said then.)

A lot of movement in today's life is away from others.  That's part
of the American myth of individualism.  We are lone wolves, us
against the world-- individually, or sometimes as a small, nuclear
family.  But I think we've paid a high price for that in this country.
There's tremendous solitude and isolation.  Perhaps this revival
of interest in the soul is reflecting a slight turn away from the
isolation of individualism back to the cohesion of the community.
Soulful life nudges us toward reconnecting ourselves to the
neighborhood, toward community action, political activity,
reattaching with our family, our past, our ancestors,
and revitalizing our spiritual lives.

Phil Cousineau


We are responsible for one another.  Collectively so.  The world is a joint effort. 
We might say it is like a giant puzzle, and each one of us is a very important
and unique part of it.  Collectively, we can unite and bring about a powerful change
in the world.  By working to raise our awareness to the highest possible level of
spiritual understanding, we can begin to heal ourselves, then each other and the world.

Betty Eadie


Quotes on unity and oneness. 

One exemplary act may affect one life, or even millions of lives.
All those who set standards for themselves, who strengthen
the bonds of community, who do their work creditably and
accept individual responsibility, are building the common future.

John W. Gardner


Human beings are a part of the whole, called by us "the universe," a
part limited in time and space.  We experience ourselves, our thoughts
and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical
delusion of our consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us,
restricting us to our own 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


And so it's good that we remember
Just as soon as we've discovered
That the things we do in life
Will always end up touching others.

Paul O'Neill

(from Trans-Siberian Orchestra's
Christmas Eve and Other Stories)



Once you educate the boys, they tend to leave the villages and go search
for work in the cities, but the girls stay home, become leaders in the
community, and pass on what they’ve learned.  If you really want to change
a culture, to empower women, improve basic hygiene and health care, and
fight high rates of infant mortality, the answer is to educate girls.

Greg Mortenson
Three Cups of Tea


There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You
built a factory out there--good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved
your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers
the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of
police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to
worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your
factory... Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific
or a great idea--God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying
social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward
for the next kid who comes along.

Elizabeth Warren



People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably
painful or dull.  They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure.
They are estranged from their families and their neighbors.  It should
tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative,
convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful,
and addictive.  We need drugs, apparently,
because we have lost each other.

Wendell Berry
The Art of the Commonplace

 community 2 - community 3 - community 4

The story of any one person's real experience finds its 
startling parallel in that of every one of us.

James Russell Lowell

What should young people do with their lives today?  Many things,
obviously.  But the most daring thing is to create stable communities
in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.

Kurt Vonnegut
Palm Sunday


A community is like a ship; everyone ought
to be prepared to take the helm.

Henrik Ibsen

There was a farmer who grew excellent quality wheat and every season he won the award for the best grown in his county.  One year a reporter from the local newspaper interviewed the farmer and learned that each spring the man shared his seed with his neighbors so that they, too, could plant it in their fields.

“How can you afford to share your best wheat seed with your neighbors when they are entering their crops in the competition with yours?" the reporter asked.

“Why, that's very simple,” the farmer explained.  "The wind picks up pollen from the developing wheat and carries it from field to field.  If my neighbors grow inferior wheat, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of all the wheat, including mine.  If I am to grow good wheat, I must help my neighbors grow good wheat."

The reporter realized how the farmer's explanation also applied to peoples' lives in the most fundamental way.  Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches.  And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

Whenever education and refinement carry us away from the common people,
they are growing towards selfishness, which is the monster evil of the world.
That is true cultivation which gives us sympathy with every form of human life,
and enables us to work most successfully for its advancement.
Refinement that carries us away from our fellow people is not God’s refinement.

Henry Ward Beecher

Increase, O God, the spirit of neighborliness among us,
that in peril we may uphold one another,
in calamity serve one another, in suffering tend one another
and in homeliness and loneliness in exile befriend one another. 
Grant us brave and enduring hearts that we may strengthen one another,
till the disciplines and testing of these days be ended.

Prayer used in air-raid shelters, England, WWII


I sought my soul,
But my soul I could not see.
I sought my God,
But my God eluded me.
I sought my brother,
And I found all three.




Articles and book excerpts on community:

As Is      Gail Pursell Elliott
Begin the Healing      Suzanne W. Zoglio

If You Feel like a Baby, Get a Baby-Sitter      Charlotte Davis Kasl

Capital Expenditures      Gail Pursell Elliott

Connect or Contact:  A Call to Community      Jance Hain

Darrel Scott's Testimony before Congress

I Believe      John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

The Keeper of the Spring

Are We Underestimating Our Power to Help?      Dorothy Schubert

Sabotaged Efforts      Ray Whiting

A Supposed Letter from Chief Seattle

Becoming a Passionate Self-Care Practitioner      Julie Jordan Scott

Shaya's Home Run      Paysach Krohn

To Be Long      tom walsh
The Art of Getting Along       Wilferd A. Peterson


Alone in his car heading west, it's easy for Jason
to feel sorry for himself and mad at the world.  But
then he gives a ride to Hector and learns that life
isn't nearly as negative as we sometimes see it,
and that the prejudice and discrimination that
he's experiencing aren't unique to him--and aren't
impossible to overcome.  The friendship between
this young man and his 70-year-old passenger is
an inspiring story of love and dealing with
obstacles in our lives.    
Book - Kindle



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