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quotations about community

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

HENRIK IBSEN, An Enemy of the People

Any decent society must generate a feeling of community. Community offsets loneliness. It gives people a vitally necessary sense of belonging. Yet today the institutions on which community depends are crumbling in all the techno-societies. The result is a spreading plague of loneliness.


When the individual feels, the community reels.

ALDOUS HUXLEY, Brave New World

The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual; the impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.

WILLIAM JAMES, The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy

Community is another such phenomenon. Like electricity, it is profoundly lawful. Yet there remains something about it that is inherently mysterious, miraculous, unfathomable. Thus there is no adequate one-sentence definition of genuine community. Community is something more than the sum of its parts, its individual members. What is this "something more?" Even to begin to answer that, we enter a realm that is not so much abstract as almost mystical. It is a realm where words are never fully suitable and language itself falls short.

M. SCOTT PECK, The Different Drum

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

JOHN DONNE, No Man Is an Island

Community is a place where the connections felt in our hearts make themselves known in the bonds between people, and where the tuggings and pullings of those bonds keep opening our hearts.

PARKER J. PALMER, The Promise of Paradox

We have been born to associate with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race.

CICERO, attributed, Day's Collacon

Fire, ice, asteroids and pole shifts are bogeymen with which we distract ourselves from the real threat of our time. In an age when everyone invents his own truth, there is no community, only factions. Without community, there can be no consensus to resist the greedy, the envious, the power-mad narcissists who seize control and turn the institutions of civilization into a series of doom machines.

DEAN KOONTZ, Relentless

Every person is defined by the communities she belongs to.

ORSON SCOTT CARD, Speaker for the Dead

The smallest indivisible human unit is two people, not one; one is a fiction. From such nets of souls societies, the social world, human life springs.

TONY KUSHNER, Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness

The great community of mankind had been subdivided into ten thousand communities, each organized for the ruin of the other.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, Essay on Christianity

The mark of a community is that one's life may be lived wholly within it. One cannot live wholly within a tribe or a city. The basic criterion of community then is that all of one's social relationships may be found within it.

BASAVANTHAPPA, Community Health Nursing

Community is and must be inclusive. The great enemy of community is exclusivity. Groups that exclude others because they are poor or doubters or divorced or sinners or of some different race or nationality are not communities; they are cliques--actually defensive bastions against community.

M. SCOTT PECK, The Different Drum

A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives.

WENDELL BERRY, The Long-Legged House

We need to bridge our sense of loneliness and disconnection with a sense of community and continuity even if we must manufacture it from our time on the Web and our use of calling cards to connect long distance. We must "log on" somewhere, and if it is only in cyberspace, that is still far better than nowhere at all.

JULIA CAMERON, God Is No Laughing Matter

It feels good to be in a community. Community, above all, is bigger than individuals--we are something much more than individuals when we are part of a community. And this is how things ought to be.

TONY BLACKSHAW, Key Concepts in Community Studies

Community is universal love.

H. MARSH, attributed, Day's Collacon

The real existing community is a besieged fortress defending itself against the outside world.


One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.

JEAN VANIER, Community and Growth

Don't be a hog: the only time a hog helps the community is when he dies.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination.

BELL HOOKS, Teaching Community

Every nation is destined, by the law of God and humanity, to form a free and equal community of brothers.

GIUSEPPE MAZZINI, Life and Writings of Joseph Mazzini

The more people that meet each other, the better it is for all of them.

FLETCHER PRATT, Tales From Gavagan's Bar

We live in a community of people not so that we can suppress and dominate each other or make each other miserable but so that we can better and more reliably satisfy all life's healthy needs.

WILHELM REICH, Children of the Future

Community is a word that alters in different contexts in an almost chameleon-like fashion.

SHARON MACDONALD, A Companion to Museum Studies

Community [is] a group of individuals who have learned how to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, and who have developed some significant commitment to "rejoice together, mourn together," and to "delight in each other, make others' conditions our own."

M. SCOTT PECK, The Different Drum

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

Men are free when they belong to a living, organic, believing community, active in fulfilling some unfulfilled, perhaps unrealized purpose. Not when they are escaping to some wild west. The most unfree souls go west, and shout of freedom.

D. H. LAWRENCE, Studies in Classic American Literature


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