Community Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
Community: The Structure of Belonging Community: The Structure of Belonging by Peter Block
970 ratings, 4.05 average rating, 113 reviews
Community Quotes (showing 1-15 of 15)
“Invitation is not only a step in bringing people together, it is also a fundamental way of being in a community. It manifests the willingness to live in a collaborative way. This means that a future can be created without having to force or sell it or barter for it. When we believe that barter or subtle coercion is necessary, we are operating out of a context of scarcity and self-interest, the core currencies of the economist.”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“The key to creating or transforming community, then, is to see the power in the small but important elements of being with others. The shift we seek needs to be embodied in each invitation we make, each relationship we encounter, and each meeting we attend. For at the most operational and practical level, after all the thinking about policy, strategy, mission, and milestones, it gets down to this: How are we going to be when we gather together?”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“• We are a community of possibilities, not a community of problems. • Community exists for the sake of belonging and takes its identity from the gifts, generosity, and accountability of its citizens. It is not defined by its fears, its isolation, or its penchant for retribution. • We currently have all the capacity, expertise, programs, leaders, regulations, and wealth required to end unnecessary suffering and create an alternative future.”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“The interest we have in problems is so intense that at some point we take our identity from those problems. Without them, it seems like we would not know who we are as a community. Many of the strongest advocates for change would lose their sense of identity if the change they desired ever occurred.”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“The essential challenge is to transform the isolation and self-interest within our communities into connectedness and caring for the whole.”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“In summary, (1) one gets complete with the past, which takes it out of the future (being complete with the past is not to forget the past); (2) in the room that is now available in the future when one’s being and action are no longer shaped by the past, one creates a future (a future that moves, touches, and inspires one); (3) that future starts to shape one’s being and actions in the present so that they are consistent with realizing that future.”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“the search for human freedom—freedom being the choice to be a creator of our own experience and accept the unbearable responsibility that goes with that. Out of this insight grows the idea that perhaps the real task of leadership is to confront people with their freedom. This may be the ultimate act of love that is called for from those who hold power over others.”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“Book at a Glance This section is a quick summary and reference guide to the book. You are welcome to copy and use at will. First come the context and main ideas. Next is a summary of the questions. Finally is a quick look at designing the physical space. Overall Premise”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“Community-as-problems-to-be-solved has some benefits. It values the ability to implement, is big on doing, has a certain honesty about it, and worships tangible results as the ultimate blessing. You might say that this is what has gotten us this far. It is not that this (or any other) context is wrong; it just does not have the power to bring something new into the world.”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“One aspect of our fragmentation is the gaps between sectors of our cities and neighborhoods; businesses, schools, social service organizations, churches, government operate mostly in their own worlds. Each piece is working hard on its own purpose, but parallel effort added together does not make a community. Our communities are separated into silos; they are a collection of institutions and programs operating near one another but not overlapping or touching. This is important to understand because it is this dividedness that makes it so difficult to create a more positive or alternative future—especially in a culture that is much more interested in individuality and independence than in interdependence. The work is to overcome this fragmentation.”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“When we shift from talking about the problems of community to talking about the breakdown of community, something changes. Naming the challenge as the “breakdown of community” opens the way for restoration.Holding on to the view that community is a set of problems to be solved holds us in the grip of retribution. At every level of society, we live in the landscape of retribution. The retributive community is sustained by several aspects of the modern community conversation, which I will expand on throughout the book: the marketing of fear and fault, gravitation toward more laws and oversight, an obsession with romanticized leadership, marginalizing hope and possibility, and devaluing associational life to the point of invisibility.”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“We can create structures of belonging even if we are introverted”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“The conventional approach to community building and development addresses problem areas such as public safety, jobs and local economy, affordable housing, youth, universal health care, and education. Every city has thousands of institutions, programs, and agencies all committed to serving the public good. From the standpoint of building community and social capital, these institutions and programs are just treating the symptoms. Safety, jobs, housing, and the rest are symptoms of the unreconciled and fragmented nature of the community—what Lopez calls the breakdown of community. This fragmentation or breakdown creates a context where trying to solve the symptoms only sustains them. Otherwise, why have we been working on these symptoms for so long and so hard; and even with so many successful programs, why have we seen too little fundamental change?”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“Individual transformation is the more popular conversation, and the choice not to focus on it [in this book] is because we have already learned that the transformation of large numbers of individuals does not result in the transformation of communities. If we continue to invest in individuals as the primary target of change, we will spend our primary energy on this and never fully invest in communities. In this way, individual transformation comes at the cost of community.”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging
“What makes community building so complex is that it occurs in an infinite number of small steps, sometimes in quiet moments that we notice out of the corner of our eye. It calls for us to treat as important many things that we thought we incidental. An afterthought becomes the point; a comment made in passing defines who we are more than all that came before. If the artist is one who captures the nuance of experience, then this is whom each of us must become.”
Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging

All Quotes
Quotes By Peter Block
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game