ON COMMUNITY AND ABUNDANCE
"Here is a crucial turning point in our transition from assuming scarcity to seeing the potentials of abundance. It consists in the simple but rare act of looking at what we already have, at the gifts and resources that are immediately available to us. Our activism sometimes breeds the arrogant belief that nothing exists except as we make it, buy it, sell it, or get a grant for it. The truth is, of course, that we could not make anything, let alone buy or sell it, if nothing existed in the first place; our making is always a mixing of our ideas and energies with the abundant gifts of nature. So the first step in any action that assumes abundance and wants to amplify it is to perceive, and receive, those resources already present to us in the abundance of life itself."
"There is a powerful correlation between the assumption of scarcity and the decline of community. If we allow the scarcity assumption to dominate our thinking, we will act in individualistic, competitive ways that destroy community. If we destroy community, where creating and sharing generates abundance, the scarcity assumption will become more valid."
"But even as we act to evoke community, we must remember that community itself is a gift received, not a goal to be achieved. We have a strong tendency to make community one more project among many, to struggle and strain to come into relationship with one another, only to find that the stress of these very efforts exhausts us and drives us apart. Still, time after time we try to 'make' community happen in the same effortful and self-defeating ways. Why? Because as long as we are the makers, we remain in control; and as long as we are in control, we will not be vulnerable to the risks of true community.
True community, like all gifts, involves true risks. Community may or may not happen, may or may not be received, may or may not have consequences we like."
—The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Care, and Creativity, Parker Palmer