We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. In this exquisitely connected world, it's never a question of 'critical mass.' It's always about critical connections.

— Grace Lee Boggs

The most courageous Grace Lee Boggs quotes that will add value to your life

A revolution that is based on the people exercising their creativity in the midst of devastation is one of the great historical contributions of humankind.

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Love isn't about what we did yesterday; it's about what we do today and tomorrow and the day after

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We can begin by doing small things at the local level, like planting community gardens or looking out for our neighbors. That is how change takes place in living systems, not from above but from within, from many local actions occurring simultaneously.

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Keep recognizing that reality is changing and that your ideas have to change.

Don’t get stuck in old ideas.

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Building community is to the collective as spiritual practice is to the individual.

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Talk and write in a way that encourages the mutual exchange of ideas and acts like a midwife to people birthing their own ideas.

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We urgently need to bring to our communities the limitless capacity to love, serve, and create for and with each other. We urgently need to bring the neighbor back into our hoods, not only in our inner cities but also in our suburbs, our gated communities, on Main Street and Wall Street, and on Ivy League campuses.

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I think we’re not looking sufficiently at what is happening at the grassroots in the country. We have not emphasized sufficiently the cultural revolution that we have to make among ourselves in order to force the government to do differently. Things do not start with governments.

86

We need to undergo a very radical revolution in values.

And we need to think about what it's like to have become so materialistic that we think having a good job, and consuming like crazy to compensate for the dehumanization of the job, is living like a human being.

42

People in Detroit aren't just urban gardening.

They're starting a new mode of education. They're trying to give children the education to be "solutionaries" rather than people who are going to get jobs in the system. And that is a huge change, a cultural revolution.

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What time is it on the clock of the world?

16

It takes time for change to take place.

But then when huge changes are taking place, they are extraordinary. And it requires a kind of philosophical thinking, thinking in terms of epochs.

14

About Grace Lee Boggs

Quotes 71 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday June 27, 1915

How do we redefine education so that 30-50 percent of inner-city children do not drop out of school, thus ensuring that millions will end up in prison?

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A rebellion is something that is developing as an explosion coming out of the righteous grievances of a community of people.

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The nation-state became powerful in the wake of the French Revolution, whereas the nation-state has become powerless in light of globalization.

6

New York has become almost a third-world country.

When I was growing up it was mostly a Euro-American country. And it wasn't until LaGuardia was elected in 1933 that Italians were even considered Americans. We're at a great transition point in terms of population, demographics, and what it means to be a human being.

5

I first understood the changes that were necessary in this world, because the waiters in the restaurant, when I cried, used to say, "Leave her on the hillside to die. She's only a girl baby." I think they said it somewhat as a joke, maybe not, but it made me understand that being born female in this world was very different from being born male.

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I think Detroit shows that we've come to the end of the industrial epoch and have to find a new mode of production.

3

I think that rebellions arise out of anger, and they're very short-lived.

And a revolution has some sense of a long time frame, millions of years that we've been evolving on this planet.

3

We have this exploding prison population.

We have the equivalent of martial law on a day-to-day, 24/7-hour basis in our cities, because we have not heard the cry for help by young people in 1967.

3

Nonviolence is essentially based on recognizing the humanity in every one one of us.

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I think it's really important that we get rid of the idea that protest will create change.

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I'm not calling for a boycott on voting.

But I think it should be very clear that just voting is not going to solve our problems.

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In every crisis, people do not respond like a school of fish.

Some people become immobilized. Some people become very angry, some commit suicide, and other people begin to find solutions. And visionary organizers look at those people, recognize them and encourage them, and they become leaders of the future.

1

We have to see today in light of the transition, say, from hunting and gathering to agriculture, and from agriculture to industry, and from industry to post-industry. We're in an epoch transition.

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Actually, if you go back to what Marx said in The Communist Manifesto over a hundred years ago, when in talking about the constant revolutions in technology, he ended that paragraph by saying, "All that is sacred is profaned, all that is solid melts into air, and men and women are forced to face with sober senses our conditions of life and our relations with our kind." We're at that sort of turning point in human history.

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The Vietnam War was taking place, which was raising all sorts of questions in the United States, and it was forcing Asian-Americans to stop thinking of themselves as model minorities and to identify themselves more with world revolution, which was very important in my development.

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I think that at some level, people recognize that growing our economy is destroying us. It's destroying us as human beings, it's destroying our planet.

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I think that education today is a form of child abuse.

The natural tendency of children is to solve problems, but we try to indoctrinate them with facts, which they are supposed to feed back, and then we fail them. And that's child abuse. And you should never raise children that way. You should cultivate and encourage their natural tendencies to create solutions to the problems around them.

0

We have to think in a very different sense than the way we think now.

We think in terms of quick fixes, that solutions will come out of a few protest demonstrations, and calling upon the government to do something. And we can keep trying to do that, and it won't work.

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The most radical thing I ever did was to stay put.

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We're at a great transition point in terms of population, demographics, and what it means to be a human being.

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The standardization and specialization of industrialization was being undermined by globalization. When people in Bangladesh could produce things much more cheaply than anybody could produce them in Detroit, we no longer were the world capital of industrialization.

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It behooves our citizens to be on their guard, to be firm in their principles, and full of confidence in themselves. We are able to preserve our self-government if we will but think so. - Thomas Jefferson Too much of our emphases and struggle has simply been in terms of confrontation and not enough recognition of how much spiritual, moral force is involved in the people who are struggling.

0

The idea of protest organizing, as summarized by community organizer Saul Alinsky, is that if we put enough pressure on the government, it will do things to help people. We don't realize that that kind of organizing worked only when the government was very strong, when the West ruled the world, relatively speaking. But with globalization and the weakening of the nation-state, that kind of organizing doesn't work.

0

I think people look at revolution too much in terms of power.

I think revolution has to be seen more anthropologically, in terms of transitions from one mode of life to another. We have to see today in light of the transition, say, from hunting and gathering to agriculture, and from agriculture to industry, and from industry to post-industry. We're in an epoch transition.

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Finding the leaders of the future is a question of recognizing those people who give leadership in a crisis.

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The struggle we're dealing with these days, which, I think, is part of what the 60s represented, is how do we define our humanity?

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One of the things that's very important, when you're an activist and an organizer like me, is to understand that when things happen of that nature, some people become immobilized and other people begin to find solutions. And Detroit is the kind of city where we begin to find solutions.

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I think that rebellions arise out of anger, and they're very short-lived.

0

Some people are afraid of gentrification, but what I see is young people want to live in a different world. And they see possibilities here. They see that rents are relatively cheap compared to places like New York and California.

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How are we going to make our livings in a society becoming increasingly jobless because of hi-tech and outsourcing? Where will we get the imagination to recognize that for most of human history the concept of Jobs didn't even exist? Work, as distinguished from Labor, was done to produce needed goods and services, develop skills and artistry, and nurture cooperation.

0

I think we have to understand that the nation-state became powerful in the wake of the French Revolution, whereas the nation-state has become powerless in light of globalization.

0

When you think of power, you think the state has power.

When you look at it in terms of revolution, in terms of the state, you think of it in terms of Russia, the Soviet Union, and how those who struggled for power actually became victims of the state, prisoners of the state, and how that led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. We have to think of revolution much more in terms of transitions from one epoch to another.

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History is not the past. It is the stories we tell about the past. How we tell these stories - triumphantly or self-critically, metaphysically or dialectally - has a lot to do with whether we cut short or advance our evolution as human beings.

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We urgently need a paradigm shift in our concept of the purposes and practices of education. We need to leave behind the concept of education as a passport to more money and higher status in the future and replace it with a concept of education as an ongoing process that enlists the tremendous energies and creativity of schoolchildren in rebuilding and respiriting our communities and our cities now, in the present.

0

Well, I would say that we've got to redefine democracy, that we have been stuck in concepts of representative democracy, that we believe that it's getting other people to do things for us that we progress.

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In order to change/transform the world, they [leaders] must change/transform themselves.

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I think people look at revolution too much in terms of power.

I think revolution has to be seen more anthropologically, in terms of transitions from one mode of life to another.

0