The Sum of Us

Author Heather McGhee

I just finished a wonderful book titled the same as this post, “THE SUM OF US.” It is written by Heather McGhee.

I am not a history buff, and as a result, I unfortunately know very little about history. In the past year, I have been learning EYE OPENING facts about the some of the racial background that has led to where we are today in this country.

I highly recommend that if you have any interest in this topic, that you include this book as part of your learning journey.

The reality is that most of us have been brought up in a scarcity mentality that makes us think if someone else is to prosper and be successful, then it can only happen at the expense of someone else.


Some of us subscribe to the lie because that is all we know and have ever been taught, and others propagate the lie for nefarious reasons. Either way, the lie has been perpetuated in the three main ways: 1) in the law; 2) in the economy; 3) through separation and segregation.

My personal experience is that most people are unaware that the have this belief system. It is not about judging or blaming them; it is about creating awareness of the exact opposite: our success does not come at the price of someone else’s loss of lack thereof. In fact, our success can be amplified when are success is done in parntership with others. Now put that on a national and global scale and the sky is the limit.

In order for one boat to rise, another boat does not have to sink. They can both rise in the water.

I am including an excerpt from the last chapter below.

Politics offers two visions of why all the peoples of the world met here: one in which we are nothing more than competitors and another in which perhaps the proximity of so much difference forces us to admit our common humanity

The choice between these two visions has never been starker. To a nation riven with anxiety about who belongs, many in power have made it there overarching goal to so distrust about the goodness of the Other. They are holding on, white-knuckled, to a tiny idea of We the People, denying the beauty of what we are becoming. They’re warning the demographic changes are the unmaking of america. What I’ve seen on my journey is that they’re the fulfillment of America. What they say is a threat is in fact our country salvation — for when a nation found it on a belief in racial hierarchy truly rejects that belief, then and only then will we have discovered a new world.

That is our destiny. To make it manifest, we must challenge ourselves to live our lives in solidarity across color origin and class; we must demand changes to the rules in order to disrupt the very notion that those who have more money are worth more in our democracy and our economy. Since the country’s founding we have not allowed our diversity to be our superpower, and the result is that the United States is not more than the sum of its disparate parts. But it could be. And if it were, all of us would prosper. In short, we must emerge from this crisis in our republic with a new birth of freedom, rooted to the knowledge that we are so much more when the “We” in “We the People” is not some of us but all of us. We are greater than, and greater four, the sum of us.

I hope you read it. If you do, please let me know your thoughts.

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