I’m on a roadtrip promoting my wellbeing blog. I started creating content ten years ago to end student death by suicide and school violence. I’m putting stickers up in coffeeshops and independent bookstores in college towns. Do you mind if I put one up? – me. 

I downloaded two of at least a dozen books I have yet to listen to in their entirety on my Audible app. Both books I originally began within the last 6-8 months, and would listen on the way home from work. It’s a challenge for me to listen with an intent to hear after 4pm. 

During this realtime roadtrip experience, I started listening to both books where I had left off and it wasn’t working. I started them over again from the beginning and have since only relistened to the prologues. The books are essentially a version of the same thing. Adam Grant’s Think Again is about…thinking again: how to rethink and unlearn. Disruption. Disrupt the stories that keep you stuck and spinning in a version of the same thing. Heather McGhee’s The Sum of Us is about how dominant beliefs (the story told) are what perpetuate limiting results for the majority of us. She talks about how the zero-sum story perpetuates the extremes as it relates to wealth and living conditions, along with accessing resources that support improved outcomes. The zero-sum story is essentially if there is a winner, there must be a loser. A disruption of zero-sum resonates with a belief in abundance: All persons can access livable wages and adequate schooling, medical care, and housing. 

Heather McGhee shares that the story data tells is not the story perpetuated. Zero-sum thinking is not only a race issue that began centuries ago. Zero-sum thinking happens daily. Consider your own experiences growing up in school, sports, family. It can be referred to as a scarcity mindset, as well as a fixed mindset: ‘I need to take what’s mine.’ (There are limited resources. Survival.) Zero-sum thinking certainly evolved out of necessity at some point. Creating a hierarchical structure of race and power had to have evolved from a zero-sum mindset. The fear zero-sum thinking creates has penetrated an ability to enjoy what is. 

Heather McGhee paints a picture of how a healthy graph of a thriving economy should look like a football, not a bowtie. The great majority of us benefit in the football. We do better together.