Posted by: suekenney | August 17, 2017

E Pluribus Unum

This is an email I recently received from one of my nieces, Dr. Bahiyyah Maroon.  I am both encouraged and humbled by her words.  I pray that what she describes here is not an isolated situation in our troubled world; I pray that many others share in these blessings of diversity and respectful, thoughtful differences.


I often share with people about the wide spectrum of views in my family. How we have folks on the far far left, the middle, and the far far right in terms of political views. While many a contentious political conversation has been had around any number of tables over years, the fact is people in our family have generally always found a way to create bridges between the many differences we hold. We are from many different faith backgrounds and non-faith backgrounds. We have different parties we sign on to. Different this and different these. And yes, different colors as well.
 I am greatly struck in days past, by how tremendously fortunate we all are to have this family experience with navigating for better or worse the tumultuous waters of difference through the rivers of our family line. While our nation reels with long unmet histories and harsh present storms, I have found myself taking great solace in the diversity of the family that I come from. I’d like to believe that the truce agreements, the negotiated peace, and the peaceable respect we have found between our diverse beliefs is something that might one day be reflected in the greater landscapes of the country. I can’t know anymore than anybody else when such a time might occur. I can know that I take enormous appreciative solace in the experience of being part of a small group of people who is doing the remarkable simple decent thing on a regular basis of agreeing to agree and also agreeing to disagree.
I have had some lively debates with people over the years and I’ve grown from all of them. I’ve found myself in some rather awkward moments too and have grown through those as well. In our family some folks are not sure why there should be such a thing as blacklivesmatter and some other people actively teach about exactly why there should be a blacklivesmatter. And we break bread the same way together through these differences. This is one of many examples of our diversity and our willingness to respect our differences.
I wanted to take a moment today to send my love to everyone and my appreciation for the kind of family we are.


  1. Such wise words. I hope and pray that your wonderfully diverse country will find its way to harmony: I deliberately say harmony and not unison. Harmony is so much greater.

    • Believe me, I am hoping and praying for the same thing. And that is so true, that harmony is so much greater than unison. There are times when unison is needful – but I think harmony is needed much more often. Thanks for your comment.

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