With the U.S. presidential election coming around again, there are now more and more political conversations going on around us these days, and politics – just like everything else in life – is all about relationships. You may hear people talk about ending conflicts and creating peace, but are those people acting peaceful in the process? Whether it’s your elected officials, or your family, friends and neighbors, you’re bound to notice a lot of blaming going on.

It’s easy to point the finger at another person – or group of people – and say that our problems exist because of them. It’s the president’s fault. It’s those damned liberals, conservatives, non-voters, religious fanatics, you-name-it! But the truth is, it’s you. Yes, you. Each and every one of us is responsible for creating the world we want to see. Each one of us is responsible for finding ways to work together to create a world that works for everyone.

Politics is all just a bunch of smoke and mirrors anyway. It’s a lot like “reality” TV – not much of it is actually real, but as long as people keep watching and believing, the shows will keep on coming. From our observation, politicians have the same problem that we all have in our relationships – they don’t always know how to listen. Listening to each other is the key to understanding each other. It seems like we all start behaving like children when it comes to politics: “That’s not fair! I’m right, you’re wrong! It has to be done my way!” What would a parent say to this behavior? How about “Play nice. Let’s share. No fighting. You two need to find a way to get along.” It’s not about right or wrong, fair or unfair. It’s about what works or does not work, what we want and what we don’t want.

When we wrote our first book, The Seven Steps to Successful Relationships, and began teaching others how to create what they wanted in their relationships, we discovered that our relationship with each other was the easy one. If we could practice the same principles in our relationships with family members, friends, colleagues and community members, then we would know that our system really works.

After several years of testing, we are happy to report that it works quite well. These days, conversations which used to be strained at best, are filled with compassion and understanding, because we decided to take responsibility for making these relationships all that we knew they could be. We found that when we began to really listen to people, and to accept and appreciate them for who they were, then they began to accept and appreciate themselves – and us – in ways we had never experienced before. What a wonderful gift!

In our recent research, we’ve found that there are a growing number of people working to build community relationships that transcend ideological polarities, and create a political system that works for everyone; people making a point of really listening to one another, and valuing the ideas and opinions expressed by each person, regardless of personal philosophy or political affiliation.

It’s not always easy to be the one to take that first step toward making our relationships better – to stop blaming and start listening, accepting and appreciating people for who they are. As they say, though, “It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.” If we want our relationships – and our world – to work better, we can’t just sit around and wait for others to make the first move. We’ve got to take it upon ourselves. Take responsibility. Take the initiative.

When we stop playing the blame game, and ask ourselves who’s really responsible for the state the world is in, the answer is clear. We are. The good news is, we’re also the ones with the power to make it better.

Many Blessings,

Keith and Maura Leon

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Author's Bio: 

Keith Leon and Maura Leon are co-owners of Successful Communications consulting and training, and co-authors of The Seven Steps to Successful Relationships. In less than two years, Keith and Maura went from relationship failures to the relationship of their dreams, and now they share their secrets with others through their website, newsletters, seminars, and coaching. They have appeared on popular radio and television broadcasts, including The Rolonda Watts show and the Shelley Martin show, and their work has been covered by newspapers such as the Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune and the Maryland Herald-Mail.

Keith and Maura have more than twenty-five years of combined training and experience in the field of personal and professional development. They’ve worked with leading experts of transformation, including Jack Canfield, Byron Katie, Michael Beckwith, Terry Cole-Whittaker, John Gray, Barbara DeAngelis and T. Harv Eker. As professional speakers, life coaches and authors, they support both men and women in the areas of career, family, community and love relationships. Their passion is building personal and professional relationships that work.

On Keith and Maura’s website at www.relationship-masters.com you’ll find an abundance of information and resources, including interactive quizzes, informational downloads, audio and video recordings, and much, much more!