When I sit in circles with young people to talk about respect, healthy communication and relationships, I find it useful to have names and faces in my own mind and heart of what we’re talking about as it relates to real life couples rather than the Hollywood celebrity culture. Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at are a couple that come to mind. They were high school sweethearts who have been together for 18 years and married for 10 of these years. I’ve started following their weekly You Tube videos over the past year and am constantly amazed by their work and partnership. Their love and devotion is really inspiring as they demonstrate their commitment to increasing the quality of relationships throughout the world.
“We believe everything – from one’s perception of a problem to the solution – begins with a willingness to look within, tell the truth and commit to change.”
Last week I watched “ That Makes No Damn Sense” with my partner and we shared laughter as we watched the honesty, truth and wisdom in Ayize’s offerings about partnership, acceptance and true intimacy. These are the real parts of a relationship that are so very important for youth to learn about in preparation for intimate relationships. I love the Ma’at’s playfulness and authenticity. They remind me of the grounded quality that marriage and partnership can be. In the past few years, I have come to believe that all great social change is rooted in families in which there is a partnership that is based on truth, loyalty and commitment.
Recently, Jean Oelwang conducted a study of some of the greatest leaders on the planet today – Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter to name a few. She wanted to study and interview these giants (all of whom have incredible self- esteem) and discover what they all had in common. She could only find one common trait among them: A supportive, committed romantic relationship.
Bruce Muzik explains, “If our sense of self is sculpted by our interactions with others, then the one person who has the most influence over our sense of self over time is the person we spend the most time with. And that person is usually our romantic partner.”
I express gratitude to the Ma’at’s for their dedication to couple and community health and well being and how they support others to continue to grow, love and foster meaningful relationships. You can check out their website at: http://www.blackloveandmarriage.com/2013/09/the-unauthorized-maat-tell-all/
“It Makes No Damn Sense” at: