Hi everyone! I’ve brought an enormous paper sculpture that is important to me and is also symbolic. You may be wondering how to maintain a happy life. I’m still learning too, but these are some of the things I’ve learned and maybe they will apply to you.
My name is Shanti Robinson and I’m going to talk about some of the most precious aspects of life: family, friendship, and love.
Connection is one of the most important things in any relationship. Like this paper sculpture. It’s connected to make this unified globe. And if you were to take one piece out, the whole thing would fall apart.
I’m really grateful for my family because we trust and respect each other completely. Trust enables us to share our deepest thoughts and feelings with one another. So our discussions consider everyone’s feelings and disagreements often end in compromise.
My mom and I are both very strong-willed individuals so sometimes we argue. But we learn from each other. One of the things I’ve learned from my mom is to think before I speak. I treasure this insight because it has helped me in all areas of life, particularly in friendships.
I calculate everything I plan to say. What I mean by that is before I respond, I predict how a person’s going to react and I edit in my mind until I can visualize a positive outcome.
People are multi-dimensional like this 3D sculpture, so people will react differently to what you say. The perception of kindness is relative. So in order to be compassionate with everyone, I learn about that person and adjust to better communicate with them.
My best friends are kind and we connect on a very deep level. Although I love all people, through experience I’ve learned that there are some people I can’t be friends with. These are people who take more than they give. That can be really draining. I learned that lesson when I fell in love.
The person that made this sculpture for me was the first person I ever loved.
Even though love is always magical, our relationship didn’t end well and I realized that there are two different kinds of love: incompatible and compatible.
Incompatible magic was what I experienced. It was magical because our connection and the moments we shared were intense and inexplainable and we wanted to spend all our time together. But it was incompatible because our needs conflicted. He wanted an undefinable romance and I wanted him to be known as my boyfriend.
Compatible magic is what I believe everyone desires. It’s the type of love where everything is mutual. Both people’s wants and needs are met. Compatible magic lasts forever. It’s beautiful and sometimes complex but there’s always a happily ever after.
So again, I’m Shanti Robinson. And these are my deep thoughts on family, friendship, and love.
“Only through time, time is conquered.”
– T.S. Eliot
I live my life as if my time is limited. You can only do so many things, fit so many things, into a day, a month, a lifetime. I don’t want to waste a minute on what I HAVE to do – I want to spend it all on what I WANT to do. I have no energy to spare on thoughts that pull me down. That’s time management.
The passage of time has turned my hair a charcoal gray, an ashen shadow that summons the threat of losing all these things I am meant to do – the creativity that hasn’t yet turned into expression – and the urgency of holding onto time with the people I love. Demanding a future. The right to be here, to cherish and adore and protect them.
Fleeting moments. My past is filled with them. My daughter turns 18 next week. And I want to be here for all the rest of it – all those sparkling moments. There’s a myth about independence. We really do need each other, even when we’re grown. I want to be here, for her. And for Charles. Just to be with him. For no other reason than that simple comfort. And the knowing that I am that for him. Without me, he has no anchor.
My yearning for transcendence comes, at least in part, from my sense that my time is limited. And the need to find a way to get beyond time while I’m here.