By beautiful people I don’t mean the genetically advantaged, surgically enhanced or expensively coiffed and coutured. The people I’m thinking of are best described by path-breaking Swiss-American psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ (1926-2004) insightful words: “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity and understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern.”
When imagining Antara’s residents, I unfailingly see wonderful, wise, kind people with many God-given gifts and much love to offer each other and any one who spends time with them. I see compassionate, gentle and energetic people of wide experience and distinction living together in mutual appreciation, harmony and joy.
The relationship between human beings and the spaces we occupy is profound and far-reaching. It shapes the way we think, speak and act; how happy we are; how healthy we are; how long we live and what contribution we make to our planet. It takes a rare, one in many millions person like Nelson Mandela to go through 26 years of incarceration and emerge the giant he was; most of us would handle that sentence rather less well. A child sent to a school that insists on the memorizing of text may grow up less well prepared for the world than the one from the house next door who goes to a school that encourages creativity and thinking. We humans respond exponentially to great environments, in every aspect of our personalities. This is why I’m so excited by Antara’s conceptual, architectural and execution brilliance in creating so many charming and uplifting spaces for the community to thrive in, both in private and with each other. I’m looking forward to the residents enjoying these spaces in the ways they are intended and in new ways they invent. I’m looking forward, with a twinkle in my eye, to being surprised and delighted.
When wonderful people and inspiring spaces come together, can memorable, life-affirming moments be far behind? There are few boundaries – age the least of them - to what we can achieve and enjoy when the conditions are right. And they have never been more right than at Antara, in every sense of the word. I imagine moments of heart-warming celebration at a birthday or anniversary with family and friends; a Newtonian epiphany in the cherry orchard, conversations that solve the problems of the world inspired by a view of the mountains or the divine pleasure of a favourite book while cosily curled in the corner of the library.