Amana The Season to Be Thankful Hero

The Season to Be Thankful

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The Season to Be Thankful

by Stephanie Buckland | Chief Executive Officer, Amana Living

Christmas is one of my favourite times of year. Not because of the decorations or the food (although I do enjoy those), but because we get to celebrate one of the most important moments in history – the birth of Christ. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).

God’s gift is better than anything that comes wrapped in colourful paper. It is everlasting, and, after more than 2,000 years, it continues to sustain us all. For that, I am so very grateful.

Christmas, for many of us, marks the beginning of a time of reflection, sometimes ending in a resolution for the year ahead. While it is always a good idea to want to live a healthier lifestyle, lose weight or give up a vice, resolutions tend to go out of the window pretty quickly. But I have one that is failsafe – practicing gratitude. It can be as simple as saying ‘thank you’ to the person who makes your coffee in the morning or someone who holds a door open for you.

Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Robert Emmons, is a leading expert on gratitude. His research shows that practicing gratitude promotes better mental health and also improves relationships.

It’s not too difficult to find things to be grateful for. I am grateful that 2021 has been so much easier to navigate than 2020. COVID-19 is still a part of our lives and we have been in lockdown in the Perth metropolitan area and beyond twice this year due to community transmission of the virus. Thankfully, the lockdowns were short and effective.

Compared to other Australian cities, life in Western Australia has been relatively unaffected. We go to work, our economy is doing well, and there hasn’t been a COVID death all year. We’ve managed to go on holidays, and we have had near-on record rainfall, bolstering our farmers’ crops.

I am thankful the world worked together to develop COVID vaccines. They are a game changer in this pandemic environment.

I am thankful for the strategy to keep COVID at bay until the population is vaccinated, even though I long to visit my ageing parents in the United States.

Published in Messenger December 2021

I am also thankful for the Amana Living family. We have wonderful staff and volunteers, who go that extra mile to bring happiness to our residents and clients. Recently, one of our community support workers, Jacky, helped make a dream come true for a client, Sandra, who has mobility issues (pictured on the right).

Sandra often mentioned that she would love to put her feet in the ocean, as she had done when she was younger. Jacky made sure that dream came true while Sandra was on one of our social outings to the beach. Jacky helped Sandra onto the beach and into the Indian Ocean. Sandra was so grateful, and Jacky was over the moon to see Sandra so happy.

This shows that while practicing gratitude is good for you, it’s also good for those who receive the thanks.

This Christmas I will be giving thanks to God for so much, but especially for his Son. O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever (John 3:17). I believe it has.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Published in Messenger December 2021

Amana Living Client Sandra Melville and Jacky Thoburn

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