“Self-defense is so important to know in today's society. It's not just that you might get mugged. It's more for confidence. It's the way you hold yourself when you walk into a room. Every step you take is more sure and you're much more aware of your surroundings. So, I think it's a really important thing - especially for women”. Milla Jovovich (actress)
It was a busy morning for Mira, but busy as she was, her mind was also racing trying to remember a hundred and one things to be done before her daughter Shaira left for the Good Shepherd Finishing school. Shaira, who has just turned 18 has also completed her class XII board exams, wants to do her higher studies in Leather Technology from a top-ranking University in the UK and eventually join their family business of manufacturing high-end leather bags and leather garments and eventually start a label of her own. As Shaira’s board exam results and the commencement of her college term were still a few months away, Mira wanted to make the best use of these gap months and ensure that her daughter is equipped with all the right social and life-skills and hence the choice of Good Shepherd Finishing School.
Mira watched her daughter sitting in a pensive mood and could only guess the conflicting emotions that must be in her mind. Shaira was a shy and introverted girl, pleasant natured, talented and intelligent but someone who took her time to socialise with ease and make new friends. She was also not very confident of herself and highly sensitive to the comments from family members and friends. Mira wondered how she would settle into a foreign University and interact with learners from all around the globe. Mira quickly reassured herself that in a few months’ time Shaira would return from Good Shepherd Finishing School with the right amount of maturity, poise and confidence that would help her settle into her University life and mingle easily with the other students there.
It had been the same with Mira when she had been of Shaira’s age. She remembered her childhood, fun and pleasant though it had been, but were sprinkled with some dark memories like being mercilessly bullied by cousins, bullied by classmates in school and not being able to stand up for herself in front of these bullies. She had never been able to confront anyone and neither had she been able to defend herself. She remembered the harassment and pestering she had faced from one of the class boys in school until finally it was one of her friends who had stood up for her and warned the boy off! She had always admired that kind of courage, self-confidence, assertiveness in others and thankfully, when she had married into this family, her in-laws and her husband had encouraged her to take up courses for skill and personality development and it had helped her to evolve into the confident lady that she was today.
As her daughter was growing up, Mira saw Shaira going through the same pain and tears when someone bullied her or demeaned her in school. Mira worried more when she read the many news articles of violence against women. Mira had nurtured ambitious dreams for Shaira from the time she had been born and now she knew that learning self-defence and building a strong and assertive personality was also of utmost importance since they lived in a male dominated society where women are often considered easy targets and gender violence was rampant. She had wanted to enrol Shaira for a course on self-defence and martial arts for she wanted her daughter to feel safe and in control of her circumstances always. And self-defence has to do as much with mental strength as physical prowess. Each woman is taught to be vigilant and aware of her surroundings and the strategies she must adopt in different circumstances of danger to her body and mind. She’s taught to observe and quickly assess the situation and then guard or protect herself from needless harm. She’s taught dexterity and flexibility to ward off any attack, the need to project a strong personality and the right boundaries to all so as not to be taken for granted and above all to display a sense of confidence at all times.
Mira knew that a confident, self-assured, well-groomed personality with the right social skills is the outcome of a formal and well-structured curriculum where such life-skills and behavioural practices are taught experientially. Mira had wanted to know of a school for such an education and her friend had recommended Good Shepherd Finishing School. She had looked up the different topics covered under their curriculum and decided that this was exactly what Shaira needed. Today Shaira leaves for the Good Shepherd Finishing School and as much as Mira would miss her daughter, she was satisfied that she had made the right decision.