Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Contemplation Day 2012 at Women's Christian College

Women of Worth was invited to the Women’s Christian College in Chennai to talk to the graduating batch of students, of the three year degree course, on ‘Contemplation Day’ – a special day, organized by the college, spent in encouraging final year students to process and prepare for a meaningful future. Having been asked to speak on the theme ‘Ignite’, we sought to help the girls reflect on their individuality, achievements, goals, and their purpose in life.

Marsha Thomspon, a corporate trainer and author of the food blog, The Harried Cook, through the topic ‘Be the Best You can Be’, spoke on personality development and maintaining individuality.

Sharing her personal journey through a rebellious college-student phase to battling a brain tumor; surviving the odds in order to serve people and now freeing bonded laborers in India, Pranitha Vanderputt, added a little perspective to their lives in the session ‘Finding Your Purpose’.

After a short break, the girls were up and about, shaking a leg to a ten minute long, heart-pounding jazzercise routine, by fitness instructor and founder of the NGO, Sisters, Rebecca Parks.

In 2011, WOW hosted an IWD event called ‘Be the Change’, urging and inspiring people of Chennai City to’ be the change they want to see’. Kavitha Emmanuel, the founder and director of WOW, challenged the girls to do the same. She also introduced another WOW initiative, the ‘Dark is Beautiful’ campaign that hopes to change the age old perception that beauty is defined by the fairness of one’s skin.

The girls were asked to respond to television commercials for fairness products by sending a text message to the WOW phone line. Within one hour, we received around 400 messages, the content of which ranged from individuals’ insecurities to opinions about the fairness products having no effect and the commercials being “fake” or “lame” representations of the products.

To complete ‘Contemplation Day’, Rebecca Parks from Sisters in Ooty, spoke to the girls from the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Using illustrations on kindling and lighting a fire to making sure it does not get snuffed out, she encouraged them to be proactive. In closing, the students were asked to formulate a short personal mission statement – defining character, behavior and goals they want to pursue.

We wish all the girls much success in their personal and professional endeavors.

“Where there is peace and contemplation, there is neither care nor restlessness”
– Prayer of Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226

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