This was Day 4 of our Documentary filming trip – we knew we were here to film at a Foster home about four hours north of Mexico City. This was a school for disadvantaged boys – boys who had been uplifted from the harsh dysfunctional family lives. Some had no parents; others had parents who were unable to care for them.
As we walked from the street through the steel security door we were showered with confetti and shouts of excitement from the boys. Everyone, including adults was wearing green T-shirts. When the hub-bud settled Pavitra, Sally, and I were presented with a green T-shirt. The purpose of the shirts we were told was so that everyone would feel equal – some students had better quality clothing.
We were led into a classroom where two of our Mexican monk mates led the group into a ten minute meditation. The boys had an opportunity to share what has changed in their life since they started meditating. Peace, tranquillity and living as a family versus anger, sadness and isolation was the consistent theme.
While the film crew captured the kids playing soccer in the schoolyard, I had a chat with one of the board of directors of the home. Twenty years ago he along with thirty mates had established the foster home during his final year at secondary school.
From the get go of the project the vision of the school is to provide a nurturing and loving environment that allows children to live a life to their full potential, unrestricted by their social and economic background. Many boys have completed trades apprenticeships and one is currently studying in University.
Thirty-two boys were there – all ages from five to fifteen; two directors; Rueben a doctor employed by the Mexican Social Welfare Agency responsible for health of children in foster homes. Laura the Head Mistress – a woman who clearly loves her role in the boy’s lives; plus six ‘God Mothers’. Every single one of them meditates - at home – as well as in a group at the school. One of the director’s comes along to the school 4 or 5 times every week to meditate with the children for twenty minutes.
Everyone shared how the aggression, fear, and sadness that previously manifested have been displaced by calmness, compassion and love. We spent six hours there – the peace was palpable. Older boys were looking after the younger fellas. They all played football together before heading off to the classroom. Sally was showered with hugs throughout the day – one boy presented her with an origami heart.
The overwhelming experience was one of joy and love – the boys – many who have moved from harsh and dysfunctional home environment interact and play as a family.
Every adult and senior boy was fully engaged in service – service for others. When I asked what did they derive from service the resounding response was that they did it because they were advantaged and they wanted to give something back. They all shared how much joy and love they experienced from being involved in the project – how rewarding and satisfying it was to give, and to serve. They reckoned they received so much more then they gave.
As we left it struck me that the boys may have come from a disadvantaged background – but most certainly they were now very advantaged.