Service at the Local Youth Shelter
in Kansas City
After a long hiatus, Sai youth in Kansas City (KC) were able to get back to serving dinner at the Thursday drop-in at the local youth shelter. This time, though, a few things were different! Two Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) students, were able to join the Sai youth and participate in a wide-ranging discussion before dinner. A local community leader posed some interesting current issues and questions and engaged the whole audience of around 15 youth and shelter workers.
The focus gravitated to the effects on nearby schools of marijuana being legalised, and how the government is profiting from the increase in taxes; but allowing for the possibility for kids to stop by a dispensary before going to school, if at all. This led to some passionate points by some vocal youth; and at the speaker's behest, some usually non-vocal youth as well. Barriers and shame in discussing such taboo topics - even amongst SSE students - were dismantled, allowing all to be leaders and participate in a real, informed discussion.
Of course, once the discussion started winding down, the eyes started darting to the back of the packed room where the meal tables were set up for enough hot pizzas, large mixed green salad and two large bottles of apple juice and water bottles for everyone. All the youth mingled with each other while enjoying a meal, that most would unfortunately say was the best meal of their week. But just the little things; like a pizza take-out dinner and a local community organiser taking the time out of his day to lead a lively discussion to help the youth living through their own unique life experiences understand that they are cared for, that they are loved and that they are there for a reason!
The car ride home for our regular KC youth and the SSE students was spent discussing how their own high school classmates and families could step out of their suburbia bubble and get to and at the very least, understand what is going on in their own cities. At the end of the day, there was expansion, within and without; and just that, in itself is an expression of Bhagawan’s message to all of us!