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The Conditioned: A Story of Hope

It was Ian MacLaren who said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” This reminder has helped many look beyond the exterior of those they meet on the streets, in their homes, and in busy, public spaces. But how often do you take those words to heart?

Consider for a moment how you react to homeless people. When they beg for change, do you look past them as if they do not exist? Or do you offer a smile, some change and maybe a handshake? The actions you take today do matter; and sometimes, a bit of compassion is all it needs to change lives. The remarkable story below is an example of this.

For thirty-five years, a 77-year-old homeless man named Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho lived on the streets, seemingly invisible to the world. He would miraculously get by and in his free time, would write poetry and short stories down on scraps of paper.

While he was ignored by many, it was the friendship formed with a woman named Shalla that would help shift his circumstances. At the same time, she would benefit immensely from knowing him.

Though Shalla often shared a smile with Raimundo when she saw him, she felt compelled one day to talk with him. Doing so resulted in him handing her a poem which moved her. Inspired by his words, she started a Facebook page where he could share his work. Her ultimate goal was to publish a book of his poems and short stories, and the endeavor was recently met.

The video below is a critically acclaimed documentary called “The Conditioned” and it relays the phenomenal story of Raimundo’s life. Watch to learn more about his journey and the happy ending that found him!

Truly, it is never wise to judge a book by its cover. One never knows what struggles someone is going through, the gifts they have to share with the world, or their spirit which might someday touch millions in a profound way.

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