Does Altruism Exist?
by: UTROS in Philippines
“Disability is not a hindrance to fulfil your dreams trust God and believe in yourself.” – Elvic Ballenas
This is a story of Elvic Ballenas, twenty four years old from Patnongon, Antique, who has a congenital bone disorder. He graduated last April 2018 with a Bachelor Degree in Management Accounting at University of Antique. He caught our attention and inspired us with his enthusiasm to learn and optimistic personality despite of his condition.
Elvic is the seventh among nine siblings in their family. His father is a farmer while his mother is a house helper. Unlike of his brothers and sisters, he is not able to walk because of his strange condition. He moves around with the help of a wheelchair and can go from one place to another with the help of the people around him. His condition had never stopped him from making his dreams come true. He started going to school at the age of 11, which is very late than the usual age of schooling. This is because of his parents’ fear that he might get bullied. During his elementary days, his condition was not a hindrance for him to enjoy his childhood. Like other normal kids, Elvic also played with his peers, but there were times when he got stumbled which cause him to stop from going to school for weeks or a month. Going to school, particularly during his college days had been very challenging for him especially in rainy season. He lives a bit far from the university where he studied and everyday he had to travel by himself. With the help of the other passengers and the jeepney driver, he was able to ride in the vehicle. At school, the support he gets from his classmates, friends and pushed him to surpass all the school challenges, graduate in college and received his diploma. When we asked him what is greatest lesson he learned about life, he answered, “Always put God as a center of your life and be thankful to him, and show who and what really you are through action and not only by words. And his message especially to young people, “study hard and show your parents that their hard work, sweat, blood and sacrifices to give you a better life and send you to school are worth it. And someday if you will become successful you can help others too”.
We all encounter ups and downs in life. Storms may cause us out of balance and make us stumble. Life is not about how strong the storm is but how bright the rainbow after the storm and it is not how many times we get stumble, it is how many times you get up and move forward. Elvic’s story did not give an inspiration alone; it also showed us how altruistic acts touch people’s lives in our society. If every individual will practice the spirit of altruism, how many Elvic can we help to achieve their own dreams too? Let’s picture out a community with a helping hand in reaching each other’s dreams.