Saved by their presence

Saved by their presence

/ 04:15 AM March 04, 2024

In times of despair, it is convenient to say that life is awful. However, I have realized that in the same circumstances, it was the kindness of people that kept me going. Despite all, my best gifts frequently came in human forms.

Today, I came across a compilation of notes and letters that were given to me. Kept in a box and stuck in a drawer that I hadn’t opened for years, a moment of epiphany struck me.

Looking back, the support that I was able to receive throughout the years helped me brave the fears and uncertainties that lurked inside my head. Now, I know that regardless of all the times when the journey may have felt lonely, I was never truly alone. Most especially in moments when I could not see rightly, there has always been a hand who helped pull me out of my dark spaces.


It finally dawned upon me that while I may never fully understand the complexities of this life, the presence of people indeed makes it valuable. In tough times, perhaps it is a smile and a pair of eyes looking at me directly that remind me of hope.


Now, I know clearly that on days when my heart felt so heavy, my rescue came through faces I have both known or seen for the very first time. Sometimes, it is in the form of a stranger thanking me for my help, or a professor telling me they believe in me. Most days, help approached me through friends and family who check on how I’ve been.

The fascination and comfort in pondering these thoughts remain: to see that even in mundane situations, there is joy and so much love in those fleeting moments. For that reason, I believe that to be with people—to be near the right individuals—is a gift.

It took me about two decades before I could finally understand the impact that people left on my way of thinking. Despite the idea potentially coming off as a bromide, I know that I have to carry the thought within me and remind myself once in a while that there is good in this unpredictable and peculiar life.

Many times, I get so preoccupied with the demands and pressures of the world that I forget how lucky I am to have something to hold onto. In retrospect, I may have resented many situations at once that I failed to recognize what I truly have in front. I wasn’t just looking, but the individuals around me have always been my answered prayers.

When I felt lost in my dreams and could not trust my capabilities, the words of people who believed in me convinced me to continue, to follow what my heart wanted, and to see the same potential they saw in me. Back when I was at my lowest and couldn’t cheer myself up, the laughter of my friends lit up the room. On some days, it was the hours I spent with someone I adored that helped in shutting the noises of the world.

From there, I saw that love is enveloped inside individuals in many ways and that hope sometimes arrives in the most distinct faces.


Transcending the miseries and pain that I faced, it is the presence of people that, for most times, gave me a sense of purpose. Above all the priorities I set alone, the thoughts of actually living and serving others made me see life differently. With the right people around, it is undeniable that the troubles became lighter. It somehow got easier for me to face what was next.

Today, the messages I rediscovered are only tangible reminders of how fortunate I am to have been with individuals who helped me grow and live up to this point. While I frequently get lost in self-doubt and pessimism, I am saved by the existence of people who see through my goodness and skills. When I constantly could not remind myself, their goodwill reminded me of the person I wanted to be.

My hope then is for this world to become filled with more compassionate people—ones who are patient enough to understand and care for those around them. Particularly with the society that we have now come into, there is a need for individuals who are unafraid to show what they feel, so long as it is just and right.

I know it might sound too optimistic but I think it truly is hope that keeps us together. Whatever it might be, people need something to look forward to so that eventually, a glimmer appears in their vast and dark tunnels.

As for me, I just want to strive to become a good person. Similar to the last line from one of my favorite Coldplay songs, I know that the light people left me will everglow; and so in return, I will try to live my best because of it.

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Allane Arganda, 21, is a communication arts student at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

TAGS: life, opinion

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