Why I matter (Perspective of Finny from "A Separate Peace")

I never thought about it until now, I’d gone my entire life without evaluating my importance. I know I must have some significance but I truly question if it all matters. Do my accomplishments and actions give me importance or is it all just a thought? Growing up I never tried to compete. I accomplished and completed things for myself; for my own confidence. Other people’s acknowledgment of my success meant very little to me because I was content with myself as long as everyone else was happy.

Until now, this way of living was flawless. However, after seeing the evil that can be possessed in those who you thought you could trust, I’ve found a flaw. The beginning of the school year, a new kid named Gene joined our class. He was different, and he genuinely intrigued me. I immediately took a strong liking to him because of his intelligence, athletic ability and character; he challenged me and I enjoyed it. I enjoy most people.

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Over the course of the year, we became really close. We had a lot of fun together and I could trust him with anything, we were best buds. Recently enough, I fell out of an infamous tree with him right behind me, I assumed I just slipped but I couldn’t remember it too clearly. I assumed everyone in the world was good, I assumed my best friend would never hurt me but I just now found out he did; and that’s how I know I matter. I’m lying here on the operating table contemplating all of the events that have taken place throughout my life and I finally see the flaw in my way of living.

I saw the good in people that didn’t exist. I was naive in a good way; in a way that led me to see the good of the world. Evil and jealousy never existed in my eyes. I assumed everyone was like me, they just wanted to be happy. Of course, it hurts me that in the last few minutes of my life I’m seeing that the world is a much colder place than I thought it was.

Despite that, at least I know that I brought my own world a little bit of warmth. I think that somehow, even if the effect was small, I spread that warmth to the others around me. I hope that they’ll carry me in their memories as a good one, a refreshing good memory because that’s the only purpose I ever wanted to have. I pray that that warmness, will keep spreading and encourage the cold people to strive to be better and I feel that it will. Perhaps it was my job to show my alternate view of the world to the eyes of others, I contributed to the dying fire of purity, and that is why I believe I mattered.