I’m going to try to be a better person.

I have hurt two people recently, two people who are extraordinarily close to me, and who I would be devastated to lose. I hurt them because I’m selfish, and because I react emotionally without thinking.

This can’t go on. I can’t let it. And I won’t.

One of my coworker’s aunts is 84 years old, is suffering from Alzheimer’s, and is about to die. My coworker stays with her two days a week. Yesterday she was called to go see her, as the doctor said she didn’t have much time left. Somehow, the aunt has held on through the night and to this morning, but she could go at any time.

My coworker spoke about her aunt this morning. She said, “She has a way of making everyone feel like her favorite.” She said that her aunt has friends everywhere, that everyone who knows her calls her Aunt.

All I have ever wanted, seemingly, is to be Important. I mull over my own life constantly, worrying about whether or not I’m going to be rich and famous. I pester everyone else with my problems, then get irritated if they tell me about theirs. I give not out of a sense of kindness or a desire to help, but because I want to feel better about myself, or because I feel obligated. And I write people off easily, thinking that being bothered is the worst thing that can happen to me, and that I should only allow people who don’t irritate me or cause trouble for me to be around me. The very few exceptions I’ve made to this rule have mainly been family members. On the Internet, it has been especially easy for me to write people off.

I realized this morning that my coworker’s aunt was loved by many not for being rich and famous, but for being who she was. A beautiful person who cared about others, who made them feel special. She’s dying right now surrounded by people who love her. As my other coworker said, “What a wonderful way to die.”

If I become rich and famous, and if the cost is all my friendships, what will surround me when I die?

I realize that this isn’t black and white. I’m not completely Ebenezer Scrooge. I have been a good person–sometimes.

But sometimes isn’t good enough, especially if I spend the rest of the time hurting people I love.

It stops now.