I cannot control how other people treat me. Some people are ruthless, deceiving, cunning, lecherous, wrathful (cough:yours truly:cough), unforgiving, or overly controlling. I have as much power to change their hearts as I do to move mountains with a tooth brush. I can, however, control how I react. I do have the power to bring something positive, enlightening or peaceful to the table. None of this will come if I refuse to control my fire.
If you take things too personally, you will never be able to build truly healthy relationships. People will just anticipate your reaction like one does a ticking time bomb. They will never be able to make jokes, call you on serious issues, or show you affection. In the workplace, people will either purposefully piss you off (if they dislike you and want you gone) or will never trust you with anything because you can't keep a cool head. If you're ever in true danger, few people will come to your aid because you'll interpret every slight as a sign of impending doom. Finally, you'll never be able to enjoy life because you'll keep misinterpreting everything.
After realizing this, it made the streets more approachable for me. I no longer feel intense anger at people who really otherwise have nothing to do. I feel more in control of myself and my temper. I feel alert, yet relaxed. I feel I can also enjoy people more.
It's a start. After nearly twenty-one years, it's about time I changed some things.