Before Nathan realized it, Simon got up and intercepted the waiter, held his wrists and, looking him in the eye, spoke to him in German: “It’s always the first person to get angry that is in the wrong.” The waiter, a little surprised, answered: “That’s easily said. But do you know what it’s like to always be confronted with such prejudice?” “It’s precisely in those moments that you must never forget your uniqueness. In this way, you’ll find the strength to remain in control.” Simon paused for a moment and then said: “Consider this incident as an occasion to never feel hurt by those types of remarks.” “What do you mean?” the waiter asked. “For you to realize that the real question is who has control over your feelings! Is it you or is it others?” Simon answered. “Should I let myself be insulted without reacting?” “A noble person does not insult others, and therefore any person who utters insults should not be given any more importance then they merit. If you realize this, you’ll never feel insulted again!” Simon affirmed. Again there was another silence. The waiter thought for a moment about Simon’s words and then became calm. “Remember this lesson,” continued Simon “If you’ve learned from this lesson, then the pain you have felt up until now will take on a new meaning and you’ll be able to liberate yourself from it.”
How we react emotionally to situations and other people is our choice. No one has control over our feelings but we ourselves. Realizing that negativity from others has nothing to do with ourselves, but very much to do with the others who express it, is in fact liberating.