FuriousGeorge saidDon't know if I'd call it an epiphany, but:
If there were a button that would blow up the world, and everyone in the world had access to it, we'd be screwed. Someone, somewhere, for some inexplicable reason, would push it.
That sounds depressing, but what it teaches us is that we can't always rely on people to act morally, rationally, or in their best interests. Adult humans are just big children, and most actions can be easily traced back to a simple, base desire. When we accept that fact, we don't feel the need to be as angry about our frustrations with others.
As dark as it may sound, it's an interesting thought, especially when you consider your last point - why other peoples opinions shouldn't effect you.
I don't know what it was, but my life changed this past April, i just realized a few things - not triggered by any one specific thought or action, but I won't question it. Literally, I've never even happier. I asked myself what changed between this year and the last few.. Me. That's it. At least, that was the catalyst to my change. My thought process, my perceptions of the world.. All of that.
I use to be hung up on trying to change my mom or brother - I let that go. 'accept everything around you for exactly what it is' being the predominate thought there. I let go of the idea that a particular action or thought can be inherently better than another - after all, whose to say what IS right or wrong at any given moment? We all experience things for a reason, and they get us to where we need to be. I wrote a bit more about it in my profile , if anyone's interested haha.
But yeah, back to your last point, i came to a similar conclusion - but my thought process was a little different. I realized a paradox existed - if I genuinely believe that everyone in the world is equal and their opinions matter, then how could I discredit any opinion? If an acquaintance thinks in selfish or spoiled or any of those things, how can I question it? The funny thing is, there's one world that we all share that can't be questioned -- the physical one one front of us. The tree outside of your house, the bed or couch you're lying on, the music that's playing- werre all connected to it in some way or form and it can't be discredited .
But at the same time, there's a billion different 'worlds' existing too-- our thoughts shape the world around us. Simultaneously it's dark, happy, twisted, tragic, incredible, awful, etc etc - all of these things. The work literally is whatever we make it out to be, it's all about perspective - and we all share different perspectives on it. But anyways, because I believe every persons view point is valid, the world is a billion things at once, but at the same time, only one thing - whatever I make it out to be (or for you, whatever you make it out to be). If someone thinks I'm selfish then I AM that person, but at the same time i am only what I think I am.
Best example is when I came out to my cousin. She was shocked, and was expecting me to change. To dress differently, talk differently, etc. it didn't matter how many times I tried to tell her that I've always acted and dressed exactly how I've wanted to- to her, her mind was made up. In her world I WAS going to change because of my orientation. So in the future if I start talking a little smoother or get more comfortable with myself or maybe wear a tighter shirt or shirtless outside on a hot day, to her it's because of my sexuality-- when in (my) reality its because I just started going to the gym. But in her world it doesn't matter, we make associations and connections all the time, so no matter what happens, whatever I do, she 'will' attribute it to me being bisexual.
If any of that made sense haha. I could talk about this for hours on end but it looks like I've written a bit of an essay. Ya get the idea though