Sunday, 1 October 2017

Distinguished Gentlemens Ride (DGR) 2017

Another year done and dusted! And wow! What a ride!

Damian and I managed to organise an amazing day, many hours spent, with over $11,400 raised to go to the Movember foundation to help with men's mental health and prostate cancer.

Thanks to all 146 of you riders who turned up, thanks to my workplace Cubro (www.cubro.co.nz) and our marketing team who went above and beyond to organise a full photo shoot to support me in this charity. Huge thanks to everyone else who either donated money in support or their time to get this ride off the ground.

Humble thanks. Was great the weather was kind this year too!

Click this link to see the interview of Damian and I and video of all the bikes.
http://m.sunlive.co.nz/news/163327-distinguished-dapper-and-dashing-riders.html







 









Thursday, 18 May 2017

Men's mental and physical health and suicide prevention

The world found out that the 18th May 2017 marked the day that a legendary rock musician - who I, like so many others have followed and been amazed by his vocal talents and song writing abilities - had taken his own life after on-going battles with drugs, booze and depression.

Rock radio stations are dedicating entire days to his music, social media is alive with his name and kind words.
Chris Cornell - Soundgarden and Audioslave front-man - has gone. 
Reports all say he hung himself in a hotel room. Apparently there was no warning, no cries for help, he had just finished another successful concert in Detroit. 

He leaves behind a wife, three kids, close friends, fans and an amazing charity foundation that developed projects and programs with leading charitable organisations and partners raising awareness and mobilising support for children facing tough challenges including homelessness, poverty, abuse and/or neglect. 

This guy seemed to have it all together - and perhaps that's a HUGE warning to the rest of us.

As such a longtime fan, I saw him at Soundwave in Brisbane. He was the epitome of rock-god cool, a genuine connection to the crowd and a vocal range that easily took in 4 octaves. He, Myles Kennedy (Alterbridge) and Mike Patton (FNM) have always been vocalists I have aspired to sing like but can never quite get there, the awe around their talent and hard-earned skill impressive to say the least.

But with all of those things outwardly going for him, he was human just like the rest of us. 

Whilst I luckily cant understand what it takes to drive someone to those depths, or the emotional turmoil that could be strong enough to push someone so far beyond help that for them, there can be no way back, it does raise serious action points for all of us to consider.

When was the last time you "checked in" with those around you? Just to make sure they were okay?

When was the last time you looked at someone you know and consider successful and asked if everything is okay with them?

When was the last time you just took time out from your busy life, just to look around and see if you can identify someone who might need some help? Look beyond the facade's that everyone puts up?

Consider people you don't know too. Where is the harm in tweeting someone famous or well known that has somehow given you the vibe that they might not be alright? Or just contact them out of the blue and write a heartfelt "you are amazing" message to them. 

As human beings, do you really think they manage to ignore every single negative tweet, FB post or magazine article written about them?

If they are hiding their depression as so may creative people do, how easy do you think it will be for them when they read the real harsh/nasty stuff on the internet about them? Think you could cope if the roles were reversed? Employ some empathy. 

I would like to think we could all cope if given the circumstances, but the truth is probably quite a leap from that, no pun intended.

So here is the call to action.

As part of the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride where we try to raise awareness for men’s mental health and prostate cancer, the biggest gaps seems to be openness and inactivity.

There will always be the tragedies like Chris Cornell (and others not at all famous) but still dealing with issues they can’t get past. There will always be those who leave without warning, those who have put up years’ worth of the facade that no one got to see behind. 
I wish there weren’t any people like them, but the truth is different.

But we can make a difference, you and I.

And it’s not that hard to do. Two words we need to follow and act upon – 


“Pay Attention”

What do I mean? 

Pay attention to everyone around you. Pay attention to yourself.

Pay attention to things that might seem irrelevant initially, but might not be so irrelevant to someone else.

Pay attention to peoples expressions. It’s true that the eyes have it. Take a look, see if there is anything of concern there. If you can’t see anything, ask them.

Pay attention to things that people say/write/do – listen more than talk. It’s amazing what you can discover and the impact you can have on someone who just needs to have someone pay attention to them, sometimes when they don’t realise it themselves.

Pay attention to your environment and make a difference. Take an active part in the world, try to feel for those you come into contact with, regardless of whether they are famous or not. Everyone is human. Treat them that way.

Open your heart and get it done. You know you can. All you need to do is try.

To Vicky Cornell, their children, their family and all the children they have helped through their foundation, but also to everyone who has ever lost someone to suicide, on behalf of everyone worldwide, we offer our deepest, heartfelt condolences and offers of support to you. Our thoughts are with you. We wish we could help, just give you a hug whenever you needed one, let you know you are connected, supported more than you know.

Suicide needs to be addressed and the support in place for those left behind.

If you're reading this post - please pay attention. Then do something. I don't think its too much to ask. 

Chris Cornell (born Christopher John Boyle)
July 20th, 1964 - May 18th, 2017

NZ helplines (all 24hrs)
NZ Lifeline - 0800 543 354 
Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 
Youthline - 0800 376633 
Kidsline - 0800 543754 
Whatsup - 0800 9428787  
Depression Hotline - 0800 111757

Take care of yourselves and others.

Darren



Thursday, 20 April 2017

The DGR - the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride - September 24th 2017 Sunday

Hi all!

Well, it might seem like I'm being a little preemptive in this "hey, time to get yourself ready for for the worldwide sensation of the DGR" given we're only in April, but I figured that if I alert you now, you'll have time to get that iron ride of yours out of the garage, cleaned up, off to the mechanics, order in the parts etc so you can have it ready.

For those of you here in Tauranga, looks like I'm going to be the principal organiser this year so will be gathering up everyone that can lend a hand, setting up a few meetings and seeing if we can't make this one better than anyone's prior.


Remember, this ride is to prevent our fellow men from taking their own lives, to raise awareness that yes, we men feel pressure and can experience a range of mental problems too, and to also shine the light on Prostate Cancer and get men along to their doctors for check ups.


If you want to join me, or just want to sign up to start working on those around you and gather up some funds for this great charity, click the link below.


The time to make a real difference has arrived.
 

http://www.gentlemansride.com/ - sign up here

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride 2016 YouTube



And a newspaper article from last years ride, I'm the one in black with the Ducati. :{D



Click the image for a read.




Talk again soon.
Darren

Monday, 27 March 2017

Triple filter test - how to handle gossip

Hi! Welcome back. 
Here is something I found on the internet for those of you who often have to deal with gossip. 
In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.

One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance, who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”
“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me, I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”
“Test of Three?”
“That’s correct,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
“No,” the man replied, “actually I just heard about it.”
“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”
“No, on the contrary…”
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?”
The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.
Socrates continued, “You may still pass though because there is a third test – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”
“No, not really…”
“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”
The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more…

So the next time you feel the need to speak about anyone, ask yourself first; Is it true? Is it good? Is it useful?


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

"You staunch bro?"

This post is more for those of you with a more "hardened/staunch" perspective on healthcare, generally your own. Has a lot to do with the Distinguished Gentlemen's Ride for prostate Cancer and Mental Health I try to help organise looming on the horizon again (Sept 27th). People will recognise your staunch-ness from 100m away, you're the ones who make statements like "awh nah bro, she'll be right", "Ooo yuck, feelings…" and "Nah, its all good, ain't serious.". 
Maybe you are one, or perhaps know one. Sheesh, I used to be one myself. Still fight the urge from time to time. But if you are one, please read on. I have a couple of things you should probably hear.
Right. I hate to break it to you buddy, but its time you listened up, spoke up and got help if you're trying to handle stuff that you know you can't. Emotional stuff. Mental illness type stuff. Stuff you're not coping with. Being that kind of "staunch" ignoring your challenges is no longer the way to go.

There is a new "staunch" in town and its far better for you, will look better on you and will gain you more respect than the old way would have. Its also braver and harder (read: makes you tougher) than what the word used to mean.
Welcome to 2017.
To start with (and not to take away from stuff you might be dealing with), have you ever had a moment where you went "Okay. This could be bad...I don't know what to do here..."?

You know, one of those times when it seemed the walls were closing in, doubt turned up and everything started annoying or hurting you, and there you are, refusing to admit anything or in a position where you are WAY outside your comfort zone with no idea on what to do next. Would have been one of the times when you dived headfirst into lock-down and closed everyone out. You know. Tryin' to be "staunch".
Sound familiar? Yeah, thought so. You closed down because you refused to deal with whatever it was or is, or maybe you just couldn't.

That "staunch" attitude you're so proud of or grew up with seeing people you respected displaying, doesn't and most likely won't ever help you. Even amongst others doing that same old staunch thing.

Now, if the answer to a question about "how serious is the stuff I'm dealing with right now?", is VERY serious, then you have a huge opportunity to try out this new definition of being "staunch". Step one is to book an appointment with a counsellor. Pretty much every single counsellor will be well trained to deal with any difficulties you might have in expressing yourself.
So whilst you go off and book that appointment, might help to understand what the old "staunch" one is about. In my opinion, it is actually built on three primary things.
1. Fear of looking / feeling weak / embarrassment
2. Lack of ability to talk about stuff
3. Inability to understand own feelings
Both 1 and 2 have always fed each other, just like a snake eating its tail. Cant overcome the fear because you don't have the ability to deal with stuff, cant deal with the stuff because you have too much fear. Point three just makes it worse.
Here's where it gets interesting for you, my staunch friend.
In order to deal with the 3 points, you actually need to harden up. 
Yup. I just said that. Sting a little bit, did it? Thought you were hard or tough already? Got news for you. You're not. And what's even more surprising, that fact is actually 100% okay. In fact, it's more than okay.
Accepting the fact that you're not as hard/staunch/tough as you have been portraying is the first step toward getting a handle on stuff. Its time to be okay dealing with feelings and growing personally (and likely professionally too). Keeping yourself on lock down is the same as doing something negative – it won't help you no matter what the situation you're in that you can't handle.
The kind of hard as detailed in the above 3 points, is a false staunch. It is a lack of understanding, a lack of being able to express yourself and a lack of ability to deal with fear. 
See, feelings aren't dumb, weak, useless, or even embarrassing. Everybody has them, like a pulse. By acknowledging them and not burying them, you get a chance to understand them and therefore, yourself. Doing that gives confidence, some peace, a better understanding of how to handle things in the future.
Wouldn't that be better than how you handle stuff now?
I dare you to put aside any bravado you might have (because we both know that's just a mask for fear of talking about stuff) and make an appointment with a counsellor if there is something you're not handling too well.
Trust me when I say that it is epic-ally braver and stronger to open up and talk about things you're struggling with, than it is to try and ignore them.
Do brave, staunch people bury their heads in the sand to avoid stuff?
The answer is the same you'd give if asked "do tough guys look at explosions after they caused them?". 
No, staunchness-Mc-staunch. 
They don't. 
Tough guys and girls (and undefined) get in, get stuff done and walk away again. Cool as. What you don't get - until now - is that this is exactly what going to a counsellor is like. 
Get in, get stuff done, walk out. Cool as.
The supposed stigma attached to asking for help and getting it (let's be honest, especially if you're a guy – ask for directions anyone?) is everywhere in popular culture, but it's not right. Movies don't tell real life. Real life does. 
Consider the following.
Why do you think its dumb to ask for help when you can't sort stuff that actually matters? 
Do you think that makes you weak? Less of a man/woman/person?
If you think that, definitely check out what I have to say next.
If the alternator in your car is busted, do you fix it/get it fixed?
Yes. Cant go far unless you're planning on pushing it next time you stop.  
What about when the blade on your lawnmower is blunt and needs sharpening? Do you keep mowing the lawns cutting less and less each time, until you're eventually just pushing around a noisy hunk of useless machine annoying the neighbours and wasting all your time?
No, of course not. That'd be stupid, right? You fix it or get it fixed.
Closer to topic, got a bad, bad headache or a high fever. You ignore them?
No, egg if you did. You take medicine…and then you feel better.
So why then, do you think looking after yourself by going to a counsellor, has to be any different?
​Right. Fess up time. 
Have I been to see a counsellor? Yup, absolutely. 
Couple of times now throughout my life. Helped me. A lot. Needed my head put back on straight when I couldn't do it myself. No shame in it. Life can knock everybody down at some stage. Counsellors were able to provide me with some insight as to my various situations and provide me with some tools I needed to get it together. And I did. 
Just like taking panadol for a headache or taking my lawnmower to the lawnmower shop.
Now consider the fact I've been trained to be tough, kickboxing, streetfighting, brutal. I'm supposed to be hard. Does that make me weak or less of a man for getting help? Hell no. If anything, made me stronger. MUCH stronger. Often gives me the opportunity to flick the fingers up to the world and say 
"Ha! You couldn't break me!"
Counselling can do that for you too, but only if you're "new staunch" and "hard" enough to go. 
Even Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has all this figured out. 
I already know you can do this (since you come here to read these posts), you just need to know you can and that new staunch is the way to aim. 
It is seriously as simple as changing your definition of the word/attitude. John Kirwan (aka J.K. – a legendary All Black and more lately super 14 coach – admitted dealing with heavy depression throughout his All Black days and afterward, even opened up publicly about the topic, faced the advertisements on where to go and how to get help. ​Brave. Admitted he struggled. But he got help and is sorted.
So...if he can handle the jandal and go get himself help as someone famous AND as an ex All Black…what's your excuse again?
Be that kind of a legend. Be that kind of staunch, like John (J.K.) Kirwan, not the staunch you were before you started reading this. Don't be that snake eating its own tail. 
Ask for help. Brave it up. You CAN do it, no matter how tired you feel or how hurt you might be. Never give up. 
You'll thank yourself for booking an appointment (and going to it) and so will those who care about you. If you have already sought help, got it and you're out through the tunnel where its brighter, back me up on here. Tell them that haven't opened up and been yet, how it helped you. 
If just one staunch person reads your words and goes to get assistance, what a great day that will be, don't you reckon? 
Spread the word. Get the help. Open up.
Daz


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Attitude - it can be your saving grace

​Hi there, 
This is a post I wrote up way back in July 2014 for both my workplace and for here, but its now become timely to bring it back for a second viewing. 
Bit of a disclaimer to start with. 
Topics I cover here in these posts are simply personal observations and are not intended to be professional counselling, condescending or upsetting, they are simply things I sometimes cover in one on one sessions with staff/peers or mentoring I do outside of work, that people down through the years have found helpful. To be clear - this is not some narcissistic attempt to gain fame or be "all that" and push my profile either. I simply have a helpful nature. 
These posts come about from increasing periods of seeing rough times friends, acquaintances and even strangers are going through, coming across the occasional sad articles and/or seeing close friends, family and other people struggling with things they haven't been able to get their heads around. Being able to provide a kind word, a bit of advice when asked for, or just a friendly ear, I've learnt from history, can make a difference. So thats what these posts are. 
You and I both know - tough times are tough times. No one is a stranger to them. I figured having a couple of places where someone is giving you some support/back-up to get you back on track might be good - hence this blogspot site. It's name is very similar to an old Japanese saying (which I reference to MANY times and will likely be my next tattoo) which speaks to underdog / fighter in all of us;
That all said and disclaimer all done, feel free to read on....
"Attitude is always your saving grace" 
Like everyone who is reading this knows, yep, life can deliver a few hard knocks, get a bit frustrating or just get you tired of being tired. Maybe you haven't had a holiday for a while due to circumstances beyond your control. End of the year can sometimes have this affect too - you've put in 12 months and worked hard, exhausted. 
Similarly starts of the year can weigh in like pro-fighters with fists the size of your face as well. Add to that deaths, divorces, dramas, break-ups, teenager issues, smaller children acting like teenagers, work problems etc and all of sudden, it can feel like you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders whilst riding on a 4 x G-force roller coaster. 
Needless to say, sometimes these pressures can build up (see what I did there?) and both big and small annoyances can feel like mountains in no time flat.
But there is some good news - in just about all cases.
Like the post about "okay-wise-guy, how-do-i-stop-getting-annoyed?", if you were able to stop and look around, take a few calming breaths, plus deliberately alter how you are viewing things by challenging yourself, mountains CAN get smaller. Even if only by a millimetre or two. But a millimetre is a millimetre, right? Its an improvement.
Often people who care about you, will act as catalysts by kicking you in the ass when needed, offering you support you didn't know you had,or maybe you'll just read something that will pick you up just enough to help. All o​f these things can allow you to see differences in your day that you couldn't see when you were upset/angry/frustrated. 
Its 100% true that anger and fear both cloud judgement.
But you can change all that. 
And like the title states, with attitude.
But how? 
Well, for everyone it's different, but here are a few things to get you started.
i) Lame as it sounds, you could tell yourself "I'm in control of how I'm going to handle this" - just dont do this in a mirror. That's weird.
ii) In any situation where you are feeling anxious/afraid/stressed out/annoyed - take a few calming breaths – oxygen is your friend. Just don't over do it. Breathe normally. Focus on it.
iii) Take a step back mentally (and physically if you need to) to get an objective/less stressful look at where you're at, even where others are at.
iv) Often the key to taking anxiety out of a situation is to ask questions to find out more. Knowing what you're dealing with is better than guessing. "Fear of the unknown" is a common problem - so fix it and ask so its not as unknown anymore.
v) Be brutally honest with yourself - try to analyse "why" you might feel the way you do about things - may not be the reason you thought. Did you fail to prepare? Do you still have time? Prepping is more important than you realise.
vi) Make a no-nonsense plan with how you're going to deal with the cause/s with how you will react - either physically or mentally – the actual cause make no difference. Again, you're deciding how you're going to handle this, how you are going to react.
vii) "Attack" your own negativity/fear/anxiety. These things will breed given half the chance. Remember - you're choosing how to react - I can't state this enough - it really is your choice.
viii) Act positively - do what you planned to do - you're taking your own power back from the situation/mood that took it away. No matter how bad the situation might appear to be, its on you to try and improve it for yourself.

...And surprisingly all these things can literally take seconds to work through.
Now I'm not saying you should be Mr or Ms (Miss, Mrs etc) Positivity or over the top prepared because ridiculously positive people generally get high fives…..to the face…..with chairs…..
...but a little internal positivity can go a long way.
And once you get into the habit, changing your attitude and the way you view situations can get easier.
Clear heads see clear things.
So wrapping this up, hopefully this has made a bit of sense and perhaps it has helped. Attitude can keep you safe, can be a powerful line of defence when you need one and can change the way you view the world around you.
Either way, just remember, aside from looking after yourself and gettin' your own head on straight, consider the picture below. 

Not only do you need to look after your own attitude, but spare a thought for how your own might be impacting on others. Attitudes connect and have the ability to grow with those around you. Give it a shot, and good luck. 
So yeah, post over. Thanks again for coming by. Feel free to offer any helpful suggestions you might have, that may be helpful for any of the others who come by for a read, there seems to be a fair few of you lot these days based on the stats. We're up around 6,000 regular readers by the looks of it, of them, you are one. I appreciate you stopping by so often. 
#googlestatsarecool #trustinyourselfyoucandoit #strongerthanyourealise #yougotthis #DLTBGYD
Daz

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

A quote that speaks volumes

“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.

Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.

I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive.”


J K Rowling 



Friday, 10 February 2017

Could a pizza sent for delivery get you home cheaper than a taxi?

What if you are in town with minimal cash on hand, need a taxi and find yourself starving for something to eat? Consider this as an option - go to Pizza Hut, order a pizza for delivery and catch a ride home with the driver.
Worth a try don't you reckon?

Blog – so what if you’re gay?

Being gay is not like being vegan. Seems LGBT individuals don’t find it necessary to inform you of their lifestyle. They just simply be.

Like most posts I write, this one is in reaction to something. I write this as I have noticed a greater acceptance in the media these days for openly gay people (like two dudes kissing on TV in some show wife was watching about surprise weddings or lesbian relationships in TV or movie dramas, and transgender people too). 

I think this accepting coverage/inclusion in the media is fantastic for breaking down the walls and going some way toward eliminating discrimination.

However, I also notice an increasing amount of right-wing-anti-gay hate groups trying to be heard, trying to sway the populous toward their way of thinking. A lot of Trump supporters based on what I've seen on the web too. But there are likely so many people reading this who think the same way. 

To them I say “Nah bro. Leave gay people alone. You’re the problem.”

Now I don't confess to understand all of the issues LGBT people face, nor am I here to tell you all about their plight etc because nope, I don't live their life. 

Not being gay myself and quite a heavy way on the A-typical Alpha-Male scale, I like to think that every single person on this planet (except for the ones who should be hunted for sport – i.e. child molesters and women beaters) deserve the right to be who they are, without persecution or difficulties based solely on sexual preference.

I use the word “preference” sparingly here too as even not being gay, I know it’s not a preference, it’s just who they are, who they are attracted to. Simple. Same as being straight.

Perhaps this is a naive approach, wanting people to be treated equally. Doesn't mean I can't say it though, right? If one person reads this post and goes "yeah, okay. You might have something there. Maybe I shouldn't be mean to that gay dude/chick" then awesome.

Progress. 

I am lucky to have had a few individuals and friends “come-out” to me through the years in my role as a manager of people, a mentor and as a friend. 
Sometimes it has been due to persecution that has prompted these tough discussions. Sometimes it has been the “I get written-off/don’t get opportunities because of how I am/I am gay” or “my manager is uncomfortable around me but doesn’t know why”. 
Other times it’s just been because (well, I like to think this anyway) I’m approachable and literally don’t care.

Yup – you read that right. “I don’t care”. 
Not even a little bit. Makes zero difference. 
Like veganism. 
Or gym posters who feel the need to update Facebook every time they go. 
Or foot fetish folks, or swingers. 
Or even if you're straight. 

Whatever. 
Couldn’t care less. 

And nor should you haters. 

Nobody should be defined by their sexuality as a human being. LGBT people – just like straight people – should be defined by who they are, not who they sleep with.

If you are LGBT and you’re not being treated fairly, then you should speak up. Find someone who will listen. But tread softly to begin with. Civilisation is filled with conflict-avoiding people. Confronting such issues can make people nervous. But if you’re not being treated like straight people simply because of being gay (and nothing to do with you being a dick or being difficult) then you need to have those discussions.

Now don’t get me wrong. This “I don’t care” attitude I have doesn’t mean what it sounds like in the negative sense. I am happy for you, proud you had the bravery to come out, honoured to be included, honoured to be someone you felt you could talk to and always happy for your friendship, but again – I will feel the same way if you’re a straight person or a vegan. And, only if you’re a nice person.

Like my Mum taught me when talking with women “don’t stare at boobs, concentrate on a woman’s face when you talk to her” to ensure I give people the right amount of respect, and that the word “hate” (which I was certain didn’t exist in our house growing up because hate was too strong of a word to be used, “dislike something” was better), I’m not kidding here. Sexuality should make zero difference to how you interact or function in the world.

If you are a nice person, then just be awesome. If not, you don’t deserve my time or anyone else’s until you sort your shit out. 
But again, I still won’t hate you. I will likely just dislike you a lot.
Thanks Mum x

This method of thinking should be the same for everyone else, so I would like to spread the word.

People shouldn’t care that you are gay or vegan.
You should have the opportunity to be unique just like everyone else.

I would like to propose that if you are a homophobe, religious zealot (did you know that even the Pope is okay with LGBT folks now?) or a right-wing hate monger, now is the time to challenge your views. Just look around - things are-a-changin'. Get on board the rainbow bus.

Look toward treating each and every person you meet with respect, with the opportunity to show you who they are as a person, and not to be defined simply by your feelings about their sexual/emotional relationship preference. 

Doesn’t everyone deserve the chance to prove who they are and what they’re capable of? Even you as a hater?

What if that next openly gay man or woman you wrote off or put down, could have been destined to cure cancer? But they can’t now because your hurtful words/actions took away their confidence? 

What if they committed suicide because of the hateful words you said? 
Think that your version of the "Vengeful" God you keep bringing up who - according to your views - "hates gays" is going to be happy with you on your day of judgement?

From what I know about religion, 100% of them all talk about "do unto others as you would have done unto you" which essentially translates to "be nice to people, dont be a dick". 

For you extremists out there, are you sure you're 100% right in your persecution of LGBT individuals? Certain enough to bet your eternal soul on? 

Regardless of your reply, consider this as a scenario. 
Maybe they’re in that cafĂ© whilst you’re chugging back on a donut and you start to choke, you gonna stop them saving your life because they’re gay? 
He or she could be a doctor, or a nurse.

"No no, I'd rather die than have you anywhere near me"

Sound legit? Again, I'm betting no. 
I'm betting when your life is on the line, the guy or girl could be Pricilla Queen of the Desert gay and you'd take their help.

Now consider that a secretly gay person is teaching your kids at school, teaching them how to read/write/spell and be worthwhile, well-rounded citizens of the world. 

And a big point to know here - thing is, young kids don’t care when someone is gay. It’s only a learned behaviour from the adults around them. Like racism. 

Do you think it's your goal in life to teach persecution and hate to your kids?  

Could be that your friend or maybe co-worker is working alongside you right now is LGBT, and you just don’t know. Your attitude has him/her/undefined too afraid to be honest with you.

So com'on. Empathy people. Acceptance. We’re all on this planet together.

Take my (and my Mum’s) advice.
Hate is far too strong of a word to use. It’s time to stop using it – or at least point it in another more positive direction. Use it as a wake-up call. 

If you hate something, find out about it, research. Often hatred comes from not understanding something. Break the cycle, let people be and teach your kids right.

And FFS, stop caring about people’s sexual preferences. It doesn’t matter. Only people matter.


End of story. [mic drop]