I'm quite a laid back person generally it takes a lot to make me cross. I consider myself an understanding person, willing to listen to others and try to see things through their eyes. There are, however, a few things I cannot see from the other side.
I spent part of last weekend hanging out with my friends at London's Pride event. It was great fun, people were dancing in the streets, dressed up in costumes and having a brilliant time. I'm lucky to live in a country where being who you are is protected by law, we have freedom of speech and opinion, there are no repercussions (not legal ones anyway) for being gay or black or just different.
At the event there are always a few protesters, I didn't see them this year, as I wasn't on the parade route, but I know they were there. Standing in a pen, surrounded by police, eaten up by ignorance and hatred. It's sad, pathetic, that anyone feels that letting people be themselves is wrong.
I have friends from all walks of life, different races, religions, genders, sexuality, abilities, I have a sister with learning disabilities, friends who are disabled, physically and otherwise. I take people as they come. I don't prejudge, if I don't like someone, it's based on my experience of them, not on what I've heard about them. Although sometimes I might think that someone doesn't sound like a nice person, I wait to meet them before making my mind up.
I wish more people would do the same. Regardless of their beliefs, however deeply held, get to know someone, you might learn something, about them, about yourself.
I was brought up in the church my whole life, I went to church schools, as far as I'm concerned, what I took from my immersion in faith, was that love is the most important thing there is. My favourite passage in the Bible, is where Jesus gives his followers a new commandment, to love one another, with no exceptions. To me, that's at the heart of the beliefs I was raised with. I may disagree with the church on other issues, but on this one I'm solid. Love is vital, loving humanity in all its guises, however it comes is vital. Hate is easier to give into, love takes work. I'm willing to put the work in, I wish others felt the same.
So there you have it, the things that really rile me are the obvious forms of hatred, ignorance, racism, sexism, homophobia, intolerance, and an unwillingness to even attempt to learn about other people and accept them as fellow human beings. People are just people.