I would like to think that many, perhaps even most, of us are doing the best we can to be good people. What constitutes a “good person” will vary, of course, but in a general sense it involves some level of kindness, generosity and consciousness. One thing I know for sure about being a good person, though, is that it is not a competition.

In the sometimes magnified world of social media, however, practices like call-outs and pile-ons seem to suggest that other people feel otherwise.

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The same-sex marriage debate, thanks to this appalling postal plebiscite idea, is about to get pretty hard to stomach. Homophobic campaigners are being given extraordinary license to debate the validity of homosexual relationships in the public sphere. The cost, to the LGBTI community, is bound to be high.

If you, like me, are not directly effected by this plebiscite, that's well and good. We are very fortunate. We don't have to stand by while people who hate us or disapprove of us try to influence others to deny us a human right. It won't be our relationships being used as fodder for lies and scare-mongering. Lucky us.

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Sydney Trains

I am possibly the only person in Greater Sydney who is quite happy with Sydney trains, but it’s not what you think. Delays, over-crowding, cancelled services, air conditioning not consistent with the weather and more. I know it’s far from perfect. My delight in Sydney trains has less to do with the trains themselves and much more to do with my fellow passengers.

The time a man literally stopped in his tracks and backed away from me slowly once he’d laid eyes on the cover of the book I was reading? Merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things that have amused me on the train. I started documenting them a while back. In no particular order, here are just a few excerpts.

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Late last week, the internet went into a semi-meltdown when non-Americans discovered something baffling about people in the United States: they don’t have kettles. If they want boiling water for a cup of tea, they boil it on the stove or (THE HORROR) they microwave it.

America flag

Obviously, a blanket caveat of #NotAllAmericans needs to be applied. I know, because some Americans do, indeed, own kettles. It seems more common to have the old-fashioned stove-top kettles over there, but still, it’s a kettle, right? However, discussing this with Americans has lead to some startling discoveries (for me, anyway) about small differences between America and Australia that I had no idea about. Here’s some of what I’ve learned, in no particular order:

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