I’m old(ish) and the knowledge that comes with age (I won’t say wisdom) would – should – be appreciated by youth. Except I remember, vaguely, youth, and my dad was a fucking idiot back then. Not so much now.

So. Sharing seems pointless. Especially since those young’uns who would deign to listen probably don’t need advice. And, reality check time, most advice is a waste of time. Life is largely situationally specific and the things that helped me probably won’t help you. But there is an overriding lesson I wish I’d learned┬ásome 40 years ago.

Be you.

Simples, right?

The amount of energy I spent trying to be someone cooler or smarter or sexier (shudder) or whatever than me could heat a small town in the dead of a prairie winter’s night. Wasted energy, because nobody has figured out how to harness teen angst. And, honesty being the currency of today, that teen angst wore well into many┬ádecades after those teen times. In fact, the “be you” sensibility, for me, isn’t much more than 10 years old. If that.

I don’t have a lot of confidence that any youth I know will heed this. Fronting a persona that makes you “better” is the default position for most. And it’s so fucking stupid. I still run into people in the office who are trying to be something they’re not. Too much effort. Too much energy wasted on that when you could be using that energy to succeed in whatever you’re doing.

So, youngsters and oldies alike, stop trying so fucking hard. Relax into yourself. Be you. It’s a hell of a lot easier, and we’ll probably like you better for it.

Unless you’re an asshole. Try not to be that.

I’m the Secretary for the Hornsby Rockets Ten-Pin Bowling Club and I have to say, one of the highlights of the week is league practice every Saturday morning.

Among our bowlers are a number with Down Syndrome. I’ve been a member of the club for years now (five, I think, but I really can’t recall) and I completely agree with Greg Jericho’s opinion piece in today’s Guardian. I don’t see disabilities when I’m with the bowlers. I see people. And, if I’m frank, a better sort of person.

One of the bowlers is the most honest (pedantically so) person I’ve ever met. If the pin-spotter awards him a strike and in fact he only bowled a 9 he’ll get someone to correct the scorecard.

None of them hide behind a facade. What’s on their mind is what comes out of their mouth. If they’re upset about something, they’ll respectfully tell you. If they’re happy, man, they’re happy.

It’s refreshing to be around people with no hidden agendas.

And don’t let anyone tell you that DS defines a person’s abilities. One of our bowlers is also a swimmer in the Special Olympics and regularly medals in competitions.

They don’t set limits for themselves. Neither should you.

I’ll leave you with this: