Is all advice worth listening to?

A typhoon of silvery scales swirled chaotically in the midst of the ocean. Fish of all shapes and sizes frantically sought refuge in the cracks and crevices of the coral reef.

As the swarm of fish anxiously waited for the snarling goblin shark to pass by, one of the smallest yellow fish caught a glimpse a majestic jellyfish that floated near the surface of the sea. Its long ribbon-like tentacles emitted gentle pulses of bioluminescent light.

Even though the terrifying goblin shark swarm dangerously close to this jellyfish, the translucent creature continued to fearlessly float and swirl about; without a care in the world. When the frustrated shark eventually slinked away, the curious little fish couldn’t help but swim up to speak to this otherworldly being.

“C-C-Can you t-t-teach me how to b-be as fear-fearless as y-you are?” stammered the small little fish.

“Little one…if you want to become as fearless as I am, you must not be afraid of death. Allow those pesky predators to bite and snap at you. Even if they rip your body to shreds, it is completely painless. And the bits and pieces of you that are left behind, will always rebuild and regrow to form your body once again. This is my secret as well as my advice.”

The small yellow fish listened attentively. And when the snarling goblin shark returned many days later, the little fish flung its helpless little body into the gnashing pit of teeth and fangs.

But the jellyfish was wrong. Excruciating pain was all the little fish felt. As the bits and scraps of its measly body floated out of the predators’ jaws, they never ended up reformed themselves to create a new body. The fish’s remains merely floated to the bottom of the sea.

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by an avalanche of advice and feedback. But the advice that truly does help rather than harm is, must always be personalized and contextualized to our specific situation. For the same information that may help one person may actually end up harming another.

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