The most unique advantage that an individual can have

The most unique advantage that an individual can have is direct experience, especially to have endured unusual adversities and have learned from them all. The wisdom and maturity derived from real-life challenges is thousands of times more valuable than reading books, taking classes, passing tests, or obtaining degrees or licenses.
As an example, think of a case in which you were interested in getting instructions about what route to take to smoothly get from one place to another. You can request travel instructions from someone who has personally gone back and forth recently several times along the path you wish to take. They can offer reports of road conditions that are only a few hours old.

However, you might be skeptical of their lack of official credentials. Would you prefer to speak to a certified expert in travel who has never made that particular journey?

A particular expert is available who insists that around 15 years prior, they had studied a map of that general area and then were tested within a famous university to confirm approximately 3 details of what was on that map. The map itself was already 10 years old, making the contents of that map now 25 years old.

They received a passing grade on that test (which included many other items besides approximately 3 details about that map). They have a certificate on the wall that they earned through passing that test and many similar other tests.

They are also certified as an expert in travel by their local church (because they have interviewed over 100 people who have actually done some traveling, asking each of them 6 pre-formulated questions about their travels). They have never done any traveling themselves, mostly because they think traveling is generally a bad idea and not worth the risks and potential confusions and complications.

However, they would be happy to give you some advice and your insurance covers 80% of the fees for their service. Further, they display contempt for the idea of receiving advice on travel from anyone who is not an expert certified by their favorite denomination, which they passionately insist is the only valid authority for certifying expertise in travel.
In addition, they have co-authored 3 books on travel (cleverly titled “Why to never ever travel: part 1, 2, and 3”), plus they are personal friends with a famous celebrity. Further, they happen to be wearing the same color shirt as you and they are a huge fan of your favorite sports team (or at least one that you used to like about 15 years ago).

Considering all of this, how could you risk insulting them by even considering a conversation with anyone who does not have any official credentials? Unless you are actually interested in getting to your stated destination, then you have every reason to disregard the person with real-life expertise and instead have some tea with the certified travel expert and cancel your plans for that silly trip (which has not even by authorized by the oversight board of the local church)!

They have a catchy slogan, too. “We are the only experts in making oversights.”

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