A common phenomenon: a kind, caring person meets someone in distress. The kindly soul hears the basics of this person's distress and immediately sees a way out of it. Often the solution is something along the lines of "Adopt my philosophy of life, and you'll be fine." Based on the kind person's knowledge--which is often scanty, having just met the person in distress--this is really a great solution. After all the kind person's philosophy of life works for him or her, why shouldn't it work for his or her new friend in distress?
The problem is that the person in distress can't adopt the kind person's solution. And to make matters worse, the person in distress usually can't explain why he or she isn't jumping for joy and running off to implement the kind-intentioned but unimplementable advice. One who has a deeper understanding of the problem and the personality of the sufferer would see what's wrong about the solution. But the good Samaritan cannot. And the damsel or dude in distress can't explain what's wrong.
I was once the recipient of such well intentioned and unappreciated advice. It was given to me by someone to whom I affectionately refer to as "my shiktzeh." She had it all figured out. I should start living in the moment and relish meeting new people and experiencing new things. And if I'm stuck in traffic with an obnoxious carmate, I shouldn't sit and stew. I should say, "Great! I have another opportunity to get to know this person and understand a new perspective on life! Joy!" I shouldn't just eat ice cream. I should savor it, feel the taste, and smell the texture. I should really eat it. Then every meal becomes a treat and life becomes paradise. This is great advice. It worked for her. But it doesn't work for me. But I couldn't explain to her why it wouldn't work for me.
Yesterday I met a damsel in distress. I instantly saw how she should get out of distress. Although I didn't notice the coincidence at the time, the advice I gave her was basically "Live your life exactly the way I'm living mine." I couldn't understand why she didn't lap up my advice hungrily. And even more amazingly, I couldn't understand why she couldn't explain to me what was wrong with my advice.
What's the lesson? Don't think you know everything. Recognize that you cannot understand someone else's life just by chit-chatting with them for ten minutes. You probably don't understand even your own life after all these years.