One of my favourite stories is an old Gullah story I collected several years ago. It speaks to the adventures of a young bird that decides not to fly south for the winter with the rest of the flock despite being warned by the elders.
As the winter deepens, the young bird begins to starve and freeze. He ultimately finds himself alone and near death in an empty field believing nothing worse could possibly happen to him, until a cow wanders by and shits on him. Although initially annoyed, the young bird soon realizes the cow patty provides warmth, insulation and bugs to keep him fed. He is at once happy and survives the winter. In early spring as the warm weather returns the young bird realizes he smells like shit. A fox takes pity on the young bird and helps him wash. Once clean, the fox eats him.
The lesson here is obvious. If you decide to find your own path against the advice of others, make sure you have a plan. But there is another lesson here that has resonated with me since I first heard the story.
Not all who shit on you are your enemy. Not all who help you are your friend.