Protecting your voice and preventing vocal cord damage
Out of all the instruments out there, there are some that are so unique that they can never be replaced. Most of what is out there, however, can be. A turntable can last a couple of decades if you treat it right, and if you so happen to break parts along the way they can be replaced. I would guess that some things will have more sentimental value than others, but even those can be physically replaced (although the memory will be destroyed). Certain things are better off protected, because they cannot be replaced – and these are things that are essential to any musician.
Hearing is very important, and when that goes, there is replacement for it. Your best bet is to do your best to protect it. The trouble with hearing is that we don’t know what we have until it’s gone, so you have to be more vigilant about your surroundings. Vocal chords and voice is the most important part of this subject, since it is actually unique to each person. When a singer loses his or her voice, the same song may never be replicated again with any other singer’s voice.