Any writer worth her or his salt knows the great value of an editor, people who are able to speak a word of correction, or show us how we could say something better. In all things we benefit from people who speak honestly to us. People who are able to tell us when we have food in our teeth or a tag is sticking out of our clothes, people who are able to show us where we are being hard headed, or gently nudge us away from stupid mistakes are priceless friends.
But the words of correction, the amount of advice, and the helpful truth we hear is very much like spice or leavening; a little is very effective and too much is overwhelming. In making chocolate chip cookies it is important to put in some baking soda or powder, but only a teaspoon or so. If one were to put in as much baking soda as flour it would be inedible. The cookie proportions are about right, we need much, much more affirmations, support, and words of gratitude than advice. Even simple words of wonder and surprise at the world about us is beneficial. Along with positive comments about life is the need for words of forgiveness and expressions of being sorry. I equate these with the chocolate chips in the cookies. When people are able to tell me they are sorry for things they have done, or for what has happened then I hear them much clearer when they have something challenging to say to me as well.
There is much beauty in our world. We are constantly being blessed in ways we could never number. We have far more time to sing than we actually take. It is important to make the world a better place by helping others, but until we are able to appreciate the world first it is hard to improve on it.