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The Voice of Compassion

My best friend’s wife died recently. Suddenly. Nothing can explain a tragedy like this. But in the midst of bottomless grief and sorrow, I learned something important about voice.

No words sufficed. Nothing I or anyone could say really mattered. Not in a situation like this. My words didn’t even begin to touch the depths of emotion and feelings necessary to shine through the black darkness. My words seemed to fall like a cheap tin cup clanking lifeless to the floor. Sterile. Impotent. Meaningless.

But in the midst of despair, what I discovered was the Voice of Compassion. By paying less attention to my words and more to my tone of voice, I found I was able to reach through. My voice tone was able to communicate the deep river of caring and compassion that my words could not begin to express. There is a Voice of Compassion that transcends all words.

Caring for someone you love who is in grief is less about what you do, and most about just being present. It’s about listening with full compassion, connecting to your own heart and responding with sounds of understanding and empathy. Words are much less important. Your Voice is the most authentic way to express your deepest feelings.

At this point in the article, some of you may be thinking “well duh… of course this is how it is”. But for many of you like me, this was an epiphany. I work with How We Communicate, and yet I’m still learning each day about how to be more honest and authentic in how I communicate with the world around me.

Your voice is your most powerful communication tool. Stop for a second and think about what your deepest Voice of Compassion sounds like. Then use it with clear intention. You don’t have to go to a logoped (speech therapist) to change your voice. You merely need to learn to be more conscious of how you use the amazing voice you have.

Rick Salmon (founder of


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