We’re taking a break from our longer-form interviews for reflection. This week, we offer a selection from Carrie’s column, “Finding the Words,” in which we explore the space that emerges when there are no words to be found.
We’ll be back next week. Until then, we hope you find peace in the quiet.
Carrie Fox: Hey friend. It’s Carrie Fox, host of the Mission Forward podcast. We will be back next week with another long-form show, but given the weight of the world, we’re taking a break from interviews this week to share just a few minutes of reflection. From this week’s Finding the Words column, I bring you, no words.
There’s a children’s book I love called Quiet. The beautiful and contemplative book was written in 2018 by legendary author-illustrator Tomie dePaola, just a few years before his passing. Tomie dePaola narrated some of my favorite picture books as a child. But this book is decidedly different.
In the story, a grandfather walks with his two grandchildren, pointing out the busyness in nature around them and gently encouraging the children to find comfort in their own quiet moments. Every time I pick up this book, which owns a special spot in my younger daughter’s room, I am reminded just how important a message it is for today. A message for adults, as much as it is for children. It reads the birds are flying so fast, the dragonfly is zooming over the water. Even the trees are waving their leaves. So, what if we sit here, you next to me, and we can just be.
Ironically, perhaps, I have called this series, Finding the Words, but sometimes there are no words to be found. Sometimes the best words are none at all. Sometimes the things we’re processing and experiencing and feeling are so great that there is nothing we can say to fill the air with anything better than quiet. Mindfulness, being quiet, still, and present with one another is a very special thing.
As I’ve learned and been reminded so many times in recent years, stillness at its best, peacefulness, can also be a luxury for the millions of people who, at any given moment, don’t have the ability to control the noise in our own heads, in the streets of a beloved city, in the halls of a hospital. The sounds of life can be the most beautiful and the most overwhelming.
Sitting in the quiet can sometimes be just what we need most. In the quiet, I can hear. In the quiet, I can think, to reflect, to discern, to understand, to mourn. Sometimes no words are the best. When you find yourself in a moment like this, sit in the silence, let it guide you. The words will find you when it’s time.
This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they're all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.
Carrie Fox is the founder and CEO of Mission Partners, a woman-owned strategic communications firm and Certified B Corporation that guides high-potential nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible corporations in realizing their greatest social impact. Since launching her first firm in 2004, she has guided hundreds of organizations around the world to lead with purpose, fueling organizations and their missions forward in new and more impactful ways.