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“the compassion code” by laura jack

The Compassion Code

If there’s one thing we can all agree that the world needs right now, it’s compassion.

So many of us are hurting, and we need to find ways to help each other heal.

When I saw that Laura Jack had written a book, The Compassion Code: How to say the right thing when the wrong thing happens — and that it had already become a bestseller — I kind of felt better about the future.

I met Laura years ago and immediately felt a bond with her. She is kind and funny and smart, and someone you want to hang out with.

Laura lost her mom in a tragic car accident, and she went on to become a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist so she could help others. She is on a mission to cultivate a culture of compassion — something that is sorely lacking right now.

“While you may not always know what to do or say when people share the challenging moments of their lives, one of the most important things to remember is that compassion is a skill that can be developed and improved,” says Laura. “I wrote The Compassion Code because I want more people to feel confident that they have the right response when someone says, ‘My mom died, my best friend is ill, I am going through a divorce, I got fired, or we have to move.

“This is life,” she adds. As human beings, one thing we share is that we all experience loss on some level. When we can be less afraid of each other’s experiences and emotions by knowing how to respond compassionately, we can have less isolation and heartache, and more love and connection.”

Here’s an excerpt from The Compassion Code:

“I wasn’t born knowing what to say or do when people are suffering. On New Year’s Eve of my senior year in college, I received the news that a good friend of mine from high school had lost her mom. I was stunned and my reaction was, looking back, a bit surprising.

I did nothing. I didn’t call. I didn’t go to the funeral. I didn’t write.

You may be thinking that I was a terrible friend. How did I live with myself? Well, I justified it. I thought to myself, I haven’t talked to her in several years. She doesn’t want to hear from me. I don’t want to bother her. I don’t know what I would say.

At that point in my life, I considered myself a compassionate person. I deeply cared for people and loved my friend, but my response was anything but compassionate. Why?

I was scared. I simply didn’t know what to do or say, and I was deeply afraid to say the wrong thing.

While I had been through a few loss experiences myself, I had always been able to find a reason that it had worked out for the best, a silver lining. But I couldn’t think of a silver lining this time, so I merely resorted to radio silence.

What I know now, and why I tell you this story, is that it was not about being compassionate or not, it was about not having the tools, understanding, or experience to best support my friend. For years, I was incredibly hard on myself for how I responded in that situation. Now, I have compassion for myself that I simply didn’t know, and now I get to do better.”

We can all do better. And, if we do, the world will be a better place.

I’m joining Laura’s Army of Compassion and hope you will, too. You can buy The Compassion Code here.


  1. Sounds like a great book! It’s going on my list for sure. I can so relate to not saying anything because I just don’t know what to say – and then feeling guilty and unloving… This is a skill I want to learn.

  2. Sounds like the perfect book for everyone and would make a wonderful holiday gift. Thanks for bringing my attention to it, Lois!

  3. What a great book! Yes the excuses she gave to justify her actions I think everyone has done at some point. We need compassion 101!

  4. This does sound like a wonderful book! I too think I am a compassionate person but sometimes I get into my head and it all goes belly up. I’ll have to add this to the pile!

  5. Great idea for a book and heaven knows many need it right now.

  6. Sounds like a great book. I enjoyed reading the excerpt that you posted. Such a great topic.

  7. This sounds like a book I would read. Adding it to my list. Thanks for sharing and introducing me to a new writer and book.

  8. That’s one book I can get behind!

  9. I learned a lot about compassion when my father died 3 months after our first child was born. I was in my 20’s. My friends didn’t know what to do. So, most of them did nothing. After two weeks of not hearing from me, one called up and told me I needed to get over it. She thought she was helping me. She had no idea how to support me. This book should be required reading for all of us!

  10. Sounds like an amazing book! I will be adding this to my “to-read” list soon, thanks for sharing!

  11. My friend just lost her mother and I never know what to say to her. I’m betting this book could help me. We could all use some better communication tools.

  12. Now that’s a handy book to have because not everyone knows what to say or do in certain situations. Being compassionate is such an important trait to have but I don’t personally think it comes naturally it’s something that is taught from an early age but if it’s not learned, this would make a great back up!

  13. Wow, the authors story is amazing! I love when people decide to teach and help others after personal tragedy or learning a valuable lesson.

  14. Marlene R. says:

    Most of us are at a loss for words and don’t know how to show compassion to others when they need it most. Will check out the book to read how the author handles the subject. Thanks, Lois, for always bringing up interesting topics.

  15. I know a LOT of people who could do with learning a bit of compassion! The Compassion Code sounds like a great read, and the sort of book you can leave on the coffee table for other people to have a look at when they call for a cuppa 😉

    Louise x

  16. i haven’t heard of this book before, but it sounds great! Thank you for the recommendation!

  17. I agree we do need more compassion in the world. I will have to check out this book.

  18. I love this idea. My friend has stage 4 cancer and she is a writer. She is always reminding us what to say when you don’t know what to say. I have to check out this book.

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