The speech presented by Saunders initially considers the premise that the majority of human communications takes place using the tools of words and language. Here the speech maker considers the issues of both the persuasive value of words and the ethical implications amongst other issues. More specifically, Saunders goes on to consider that some of the most influential communications make use of a common three word format citing the specific examples of the use of the phrases “I’ll be there” and “Maybe your right.” The speech makers then goes on to cite a number of examples of how these turns of phrases have been used effectively in a range of contexts from a friend to friend relationship making use of the I’ll be there phrase through to a public figure using the same phrase to reassure a nation state in times of difficulty.
However, perhaps the most poignant part of the speech comes towards the end of the speech when Saunders cites another three word phrase which had a significant impact upon her own life and perhaps calls into question the opening statement of the speech which highlighted the importance of words as a form of communication. In this case the speech maker cites the example of the response of her caregiver when asking for advice as a little girl, in this case the care giver used the three word phrase “your heart knows.”
In this case the speech maker has asked for advise which she would have preferred to have been delivered in a worded format however, the care giver gives a response which asks the child to look to their own internal resources for inspiration as to what to do in a given situation. In this case, the story implies that while words may be the dominant form of communications amongst human beings, in this case also being the preferred response on the behalf of the child. The fact remains that there are a whole host of other non-word based communications which take place between humans and other factors within the external environment which may allow a better decision to be made.
In this case it would appear that the care giver by using the phrase “your heart knows” is really saying that the child already has access to a much wider range of information which while not spoken in nature has already been internalised in what the care giver refers to as “the heart.” As such, the care giver is encouraging the girl to draw upon these unspoken resources which is summed succinctly by the title of the speech “Learn to listen with your heart.”
As such, the writer takes this speech to be one which is encouraging the listener to take into account a wider range of communications and information in the decision making process which go beyond the dominant tools of speech and language. However, while this may be the point of the speech, it would also appear that even in the words of the speech maker, undertaking this process of “listening with the heart” may be more difficult in practise than it is in theory. This is adequately demonstrated in the speech given the Saunders freely admits that at the time she would have preferred a concrete answer to her questions rather than being told to seek the answers for herself.