Former Police Officer Releases “The Dirty Words”, a Simple Handbook for Better Communication in Difficult Times
As the devastating effects of the world-wide mental health crisis, the “other pandemic”, have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and the anxiety of protesters in the streets demanding change, a new book reveals a new set of “Dirty Words” that sabotage healthy communication and exacerbate the stresses of the new normal.
“These are simple, commonly used words that create ambiguity, undermine, and generally disempower us and most have no awareness whatsoever of their damaging effects,” explains author and former police officer, journalist, television and radio personality, and business leader, Randy Lennon (see bio below). “These are the OTHER dirty words and learning about their impact and inappropriate use can literally change lives.”
As a former police officer in a quiet, rural area in the 1980’s, then Constable Lennon instituted one of the first community policing initiatives in the public schools in Canada. The “Cop-in” program assigned regular duty officers to spend quality time connecting with students in elementary schools.
“I could have never imagined the extent of polarization between the police and the public that is playing out in horrifying fashion on the streets of America today,” says Lennon. “And at the same time the various chasms in society between left and right, young and old, privileged and disadvantaged, and of course black and white, are so much wider in 2020 than 40 years ago when I was pioneering “community policing” in rural Alberta, Canada.
“In the end, as with everything in life, it all boils down to communication,” says Lennon. “It’s easy to criticize the police and of course there are the tragic, highly publicized incidents where police officers are the criminals. The killing of George Floyd is indefensible. The larger issue of systemic racism within law enforcement is not so black and white (pun intended). What is called ‘systemic’ bias on race and many other prejudices exists within the police and all aspects of North American society. And careful attention to our language and choice of words can lead to effective dialogue and open communication which is the only path forward.”
The Dirty Words book is an opening to growth that helps readers in an easy, sometimes lighthearted way to become much more aware of the power of the spoken word and how they unconsciously are sloppy with their language.
“It’s certainly not the answer, and my view is every cop in North America would benefit from reading it,” said Lennon.
Amid the chaos of COVID-19 there have been many new stresses added to daily life and also many positives. For Randy Lennon the pandemic offered an opportunity to stop and reflect and get around to publishing the book he authored in 2017. The Dirty Words was inspired by a workshop that has been conducted since the late 90’s on its own or as a “warm-up” to a transformational personal development program “The Questions Experience”.
“Hundreds of people from all over the world and all walks of life have benefited from The Questions and yet based on personal feedback over the years a lot of the lasting impact has been from the light-hearted intro or warm-up where we take a look at words that disempower us and the power of the spoken word generally,” added Lennon. “So I wrote the book in 2017. When the pandemic hit I was stuck at home like everyone else and I realized cooped up families could particularly benefit from this simple, yet profound examination of commonly used and yet so damaging dirty words.”
The Dirty Words is a handbook for making minor changes in our everyday language that can have tremendous positive and surprising impacts. By positioning seemingly innocuous words like “try, but, should, can’t, have to, hope and wish” alongside the “7 words you can’t say on television”, the simple yet profound book empowers the reader to change their language to change their life.
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