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Life

May 26, 2011

pile our own list of observations and experie n c e s : constant adolescent sitcom titFather Lou i l l a t i o n s , Guntzelman c r u d e olitical Perspectives pbarbs, violence, partial-birth abortions, greed, verbal and sexual abuse, increased drug use, dehumanizing pornography, preying on the very young, road rage, admiration for dysfunctional celebrities, etc. It’s tragically comical that we’ve run out of curse words. The profanities of old have become so overused that all we have left in our barrel of crudities is the f-word. So we just use it over and over and over. Civility is dying. Who holds a door open for another? Who gets up and gives a seat to an older person? Who refrains from using harsh or hurtful language? If civility is dying that means civilization is as well. We are going downhill,

It’s tragically comical that we’ve run out of curse words. The profanities of old have become so overused that all we have left in our barrel of crudities is the f-word. regressing to the savage aggressiveness of the more primitive person. It’s no surprise that an increasing number of young men thrill at watching two men in a cage permitted to kick, punch and assault each other viciously. We euphemistically call it “extreme sport.” Sport? A civilized society’s first line of defense is not more policemen and more laws. What is more powerful is when desirable behaviors are entrenched in a civilization’s traditions, moral values and self-respect. When these elements are taught and practiced, they modify the brutish tendencies that lurk in the shadow-part of human nature. The collective power and

When you call a locksmith are they really local? If you get locked out of your house or car and need to hire a locksmith right away, do you know whom to call? Many people will look for a company on the Internet and others will call information on the phone. But, if you’re not careful, the firm you think you’re hiring may not be local – and may not be on the up and up. Kallen Kenneda of Eastgate said his cousin was staying at his house in April and got locked out. Kenneda was out of town so couldn’t help him, but he did check the Internet for what he thought was a local locksmith. Kenneda called the firm and said, “I gave her my address, my phone number, all this stuff. I told her, ‘All the technician’s got to do is come out and pick the little lock – pick the bottom lock. It’ll take five minutes probably.’ She said. ‘OK, it’s going to be $29.95 plus labor, plus parts.’ ” The company, Fast Batavia Locksmith, sent someone right over, but failed to call Kenneda again with the estimate before doing any work.

“They were supposed to call me for everything and, obviously, if I didn’t agree with Howard Ain the price I Hey Howard! w o u l d have just told him to leave. I would have had somebody else come over. It would have been cheaper to get a hammer and knock the lock off and I would have replaced the lock for $30,” Kenneda said. Instead, the locksmith demanded the cousin pay him $160 dollars cash for the opening the door. “For 10 minutes worth of work it costs $160. It’s a joke,” said Kenneda. He said when he heard about the amount later he immediately called the company but got nowhere and thought about going over to the firm’s Main Street location. He didn’t go, but I did and found there is no 111 East Main St. in Batavia, which is supposedly the home of Fast Batavia Locksmith.

I called the company and learned it’s really located – not in Batavia, Ohio – but in New York. When I told Kenneda what I learned he said, “When I looked it up on the computer it said they’re out of Batavia, Ohio. It’s got an address. But, they’re really out of New York? That’s great. I did not know that.” The Better Business Bureau confirms the mail it sent to that Main Street address was returned as undeliverable. The company tells me it can’t comment on this complaint because the Better Business Bureau is investigating. Two years ago several people were indicted in a nationwide scheme to overcharge for locksmith services, so this type of thing is not new. Therefore, you need to protect yourself by finding a truly local locksmith now. Then, if you have an emergency, you’ll know whom to call. Howard Ain answers consumer complaints weekdays on WKRC-TV Local 12. Write to him at 12 WKRC-TV, 1906 Highland Ave., Cincinnati 45219.

lived examples of a civilized society says to others who contemplate following such tendencies, “If you’re going to live here, that’s not done among us.” The respected historian Arnold Toynbee noted in his studies that of all the previous civilizations that have ever existed, most of them waned or fell not because of conquest from without, but from a disintegration from within. A healthy civilization is the opposite of a mob. Mob psychology is characterized by a lack of consciousness that leaves its members unaware of themselves and what they’re really doing. A true civilization is marked by an increase in consciousness that makes them aware of their actions and the results. Mobs are frightening, violent and uncivil. A genuine civilization is mostly peaceful, a much safer place, and profoundly civil. Father Lou Guntzelman is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Contact him at columns@community press.com or P.O. Box 428541, Cincinnati, OH 45242.

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It’s obvious that the noun civility, and the verb to civilize, come from the same root word. The dictionary says that to civilize means “to bring out of a savage, uneducated or rude state and elevate in social and private life; enlighten; refine.” A nation can be called a civilization when they have reached a high level of culture, science, industry and government, as well as when the citizens demonstrate courtesy, politeness and good breeding – which is the meaning of civility. So, after acknowledging the above, let’s observe our society and ask some questions. As a country, are we still manifesting the characteristics that indicate a nation becoming ever more civilized? Is the civility we show one another rising or declining? Are we becoming better educated, courteous and less brutish? To answer these questions, consider the behaviors we tolerate in the workplace, in public, on television, in entertainment, in our schools, on the Internet, while driving, etc. Everyone of us can com-

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