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Anything for a buck - Greg Gelpi

The strength of the human bond, the invisible link that holds two people together is amazing.

But, in the presence of a little money, that bond is broken and humanity takes the back seat to deep-seeded lust for personal gain and a quick financial fix.

That senseless greed and utter betrayal of fellow man is witnessed in personal relationships, popular culture and world affairs.

Even as a I curl up in my bed and hammer out this column on my laptop, I watch (shamefully so) as Amber Frey musters up the acting job of her lifetime, playing the part of a writer, the part of a person with an important message to convey to a national television audience, a message we all "need" to know.

The message? My book is in bookstores. Buy my story. Buy my sales pitch. Feed my greed and the greed of a nation.

Frey was the mistress of Scott Peterson who was recently sentenced to death after being convicted of killing his wife and unborn child.

All the while, the actual story, the actual people lie idly by, including two who lie six feet under and countless friends and family who grieve as others celebrate the holidays.

"Who's My Daddy?" Hmm? Where's the basic sense of human decency? How about an ounce of culture, meaning, something, anything?

Gratefully, I tuned into the "reality" television show long enough to catch the premise and confirm my disgust, then quickly clicked to another channel.

The basic idea was that a woman was adopted at a young age and never knew her father. Rather than simply reuniting the father and daughter, the show prolonged the reunion, made her jump through hoops and finally revealed "who her daddy" was.

All the while, the impostor daddies were trying to fool her and play on her emotions so that they could win cash. Whatever happened to Plinko and just spinning "The Big Wheel?"

But, ratings and money trump people and their emotions. The love of money, according to the folks in the entertainment industry, prevails over the love of a daughter for her father.

Unfortunately, America doesn't hold the patent on greed.

While much of the world united and massive relief efforts banded together to aid the victims of the tsunamis in South Asia, predators are seizing the opportunity to prey upon the newly orphaned.

According to news reports, some are taking advantage of the children whose parents were killed by the devastating tsunamis. As relief efforts continue to pour in, ABC News reports an increase in child trafficking.

Down on the ground of the affected areas, the traffickers undoubtedly witness the charity of the world and efforts being made to better the area. Watching, they are faced with the decision of whether to roll up their sleeves and pitch in as well or pad their pockets.

A professor back in college said that everything can be viewed through the eyes of economics. In choosing money over people, people are assigning a dollar value to their relationships and to the people in those relationships.

Relationships between people should hold more value than the relationships of people to objects or money. As can be seen daily, life, though, holds many "shoulds."

Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at ggelpi@news-daily.com or (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.