On Gleaning and Dumpster Diving

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Adam Ekstedt
English 103
Prof. McNett
On Gleaning and Dumpster Diving
There are two jobs that no children ever want to do when they grow up. Not one child tells their parents, ‘I want to be a gleaner when I grow up,' or ‘I want to be a dumpster diver.' Every child grows up thinking they are going to be a doctor or an astronaut when they get their parents age and they are going to be rich. Wouldn't there be something wrong with a kid who wanted to be something other than the best? As I have read more about dumpster diving and gleaning, I have began to wonder if it is really that bad. Why shouldn't a child want to grow up to be either the dumpster diver or the gleaner?

When I was in grade school I remember arguing with my friends about who had the nicest bike or whose dad had the best car. All we wanted was to be the best and have the best, but the more I learn, read, and see from experience, the more I find that those material or monetary possessions mean very little. Today many people who work hard and find that job that will provide them enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their lives often lose track of what is important. Gregg Easterbrook has shown in many instances that in most cases money has not proven to be the key to happiness. In the end that's all that everyone is looking for too, happiness. If it is not found with money, where is it?

I believe happiness can sometimes be found in poverty. After seeing people scrounge through trash just to survive or go gleaning through the stuff that's not good enough for anyone else, I began to realize what is most important. It is definitely not any material possession that can be bought. It is something that I believe every person must find for themselves. Sometimes it is family or other relationships, and other times it's just any type of work a person finds gratifying. In any instance, it almost always involves being around and communicating with other people. One person in a...
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