I've been reading Hemingway's account of life in Paris in the 1920s, in his book, A Moveable Feast. In one section he writes, "It was all part of the fight against poverty that you never win except by not spending. We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other."
Perhaps overly romanticized, but Hemingway's words make me think that would be a good life. If we live and love simply, is that not the basis for doing considerable good in the world for others? And yet the poet Linda Weltner writes that the consumer culture shouts at us from every vantage point, saying "Not enough, not enough," and torturing us with all those things we have not yet bought, not yet acquired.