We are not often exposed, in this country, to acts of principled self-denial on the part of those far less fortunate than ourselves. America is a country seemingly obsessed with rights, demands and redress. Greed is presumed god, or at least neutral, when accompanied by a relative lack of wealth. So while the poor are, by virtue of their state, free of any need to justify avarice, many of us make special pains to do just that. Accumulation pervades life in the developed world so completely that much can be determined about our worldview by how much and how gracefully we consume.