When confronted with John's stark command to bear fruit or die, people respond pleadingly, "What shall we do?" John answered: "He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise." To the tax collectors who asked this question he said, "Collect no more than is appointed you." And to the soldiers he said, "Rob no one by violence or by false accusation and be content with your wages."
It's worth noting that John's time in the wilderness did not leave him with a misanthropic spirituality. Rather than tell people how they must go into the wilderness, leaving all wealth and its distractions behind, he tells them to care for others, to show fairness and to foster relation relationships.
Lent should put us in touch with the generosity of God, not detach us from it. Again, as always, this season is about laying ourselves down before God and before others (see my earlier post on Isaiah and true fasting). The offering we make is not one that celebrates our sufferings but celebrates how our self-denial turns into the giving of our selves to God and to others.
(Wise men bring gifts to the Christ child.)