A local United Way office realized that it had never
received a donation from the town's most successful lawyer. The person
in charge of contributions called him to persuade him to contribute.
"Our research shows that out of a yearly income of at least $500,000,
you give not a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give back to the
community in some way?" The lawyer mulled this over for a moment and
replied, "First, did your research also show that my mother is dying
after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her
annual income?" Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbled, "Um...no."
"-or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a
wheelchair?" The stricken United Way rep began to stammer out an
apology but was interrupted, "-or that my sister's husband died in a
traffic accident," the lawyer's voice rising in indignation, "leaving
her penniless with three children?" The humiliated United Way rep,
completely beaten, said simply, "I had no idea..." On a roll, the
lawyer cut him off once again: "-so if I don't give any money to them,
why should I give any to you?"