The staff at 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 representative mumbled, "Um... No."
"Or," the lawyer continued, "that my brother, a disabled veteran, is
blind and confined to a wheelchair?"
The stricken United Way representative began to stammer out an apology
but was interrupted when the lawyer added, "Or that my sister's
husband died in a traffic accident?" the lawyer's voice rising in
indignation, "Leaving her pennyless with three children?"
The humiliated United Way representative, 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?"