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 and said, "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,
"Firstly, 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 penniless 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 ?