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?!"