A local Greenpeace office realized that the organization had never received a donation from the town’s most successful businessman. 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 did not give a penny to charity. Wouldn’t you like to give back to the community in some way?”
The businessman 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 Greenpeace rep mumbled, “Um, no.”
The businessman interrupts, “Or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?” The stricken Greenpeace rep began to stammer out an apology, but was interrupted again.
“Or that my sister’s husband died in a traffic accident,” the businessman’s voice rising in indignation, “leaving her penniless with three children?!” The humiliated Greenpeace rep, completely beaten, said simply, “I had no idea.”
On a roll, the businessman cut him off once again, “So if I don’t give any money to them, why should I give any to you?”