The local United Way office realized that it had never received a donation from a certain engineering supervisor at an oil company. The volunteer in charge of contributions called him to persuade him to contribute. "Our research shows that out of a yearly income of more than $600,000 you give not a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give back to the community in some way?"
The engineer 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."
"Second, 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 put off. "Third, that my sister's husband died in a traffic accident," the engineer'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 engineer cut him off once again, "...And I don't give any money to them, so why should I give any to you?!"