In 1997 I worked for the ‘Donald Trump of
About 2 months after the mysterious invoices began:
“Did you get my last
“I don’t see it here…what property was that for?”
I wanted to throw up. I was helping to build an abortion clinic. I couldn’t sleep that night. I tossed and turned and wondered what I should do. You see, the week before they told me that they wanted me to stay there and go to school part-time (I had told them I was thinking about going back to school full time). They promised that I would be making “more than I would ever make as a teacher” if I stayed—they were talking upwards of $45K with full benefits (I was 25 and had yet to complete my degree) with guaranteed bi-yearly raises AND tuition reimbursement. The man and I were newlyweds who would have been thrilled to be making over 100K a year combined (with no more student loans accumulating). Neither of us had ever seen that kind of money, we didn’t have parents who could buy us a house, furnish it or have a trust/college fund waiting (like some of our friends)…that’s just not where either of us is from.
The man ran into one of my old bosses a couple of weeks ago.
“Is she still saving babies?” he asked (His wife was a devout Catholic and he was taking major heat over the clinic back then from her too).
“Now she’s trying to save the world….”
Have you ever had to put your money where your mouth is? It’s hard. That’s the only time that it has happened to me in such a clear-cut way and it was one of the hardest decisions that I have had to make. It’s easy to justify and rationalize when it will be monetarily beneficial, and I won’t lie—I tried to rationalize it –I knew they wouldn’t make me do anything with that account if I didn’t want to…I told myself I’d donate lots to pro-life causes (Money from abortionists would be going right to the pro-life movement…giving the life a purpose…nice try right…)
I felt so good when I walked away…I know that I made the right choice. I had done many things that I felt proud of before (AIDS walks & donations, donating time/small amounts of money, volunteering), but this was different –this was true self-sacrifice that hit me hard –right in the pocket… and one of the few things that truly makes me proud in retrospect. When push came to shove, I actually put my money where my mouth was (I don’t say this bragging –I say it because that day I really didn’t know what I would do).
I have been thinking a lot about ‘self-sacrifice’ lately –it is not something that comes naturally or easily, but it can be very [emotionally] rewarding…