Check out this CNN article about a man moved by faith to abandon his career, and do the right thing instead.
This article is a couple days old, but I just came across it and it made me tear up a little. It’s the story of Wendell Potter, an executive for a health insurance company who one day saw thousands of people lining up to get basic medical care in a barn, because they didn’t have enough coverage to pay for even the simplest treatments. It was a transformative moment for him, as he realized that he was, to some extent, personally responsible for this tragedy. Since then, he’s become a crusader for health care for all.
What fascinates me about this story is the role that faith played in his conversion. I’m a crabby old atheist myself, and I’m far too used to seeing folks loudly calling themselves Christians while piously insisting that the poor and the sick can go ahead and die for all they care. Seeing, instead, someone who felt very strongly that his religion left him no choice but to give up his career and his self-image and work to help the neediest… that’s inspiring to me precisely because I don’t share the guy’s religious beliefs.
A touching note from the article, on the struggle he faced with quitting his enormously lucrative job:
There was another reason he couldn’t leave his job. It was his identity.
“Our egos are tied to our jobs even if the jobs we’re doing are not what we thought we were going to be doing,” he says. “Our jobs, to a certain extent, help define who we are.”
That’s a struggle and a pain we’ve seen a lot here at the Good Men Project. Wendell Potter ultimately decided that his job was not more important than being a good man, and that matters a great deal.