I could not betray my conscience

After I graduated in dentistry I wanted to start work straight away. I love my job and I see it as an opportunity to build a better society. I soon got offered a job, but I realised that it involved a compromise that went against the ethics of my profession.
The salary was really attractive, and I needed the money, but I was even more certain that I could not go against my conscience. I decided to turn down the offer.

At the same time, I was invited to start an educational project, and to work as a teacher in a children’s nursery.
My decision caused some consternation. My family and friends thought I was wasting time and energy, and could not understand why I had turned down such a good professional opportunity in order to be a “nappy (diaper) changer”. But I was happy, because it gave me a real opportunity for building fraternity. In fact, the experience was beautiful. There were a few of us, and we were trying to set up a project that seemed like a seed of something great, answering the needs of the district that we trying to serve.

To my surprise I was then offered a job as a dentist. The experience of the nursery had given me a new vision of things, and my job was no longer simply a way of fulfilling my personal ambitions, it now became an opportunity to “give” and to love.
There were plenty of occasions when the fundamental choices of my life were put to the test. For example, I was offered the chance to earn more money, using some unethical methods. In the world I live in, where the needs are great and there is a lot of corruption, those things even appear “normal”. But once again it was clear to me that I ought not to give in to such a proposal.

On another occasion, a poor man came to the surgery that none of my colleagues wanted to treat. I knew that Jesus was in that person, and I could not treat him in a lesser way than I would treat Jesus himself.
A short time ago an amazing possibility emerged of setting up a dental clinic with a person who shares the same ideals as me. We could set up our own business, and give everyone a good and proper service, while adhering to the Economy of Communion project! I saw this as the “hundredfold” for having looked for the kingdom of God! I am happy with this new project, where I can give of myself completely in the building of a new society.

(E. Venezuela)

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