It is a Privilege to Have a Job Worth Doing Well

I spent today interviewing candidates for the job of Executive Director for the Center for Auto Safety, a nonprofit that has probably done more to prevent roadway deaths in this country than any other organization. For decades CAS was led by its Executive Director Clarence Ditlow, who recently died from cancer. Clarence was both an engineer and a lawyer, and for thirty-something years he did the work of four or five people in analyzing automotive defects, pressuring automakers and the government in litigation, and motivating the media to cover issues that affect us all. With his talents, education, and work ethic, he could have done anything. But he served CAS for $49,000 per year, barely enough to cover the cost of living in Washington DC. In years when CAS’s money got tight, he wouldn’t even take that. You can’t replace a man like that. There’s no way. But you can look to him for inspiration, and a reminder that the greatest reward is to devote your life to something bigger than yourself and to know, when you breathe your last, that yours was a life well lived.

-Jeb Butler