• I think the defining moment in any person's life is when he decides to do things that will almost certainly wreck his professional life.

    Take Ariel Sharon (search).

    The Israeli prime minister knew his pullout from the West Bank (search) would create a huge political storm.

    Conservatives are bashing him.

    His own party appears to be abandoning him.

    And now, his former finance minister is challenging him.

    Many have had enough of him.

    Ariel doesn't seem to care.

    When I sat down to chat with him, he talked wistfully of his days on the farm and maybe returning to that farm — maybe sooner than he thought.

    "I did what is right," he told me. "That is all I can do."

    It is ironic that the things that have made him a hero on the world stage, could cost him his job on the Israeli stage.

    This man, who climbed to the top of his country's government, shrewdly reading the political tealeaves along the way, ignores them this day — he says, for the good of future days. All because his climbing days are over.

    He has nothing to prove, he tells me. Save doing the right thing, which means everything. Even if it means losing his job, which means nothing.

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