Two businessmen were traveling by train to an important business meeting. In the seat opposite them was an old man with a shaggy beard, dressed in a tattered sweater and jeans.
Throughout the ride the two told each other crude jokes about bums and tramps, with particular reference to the old man in the next seat.
When they arrived at the meeting they discovered this “tramp” was a world-class scholar and the meeting’s keynote speaker.
Realizing he had heard everything they said on route, they apologized.
“It is not my forgiveness you need,” he responded, “but the forgiveness of all the common people you hold in such disdain.”