A dying man gathered his best friends - a lawyer, doctor and
clergyman - at his bedside and handed each of them an envelope
containing $25,000 in cash. He made them each promise that after his
death and during his repose, they would place the three envelops in
his coffin. He told them that he wanted to have enough money to enjoy
the next life.
A week later the man died. At the wake, the lawyer and doctor and
clergyman each concealed an envelope in the coffin and bid their old
client and friend farewell.
By chance, these three met several months later. Soon the clergyman,
feeling guilty, blurted out a confession saying that there was only
$10,000 in the envelope he placed in the coffin. He felt, rather than
waste all the money, he would send it to a mission in South America.
He asked for their forgiveness.
The doctor, moved by the gentle Clergyman's sincerity, confessed that
he too had kept some of the money for a worthy medical charity. The
envelope, he admitted, had only $8000 in it. He said he too could not
bring himself to waste the money so frivolously when it could be used
to benefit others.
By this time the Lawyer was seething with self-righteous outrage. He
expressed his deep disappointment in the felonious behavior of two of
his oldest and most trusted friends. "I am the only one who kept my
promise to our dying friend. I want you both to know that the envelope
I placed in the coffin contained the full amount.
The other men looked down in embarrassment and the lawyer continued,
"Indeed, only I honored the deathbed wishes of our great friend. My
envelope contained my personal check for the entire $25,000."