Oliver Wendell Holmes lived from 1841 to 1935, and is regarded as one of the greatest Supreme Court Justices. Justice Holmes was extremely intelligent, highly respected and often quoted. However, it is said that he could be a bit absent-minded on occasion. Justice Holmes was riding a train one day, when the railroad conductor began walking down the car, checking tickets. As the ticket-checker approached, he watched Holmes search his wallet, unable to find his ticket. Frustrated, Holmes then checked each of his pockets. Still no ticket. Holmes became more and more frustrated as he rummaged through his briefcase, still unable to find his ticket. Finally the Conductor made his way to Holmes’ seat.
“Justice Holmes,” he said, smiling, “I know who you are. Everyone knows who you are. There’s no need to show me your ticket.”
“Young man, that’s not the problem,” replied Justice Holmes. “The problem is not ‘where is my ticket’, but where I am going.”