No-one was giving him any money.
A young advertising writer walked past and saw the blind man with his sign and empty cup, and also saw the many people passing by completely unmoved, let alone stopping to give money.
The advertising writer took a thick marker-pen from her pocket, turned the cardboard sheet back-to-front, and re-wrote the sign, then went on her way.
Immediately, people began putting money into the tin cup.
After a while, when the cup was overflowing, the blind man asked a stranger to tell him what the sign now said.
“It says,” said the stranger, ” ‘It’s a beautiful day. You can see it. I cannot.’ “
(My Dad told me this story when I was a teenager in the 1970s. I saw it recently on a video on the web. This story illustrates in a timeless way how important choice of words and language is when we want to truly connect with and move other people. Thanks BC and SD)