I'm now wondering if I should have dismissed him so quickly. If he'd been sitting on the pavement with a 'hungry and homeless' sign and cute dog I wouldn't have given it a second thought, and given him some change (I had plenty of it). Because he just walked up to me on the street I immediately dismissed him, probably as I felt a little threatened. But I now feel a bit guilty - he could genuinely have been in need of change, maybe he'd lost his wallet and couldn't get home. Or maybe he was indeed homeless and just wanted a cup of tea or some cigarettes. But I was immediately on my guard, even though the encounter took place on a busy street, surrounded by lots of other commuters. If I'm honest with myself his scabby, scruffy appearance probably played a major part in the way I treated him, but I hate to think that any of my loved ones or friends were treated badly or denied help, purely because of how they looked, and Pork-Pie Hat Man is someone's son/brother/friend.
In contrast, I met a lovely old lady on Saturday in the gift shop of the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. We jointly admired the jute shopping bags they were selling, I told her that my fiance and I were thinking of getting married in the Botanics and she told me that she'd been going there regularly for 80 years, since she was two. She was well dressed, clean, very polite and sweet - I didn't back away from her or brush her off like I did Pork-Pie Hat Man...
I am in line for some baaad karma.