Have you ever been talking to someone when you were suddenly struck by their humanity?

It’s usually some kind of detail that does this for me. Bloodshot eyes, or crow’s feet, or freckles, or acne… something that makes me notice the skin the person is wearing, in all of its frailty and beauty.

These moments usually surprise me, but they make me want to pay more attention. I’ve been thinking more about paying attention lately because of a book club for writers I’m participating in. I’ll share more thoughts soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to give you an assignment.

Ready? Here it is: pay attention today. Really look at the people with whom you speak. Notice details. You just might see something that surprises you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about what you notice!