As you do in a crowd, I suppose.
As I walked by this man, my eyes focused for a moment on his face and was startled to find him searching out eye contact, a goodnatured smile on his face.
Why the smile? I don't know.
Because my hair is purple?
Because my T-shirt was a replica of the opening credits to Star Wars?
Because I was having an imaginary conversation in my head and my face was contorted into odd expressions (as my children say I do when engrossed in thought)?
Who knows... and I suppose it doesn't really matter.
I nodded and smiled back at him and walked on my way.
But the moment made me stop. I hadn't been startled to find him smiling at me. I was startled because until that split-second, I hadn't seen him.
So lost within myself, I hadn't seen anyone -- and that isn't like me. So I took a second and reminded myself to be present. To see the people around me. To make eye contact. To nod. To smile. To find little moments of commonality.
They are small, I know. Those moments. If I stayed lost in myself, it wouldn't change anyone's day.
But I do believe that we all have power in those little moments to do just that. To create a life of little connections that spread outward and we have the potential to become a life that centers around making others feel seen.
I think that's important.