If I could, I'd tell people that reading is good for them. Not just because it facilitates intellectual development (and some people I know could really use some book-derived smarts), but because reading so very good for the soul. Lamentably few of us 'really' read. Strapped for time, we scim through articles trying to get as much information in as little time as possible. Carrying unfortunate burdens of overflowing information and preconceived notions, we read only to critique: pick holes in the argument, find fault with expression, or nitpick semantics.
Which is sad.
Because if we 'really' read, if we consider not just what is written, but what is 'said' by the author, if we read not just the lines but 'between' the lines, then maybe we stand a chance of actually understanding what someone else wants to say. And if, perchance, we manage that, then we begin to step beyond our limited teeny-tiny world views and experience the world through someone else's eyes. Feel the world through someone else's eyes. By 'really' reading we become more: more aware, more sensitive, more informed and, ultimately, more human.
Unfortunately, however, I have no power to compel any of you to sit down, take time out of your busy-busy days/weeks/lives to read. But if for today I could, this piece by Suketa Mehta is what I'd pick.