Sonder. I wish I’d coined the word, adding it to the world’s lexicon. But, alas, I didn’t. I was lucky enough to stumble across it, allowing me to embrace it and the beautiful definition accompanying it.
So, what is in a name? If you don’t know what it means, take a peek:
From The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
In light of today’s world, and the daily tragedies playing out before us I think this word speaks volumes. What if everyone recognized that each person’s life is as rich and full and vividly complex as their own? We each have our triumphs and our sorrows. Each of us. Instead of wrapping our heads in our own egos, what if we saw in other humans what we recognize in ourselves? Amazing to ponder that, isn’t it?
My own personal thought on this leads me to believe we’d each be a little kinder. We’d each be a bit more tolerant. And we’d each share our love a little more willingly. You can do that today. Give a smile to a stranger. Share a kindness by holding open a door. Let your love radiate out through your soul and wrap around the universe. We are all the same.
Sonder. How I love this word!