What is sonder? If you’ve ever heard this word before, you probably weren’t aware of it’s meaning. Sonder is a word that should be more known as it’s very important to help put things in perspective when dealing with people day to day. What sonder means is to realize that those around you are living their own lives, just like you. It’s coming to the real conclusion that their thoughts and experiences are just as real as yours. Sonder is to acknowledge that the other people in the world are living their crazy and ever changing lives, no matter how involved or uninvolved you are. It’s more than just knowing that even those you don’t know are experiencing times of suffering while others are rejoycing. You know when you’re walking down the street and you pass by someone and you find yourself wondering how their day has been? That’s sonder. Realizing that the person standing behind you could have just lost their most precious friend or noticing the joy and welcome of a new life when you see a woman holding her newborn baby, everyone around you has a life just as complex, just as crazy and they are so real.
In this life it’s pretty easy to become centered around one’s self. Selfishness is common and it’s typical for people to care most about themselves. You are you after all, and nobody understands you the way you do, so it’s no surprise you might be putting yourself first. It’s important to not lose sight of reality and notice that the people around you are living, breathing just like you. Other people have feelings and they have the ability to feel just as intensely as you do. Maybe they feel the same as you, maybe you guys are on completely different pages. This doesn’t mean you aren’t part of the same world. Sonder is to have enough respect for those around you to realize they, too, are humans. All these stories are happening simultaneously, one after the other, all at the same time. Think about it, there is really no clear explanation as to how everything got here and why they work the way they do. There is just something so humbling about coming to terms with the fact we’ll never truly know the answers to everything.
What is sonder? It’s smiling at that little kid you noticed staring at you in the grocery store. That kid is going to go through the trials and tribulations of life, just as anyone else would. Everyone has their own story to live and tell. Some are going to end sooner than you think. A woman you might have thought was pretty that you saw only once may die tomorrow. When you finally let the reality of sonder kick in, maybe only then you can just start to find yourself amongst others.