I’ve recently been introduced to the term “sonder” which describes the realization that other people live their own lives.
It seems simple enough.
I’m a great lover of philosophy and deep thought and all that sophisticated sounding shtuff so this is an idea I instantly loved.
We see people all the time. Every day. Interaction is unavoidable. We see our friends, our family and strangers off the street. But how often do we imagine them complexly?
We live our whole lives in our own heads. Our own perspective. Our own experiences. Our own everything. It can never be otherwise. We see through the same pair of eyes everyday and breathe through the same nose. I am me. You are you. That will never change.
But look around at everyone. How strange is it that they are not you? That they don’t have your life. That they never had a dog call Lester when they were five. That they didn’t sleep with a nightlight. That they don’t go to work every day in your office.
They did other things instead. They had other dreams. They spoke other words. They are another.
They lead a separate, complex life different from yours. A life where your days are not at the core, but their days. A life where their smiles and tears and friends empowered them. A whole web of existence that you can never fully know. A complex web of secrets.
And now think that more than seven billion of those webs exist around you.
Sonder for a minute.