Three days ago I was watching some YouTube videos, when suddenly a vivid realization manifested in my mind: every single human being on Earth is living a life as intense as mine, as complex as mine, and as strange as mine. We live a life so fast and intricated we barely have enough time to realize we are not alone in our travel - but surrounded by hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of people who can act, see, smell, touch, do things just like us. Other people will reach their goals like us, will fail like us, act silly like us, love like us, and experience all the range of emotions we feel, getting bored included. This was a bit mindblowing to me: such a simple though was so fundamental and ‘obvious’, I had never explored it in its totality.
This powerful sensation is called sonder.
A quick research on the internet revealed I’m not the only one who had such an epiphany: according to Urban Dictionary, the word sonder means
Briefly, “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” Originally from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which has a lot more beautiful neologism definitions like this you might enjoy.
and many people experienced it around the world.
Sonder is the uttermost and complete realization we are not alone, a thing we often forget believing we are the main, unique characters of our own life. Remembering this feeling can help us approaching other people and treating them well - because they’re just like us.
I know sometimes things aren’t easy, neither we live in an ideal world where everyone doesn’t hurt others. Yet sometimes, before approaching someone, just remember he’s a human like you are, who has his own complex passions, his own goals and desires, and he’s vividly experiencing many failures and flops. Just try to be kind to him/her.
And when arguing with another person, maybe something is wrong with him, and he lacks something important in his life. Just remember you could have been in his or her place.