My first “waking up” experience as a young man went like this: I was walking around Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachussettes lost in my own thoughts as usual. I looked around and saw so many other people walking the streets. Suddenly, A thought came to me that interrupted all my other thoughts: “if every other person has equally complex thoughts and experiences in life as I do, what makes my own life meaningful?” Many years later, I was surprised to see that a word was coined that means exactly this. The word is “Sonder” and it’s defined as: 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 etc.
That realization was the beginning of my thinking outside of the box known as egocentrism.
How do you relate to the idea of Sonder?