Let me begin by letting you know what my favorite word is. Technically it isn’t a word yet, as it isn’t recognized in any dictionary. Regardless, it’s definition is one of the most meaningful realizations in life, at least in my personal opinion.
Sonder – n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. Narrated, written, directed, edited and coined by John Koenig. THE DICTIONARY OF OBSCURE SORROWS *credit*
Let’s take a walk down memory lane, as far back as you can remember. Childhood memories, smells, feelings, sorrow, pain, guilt; The enjoyable experiences imprinted on our neurons and the ones we’d rather forget. We all walk our own path through this world, perceptions aside.
Each and every one of us is unique not only in the aspect of our genetic makeup, but our lives. Think about it, and I mean really think about it. How many people have you walked by in your life and never thought twice about, how many homeless people on the street, how many friends, how many relatives; how often have you tried to see things from a perspective other than your own? How many times have you made presumptions without knowing any true reality?
Life as we experience it is far more complicated than most of us are willing to admit, or fail to realize. We view the world behind the guise of our own perceptions; our judgments, our feelings, and our experience of how the world works. We rarely try to look at the world from an outside perspective, as it is in our nature as cognizant beings to only view and learn from the world based on our own interactions.
We so often fall short of the reality that everyone operates on this same method of interacting with the world. There is no way to change other peoples perceptions of the world, because it is hardwired into our DNA as a mechanism of self preservation both mentally and physically. But it is necessary to connect with one another, and I don’t just mean your friends or relatives; I’m talking about connecting with humanity.
I’m rather young, and hopefully the tread on my shoes have quite a few miles left, but I’m tired of walking alone with this one singular perspective. My perception of life I cannot change, but I can try to perceive the other side of the events that impact my life. This applies to life as a whole; whether trying to understand anothers motivation for their actions, or your own.
I believe that looking at life from the outside is the only true way to connect with not only ourselves, but with everyone. Of course, we are prone to judge, form opinions, and analyze other people; But after the fact, try and look at life through the looking glass. I believe you’ll find a deeper understanding to yourself and others.
The realization of sonder is a hard mechanism to implant upon our interactions with life, but for me I feel that it is necessary to become the person that I envision; the person that I want to be.