Sonder — The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.
“This word has always interested me: Sonder. Sonder was coined to describe a loss of ego accompanied by an empathetic realization that one is not alone. The realization that the people around you have aspirations, needs, guilt, passions, and pain. There’s a special type of beauty when I think about Sonder. For example, In the modern world things just magically happen: there’s a layer of stability in which people can wake up and assume there will be running water, that city services will clear any debris from major roadways, that someone has been enlisted to save you if something goes wrong. It’s fitting that within this narrative, there are also wrong doers, people who make mistakes, and people you’ll never meet that will remain either a mystery or exist as a concept rather than within our frame of reality. It’s natural to assume that there are people that will indirectly affect your way of life without ever meeting them or even conceiving of their existence. As selfish as it seems, we guide ourselves through life without much consideration about the details that helped lead us there.”
- (Excerpt) The Heavy Bombardment, Yeltsin Penado 2021