Have you ever looked into the eyes of a stranger and felt an instant connection? Something unsaid but definitely there? Ever wondered what their life entails?
There’s a German word for it – Sonder – meaning to have a sudden realisation that someone else’s life contains the same ambitions, worries, and infinite possibilities as your own.
Our lives are wonderfully complex, almost mind-blowingly so. Think of all the people you’re friends with. Then your acquaintances. Then all the people you could put a name to but might never have met. Think about how totally different your life might be now if you had made a single different decision or someone or something had had a slightly different impact on your life. Everyone else is exactly the same. Infinite streams of differing directions flowing out from each and every one of us. A late train here, a spilt coffee there and different outcomes snowball themselves into existence.
Pretty exciting when you think about it. But it only works when you bring it into your consciousness. I’ve mentioned it before, I truly believe that most of our reality is in our perception of events. Our environment responds to the way in which we interact with it. If you meet an arsehole first thing in the morning, then you meet an arsehole. If you meet arseholes all day, you’re the arsehole.
Sonder helps us to be kind to other people and in turn, maybe, they will be kind to us. Everyone has their story, their problems, so be nice.