By Chuck Woodbury
I can’t recall ever hearing the word “sonder” before this morning when I read my daily inspirational message from marketing guru Seth Godin. He titled it “Seeking Sonder.” It reads as follows:
Sonder is defined as that moment when you realize that everyone around you has an internal life as rich and as conflicted as yours.
That everyone has a noise in their head.
That everyone thinks that they are right, and that they have suffered affronts and disrespect at the hands of others.
That everyone is afraid. And that everyone realizes that they are also lucky.
That everyone has an impulse to make things better, to connect and to contribute.
That everyone wants something that they can’t possibly have. And if they could have it, they’d discover that they didn’t really want it all along.
That everyone is lonely, insecure and a bit of a fraud. And that everyone cares about something.
Sonder might happen to you. When it does, it will help you see the world in a whole new way. Because, if you let it, the feeling can persist. A feeling that can allow you to see others the way you’d like to be seen.
I urge you to sign up for Seth’s daily email.
I checked further to understand the word sonder. Here is the definition from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.
“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—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”
Want to learn more? Watch this two-minute video.