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  • emotion words: sonder

    I meant to keep posting these imaginary words for emotions, emotions that are themselves all too real. Most are from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, a wonderful website that may one day take form as a book...

    In any case: here's a word from it, one that seems to me so important for each of us.

    sonder. n. 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.