Def: The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.

Gives birth to empathy.

Def: the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions.

If we can do empathy, we can do anything.


2 thoughts on “Sonder

  1. Yes, empathy. I agree with your statement (If we can do empathy, we can do anything.), I think. But having been provoked to think about it, I don’t think there’s anyone with whom I’m truly empathic. I have no idea about most other people. It comes from knowing them well, doesn’t it, and the older I get the more I realise I don’t know people, even those I’ve been hanging around with for decades. But I don’t know how much I don’t know. How do I test that, I wonder.

    • I don’t know how much I don’t know.
      A truer phrase has never been spoken. I mean, if you knew, you would know, right?

      Test it this way: observe someone in a situation where you have a few moments — maybe in your favorite coffee shop over a double pull and banana bread — and form some opinions. Then try to strike up a conversation, and see if any of your opinions seem to be false.

      I think most of the time what we think we know about someone is probably not true; this has been proven to me a few times just in the past few weeks. And it’s so easy to forget that everyone is hurting and broken and hollow and has moments of despair as well as joy. Everyone.

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