Sonder – Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

When I was a child I was fascinated with the term doppelgänger and the idea of a paranormal twin living somewhere. The term also describes seeing a glimpse of oneself in in peripheral vision. When I was about 12, I spent so much time trying to catch things at the corner of my eye that one of my teachers was so concerned at this peculiar eye twitch I had developed they recommended an eye check up. Anyway I digress …

Later in life, at university when I tackled the works of people like Hegel, Immanuel Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger (all in translation) I decided that German language definitely described what it was to be human in a different way to English.

Today this was re-enforced when I discovered a new word Sonder in blog titled a Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows written by John Koenig.

sonder – n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own

This video on YouTube captures the idea of this “obscure sorrow” so perfectly that I just had to do more than “like” it on face book and share it here.