sonder (n.)

the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own

If you had the opportunity to visit any memorial sites for fallen warriors today, I wonder if you felt this. If not, take a minute now. Even better, share your thoughts with us. Did you know that Memorial Day began after the Civil War? It is now a time to remember all who have laid down their lives in wars since. It may be easier to imagine the lives of recently fallen soldiers, likely similar to yours at least in a sense of modern social setting. What about the lives of those not so recently passed? Imagine the rich imagery of a uniformed man or woman’s life in the WWII era. Or imagine the moral dilemma and broken family ties caused by two cousins going off to fight and die for opposite sides in the Civil War?

Consider this an exercise in imaginative thought and spend some time with your journal, or share your thoughts here in the Comments section below. This beautiful word is a strong form of empathy, an ability that can drastically improve our relationships and our daily contributions to society.


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