There’s one quotation, or rather, definition, that always strikes a chord in me every time I come across it.
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.
We live in a world of uncertainty and isolation. Although as a collective, we have crafted an interpretation of what success looks like in society, as individuals, we act individually and have our own qualms and apprehensions. That successful figure you look up to – wealthy, fit, and blessed with both material and spiritual success, probably has his or her own fears and concerns, much different from the ones you have.
I’ve realized that when I step back and take a look at the big picture, many of my worries seem unjust, a little out of scope. And when I think more and realize that the great equalizer that awaits all of us is death, I hold a firmer grasp on how I can approach my future.
Throughout my life, there have been many times where I’ve felt as if I was alone. Yet, looking back, I understand that people weren’t trying to hold me down, they were just trying to satisfy their own desires and quell their ulterior motives. It will feel at times the world has given up on you and you remain alone – when your closest friends and family have abandoned you, your lover leaves you for someone else, and your physical and mental state have deteriorated to the point of no return.
Yet, being alone is not a curse. Being alone will give you a sense of strength, the ability the fight back as an individual, and the power to push through against the forces that are fighting you. This is where your willpower is tested and your determination is challenged. And when you finally finish enduring the adversity and frustrations you have faced, you have conquered your fears and become stronger in the process to face the next fight.
You will no longer be a wanderer above the sea of uncertainty and isolation, but a master of your future and destiny.