This was going to be a short entry following up on a 2011 post I wrote about the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, an online lexicon of invented words created by John Koenig (the first syllable rhymes with pain). Koenig went on to achieve extra fame through his 2016 TED talk and a subsequent TED Radio Hour feature.
Then I started doing a little casual digging, and … hoo boy.
Here’s the tweet from Karen that sent me down the rabbit hole.
I am just an extra in the movie that is your life. https://t.co/l2QwqmoPUg— Karen Wise (@wisekaren) May 8, 2019
And here’s John Koenig’s definition of sonder, which he coined in 2012:
The awareness that everyone has a story – that all the random passersby you see around you have an emotional life just as rich as yours, even though to you they’re just an extra in the background
And here’s Koenig’s lyrical short video about sonder.