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.
I liked reading through some of the comments on the YouTube page underneath the video. For example:
The message in the video is something that I think about everyday I commute to and from work and see all these different people around me. The train stations can get crowded during those times. I usually don’t like very crowded areas, especially when people seem to be walking in all different directions – left, right, in front of you, and behind you, and it feels like you’re playing a game of dodge ’em cars to make your way through, but there’s also something very fascinating about it too. What’s fascinating is that all those people have a story of their own, but little do their stories intertwine with one another unless there’s some divine intervention that makes them stop, communicate and listen to each other.
Since I have to look at the screen at work for most of the day, I avoid looking too much at my phone’s screen while traveling to and from work and actually take in the sights around me. Sometimes I feel like telling the people around me that they need to limit their time being glued to their phones, because being glued to a phone isn’t what our life is about and isn’t what it should be consumed with. It almost makes us look like robots in which the human element of connecting with the people sitting around an individual diminishes and loses value. In other words, we give value to many of the illusions we see on our screen, but little do we give value to what we see in real. I guess this is why in today’s time there are people that feel lonely even when they’re surrounded by so many people.
On the other hand, you might be surprised that there could be a stranger from a crowd of over 100 people that might notice you and be curious about you. The surprise comes from the notion that the person actually finds you interesting enough when you probably think everyone is too busy to care. For instance, I sat alone at a Japanese restaurant last week to have dinner after work. I felt like I was being watched, but isn’t that sometimes how one feels when one eats alone? =P
To my surprise, I was being watched…watched by a Korean-Australian guy, who was probably in his early-mid 20’s, and was sitting in a table nearby mine having dinner. He got up from his table around the same time I did to pay the bill. He noticed that I didn’t finish all of my food and said, while pointing to the bag in my hand in which I packed my remaining food, “That’s almost half of your food. How can you feel full from eating so little?” I told him that I had been fasting, and he said, “Ahhhh… Ramadan. Aren’t you supposed to feel more hungry?” We began a short conversation after that. I was surprised that he had been paying attention to small details about me, such as how little I ate and how much I packed. xD After I left the restaurant, I thought, “I hope there wasn’t food on my face.” Apparently… there was a crumb on my lip. =P Even so, it makes me happy when people reach out to communicate.
Another thing that I think about is that we normal people aren’t playing make-pretend for a living like celebrities do. If only they realized that they only have one life, and that most of them are living that one life being dishonest with the people around them. I think I enjoy being unknown and lost in a crowd of billions of people… rather than being connected through the lens of a camera under the eyes of people all over the world who I can’t even get in touch with on a personal level or reach out to and fully open up to due to man-made restrictions from million-dollar+ corporations. This is why I decided to cut off from being a fan. Just didn’t feel the connection was human enough or worth it with prying eyes of a corporation that wants to milk off of the feelings of innocent young people. Also, talk about being on the same planet, but feeling like you’re both in two completely different universes. Your world is real… but his is built on an illusion.
With that said, the person that I once was a fan of said that he wanted the whole world to know his name… Well, I hope he’s happy when it happens and doesn’t start falling into a downward spiral like many celebrities have because they didn’t feel like life was worth living anymore once their name was known by the whole world. Fame never lasts forever, anyways, so don’t fall in love with this illusion that you end up missing out on what’s real and meaningful. There’s so much more to this life, and God is forever watchful of each and everything we do.