Sonder, a noun

A view into an apartment building at night

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.

– from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

When I first came across the word sonder, I loved it so much that I named my company after it, Sonderous. It reminded me of growing up in the Auckland suburbs and wandering around in the summertime dusk when it only really got dark after 10 pm.

My modern version of what it means to be sonderous, much like being curious, is to scratch beyond the passing swish of a stranger’s coat on the tube and look at the networks that connect us, the ideas that lurk beneath the surface or in the air. All to survive, thrive and evolve in this murky and wondrous world of ours.

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