The Time I Heard My Favorite Word...

Every second, two people die. Every second, the world changes permanently. We don’t seem to realize how much one being’s existence affects those around us, and I’m not simply referring to those in your immediate, conscious life.

I heard a word once: Sonder. The definition roughly translates: to realize that every person’s life is unique, full of twists and turns each as individual and complicated as our own. To me, that’s a million dollar word - one that really gave me a new perspective on the world around me. Each person has had their own experiences, and no life is exactly the same or replaceable. In our lives, we are all such different and developed characters, with our own internal monologues and conflicts, our own back story and motivation. Everyone is the main character of their own autobiography. Everyone has had their own first day of kindergarten and first kiss and the death of someone they loved and yet every single thing that has happened to you is completely brand new and can never happen the exact same way to another person. You alone have touched so many people’s lives, the person you lent a dollar to at school or the girl you let cut in front of you in line or the guy you held the elevator for or whatever it is, each and every single action you do and word you say affects someone else’s life. Every single stage direction you have followed has led to another character’s development. In our eyes, as we get to know someone better, they begin to become three dimensional. Yet we often fail to realize that the people that you choose not to develop are just as round and multi-faceted as the ones you do. The supporting cast leads lives just as detailed as the stars - their story just isn’t in your copy of the script.

Yet . . . at the same time, we’re exactly the same as everyone else. Every struggle you’ve gone through, every hard day you’ve survived, every egotistic thing that makes you think you’re unique . .  is nothing. You are not the first, nor will you be the last. When the time has come for your gear in the machine to rust to a halt, a new one will simply be slipped into place. How can we call ourselves original, anyway? “Originality” is simply a concept we’ve constructed to make us believe that we're . . . unique. Special. Worthy of being the main character. Many will come after you that will carry on the same deeds and still you will tell yourself of superiority – because you were there first, right?

That’s something I really hate – when the old assume themselves better than the young. In the lifespan of the universe, your life is less than a blink of an eye, yet you spend that blink of an eye convincing yourself that you were more than you are. You think that you are so much better than others, simply because you have survived a fraction of a blink longer. You think you posses so much knowledge and wisdom, simply because your gear is more rusted. It’s an endless cycle, really. The young become the old. Just as your parents criticized your lifestyle and your taste in music and the society of your prime, you will do the same to your children, secretly envious of those who are given the chance to start anew and subconsciously angry at those who do not take advantage of it. You will assume yourself better just because you were there earlier – but before you was another, and before them another still. Just as I said before, you are not the first nor will you be the last. An endless cycle will spiral and spiral, and gear by gear the machine will be rebuilt until you no longer find it recognizable. And in 100 and in 1000 years, the same will happen. The framing may change every so often, but the painting inside has remained constant for eternity. The same people with the same struggles and the same opinions and the same life choices in the same situations will live out the same lives as those before them – but they were there first, right? They know all there is to know (or all that they believe is needed to know), right? There is an infinite amount of knowledge and endless libraries of things we can’t understand, yet mankind has chosen only to read the first chapter of the first book. It’s fascinating. Our mind is said to be so large and remarkable, yet it spends so much of it’s time idly existing. But, despite the heavy criticism I might dispense, the mind is an amazing thing, a thing so precise and intricate that we cannot even imagine how it carries the weight of consciousness. We have been graced with a miracle -  or 107.6 billion miracles, as no soul and no mind and no spirit can ever be the same as another.

Somehow, in the most complicated fabric of the universe, all the individual threads and all the individual lives and complexities and struggles all weave together to make a coherent work. Somehow, the same things have been repeated for so long, yet nothing can happen the exact same way ever again. Somehow we all are part of something so much bigger than our minds can process, yet we all manage to have our own universes and our own points of view, which, also, will never be identical to another’s. By some amazing circumstances, we, as humans, have defied all odds. We, as people, have been given the gift of consciousness. We, as minds, have earned the right to sonder. I like to call it “The Thespian Theory.” We are all so unique and irreplaceable, yet, every second, two people are replaced. No one will ever exist exactly like you, as you are in no way identical to another being, yet, in time, another person will occupy the space you do now, auditioning for the same part, but pronouncing the words a different way. You may have a part in a play that has been performed on stages for centuries, but no one will ever be able to read the lines like you.

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