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 was introduced to this word and The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows today by someone 20 years younger than I. This person is a very smart person and part of a group of very smart people I have the privilege of employing as part of my Minecraft U staff. These people are also very empathetic and of particularly good character. They are good humans, connecting deeply both intellectually and emotionally with their world.

They give me hope for the future, and teach me new things.