To the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world.
Do you ever just feel like you don’t matter? At all? Like you’re just taking up space on earth and mulling along living a mundane life?
At one point or another, everyone has felt like that. You of course have to realize that’s not true, but we all have those days where we just feel like space-fillers.
But do you ever look at other people and wonder if they’re feeling that way?
Or do you ever just look at other people and wonder?
I am fasinated with the lives of other people. Isn’t it just amazing that every single person around you has likes, dislikes, habits, quirks, a family, friends, and a whole life that you probably don’t know a thing about.
There’s actually a word for that – “sonder.” Urban Dictionary says it’s “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” (Originally from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows). Sonder is my favorite word ever. Other people’s lives are fascinating to me. They are trucking along just like I am but with different thoughts, dreams, and ideas. Everyone you see around you is thinking something different and dreaming a different dream.
If you talk to someone for even just one minute, you can find out a little bit more about that life, more than you would’ve known before. And that one minute can change you if you let it.
I talk to a lot of people. Some of them may not want to talk to me, but I rarely go anywhere without talking to at least one stranger. I think that’s important. How can you grow if you talk to the same exact people every single day and never experience a spontaneous conversation with a total stranger?
Some of those conversations may be a one time thing, but sometimes those conversations blossom into something more. Either way, the person on the other end of the convo is somebody. They may not be somebody to you, but they’re somebody to somebody.
Everyone you pass is someone’s mom or dad or brother or sister or husband or wife or friend. They are important. They might not be famous or the first person on your missed calls list, but that doesn’t make them any less special or nonessential to the lives of others.
A woman talked to me while I was ordering my coffee a few days ago, and I could’ve just responded and smiled and gone on with my day, but I thought, “No, I want her to know I care.”
So, as I left the coffee shop, I said, “Bye, I hope you have a really great day.” She smiled so big and started telling me that her husband was coming to pick her up and continued explaining what she would do with the rest of her day.
The thought really hit me that she’s a wife. She’s not just the woman I happened upon at a coffee shop – she’s a wife, and probably a mother, and a friend. She’s somebody. She wasn’t my mom or my best friend, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a purpose. And her purpose for those five minutes was to brighten my day. She complimented me and just showed love to me that I needed to get me through the rest of the day.
Just today, I passed by a man, Carlos, at the same coffee shop. I don’t know his life story, but I know he’s somebody to somebody, and that’s the most important thing I could know about him.
It all kinda goes both ways. People you happen upon have a purpose, but people happen upon you too, and you have a purpose.
You might brighten their day with the five minutes you spend with them, and even better, you are brightening people’s lives that you spend way more time with. You may never be a CEO or a model or the doctor that cures cancer, but you do have a purpose.
Live out each day with that purpose. Don’t go around with no purpose. That’s a waste. I don’t care if you work in the worst place for the rest of your life. You are more than that because you are somebody’s somebody. You can leave work, you can leave school, you can leave any physical place. You can’t leave your purpose, no matter how hard you try. So just take it and make the most of it.
When you pass by people on the street, know that they have a life and a purpose just as important as yours. Don’t ever think they’re any worse or better because they’re somebody’s somebody and so are you.
Think of your favorite superstar – you have something in common with them. They’re somebody’s somebody. That means you’re just as important as all the people with 5M Twitter followers.
The most important thing in life really is love – not fame, fortune, or fun. If you have love, you really have it all.
So, love and be loved, and go be somebody’s somebody.