Sonder: the realization that everyone has a story

I’m in Edinburgh this week and decided to watch the Beauty & the Beast musical by myself today.

In the programme I searched up the names of the actors and the actresses. Belle was played by Courtney Stapleton, an LGBTQ+ Black actress. I was happy to see her success. Also, I found it unique watching a musical where you could tell everyone had a slight different UK accent of some sort (distinctly non-NA). Though I’m sure some of the accents were more purposefully accentuated.

I sat in the directors VIP box – to my right there was a family with a young daughter dressed in a yellow Belle dress. She had to tiptoe over the balcony to get a good view. It was adorable. I wondered what she liked about Belle.

As the show ended, a flood of students in uniform excited the theatre led by students. I thought of my past school activities and how fun they were – being a young innocent kid, watching a musical on a Wednesday afternoon.

As I walked the streets of Edinburgh looking for food, I stood looking in at a Japanese Ramen shop. It was packed. Two older ladies walked by me and gestured towards the restaurant, asking whether they should try this “Chinese” restaurant. I felt a little saddened that she didn’t have the life experience to distinguish the two types of cuisine.

I saw a father and her daughter walking around, putting up signs of their missing cat. The daughter gripping the picture of the cat, the father holding a roll of tape. The father said something, a European language, which all I knew was not French. Actually, I caught a quick glance of a flag on his jacket, which I assumed was Spain. I felt a little saddened that I didn’t have the life experience to distinguish the language they were speaking. I hope they find their cat.

The privilege of being able to travel and experience global perspectives cannot be overstated.

This feeling does not exist in the English dictionary, but fortunately John Koenig invented one

Sonder: the realization that everyone has a story

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