If you don’t have a favorite word, sort it out. Not only does language allow us to communicate, it shapes our perspective on life and deepens our understanding of the world. So, here are a few of our fav words you can add to your vocab: Sonder is a noun used to describe the realization that every stranger you see is living a life as complex and vivid as your own. This word isn't in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, but its moody melancholy earned itself a cult following. Diving even deeper into the melancholy, here’s a Welsh word we love: Hiraeth. It doesn't have a direct translation, but it basically describes a layered homesickness. It’s the longing you might feel for a home that you can’t return to, or perhaps never even existed...
On a more playful note, here’s a classic from Germany - Kummerspeck. The word roughly translates to grief bacon or sorrow fat. As you can imagine, it describes the result of eating when sad. Next time you go through a break-up and dig into your fourth bag of potato chips, get ready for the kummerspeck.
The South African word Ubuntu is less of a word and more of a concept. Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist describes the meaning as “I am what I am because of who we all are.” It’s about community, kindness and interconnectivity. Desmond Tutu once wrote about ubuntu, “It is to say, my humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours. We belong in a bundle of life. ” Hear, hear!
Photo by Brett Jordan