Thought For The Day #4918 June 2015
Broadcast 18th of June 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol
I’ve been reading about the Battle of Waterloo. Which, as we’ve been hearing, was fought exactly 200 years ago today. To be honest, I often find it hard to get genuinely interested about human history. Sometimes I feel like it’s all just the same episode of a TV drama rerun, where some people disagree about something then get into a fight. Same old, same old.
I did come across one curious anecdote about Napolean though. After the battle, the British kept him on a ship in Plymouth harbour until it was decided what his fate should be. Every day, locals gathered to try and catch a glimpse of him on the deck. Apparently, or so it’s told, when his clothes would come to shore for washing, people wanted to try on his shirts. Seems odd, but why not I suppose, he was basically a celebrity.
It strikes me, because it’s a surprisingly intimate thing, to wear someone else’s clothes. I mean okay, I sometimes borrow a jacket, but that’s just for practical reasons. What if I tried on someone else’s shirt, just to, I don’t know, see what it’s like? But see what what’s like? See what it’s like to be them? Actually yeah, what is it like to be someone else for a moment? To see through their eyes, to hear their thoughts.
I know all too well what it’s like to be me, every day the same old, same old. Luckily I think this is where good friends come in: people that you can both literally and metaphorically swap shirts with.