Three cheers for the sidekick

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Charmaine Li, Imperial College London
Charmaine Li, Imperial College London |
Published: 
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If it were up to me, I'd give the BBC's incredibly successful TV crime drama Sherlock a new name. I'd call it Watson instead.

If you're familiar with the original Sherlock Holmes detective stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, you'd know that Dr Watson is the humble sidekick who tells the story of how his brilliant friend solved cases. But Watson is an interesting person in his own right. Even though he's not as intelligent as Sherlock, he is loyal and never runs away from danger or abandons his friend. For example, at one point, he is buried under a bonfire, but the very next day, he still goes out looking for bombs on the London Underground.

Spending two years grieving for his friend, who he thought was dead, does not seem to have made him cynical. He's still funny, and we'll even forgive him for that terrible moustache he had in the last episode. After all, everyone makes mistakes.

So why start 2014 by talking about a fictional character? Well, I think it's important to remember the underdogs. Silently confident, courageous and intelligent but never arrogant - these are traits I look for in people. It's also the type of person I am striving to become. As Albert Einstein said: "Try not to become a [person] of success but rather try to become a [person] of value." How's that for a New Year's resolution?


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