Warning: This article contains some spoilers from the show
Hamilton is the latest and greatest creation by Lin-Manuel Miranda on Broadway. It is about the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton, but it is done through singing, dancing and RAPPING! It is done in such a beautiful, clever, and classy way that it captivates the audience. Other than the fact that I had chills the ENTIRE SHOW (because it was just that amazing), I learned a lot from it.
So, let’s get into it! Here are some life lessons I’ve learned from Hamilton:
1) “I AM NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOT!”
It is a famous song and line that is a common theme in his life. He grew up as an orphan and had been through a lot. Over time, he promised himself if the opportunity arose, he would show the world what he was really made of. As he grew older, he was finally given a platform for everyone to hear his voice. He always felt like he had to take his shot while he had it.
Lesson? Sometimes, you only get one shot to go for the things you want.
Like a wise man named Eminem once said,
2) TWISTS AND TURNS
Let’s see, where do I start? Hamilton was married to Eliza, whose sister, Angelica, was secretly in love with Hamilton. Part of the reason Burr lost the campaign was because Hamilton voted for Thomas Jefferson instead. Hamilton ended up cheating on Eliza with Mariah Reynolds. Then Mariah and her husband had blackmailed him for money in order to keep the affair a secret. At the end of the play, after everything Hamilton and Burr had been through, Burr shot him in a duel. To say the least, none of these things were expected.
Lesson? Things won’t always go the way you had thought or planned they would.
3) BEING PRESENT (“WAIT FOR IT”) vs LEAVING A LEGACY (“THE STORY OF TONIGHT”)
This is a very complex issue. For the most part, being present is represented by doing things that are in the “here and now,” living in the moment, or doing things that benefit you right now. Leaving a legacy, generally, requires thinking and planning for the future. It might go as far as meaning that you never see all of the outcomes of your efforts. It is planting seeds for the next generation. But you have no control over “who lives, who dies, or who tells your story.”
Lesson? You are either living for today or for tomorrow.
4) “DON’T LET THEM KNOW…”
People underestimated Hamilton throughout much of his life. But his spirit was bright and his mind was sharp! He decided to make his passion for politics and the affairs of the country public. Aaron Burr, on the other hand, while he had great qualifications on paper, did not like to stir the pot. People did not know what his beliefs were or how he felt about anything, so they didn’t fully trust him. Because of this, Burr lost the campaign against Thomas Jefferson. When you don’t have your own beliefs, and you just go with the flow of whatever is thrown your way in life, then anything goes and it seems like you believe whatever is handed to you next.
Lesson? If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
5) “LET’S GET THIS GUY IN FRONT OF A CROWD!”
Hamilton did everything he could to make sure that his voice was heard: from writing 51 essays for the Federalist papers to writing journals, public proclamations, and much more. He believed in the power of his voice and felt that he needed the world to hear his beliefs. He is now one of the most influential people in history. Not everyone believed in what he was saying, but everyone respected that he had the courage to share his opinion. You are powerful beyond measure! You just have to believe you are.
Lesson? Your voice deserves to be heard.