If you haven’t heard of the hit Broadway play, Hamilton, well I don’t know what you’ve been doing with you life, but you’re definitely missing out. Hamilton, winner of 11 Tony awards including Best Musical, is a musical play based on the rise and fall of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers. Largely forgotten until the phenomenon that is the musical began it’s run in New York.
Hamilton, an immigrant bastard, from an impoverished Caribbean island called Nevis in the British West Indies, set sail for New York City. He was the son of a Scotsman and a whore, (words straight from the musical) the bastard did not allow his humble beginnings to stop him from leaving his mark on the world.
His nemesis Aaron Burr began his military and law career to the same time as Hamilton, band while the two come from opposite sides of the wealth and opportunity spectrum, they both experienced loss at a young age. Hamilton was left an orphan when his mother died from a horrible disease, a disease Hamilton himself was able to recover from. Burr lost both of his parents while still a toddler and experienced further loss of family members throughout his adolescence.
What stands out about these 2 men, is how losing loved ones so early in life and suffering personal tragedies shaped not only their outlook on life, but how they went about living it.
Feeling a Little Aaron Burr
Burr’s experience, even though he had the means, left him overly cautious to afraid to pick one side or the other for fear of choosing the wrong side and perhaps losing everything. Living life as a blank canvas was his way of protecting the “legacy” his family left him. His point of view is presented in one of the songs in the musical “Wait it for It”. He’s got to be careful, he can’t make to many waves, and he’s carrying the weight of his family name on his shoulders.
Looking for My Inner Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton on the other hand, tragedies and loss, created in him a hunger and a sense of urgency that moved him from being a nobody to the “Right Hand Man” of George Washington himself. He lays out his this urgency in one of my favorite songs “My Shot”. Hamilton didn’t make the journey to America, experience everything that he experience to “throw away his shot”. He lived life aggressively, he was outspoken, a leader, a fighter and he was inventive, he was the first Secretary of the Treasury, and created America’s economic system. One of my favorite lines that carries through in some of the songs, Burr amazed by Hamilton’s tenacity, “why do you write like your running out of time, write day and night like you’re running out of time”.
Hamilton lived his life like he was running out of time. He didn’t have time to “wait for it”.
Actually seeing Hamilton in New York has been added to my bucket list, one day when I can pay the normal rate for going to see a Broadway play and not some ridiculous resale price. It’s going to be a while, maybe years. In the meantime, I love the soundtrack, its moving and motivating, encouragement to make the best of your life. I highly encourage you get it.
By the Burr actually decided to go for it, he ran for president against Thomas Jefferson, his lifelong indecisiveness and not taking a stand caught up to him. Once he decided he wanted to be in the “Room Where It Happens” the door was locked on him. As a result his anger and bitterness caused him to be the villain. His loss caused him to be paralyzed in the face of opportunity while Hamilton’s loss propelled him right to the top where his legacy surrounds us today, we carry it in our pockets, our wallet and purses.
So I ask the question are you Alexander Hamilton or Aaron Burr, Sir?
<iframe src="//rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?o=1&p=26&l=ur1&category=amazonhomepage&f=ifr&linkID=f587102a11ca4262b0bba0f35302f77f&t=jmj-20&tracking_id=jmj-20" width="468" height="60" scrolling="no" border="0" marginwidth="0" style="border:none;" frameborder="0"></iframe>