If you’d said the name “Hamilton” a few years ago, I would’ve been all meh. Like, okay, he’s on the ten dollar bill…aaaand?
When the Broadway musical, Hamilton, came out, that all changed, and after seeing it last night, I’m pretty sure that’s the whole point of the show: remember Alexander Hamilton’s name.
I won’t pretend to be a die-hard fan of musicals; I’m hit or miss. There are a few I’d watch every day until I die, but usually the word “musical” doesn’t excite me. I also don’t know much about theater, so I use a bunch of wrong words when talking about my limited experiences with it, but I’m sincere in my efforts so don’t hate. All that to say, what I took away from the show is probably not what you’ll read about in crticial, professional reviews. I brought my baggage to the show, and Hamilton did the rest, stirring up a lot inside me, like the reminder that I’m really shitty when it comes to history and geography. But also…
Hamilton (bastard, orphan, son of a whore–sorry I couldn’t help myself) got me thinking about how our names are our legacies and the words we
are capable of
We must be careful with our words if we hope to protect our names. Of course, sometimes it doesn’t matter what we do or say because there are people who are insecure, suffering from so much self-loathing, that they’re constantly on the hunt for a scapegoat. Avoiding accountability by masquerading their guilt as victimization is far easier than coming to terms with their conscience. Whether they continually wrestle with
they’ll never be satisfied with themselves. Rather than attempting some DYI on their souls, they point a finger at someone else. Staining another’s name instead of cleaning their own is their go-to move. It’s a bad move, like a bunch of white frat guys doing the running man at their pal’s wedding, but it’s their move nonetheless.
And now you’re thinking, “What in the hayle does this have to do with Hamilton?” Duly noted.
I know the old adage would argue, but actions don’t always speak louder than words. If we are content to use our tongues for evil, that becomes our name. If we continue to play the victim with a Burr mentality, that is our legacy. And when we’re gone, what we leave behind is the difference between being remembered or being forgotten. We all have a place in history, no matter how big or small, so make it count. Go…
make the music
have the hard conversations
start the orphanage
put in the work
right your wrongs
write yourself in (or out of) the narrative
give all you can give
and use your words so that people want to remember your name, to tell your story.