This last week, I had the privilege to see the ever-hyped Hamilton in Chicago, as a birthday present with my mom. First off, if you, like most, haven’t seen it, I highly recommend listening to the whole musical, which is also available as a free playlist on Spotify and YouTube. It’s honestly the next best thing from going in for a ticket.
“I am not throwing away my shot!” -Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was abandoned by his father, orphaned by his mother, and born on the tiny Caribbean Island of Nevis. He wrote his way to King’s College, with money raised by local businessmen who saw his work ethic and his potential as a scholar. Only through constantly seeking opportunities in writing and service did Hamilton leave his mark on American history.
It’s easy to pass on opportunities that are attainable but difficult. But, if you truly focus on not throwing away your shot, you can leave your mark even coming from the most adverse circumstances.
“I am the one thing in life. I can control. I am inimitable. I am an original” -Aaron Burr
In·im·i·ta·ble /iˈnimədəb(ə)l/ Adjective: So good or unusual as to be impossible to copy; unique.
As a kid in high school, or even as an independent adult, it’s still easy to feel like you don’t have control over your life. Grades, college, and a myriad of responsibilities and pressures unique to your life may make you feel at a loss for control. But Aaron Burr, the very man who killed Hamilton, reminds us that you can still control you. Life is just as much circumstance as it is how you react to your situation. Own your life.
“Dying is easy; living is harder.” -George Washington
Speaking of owning your life, General George Washington speaks to the power of living for a cause being just as important as dying for one. Dying for a cause may be glorified, but living to fight another day takes grit, and perseverance.
“Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!” -Eliza Schuyler
It’s easy to look back on history and long to have lived in another time. I get it, I love history, but take a moment to look around and realize you could not live in any other time. This is your life; it’s your one shot. You’re here right now–reading this–and you are lucky.
“Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see” -Alexander Hamilton
Everywhere you go, and everything you do leaves some sort of legacy for the future. Alexander Hamilton understood the importance of looking forward to what our country will become, and thus created our first national bank system, ultimately setting a precedent for the way our country handles money.