5 Important Lessons You Can Learn From "Hamilton"
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5 Important Lessons You Can Learn From "Hamilton"

Don't throw away your shot

5 Important Lessons You Can Learn From "Hamilton"

Let's face it: Hamilton, written and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, has an acclaim and popularity that transcends the confines of musical theater. Miranda drew his inspiration from the Ron Chernow book by the same name, and since he put pen to paper, the hip-hop musical has exploded into a cultural phenomenon.

But what is it about Hamilton that is so inspiring, so captivating, that it has garnered the attention of those outside of the Broadway community?

At the heart of it, Hamilton is a story about revolution, not only on a country-wide scale, but on a personal one. Through war, politics and scandal, Hamilton, the founding fathers and other towering historical figures portrayed in the musical each discover what it means to seize the day for the betterment of both others and self.

So, besides catchy lyrics and sick beats, here are the top five inspirational lessons that ring like the Victory Bell in Hamilton:

1. Never let tragedy stop your progress.

In the opening number, audience members learn about the horrific events surrounding Alexander Hamilton's childhood. In his youth, Hamilton endured the destruction of his hometown, abandonment of his father and death of his mother. While Hamilton could have easily let these events dictate his future, he instead used them to fuel his efforts in getting an education and traveling to New York to "be a new man" and pursue his dreams.

2. Know when to "talk less, smile more" and when NOT to do so.

In the presence of all the controversy and dilemmas that exist in today's culture, from the 2016 Presidential election to the endangerment of honey bees, it's tempting to zip it and let others hash it out. Burr tells Hamilton, "talk less, smile more." Be civil. Don't let others know what you're really thinking. And sometimes, that makes sense. You don't talk about your love of Jaws when your best friend's sister recently died from a shark attack. Timing is important. But Hamilton's counter-argument to Burr's advice is that "if you stand for nothing...what do you fall for?" Making one's morals known and standing by them prevents fickleness and being a follower easily swayed by the slightest influence. Deciding when it's best to say something and when it isn't is crucial.

3. Tell the truth, even when it's hard.

Everyone does it. A little fib here, a little white lie there. ("Are you kidding? I would never eat someone else's birthday cake in its entirety!" "No, that dress looks amazing on you!") We're human. When it counts, though, the truth really can set you free. At one point, Hamilton gets involved in an affair with Maria Reynolds. He at first accepts the agreement from her husband to pay in exchange for secrecy. But, when his payments are discovered and mistaken for government embezzling, putting his political career and legacy in jeopardy, Hamilton has to come clean to everything. He publishes "The Reynolds Pamphlet," which exonerates him from the embezzlement accusation but simultaneously reveals his shame. It was painful and it was embarrassing, but it was the right thing to do. When you lie, consider the consequences for your dishonesty and, most importantly, how those consequences affect others.

4. Do not throw away your shot!

Opportunities don't always come knocking, so when they do, open the door and act on them! When Hamilton arrived in New York, he did not simply walk around the city gawking at the pretty ladies (well, not all the time, anyway). He got to work and, in a relatively short time, accomplished several feats, from serving in the Revolutionary War under George Washington, to founding The New York Post and the Coast Guard, and being appointed the first United States Secretary of the Treasury. When you have a chance to do something in life, don't let a lack of confidence, uncertainty of the future or negativity from others stop you from chasing your dreams.

And, of course...

5. Do your best NOT to shoot your enemies.

This one kind of goes without saying. Don't do it, even if it is "legal in New Jersey." Pre-meditated murder only makes more trouble for you anyway (e.g. prison). Throughout the show, Hamilton gets involved in three duels; the first results in his discharge by Washington; the second results in the death of his son, Philip; the third, of course, results in his death at the hands of Aaron Burr. 0 for 3. Thus, use your wit, cunning, and knowledge to combat your foes!

So don't just sing and rap Hamilton, live it!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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