With Trump having declared war on the “overrated” Hamilton: An American Musical, it seemed like a fitting time to reflect on all that’s great about the show. After all, there must be a reason why this musical has, in little over a year, become one of the most successful in Broadway’s extensive history. There must be a reason why tickets for the New York production are sold out until next August. There must be a reason that the show has won 11 Tonys, a Grammy and a Pulitzer Prize. As the person who’s come to be known as The Edge committee’s resident Hamilton fan, I could list loads of reasons. However, I do believe that the most significant of these reasons is the fact that at the heart of Hamilton is a truly inspiring and motivating tale of ambition, resilience, dedication and hard work. Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s ode to America’s first treasury secretary is full of so many wonderful quotes, but in this article, I will try to narrow it down to the ones that inspire me most. Those quotes that summarise that call to rise up.
“There’s a million things I haven’t done, but just you wait.”
One of the most repeated phrases throughout the play, Alexander Hamilton’s belief in his own abilities is so inspiring to me. Even when he has seemingly done so much, he is always looking ahead to the things he hasn’t done yet, and the ones he can’t wait to do- the things he can’t wait to achieve. At a mere 19 years old (but my mind is older – lol, reference), it so often can be easy to dwell on all the things in life that I have yet to do. However, as Hamilton is so quick to do, I need to have faith in my own abilities, and trust that in time, the things I want to achieve will come to fruition. You guys should do the same. Tell the world to wait, because there’s plenty of time to do everything!
“If you stand for nothing, what will you fall for?”
Of course, this isn’t just a Hamilton quote, but a regularly cited saying. It is however, still a saying of dire importance. If we have don’t have beliefs, we are way more susceptible to doing the things that the world tells us to. If we don’t know what we want, we are so much more likely to do things that aren’t actually in line with who we are. Have beliefs, hold on to them, stand up for them! Use them to shape your view of the world around you.
“I am not throwing away my shot.”
Do not throw away your shot. Make the most of every opportunity your presented. Do the things you love, and give them your all.
“Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.”
Admittedly, 2016 has been a pretty dreadful year. However, there is definitely a reason that we are alive right here and now, and we should be grateful of that. Our generation are changing things; there is a tangible presence of progression in the air and that is super exciting and we are super lucky to be alive during this period of development.
“I am the one thing in life I can control, I am inimitable, I am an original.”
Aaron Burr’s Act One belter, ‘Wait For It’ has had a lot of relevance for me this year, and it was actually extremely hard to try and narrow it down to one quote from the song for this article. This has got to be it though. We have free will, and we are the ones who make each and every decision in our lives. Everything else is down to other people and circumstances beyond our control. Always do things intentionally, make decisions purposefully, and bring what you can to the table! You are the only you- what you have to offer is original and unique- make sure you offer it.
“Let me be a part of the narrative.”
All around us, every day of our lives, stories are being written. Make sure you’re a part of them. Make your voice heard.
“Immigrants. We get the job done.”
“It’s full of contradictions,” “So is independence.”
Even the brightest of ideas can have their flaws. The amazing thing is, that is completely okay! Things don’t have to make perfect sense for them to be worth it in the long run. If you have faith in something: a person, a concept, a way of life; don’t let people try and drag that down and point out the holes in it. Stick by it, and develop it so that one day it can be more fully rounded and greater appreciated.
“I will not equivocate on my opinion, I have always worn it on my sleeve.”
There’s nothing wrong with being proud of what you think and believe. In fact, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Ya know… unless those beliefs are xenophobic, racist, homphobic, sexist or anything that would get you in trouble with Ofcom basically. Anyway, be real about what you think. Don’t try and hide between false pretenses and things you don’t agree with – be real, and wear your genuine, authentic self on your sleeve.
“You have no control, who lives, who dies, who tells your story.”
At the end of the day, we don’t know the future. We have no idea how or when we’re gonna die. We’ve got to just make the most of every day, and hope that at the end, we’ll have written a story that’s worth telling. We have to have faith that the life we lead is one worth living, and we need to live by actions that make us proud to be who we are. Whether it’s a good one, bad one, or relatively small one; we’re going to leave a legacy. We are going to be planting seeds in a garden that we never get to see. Get planting. Don’t get to the end of your life and look back with any regrets. You have no control who gets to tell your story, so make sure that you show love and kindness to all that you meet, so that the light you are painted in once you are gone is a positive one.