HAM Part 3: Forgiveness, Can You Imagine?

This will be the final addition to my HAM series. There are many things I learned from Hamilton that I wish I could write about, but, unfortunately, I am leaving to see the show in about an hour. Everything I have written so far could be entirely incorrect, but I’m hoping that seeing the show today will shed light on anything I have missed or misunderstood.

I am choosing to include forgiveness as the last topic in this series because I think it one of the most valuable takeaways from Hamilton.

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HAM Part 2: Don’t Throw Away Your Shot

Shortly after meeting Aaron Burr, a group of rowdy men who would become Hamilton’s closest friends during the Revolutionary War barges into the bar where Hamilton and Burr are chatting. These men, unhappy with Burr’s thoughts regarding the American Revolution jeer him as Hamilton asks:

If you stand for nothing, what will you fall for?

Upon hearing this striking question, the men ask Hamilton who he is. Congruent with how I explained Hamilton’s identity in my post, Just You Wait, Hamilton answers the question of identity with his actions. He says:

I am not throwing away my shot.

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HAM Part 1: Just You Wait

Alexander Hamilton is an example of how anyone, from anywhere, can make a new name for themselves.

The first words of the production are:

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence,  impoverished, in squalor grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

No matter how many times I listen to the soundtrack, these first words cut right to my heart as I consider the situation that Hamilton came from. Among his childhood trials are the abandonment of his father, the death of his mother and suicide of his cousin, providing for himself at a young age, and a hurricane that rips through his town, which becomes a metaphor for his adulthood trials near the end of the story. But perhaps not the circumstances themselves, but the idea that his circumstances would somehow become his identity is what strikes me so deeply.

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