Post-Hamilton Thoughts

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton played by Leslie Odom Jr. and Lin Manuel Miranda (respectively) in the original Broadway Hamilton cast

I was lucky enough to get to see Hamilton, the brilliant musical, with my long-time friend and her family in San Francisco. What struck me was how a lot of fights/duels had to do as much with divergent views for the nation as the divergent personalities of the Founding Fathers. From the get-go, Aaron Burr hated how Alexander Hamilton talked so much. And from Burr’s advice, you could tell he was a fraud, a sell-out.

I don’t want to be like Aaron Burr— “a guy you can get a beer with,” but who doesn’t have any strong beliefs on any topic and can be wishy-washy to conform to or please whoever he’s around.

But I also don’t want to be (nor could really be because I’m not that sharp-witted and unfiltered enough) like my friend and her brother, who are more like Hamilton. They let their very blunt, often downright harsh opinions loose all the time, albeit in an extremely smart, funny way. They make me laugh even though I know I probably shouldn’t be laughing. When I express this, they stretch me to question where I’m getting the idea that I “shouldn’t” be laughing at/saying something. They make me want to let my guard down more because it can be way more fun and carefree to just say whatever you’re thinking (even if what comes out of your mouth will never be as witty or sharp as what comes out of theirs no matter how much Mrs. Maisel or Robin Williams comedy specials or rap battles you watch).

I do think that some of their character judgements or opinions about things we’ve just seen can be quickly formed, short-sighted and/or pessimistic, not seeing a situation/person in all its complexity. But you can’t say that they don’t take a side. You know exactly where they stand. And they do always have a lot of readings/research, which are summoned by their top-knotch memories (JEALOUS), to back up their HOT takes.

I want to qualify and filter less and be more vocal and outspoken about things I care about, which means researching/reading/discussing more. At the same time, I don’t want to sacrifice my abilities to listen and appreciate that the world is rarely black and white and that’s what makes it beautiful.

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  1. There’s definitely value to taking a stand and defending it, and it seems like society sees that value pretty easily. It’s sometimes harder to see the value in not taking any stance at all, but I think it’s still there. No one can know every perspective on a situation, so it’s just as important to have people who are willing to consider all sides and adjust their opinions to fit a changing picture of events as it is to have people who are on each of those sides. Through discussion, I think the two dispositions temper each other.

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