Alexander Hamilton and the Fourth of July

Alexander Hamilton and the Fourth of July

We have so much in this country. Sometimes we forget, or take it for granted. But not everything is easy or fair. The great gift of this country is opportunity – wherever we begin in life, we don’t have to stay there.  Personal responsibility and freedom go hand in hand.

A lot of people are worried and unhappy about where we’re headed. We’re dissatisfied, which is natural for Americans, because we’re a restless people. We always want to make things better, but more than ever we disagree about how to do that.

I’m optimistic, because we’re stronger than we think we are; you never know where the saving grace is going to begin, that first step in the right direction, but it always does. Just when you think we’re losing it, something startlingly redemptive comes along – like the Broadway musical Hamilton, which energizes and permeates American culture with a clean view of the founding principles, the power of liberty, and why they still matter.  It’s done with rap and hip hop and brilliant contemporary writing that six-and sixty-year-olds are singing along to all over the world; Hamilton the musical reminds us: “We are all these diverse things, yet we are still one – and that is everything.”

It’s good to remember Alexander Hamilton on this day, how one man can make such an enormous contribution and be largely forgotten – until we need him. We need him now, to remind us of the odds we’ve beaten to get here, the sacrifices we’ve made along the way, and the challenges still to overcome. As Hamilton sings in the musical, “I’m not throwin’ away my shot,” America is a place where people still have a shot, and that’s something to be grateful for every day.


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