My family loves “Hamilton” by Lin Manuel Miranda. We love the story. We love the songs. We love the fact that if all education was presented like this everyone would learn more. Sure, we don’t like the fact that history is HIS STORY, and that most, if not all, of what we have learned about the past is someone’s interpretation of what happened rather than what actually happened.
Which is why the “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story” part of Miranda’s “Hamilton” is so intriguing. The stories we hear are someone’s opinion of what they saw, heard, read about, or were told about something that (presumably) happened. And Eliza’s desire to “tell Hamilton’s story” was necessarily skewed by her perspective.
All that is well and good, and we should be aware of the filters we, and others, experience life through. But what I talk about this week is a bit upstream.
Before someone else can tell our story, we need to (should need to) know our own story for our own sake. It’s cool to have someone else interpret our story. Hell, it may be more accurate depending on our own influences, neuroses, or shortcomings. But knowing our own story, accurately, ought to be an important part of life. In fact, I will argue that we owe it to our ancestors to do just that.
Preview coming Wednesday, full episode Friday.